civil liberties

Jun 102011

So how is this supposed to work with the legislation that was sponsored by Tennessee state representative Charles Curtiss and signed into law by the Governor?   (H/T Drudge.)   It’s now a crime to  “transmit or display an image” online that is likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to someone who sees it.  So supposed I lived in Tennessee and posted the following photo which I also posted over at The Spokesrider:

It causes me emotional distress to see this, because it makes me wonder why we are allowing some of the worst practices of the old Soviet Union to be followed in our own country.    It’s frightening, too.   Not only do we incarcerate our citizens on a large scale, as did the SU, and not only are our prisons abusive places, but cameras are not allowed around them, either.

So am I obligated to turn myself in for posting a photo that causes me such distress?    And what if I am arrested?   Prosecutors like to get their perp walks into the news.    But what if I saw a photo of my own perp walk for taking photos of our government in action?   That would cause me considerable emotional distress.  Do I get a double-sentence, then?  And do we then get to lock up the prosecutors for a year?    But what if they saw the photos of themselves being perp-walked to the courthouse?

I think this legislation needs work.


Apr 302010

My comment on an article at the WSJ titled, “The ACLU Approves Limits on Speech.”

If there are such limits [on corporate campaign contributions], then congressional earmarks need to count as corporate campaign contributions. Not only that, but if a member of Congress gets to identify himself with a DOE grant or USDA grant in his state or district, e.g. by putting his name on press releases about it, then that needs to count as a corporate campaign contribution as well.

That will help even the playing field between incumbents and uppity upstarts. But even with that, we still need congressional term limits.

Feb 262010

On rare occasion I wish Democrats would stand up to Republicans in Congress. This is one of those times. I suspect the problem is that the Democrats really aren’t as liberal as they ought to be:

Senate Democrats have retreated from adding new privacy protections to the nation’s primary counterterrorism law, as Republicans refused to lend support and portrayed the majority as willing to harm terror investigations.


Apr 252009

For some reason, the 1st of these items reminded me of the 2nd.

  1. The British Daily Mirror runs a story about using lie detectors to examine the thoughts of paedophiles, illustrating it with a thinly disguised photo of Leonid Chernovetsky, mayor of Kiev hooked up to a lie detector. (As reported on English Russia and on Ukrainiana.)
  2. Janet Napolitano uses her position as an influential government official to go McCarthyite and smear large classes of political opponents, painting them as potential terrorists. (This, from an administration that is simultaneously asking for power to control the internet and pull the plug on any groups it wants to cut off.)
Feb 132008

I’m glad Barak Obama opposed lawsuit immunity for telecoms who help the government with its spying.   Obama hasn’t made himself out to be a big civil liberties guy, AFAIK, but if his opposition is rooted in the same source that would oppose re-instituting the Fairness Doctrine, I think we may have found a genuine liberal in the Democratic Party.