Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | July 10, 2009

A Real Threat to Free Speech

I’m not a fan of political hyperbole.  So, this is the real deal – if it passes the Congress and becomes Federal Law.

HR 1966, introduced by Rep. Linda Sanchez last April is in reaction to the suburban mother who drove one of her daughter’s acquaintances — a 13-year-old girl — to suicide.  But look at the language of this law:

“Sec. 881. Cyberbullying

‘(a) Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”

A guilty verdict means a felony conviction with two years in a Federal pen. 

Define “coerce, intimidate, harass and cause substantial emotional distress.”

Define “using electronic means to support hostile behavior.” 

Opening the door for the enemies of free speech to close the door on politically incorrect speech.   Of course, Christians, Jews and Conservatives won’t be able to counter charge for the same type of critical, attacking speech.  Even if they wanted to do so – with such a disgusting instrument of political power.

Mark your calendars if this passes.  See how long – and who – gets charged with this felony.  If, and when, the political persecution of speech starts, the Gadsen flag will take on new, profound meaning in this, our time.

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Responses

  1. We know that members of congress from all over the political spectrum are quick to throw the constitution to the winds when they think there’s some political payoff for it. You’re right to identify this as one such instance. I very much doubt that this will go anywhere.

  2. NoVa Scout: I sure hope you are right. Remember that the Dems rule now. Thanks for your optimism – hope it is exquisitely placed.

  3. Just as neither end of the spectrum has a great track record for understanding or protecting (I guess I could have used the “protect and defend” language from the oath that they, you and I have taken at one point or another) the Constitution, one often finds strange, ad hoc combinations of defenders from all parts of the spectrum who spring up to thwart this kind of stupidity. My guess is that this will not get out of committee, but that Ms Sanchez will brag about it to her constituents when she takes to the hustings. Having said that, just the idea that an MC could introduce such stupidity is fairly unnerving.

  4. Very unnerving.

  5. Jim,
    Thanks for posting this…first place I heard about it. Definitely something to watch.

    Not surprising coming from Linda Sanchez though.

    Of note, I noticed there was only one person who liked this bill and 99 that didn’t on the “OpenCongress” web site…so perhaps it will never make the floor.


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