Monday, July 1, 2013

Video clip of the day

Reason TV presents their Nanny of the Month:

(video approx. 1-1/2 minutes long)

From Reason TV:

School’s out for summer and Nanny of the Month is taking the opportunity to salute the zealots within the otherwise laudable anti-bullying movement. They take a real problem--few things are more loathsome than picking on the vulnerable--and bungle the response, as has been done with most every “get tough!” effort from D.A.R.E., the failed anti-drug program, to all the idiotic iterations of the “zero tolerance” fad.

Do we really need to ban trash talking at high school sporting events? Do we really need attorney general investigations of foul-mouthed jocks? And for the love of whatever remnants of common sense remain in our schoolhouses and statehouses, do we really need to fight bullying with jail cells?

Not only did this month’s top nanny introduce a bill that would criminalize speech deemed to be bullying--up to a year in the clink!--she introduced a bill that, according to UCLA First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh, is not limited to speech about children (despite it being touted with the typical “for the children!” justifications). Volokh notes that the bill, if passed, could punish harsh speech directed at journalists, academics, celebrities, politicians, and the like, if the speech results in “substantial emotional distress.”

Presenting the Nanny of the Month for June 2013: New Mexico State Rep. Mary Helen

If you wonder why nothing has us heading for the exits quicker than legislation that is "for the children", what you saw and read above is a perfect example.

Good intentions hold no water when poorly-written legislation or back door attempts at power-grabbing are involved.

And on a related note, the following was passed along to us from W.C. Varones via Facebook:

As you are probably aware, we find no end to the deliciousness in irony that the ideological descendants of the free speech movement and New Left of the 60s have been at the forefront of attempts to squelch free speech and tamp down on dissent.

People that whine about the Citizens United decision do not, in our estimation, have an appreciation that it is the speech that is central to the 1st amendment and not differentiating who it is that is exercising that speech.

Forgive us our skepticism of any cautions against "shadowy money in politics" as we've been around too long to not take that as code for preserving the status quo of the political/ruling class in this country. If the intentional targeting and harassing of organizations of a particular political hue by this nation's tax collection agency hasn't warned you to all this, we scarcely know what will.

On the way out the door: Our friend, Leslie, at Temple of Mut has been doing a bang-up job of covering the massive demonstrations and current unrest in Egypt. Hey, maybe we can back the good guys this time around.

1 comment:

Kent Riehm said...

We need to do more to protect those being bullied, but there has to be some common sense.