Arizona Passes Internet Censorship Bill

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
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.


If Sarah Palin cannot take criticism, then she shouldn’t be President

As the title says; If Sarah Palin cannot take criticism, then she shouldn’t be President.  You can look at President Obama and already tell the difference in his age.  Where else can you have a job where you have over two-hundred million voters bitching at you?

During her interview with Sean Hannity last night, Palin said that ‘they’re not going to shut me up’.  Good.  The more you talk, the more people will see that you are not the one to be the Chief Executive.

And all of this criticism is somehow a means to thwart what Palin is doing.  Sarah, YOU’RE NOT DOING ANYTHING!  You’re making millions off of books and book signings, your contributions to Fixed News, and your vastly filtered interviews and speeches.  You’re not even the Governor of Alaska anymore, so why in the hell are you still called Gov. Palin?  You quit your job, remember?

While Sarah’s map of the United States with crosshairs was not meant to incite rage or anger or the possible assassination of a public servant; she is polarizing and despite reasons that I can possibly fathom, people listen to her.

Her address on Facebook wasn’t so much an attempt to share her condolences as it was a political stump speech, and all in the name of saving her ass.

Obama declares war on Arizona

A secure border is vital to preserving a nations future, not only for national security, but also soveriegnty.  When the fourteen year Mexican border jumper was shot and killed, Attorney General Eric Holder called it “regrettable”.  But when U.S. border patrol agent Luis Aguilar is killed, nothing is said.

Lord, please don’t let this guy get reelected!

Amid crises, Obama declares war – On Arizona

Byron York
Washington Examiner
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Obama administration has a lot of fights on its hands. Putting aside real wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, there’s the battle against leaking oil in the Gulf, the struggle against 9.7 percent unemployment across the country, and clashes over the president’s agenda on Capitol Hill. Despite all that, the White House has found time to issue a new declaration of war, this time against an unlikely enemy: the state of Arizona.

The Justice Department is preparing to sue Arizona over its new immigration law. The president has stiffed Gov. Jan Brewer’s call for meaningful assistance in efforts to secure the border. And the White House has accused Arizona’s junior senator, Republican Jon Kyl, of lying about an Oval Office discussion with the president over comprehensive immigration reform. Put them all together, and you have an ugly state of affairs that’s getting uglier by the day.

First, the lawsuit. Last week, Brewer was appalled to learn the Justice Department’s intentions not from the Justice Department but from an interview done by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with an Ecuadorian TV outlet. “It would seem to me that if they were going to file suit against us,” Brewer told Fox News’ Greta van Susteren last week, “they definitely would have contacted us first and informed us before they informed citizens … of another nation.”

But they didn’t.

“There certainly seems to be an underlying disrespect for the state of Arizona,” says Kris Kobach, the law professor and former Bush administration Justice Department official who helped draft the Arizona law. Kobach points out that during the Bush years, several states openly flouted federal immigration law on issues like sanctuary cities and in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Respecting the doctrines of comity and federalism, the Bush administration didn’t sue. Now, when Arizona passes a measure that is fully consistent with federal law, the Obama administration, says Kobach, “goes sprinting to the courthouse door.”

Then there is the matter of the White House’s assistance, or nonassistance, in Arizona’s border-security efforts. On June 3, the president, under criticism for refusing to meet or even talk to Brewer, reluctantly granted her an audience in the Oval Office. After the meeting, Brewer told reporters Obama pledged that administration officials would come to Arizona within two weeks with details of plans to secure the border.

June 17 marked two weeks, and there were no administration officials and no plans. There still aren’t. “What a disappointment,” Brewer told van Susteren. “You know, when you hear from the president of the United States and he gives you a commitment, you would think that they would stand up and stand by their word. It is totally disappointing.”

And now, there’s the Kyl controversy. On June 18, Kyl told a town meeting in North Phoenix that Obama personally told him the administration will not secure the U.S.-Mexico border because doing so would make it politically difficult to pass comprehensive immigration reform. “I met with the president in the Oval Office, just the two of us,” Kyl said. “Here’s what the president said. The problem is, he said, if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform.”

“In other words,” Kyl continued, “they’re holding it hostage. They don’t want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with comprehensive immigration reform.”

