Archive for April, 2012

In Toledo, Ohio, a young couple have been accused of leaving behind an infant in a garbage bag in the freezer.  I know what you’re thinking – sick, right?  But we don’t want to hear that sort of stuff, do we?  Whenever we do, we shake our heads and comment on how sick society is.

But then again, it’s a sick world.  Now I know why God said he “regretted” – “was grieved”, depending on your translation – for making mankind.

We question how someone can shake a baby to death.  Imagine it (if you can) a child being shaken.  Held in the hands of their murderer like a tool caught in a vice, this child has done no wrong.  Their arms flail, the head snaps back and forth, to and fro – perhaps there’s the audible sound of its jaw slapping open and shut.

Soon the baby the is lifeless.  With its eyes rolled back in its head, the innocent life taken, lies limp in the arms of the murderer.

But it’s a sick world.  And we have to deal with it.

As a parent, it outrages me that a baby would meet such an end; that the preliminary charges brought to those involved would be “child endangerment”.  The death of a child due to the hands of a malicious and narcissistic asshole is so common place, our consciences have become seared.  In other words, they don’t affect us – but only for a fleeting moment.

And then there’s the Martin/Zimmerman case.

Gaining such a visceral reaction, masses have protested, websites were formed in support for the Martin family; a belligerent member of Congress needed to be escorted off the House floor for wearing a hoody, and shameless special interest groups have weighed in to further their ‘progressive agendas’.  What should have been left to the due process of law, has now become national charade.

A child, an infant is left with a freezing grave, and tomorrow it will be yesterday’s news.  A shooting happens in Florida, and the possible legal repercussions may affect us for a long, long time to come.

It truly is a sick world.

America…the land of the free…home of the brave…

It isn’t so free and home of the brave anymore, is it?

Steve Watson
 Prisonplanet.com
April 2, 2012

The state legislature of Arizona has passed a bill  that vastly broadens telephone harassment laws and applies them to the Internet  and other means of electronic communication.

The law, which is being pushed under the guise of  an anti-bullying campaign, would mean that anything communicated or published  online that was deemed to be “offensive” by the state, including editorials,  illustrations, and even satire could be criminally punished.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund breaks down Arizona  House Bill 2549:

“The bill is sweepingly broad, and would make it a  crime to communicate via electronic means speech that is intended to ‘annoy,’  ‘offend,’ ‘harass’ or ‘terrify,’ as well as certain sexual speech. Because the  bill is not limited to one-to-one communications, H.B. 2549 would apply to the  Internet as a whole, thus criminalizing all manner of writing, cartoons, and  other protected material the state finds offensive or annoying.”

First Amendment activist group Media Coalition has  written to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer,  urging her not to sign the legislation into law.

The letter notes that the terms used in the bill  are not defined in the statute or by reference, and thereby the law could be  broadly applied to almost any statement.

“H.B. 2549 would make it a crime to use any  electronic or digital device to communicate using obscene, lewd or profane  language or to suggest a lewd or lascivious act if done with intent to ‘annoy,’  ‘offend,’ ‘harass’ or ‘terrify,’” the letter notes. … ‘Lewd’ and ‘profane’ are  not defined in the statute or by reference. ‘Lewd’ is generally understood to  mean lusty or sexual in nature and ‘profane’ is generally defined as  disrespectful or irreverent about religion or religious practices.”

“H.B. 2549 is not limited to a one to one  conversation between two specific people. The communication does not need to be  repetitive or even unwanted. There is no requirement that the recipient or  subject of the speech actually feel offended, annoyed or scared. Nor does the  legislation make clear that the communication must be intended to offend or  annoy the reader, the subject or even any specific person.” the letter  continues.

In this respect the law could even technically be  applied to someone posting a status update on Facebook.

“Speech protected by the First Amendment is often  intended to offend, annoy or scare but could be prosecuted under this law.”The  Media Coalition letter continues.

“A Danish newspaper posted pictures of Muhammad  that were intended to be offensive to make a point about religious tolerance. If  a Muslim in Arizona considers the images profane and is offended, the paper  could be prosecuted. Some Arizona residents may consider Rush Limbaugh’s recent  comments about a Georgetown law student lewd. He could be prosecuted if he  intended his comments to be offensive. Similarly, much general content available  in the media uses racy or profane language and is intended to offend, annoy or  even terrify.”

“Bill Maher’s stand up routines and Jon Stewart’s  nightly comedy program, Ann Coulter’s books criticizing liberals and Christopher  Hitchens’ expressions of his disdain for religion, Stephen King’s novels or the  Halloween films all could be subject to this legislation. Even common taunting  about sports between rival fans done online is frequently meant to offend or  annoy, and is often done using salty and profane language.”

This type of legislation is far from unprecedented. Last year, former president Bill Clinton proposed a law to censor internet speech. “It would be a legitimate thing to do,” Clinton said in an interview that aired on CNBC. Clinton suggested the government should set-up an agency that monitors all media speech for supposed factual errors.

“That is, it would be like, I don’t know, National Public Radio or BBC or something like that, except it would have to be really independent and they would not express opinions, and their mandate would be narrowly confined to identifying relevant factual errors” he said. “And also, they would also have to have citations so that they could be checked in case they made a mistake. Somebody needs to be doing it, and maybe it’s a worthy expenditure of taxpayer money.”

Cass Sunstein, head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has also proposed banning speech on the internet that  the government disagrees with. Sunstein proposed the creation of an internet “Fairness Doctrine” similar to the one that was used for years to limit and eliminate free speech on the radio.

This legislation represents yet another move to  police and control freedom of expression via the internet. Once again it grants  the state and the government the direct right to determine what is and is not  “offensive” on a whim. It then allows for the prosecution of individuals and  organisations based on such summations – an extremely dangerous precedent to  set.