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4/12/2012 6:00:00 AM
Kingman Letters: H.B. 2549 and your privacy

Well, here we go again.... the geniuses in the State legislature have once again brought the glare of national attention to Arizona, and yet again the attention is overwhelmingly negative.

In this letter, I address myself to the idiocy known as House Bill 2549. It was supposedly intended as a measure to prevent "cyber-bullying," but the language employed in the bill is unnecessarily over-broad and non-specific.

One of the fundamental rights of being an American is the right to be narrow-minded, myopic, obnoxious and annoying, if one so chooses. Why, without the right to be an idiot, the Internet would scarcely exist at all!

H.B. 2549 states in part that: "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." The proposed bill would attempt to muzzle a wide range of expression, and criminalize these expressions as Class 1 misdemeanors, the most aggressive misdemeanor available under Arizona law.

This is a very dangerous precedent, obviously drafted by legislators filled with good intentions, but little knowledge of Constitutional law.

I, like most adults, abhor bullying in all its various forms, but this law could conceivably be used to still the voices of political opposition, stifle newspaper editorial opinion and effectively shut down any form of dissent that might be disseminated digitally or electronically. Effectively, if I annoyed another, (and I probably do on a daily basis) just by posting my opinions online, I could be arrested, fined and jailed. This is certainly not the American way, nor should it be tolerated as the Arizona way.

The inherent right to freedom of expression is most valued when the expression is unpopular or unpleasant, either to individuals or governments. By all means, let us prosecute vigorously those that break the law by threatening another, but let us protect, with the same vigor, those that dare give voice to the unpopular and unpleasant views.

Jamie West

Golden Valley


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Article comment by: Freaky Spewing

@nnp nnp

"Daily Minor allows people like Filthy spewing get away with making smug, insulting comments, to individuals, and to get the last word."

Insulting comments? Telling it like it is does not rise to the level of an insult. Stop whining. Maybe using less expletives will make the next get past the editor. LoL.


Posted: Monday, April 30, 2012
Article comment by: nnp nnp

I have responded to frankly lee spewing, and this so called paper, has failed to post it. Kingman Daily Minor allows people like Filthy spewing get away with making smug, insulting comments, to individuals, and to get the last word. Everyone should be able to see your pathetic game. What will it take to get your attention.

Posted: Saturday, April 21, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@nnp nnp

"IE., racist, bigot, homophobic, etc.. "

They are allowed because they are nothing more than highly accurate descriptions. Stop whining and deal with it, or start your own newspaper and/or website.


Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2012
Article comment by: Donna W.

V Stokes, I could care less about conspiracy theories, but smart phones (not others) do have that ability and google is attempting to get permission to use it as we speak, not for the government but so that they can sell your personal preference information to marketing companies. Fact. Look it up yourself.

Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2012
Article comment by: Jamie West

[Deleted because comment exceeded word limit.]

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: nnp nnp

HB 2549, on the surface, sounds like a good one. Maybe this will stop the despicable insults that the anti-American/pro-multiculturalist, like to use to try and shut American Citizens up. Insults this paper allows. Name calling/insulting comments, directed at individuals making comments here, is away to try and silence the voice of American working class CITIZENS. Name calling made, seemingly acceptable, by this papers allowing it. Name calling that is a one way street, IE., racist, bigot, homophobic, etc.. While Americans are not allow to call the Invading illegal & legal aliens the names they deserve to be called.

J. West says, "Effectively, if I annoyed another, (and I probably do on a daily basis) just by posting my opinions online, I could be arrested, fined and jailed. This is certainly not the American way, nor should it be tolerated as the Arizona way."

The American way is not to insult individuals. Insults are "fighting words". Your not allowed to scream fire in a theater. Do you annoy or insult individuals in public? No you don't. You might be better off getting arrested than the alternative.

