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New York Democrats Say First Amendment is a “Privilege.”

The Democrats in the state of New York have taken on a powerful foe – the First Amendment.

In response to concerns of “cyberbullying,” the Democrats have issued a report on the issue, and what they feel should be done to combat the issue.

In the report, the Democrats say:

PROPONENTS OF FREE SPEECH HAVE LONG ARGUED THAT A SOCIETY THAT PUTS PEOPLE ON TRIAL FOR THINGS THEY HAVE WRITTEN OR SAID IS NO LONGER A TRULY DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY. THE POWER OF THE WORD HAS BEEN UNDISPUTABLE; IT HAS BEEN ESSENTIAL TO PRESERVING DEMOCRACY AND, IN FACT, ITS FOUNDING PREMISE WAS TO PRESERVE THE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS: A “MARKET PLACE” WHERE CITIZENS COULD SORT THROUGH BELIEFS AND IDEAS WHICH BEST RESONATED WITH THEM AND DISCARD THOSE THAT DID NOT,74 THEREBY ALLOWING FOR THE CREATION OF AN EVER-EVOLVING, OPEN SOCIETY. MOREOVER, THEY CONTEND THAT FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS RECOGNIZED AS A HUMAN RIGHT UNDER ARTICLE 19 OF THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, SO IT CANNOT AND MUST NOT BE LIMITED.

AND YET, PROPONENTS OF A MORE REFINED FIRST AMENDMENT ARGUE THAT THIS FREEDOM SHOULD BE TREATED NOT AS A RIGHT BUT AS A PRIVILEGE – A SPECIAL ENTITLEMENT GRANTED BY THE STATE ON A CONDITIONAL BASIS THAT CAN BE REVOKED IF IT IS EVER ABUSED OR MALTREATED. (emphasis ours)

(We apologize for the caps, but that is the manner in which the report was released.)

The report makes the argument that as “free speech” is a “privilege,” the state can regulate speech. In this case, the “free speech” that has a bull’s eye on it is what they define as “cyberbullying” to be:

CYBERBULLYING EXHIBITS SIMILAR CHARACTERISTICS AS CYBERSTALKING, YET ALSO ENCOMPASSES BEHAVIOR THAT IS MORE REFLECTIVE OF A YOUNGER AGE GROUP:

· “FLAMING” (HURTFUL, CRUEL, AND OFTENTIMES INTIMIDATING MESSAGES INTENDED TO INFLAME, INSIGHT, OR ENRAGE);

Obviously these Democratic Senators have never been on a discussion board that allows comments.

· “HAPPY SLAPPING” (RECORDING PHYSICAL ASSAULTS ON MOBILE PHONES OR DIGITAL CAMERAS, THEN DISTRIBUTING THEM TO OTHERS);

Isn’t this what the media does? Are they “cyberbullies?”

· “TROLLING” (DELIBERATELY AND DECEITFULLY POSTING INFORMATION TO ENTICE GENUINELY HELPFUL PEOPLE TO RESPOND (OFTEN EMOTIONALLY), OFTEN DONE TO PROVOKE OTHERS);

Once again, the Democrats show they have not spent any time on any discussion board. “Trolls” are everywhere.

· “DISSING” (SENDING OR POSTING GOSSIP OR RUMORS ABOUT A PERSON TO DAMAGE HIS/HER REPUTATION OR FRIENDSHIPS);

Does Dan Rather, George Bush, and National Guard memos ring a bell? Or the attacks by the left on Sarah Palin, Condi Rice, Michelle Bachmann?

· IMPERSONATION (PRETENDING TO BE SOMEONE ELSE AND SENDING OR POSTING MATERIAL TO GET THAT PERSON INTO TROUBLE); AND

Can’t you just hear the “birthers” jumping in on this one?

(NOTE: We want to make sure that people understand that our use of the term “birthers” is not meant to denigrate or dismiss them. We use it simply because it is better and easier than typing “people who do not believe Barack Obama has met the required qualifications for the Office of the President as stated in the Constitution” each time we wish to refer to them.)

· EXCLUSION (INTENTIONALLY AND CRUELLY EXCLUDING SOMEONE FROM AN ONLINE GROUP).

This seems to be saying that while your God given and natural right to freedom of speech is now a privilege, you have a right to be in a certain group.

To combat cyberbullying, the Democrats propose the following:

Awareness Campaigns & Non-Profit Organizations

· Organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, the Cyberbullying Research Center, or CyberBully Alert must continue their initiatives to raise awareness and educate people about the dangers of cyberbullying and how to effectively tackle the problem once it is identified.

· As discussed above, setting aside an official month to recognize and increase awareness of cyberbullying will assist in public awareness and addressing this serious issue.

Parental Control

· Parents and guardians need to become more involved in monitoring young people’s online activities. They need to make an effort to teach their children responsibility and respect.
·
· Parents, guardians, and educators must explain to their children the importance of reporting offensive or abusive behavior, whether it is online or in person.

School Environment

· Faculty, teachers, and other educators should enact and enforce policies to create an open and secure learning environment for students at all educational institutions, including middle school, high school, and college. Students must be educated on the harmful consequences of bullying and cyberbullying and learn how to prevent it from happening, both to themselves and to others.

Peer Leadership

· Young people (peers) who witness acts of bullying or cyberbullying must learn to intervene. “Bystanders” must to be empowered to help prevent cyberbullying by becoming “upstanders.”

But the one idea recommendation that caught our eye is this one:

Monitoring By Online Providers

· Message board, chat room, and social networking website administrators should more effectively monitor their sites in order to limit harmful behavior and protect the privacy of their users.

Are the Democrats really saying that to protect the privacy of people, the speech of those people should be monitored?

Does that make sense to anyone?

Only in the world where the right of speech is now a “privilege.”



One Response to “New York Democrats Say First Amendment is a “Privilege.””

  1. Jerry says:

    Freedom is messy.
    I prefer the mess.

  2. […] Raised On Hoecakes tells us what NY Democrats think of the 1st Amendment […]

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