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A Crime to Emotionally Distress People?

The Missouri Legislature just passed a bill that, among other things, makes it a crime whenever someone

(4) Knowingly communicates with another person who is, or who purports to be, seventeen years of age or younger and in so doing and without good cause recklessly frightens, intimidates, or causes emotional distress to such other person; or ...

(6) Without good cause engages in any other act with the purpose to frighten, intimidate, or cause emotional distress to another person, cause such person to be frightened, intimidated, or emotionally distressed, and such person's response to the act is one of a person of average sensibilities considering the age of such person.

So ordinary teasing would be a crime, so long as it causes "emotional distress" and is "without good cause" (as much teasing would be). And a wide range of other speech and conduct is a potential crime, depending on whether a judge or jury concludes you had "good cause" for your actions. And if the action is done by someone 21 or over against someone who's 17 or younger, it's a felony.

So you're annoyed by a 16-year-old who's too loud, and you insult them in front of friends in a way that's "emotionally distressing" — under the new law, you'd be a felon. You're annoyed by what you see as poor service from a 16-year-old employee in a store, and you berate them in front of other customers in a way that's "emotionally distressing," and you'd be a felon if the judge or jury concludes that the public berating is "[w]ithout good cause." And whenever two 13-year-olds distress each other without good cause, they'd both be committing misdemeanors. I hope the governor vetoes the bill, but I have no reason to expect that.

Dan Solove has a lot more. Looks like an overreaction to the Megan Meier teasing-leading-to-suicide case, which is indeed a tragedy but which certainly doesn't justify a response as broad and vague as this one.

Jiminy (mail):
Think of the children!

I hated getting bullied as a kid, but it taught me two wonderful skills, in this order:

1.Learn to run fast from bigger bullies.
2.Learn to strike with wit and funnier insults than what is hurled at you.

If my kid can learn those two skills, he will go through life scar-free (emotional and physical).
5.20.2008 5:12pm
Smokey:
"Emotional distress" is completely subjective. It is feelings. It can not be quantified objectively. George Orwell would understand where this is leading us.
5.20.2008 5:13pm
E:
Jiminy, you're full of shit — I had that ability, and still got teased all the time.
5.20.2008 5:19pm
wfjag:
I guess that it will be a felony for a parents in Missouri to tell their minor child to go clean his or her room. I wonder if a teacher's assigning homework meets the "good cause" defense, especially if the minor receives a failing grade for failing to do it?
5.20.2008 5:20pm
Jen:
My son lives in Missouri. He's 20 years old. His girlfriend is 17. If he happens to break up with her in a nasty way for no good cause, and she is emotionally distressed by that, then he can be charged with a crime?

Better tell him to be nice to her- he's kind of a mouthy kid.
5.20.2008 5:35pm
Dave N (mail):
The axiom that bad cases make bad law comes immediately to mind.
5.20.2008 5:39pm
Paul Milligan (mail):
Jiminy -

# 3 - have a good right jab.

This law is just another pathetic example of inept and incompetent politicians pandering to the headlines.

The law in effect says 'You have to be nice'. 'You can't be a meanie or we'll put you in jail'. Incredible.

It'll get shot down, of course, on so many grounds - vageuness, 1st AMendment, etc, but sadly the lawyers will get a few more million bucks first.
5.20.2008 5:44pm
Rosta Ruck:
HS football coaches around Mo. must be getting nervous.
5.20.2008 5:49pm
john w. (mail):
I have this fantasy that if I were ever king-for-a-day, I'd push through a constitutional amendment to the effect that Legislatures (and Congress, for that matter) can only meet for a maximum of one month every other year; and the salary would be inversely proportional to the number of laws that they pass.
5.20.2008 5:51pm
H Tuttle:

And if the action is done by someone 21 or over against someone who's 17 or younger, it's a felony.


Sheesh-a-loo! What isn't a felony these days? And I'm saying this as a member in good standing of two state bars and the District -- since being convicted of a felony means automatic disbarment and concomitant loss of livelihood.

ASIDE: Is their an exception for parents discipling their children?
5.20.2008 5:53pm
Snowdog99 (mail):
No one likes to be teased or bullied, but it is a fact of life. Learn to deal with it as a child, or it will forever haunt you as you experience it in the adult world. This is but another example of Government trying to provide "cradle-to-grave" nanny services to an increasingly inept and infantile populace.

