New Jersey, Tennessee, and emotional distress

New Jersey passed an excellent law earlier this year in partial response to the bullying-caused death of Tyler Clementi. (The process of developing the law began prior to Clementi’s tragic death.) Primarily directed at the junior high and high school levels, the law provides administrators easier ways of dealing with bullies. This follows from the basic premise that harassment is not okay, even between minors.

I mention New Jersey’s law for two reasons. First, it bears relevance to a recent law passed in Tennessee:

A new Tennessee law makes it a crime to “transmit or display an image” online that is likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to someone who sees it. Violations can get you almost a year in jail time or up to $2500 in fines…

The new legislation adds images to the list of communications that can trigger criminal liability. But for image postings, the “emotionally distressed” individual need not be the intended recipient. Anyone who sees the image is a potential victim. If a court decides you “should have known” that an image you posted would be upsetting to someone who sees it, you could face months in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

I say this bears relevance to the law in New Jersey because of the second reason I’m posting this. Some random scrotebag on a friend’s Facebook wall thinks the two laws are equally or nearly as bad as each other. It’s obvious this person is an idiot. The law in New Jersey protects individuals from systematic harassment. The law in Tennessee prevents people from posting offensive images. There really is no comparison. Opposition to one is a macho-bullshit exercise in chest-thumping for the small dicked whereas opposition to the other is premised in the U.S. constitution:

If you’re posting…say, pictures of Mohammed, or blasphemous jokes about Jesus Christ, or harsh cartoon insults of some political group [then you’ve violated this law]…Pretty clearly unconstitutional, it seems to me.

It’s inane to me that people who can’t make such simple distinctions manage to dress themselves in the morning.

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47 Responses

  1. […] re-interpretation of this post, which was meant to insult […]

  2. The above pingback says this in mock imitation of me:

    And if anyone say I am afraid of engaging this twat in rational argument by framing all terms here on my blog (as restrictively as possible) and linking it, let them also be called SCROTEBAG!

    There a number of interesting things to note here.

    First, this is just another person who can’t get over tone. Don’t like being described negatively? Tough.

    Second, arguments don’t become irrational because they use mean words.

    Third, the above writer (aka, “scrotebag”) complained that I did not directly link to all this on Facebook. He made his complaint in response to the direct link I had just provided. In fact, the only reason he saw this post was because of my direct link. I have no idea what he thinks he’s proving by pretending like I’m somehow not being direct.

    Fourth, despite the accusation that I’m afraid to engage him in debate, it is my blog which allows for comments. His blog, on the other hand, appears to restrict all comments. In fact, looking over the first three pages of his site, I don’t see a single comment. Furthermore, I clicked five random posts within those pages to see if I could leave comments. As with the above pingback, there is no mechanism in place for commenting.

  3. Your entire post is ridiculous, and as usual, I must restrict myself to a single point because of your inability to maintain focus on wider ranging argument. From our witty banter on Facebook:

    Me: Just to be painfully clear, Michael Hawkins – any words of mine that you interpreted as a call for civility were actually meant to mock the laws in question. I celebrate your incivility, and even your utter lack of ability to formulate a coherent argument

    Michael Hawkins: I criticized Nate and Michael for their calls for civility.

    Michael Hawkins here on his blog, hours after this exchange: this is just another person who can’t get over tone. Don’t like being described negatively? Tough.

    As they say, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, eh, Michael?

  4. You are attempting to portray my criticism of their call for civility as itself a call for civility. It wasn’t, and in no way could it be interpreted as such without your strawman-creating quote-mine. What I said:

    When have I ever been such a baby as to care about tone?…[And] civility is overrated.

    But to be honest, I don’t know as you’re quick enough to have intentionally quote-mined like this. What I think is the case here is that you have confused criticism with civility. This inability of yours to make distinctions is a pattern.

    But maybe I’m just afraid to engage you. After all, I haven’t directly linked you to the above post in any of my comments here. Directly.

