5 Oct

Group Of Democrat Lawmakers Want To Take Away Free Speech Right & Make It A ‘Privilege’

                                       

Four New York State Senators, Jeff Klein, Diane Savino, David Carlucci and David Valesky (all Democrats btw…surprise, surprise), have all signed off on a proposal to turn your free speech right, a right that is inherent to all people by virtue of their being people, into a right that can be restricted.

Proponents of a more refined First Amendment argue that this freedom should be treated not as a right but as a privilege — a special entitlement granted by the state on a conditional basis that can be revoked if it is ever abused or maltreated.

That’s right. They wish to turn this right into a privilege, like a drivers license, that can be taken away if you’re a bad boy.

What is their reasoning for doing this? It’s because of an act that has been going on since pretty much the dawn of time, bullying:

At least half of all Americans have been bullied at one point in their lives. Whether it was teasing on the playground, taunting in the school yard, or tackling in the hallways, bullying has been part of “growing up” for generations. Not often did parents, educators, or legislators think of intervening; but times have changed. And if ever you have heard that “bullying is nothing but a rite of passage to adulthood,” think again.

With the rapid development of information and communication technologies, a new form of harassment has emerged. Cell phones and social networking sites such as Facebook may have enabled people to become more closely connected and interwoven, but they have also amplified standard adolescent cruelty to a level unprecedented. From “flaming” to “happy slapping,” thousands of teenagers across the nation have experienced “cyberbullying” in one way or another – and the numbers are only rising.

In addition to causing substantial psychological harm and emotional distress, cyberbullying has been blamed for nearly a dozen teen suicides.

…Cyberbullying is a serious threat to society, and this recent string of “bullycides” only reinforces the need for action.

Such a “serious threat” they want to take away a right.

First they propose to make it a crime for a person to “intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, engage in a course of conduct using electronic communication directed at a child under the age of twenty-one years” when the person “knows or reasonably know that such conduct … causes material harm to the mental or emotional health … of such child.” They also propose that a single electronic communication could be considered a “course of action” if the message is sent to multiple people, the “victim” not being one of them.

Eugene Volokh:

(1) A girl finds that her boyfriend has been cheating on her with her best friend. She e-mails several other friends a message condemning the best friend, who is then humiliated because all her friends know what she’s done. That, under the bill, would likely be a “course of conduct” “directed” at the former best friend (even though the best friend isn’t even a recipient), and the sender probably reasonably should have known (I assume that’s what the proposals means by “reasonably know”) that this could “cause[] material harm to the … emotional health” of the former best friend. We can’t be sure, of course, since who knows what “material harm” to “emotional health” really requires — but it’s certainly possible that a prosecutor (maybe a friend of the former best friend’s family?) will conclude that humiliation in front of one’s friends qualifies. Now the e-mailer would face a trial at which the jury decided whether she had a “legitimate purpose” for the communication; if the jury says no, the e-mailer gets convicted.

(2) A minister e-mails a gay child’s relatives who are his parishioners, saying that the child is a sinner and faces the risk of damnation if he continues sinning; the child foreseeably learns of the message. That too is a “course of conduct” “directed” at the child, and there too a prosecutor could argue that the minister reasonably should have known that this would “cause[] material harm to the … emotional health” of the child. Again, the minister gets convicted unless the jury concludes that his purpose was “legitimate.”

(3) A newspaper columnist whose column is published on the newspaper’s Web site — or a blogger — is incensed at what he sees as the misconduct of some high school or college student (maybe some petty crime committed by a star football player, which the community hasn’t yet noticed). He publishes a column condemning the student, or for that matter condemning the school for hushing up the crime. That too is a “course of conduct” “directed” at the child, and there too a prosecutor could argue that the columnist reasonably should have known that the result humiliation would “cause[] material harm to the … emotional health” of the child. Again, the columnist or blogger gets convicted unless the jury concludes that his purpose was “legitimate.”

And then if someone commits suicide over said communication it will now be deemed a new crime called “bullycide”

defined as (a) engaging in the speech prohibited by the first part of the proposal when (b) such speech intentionally or recklessly (c) causes the victim to commit suicide.

Which, as Eugene notes, will never apply.

…because it would only cover situations where the defendant had the conscious objective of causing the victim to commit suicide, or was “aware of and consciously disregard[ed] a substantial and unjustifiable risk” that the victim would commit suicide. While bullies often have the intention of causing emotional distress, and are often aware of a substantial risk that the victim will be seriously distressed, they very rarely intend to cause the victim to commit suicide, and they are very rarely aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk of this happening

This is nothing more then the continuing slippery slope to a totalitarian “utopia” that the liberals and progressives dream about.

