Once again, Republican politicians deciding that they have the right to shut down private speech.

Congress shall make no lawabridging the freedom of speech…

Back to “Really, Judd?

But what is the point, if you govern out of control, at cross-odds to Constitutional philosophy, once you get there, as the Democrats now wish to?

Oops, this time, its Republicans showing a lack of knowledge of Constitutional values – and respect as well.  All I can say is that I am really glad that I’m not in NY (or my server).  The Daily Caller has the story:

Nearly half of the Republicans serving in the New York State Assembly have proposed legislation that would ban anonymous online comments.

If enacted, the legislation would require websites — including social networks and online newspapers — to remove all anonymous comments that are brought to the attention of administrators.

An anonymous comment could remain if the author “agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate.”

Yeah – their version of NH’s HB1704 (sideways) – we will silence speech, particular that which might be critical of others.  The Founders had the equivalent problem of anonymous speech back then – only then, it was not computers and servers it was hand operated paper and ink printing presses (re: slow, laborious, and expensive).  In fact, if looking at history, we might still be singing “God save the Queen” without that anonymous speech.

Oh, that pesky parchment that is the foundation for all our laws?  Was THAT considered?  Er, no:

The sponsor of the state Senate’s version, Republican Thomas O’Mara, told TheDC that he had not initially considered that the legislation might ban First Amendment-protected speech.

“Today is the first day that these issues have been raised,” O’Mara said. “I haven’t gotten any comments from any of my colleagues in the Senate who said that this wasn’t a good idea.”

“I certainly didn’t introduce the legislation with the thought that it was violative of the First Amendment. We’re certainly looking forward to any and all input.”

I find it hard to believe, given all of the hoo-hah raised by the TEA Party movement about going back to Constitutional values that these professional politicians (who actually get a liveable salary vs the $100 / year that they do here in NH) have no clue about what is allowable or not.  This is the problem – governance without first considering, well before keys hit keyboard, what the Constitution says.  That should be the first thought – are we aligned with Constitutional value instead of “hey, we have to do something”.  Really, not even a clue during the process?  No one, from the first day that this was germinated, nobody had the presence of mind to go “uh-oh”?  When I read this for the first time, my jaw dropped.  I can understand recent graduates of government schools might not be really up on this (re: that teacher in NC that told a student that he could go to jail for criticizing the President), but these are professionals?  Yikes!

The legislation would “demand that those who spread rumor, conjecture or outright lies online be willing to come forward and defend the comments they post,” Republican Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney added. “We, as a society, have never expected anything less when potentially harmful words are put into print.”

As Wired magazine notes, the legislation would have banned the anonymously written Federalist Papers from online distribution.

Indeed.

There is no way that I want to moderate every single comment that comes into the ‘Grok – and we are a relatively small site.  Those with millions and millions of hits per day?  They couldn’t afford to hire enough moderators to review everything that a commenter would put.  Hey, it would take away another game – the “gotcha game” that often is used in politics where a commenter (sometimes a plant) to write something “naughty” and then accuse some politician of malfeasance simply for being associated with that site (like when a site endorses a like minded politician).

Nothing but chuckleheaded morons.  There!