Saturday, February 14, 2015

An Offense In Speech

Public servant Rhonda Fields, satisfied that her efforts at disparaging the 2nd article of the Bill of Rights won't be reversed this year, has decided that pesky 1rst article is getting in her way:

Douglas County family affected by attempted suicide supports 'Cyber Bully Bill' Measure criminalizes electronic harassment

"Fields is sponsoring a bill (HB 15-1072) that would criminalize harassment via 'interactive electronic devices.'
'I think we need to send a strong message that there's going to be accountability associated when people use hate as a force of intimidation and harassment,' the lawmaker said."

If you click on that link embedded in the quote you'll see a .pdf of the bill in question. Public servant Field's bill would alter the current law outlining what harassment is, affecting only subsection e. Added are the words "directly or indirectly", "or directs language towards another person", and "or other interactive electronic medium".

A local lawyer has a piece up on his site that goes over the current law on harassment, and due to its vague, overly broad nature as well as the 1rst amendment implications, questions it's constitutionality. That was before an indirect action or language merely directed at another person came into play, as this bill would do.

So even though I'm not trying to engage in conversation with public servant Fields (as I could extract more intellectual discourse from a wet bag of onions), by my writing that her comprehension is questionable enough to warrant a remedial kindergarten class, or that I hope she never finds convenient parking for the rest of her days, or that I know actual whores with more integrity than she has (and they don't get paid nowhere near what Fields does for servicing Bloomberg's seedy political fetishes), or that "we're all breaking your magazine law, nah na na na na nana" I could be in violation of the law that she would create. As could each and every one of you if you choose to forward a link to this post to her. (but luckily I didn't really cross the line - I'm proud of myself for holding back and not mentioning that her fashion sense is as tasteful as a barium sulfate smoothie minus the flavoring).

"[Cyber-bullying is] a growing problem,' Fields said. 'That's why I wanted to advance this bill, because I think there needs to be accountability when you say vicious and mean things."

Vicious and mean things? Such as you'll go to jail if I don't like how many rounds you have in your magazine? I consider that quite mean, downright vicious even.

"Fields said, 'I don't think we should be using the First Amendment as a way to allow bullying to advance in our society."

Public servant Fields - who incidentally actually wore those shoes, with that top, as if people wouldn't notice - thinks it's acceptable to curtail Freedom of Speech if it protects someone's feelings.

As a fairly relevant aside, when these proto-eloi (progressives, liberals, whatever) succeed in taking away one part of your Rights, they're not satiated. They go after another part of your Rights. Which is why you can't compromise with them. They cannot be appeased.

The video in the first link, as well as the written article, focuses on a very sad case. A 14 year old girl was derided by some of her peers, became very depressed and attempted to kill herself. She failed, and suffered brain damage as a result. She's now a paraplegic and requires a great deal of care.

The news story uses her as a very sympathetic figure to cause people to think that there should be some legal means of preventing what happened to her, and this bill just has to be it.

Attempting suicide is already illegal. That did not stop her from trying to kill herself. If that law was ineffective I can think of no other law that would work any better. I can think of laws that try to achieve some noble purpose but end up doing more harm to more people, and public servant Field's law is one of them.

The girl was a cheerleader, and from the glimpses of photos seen in the video she was and is a lovely young lady. If you're thinking that it makes no sense for her to have tried to kill herself, or even taken seriously anyone's derogatory comments, you'd be correct. It makes no sense. But self esteem and a few other things that affect how we view ourselves and others often make no sense. It's mainly emotional and can be irrational. I've known a lot of very pretty women who sincerely thought they were ugly. I've known a lot of very fit and skinny women who thought they were fat. I've known several guys that thought they were so uncool that they'd never find a girlfriend despite the obvious sighing a few ladies did whenever the guy would walk into a room.

A law cannot help that. Laws cannot change human nature. Laws cannot make people better.

Kids can be mean. Very mean. Laws won't change that either.

What can be changed? Nothing that government can do. If something can be done, it has to be done by the parents and the kid, not the state.

Attempts to punish speech we consider mean or cruel cannot help but impose upon someone's freedom of expression. Telling a teenage girl she should kill herself is certainly less than cool behavior, but how can you make that illegal without making it illegal for me to tell someone to screw themselves? Or that I think they're  a despicable person. If I comment on someone's lack of character for them telling a teenage girl she should commit suicide, then could not I also be guilty of the same crime - of being mean? A judge saying that he's sentencing someone to 6 months in jail is definitely intimidating isn't it? Hell, there are people in the tabloid business that make a living off of being catty & mean about celebrities wardrobe or weight fluctuations.And wouldn't a pastor telling his congregation that a sinner would surely go to hell be a mean and vicious thing to say from the sinner's point of view?

You'll note a pattern though; a proto-eloi (progreesive, etc..) wants to increase his or her power, so they trot out some law to increase the state's power (and remember, the state cannot get power except by imposing upon the freedom of its people) and find the most sympathetic "victim" to cause people to emote for the bill, rather than think about it or its consequences.

In the hierarchy of the proto-eloi, a "victim" holds the status of high priest. If they're wronged, they feel it gives them legitimacy in their attempts to gain and exert power. Speaking on behalf of the victim is the next best thing, although many will attempt to tie in their own victim-hood with that of the victim-de-jure.

This young lady and her family may earnestly think that such a law would prevent what happened to their daughter from happening to someone else's kid. That does not alter that they're being used by public servant Fields for her own ends. Nor does it change the nature of this bill which is violative of the 1rst amendment.

The Colorado Constitution's Bill of Rights contains this little gem:

"Section 10. Freedom of speech and press. No law shall be passed impairing the freedom of speech; every person shall be free to speak, write or publish whatever he will on any subject, being responsible for all abuse of that liberty; and in all suits and prosecutions for libel the truth thereof may be given in evidence, and the jury, under the direction of the court, shall determine the law and the fact."

I hate to agree with a lawyer, but the fellow I linked to earlier had it right when he called the current harassment law on being unconstitutionally vague and having freedom of speech problems. I cannot see how public servant Field's bill would not be an even more flagrant imposition on the state's Freedom of Speech protections.

The bill has passed the state house and will move on to the senate. I'd hope it will be stopped there, but as a commenter at the old site once said of the Colorado GoP "They weren't given the name 'The Stupid Party' - they earned it". 

For the record, I don't want Public servant Fields or even her boss Bloomie the Hut to commit suicide. After all, if they killed themselves they might miss their trials.



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