You deal with bullying as everyone else has. Good parenting which instills morals into a child. Maybe that kid will recognize taking naked pictures of themselves isn’t that great of an idea. How about schools that will deal with the bully with punishment. For victims of bullying, deal with it as everyone else has throughout the ages. Ignore the stupidity.

Life isn’t fair. Not everyone will like you. Get a backbone and ignore it. If you’re assaulted then fight back and get the law involved.

But for anyone to even propose taking a RIGHT away, and making it a privilege, over this stuff is complete and utter insanity.

About Curt

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 20 years.
This entry was posted in 1st Amendment, Constitution, Law, Liberal Idiots, Nanny Government, Politics. Bookmark the permalink. Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 at 12:00 pm
| 1,025 views

43 Responses to Group Of Democrat Lawmakers Want To Take Away Free Speech Right & Make It A ‘Privilege’

  1. Common Sense says: 1

    The Democrat desperation is really getting disgusting and dispicable. First it’s trying to change the election process and now free speech. Maybe they should take a time out and read the Constitution. Thank goodness Republicans are in control of the House, it provides Hope for America vs. the Dope for America.

    ReplyReply
  2. Nan G says: 2

    Apparently the Left has elevated the imaginary ”right not to be offended,” to a level above the right privilege of free speech.
    When in all of human history has curtailment of freedom of speech led to a more liberal society?
    Never.

    If our liberal namby-pamby teachers would stop with the ”feel-good” propaganda in school and stick with reading, writing and arithmetic maybe more of our school children could think for themselves instead of sitting around feeling sorry for themselves.

    ReplyReply
  3. Greg says: 3

    Every right guaranteed by the Constitution has some rational limitation, otherwise each can become a license to infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed rights of another. That no right is absolute is so obvious that the Founding Father’s didn’t even bother to state the fact.

    We have guaranteed freedom of the press. There are still laws against libel. You cannot inflict damage on the reputation of an innocent person by printing lies with impunity.

    If your kid is a bully, that should become your problem and your kid’s problem. It shouldn’t remain the problem of his or her chosen victims.

    ReplyReply
  4. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says: 4

    The 2nd Amendment insures the other of our bill of rights is observed. American politicians who advocate abrogation of one of our God given rights should be tried for treason.

    ReplyReply
  5. Not only is it utter insanity, but something that we all have come to expect from liberals who preach to us all how open-minded they are. Liberals are ok with freedom of speech as long as it’s what they are saying, but God forbid if you disagree a with them. Then its time for a law to be passed to stifle your disagreement. Nan made a good point about how teachers need to focus on education, not liberal political correctness. We have kids who will tell you in a New York minute what their rights are, and how they feel. Yet cannot even spell and write at the sixth grade level.

    ReplyReply
  6. Steve says: 6

    Typical liberal progressive idiocy.

    If you cannot win in the court of public opinion…
    …then switch to a dictatorship and FORCE them to obey, or else!!

    1st – liberals (via Democrat Gov. Bev Purdue) propose to Cease Elections & Stop Democracy
    2nd – liberal (via these NY scumbags) propose to Cease Freedom of Speech.

    They’re flailing. They’re desperate…

    …Because they KNOW their idiotic liberal progressive ideology has FAILED
    and the know the American voters have rejected their outright absurdity.

    :roll:

    ReplyReply
  7. Steve says: 7

    Meanwhile…
    Herman Cain ties for FIRST PLACE in today’s new CBS poll

    Yes, we CAIN !!
    :wink:

    CAIN – 2012

    ReplyReply
  8. Ivan says: 8

    Palin said “no” to running.

    I predicted this this past summer.

    YES!!!! Smart move by the grifter.

    ReplyReply
  9. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 9

    This is one of those things that provokes outrage — until you really think about it.

    Greg said this:

    If your kid is a bully, that should become your problem and your kid’s problem. It shouldn’t remain the problem of his or her chosen victims.

    How have things changed, since I was a kid?

    I had one encounter with a bully. I was in the 7th grade. Bully was an 8th grader. He ended up pushing me in the hallway, when the taunts didn’t have their desired effect. I pushed him back. He asked to continue the “discussion” in the boys’ restroom. He and I and a group of interested bystanders went there. He and I immediately started fistfighting. It lasted about a minute, before a teacher came in and brought both of us to the Assistant Principal’s office. I ended up with two weeks of after school detention. But that was the end of it.

    The bully had no way to reach me, outside of school, and he had no real way of reaching me in school, as both of us were clearly on probation, for that sort of thing.

    It’s easy to think of ways that he could have harassed me, in 2011. He could have sent texts and emails and voice calls. Not just to me, but to other people, to hurt my reputation. Kids that age are very sensitive to things like that. I don’t even like being called names on the Internet at age 64. A verbal word, spoken in person, just evaporates. A written word, which lasts forever on the Internet, never really goes away.