As others have observed: what constitutes "emotional distress?" Truly, this is a highly subjective concept which will vary considerably from individual to individual.

It also makes for a dandy excuse to seek revenge against someone (a boss, spouse, ex-lover, etc.) with whom you don't get along. In one sense, this law could invite a new form of bullying via state-sponsored "terrorism" - punitive measures used against a person expressing their potentially controversial or unpleasant opinion of another.

I will wait patiently for the higher courts to kick this one out the door.
5.20.2008 5:58pm
Zeno (www):
There are obvious problems with this law:
1) it's a hurried reaction to an unfortunate event - in no way did it get the policy debate something this large deserves. Instead we got a "Do you hate bad people?" debate.
2) it's very broad and very subjective - obviously the law can't seriously mean to ban ALL emotional distress, so when is it enough to be a felony
3) because of the circumstances this law was based in, nobody big and influential had the balls to tell the legislature "This isn't our business."
5.20.2008 6:06pm
alkali (mail):
[I'm taking the liberty of cross-posting my comment at Megan McArdle's blog on the same subject, which may contain some useful information:]

The following Missouri state statutes might be relevant here:

-- "Recklessly causing the death of another person" constitutes involuntary manslaughter under Missouri law.

-- "Knowingly inflicting cruel and inhuman punishment upon a child less than seventeen years old" constitutes the crime of child abuse.

-- "To engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that serves no legitimate purpose, that would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and that actually causes substantial emotional distress to that person" constitutes harassment, and to harass someone intentionally constitutes stalking.
5.20.2008 6:10pm
Donna B. (mail) (www):
I'm with John W.

Though not a lawyer or even someone ever planning to go to law school, this is so obviously vague to not be valid.
5.20.2008 6:12pm
Houston Lawyer:
I think the proposed law is stupid. However, the woman who inspired it should be horse whipped.
5.20.2008 6:16pm
Bama 1L:
I kind of like the idea of frightening, intimidating, or causing emotional distress to someone with good cause.
5.20.2008 6:16pm
Zubon (mail) (www):
What about the line immediately prior?
(3) Knowingly frightens, intimidates, or causes emotional distress to another person by anonymously making a telephone call or any electronic communication;


Am I reading this correctly, that knowingly causing emotional distress to anyone online would be a misdemeanor (felony if the distressed is 17 or under)? I presume that any site hosting such criminal material would also face some liability, as an accessory to felony harassment or some such.
5.20.2008 6:24pm
Fub:
Just for comparison, CA has long had a misdemeanor statute prohibiting annoying a child.
CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE SECTION 647.6. (a) (1) Every person who annoys or molests any child under 18 years of age shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment. ...
647.6 was once commonly used as a plea bargain offer on weak attempted PC 288 (molestation) cases. It is not limited to that use though. The meaning of "annoy" is no more clear than "emotional distress".
5.20.2008 6:40pm
Timothy Sandedur (mail) (www):
Would this law prohibit telling a child that there is no Santa Claus?
5.20.2008 6:42pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
What a great law. Imagine the possibilities when such a law is applied to those who gang up on persons with autism. Woo Hooooo. All the states should immediately pass the same law. And regarding the auto-disabarment of any atty qualified thru A-B-D-C tests who is stupid enough to violate such a law, well all I can say is ...

Wooo Hooooo Weeee Heeee Woooppeeee da ba do-da!

It's about time some people with only half a brain who evade taking neuropsychological tests to qualify for their atty licenses, law clerk positions,
5.20.2008 7:02pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
What a surprise .. the blog posted my post before I was done composing it.

To finish the point I was making,

It's about time some people with only half a brain who evade taking neuropsychological tests to qualify for their atty licenses, law clerk positions, and security clearances are held accountable by SOME law protecting those they like to gang-up on.

Imagine the possibilities under the McDade Amendment!
5.20.2008 7:04pm
MXE (mail):
Wow, nice. A single tragic suicide, and a sovereign state makes it a felony to be mean.
5.20.2008 7:20pm
JBL:
So the question now is, are the legal standards for "cause emotional distress" more or less restrictive than the legal standards for "without good cause"?

Because really...
5.20.2008 7:41pm
SMatthewStolte (mail):
What is the reasoning behind the "or purports to be" clause?
5.20.2008 7:49pm
CDR D (mail):
Being "teased"? Been there, done that. Gimme a break.