  5. I suspected my simple pointing out of your contradiction would be difficult for you to digest. Let me ask you directly: do you think I am a “tone guy” or not? Over on Facebook, when I accused you of incorrectly labeling me as such, you claimed that my accusation was WRONG. Here, you pull it out again, as if we never had that conversation. Do you understand your contradiction now? I thought not.

    Come on Michael, let the words get through … admit your mistake … it’s not so hard, really…

  6. No, I did not call you a “tone guy” on Facebook. The reason is that you didn’t whine about tone like the others. Good for you. But on this blog you have pretended that I contradicted myself. Either you have created a strawman or you have confused what criticism and tone are.

    Person A: You’re a scrotebag.
    Person B: I don’t like your tone.
    Person A: Get over it.

    There is no contradiction in that exchange. Person A used a strong tone, Person B whined, and Person A continued with the tone. Do you actually think Person A told Person B to change Person B’s tone? Do you think Person A told Person B that Person B’s tone mattered? Hell, do you think Person A even thought that Person B had a tone? How do you not get this distinction? Let’s see if you can actually answer these questions and defend your position, scrotes.

    And to directly answer your question, I did not call you a “tone guy” on Facebook and I have not called you a “tone guy” here. Again, on Facebook it was directed to two others. In fact, it was in direct response to Nate. Furthermore, if you scroll up a tad, you’ll see that on here I said you confused criticism and tone. Do you think that statement means that I think you’re a “tone guy”? If you do, you’re more of a scrotebag than I originally suspected; so far, no, I do not think you’re a “tone guy” (hence why you can’t find a quote anywhere of me saying so).

    So I have four direct questions for you to answer:

    Do you actually think Person A told Person B to change Person B’s tone?
    Do you think Person A told Person B that Person B’s tone mattered?
    Hell, do you think Person A even thought that Person B had a tone?
    Do you think that statement [about you confusing criticism and tone] means that I think you’re a “tone guy”?

    Remember, this isn’t 1st grade, so you’ll need to do better than “yes/no” answers.

  7. The problem with your reasoning is that I never decried your tone. In fact, you may have noticed that my own tone is less than civil. But, if you wish to continue living the contradiction of calling me a “tone guy” here, and denying that you claim such over in Facebook-land, be my guest.

    I really just thought it might be psychologically helpful for you to honestly identify a single blatant contradiction in your failed attempts at reasoning, and correct it. Unfortunately, such a thing appears to be psychologically impossible.

    Here, let me try and make it real easy for you to identify yet another contradition:

    “this is just another person who can’t get over tone.”

    “I have not called you a “tone guy” here.”

    Now, will you admit your mistake, or will you now begin to split hairs over whether a person who can’t get over tone is different than a “tone guy”?

    Again, most everything else you say is directed at demons of your own imagining. Once we work through this “tone” thing (likely never, given our ongoing work on the definition of “anecdote”), we can move on to all the other various ways you mischaracterize nearly every word of those you disagree with, in order to create foes easily dispatched with simple arguments like “scrotebag”.

    And just think … this whole time, we could have been having a conversation about whether or not the New Jersey law could have a chilling effect on free speech, and to what degree. But you refuse to engage on such terms. The only terms you will engage on begin and end with defining the New Jersey law as doing nothing more than “protect individuals from systematic harassment”. What analytical skills!

  8. I have condensed your posts into one. Try and keep up with how the Internet works, Spammy.

    The problem with your reasoning is that I never decried your tone.

    I have explicitly said you didn’t.

    But, if you wish to continue living the contradiction of calling me a “tone guy” here, and denying that you claim such over in Facebook-land, be my guest.

    I did say you couldn’t get over tone, but my point was not to say you’re a “tone guy”. As I’ve said multiple times, you never whined about tone. Good for you. But when you choose to focus on being called a big mean name, that is a demonstration of your inability to get over tone. You’re using being rightfully called a scrotebag as an excuse to claim that there is no rational argument. Your logic here fails: Something doesn’t become irrational because you got called a name. Get over it.

    I did not call you a “tone guy”. I said you whined about a word, thus making your focus my tone. You need to get over it and start making some actual arguments.