After Kyl’s statement went viral on the Internet, the White House issued a sharp denial. “The president didn’t say that and Senator Kyl knows it,” communications director Dan Pfeiffer wrote on the White House blog. “There are more resources dedicated toward border security today than ever before, but, as the president has made clear, truly securing the border will require a comprehensive solution to our broken immigration system.”

Kyl is not backing down. “What I said occurred, did occur,” he told an Arizona radio station. “Some spokesman down at the White House said no, that isn’t what happened at all, and then proceeded to say we need comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border. That is their position, and all I was doing was explaining why, from a conversation with the president, why it appears that that’s their position.”

Even if it didn’t have so many other fights on its hands, it would be unusual for an administration to align itself against an American state. But that’s precisely what has happened. Soon it will be up to the courts and voters to decide whether Obama’s campaign against Arizona will succeed or fail.

Arizona to cut L.A. power if they continue boycott

 NBC LA: In a letter to the city of LA, a member of Arizona’s power commission said he would ask Arizona utility companies to cut off the power supply to Los Angeles. LA gets about 25 percent of its power from Arizona.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in Washington D.C., meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, but his deputy chief of staff issued the following statement: “The mayor stands strongly behind the city council and he will not respond to threats from the state that has isolated itself from an America that values freedom, liberty and basic civil rights.”

No.  Americans don’t want to see illegal immigration as “okay” or a “pathway to citizenship”.  Rather we would like to see the government that would regard us as “terrorists” treat these people for what they really are: criminals.

Attorney General Eric Holder hasn’t read the Arizona illegal immigration bill yet!

Again, this should come as no surpise that politicians vote, or in this case, criticize legislation that they have not read.  Such morons!  Can’t we get rid of all of them?

Holder hasn’t read Arizona law he criticized

By Steven Dinan

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who has been critical of Arizona’s new immigration law, said Thursday he hasn’t yet read the law and is going by what he’s read in newspapers or seen on television.

Mr. Holder is conducting a review of the law, at President Obama’s request, to see if the federal government should challenge it in court. He said he expects he will read the law by the time his staff briefs him on their conclusions.

“I’ve just expressed concerns on the basis of what I’ve heard about the law. But I’m not in a position to say at this point, not having read the law, not having had the chance to interact with people are doing the review, exactly what my position is,” Mr. Holder told the House Judiciary Committee.

This weekend Mr. Holder told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program that the Arizona law “has the possibility of leading to racial profiling.” He had earlier called the law’s passage “unfortunate,” and questioned whether the law was unconstitutional because it tried to assume powers that may be reserved for the federal government.

Rep. Ted Poe, who had questioned Mr. Holder about the law, wondered how he could have those opinions if he hadn’t yet read the legislation.

“It’s hard for me to understand how you would have concerns about something being unconstitutional if you haven’t even read the law,” the Texas Republican told the attorney general.

The Arizona law’s backers argue that it doesn’t go beyond what federal law already allows, and they say press reports have distorted the legislation. They point to provisions in the law that specifically rule out racial profiling as proof that it can be implemented without conflicting with civil rights.

But critics said giving police the power to stop those they suspect are in the country illegally is bound to lead to profiling.

Mr. Holder said he expects the Justice and Homeland Security departments will finish their review of the Arizona law soon.

L.A. to boycott Arizona over immigration law.

The resolution proposed by the city council of Los Angeles to boycott Arizona over it’s recent immigration reform law has passed.  The resolution would cut business ties with the state of Arizona.  This is just too rediculious.

America has laws, and as Americans to be able to live in a civil society we have to obey those said laws.  But starting an immigrants citizenship with immunity from a law they just broke is too dubious.

Where is it right for the United States government wanting to require every American citizen to carry an identification card with retinal scan and a magnetic strip on the back with an RFID chip, and the moment that a law in a state is passed that will enforce a crackdown on illegal immigration requiring immigrants to carry their authorization for legal right to be here is wrong?  Where on God’s green earth is this double standard right?

You know what, why don’t we just give the whole southwest back to Mexico?  Not really.

L.A. votes in favor of Arizona boycott

The Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution Wednesday that calls for cutting some of its business ties to Arizona.