In my experience, the best response was always to call the bully's bluff. Yeah, I got the crap beat out of me a few times, but the bully went home hurting too.

It was worth it. Very satisfying.

The surprising thing to me (at the time) was that more often not the bully never took up the challenge.

But, that was 50 years ago...
5.20.2008 7:53pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Frof. Volokh: Obviously you have pondered the Megan Meier case because you criticized the grounds for prosecution in the Megan Meier case; now you're criticizing the law meant to prevent a repeat of the Megan Meier case for being broad and vague. Have these thoughts given you any ideas how to draft a law to stop adults from using the internet to distress vulnerable children to the point of suicide?
5.20.2008 8:13pm
hattio1:
Tony Tutins,
I'm sure that Professor Volokh will come up with a thoughtful answer, and probably more thoughtful than mine. But, why should the criminal law come up with any such law? Social shame, common decency and the threat of massive punitive damages have managed to keep people from doing this in large numbers for the entirety of our country's long life. One counter-example doesn't necessarily mean we should abandon that approach. Now, making it easier to bankrupt the woman who did this, or better yet, to make sure she can't discharge her debt in bankruptcy...I'm all for that.
5.20.2008 8:19pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
A couple of points in response to the comments: When I was a kid there was the kid world and the adult world, whose points seldom touched. Adult peer pressure kept any would-be adult bullying of children in check. Further, before the internet, you knew who was harassing/stalking you. There was no anonymous bullying. Finally, the girl did not know she was being bullied.

any site hosting such criminal material would also face some liability The telephone line is not an accessory to libel but a neutral channel of communication. I think webhosts are not publishers but channels as well. Only those who provide the content should be responsible.
5.20.2008 8:20pm
QuintCarte (mail):
(3) Knowingly frightens, intimidates, or causes emotional distress to another person by anonymously making a telephone call or any electronic communication;

Receiving telemarketing phone calls, and spam email, both cause me emotional distress, and both are generally done anonymously. Who do I call about starting a prosecution?
5.20.2008 8:24pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

from doing this in large numbers for the entirety of our country's long life

Victimization like this were not possible before the anonymity and ubiquity of the internet. The perpetrator has no sense of shame. The consequences are grave. She is at least as culpable in Megan's death as an Internet trader of child pornography is in the sexual exploitation of children. Talk show host Bernie Ward faces five years in prison for trading images on the Internet -- that would be a reasonable sentence for this woman.
5.20.2008 8:29pm
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):
So they just outlawed campfire stories?

And what happens if I'm at a restaurant and a 16 year old waitress screws up my order -- is it now a felony to yell at her, or does that constitute good cause?
5.20.2008 8:50pm
Fub:
hattio1 wrote at 5.20.2008 7:19pm:
I'm sure that Professor Volokh will come up with a thoughtful answer, and probably more thoughtful than mine. But, why should the criminal law come up with any such law? Social shame, common decency and the threat of massive punitive damages have managed to keep people from doing this in large numbers for the entirety of our country's long life. One counter-example doesn't necessarily mean we should abandon that approach.
I think the Missouri statute is ambiguously and vaguely worded, as well as downright bizarre because it prohibits speech between adults:
"...communicates with another person who is, or who purports to be, seventeen years of age or younger".
But I do not think it is entirely unprecedented, as I pointed out CA's longstanding PC Section 647.6 above.

I also don't entirely oppose laws prohibiting strangers abusing children emotionally, any more than I would oppose laws prohibiting family abusing children emotionally. Adults who prey on a child in non-physical and non-sexual but abusive ways are possibly, though not always, terribly damaging the child just as physical and sexual abuse damages children.

But I do think that such statutes must be much better written than Missouri's, or CA's for that matter. If the purpose of the statute really is to protect children from abuse, then it must be written to do that, not written to make a rational adult afraid to interact socially with a child.

This statute also would not even be necessary in the Megan Meir case. As Alkali pointed out at 5.20.2008 5:10pm, Megan Meir's tormentor may be prosecutable under Missouri's stalking and harassment statute.
5.20.2008 9:15pm
EconomicNeocon (mail):
Looks like coaching high school kids in Missouri is likely to land you in jail should this pass.
5.20.2008 9:20pm
LarryA (mail) (www):
Victimization like this were not possible before the anonymity and ubiquity of the internet.
Obviously you never heard of gossip. It was around even before telephones.

