January 19, 2006
"Cyberbullying"

State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-UW Womens' Studies Dept.) has an op-ed in today's Seattle Times, calling for, among other things, government censorship of web sites: "Dealing with cyberbullies"

Cyberbullying — the use of e-mail, instant messaging, Web sites, camera phones and the like to torment someone — is on the rise. And with more children using this technology — and at an increasingly younger age — the problem shows no signs of abating.

Senate Bill 5849 would add electronic acts to the definition of bullying, intimidation and harassment; under current law, school districts are required to have policies prohibiting such behavior toward a student.

Kohl-Welles' definition of "cyberbullying" includes posting caustic messages on a website. That could well include my blog entries in the series "Dumb E-mails from Elected Officials". And it would have to include some of the dumb e-mails written by elected officials.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at January 19, 2006 09:27 AM | Email This
Comments
1. Watch out!

This is a major push of the gender feminist police state. There is a provision of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that was just reauthorized ($5 billion to feminist groups to conduct their war on boys, men, and fathers) that outlaws making statements over the internet that others find annoying.

There are two objectives on the part of gender feminists like Kohl-Welles. The first is to prevent people from fighting back against the feminist police state she and her sisterhood are working hard to create. They realize that free speech is their worst enemy.

Included in this police state is the fundamental change in the way our legal system works so that men and fathers are always considered guilty until proven innocent; in other words, assymmetrical Nepoleonic law.

The second aspect of this is to fire up the battle against teenage boys. VAWA includes a provision about date rape. Stopping date rape sounds good to everyone, until you see the way these extremists want to implement it. Again, Nepoleonic law - your teenage boy will be considered guilty as soon as an accusation is made against him. Good luck proving his innocence - that involves proving a negative, which is nearly impossible.

There will be plenty of re-education programs in your local public school, designed to deprogram the so-called patriarchy out your boy. He will be told he has been socialized to be a rapist. Girls will have their fear heightened by these programs and it would not be outlandish to think that it will become a fad to make rape accusations.

Gender feminists like Kohl-Welles want to take away free speech in order to take away the ability of people to criticize what they are doing to our Constitutional system. For them, Constitution=Patriarchy.

It's about time Republicans wake up to what is happening here and stop going along with it so full of self-congratulations. This all sounds crazy, but if you look deeper at what is happening here, reality is stranger than any fiction I could come up with.

Posted by: BananaLand (aka Iguana) on January 19, 2006 09:56 AM
2. No one is guilty until proven innocence. Please.

And for the record, most cyberbullying is done by girls against girls. We had a national expert at our middle school last year to talk to all the students about the different types of bullying (because boys and girls have different tactics, sadly, the girls seem worse than the boys) and cyberbullying is the tactic of choice mostly by girls.

Posted by: westello on January 19, 2006 10:04 AM
3. while i don't support any type of bullying, i'm even more strongly against limits on free speech. and if bullying is already against the law, why do we need another law to regulate conduct that's already regulated. just another example of an unconstitutional law, like the one on foie gras (regulates interstate commerce) that makes the dems feel good.

Posted by: Obi-Wan on January 19, 2006 10:07 AM
4. Westello - just dropped off the turnip truck?

I don't have any doubt that girls are as capable as boys of cyber-bullying. People like Kohler-Welles and the rest of the UW Women Studies faculty not only doubt it, they believe that if girls every do bully, it's because they are oppressed by the so-called patriarchy.

The only "please" I have for you is please do some research into the ideology of that tax supported department in UW. Then, feel free to criticize all you want.

Posted by: BananaLand (aka Iguana) on January 19, 2006 10:57 AM
5. It is interesting that the 'left' and MSM decry Bush using the NSA to intercept the communications of those that would inflict EVIL on the USA. Then we see these same 'useful idiots' want to stifle free speech because someone disagrees with their inane ideas. The Islamofacists may get us thousands at a time, but the those of the ilk of Kohl-Welles want to get us millions at a time and not by killing us but by keeping us from thinking for ourselves. Our liberties are not being taken away by the President but are being slowly destroyed by the ACLU, PFAW, NARAL, NOW and the Kohl-Welles, Jim McDermotts and Howard Deans living amongst us.

Posted by: Silkworm on January 19, 2006 11:05 AM
6. Well said Silkworm.

Respect and civil behaviour should occur in schools. But as far as having appropriate language being mandated by law, I think these laws violate the first amendment.

Speech is being squelched - because laws are being passed calling it "hate speech", or speech that "offends" someone, or makes them "feel uncomfortable". However, the application of these restrictions seem to be targeted towards those on the convervative side.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on January 19, 2006 11:23 AM
7. on the nationl level new push in congress to re-authorize the "fairness" doctrine against talk radio stations -- on the state level (and coming to the world level) will be censorship of blogs and e-mails....all this is a preface for Hillary -- get used to it....

Posted by: Lew on January 19, 2006 11:27 AM
8. A law for cyber-bullying? For crying out lout, just get off the #$%# computer, and your problem is solved. No more bullying in presence.

Posted by: C. Oh on January 19, 2006 11:30 AM
9. westello said "No one is guilty until proven innocence. Please."

Make a bet? Ever been accused of sexual harassment or racial discrimination? How about those folks who were incarcerated on made-up evidence in the Wenatchee sexual abuse witch trials. In today's world you have to be ultra careful, because the accusation is as bad as a conviction-- you ARE presumed guilty and treated that way.

So don't think that this law couldn't take us down that road again. There are folks in Wenatchee who the courts cleared who are still trying to dig their way out....

