In Which Sure, What The Hell, Arizona, You Come Arrest Me Too. Whatever.

Irksome, Law, Politics & Current Events

Daring state legislators to have me arrested is beginning to feel suspiciously like work.

Last week, you may recall, I sent the Connecticut Joint Committee on the Judiciary a rude post that would probably constitute a crime under the ridiculously overbroad cyberbullying bill they passed. Now a reliable source informs me that bill died in committee. Swell.

But do I get some down time to get some sleep and recover from this miserable chest cold and watch Lena Headey slap Jack Gleeson over and over again? No I do not.

Because fuck you, Arizona.

So tired.

Okay. Here we go. Cowboy up, Ken.

Dear Members of the Arizona State Legislature,

By this post, it is my specific intent to use this digital device — a computer — to annoy and offend you.

I do so because you have passed Arizona H.B. 2549, which provides in relevant part as follows:

It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use a telephone ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.

OK. I certainly don't intend to convey any physical threat. And I can't terrify or intimidate you, even with the prospect of revealing you for a pack of morons who ought to be voted out of office — after all, you're in Arizona, where prolonged lawlessness, venality and idiocy seem to be sure paths to electoral victory.

I certainly do mean to annoy and offend you, though. You've been swept up in the moronic and thoughtless anti-bullying craze and consequently passed a bill that is ridiculous on its face, a bill that criminalizes annoying and offending people on the internet. That's like criminalizing driving on the road. By so clearly violating the First Amendment, you've violated your oaths of office. You should be ashamed of yourselves. What kind of example are you setting for the children of Arizona by ignoring the law to pass fashionable rubbish? It is no excuse that you are merely modifying an archaic law to apply it to the internet — you're still enacting patently unconstitutional legislation.

and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act

Oh, yeah. Also, snort my taint, go to Hell, and go fuck yourselves.

There. I'm a criminal in Arizona. Send some of your cops to collect me. I know it may be temporarily confusing for them, as I'm not brown, but perhaps they can manage.

Come get me.

Cheers,

Ken

Last 5 posts by Ken White

35 Comments

32 Comments

  1. doug  •  Apr 3, 2012 @8:46 am

    bored?

  2. Wilhelm Arcturus  •  Apr 3, 2012 @8:52 am

    Watch out, Arizona is driving distance from you, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio seems like the type to take his circus on the road just for kicks (literal) and a bit of revenge.

  3. TJIC  •  Apr 3, 2012 @8:53 am

    > Send some of your cops to collect me

    Been there, done that.

    > Come get me.

    Maybe they'll compromise and just take your guns.

  4. Andrew  •  Apr 3, 2012 @8:55 am

    Steven Seagal is on his way to your office now.

  5. Ken  •  Apr 3, 2012 @8:57 am

    Steven Seagal is on his way to your office now

    Uh-oh. His odd puffiness is off-putting.

  6. Al  •  Apr 3, 2012 @9:16 am

    Do you get your security deposit back if he drives an APC through the office?

  7. Sam Devol  •  Apr 3, 2012 @9:51 am

    Any chance these legislative turds are connected to ALEC?

  8. Jack B.  •  Apr 3, 2012 @10:26 am

    This being Arizona, I'm surprised there isn't an enhanced penalty for offensive language written in español.

  9. Josh  •  Apr 3, 2012 @10:45 am

    "His odd puffiness is off-putting."

    Are his fingers puffy? Does that put you off strongly enough to annoy or offend you? Then perhaps he is a criminal himself, with his digital offensiveness and all.

  10. Damian P.  •  Apr 3, 2012 @10:56 am

    I'm starting to think your State legislators are even stupider than Canadian Provincial legislators, if such a thing is imaginable.

  11. Landru  •  Apr 3, 2012 @11:08 am

    You should be okay, as long as you don't wear a hoodie when they come for you.

  12. John Kennedy  •  Apr 3, 2012 @11:14 am

    So if I call my wife on the cellphone and say "Hey Baby, let's get it on..or I won't do the dishes for a week" and do my worst Lou Rawls voice…. that's a crime in Arizona? I think I have all of the elements…electronic device-check. Intimidate–check. Lewd, obscene, and lascivious- check and check and check. (The Lou Rawls voice makes it obscene i think).

  13. Jay  •  Apr 3, 2012 @11:23 am

    I think you're going to be OK. You've probably got to watch for Randall "Tex" Cobb, though.

  14. skwilli  •  Apr 3, 2012 @11:48 am

    I'm hoping that by commenting on this I can be an accessory after the fact or something. I'm in PA, so you'll need to send out two groups.

  15. Jason Summers  •  Apr 3, 2012 @11:51 am

    "snort my taint, go to Hell, and go fuck yourselves"

    En español (because they hate foreign speakers almost as much as brown people, but not quite as much as foreign-speaking brown people):

    "que huelan mi entrepierna, que se vayan al demonio y que se chinguen" (alternatively, "que se jodan" or "que se cojan" for the last one)

  16. Bob  •  Apr 3, 2012 @12:09 pm

    Uh-oh. His odd puffiness is off-putting.
    Really, Kentle, you went there?

    Anyway, surely you understand that your depiction isn't the intent of the law and no-one would EVER EVER EVER use it to criminalize harmless free-speech on the Internet that happens to say.. embarass them or something. C'mon.. prosecutors and state officials are more responsible than that.

  17. Dead Lenny  •  Apr 3, 2012 @12:23 pm

    Dear Arizona,

    Next time don't bite so hard when I come, okay?