What about all the teenage vampire/monster/slasher movies. Can you volunteer to be emotionally distressed? And what about public school?
5.20.2008 9:26pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Surely there are concerned Missouri teens who are emotionally distressed by what their state legislature is doing to their state?
5.20.2008 9:31pm
Thoughtful (mail):
So if I purport to be 17 or younger, police stops and tax audits will no longer be able to touch me...
5.20.2008 10:44pm
Thoughtful (mail):
Just to clarify, I was noting the POSITIVE aspects of the law...
5.20.2008 10:45pm
whit:
"Have these thoughts given you any ideas how to draft a law to stop adults from using the internet to distress vulnerable children to the point of suicide?"

this really encapsulates what's wrong with the nannystate mindseet(tm) so perfectly epitomized above.

govt. should not be in the business of drafting laws to stop people from being mean, saying mean things, etc. and that's what this law does.

and fwiw, there is already a perfectly good solution to these problems that does not have all the orwellian thought control problems and nannystate factors built in. and i recommend this solution to people when they call the cops with such problems.

it's called an ANTI-HARASSMENT ORDER

if somebody is causing you emotional distress AND they refuse to stop when you tell them to, then get a frigging PROTECTION ORDER. it's civil. you don't need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt anything ,and since nobody has a RIGHT to speak/contact/email/phone you in particular, you simply put them on notice that any future contact of ANY sort is a crime.

this means judges aren't placed in a situation of determining whether something is a crime because the person did or din't have "good cause" to be mean.

if somebody is being mean to you, and they won't stop when you tell them to stop calling/emailing you, etc.

get a protective order.

and yes. parents can get them on behalf of their OH SO FRAGILE KIDS.

but here's a hint. fragile people are going to commit suicide. the solution is worse than the problem when we create terrible laws such as the above in order to try to reduce that risk. we can complain about ozzy osbourne songs, or mean people, but the simple reality is that life is fragile, and that people are ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN DECISIONS.
5.20.2008 11:01pm
Jmaie (mail):
Receiving telemarketing phone calls, and spam email, both cause me emotional distress, and both are generally done anonymously.

My daughter will be answering the phone from now on...
5.20.2008 11:39pm
Rochesterian (mail):
WHIT SAID:

"fragile people are going to commit suicide."

Whit, I have a hypo:

You post under an anonynous name, but in reality you wear robes.

You know or should know a high-functioning autistic woman's mother committed suicide by self-immolation. The woman has appeared before your court in a sua sponte "show cause" hearing whereby you accused her of being "blind" when she asked you if a court reporter was present.

Being a sick-#uck-in-robes who truly believes "fragile people are going to commit suicide," you anonymously urge her on an internet post to watch "Carrie" with Spacek. You also believe if she follows your advice, she will likely have a break-down and hopefully (for you), commit suicide.

Moreover, the "protective order' you refer to above requires the signature of yourself or one of your robed-chums.

Perhaps now you understand why I keep beating the same drum that frequent neuro-psychological testing must be required for all Article-III players.

DEAL WITH IT.
5.21.2008 12:05am
ReaderY:
Intentional (or even negligent) infliction of emotional distress has been a common-law tort for some time. The language of the Missouri law may deserve to be tightened, but fundamentally, what can be made a tort can be made a crime if an appropriate scienter requirement is added. A legislature is entitled to decide that a civil remedy is insufficient and criminal penalties are needed.

I would agree the tort has been overused, can be interpreted overly broadly, and has resulted in suits where the parties would be much better off simply having thicker skins. But there are also really outrageous cases out there.
5.21.2008 12:34am
whit:
"A legislature is entitled to decide that a civil remedy is insufficient and criminal penalties are needed. "

just because a law COULD be passed ie it passes constitutional muster doesn't mean it should be.

let's assume it's within the authority of the legislature to pass the law, it's not overbroad etc. (which is a big assumption, but so be it).

it's still TERRIBLE policy.

this is a free society. that includes the freedom to offend and be mean. there are plenty of options. block the person's email address, tell them to STOP bothering you, and if they continue get a protective order.

we don't need nannystate stepping in and criminalizing being mean
5.21.2008 3:31am
Bama 1L:
How could Meier have gotten a protective order? She did not know what was happening or who was making it happen.

