Rhode Island repeals law that made it a crime to fib online

June 27, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — If you’ve ever lied to a potential Internet date about your weight, texted your spouse that you were someplace you weren’t or emailed mom to say how much you love that ugly new sweater, you were breaking the law if you did it in Rhode Island.

But state lawmakers have now decided that white lies online should no longer be a crime. The General Assembly voted this month to repeal an obscure 1989 law that made fibbing on the Internet a misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $500 and as much as a year in prison. Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the measure.
“This law made virtually the entire population of Rhode Island a criminal,” said Steven Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union. “When this bill was enacted nobody had any idea what its ramifications were. Telling fibs may be wrong, but it shouldn’t be criminal activity.”
The law — which legal experts say was unusually broad compared to similar laws across the country — was written to stop fraud, con artists and scammers, but it also outlawed the “transmission of false data” regardless of whether liars stood to profit from their deception or not.
Only a handful of people were ever prosecuted for lying online, but legislators said it made no sense to keep a law on the books that is violated so often by so many people. Rep. Chris Blazejewski, who proposed eliminating the law, said it was likely unconstitutional.
Lies may make you a scoundrel, cost you a relationship or get you fired, but they shouldn’t make you a criminal unless you’re trying to commit fraud or some other offense, he said.
“There are a lot of things we don’t condone in our society that aren’t crimes,” Blazejewski said. “We take freedom of speech very seriously in this country and we should be concerned about the real and serious possibility of further erosion to our First Amendment civil liberties.”
While the right to lie about your waistline is not spelled out in the Bill of Rights, even despicable speech must be protected, according to Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University. Although Rhode Island’s former law is unusual around the nation, Turley said a federal law making it illegal to lie about receiving top military honors brings up similar First Amendment questions. The U.S. Supreme Court could rule this week on that law, called the Stolen Valor Act.
“It’s part of human nature to embellish and at times lie,” Turley said. “It’s not a redeeming characteristic maybe but it’s a common one. When you give the government the power to criminalize lies, you give it the power to determine what is true and what is false, and which lies to prosecute. That’s a dangerous tool.”
The repeal of the Rhode Island law was prompted in part by a 2010 case in which a former prison guard was arrested for setting up a fake Facebook page in the name of his boss, the state’s corrections director. The charges were later dropped, though the guard lost his job. The man’s attorney, John Grasso, said what his client was accused of doing “may not be bright, but it shouldn’t be illegal.”
“Everybody lies online,” Grasso said. “You shouldn’t be dragged into court and told that you can’t tell people you’re 6 feet tall when you’re not.”

further I could think of many reasons that a lie would be the only ethical response. Don’t legislate morality. It’s a fail


Ron Paul and the ACLU Condemn the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki

October 5, 2011

Ron_Paul_demands_Sixth_Amendment for Anwar al-Awlaki because he is a U.S. citizen. How many murders must happen for Ron Paul’s reptilian nature to realize that our laws are limited to a context of always mistaking towards saving lives. There are judges and a judicial to begin with because our laws leave a certain amount of legal discretion.

Ron Paul (and some other freaks), joined the ACLU in condemnation of the killing. Paul, a staunch Libertarian, said in New Hampshire Friday that it’s “sad” if “the American people accept this blindly and casually,” adding that “nobody knows if he ever killed anybody,” According to the Wall Street Journal. the Texas Republican lawmaker said United States officials “have never been specific about the crime.” The ACLU said the killing was a violation of both U.S. and international law.” As we’ve seen today, this is a program under which American citizens far from any battlefield can be executed by their own government without judicial process, and on the basis of standards and evidence that are kept secret not just from the public but from the courts,” said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director for the ACLU. “The government’s authority to use lethal force against its own citizens should be limited to circumstances in which the threat to life is concrete, specific and imminent. It is a mistake to invest the president – any president – with the unreviewable power to kill any American whom he deems to present a threat to the country.” Added ACLU National Security Project Litigation Director Ben Wizner: “If the Constitution means anything, it surely means that the president does not have unreviewable authority to summarily execute any American whom he concludes is an enemy of the state.”
(Sultan Knish) An American citizen who defected to join an enemy army, or simply defected or even deserted was denaturalized. Denaturalization stripped him of his status as an American. The Warren Court, making up its own laws as it went along, decided that when the Founders outlawed cruel and unusual punishment, they meant stripping a deserter or traitor of his citizenship, rather than say keelhauling. Justice Thomas has already shown the absurdity of this reasoning, but until the decision is overturned, we still have a Supreme Court ruling that says a man who turns his back on his country, joins an enemy army, vows its destruction and fights against it cannot be denaturalized.  If Ron Paul and the other Constitutional “scholars” concerned about due process were really serious about restoring the Constitution, they would address the Al-Awlaki case by calling for the return of “Denaturalization” as the original Constitutional solution for dealing with American citizens who defect and join enemy forces.(MORE PAIN)