    I can really see how cyber bullying and wireless handset bullying could take an age old right of childhood passage to a whole new and harmful level.

    First Amendment Rights is a sacred concept. But there is no Constitutional right to inflict hurt on another person. It’s just a different form of yelling fire in a crowed theater, which is also not protected speech.

    I’m still not sure where I come down on this, but it’s not as simple as it was made out to be in the article quoted by Curt.

    - Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

    ReplyReply
  10. Steve says: 10

    …regarding Palin’s choice to bow out of the POTUS race — let me just say:

    Herman Cain is the ONLY viable “Conservative” alternative to Romney

    …Not that Palin was a “viable” Conservative candidate …by the way
    Palin was also infected with the suicidal “path to citizenship” idiocy :roll:

    But, it’s becoming quite clear that true Conservatives are making their choice:

    — Oct 5th:
    CBS poll – Cain ties for 1st Place

    — Oct 4th:
    Gallup – Cain more than doubles Romney/Perry’s Intensity
    Quinnipiac – Cain overtakes Perry with 3 point lead
    ABC News – Cain ties Perry for 2nd place
    West Virginia PPP (D) – Cain wins +6
    Georgia Insider Advantage – Cain wins +24
    North Carolina PPP (D) – Cain wins +10
    Nebraska PPP (D) – Cain wins +14

    …even if some “pundits” want to prop-up the establishment’s pet Rino :oops:

    It’s time to get serious about who the “Conservative” pick is going to be.
    …it isn’t Romney …it damned sure isn’t Rino McPerry!!

    It’s Herman Cain, and every true Conservative knows it.
    :cool:

    ReplyReply
  11. malize says: 11

    @Greg:

    You know Greg…you are absolutely right — merely back the wrong implementation (that in the op) — incidentally, growing a backbone and dealing with it is also absolutely right.

    There should be accountability for parents/kids who bully…but there are mechanisms already in place that could be extended to this behavior — terroristic threats, libel, etc. — not a blanket assault on the First Amendment. Additionally, some thick-skin growing is in order for those who get bullied — as with most things in our upbringing there are life lessons to be learned for when we are no longer children.

    It’s not a binary relationship, there are things that could be done to deter such behavior and for those that are subjected to bullying there is learning how to deal with it while the wheels of justice turn (or not.)

    We all know that this is one slope that just should not be traveled down.

    ReplyReply
  12. anticsrocks says: 12

    The knee jerk statist response is to turn to more government for the answer to any and every problem. The problem of bullying is the responsibility of the parents and no one else.

    ReplyReply
  13. Toothfairy says: 13

    Most schools have a zero tolerance rule for bullying. This should include cyber bullying. If the teachers/administrators refuse to take care of the problem, punish them along with the bullies. Parents should be part of the solution. If they are not, they should be held liable as well. Studies have shown that bullies who are not dealt with in childhood often cause problems in the community as adults. They need to learn to deal with anger in a constructive way.

    ReplyReply
  14. Phlyer says: 14

    This points up the real issue of what is a “right?” If we take the “rights” to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as Heinlein pointed out you really have no “right” to life if you’re out in the middle of the ocean with no boat around. And the pursuit of happiness is a tropism that makes it meaningless in a political sense. You can “pursue” (without reaching) happiness even in the darkest gulag.

    I think a “right” is something which those in power have the ability to take away from you, but not the authority. That’s what makes this so insidious. If they claim the authority to restrict private speech between individuals on one topic, then there is no limit on their path to claim authority over any speech.

    ReplyReply
  15. Aqua says: 15

    @ Larry

    How have things changed, since I was a kid?

    Really? There were no cell phones or facebook when I was a kid either. It astounds me that people think technology is suddenly the reason rights need to be taken away. Although we didn’t have cell phones, text messages still existed. Show of hands of how many got busted in school for passing notes . **I’ll wait while we count the hands. We didn’t have facebook either, but there was still social network bullying, we just called it the bathroom stall. Seriously? Even the cavemen had social networking, you can still see some of the drawings today. And I bet you money, if we could interpret them correctly, some of them say, “for a good time, call ______”

    You and Greg should just come out and admit the constitution is not what you want it to be, never has, never will. It gets in the way of the liberal agenda. No one should have the right to disagree with a liberal because your hearts are in the right place. In all my years, I have never felt the need to say what I’m about to say. I have always thought we could disagree and remain fellow Americans. But a lot of people fought and died to ensure the rights in that document, and I’ll be the first in line to fight and die if necessary to ensure those rights remain for my kids and grandkids.