West, you and those like you, have no right to insult individuals, people who make comments here, on subjects. All you have to do to understand this is to ask yourself, is my comment designed to directly insult this individual to try and belittle, humiliate them and the idea they are conveying. This is an attack on the free speech you suggest you want to protect. Your insults and the insults, or annoying comments are what the HR 2549 bill maybe addressing.

All ask yourself, would I say what I'm writing to this persons face.

People do not have a right to attack Americans defending their country, are traditions, etc..


Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: V Stokes

@ Donna W.

Oh please...just because a company has applied for a patent does not mean the technology is in use or will ever be used. That's what tech companies do.

Please...show me anything that proves your phone can record conversations and send them somewhere when it is not in use. Not even turned off...but not in use. Is it possible...I'm sure it is. Does it actually happen...I'm sure it doesn't.

Yes...the GPS thing is true...unless the phone is completely off. They've used that to find injured or lost people and track criminals.

How can a teacher be so into these conspiracy theories?


Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: Truth Speaker

There is no longer any question about it--Arizona has the worst legislature in the nation. What a laughingstock this state has become.

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: Donna W.

In defense of nnp, the latest smart technologies allow the companies that make our digital toys to spy on us for marketing purposes. Your phone can record the voices around it and send recordings along with GPS information to marketing research companies that have contracted with your phone company. Several companies, including Google and Microsoft, have applied for patents that allow for this kind of spying. So far, the government isn't involved, but it is very 1984 and is starting to make even me nervous--and I have never been one to indulge in conspiracy theories! Turn your cell phone off completely if you want your conversations to remain private--because Google is listening!

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Article comment by: nnp .....

@stokes - that brand new multi-billion-dollar NSA facility in Utah may not be listening through your microwave, but they're listening, and reading, and ..... well, I hear quite a few of them have been "vacationing" in Israel lately. They've left it to Hollywood to plunder the outrageous corruption in Kingman. They were aiming for the heart, but got themselves a wounded animal. Not a good thing. You'll pardon a little lively talk, even over the telephone, the face of such crime.

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Article comment by: V Stokes

"nearly every device in that home is becoming subject to government use as a surveillance tool"

I knew my microwave was watching me!


Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Article comment by: nnp .....

It's funny - if the President comes out with a pack of lies, calmly delivered, getting us into another war which sucks away the nation's lifeblood and finances, that's accepted under the Rule of Law. The same with ever-more-entitled law enforcement so that, effectively, you are a prisoner in your own home, if you have one (God help you if you don't, since America criminalises poverty) - where, increasingly, nearly every device in that home is becoming subject to government use as a surveillance tool (please - no ignorant responses here). But if a citizen finally determines that there is no effective outlet for their aggrievements at government crime and infringments and responds harshly, they are viewed with scorn. Amazing, isn't it? Really, those who do this are contemptible, and I would have had great company in saying that 238 years ago (a reference to one of those contributory speeches to the freedoms we are cruelly and stupidly told by some that we still have today - Patrick Henry's address).

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Article comment by: Lynn Crane

@Original Kingman Resident: This is NEVER a non-issue. The reason it was pulled back was because of the outrage it created. Making it more specific is not what the writer of the bill really wants. Dealing in the general and broad terms gives the Repubs more latitude for their attitude. Again, this is NEVER a non-issue!
By the way, many times letters don't get published on the day they are submitted so it is possible that Jamie wrote in a timely manner.


Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Article comment by: Joe Longoria

@okr

"The topic of your letter is a non-issue at this time."
The inherent right to freedom of expression is a topic always relevent!


Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

OKR - the bill is actually sitting on Governor-Don't-Got-A-Clue's desk right now. Try to keep up.

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Article comment by: Donna W.

I agree, this bill is one of the worst ever introduced in the AZ legislature--which is saying alot!

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

@ Jamie

The bill, to which you addressed yourself, was pulled back by the legislature and is being rewritten in more specific terms that will protect the freedom of expression that you are concerned about.
The topic of your letter is a non-issue at this time.




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