Social shame, common decency and the threat of massive punitive damages have managed to keep people from doing this in large numbers for the entirety of our country's long life.

If there's that much consensus that this is bad behavior, why not attach criminal liability? The problem with relying on "social shame, common decency and the threat of massive punitive damages" is that these don't protect the most vulnerable victims very effectively--or deter shameless, indecent, and insolvent offenders.
5.21.2008 6:10am
Brian Mac:
I think I've just been criminalized. Time to seek out some new hobbies...
5.21.2008 7:27am
whit:
"How could Meier have gotten a protective order? She did not know what was happening or who was making it happen. "

i was talking about the law in general. the thread has evolved. :)

in regards to her case, her first option (imo duty) once she realized she was bein' played, or she was bothered was to block the frigging sender AND tell them not to bother her anymore. personal responsibility.

regardless, my point is its kneejerk legislation. there are plenty of ways to protect yourself from people who are bothering you. but they take, lord forbid, a little effort.


"If there's that much consensus that this is bad behavior, why not attach criminal liability?"

god. here we go again

why is this so hard to understand? just because something is BAD BEHAVIOR doesn't mean it should be criminal. here. i'll give you a list of bad behavior.

1) calling a woman fat
2) fat people wearing spandex
3) wearing really ugly clothes
4) making a website that say your neighbor is a jerk
5) saying mean things to somebody
6) CURLING in the squat rack (actually, this should be a hanging offense)
7) dropping in on me at ANY surf spot
8) telling a girl you love her, when you really don't in order to schtup her
9) leading a guy on in order to get free meals
10) chewing with your mouth open

" The problem with relying on "social shame, common decency and the threat of massive punitive damages" is that these don't protect the most vulnerable victims very effectively--or deter shameless, indecent, and insolvent offenders."

and it is infinitely worse to criminalize meanness since we then turn GOVERNMENT into the arbiter of naughty and nice words, infantilize the citizenry, pass de facto prior restraint laws (afraid to say anything that could be mean), etc. etc.

really. people need to butch the hell up and realize that it's a tough world out there and some people are mean. ignore them, or fight back. don't go whinging to mommy govt. to help you if somebody hurts your poor feelings
5.21.2008 12:35pm
Rochesterian (mail):
WHIT SAID:
"this is a free society. that includes the freedom to offend and be mean"


Whit,
Define "offend and be mean."
My take is people who think they have a right to offend and be mean are not normal. They are sociopaths with dangerous propensities to carry their bullying behavior to tragic extremes.

What's your take, Whit?
Maybe you should curb those rare, aged beef-steaks you gorge-on daily before you attempt a rational answer.

When criminal penalties are imposed for such behavior, the victim has a few additional nifty cards in his/her deck.

Look at the sexual harrassment escapades of your buddies (and former colleagues) Florida Sixth Judicial Circuit Judges Charles Cope and Brant Downey. Their B/S carried on for years and years, until the newspapers finally did them in.

Need I add U.S. District Court Judges Edward Nottingham and Samuel Kent into the equation as well?

As you can see, the perp is often a big-wig, used to bullying or groping people and getting away with it because his/her station in life has everyone scared and/or intimidated (judge, CEO, POTUS). Elevating his/her behavior to a felony crime levels the playing field.
5.21.2008 1:29pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"If there's that much consensus that this is bad behavior, why not attach criminal liability? The problem with relying on "social shame, common decency and the threat of massive punitive damages" is that these don't protect the most vulnerable victims very effectively--or deter shameless, indecent, and insolvent offenders" ----->

Exactly.

For example, while Whit says "if somebody is causing you emotional distress AND they refuse to stop when you tell them to, then get a frigging PROTECTION ORDER. it's civil," yet a lawyer representing a person to whom the Federal jusge points and utters "Are you blind?" informs the disabled American that IF EITHER HE OR SHE RAISES THE ISSUE OF NEVESSITY OF ACCOMMODATIONS FOR VISION IMPAIRMENT WITH THE FEDERAL JUDGE, THEY WILL ALL BE SANCTIONED IN CONTEMPT OF COURT.

Now THERE's a real prior-restraint, for ya.

And, moreover, Whit doe not give one *hint* how a blind/vision impaired person would be able to independently obtain the so-called protective order, when THE FLORIDA STATE COURT SYSTEM ABND PRO SE FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM IS ALL BASED ON PAPER SUCH BLIND/VISION IMPAIRED PEOPLE CANNOT SEE TO READ OR WRITE UPON!!!