    There. Maybe we can can get enough people in California to say mean things they have to charter a fleet of buses to collect us all.

    (Oh, and John Kennedy? I've always found a Barry White voice is more effective. It's smoother and more resonant.)

  18. Arizona, take of your rainbow shades  •  Apr 3, 2012 @12:41 pm

    @John Kennedy. I think you were going for Barry White and you landed on Lou Rawls by mistake. Not that Lou Rawls didn't also have quite the voice — but I'm pretty sure you meant Barry White there.

  19. Christoph  •  Apr 3, 2012 @3:13 pm

    I'm Spartacus.

    In other words, fuck you, Arizona legislators, and be alarmed and annoyed as well.

    But this is a stupid, unconstitutional law and they aren't going to extradite anyone across state lines to have it defeated in court there. I wonder if they'll even bother prosecuting people under those provisions, since to prosecute is quite possibly to have their pretty little unconstitutional control-freak nanny statistic law overturned.

  20. Ned  •  Apr 3, 2012 @5:19 pm
  21. Carla  •  Apr 3, 2012 @10:24 pm

    I understand that you think the bill overstepped, but I have to strongly disagree with this:

    You've been swept up in the moronic and thoughtless anti-bullying craze and consequently passed a bill that is ridiculous on its face, a bill that criminalizes annoying and offending people on the internet. That's like criminalizing driving on the road.

    I really wouldn't label the effort to stem the tide of unbridled vileness on the internet as "moronic and thoughtless."

    People hide behind the internet and say things that they would never consider saying in person. They think they can get away with it because they think it is "anonymous."

    I've seen businesses ruined, marriages broken up, and people harassed to the point of having to move because of harassment and unchecked libel on the internet.

    That comment almost seems like you think the internet was made to annoy and insult people.

    The problem is that legislators are dealing with an issue that the majority can't even begin to get their hands around. Rather than mocking them, why don't you give them some constructive criticism on how to tackle the issue.

  22. Crissa  •  Apr 4, 2012 @1:03 am

    Isn't what is more important about the bullying laws is the impact that bullying has, not the form it comes in? Shouldn't they be more in the way of anti-intimidation laws, rather than anti 'you said a bad word online' laws?

  23. Damon  •  Apr 4, 2012 @4:32 am

    As batshit as AZ is, I'd rather live with those idiots than the idots in NY, MD, DC, etc.

    Least there I can open carry..

    Wait…there's also sherrif joe…well…maybe not….ah…it's been pulled…back to my original statement…

  24. John  •  Apr 4, 2012 @5:43 am

    yea…Barry White….darn I hate correcting my posts

  25. Tam  •  Apr 4, 2012 @7:31 am

    Carla,

    Free speech is not an "issue".

  26. Josh  •  Apr 4, 2012 @7:57 am

    @Damon: You can in DE, too! Yes, an open-carry blue state! Amazing, isn't it? Of course, then you're in…[Wayne's World]Delaware…[/Wayne's World]

  27. MamaLiberty  •  Apr 4, 2012 @9:46 am

    Carla, you've got it just backwards. Nobody on earth has any "right" not to be offended or upset. It is each individual's responsibility to deal with life as they find it, or avoid all of those offensive and irritating things the best they can. Nobody is obligated to make you feel happy, safe or anything else.

    And as for "laws" against annoying, derogatory, lewd and hateful speech… anyone listened to a tape of a SWAT raid lately?

  28. Linus  •  Apr 4, 2012 @11:52 am

    I really wouldn't label the effort to stem the tide of unbridled vileness on the internet as "moronic and thoughtless."

    People hide behind the internet and say things that they would never consider saying in person. They think they can get away with it because they think it is "anonymous."

    I think you mean you wouldn't label the wish to stem the tide of vileness on the internet as "moronic and thoughtless". Heck, I wish that too, kind of, in the sense that, on the whole, I wish people wouldn't be dicks. But sometimes I am dick without meaning to be, and sometimes I am dick while meaning to be, because I am trying to make a point (or because I have not gotten enough sleep). Translating that vague wish into actual legislation which is horrifyingly overbroad and which would create far more harm than it solves…yeah, that's moronic and thoughtless.

  29. Ken  •  Apr 4, 2012 @11:56 am

    I really wouldn't label the effort to stem the tide of unbridled vileness on the internet as "moronic and thoughtless."

    I'm not labeling every effort to stem the tide of unbridled vileness on the internet as "moronic and thoughtless." For instance, I applaud more-speech remedies centered around calling out bad actors and supporting victims. I am, however, absolutely labeling THIS effort — that is, the current wave of knee-jerk incompetently-drafted clearly-unconstitutional People-magazine-pandering "cyberbully" laws — as moronic and thoughtless. And I stand by that opinion.

  30. Michael Powers  •  Apr 5, 2012 @5:33 am

    Is it too much to ask that these mouth-breathing swamp folk actually think even the simplest concepts through to their logical conclusion? Even a casual glance at the wording of this bill should have raised some questions with someone. I can't believe this thing made it all the way to the governor's desk.

    It was probably scrawled in crayon.

  31. SPQR  •  Apr 8, 2012 @9:14 am

    "That comment almost seems like you think the internet was made to annoy and insult people. "

    I was around during the '80's and peripherally involved in network standards issues. And I can assure you that the only reason we created what became the Internet was to annoy and insult people. The only reason.

  32. sofa  •  Apr 9, 2012 @4:19 pm

    TJIC !

    I am ashamed that I could not do more for you, when they came for you.

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