Current Status of H.16: Read First Time and Referred to the Committee on Judiciary …as of 2011 session end.
That’s right, Vermont is approaching lockdown. Party politicians in Montpelier are hurting over bloggers, journalists and whistleblowers such as myself, who criticise their dealings and expose their corruption and lies. For example, the Lockheed/Burlington deals, the Lockheed F-35 sham vote in the Legislature, the Monsanto dealings. And covering up the financials last year, creating a false budget deficit to avoid making corporations pay their taxes on natural resource extraction in Vermont.
That’s $1.2 billion in potential revenue per year… corporate welfare. About $7,700 in lost wealth for every Vermont family of four.
An Addison Independent op-ed cast the Legislature’s breaking of the social contract… as people voluntarily ‘pitching in’. The Legislature got a $400 million check from DC to balance the budget, which incidentally bought the election for the Democrats.
None of the ‘pitching in’ was voluntary; therefore we were pitched in… that would be a more accurate description.
Politically it is easier to close down schools, lay off workers, cut essential services to the neediest who have no power — break the social contract — than to challenge TransCanada, Omya, Entergy etc…. to pay their taxes.
The career politicians are hurting, whenever bloggers expose how corporate interests control them.
They are looking to end that hurt by locking down freedom of speech on July 1, 2011. By classifying free speech as disturbing the peace.
Last year the political machine kept the electoral debates empty of real debate… by excluding Independent candidates. State police with tasers guarded the politicians, who delivered rehearsed answers to questions which have been vetted in advance. When Dennis Steele blurted out his own question, he was arrested.
Now legislation had been introduced and referred to the Judicial Committee, to send state police with tasers to our homes and arrest us, if we blog or post on the internet, anything not to the liking of the powers that be.
How can one define ‘defamatory’ or ‘false’? Who decides? I see things one way, and the next person sees things in another way. But that doesn’t matter, because if you or I ‘annnoy’ someone (someone who has pull), it’s considered a breach of the peace. It could easily shut down websites that are critical of the government or civil service. Leaks such as the Deb Markowitz Diebold connection, may not happen in future.Clever, worthy of a man like Hosni Mubarak (whose police torturers were trained by the FBI). It will only work if you allow it to work. Behind Obuchowski and Partridge, I suspect, is party leader Willem Jewett, who is hurting over my exposure of his conduct in the F-35/Lockheed vote in the Legislature last year.
Please contact your legislator: start with house rep, and let them know how you feel about free speech, and ask them to reject H.16 as introduced
If you’re not sure who your legislator is, you can use the zip code search at VoteSmart.org.
Here’s the text of the bill, which appears at http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2012/bills/Intro/H-016.pdf.
BILL AS INTRODUCED H.16
Introduced by Representatives Obuchowski of Rockingham and Partridge of Windham
Referred to Committee on Date:
Subject: Crimes; disturbing peace by use of telephone or other electronic communications; Internet website postings
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to permit a person to be charged with a violation of Vermont’s disturbing the peace statute if the person, with the intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, or annoy another person, knowingly and intentionally uses false and defamatory Internet website postings to disturb the other person’s peace, quiet, or right of privacy.
An act relating to harassment and disturbing the peace through false and defamatory Internet website postings to disturb the other person’s peace, quiet, or right of privacy.
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 13 V.S.A. § 1027 is amended to read:
§ 1027. DISTURBING PEACE BY USE OF TELEPHONE OR OTHER ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS
(a) A person who, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass,
annoy, makes contact by means of a telephonic or other electronic
communication with another and (i) makes any request, suggestion,
proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, or indecent; (ii) threatens to inflict
injury or physical harm to the person or property of any person; or (iii)
disturbs, or attempts to disturb, by repeated anonymous telephone calls or other
electronic communications, whether or not conversation ensues, the peace,
quiet, or right of privacy of any person at the place where the communication
or communications are received shall be fined not more than $250.00 or be
imprisoned not more than three months or both. If the defendant has
previously been convicted of a violation of this section or of an offense under
the laws of another state or of the United States which would have been an
offense under this act if committed in this state, the defendant shall be fined
or both.12 not more than $500.00 or imprisoned for not more than six months,
(b) An intent to terrify, threaten, harass or annoy may be inferred by the
trier of fact from the use of obscene, lewd, lascivious, or indecent language or
the making of a threat or statement or repeated anonymous telephone calls or
other electronic communications as set forth in this section and any trial court
may in its discretion include a statement to this effect in its jury charge.
(c) An offense committed by use of a telephone or other electronic
communication device as set forth in this section shall be considered to have
been committed at either the place where the telephone call or calls originated
or at the place where the communication or communications or calls were
(d) As used in this section:
(1) “Disturbing or attempting to disturb the peace, quiet, or right of privacy by electronic communications” may include knowingly and intentionally causing a false and defamatory posting to be made to an Internet website.
(2) “Makes contact by means of an electronic communication with another” may include causing a posting to be made to an Internet website.
Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall take effect on July 1, 2011.