Noe THERE's a class of vulnerable people WHO CAN'T FIGHT BACK, CAN'T PROTECT THEMSELVES -- absent accommodations for their blindness/vision impairments! Cf. American Council of the Blind v. Paulson, No. 07-5063 (D.C. Cir. May 20, 2008). If blind people are entitled to be accommodated with respect to the mney the U.S. Treasury prints, HOW MUCH MORE IMOORTANT ARE BLIND/VISION IMPAIRMENT ACCOMMOATIONS FOR MEANINGFUL ACCESS TO A COURT OF LAW TO OBTAIN A PROTECTIVE ORDER!!

Call it "An ANTI-HARASSMENT ORder" against one who points and utters "Are you blind!"

Short of the United States Supreme Court issuing a definitive ruling that blind/vision impaired disabled AMericans get accommodations to the inaccessible PAPER use to deny them access to services everywhere they find it, including, but not limited to, money and protective orders against bullies who point and utter "Are you blind," then ...

The State Legislatures NEED TO ACT in passing these types of anti-bully laws. Fortunately the McDade Amendment is alive and well; thus, even a Federal officer would be subject to such a criminalize the bad behavior bully law.

In the meantime, regarding your "list of bad behavior," Whit, Article III, Sec. 1, U.S. constitution offers an additional layer of help -- Judges only being permitted to hold office during "good behavior." I would predict under your "list of bad behavior.

1) calling a woman fat
2) fat people wearing spandex
3) wearing really ugly clothes
4) making a website that say your neighbor is a jerk
5) saying mean things to somebody
6) CURLING in the squat rack (actually, this should be a hanging offense)
7) dropping in on me at ANY surf spot
8) telling a girl you love her, when you really don't in order to schtup her
9) leading a guy on in order to get free meals
10) chewing with your mouth open,"

a LOT of Federal Judges might be subject to removal for "bad behavior" (meaning 'not good behavior').

Roshesterian has further suggested all such persons be compelled to undergo neuropsychological testing.

DEAL WITH IT.
5.21.2008 2:22pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
corr: " ABND " = and
"Noe" = Now
"ORder" = Order
" the mney" = the money
"inaccessible PAPER use to deny them access" = inaccessible PAPER used to deny them access
"Roshesterian" = Rochesterian

My apologies for typos. I have a really hard time being able to see to read and write.
5.21.2008 2:28pm
Rochesterian (mail):
Imagine if someone like Whit "this is a free society. that includes the freedom to offend and be mean" was elevated to POTUS & had an undiscovered glioblastoma (like Ted Kennedy).

Granted, when Whit's beef-steak hormones and his undiscovered brain-tumor played-out, some of the submarine commanders would have the good sense to refuse POTUS Whit's "ICMB go-code," others would not.

Annual neuro-psychological testing of Article I, II and III players is not only highly rational, but a matter of protecting national security in all respects.
5.21.2008 3:08pm
whit:
not to play into "Rochesterian" aka Mary Katherine Day-Petrano aka troll's plans but.

i have had neuro-psycholigical testing. it's a job requirement. have you?
5.21.2008 3:58pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
I am NOT Rochesterian. Maybe your neuropsych testing is stale. I think you need to take another ... this time without the gBH from a Beefy lunch. Especially since you cannot tell a man from a woman, after ADMITTING you would bad-use a woman because you are MEAN.
5.21.2008 4:14pm
whit:
mary i never admitted that.

i said it should be legal

do you understand the difference between advocating that act X should be legal and advocating FOR act X,let alone saying that I commit act X.

example: i think smoking in private businesses should generally be legal - more correctly at the discretion of the store owner.

i am not advocating for smoking. i think it is a disgusting habit. i also do not smoke.

i've seen you make this logical mistake before. this is a blog about law. people who defend legal concepts are not saying that the underlying acts protected by the law are "good", not that they do them

i also think abortion should be legal. i've neither had nor performed one. nor do i think they are 'good'. but they should be legal.

btw, i am assuming that "gBH" is a juxtaposed reference to bovine growth hormone

not a single scientific study has ever proven that bovine growth hormone injected into cattle is bioavailable/present in the meat.

the MILK? yes. there is some argument that this is true, more specifically igf-1 which is what growth hormone converts into.

but not in the meat.
5.21.2008 4:49pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"i said it should be legal" ----->

"it" what? YOu are trying to effectively communicate with a person who has autism. That means you have to speak LITERALLY. "It" does not have a meaning to provide a reference point to whatever you are talking about. People with autism do not *get* gists or the meaning of undefined words like "it."