    ReplyReply
  16. Nan G says: 16

    Even bullying has been picked and chosen between un-PC bullys (get em!, re-educate ‘em!) and PC ones.
    Example of a PC bullying?

    Star of David Carved on Infidel’s Back in St. Louis
    Media mum about savage Muslim hate crime in the U.S.A.

    A certain Arab author by the name of Mr. Alaa Alsaegh, an immigrant to the U.S. from Iraq, was attacked on August 14, 2011, by Muslims in the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. They stabbed him and carved a Star of David onto the flesh of his back. His crime? He published an Arabic language poem titled “Tears at the Heart of the Holocaust” on the website ArabsForIsrael.com. The poem expressed his love for the Jewish people and his sorrow over their fate in the Holocaust. The Muslim community in which he lived was outraged by this thought crime.
    ….
    As he was driving at 10:30 in the morning on Compton St. near Park Ave., a small white car cut him off and hit his car, while another car stopped behind him. The occupants of the cars, some of whom wore security guard-type uniforms, quickly entered Alsaegh’s car, pointing a gun at him. They pushed his upper body down against the steering wheel, stabbed him and pulled off his shirt to expose his back. Then, with a knife, they carved the Star of David on his back while laughing as they recited his pro-Jewish poem.
    …..
    Where exactly is this horrific story of Sharia street justice in America being reported? It is nowhere in the media.
    …..
    Why is our media silent when a Muslim infidel has a Star of David carved on his back in a hate crime perpetrated by Muslims? Why is the literary culture silent? Where is Hollywood? Why is even our own president silent?

    The answer is because of a monstrosity called the Left. The Left shapes and controls the boundaries of our society’s discourse. The Left’s mantle of multiculturalism and the belief that all religions and cultures are equal (except the ones it hates) have been internalized by our society, and there are severe punishments for crossing the boundaries of permitted speech. For example, if you condemn the Muslims for inflicting violence on Alsaegh, then you would have to accept that, in terms of the ingredients of their crime, that they are clearly acting out of the mandates of their Islamic faith (i.e., the obligation to hate infidels and Jews etc. is irrefutable). But to condemn their acts and the teachings on which they are based violates the sacred cow of leftist beliefs (i.e., Islam is a Religion of Peace) and, therefore, makes one an Islamophobe, something that, thanks to the Left’s victory in our culture, most people are now terrified of being accused of.

    Read the whole thing and see the photo.

    ReplyReply
  17. Blake says: 17

    @Greg: #3- To take what is a right, and make it a privilege, is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard, makes me think these asshats were educated at Leningrad.
    Free speech is unfettered speech, and while you can’t shout “fire” in a crowded theatre, there are no other limits on speech.
    I have the right to say what I will, and you have the right to be offended, and rebut my arguments. That is the way it works.
    All this BS about bullying is but a smokescreen to shrink our rights by progressive, liberal, idiot, socialists. That’s all.

    ReplyReply
  18. Hard Right says: 18

    And the left wonders why they get called authoritarian, statist, or even fascists.

    ReplyReply
  19. rumcrook says: 19

    thier are laws against harrasment and the schools should be able to make administrative punishments against kids harrasing other kids.

    we dont need to do away with free speech to have tools to deal with the problem.

    I am convinced that things like this are just camels noses under the tent for libtards and the laws would eventually be used agianst political speech they dont like and think is “hurtful” to their political figures.
    maybe I get arrested for calling the president the narscisist empty suit pResident in chief, becuase its “hurtful”

    ReplyReply
  20. Wm T Sherman says: 20

    It’s not really about bullying by schoolchildren. Given all the other news of Progressives wanting to suspend parts of the Consititution, it comes across as one part of a larger full court press on our rights.

    The Constitution is in their way. They talk about what an impediment it is to implementing their dreams.

    This law, if ever passed, would be unconstitutional.

    ReplyReply
  21. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 21

    Hi Aqua (#15): You never miss an opportunity to turn a potentially interesting discussion into an occasion for sloganeering against your mortal enemies, namely anyone who is even slight disagreement with you from a leftward direction.

    Your understanding of the First Amendment is misinformed.

    http://www.freedomforum.org/packages/first/curricula/educationforfreedom/supportpages/L04-LimitsFreedomSpeech.htm

    Now, the cyberbullying issue IS a new consideration. As I said, I’m not sure how I come out on this, but I do know that it’s worthy of more consideration than just knee jerk dismissal.

    Why, for example, should an innocent child and his/her family be burdened with trying to end and undo the damage done by a cyberbully? Cyberbullying of a child is a mockery of the concept of free speech.

    A useful analogy is another First Amendment constitutional protection: freedom of expression, as a component of free speech. I am allowed to post pornography and I am allowed to view pornography. But I may be put into prison for posting child pornography or viewing child pornography.