Judge jails Pastor Terry Jones for refusing to pay $1 bond

April 22, 2011
Reaction to Pastor Terry Jones' court hearing
Reaction to Pastor Terry Jones’ court hearing: Pastor Terry Jones talks to the media as he departs the courthourse in Dearborn for a lunch recess. Also in the courtoom during the proceeding, a Muslim-American law student at WSU. / MIKE BROOKBANK/Detroit Free Press 4/22/2011 via freep.com
Judge Mark Somers, above, sent Pastor Terry Jones to jail.Judge Mark Somers, above, sent Pastor Terry Jones to jail. / Free Press file photos

A judge late today sent two Florida pastors to jail for refusing to post a $1 bond.

The stunning development came after a Dearborn jury sided with prosecutors, ruling that Terry Jones and Wayne Sapp would breach the peace if they rallied at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.

Prosecutors asked Judge Mark Somers for $45,000 bond. Somers then set

bond at $1 each for the two pastors.

They refused to pay. And Somers ordered them remanded to jail.

Earlier, in closing arguments, Wayne County assistant prosecutor Robert Moran said
the pastors would disturb the peace if they were allowed to protest today at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.

Jones and Sapp argued their right is protected under the First Amendment.
“That’s what made America great,” said Sapp. “We’re entitled to our opinion.”

‘We’ll do it today at 5 or we’ll come back next week’

Earlier, after an intense debate in court this morning over free speech and religion, Pastor Terry Jones said that he’s not backing down from his plans to protest at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad testified today that there have been at least four serious threats made against Jones from metro Detroiters, arguing that his protest could lead to violence if allowed.

But Jones told the Free Press during his lunch break: “We’ll do it today at 5 or we’ll come back next week.”

Speaking at a McDonald’s restaurant down the street from the courthouse, Jones — who’s defending himself — said he thought the proceedings are going well. And he said the government’s case was weak.

As he spoke, someone drove down Michigan Avenue yelling “Get out of Dearborn, you terrorist!”

Jones is facing a jury trial today on whether he should be allowed to protest outside the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.

The opening statements of Wayne County Prosecutor Robert Moran and Pastor Terry Jones offered clashing visions as both wrestled with issues of religion and freedom of speech. The court drew both supporters and opponents, Christians and Muslims. The ACLU of Michigan was also there to monitor the case because the group has concerns that Jones’ free speech rights are being violated by Wayne County and Dearborn Police.

Jones was in court along with Pastor Wayne Sapp, who is known for burning a copy of the Quran on Jones’ orders.

In his opening statement, Jones repeated negative comments about Islam that he made last month when he oversaw the burning of the Quran in Florida. He said in court today that the Quran “promotes terrorist activities around the world.”

He also strongly defended the U.S. Constitution.

“The one thing that makes the Constitution great is the First Amendment,” Jones said to the jury.

Except for the Bible, the Constitution is the greatest document in history, Jones said.

“The 1st Amendment does us no good if it confines us to saying what is popular,” he added.

Moran said in his opening statement this was an issue of security and breaching the peace.

If the jury sides with prosecutors, the judge, Mark Somers, will set a bond and its rules. If Jones decides not to meet the bond requirements, he could be jailed, said a court official.

Pity the folks in Washington’s 7th District. Sadly their actions effect the rest of the country

April 1, 2011

….Their Congressman,Jim McDermott,is whining that he’s “tired of reading the Constitution”(for a “progressive action score”of …..71.)McDermott is not only one of the Original 54 Hamas Congressmen but unfortunately also one of those left standing after Republicans swept the midterms.  He’s a bona fide J-Street kinda guy and No. 10 on the (Muslim Mafia) list of Congressional recipients of $upport from CAIR.  So no wonder he’s tired of reading the Constitution. He marches to a different agenda.