    And just think … this whole time, we could have been having a conversation about whether or not the New Jersey law could have a chilling effect on free speech, and to what degree. But you refuse to engage on such terms.

    I fail to see where it is that I have either refused to debate the law with you or where I have prevented you from making your case. This is why I say you’re using being called a feelings-hurting name as an excuse. Grow up and get over it, scrotes.

  9. You almost seem to be admitting error there. But your words are so shifty and vague, as usual, that I can’t quite tell. Still, perhaps a psychological breakthrough is coming. I await your apology on facebook for your erroneous claim that I used my age as a cudgel (hard to grow up, btw, when I am so fucking old!)

    I do invite your readers to analyze the text of the New jersey law for themselves, and verify if your analysis of the law as “protecting individuals from systematic harassment” is in fact correct. I would particularly note the vague definition of bullying contained therein:

    “”Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication 1, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents,1 that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory [handicap] disability”

    And remember, Michael, that my enlarged scrotum does indeed qualify as a “characteristic”, whether perceived or actual, only the New Jersey anti-bullying bureaucracy can tell with certainty.

  10. Excellent use of the word ‘twat’. Good job. (just catching up from that ping back)

  11. You almost seem to be admitting error there. But your words are so shifty and vague, as usual, that I can’t quite tell. Still, perhaps a psychological breakthrough is coming. I await your apology on facebook for your erroneous claim that I used my age as a cudgel (hard to grow up, btw, when I am so fucking old!)

    You aren’t very good at making distinctions. Nor do you have any idea what I mean when I use the word “old”.

    would particularly note the vague definition of bullying contained therein:…

    So in other words, the New Jersey law is based upon systematic harassment directed at a particular individual or group. Exactly as I said. The Tennessee law is nothing like that. Why are you agreeing with me if you don’t agree with me? And why do you think that talking about one law is the same thing as comparing two laws?

  12. And Michael, I apologize, if this series of incidents in which I verbally identified your very real characteristic of stupidity has caused you emotional distress. It certainly qualifies as bullying every bit as much as your hard-hitting use of the term “scrotebag”. If we were schoolkids in New Jersey, we would both no doubt be racing to see who could call the anti-bullying police on the other first.

  13. First, you’re the one running around freaking out about this, unable to get over being called a big mean name. Second, the New Jersey law has to do with students. Third, even if we were New Jersey students, nothing here would qualify as harassment. That you think you have even the remotest grasp on this law is risible, scrotes.

    Though I will accept an apology for you making this so frustratingly easy. It’s an interesting experience.

  14. Question for you. Have you actually read the bill or just heard and read the punditry?

  15. You’re very mistaken. As I have said, I celebrate your incivility. I love it when you call me “scrotebag”, as it perfectly illustrates your limitations. I see you’ve begun using variants like “scrotes”. Here are some more suggestions:

    Scrotinizer
    Quetzlscrotal
    Scrotalicious
    Scrotus
    Scrotie

    Feel free to use them to describe me, and anyone else who makes outrageous claims about the New Jersey anti-bullying law, all you like!

  16. You’re still confused. Whereas Nate and Michael were whining for me to be civil, you’re hiding behind my incivility. You have used it a number of times as an excuse. You began by claiming that I won’t debate you rationally – even though I am the one who has given reasons why the law is different, and even though I am the one with the blog that allows commenting – and now you won’t continue the discussion, instead insisting on focusing on being called a big mean name. Stop hiding, you hypocritical, confused little scrote.

  17. Even youre grammar devolves to incomprehensibility.

    Couldn’t you have at least tried on Quetzlscrotal? Sheesh.

  18. Where does the fixation on male anatomy come from?

  19. A scrote no more refers to male anatomy than a douche refers to a hygiene product.

    Also, stop hiding, scroteberg. You don’t get to whine about having no debate when it is you who won’t engage in it.

  20. Just curious.

  21. There’s no debate to have, Michael. You already determined with such finality the lack of connection between the two laws that you were able to immediately move straight to perjorative broadsides. What we are in is a pissing match, not a debate. And I hide from neither – I love a good pissing match!