    That’s what we are talking about here: children.

    As I said, the topic is entirely worthy of thoughtful consideration and discussion.

    - LW/HB

    ReplyReply
  22. Hard Right says: 22

    The left usually uses “it’s for the greater good (or children)” to justify further erosion of Constitutional rights. This is no different.

    ReplyReply
  23. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 23

    I’ll never apologize for protecting children. They are our greatest national resource. My kid has no constitutional right to bully another kid. That’s what you are talking about — protecting the constitutional right of a child to bully another child. Children don’t enjoy all the rights and privileges of an adult. They can’t drink. They can’t vote. They can’t drive cars. They have curfews. They are forced to go to school. And parents are responsible for the behavior of their children. These are all well-established laws.

    - LW/HB

    ReplyReply
  24. Aqua says: 24

    @ Larry

    As I said, the topic is entirely worthy of thoughtful consideration and discussion.

    No it’s not. The topic is listed as the title of the post: Group Of Democrat Lawmakers Want To Take Away Free Speech Right & Make It A ‘Privilege’
    So you believe removing the first amendment as a right and replacing it as a privledge is worthy of thoughtful consideration and discussion. It should not be up for consideration period.

    That’s what we are talking about here: children.

    Yep, this is typical liberaleese. “We need to do it for the children.” Leave my children out of it. I don’t want them living in your world. I raised them to never bully anyone, nor take bullying from anyone.

    I actually belived in something you said once; that we all had more in common than not. I no longer believe that. The fact that you and Greg believe the first amendment should be a privledge instead of a right is worthy of thoughtful discussion and consideration has solidified that.

    ReplyReply
  25. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 25

    Hi Aqua: The title of the thread was inflammatory. “Take away free speech right and make it a privilege.” No, that’s not what was proposed. What was proposed was something very specific. Taking away the “right” of a child to bully another child on the Internet.

    In my world, children do not, indeed, have all the same “rights” and privileges as adults. Your child has no constitutional “right” to bully my child on the Internet. There are no adequate systems in place to protect children from cyberbullying, the way they are in place to protect children from schoolyard bullying.

    Children already do not have protected free speech. They may be suspended or expelled from public schools for verbal bullying. Unfortunately, there are no mechanisms to protect children from cyberbullying.

    Curtailing cyberbullying is no different than curtailing verbal bullying, First Amendment-wise. We always have curtailed verbal bullying, thereby “limiting free speech.” The current proposal under discussion is no different.

    - Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

    ReplyReply
  26. Greg says: 26

    @Aqua, #24:

    I actually believed in something you said once; that we all had more in common than not. I no longer believe that. The fact that you and Greg believe the first amendment should be a privledge instead of a right is worthy of thoughtful discussion and consideration has solidified that.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Do you believe that would include a right to publish and distribute child pornography?

    I’ll repeat what I said before: While I consider each and every right cited in the U.S. Constitution to represent a fundamental liberal principle of the highest order, no constitutional right is absolute. Each represents the clearest statement of a humanist enlightenment principle that has ever been made, but they all exist and must be applied in an imperfect world. Such imperfection often gives rise to apparent contradictions and inconsistencies when the Constitution meets reality. That doesn’t diminish the purity of the stated principles that we’re trying to base our laws, decisions, and actions upon.

    ReplyReply
  27. Aqua says: 27

    @ Larry
    This is straight from their conference report.

    AND YET, PROPONENTS OF A MORE REFINED FIRST AMENDMENT ARGUE THAT THIS
    FREEDOM SHOULD BE TREATED NOT AS A RIGHT BUT AS A PRIVILEGE – A SPECIAL
    ENTITLEMENT GRANTED BY THE STATE ON A CONDITIONAL BASIS THAT CAN BE REVOKED
    IF IT IS EVER ABUSED OR MALTREATED. BRITISH PHILOSOPHER JOHN STUART MILL LONG
    ARGUED THAT “THE ONLY PURPOSE FOR WHICH POWER CAN BE RIGHTFULLY EXERCISED
    OVER ANY MEMBER OF A CIVILIZED COMMUNITY, AGAINST HIS WILL, IS TO PREVENT
    HARM FROM OTHERS.”76 HIS “HARM PRINCIPLE” WAS ARTICULATED IN AN ANALOGY BY
    OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, JR. (1841-1935), AND STILL HOLDS TRUE TODAY: “THE RIGHT
    TO SWING MY FIST ENDS WHERE THE OTHER MAN’S NOSE BEGINS,” OR, A PERSON’S
    RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH ENDS WHEN IT SEVERELY INFRINGES UPON THE SAFETY AND
    WELL-BEING OF ANOTHER.