The council’s move comes amid controversy over Arizona’s tough immigration law — SB 1070. Thirteen of the council’s members approved the resolution.

That makes LA the nation’s largest city to boycott Arizona over SB 1070.

“Los Angeles the second-largest city in this country, an immigrant city, an international city. It needs to have its voice heard,” said Councilman Ed Reyes. “As an American, I cannot go to Arizona today without a passport. If I come across an officer who’s having a bad day and feels that the picture on my ID is not me, I can be… deported, no questions asked. That is not American.”

LA Councilman Greig Smith cast the only dissenting vote.

The Arizona law takes effect July 23. A Pew Research Center for the People and the Press national survey released Wednesday shows 59 percent of adults polled supported the Arizona law.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer called the boycotts — several cities have proposed or approved plans — unfortunate and misguided.

“It’s already the law in the United States, and I have a responsibility to stand up and protect the people of Arizona and we will do that,” Brewer told the Associated Press. “I find it really interesting that we have people out there that are attempting a boycott in favor of illegal actions in Arizona. That to me is just unbelievable.”

A professor who helped write the law told the LA Times it actually discourages racial profiling. He said the law only applies when someone violates another law.

“If they are running down the street with a pistol in one hand and a bag of money in the other and someone screaming, ‘Bring back my money,’ then the police officer can stop them,” law professor Kris Kobach told the Times. “But just walking down the street, of course not.”

Details of Boycott to Be Decided

The resolution approved by LA’s council called for the city to “refrain from conducting business with the state of Arizona including participating in any conventions or other business that requires city resources, unless SB 1070 (Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood Acts”) is repealed.” The resolution was introduced by councilmembers Reyes and Janice Hahn.

LA’s top policy analyst Tuesday identfied $56 million in Arizona-related investments. The analyst recommended that the council suspend travel to Arizona, refrain from entering new contracts and review current contracts.

The city must now decide which of those contracts can be broken without risking a lawsuit.

According to the city controller’s office, the city has 15 contracts  with Arizona-based companies that are worth a combined total of $7.7 million.   

The city’s proprietary departments — namely, the Water and Power and  Harbor departments and Los Angeles World Airports — have another $51.8 million  in affected contracts. The city does not have the authority to direct its proprietary  departments to terminate those contracts; it can merely request that they do so.

“We asked our city to officials to find out what contracts we have right now that we could actually terminate and have a bit of a financial impact,” Hahn said. “It is about $7 million or $8 million. We’re asking them to terminate those contracts, where possible and feasible.”

The Arizona law makes it a crime for unauthorized migrants to be in the state and requires police to check immigration papers of people they suspect of lacking legal status.

LA’s resolution notes that the city has “historically supported policies that prohibit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation and disability. For example, LA supported economic sanctions in protest against apartheid policies in South Africa.

The council will consider a few exemptions. Reyes said the council will take cautions to avoid potential lawsuits over a boycott.

Officials with the Harbor Department and LA World Airports said they are concerned about possible termination of contracts. The Harbor Department has four contracts with Arizona firms.

Most of those contracts involve a program to reduce truck pollution at the Port of LA.

“We don’t recommend rescinding the contracts due to adverse effects on the environment and public health,” a port spokesman told the LA Times.

LA World Airports has equipment contracts with Arizona. It also recieves revenue from US Airways and Mesa — Arizona-based airlines.

“We’re being very methodical,” Reyes said. “We’re asking to have this assessed. The fact is, if we chose to ignore what happened in the South in the 60s, we’d still have the kind of discriminatory laws that were being proposed back then.

“We’re not going to wreckless here. We want to evaluate the legal impacts.”

Hahn, a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, also was asked about the Lakers upcoming NBA playoff series with Arizona. Games No. 3 and 4 are scheduled in Phoenix.

“We’re hoping the Lakers take two games in Arizona for the sweep,” Hahn told NBCLA. “If you go, we’re hoping you take your own snacks and won’t buy things in Arizona.”

Democrats and Hispanics rise to arms!

As you will read below, Democrats and Hispanics are, for the lack of a better word, pissed at the new Arizona legislation.  So pissed, in fact, they plan rallies in more that seventy cities across the country.  What’s wrong with having tough illegal immigration laws?  Why should we respect or otherwise allow those to come into our country illegally?

