MA Town to Hand out Fines for Swearing

The Massachusetts town of Middleborough voted for a law that puts a $20 fine on swearing in public. This law was passed because the town decided they were sick of profane language from “teens and other young people in the downtown area and public parks”. The ACLU of MA believes this is a violation of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

Sadly enough, this reminds me of the silly dystopian future of The Demolition Man film, where machines installed in the walls of homes and public places spit out tickets for swearing. Even if it is rude to swear in public, it seems really crazy to start stripping away the rights of others to avoid being offended. Sometimes I think some of the folks that cook up laws like this, and the supporters of such legislation, should ship off to the People’s Republic of China if they are such big fans of government-controlled speech.

Source: Msnbc.com

New York Lawmakers Propose Bill to Ban Anonymous Online Comments

New York state legislators have proposed a law that would require news websites and blogs to remove any anonymous comments, unless the person posting a comment chooses to attach his or her name.  The intention of this law is stop so-called cyber bullying and “baseless political attacks.”  The only problem with this law is that it conflicts with that silly little “1st Amendment of the US Constitution” thing that we have in America.

The bill is sponsored by Senator Thomas O’Mara and Assemblyman Jim Conte, both republicans.  So when they say “baseless political attacks”, do these lawmakers really mean “viewpoints from some OTHER political party?”  While this bill could pose a major threat to how speech is conducted online, it is highly unlikely it would ever pass; and even if it did, the courts would rip it apart.  Too bad New York’s worst trolls and bullies aren’t online, they are in the legislature!

Source:  Ars Technica

Arizona Uses The Banhammer Against Your Freedom To Troll Online

Arizona just can’t resist writing insane legislature that violates the rights of others.  After getting butt hurt about not being able to randomly arrest immigrants they have decided the next best thing would be to violate basic freedom of speech.  A new telecommunication harassment bill awaiting approval from the state governor wants to do just that.

Part of the bill reads like this:

“It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use a ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.”

Notice how the wording of this is so broad that this makes just about any argument on the internet an arrestable offense, and it certainly outlaws trolling.  It turns out violating this law comes with a Class 1 Misdemeanor charge, which can become six months in jail and a $2500 fine- ouch!

How on Earth did the state legislature come up with such a stupid law?  Did a senator get trolled on 4Chan and vow revenge?  Are Arizona lawmakers upset that the cries for help they post on forums are only replied to with phrases like “U MAD?”  Do they not enjoy the LULZ?  Are they unable to understand reverse-trolling?  Fortunately this law will probably be taken down immediately by the Supreme Court, because of that whole “Bill Of Rights” thing lawmakers seem to hate so much.

Source:  gizmodo.com