Sultan Knish’s list of the 54 HAMAS Congressmen or HC
(many of whom were left standing
even after the Republican sweep in the midterms),
as well as this list of politicians supported by CAIR
via bokertov.typepad.com and Thanks to Don Surber
image via zimbio.com and via Jim McDermott 

ACLU Censors Free Thought

February 27, 2011
I agree that the ACLU are bad news, but I am not convinced without a doubt that the ACLU is really against free speech. My guess is that the ACLU is merely biased and misinformed, but I do not believe they think they are about censorship. It is a catchy title… and it gets people’s attention. So I left it… but frankly I don’t think it helps the cause of Israel to frame the debate in a way that an impartial party would not get. I believe this is an example of speaking to your own crowd and getting away with a soft cushion. The ACLU are not good people, but it doesn’t help our cause to assume their intentions. The ACLU is primarily about attacking western religion and reinforcing Orientalist ideas like Islam. I think they are wrong… and evil,… but I would not broad brush their goals.  Dershowitz had Chomsky as his camp counselor.  Her really is a left winger at heart and it shows.  He is still an idiotic believer in the “Two State Delusion”.  Just like Noam?
here is the real hypocrisy of the ACLU.  I don’t buy Deshowitz’s point at all…
but it is interesting and provocative.  Not sure it convinces neutral parties…

if that is the intent at all

The international campaign to prevent speakers from delivering pro-Israel talks at universities has been assisted by leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union—an organization that is supposed to protect freedom of speech for all. The method used to silence these speakers and preclude their audiences from hearing their message is exemplified by a now infamous event at the University of California at Irvine.
Michael Oren—a distinguished scholar and writer, a moderate supporter of the two-state solution, and now Israel’s Ambassador to the United States—was invited to speak. The Muslim Student Union set out to prevent him from delivering his talk Here is the way Erwin Chemerinksy, Dean of the law school, described what the students did:
“The Muslim Student Union orchestrated a concerted effort to disrupt the speech. One student after another stood and shouted so that the ambassador could not be heard. Each student was taken away only to be replaced by another doing the same thing.”
Chemerinsky understates what happened, as anyone can see by watching a video of the event, available online (). This was more than a “concerted effort to disrupt the speech.” It was a concerted effort to stop it completely—to censor Oren’s right to speak and his audience’s right to hear him. The efforts to disrupt succeeded; the effort to stop ultimately failed. Moreover, Chemerinsky fails to mention what happened both before and after the concerted effort. There is undisputed evidence that there was a well-planned conspiracy to censor Oren’s talk, and then to lie about it, which the students did after the event.

At a 1969 “War Council” in Flint, Michigan,
Weatherman leader Bernardine Dohrn
(currently a law professor at Northwestern University
and a Board member of the ACLU)
praised the serial murderer
Charles Manson and his accomplices:
“Dig it. First they killed those pigs,
then they ate dinner
in the same room with them.
They even shoved a fork
into the victim’s stomach.
Wild.” She then proclaimed
that the time had come to
launch a war against “Amerikkka”
(Weatherman always spelled “America”
this way, to convey the group’s belief
that the nation was
ineradicably racist to its core).
Toward this end,
Dohrn advocated the formation
of an even more radical
“Weather Underground”
cult to carry out
covert terrorist activities
rather than public acts of protest.
By early 1970, her wish would be realized.
via freerepublic.com