    By the way, you have the right to turn off your computer. You have the right to block people on social networking sites from accessing your page. You have the right to block the numbers of people you don’t want texting or calling you. But if you don’t want to use those rights, by all means, please go ahead and give the State a little more of your freedom.

    ReplyReply
  28. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 28

    Hi Aqua: This thread (and you) try and make the case that the liberals are trying to take away First Amendment rights. That’s not at all the case. What is being proposed in New York is along the lines of laws already in place in more than 2/3 of the states, including a number of Red States. e.g.

    TENNESSEE’S TN CODE ANN. §39-17-308, FOR EXAMPLE, MAKES ANY COMMUNICATION, INCLUDING ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION, WITH A “MALICIOUS INTENT TO FRIGHTEN, INTIMIDATE OR CAUSE EMOTIONAL STRESS” A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR PUNISHABLE BY UP TO $2,500 IN FINES AND UP TO ONE YEAR IN JAIL.

    LOUISIANA WAS THE MOST RECENT STATE TO ADDRESS CYBERBULLYING AND, IN AUGUST 2010, CREATED A LAW PRESCRIBING A PUNISHMENT OF UP TO $500 IN FINES AND/OR UP TO SIX MONTHS IN JAIL FOR OFFENDERS OVER THE AGE OF 17; THOSE UNDER 17 WILL BE FORCED TO UNDERGO COUNSELING FOR A FIRST OFFENSE AND SUBJECT TO MISDEMEANOR CHARGES FOR SECONDARY OFFENSES.

    I’m presuming that it wasn’t progressive liberal Marxists who enacted those laws.

    Methinks thou dost protest too much.

    - Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

    ReplyReply
  29. Wm T Sherman says: 29

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim:

    I’ll never apologize for protecting children.

    Strawman argument. Not the issue. There are already laws that cover this – we don’t need to create even more new categories of criminal offense. And as always, you believe so very earnestly that the stated intent of a shiny new law will be the same as the actual outcome, and that skeptics who question this equation are necessarily loutish heartless bastards.

    Is there any limit to what you would do to ‘protect children?’ How about preemptive arrests of any adults who are denounced as “suspicious-looking” by a sufficient number of people?

    ReplyReply
  30. Aqua says: 30

    @ Greg

    Do you believe that would include a right to publish and distribute child pornography?

    Nope. Do you believe I have the right to now file criminal charges against you for insinuating I’m a proponent of child pornography?

    ReplyReply
  31. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 31

    Hi Sherman,

    Please see #28. Take up your argument with the Tennessee state legislature and governor, or with the 35-odd other states which already have laws on the books criminalizing cyberbullying (or, in the parlance of this thread, “making free speech a privilege and not a right”).

    - Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

    ReplyReply
  32. Aqua says: 32

    @ Larry

    Hi Aqua: This thread (and you) try and make the case that the liberals are trying to take away First Amendment rights. That’s not at all the case.

    I don’t think so. Their conference report does a pretty good job of making the case. They bemoan the fact that the Megan Meier Bill was too vague to pass the first amendment test. I have no problems with the States passing their own laws for cyber-bullying as long as it passes constitutional muster. If I was sitting on the court on a cyber-bullying case, I would want to know why the person being bullied didn’t delete or block the offending bullies. If you continually engage the bullies on a social network or through text messages, are you not responsible in the least for allowing it to continue?
    So tell me, what next. Something akin to what happened in Australia? http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/andrew-bolt-racial-vilification-court-case/story-fn7x8me2-1226148959221

    ReplyReply
  33. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 33

    Hi Aqua:

    I have no problems with the States passing their own laws for cyber-bullying as long as it passes constitutional muster.

    That’s all the offending NY Democrats were doing. Proposing a state law against cyber-bullying that wasn’t materially different from similar laws already on the books in many other states.

    I don’t want to put words into your mouth, but maybe you were thinking of the much more stringent libel laws in the UK and Europe, where I’d agree with you that the laws do infringe on free speech in unacceptable ways. The Australian case you cite is of this type. But this is much different from one on one cyberbullying.

    - Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

    ReplyReply
  34. Wm T Sherman says: 34

    Larry, you are the one who implied that we are on the side of endangering your children, and in effect stated that the sky was the limit in terms of making more restrictive laws using that as the justification.

    Take up your argument with the Tennessee state legislature and governor, or with the 35-odd other states which already have laws on the books criminalizing cyberbullying (or, in the parlance of this thread, “making free speech a privilege and not a right”).

    A brand new way to be charged with homicide is the issue here. The idea of the NY bill in question is that if Person A creates on-line trash talk about Person B, and Person B commits suicide afterwards, then Person B gets charged with homicide causing it. No. Not acceptable.