Posted by: Red on January 19, 2006 11:36 AM
10. Girls are the biggest bullies.

Try this

1. Why are you stalking me (in an e-mail to another girl)?
2. If I am stalking you, why are you sending me these e-mails?

or

2. If we are such good friends, why are you nice to me when we are alone but when you are with Jodie, you treat me bad? True friends are always friends and cannot turn it on and off.

Puberty aged girls. And this happened to my other girls six years ago. They are brutal. We have to pick up the pieces (our little girl who was no. 1) at least once a week.

Posted by: swatter on January 19, 2006 11:37 AM
11. Dude! Why can't someone just shout "FIRST AMEMENDMENT" and be done with the issue. A "bully" is an overbroad term and (hopefully) would NEVER hold up in court when pitted against the first amendment. Nuf said!

Posted by: Mark WWU on January 19, 2006 12:23 PM
12. First ammendment? Some parts of the country still care about that, but not Washington State and definitely not Seattle.

Posted by: BananaLand on January 19, 2006 01:00 PM
13. Golly whiz there Westello, "No one is guilty until proven innocence. Please." Are you for real?

You teach? . . . god help us all . . . no wonder.
Does the WEA require you to be a pinheaded ditz-bag dumb-bunny dolt or do you just come by it naturally?
But hey . . . no offense.

Posted by: Amused by liberal dim bulbs on January 19, 2006 02:10 PM
14. Golly whiz there Westello, "No one is guilty until proven innocence. Please." Are you for real?

You teach? . . . god help us all . . . no wonder.
Does the WEA require you to be a pinheaded ditz-bag dumb-bunny dolt or do you just come by it naturally?
But hey . . . no offense.

Posted by: Amused by liberal dim bulbs on January 19, 2006 02:12 PM
15. Is that what they would call serial bullying?

Posted by: Amused by liberal dim bulbs on January 19, 2006 02:14 PM
16. BTW, BananaLand (aka Iguana),

Your comments are right on the money. I have exhaustive personal experience with the concerns you are talking about.

There are many women in the Republican party that agree with us about this and the tide is turning . . . but very slowly because most of us don't have a way to directly address the problem, and many of us don't think we are affected by it. Have you seen Hillary Dillary's attacks against the administration about Iran today?

I take this seriously as well, but what can we do except continue to shine a light on the issues? Stefan proves that many people care about attacking perceived bigotry (figurative indignities) than real ones. Most people also seem to believe that the realities displayed in your comments about liberal feminist intentions (even otherwise conservative people) are not vital concerns. I do.

Who knows, maybe Kohl-Welles will get run over by a bus, but I doubt we'll have such luck.
At any rate, if she read these words and had her way, I agree with you that I would no longer have a constitutional right to freedom of speech.

Thanks for you comments.

Posted by: Amused by liberals on January 19, 2006 02:38 PM
17. That's a huge stretch between cyberbullying and freedom of speech in a blog. It sounds like the liberal Democrats are trying to forge some ties between the two...

Liberal Democrats sponsoring bills to "censor" freedom of speech.....? I told you they were "Big Brother" AND "Nanny communists"!

Posted by: Deborah on January 19, 2006 06:50 PM
18. I never said I was a teacher. It would help if some in this crowd either knew how to read or actually read something before flying off the handle.

Amused, you'd qualify for a cyberbully except the kids in school probably all just ignored you anyway.

Posted by: westello on January 19, 2006 08:44 PM
19. Are there data to show how many bills on which a state senator is shown as a sponsor? Kohl-Welles must have set a record. Legislate, legislate, legislate....that's all she knows. i.e., If you're not taking away somebody's rights, you're not doing anything.

Posted by: Ingraham on January 19, 2006 09:16 PM
20. It is true. Not about hate speech and bullying, but in the person that hears it defining it.

I am offended by what folks say hourly. Now, do I go calling the cops? No, I turn it off, go away, or whatever so I don't have to hear it.

Not guilty when accused? Puhleese. I got canned from a job, because a young girl (not a woman, and certainly not a lady) was offended when I compared her acting career she was studying for to Tom Leykis, who is an excellent actor.

Two hours later, I was gone, because "some of the women were uncomfortable with what I said". The same women, BTW, who played repeatedly another co-workers crude sexual invite to a woman, left on her voice mail. That made ME unconfortable, but I guess it depends on who is speaking the "hate", eh?

Not guilty until proven innocent, on reflection, more like guilty because someone doesn't like what you say, no trial, no hearing.

The Geezer

Posted by: The Geezer on January 19, 2006 09:29 PM
21. "I never said I was a teacher."

So, what are you the school mascot? Or maybe just the neighborhood perv, lurking around sniffing the bicycle seats....

The way I figure it, you should be appreciative that Amused presumed more of you than I did!

Posted by: alphabet soup on January 19, 2006 09:38 PM
22. Westello (not a teacher),

I'm sorry that I "flew off the handle" and gave you credit for being "educated" enough to be a teacher . . . moron. I now realize the error of my ways.
This means that you are fu@king stupid enough to hold the opinions of a typical Seattle school teacher (a robotic liberal moron) without having been formally indoctrinated out of any common sense. Your self trained stupidity IS an achievement (that you know of).

Salute!!

Thanks for the info.

Posted by: Amused by liberal morons on January 19, 2006 09:56 PM
23. I trust this covers cybernazis like the good Senator as well?

Posted by: Mark on January 20, 2006 06:49 AM
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