The students were disciplined by the university for their actions, though the nature and degree of the discipline has been kept confidential. Campus sources have characterized it as a “slap on the wrist.” Since the students were arrested, the District Attorney, quite understandably, commenced a criminal investigation. After learning of the careful planning that went into the concerted effort to prevent Oren from speaking and the subsequent cover-up, the DA filed misdemeanor charges against those who were involved.
This decision resulted in an outcry by radicals, many of whom favor censorship of pro-Israel speakers. In a letter to the DA signed by many well-known anti-Israel zealots, the incident was described as merely a protest: “The students nonviolently and verbally protested…”
Then, in an effort to blame the victims, the letter pointed the finger at pro-Israel students who wanted to listen to Oren speak claiming—quite falsely—that the Muslim Student Union censors “conducted themselves in less of a disruptive manner than some of the counter-protestors…” This is simply a lie, as anyone can see by viewing the video. Moreover, the intent of the so-called “counter-protestors” was simply to hear the speaker, whereas the intent of the Muslim Student Union was to censor the speaker.
The fact that radical anti-Israel zealots would support censorship of a pro-Israel speaker comes as no surprise. But the fact that the letter of support was signed by two ACLU leaders should shock all civil libertarians and supporters of the ACLU. I have been a supporter of the ACLU for half a century and was a national board member. I supported the right of Nazis to march through Skokie and I defend the right of the most virulent anti-Israel speakers to participate in the marketplace of ideas. The ACLU policy has always been to oppose concerted efforts to prevent speakers from delivering their remarks. While supporting sporadic heckling and jeering that merely demonstrates opposition to the content of the remarks, the ACLU has always condemned concerted efforts to silence invited speakers.
Yet signatories of the letter—which never once criticizes the censoring Muslim Union students while condemning those who wanted to hear the speaker—include “Chuck Anderson,” who identifies himself as President ACLU Chapter, Orange County and Chair, The Peace and Freedom Party, Orange County;” (a hard left anti-Israel group), and “Hector Villagro,” who identifies himself as “Incoming Executive Director, ACLU of Southern California.”
Dean Chemerinsky, while also opposing criminal prosecution, made a point to condemn the censoring students:
“The students’ behavior was wrong and deserves punishment. There is no basis for the claim that the disruptive students were just exercising their First Amendment rights. There is no constitutional right to disrupt an event and keep a speaker from being heard. Otherwise, any speaker could be silenced by a heckler’s veto. The Muslim students could have expressed their message in many other ways: picketing or handing out leaflets outside the auditorium where Ambassador Oren was speaking, making statements during the question and answer period, holding their own events on campus.”
The ACLU leaders, on the other hand, seem to be justifying the actions of the censoring students while limiting their condemnation to the pro-Israel students who wanted to hear the speaker.
After being criticized for supporting censorship, Villagro sought to justify his signing the letter by the following “logic:”
“The district attorney’s action will undoubtedly intimidate students in Orange County and across the state and discourage them from engaging in any controversial speech or protest for fear of criminal charges.”
The opposite is true. If these students are let off with a slap on the wrist from the University, that will encourage other students around the nation and the world to continue with efforts to prevent pro-Israel speaker from delivering their speeches. The ACLU should be supporting a clear line between occasional heckling and outright censorship. The ACLU leaders who signed the letter are on the wrong side of that line and should not be speaking for the ACLU.

Unless the ACLU explicitly renounces its’ leaders support for students who seek to censor pro-Israel speakers, that organization will lose the backing of many who believe that all speech should be protected—not only speech approved of by its leaders.

image (HT: Power Line)

Posted via email from noahdavidsimon’s posterous

Among other things, Professor Dershowitz revealed that Noam Chomsky, the radical leftist, had once been his camp counselor. Apparently, Counselor Chomsky did no lasting harm to Counselor Dershowitz.
Another thing Professor Dershowitz revealed tells us much about former President Jimmy Carter. It seems that when Carter appeared at Brandeis to plug his book Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid, he pledged to answer any questions that students e-mailed him afterward. Many took him up on the offer, and Carter did answer every question… except one.
That one was this: Did you advise Yasser Arafat to reject the peace offer Israel made at Camp David, at the end of Clinton’s term? According to Professor Dershowitz, some 15 students e-mailed that question, and they were the only students not to be answered.

Three New Poems by so called American Taliban John Walker Lindh

September 27, 2010

An Islamist organization devoted to supporting Guantanamo Bay detainees and other prisoners held on charges of terrorism has posted three poems that it said it received from John Walker Lindh. An American citizen, Lindh was captured in Afghanistan in 2001, and is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence after agreeing to a plea bargain.
Each of the poems is signed “Abu Sulayman Al-Irlandi, Detainee #001,” and dated Ramadan 1431 (i.e. August-September 2010). “Al-Irlandi” means “the Irishman,” and the poems themselves contain additional nods to Lindh’s Irish heritage, including a reference to himself as “a Mussulman [i.e. Muslim] Paddy.”
The first poem, “The Ballad of the Fleas,” is about the war in Afghanistan, and depicts the Americans as callous Crusaders, their local allies as un-Islamic hypocrites, and the Taliban as noble soldiers who have been unjustly maligned: “For wolves may foam and bark and bite / And gnash and gnaw and hiss / But if a sheep should dare bite back / He’d be a terrorist.” The second poem, “Ode to Omar Khadr,” is dedicated to a Guantanamo Bay detainee who is accused of having been a teenage Al-Qaeda operative. Much of this poem deals with alleged misconduct in Khadr’s detention and trial: “I end with a message to every oppressor / To each gavel-grasping bench-squatting cross-dresser / As you judge you’ll be judged and my closing remark is / A victory jig on the back of your carcass.” The third poem, “A Mussulman Paddy’s Epistle to Barry,” is addressed to President Obama, and uses an inversion of Revolutionary War-era imagery to promise him defeat in Afghanistan: “So lie on the ground like a parcel of noodles / And sing how the Yankees were beat by Pushtoodles [i.e. the Pushtun].”
In a related matter, in August 2010 Lindh and another Muslim inmate have asked a federal judge in Indianapolis, where he is incarcerated, to allow them and other Muslims to pray as a group. The ACLU subsequently filed a motion on Lindh’s behalf, claiming that the prison’s policy violates the prisoners’ First Amendment right to free religious expression.