  22. Nate – he called me twat too, so give him credit for gender-neutrality.

  23. There’s no debate to have, Michael. You already determined with such finality the lack of connection between the two laws that you were able to immediately move straight to perjorative broadsides.

    If that’s how you want to excuse yourself, so be it.

  24. Let us imagine this conversation took place at a party, rather than the Internet. Here’s how it would have gone:

    Michael Hartwell: That new Tennessee law is a real blow to free speech, isn’t it?

    Me: Yeah. Even worse than the New Jesey anti-bullying law.

    Michael Hawkins: Sir, there is no comparison, and furthermore, you are an IDIOT! How can you even dress yourself in the morning? Scrotebag!

    (awkward silence)

    Me: Scrotebag, good one.

    Michael Hawkins: Oh great, another tone guy! Can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen, scrotie!

    (awkward silence)

    The girl who Michael Hawkins was desparately hoping would take his virginity, but now hads no chance with: How about that weather?

  25. […] the chance to participate in one. My previous post, with its insidious trackback, inspired a lengthy pissing match over at Michael Hawkins blog, which still rages on. I'm not going to say it's any good. […]

  26. Okay, it’s a pissing match. You totally aren’t excusing yourself.

  27. The day Michael finds himself opposed to a law named for a gay kid that committed suicide, is the day he converts to Hasidic Judaism.

  28. I’ve already explained to you on Facebook why I do not engage you on the subject of similarities between the laws, but your attention span is so blissfully short that it appears I must repeat myself.

    When you wrote your blog post, you invested yourself so heavily in my stupidity that you left no room for honest debate. In order to cede any point to me after your post, you would have to implicitly admit that I am not in fact stupid, scrotebag, unable to dress myself, etc. It is plainly evident that you are psychologically incapable of doing so. You’ve pissed out your territory and there’s no way you’re gonna give it back. It would certainly make YOU look stupid, to be forced into such a dramatic reversal.

    We see that even in this thread. When offered a section of the New Jersey law that defines bullying as narrowly as a “SINGLE verbal act …motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry”, you are so deeply invested in your mischaracterization of me (rather than any concern over the ideas involved), that you actually make yourself believe this describes “systematic harrasment”, and offer it up as proof of your ridiiculous summation of the law.

    Now, if you’d responded to my rather innocuous facebook post by saying something like “I don’t see the similarities”, I would have gladly explained myself fully, because I would not have had to overcome the strong stench of urine emanating from your territory.

  29. A stench I can only truly overcome with some urine of my own.

    (Now you can harp on about your little rules of post etiquette again. But I am an OUTLAW, baby!)

  30. I’ve already explained to you on Facebook why I do not engage you on the subject of similarities between the laws, but your attention span is so blissfully short that it appears I must repeat myself.

    Yes, I used a big mean word. Big mean words make things irrational. It’s some of your better logic, but it’s still making excuses.

    When you wrote your blog post, you invested yourself so heavily in my stupidity that you left no room for honest debate. In order to cede any point to me after your post, you would have to implicitly admit that I am not in fact stupid, scrotebag, unable to dress myself, etc.

    It’s not that I don’t think you’re able to dress yourself. I’m just surprised that you manage it, is all.

    It is plainly evident that you are psychologically incapable of doing so. You’ve pissed out your territory and there’s no way you’re gonna give it back. It would certainly make YOU look stupid, to be forced into such a dramatic reversal.

    Except I’ve found myself admitting I was wrong in other instances – specifically in one that garnered me thousands of hits in a few short days, making it clear that I’m not afraid to expose my own errors. But feel free to keep making excuses.

    We see that even in this thread. When offered a section of the New Jersey law that defines bullying as narrowly as a “SINGLE verbal act …motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry”, you are so deeply invested in your mischaracterization of me (rather than any concern over the ideas involved), that you actually make yourself believe this describes “systematic harrasment”, and offer it up as proof of your ridiiculous summation of the law.

    Oh. My. Facepalm. Something that is systematic refers to an act which is planned; the New Jersey law lists out what constitutes a basis for such a plan. It is the existence of particular characteristics (as listed in the law) which cause the harassment to be systematic (given certain intentions).

