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      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008 edited
     (1306.21)
    EDIT: I deleted this comment because it was fucking with the chi of the coversation. Totally unrelated and silly.
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      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008
     (1306.22)
    Sorry, I wrote that last bit before I saw john and Chris' response.
    Chris--
    I'd argue that the issue in that sense is not with the gay person, but with his fucked up Christ-monkey parents that have instilled in him a fear of what is perfectly natural. He should be allowed to just say it shouldn't he? But I guess he isn't allowed to just say it... so it is a problem, and so we do need some form of privacy for the sake of his protection, you're right. Hate crimes are a problem not with the victims, but with the crazy assholes doing the killing, but until that problem is rectified, we do need some privacy statutes for the sake of protection.

    Homer Simpson would argue that all gays should be out of the closet- "I like my beer cold, and my homosexuals FLAMIN'!"
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      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008
     (1306.23)
    and john-
    Every law is a restriction on your freedom. It seems to me, that's the definiton of a law. So that mode of argument would seem to imply that so long as a law restricts freedom, it should not exist, and therefore since all laws restrict freedoms, there should be no laws? I'm extrapolating there, but I think the idea is to find a balance so we have some degree of freedom, but not to the point where I have to fear all the crazy people indulging in their freedom to rape and pillage and whatnot.
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      CommentAuthorliquidcow
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008
     (1306.24)
    It's not just about things involving prejudice and potential hate crimes. What if somebody wants to speak out about some form of injustice but can't do so for fear of reprisals (an insider in a company or a person in a totalitarian country, for example). What if someone wants to help or support others by relating their experiences to others (for example of abuse or personal issues), but doesn't want to make their identity public. What about anyone asking for advice of a personal nature (medical, sexual, etc)? Of course there are ways that anonymity can be used irresponsibly or maliciously, but there are just as many ways in which it can be at the very least beneficial, if not essential to helping people or even saving lives. Privacy is as much a human right as freedom of speech and in many cases you can't have one without the other. Still, I have no worried that this law will pass as it's obviously not been thought through at all and is unworkable.
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      CommentAuthorjohnjones
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2008
     (1306.25)
    and john-
    Every law is a restriction on your freedom. It seems to me, that's the definiton of a law. So that mode of argument would seem to imply that so long as a law restricts freedom, it should not exist, and therefore since all laws restrict freedoms, there should be no laws? I'm extrapolating there, but I think the idea is to find a balance so we have some degree of freedom, but not to the point where I have to fear all the crazy people indulging in their freedom to rape and pillage and whatnot.


    Okay, let's extrapolate a little, then. How much prison time should a person violating the "real identity" law serve? How much extra tax money are you willing to pay to expand the FBI cybercrimes unit to patrol the internet to find people not using their real names?
    '
    And in terms of extrapolation, would you feel comfortable extending the "real identity law" to real life? Would you be okay with yourself and everyone else around you being forced to wear a clearly visible name tag listing your full name, home address and telephone number? And would you also be okay with going to prison for leaving the house without your ID badge because you got arrested by a cop for "identity concealment?"

    One of the big points about America's founding was that the government was both responsible and subservient to the people who empowered. Government officials aren't American citizens' masters, they're our servants. We as a people recognize our human frailties and invest our officials with the power (in theory) to protect us from the bad elements within our body politic. However, we also strictly limit (again, in theory) the powers of our government officials to avoid being abused by those same officials.

    Every time we make a law, we (ideally) balance the resulting loss of freedom against the benefit the law promises to bring. So, the "real idenity" law presents the following question: Is the substantial loss of privacy caused by this law worth the fact that no longer will a law-abiding citizen of the United States be able to call me a "poo-poo head" while hiding their name behind the title "manginalover69?"

    I'm going to say no to that one.
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      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2008 edited
     (1306.26)
    Alright, clearly the majpr flaw in my argument is that I'm idealizing. I'm saying that ina perfect world, we wouldn't have to be afraid of anyone having our address, because everyone is reasonable enough to not hunt us down for calling them poo poo heads. I don't know why I would even pose that argument though, because this isn't a hypothetical situation. The guy really is trying to apply this law to our world, and that's fucked up, because I know some people will feel murderous rage over manginalover69 saying that Toy Story 2 sucked. As long as we're so unreasonable as a species as to warrant fear on every front, then yes, people should be afraid to express themselves and publicly ashamed of their private opinions. All I mean to say is that I think it's a little backwards that we seem to be making these choices based on fear of what others will do to us, because that intimidation, I belive, is in opposition to freedom of speech. However, that's not really what the discussion was about, so my bad. This law and our current state of being cannot coexist. Fuck that legistlator, and it's a good thing that the law has no chance of passing.

    I guess what I'm saying, (if we extrapolate a little) is that we do not have freedom of speech when we are afraid or ashamed to link our words to our identities. If we had freedom of speech, this law would be fine. It's not illegal for me to say I'm gay, but it is illegal for someone to kill me for having said I'm gay. But legality by no means dictates reality, so let's all hide from the evil racist bigots behind our screen names.
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      CommentAuthorjohnjones
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2008
     (1306.27)
    I guess what I'm saying, (if we extrapolate a little) is that we do not have freedom of speech when we are afraid or ashamed to link our words to our identities. If we had freedom of speech, this law would be fine. It's not illegal for me to say I'm gay, but it is illegal for someone to kill me for having said I'm gay. But legality by no means dictates reality, so let's all hide from the evil racist bigots behind our screen names.


    Now you're just overdramatizing your point. For the record I'm really not that afraid of evil racist bigots. Ashamed and annoyed by them, yes. Afraid of them, no. Mostly because I'm already a white Christian male heterosexual from the Southern United States of America. If anybody's already on the Evil Bigot Approval List, it's me.

    So, my opposition to the "real identity" doesn't come from a place of shame or fear so much as from a peevish annoyance at having my choices removed. Both my screen and real names are John Jones. Despite our Mr. Ellis' loosening of the "real name" policy for this website, I chose to use my real name here. I chose that. I don't want my government taking that choice away from me unless it can clearly demonstrate a marked improvement in the general welfare of myself and my society in doing so.
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      CommentAuthorTelecart
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2008
     (1306.28)
    i wonder where they got that idea...

    Your freedoms are constitutionally protected. Who is to say what will happen to mine.
  1.  (1306.29)
    From a standpoint of rights it doesn't matter why someone would want to comment anonymously. I may not want to use my real name while blurting my opinion that John Byrne is a fuckwit of the first water, or that I'd really love to shag Jessica Alba (or Christopher Eccleston), or that my town's mayor is a world-class embezzler, simply because I'm a cowardly twit -- but I have a right to be a cowardly twit. And people have a right to discount my opinion, or not, based on my withholding my name, depending on the context of the situation. Forum owners also have the right to permit anonymous commenting, or not, based on their own judgment.

    And if the law in a given locale is consistent with rights it will respect this.

    Now, getting back to the original situation which sparked this thread -- the Kentucky legislator who is proposing a law that he knows is unConstitutional, that scumbag is most likely in violation of his oath of office -- such oaths usually including a pledge to defend the Constitution of the U.S. and the relevant state thereof. And he needs to be impeached yesterday.

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