If you would be so kind (I know it goes against your MEAN core essence) to please define "it" for me, then I might be able to ascertain whatever you are talking about.

Thank you.
5.21.2008 5:19pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"i've seen you make this logical mistake before" --->

Okay, as you say, but as I just pointed out above, the predicate that triggers such so-called "logical mistakes" on my part is YOUR failure to effectively speak LITERALLY to a person with autism, such as the failure to define the word "it" to give "it" a reference point to whatever the heck you are speaking about.

Let me give you another example: "it" is "disparaging, irrelevant, impertinent, immaterial, defamatory," etc. WHAT is "it?"

Absent LITERALLY defining "it" to give "it" a reference point, WHO WOULD KNOW WHATEVER YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT TO JUSTIFY STRIKING AND REMOVING THE IMAGE ??????

WE all know you know how to give "WARNINGS," but you cannot seem to be able to define the predicate word "it" ...

which rhymes with whit!
5.21.2008 5:32pm
JamesB:
MKDP - this is easy enough to figure out if you follow your own thread:

MKDP says "after ADMITTING you would bad-use a woman because you are MEAN."

whit says (immediately after i might add) "mary i never admitted that. i said it should be legal."

then you throw a hissy fit about the word "it". geez woman...you can't even follow your own context, no wonder it seems like you're always ranting (whoops, ADA lawsuit threat coming - tell me, does ADA apply outside the USofA :)

also, is "bad-use" some word i missed in 1984? sure sounds like it (by "it", i'm referring to "bad-use" being an Newspeak word from the novel 1984 written by George Orwell and published in 1949, by Secker &Warburg of London, just to clarify my usage of the word "it" sufficiently for you).
5.21.2008 10:05pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
James B ---> since you are so self-servingly precise in your usage of the English language, what in my posts indicated I directed my post to YOU for commentary?
5.21.2008 11:01pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Or are you a sock puppet -- Whit and James B all the SAME PERSON?
5.21.2008 11:02pm
Rochesterian (mail):
James B,

I had to "double-take" on Whit's statement "i said it should be legal" as well.

MKDP does not "prune" her work like you and I.

The autism guys at University of Miami suggested I simply attempt to help MKDP "work on it." Problem is, MKDP's I.Q. is about 40 points above mine, so "pruning" her work is akin to telling Sinatra to take-off the hat on a damp NYC day.

In closing, until your neuro-psyche tells you that your I.Q is above 150, and you hold a joint J.D. MBA and pass the CA Bar a couple of weeks after seeing your mom light herself on fire, try to spare MKDP the "ranting" word.

PEACE
5.21.2008 11:52pm
JamesB:
MKDP - point one - it's a blog comment section - anyone can respond to anything. besides, i was in a troll-feeding mood, so....

as to the sock puppet point: the husband/woman team who are pretending to be two completely random strangers who just happen to have met on here and agree with each other on anything have all the authority in the world to accuse others of being sock puppets.

next time you try this particular trick, Rochesterian - or should i call you David - you might want to try changing the e-mail address on your mail line to something a bit less conspicuous than dpetrano@yahoo.com. for a bunch of 150 IQ types, you seem to be lacking something.

You guys are the greatest, this has been a riot!
5.22.2008 8:19am
Rochesterian (mail):
James B,
The folks in Missouri who advocate the above law had you and your "team" in mind as the targeted perps.

Like "Whit" (above), Ted Bundy, Son of Sam and the big-footed, semi-retarded descendents of those who held Court of Oyer and Terminer stake burnings, you live by the basic premise "this is a free society. that includes the freedom to offend and be mean." Such is the direction you have chosen, for better or worse.

You amuse me as well.