    (Now you can harp on about your little rules of post etiquette again. But I am an OUTLAW, baby!)

    You making an idiot out of yourself is fine, but spamming my site is not. Knock it off.

  31. Let’s be clear. It was LITTLE mean words. You don’t really believe that “idiot”, “scrotebag”, and “little-dick” are BIG words, do you?

    And congratulations on your thousand-hit post! I’m so honored to be exchanging urine and snarls with such an important personage here on the Internet.

    Was it your admission of error that caused the avalanche of traffic? If so, you could always try it again.

  32. And congratulations on your thousand-hit post! I’m so honored to be exchanging urine and snarls with such an important personage here on the Internet.

    You got me. I’m definitely the one who is excusing himself from rational debate.

  33. Not at all. It’s perfectly rational to brag about the hit count of an old post as a way to bolster a completely unrelated point.

  34. You said I don’t admit I’m wrong when I’m highly invested in a point. I pointed to an instance where I was significantly more invested since it involved a large number of people who were actually worthy opponents. I then pointed to the fact that I admitted I was wrong. Ergo, your contention that I don’t admit I’m wrong when I’m invested in a point is incorrect. kthxbai.

  35. It would only really matter if you’d framed your original argument as proof of the idiocy and small-dickedness of those thousand people. Did you? I’m sure it’s likely. I admit to having little interest in reading the piece and determining that fact for myself.

    “Okay, great, some guy on the Internet thinks someone else is dumb. Does that knowledge get us anywhere? It’s this sort of garbage that makes people think negative things when they even hear the word “rhetoric”; it rises to the level of “Yo Mama” jokes. Anyone offended by those jokes is an idiot. Anyone impressed with that rhetoric is a mook.”

    – Michael Hawkins

  36. It would only really matter if you’d framed your original argument as proof of the idiocy and small-dickedness of those thousand people.

    lulz. So first it was that I was I don’t admit I’m wrong if I’m invested in a point. But then it was that I was bragging. And now it’s that you really meant that I don’t admit I’m wrong when I use big mean words. Haha, got it.

    As for your quote, you are once again quote-mining. Are you sure you aren’t a creationist? The context of that quote was that there was nothing to back up the contention of someone being dumb. It’s perfectly fine, however, to say “Joe is dumb and here is why.” I have given the “why” for why you aren’t really able to handle this level of discourse. All you’ve done is excuse yourself.

    Also, I had to correct your inability to use the Internet well once again. If you spam one more time, you’re banned.

  37. You were certainly bragging. First it was just the hit count: ” one that garnered me thousands of hits in a few short days”. The fact that thousands of people watched you admit error means nothing. You then refine your braggadocio to “it involved a large number of people who were actually worthy opponents.” This is more like bragging “my logic is so strong that it takes a thousand men to prove me wrong!” Which is even more ridiculous.

    You know, we never really talk much about why this thread started. A post from me on Facebook: “And I thought the New Jersey anti-bullying legislation was bad.”. Now, the meaning of this innocuous little quote is quite clear: I am saying that the NJ law is bad, but not as bad as the TN law. These are indeed the only conclusions that can be drawn from this statement.

    Yet here is how your sharp mind mischaracterizes such a simple remark: “[Scrotebag] thinks the two laws are equally or nearly as bad as each other.” Neither statement can be inferred from my remark. Stark proof of your inability to comprehend the english language. And yet this mischaracterization is the foundation of the eruption of bile that follows.

  38. You were certainly bragging. First it was just the hit count: ” one that garnered me thousands of hits in a few short days”. The fact that thousands of people watched you admit error means nothing.

    False. First, even moderate sized blogs get thousands of hits any given day. This was an exceptional period for my blog, hence its notability. Second, I have my stats and length of time blogging listed on the side, so you can figure out my average daily hits if you really want. I don’t see how an anomaly is something to brag about.

    You then refine your braggadocio to “it involved a large number of people who were actually worthy opponents.” This is more like bragging “my logic is so strong that it takes a thousand men to prove me wrong!” Which is even more ridiculous.