    That was a slippery bit of misdirection on your part, Larry.

    ReplyReply
  35. Mr. Irons says: 35

    The bill proposed in NY is far more than just social media/internet related. It deals with public assembly and with printing of various materials that are circulated for public and private use. The law is not exactly friendly as a non-elected series of people will choose what type of, “Speech” should be allowed to pass any muster.

    Since Greg and Larry are so fine by this type of activity, I present you this situation:

    You get to see this alteration to the 1st Amend. passed, and within a very short cycle the Democrats lose majority Senate and White House control along with being still a minority in Congress. Someone who doesn’t like liberal ideology chooses that all who commit to it are in violation of the very law the Democrats shoved though to strip people of their Freedom to Speech, which in turn carries some hefty penalties oh say… being in prison in a Federal pen for just speaking your opinion’s weight. Is that what you want to cheer on and be subject to, be at the mercys of a set of incompetent Political Elite who don’t like how you talk of them in public?

    This is the exact mentality that the British Empire had on the Colonies in terms of Represention and voice that these Democrats are having. This is not healthy mentality to have for either Conservatives or Liberals in Office now to have.

    ReplyReply
  36. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 36

    Hi Sherman (#34): I certainly did not state nor imply that “the sky is the limit” regarding protection of children. I made that statement in the context of what we were discussing, which was criminalizing cyberbullying of children and criminalizing child pornography. I’m also supportive of laws against smoking in cars in which children are riding, restrictions on pornography and offensive language on television and radio, etc. But this is not “the sky is the limit!”

    Everything has limits. There are dividing lines.

    With respect to manslaughter via cyberbullying, that’s the sort of thing I was thinking out loud about when I said that I wasn’t exactly sure where I’d come down, regarding the proposed law.

    My original complaint was that everyone was simply dismissing out of hand the entire concept that cyberbullying should be a criminal offense. My point was that it was entirely worthy of consideration, as such laws have been considered and passed, all over the country, red states as well as blue. No one (other than Greg) was making the point that the concept of criminalizing cyberbullying could be entirely legitimate, even if certain details might be problematic. In point of fact, the proposed NY law had two separate parts: (1) criminalizing the “cyberstalking” of people under the age of 21 and (2) making such cyberstalking 2nd degree manslaughter, if it resulted in the death of the victim.

    In principle, part #1 of the proposed NY law was precisely analogous to laws already on the books in many states. I personally feel that enhanced penalties would be in order were the illegal cyberstalking to result in the death of a child (which I’d define as someone under the age of 18). Whether or not this should be labeled “2nd Degree Manslaughter” or called something else is a mainly semantic issue.

    - Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

    ReplyReply
  37. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 37

    Hi Mr. Irons (#35).

    The proposed NY bill cited by Curt doesn’t say anything about “public assembly” and “printing various materials.”

    Here’s Curt’s link to the proposal:

    http://www.nysenate.gov/files/pdfs/final%20cyberbullying_report_september_2011.pdf

    It’s about cyberbullying of children. Period. And it’s entirely in line with laws already on the books in many states. The concept is precisely the same. There is nothing at all about it which is an “alteration of the 1st Amendment.”

    - Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

    ReplyReply
  38. MataHarley says: 38

    @Greg: We have guaranteed freedom of the press. There are still laws against libel. You cannot inflict damage on the reputation of an innocent person by printing lies with impunity.

    I think, Greg, that Flynt v Falwell shows that the 1st Amendment protects those even publishing reputation damaging satire.. however unwanted. So this statement doesn’t really fly with past SCOTUS opinions. Falwell certainly claimed damages for both reputation and personal emotional effects from the Hustler cartoon. As with most lawsuits, all is the devil in the details, and it’s not a morality question.

    If your kid is a bully, that should become your problem and your kid’s problem. It shouldn’t remain the problem of his or her chosen victims.

    Nor should it be a matter for the courts with vague legislation. Using such language as “causes material harm to the mental or emotional health” leaves this open to just about anything, doesn’t it? Did not Jerry Falwell claim the same in Flynt v Falwell, and lose?

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim: First Amendment Rights is a sacred concept. But there is no Constitutional right to inflict hurt on another person. It’s just a different form of yelling fire in a crowed theater, which is also not protected speech.

    I’m still not sure where I come down on this, but it’s not as simple as it was made out to be in the article quoted by Curt.

    While I understand the emotional concept, Larry, I can’t see much way to disagree with this attempt to redefine the 1st Amendment by setting criteria where any thing which results in “material harm to the mental or emotional health” becomes and arena for litigation. How can any such result be adequately pegged to a single event, and perhaps not a culmination of events?