Now I am not racist and I believe in civil and personal liberties, nor am I a “bleeding heart” for border jumpers who come into this country illegally and want some sort of immunity.

During the Bush administration politicians such as the then President George W. Bush and John McCain supported pathways to amnesty legislation.  In fact, it was George W. Bush who got the ball rolling on the proposed North American Union.  It is apparent to me and others that under any admnistration it is not their desire to curb, or make an attempt to curb illegal immigration.

Illegals say, “we have rights too!”  Yeah, you have the right to get out of my country.  When you can come through on the legal process, thats when you will have rights.

Arizona immigrant law energizes Hispanics, Democrats

(Reuters) – U.S. Hispanics and Democratic lawmakers furious over Arizona’s harsh crackdown on illegal immigrants expect huge weekend rallies across the United States, piling pressure on President Barack Obama to overhaul immigration laws in this election year.

Protest organizers said on Wednesday outrage over the Arizona law — which seeks to drive illegal immigrants out of the state bordering Mexico — has galvanized Latinos and would translate into a higher turnout for May Day rallies in more than 70 U.S. cities.

“The marches and demonstrations are going to be far more massive than they otherwise would have been,” said Juan Jose Gutierrez, a Los Angeles rally organizer who runs an immigration assistance company.

The backlash began on Friday after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a measure that requires state and local police to determine a person’s immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” they are undocumented. Critics say it is unconstitutional and opens the door to racial profiling.

Republican backers of the law say it is needed to curb crime in the desert state, which is a key corridor for drug and migrant smugglers from Mexico.

A Rasmussen Reports poll on Wednesday found that almost two-thirds — 64 percent — of voters in the state favored the measure.

The crowds on the streets, from Los Angeles to New York, could be the biggest since 2006, when hundreds of thousands of marchers urged former President George W. Bush to overhaul of federal immigration laws. He tried, but failed in Congress.

“With what’s going on in Arizona we see renewed energy for folks to fight for immigration reform,” said Marissa Graciosa, of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, an organizer of rallies and vigils on Friday and Saturday.

In Washington, a diverse group of more than two dozen lawmakers — Hispanics, blacks, Asians, whites — held a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to denounce the Arizona law as a violation of civil rights.

“What Arizona has done is that it has galvanized, united, fortified, focused our immigration movement,” Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez declared at the news conference.


The Arizona law has catapulted the immigration issue back to the front and center of U.S. politics in this congressional election year, and ratcheted up pressure on Obama to keep a pledge to Hispanics to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

“It is going to allow us to ultimately say — when all is said and done — that this was the clear pivotal moment,” said Gutierrez, who is head of the congressional Hispanic caucus’ immigration task force.

U.S. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, who faces a tough re-election battle in Nevada where Latinos helped clinch victory for Obama in 2008, said on Wednesday he would work to pass energy legislation before tackling immigration reform, although both are seen as election-year long shots.

Passing an overhaul offering a path to citizenship for many of the 10.8 million illegal immigrants in the United States would consolidate support for Democrats among Hispanics, the country’s largest minority, but would run the risk of energizing Republican opposition to Democratic lawmakers in swing states and districts.

Arizona’s bold move reverberated well beyond its borders, sparking calls for economic boycotts and celebrity interventions.

Colombian-born pop star Shakira said she will travel to Phoenix on Thursday to help campaign against the new law, and would meet with Mayor Phil Gordon, police and Latino families. She sought a meeting with Governor Brewer but was turned down, her publicist said.

Adding to calls to shun the state, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Mayor Chris Coleman on Wednesday banned publicly funded travel to Arizona. The state law set a “dangerous example to the rest of the country,” he said, by creating a culture that made racial profiling acceptable.

The National Conference of State Legislatures said similar state immigration enforcement laws may be proposed in Georgia and Texas in coming months, following a summer recess.

In Mexico, where the government has warned its citizens living in or traveling to Arizona that they could be harassed, taxi drivers organized their own peculiar boycott.

“We don’t give service to gringos from Arizona,” was the phrase some Mexico City taxi drivers painted in white on their rear windows.