    First, they were mostly women, since the issue was feminism. Second, I was comparing them to you. They were about average as far as the Internet goes. You are less than that, as evidenced in your constant whining here.

    You know, we never really talk much about why this thread started. A post from me on Facebook: “And I thought the New Jersey anti-bullying legislation was bad.”. Now, the meaning of this innocuous little quote is quite clear: I am saying that the NJ law is bad, but not as bad as the TN law. These are indeed the only conclusions that can be drawn from this statement.

    Except that you’ve displayed a strong libertarian (lol) bent in the past, not to mention the libertarian pages you like. In addition, it’s really dumb that you’re trying to pretend you weren’t comparing the laws. You didn’t pick the NJ law at random. Stop being dishonest.

    Stark proof of your inability to comprehend the english language.

    You need to capitalize “English”, scrotes.

  39. I’m so confused. Does my libertarian bent somehow change the meaning of the words “And I thought the NJ legislation was bad” to “the NJ law is equally bad as the TN law?” How exactly does it do that?

    I’ll certainly live better with a failure to capitalize the word english, than I would with a complete misunderstanding of a simple sentence. I am also able to recognize the error; whereas you apparently have no ability to recognize yours. So I am doubly grateful to be me. :-)

  40. I’m so confused. Does my libertarian bent somehow change the meaning of the words “And I thought the NJ legislation was bad” to “the NJ law is equally bad as the TN law?” How exactly does it do that?

    Do I need to teach you basic writing skills, too? Your sentence implied that you thought the excellent law in New Jersey was bad, but in comparison to the law in TN, it either isn’t as bad or it is equally as bad. (You, as is your custom, misquoted me.) If you meant your sentence to mean “And I thought the NJ legislation was bad, but now that I see this TN law, it is clear that NJ actually is bad. In fact, it is worse and the two aren’t comparable”, then you’re more of an idiot than I originally thought and you need to return to middle school for some English (capital “E”) courses.

    I’ll certainly live better with a failure to capitalize the word english, than I would with a complete misunderstanding of a simple sentence.

    You’re welcome to analyze your sentence, but we both know you’re going to just make an excuse and pretend like I’m the one who refuses to engage in rational discourse.

  41. Michael, I think you support the NJ law simply because it addresses a problem that is important to you in one way or another. There’s nothing really wrong with that, but where my, and I think Marks’, concern comes in is how the law can be applied to situations that are in no way chronic or bullying. In other words it is just far too broad.

    Given the very text of the law, no opinion needed, it is clear that it applies to ‘one off’ cases. Indeed I would say that you could be disciplined under the law for some things you write on your blog, were you a student in a NJ public school. Given that I disagree with that, I have to find the NJ law to be a poor one. It has no provision for intent, AT ALL. One does not have to be legally culpable to be punished.

  42. The law provides for preventing bullying in school that is premised on a number of inherent traits of a person. They list those traits. It also refers to preventing continued harassment of individuals regardless of traits. So the first part of the law takes generally already protected classes of indivuduals (in work, housing, employment, etc) and extends that protection to students in everyday life. The latter part of the law refers to giving teachers and administrators tools to protect students from the classic idea of bullying.

    Under the law, if I was a NJ student, I could only be cited for bullying someone if I was doing it based upon race, religion, sexual orientation, etc (which is systematic), or if I was doing it on an ongoing basis (also systematic). If I criticized someone for public comments, or if I criticized a religion, or if I held any other number of views, I could not be held liable.

  43. Amazing how far you wil go with a mischaracterization. I wonder if you will forever insist whenever someone says “I thought X was bad, but then I saw Y”, that what they REALLY mean to say is not in fact that Y is worse, but that they are equally bad. It amuses me to imagine so (and I thought your improper definition of “anecdote” was amusing! Get it?).

    But we will never overcome that particular hurdle. I will just make it clear to any intellecually honest observers of this thread, that I believe the TN law is much worse than the NJ law. Let’s move on to the next hurdle, then.