    I do not see the need for bully laws. I do see the need for parents to do the same as your parents evidently did for you… learn to have enough self confidence to stand up for yourself. This is, of course, separate from encouraging your kids to engage in fist fighting. But my parents didn’t teach me to be a willing welcome mat of abuse. And sometimes it takes some resistance to the attack in order to correct the situation.

    My guess is, if your parents’ chastised you for fist fighting, they probably secretly had a smile that you did exactly what you did.

    As to this being via the Internet instead of face to face? Again, don’t think that has one iota of bearing. In fact we already have libel laws which would apply, regardless of age of the plaintiff. Again, what is in question actually comes down to is that vague language of “material harm to the mental or emotional health”. It is an attempt to strengthen libel law when it comes to both a choice of medium (the Internet) and targeted by age group.

    There is nothing in either libel or slander laws that exempt minors for using these laws as a defense in a court of law. Perhaps, if the legislators wanted to drive the point home about bullying, they should just have increased the penalties for libel when directed towards minors, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and eroding Constitutional protections in the attempt.

    Leaving that aside, the debate is about the stated quest of the NY state lawmakers who overtly admit they wish to transform the Constitutional right into a “privilege”. This is undeniable as they evoked the study Curt linked, released by the Independent Democratic Conference. It uses that exact phrase and concept.

    There’s three defenses to libel/slander/cyber bullying…

    1: Truth – the absolute defense
    2: Consent – a defense for the defendant, if proven the plaintiff consented to the act
    3: Accidental “publication” – unintentional act

    There is only one fourth instance where such speech is protected as a privilege… i.e. certain statements and circumstances by lawyers, judges, jurors, and witnesses that is a matter of public policy.

    However to write laws to create a definition involving the effect of language using the “mental health” etal of the recipient would clog our courts with those who are hypersensitive to everything and anything. This is antithesis to the concept of free speech as founded.

    As is usual, what starts out with frustration of human behavior turns into a damaging “there oughta be a law” knee jerk reaction.

    ReplyReply
  39. Aqua says: 39

    @ Larry

    That’s all the offending NY Democrats were doing. Proposing a state law against cyber-bullying that wasn’t materially different from similar laws already on the books in many other states.

    You can put whatever you want on the books, just ask Arizona. Have any of these laws been reviewed by the Supreme’s? I haven’t heard of one yet. And by the way, just because a “conservative” or “conservative body” passes a law, does not mean I am going to jump in lock step with them. That’s what liberals do.
    Back to the conference. That is not all they were doing. They took it much further. To even mention a more refined first amendment in an official report shows their disdain for our much cruder version of the first amendment.
    Lastly, I see you will not address the ability of a would be victim to take matters in the own hands in terms of cyber-bullying. I guess that is too much to ask. I have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. I rarely use either. I had a friend on Facebook that went off the deep end politically and I removed him. Took about half a second. I’m just guessing that if someone was being mean to me on Facebook or Twitter I could do the same thing. I didn’t see any restrictions on deleting anyone.

    ReplyReply
  40. anticsrocks says: 40

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim: Larry, how is this cyberbullying?

    From the pdf of the bill mentioned in the OP:

    EXCLUSION (INTENTIONALLY AND CRUELLY EXCLUDING SOMEONE FROM AN
    ONLINE GROUP).

    So if we don’t let someone into our club or post on our board we are cyber bullies??

    The liberal knee jerk reaction of a one size fits all law is even argued against in the bill itself:

    SOMETIMES THE STUDENT WHO IS VICTIMIZED AT HOME IS ALSO BEING BULLIED ONLINE. BUT OTHER TIMES, THE PERSON WHO IS VICTIMIZED AT SCHOOL BECOMES A CYBERBULLY AND RETALIATES ONLINE.

    Why must we always turn to the government to solve problems? Parents and schools can educate kids on how to deal with bullying of all kinds, cyber or otherwise. I mean you can block folks from posting on your facebook page, make it private where people have to get permission from you to post on it, etc…
    .
    .

    ReplyReply
  41. epador says: 41

    This is not insanity. It is EVIL.

    ReplyReply
  42. Nan G says: 42

    This graphic of Twitter’s Divided Politics shows an interesting thing:
    Left-leaning Twitter accounts have very few Right-leaning tweeters.
    BUT….
    Right-leaning Twitter accounts have quite a few Left-leaning tweeters putting in their $.02.
    Tells me the real bullies are on the Left.
    People on the Right are not welcome.
    But when it comes to Right-leaning accounts retweets from Left-leaners are welcome.

    I have seen the same thing on Left-leaning blogs.
    People who disagree are banned for life.
    Even their IP address is banned, so that no family member can join either.

    ReplyReply
  43. Mr. Irons says: 43

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim:

    Yes Larry it does, you have an old outmoted verison of the bill.

    ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>