The Gateway (Publius, Twain, Dooley & Gatemouth Edition)
Legislation introduced by State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Dean Murray would require New York-based websites to “remove any comments posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post.”
Under the bill, publishers would be required to dedicate a phone number or email address to receiving complaints about comments. If someone who is directly harmed by the comment challenges a comment, the publisher would be required to take action by either collecting, verifying or publishing the contact information for the commenter in question, or, alternatively, to remove the comment.
Forgetting for the moment the fact that such regulation of wired and wireless communications is almost surely precluded by Federal Law, there is a far deeper problem.
Anonymous and pseudonymous commentary is as old or older than our Republic.
Pseudonymous commentators, writing in fictitious voices about matters factual, have been a staple of American journalism practically since its inception. Just ask Ben Franklin’s “Poor Richard” or Peter Finley Dunne’s “Mr. Dooley”.
And then there is “Mark Twain”; the barnstorming humorist entertainer of the Chautauqua circuit was probably the single greatest fictional character ever created by our greatest American writer, the gloomy and misanthropic Samuel Clemens.
And let us not forget "Publius”, the author of “The Federalist Papers,” a blogger on a mission, with an imperfect product (the Constitution) to sell; like any good merchant, Publius always stood by his product, even when it was clear he (or rather “they”; “they” being, for the benighted, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay) sometimes preferred that it be composed of somewhat different contents.
Thus, the age of the blogger makes everything old new again as a time honored anachronism rises from the grave for purposes of enlightenment and amusement.
Tom O’Mara and Dean Murray want any schmuck with a grudge to be able to wipe Publius away.
Tom O’Mara and Dean Murray are un-American.
Luckily, the Bill of Rights Madison helped to draw up nullifies and voids the O’Mara/Murray bill, even in the unlikely event it passes. New York Lawmakers Surprised That Some People Think Anonymous Comments Are Free Speech betabeat.com
By contrast, Joe Hynes' proposal that clergy become mandated reporters of child abuse has its heart in the right place, but making clergy mandated reporters raises serious free exercise issues not implicated when one is trying to enforce the professional obligation of an Orthodox Jewish social worker.
Unlike other mandated reporters, Clergy are not state licensed professionals, although clergy do resemble one unlicensed profession who are decidedly not mandated reporters: lawyers.
Probably as a result of the Free Exercise Clause, every state provides some statutory form of an evidentiary clergy-communicant privilege to protect certain types of conversations between clergy members and individuals.
While not every religion offers the equivalent of the confessional, this is an area replete with both free exercise and equal protection booby traps.
Proceed with caution. Brooklyn Prosecutor Seeks Bill Requiring Rabbis to Report Claims of Abuse www.nytimes.com
The problem with the State Senate Dems on the minimum wage is credibility.
Joe Addabbo holds a fundraiser at Aqueduct?
There's no Charles Barron in the 6th CD race; no one wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, and everyone wants to ensure its security. The question is how.
Lancman also sees no problem with continued expansion of settlements, even though this would eventually make a two state solution impossible, which ultimately would mean a non-Jewish majority in Israel, and therefore its death as a Jewish state (unless one believes it can be sustained by Apartheid or Ethnic Cleansing).
Speaking of Ethnic Cleansing, Rudy, who once forcefully called for American intervention in Kosovo (correctly calling Clinton too weak on the matter), is now a Storobin Republican. Rudy Giuliani Hits a New Low: Consulting for Serbian Nationalists – Tablet Magazine www.tabletmag.com
And speaking of Barron, here’s Paul Simon on the idea of Barron as a coalition builder: "And after it rains
Wow, the bully pulpit works. Obama’s Gay Marriage Support Triggers Dramatic Shift In Attitudes Among Black Voters 2012.talkingpointsmemo.com
Marion Barry morphs into Spiro Agnew (which, believe it or not, is not an improvement).
Go Google "Polack" + "Fat Jap." Marion Barry commits new gaffe while apologizing to Asians www.washingtonpost.com
The real fraud is the idea that the GOP is just concerned about fraud, rather than trying to suppress votes. Ohio Republicans want to disallow ballots with errors caused by poll workers. www.slate.com
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