    Regardless of your problems with parsing the english language, I’m sure you will agree that I definitely thought the NJ law was bad. In fact, your entire argument consists of asserting that in order for a person to believe the NJ law is bad, he must also be an idiot. There is no room for honest error even. I say the law is bad, therefore I am an idiot.

    In other words, those who disagree with your evaluation of a law are stupid. Is this a correct assertion?

  44. Amazing how far you wil go with a mischaracterization. I wonder if you will forever insist whenever someone says “I thought X was bad, but then I saw Y”, that what they REALLY mean to say is not in fact that Y is worse, but that they are equally bad. It amuses me to imagine so (and I thought your improper definition of “anecdote” was amusing! Get it?).

    Stop misquoting me. I said that you see the NJ law as either equally as bad or worse. For the second time, you have claimed that I said you think the laws are equally as bad. My original posts says otherwise, you’ve been told otherwise once, and now this is the third time you’ve needed reading assistance. (This is sort of like how you don’t think that anecdotal evidence means using personal experience in place of, ya know, statistics.)

    But we will never overcome that particular hurdle. I will just make it clear to any intellecually honest observers of this thread, that I believe the TN law is much worse than the NJ law. Let’s move on to the next hurdle, then.

    Intellectually honest? You’ve got to be kidding me. I just got through analyzing your sentence for you. I said that you think the NJ law “either isn’t as bad or it is equally as bad” as the TN law. And now you’ve said that you do, in fact, think the TN is worse than the NJ law. What is so wrong with you that you can’t keep up here?

    Mark: Wow, and I thought the NJ law was bad.
    Michael: Mark thinks the TN law is either nearly as bad or worse than the NJ law.
    Mark: Michael said I think the NJ law is as bad as the TN law.
    Michael: No, I said you think it is either nearly as bad or the TN law is worse.
    Mark: Michael said I think the NJ law is as bad as the TN law.
    Michael: Why am I even letting you post here? It’s clear you just want the last word. (I would point you to a huge slew of threads where others get the last word here, but then you would think I’m bragging.) You’re clogging up my Recent Comments widget every single day, it’s obvious to anyone that you’re wrong, and you’re just an immature little pissant who has a very loose grasp of the English language. I’m tired of letting you spam and troll on my website without restriction; you should be pleased with my patience, even as it continues with mild moderation on you.

  45. I’m trying to simplify things for you, Michael, by only concerning myself with one of your two wrong propositions.

    Your other proposition, by the way, was that I said they are nearly as bad as each other. You misquote yourself! And rely on that misquote!

    Anyway, ban away, I know I’m scary ;-)

  46. You did read it, right Michael? You might want to go back again and read it more carefully.

    “Harassment intimidation or bullying” means any gesture, any
    written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication ,
    whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents, that is
    reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or
    perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry,
    national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and
    expression, or a mental, physical or sensory [handicap] disability,
    or by any other distinguishing characteristic,”

    This law doesn’t make the distinctions you wish it did. I would have no problems if there was something here that required intent, but alas, it isn’t so.

    Now this fellow that killed himself because people made fun of him being gay. I’ll say what I did on that post. No one killed him, he killed himself. Now here we are regulating peoples speech in such a manner that regardless of their intentions or understanding, they, not only can be, but must be punished.

    As mark said over in the facebooks: “keep silent, lest we might offend”.

  47. Nate – It does make the distinctions I said. Granted, it expands them beyond what is usually seen in law in terms of housing, employment, etc, but it goes by distinguishing characteristic. Furthermore, when it talks about motivation it is talking about the intent of the harassing/bullying party. (Update: This can be continued elsewhere if you wish, Nate.)

    Mark – You were not banned. Your comment got caught by a filter and went into moderation. The fact that you click over here from your blog 25 times a day in order to see if I’ve responded shows an inane obsession; you are constantly filling up the recent comments section and killing other discussions. I wanted more than a few hours between your comments and bad arguments (such as the one claiming I misquoted myself somehow). But good job on immediately trying to avoid what you assumed was a ban because now you are banned. And boy did you earn it, scrotes.

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