Me thinks the Irishman is good with words, but lacking wisdom. Witty… like his heritage and unfortunately confused. The Irish and Arabs have much in common with their focus on prose and rhythm. It is too bad poor Lindh followed his own radicalism to his fate… he might of been amusing to of listened to in an Irish bar. John Walker Lindh might of been a better writer if he had looked at the source of the homophobia that led to his fate instead of writing prose that demonizes cross dressing. Poor Lindh was a child of the sexual revolution and his cross dressing Irish daddy in San Fransisco is the source of his fears. In psychological terms this is called projection.

Supreme Court ruled corporations can campaign for candidates

January 27, 2010

Unions can now literally buy elections now? Soros is happy. he won this. We bought his rhetoric that large companies are on the right. Large corporations go right to the left. this is a red herring. you threw out your rights on a technicality and the left is laughing their asses off at you and your orthodoxy. When you think only in terms of what binary political poles you are given it is very easy to be deceived. People that take advantage of you count on you to be so dogmatic. Corporations are not people. this isn’t baseball. Conservatism isn’t a sports team… it is merely a mind set that sometimes is just and sometimes is not good for the people.

  • Reversing 63 years of restrictions on free speech, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could, indeed, directly campaign for the candidates of their choice, causing Obama – clearly not one of the candidates of most of their choices – to term the ruling “devastating.”

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that union membership in the U.S. had plummeted a staggering 10 percent in 2009, bringing it to an all-time low of just 7.2 percent of all private sector workers – and further debasing the value of Obama’s cozy relationship with union bosses.

At issue is whether corporations, unions and issue advocacy organizations should be allowed to use unlimited amounts of money from their treasuries on independent political expenditures in support or opposition of a candidate.

Today’s oral arguments focused, in part, on the tension between the First Amendment freedom of speech rights and congressional efforts to limit the influence of special interests that have millions of dollars to spend on speech. While corporations and unions are prohibited from making independent political expenditures, individuals may freely do so.

“Robust debate about candidates for elective office is the most fundamental value protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech,” said Theodore Olson, the lawyer for the conservative nonprofit corporation Citizens United and former President George W. Bush’s solicitor general, during oral arguments. “Yet that is precisely the dialogue that the government has prohibited if practiced by unions or corporations, any union or any corporation.”

The first big impact of the Supreme Court’s decision lifting restrictions on certain corporation campaign spending may be at the American Civil Liberties Union, which, after years of opposing restrictions on free speech grounds, is considering whether to reverse course and endorse government limits on money in politics.

The ACLU has long opposed government limits to how much a donor can give to a political campaign or spend airing advertisements on an issue during an election. On this point, the ACLU has been in agreement with conservative organizations that believe money contributions are a form of political speech and deserving of First Amendment protection. It has been at odds with many liberal organizations, which have argued money in politics must be strictly limited so that rich organizations and individuals don’t wield outsize influence.

But Thursday’s Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, which would enable corporations to spend freely on political causes, is forcing the ACLU to address what one internal memo describes as a “Skokie moment,” a reference to the controversy in which the organization defended the right of American Nazis to march in the Chicago suburb of Skokie. The moment is often seen as one of the acid tests of the ACLU’s willingness to stick to its First Amendment principles.

The First Amendment, opening article of the Bill of Rights, says that Congress “shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . .” It was cited in Thursday’s Supreme Court’s decision, which was is in accord with the ACLU’s traditional position that the government should keep out of regulating money in politics. The organization had filed a brief in support of the winning side in the case. But concern that the Supreme Court ruling will fundamentally alter American democracy has ignited within the union an intense debate that was aired on Saturday at the regular quarterly meeting of the 83-member board of directors and in interviews with this reporter. The board on Sunday sent the issue to its special committee on campaign finance to mull the impact of Citizens United.

“The ACLU’s version of democracy is from the ground-up,” one civil rights lawyer, David Gans, on Saturday told the ACLU’s board, which was assembled downtown at One New York Plaza. “Now Exxon Mobil can spend 2% of its money and blow that all up.”

Mr. Gans was one of several attorneys invited to the board meeting to debate whether the ACLU should change its position on money in politics. Another, Burt Neuborne, also urged the ACLU to change its policy, saying that any effort to salvage campaign finance regulation in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling would face trouble “if the ACLU says it’s against the First Amendment.”