Tag Archives: Governor Bill Haslam

Tennessee Law Nullifies First Amendment Right of Free Speech

More creeping Big-Brother state.

The state of Tennessee just passed a law that criminalizes free speech if an image posted online causes “emotional distress” to someone.

Randy of Patriot Action Network alerts us to a new law in Tennessee which 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.

Shame on you, Bill Haslam

The ban on distressing images, which was sponsored by Democrat Rep. Charles Curtis and signed by Republican Gov. William Edward “Bill” Haslam last week, is an update to an existing law that already makes it a crime to make phone calls, send emails, or otherwise communicate directly with someone in a manner the sender “reasonably should know” would “cause emotional distress” to the recipient. If the communication lacks a “legitimate purpose,” the sender faces jail time.

The new legislation adds images to the list of communications that can trigger criminal liability. But the “emotionally distressed” individual needs not be even 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 can face months in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

If you think the law sounds unconstitutional, you’re right. The Tennessee law is a gross violation of our First Amendment free speech right.

In a blog post, constitutional scholar Eugene Volokh points out just how broad the Tennessee legislation is. The law doesn’t require that the picture be of the “victim,” nor would the government need to prove that you intended the image to be distressing. Volokh points out that a wide variety of images, “pictures of Mohamed, or blasphemous jokes about Jesus Christ, or harsh cartoon insults of some political group,” could “cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities,” triggering liability. He calls the bill “pretty clearly unconstitutional.”

This legislation must be overturned and fast.

Can you just see Muslim Brotherhood groups like CAIR, ISNA, and ICNA using this unConstitutional law to silence, intimidate, and punish critics of jihadists?

[Original source: https://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/06/new-tenness…]

~Eowyn

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We're Broke, But Obama Welcomes 80,000 Muslim Refugees into America

We’re up to our eyeballs in debt. America’s national debt is at least $14.38 trillion. The plain truth is that our country is broke.
As Christians, we are exhorted to “love our neighbors.” But if we ourselves are broke, should we take in our “neighbors” from across the world? But that’s exactly what the federal government has been doing, “resettling” tens of thousands of mainly Muslim refugees, many from Africa’s Somalia, into the United States in the past few years.

The refugee resettlement is a federal government policy decision. Alas, that decision places great strains on local and state governments because it is they who bear the costs when those refugees are “resettled” in their communities.
Now, Paul L. Williams of the Last Crusade alerts us to Obama exacerbating the problem with his plan to let in some 80,000 mainly Muslim refugees this year.
In a determination letter to Congress, Obama announced that he will allow an additional 80,000 immigrants – mostly from Islamic countries in the Near (or Mid) East, South Asia, and Africa – to resettle in the United States during fiscal year 2011. Those 80,000 refugee immigrants are from the following places:

Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15,000
East Asia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19,000
Europe and Central Asia . . . . . . . . . . 2,000
Latin America/Caribbean. . . . . . . . . . . 5,500
Near East/South Asia. . . . . . . . . . . 35,500
Unallocated Reserve . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,000

Refugee Resettlement Watch and other organizations have expressed grave concern that Obama is allowing so many immigrants into the country while so many Americans remain out of work and living in poverty. Here are some grim statistics:

  • According to the US Department of Labor, 14.8 million Americans remain unemployed. 6.1 million have been out of work for 27 weeks or over.
  • The U. S. Census Bureau shows that the median household income for Americans has fallen to $49,777 – a decline of 0.7% in the past year.
  • One in seven Americans depend on food stamps.
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, 14.3% of Americans live in abject poverty.

Obama says that the resettlement of refugees “is justified by humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest.” A refugee is defined by the US Department of Immigration and Naturalization as someone who has left his/her country due to persecution or a fear of persecution. However, the definition of refugee is ‘fudged’ in several cases. “Refugees” who have not left their country due to persecution, according to Obama’s determination letter, can still be called “refugees” if they are from Iraq, one of the Islamic countries of the former Soviet Union, or Cuba.
According to Section 413 (a) of the Immigration and Nationalities Act, the Office of Refugee Resettlement is required to submit an annual report to Congress on the activities of the refugees. The report is supposed to include the number who are on public welfare programs. But the Office of Refugee Resettlement has not issued a report since 2007.
But the American people are not helpless in the face of Obama’s “largesse” on our collective behalf.
Act for America, a grassroots citizen action network based in Pensacola, Florida, has been in the forefront on this issue.
Tennessee has been particularly hard-hit by this avalanche of refugees. So two dedicated ACT! for America members in Tennessee crafted a bill to strengthen the state and local governments’ role in the refugee resettlement process. The bill recently passed both houses of the Tennessee legislature and was signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam (R).
Tennessee’s new law gives local governments a much stronger voice in the refugee resettlement process by requiring that local governments must be consulted as to their ability to “absorb” refugees before commitments to settle refugees can be made. “Absorb” refers to the ability of a local community to handle the housing, education and other needs of incoming refugees.
Thank our Founding Fathers for fashioning the new American Republic as a federation, instead of a unitary state where the central or national government holds all the power.
H/t beloved fellow Tina.
~Eowyn

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