PEACE
5.22.2008 1:32pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"as to the sock puppet point: the husband/woman team who are pretending to be two completely random strangers who just happen to have met on here and agree with each other on anything have all the authority in the world to accuse others of being sock puppets." ----->

We took our likeness from no less notorious a husband-wife team than Oyer and Wyatt, the "high power couple" with lengendary wedding resume:

"2. Elizabeth Oyer and Geoffrey Wyatt

Résumé score: 9.2. This is one high-powered couple. Both cum laude from Harvard Law (where she was executive editor of the law review). She's now at Mayer Brown in D.C., and he's at O'Melveny &Myers in D.C.
Family score: 8.8. Her parents are both doctors, and her father is going to become the director of the cancer center at Lancaster General Hospital -- prestigious. His mother is a landscape architect; his father is a lawyer (but an associate, at a law firm in Saginaw, Michigan -- hmmm).
Balance score: 8.6. Quite well-balanced. She has a slight advantage over him, both in résumé and familial terms; but they're in the same ballpark.
Beauty score (only if pictured): 9.0. Very attractive. They're in the transitional neighborhood between "super cute" and "downright hot." Check out the online photo, which is better than the print photo -- you can see how blue his eyes are. Ladies, control yourselves!
Overall score: 8.9.
Additional comments: They met each other at Harvard Law. Ah, true love in the shadow of the Gropius dorm. Who says "Legally Blonde" is just a movie? (Okay, she's brunette, but whatever.)"
Wedding Resume Scores Available Here

It looks like H &W team vs, H &W team, = matchpoint play on the Court of Oyer ...

where "dp" wife's (an autistic with the hyphenated last name "d-p", regarded by some more Medieval-minds as having the same character of those burned at the stake) equine disability service horse prescribed as her medicine was attacked by ...

wait for it ...

oh, just wait for it ...

*Get this* ...

a type of mycotoxin similar to the rye ergot poisoning that caused victoms of the Salem Court of Oyer and Terminer victims become sick, hallucinate, and be falsely accused of witchcraft:

"Frightened by the possibility of losing his position as preacher to the Salem Village, Samuel Parris exploited the gravest fear that was held by people of that time period: Satan and witches.

The Trials were a mess from the very beginning, with random accusations thrown at people from all over the village. The examiners used the worst type of evidence, spectral, to send innocent people to their death"
e.g. the real reason here

What sophisticated games of MEAN-NESS some will play when they become frightened they might lose their power score advantage. A GREAT reason for States to enact Internet bashing laws criminalizing such conduct.

"ranting (whoops, ADA lawsuit threat coming - tell me, does ADA apply outside the USofA :)" ----->

Oh, I see, aren't you getting tired of 1600s "witch" references by now? Too bad the ADA was not law when the Salem trials took place ... imagine the possibilities,

the sick, disabled ergot-poisoned victims could have ...

sued the Judges and the Court of Oyer and Terminer itself!!!

who would not doubt have responded by running around calling themselves a black-robed band with white pointy hoods known as "He-Who-Does-Not-Want-To-Be-Threatened-With-An-ADA-Suit," while planting their burning crosses on disabled Americans front lawns.

You are a hoot.
5.22.2008 2:08pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
corr:
" victoms" = victims
"not doubt" = no doubt

Definition of "bashing" — as used
here:

"AnnTM
Member
Posts: 194
(5/31/04 10:42 pm)
Re: OK, I sent the following Email to Dateline ....

Just in case anyone's wondering, I deleted some of the references to where I work, etc., from this email. Mention of CP's return has me paranoid, particularly since she noted the bashing on other BB's."
(emphasis added)

and

"AnnTM
Member
Posts: 111
(5/13/04 10:49 am)
Re: RE: her

I wonder where she keeps her horse in FL, if she has to live on a leaky sailboat? Being from FL, I wonder if anyone I know down there knows her.
here (emphasis added) —

is defined by the Online Dictionary as:

"bash (bsh)

v. bashed, bash·ing, bash·es

v.tr.

1. To strike with a heavy, crushing blow: The thug bashed the hood of the car with a sledgehammer.

2. To beat or assault severely: The police arrested the men who bashed an immigrant in the park.

3. Informal To criticize (another) harshly, accusatorially, and threateningly: "He bashed the . . . government unmercifully over the . . . spy affair" Lally Weymouth.

v.intr. Informal
To engage in harsh, accusatory, threatening criticism.
n.

1. Informal A heavy, crushing blow.

2. Slang A celebration; a party.

[Origin unknown.]

basher n."
here

and further defined by Wikipedia as:

"Bashing (pejorative)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
• Find out more about navigating Wikipedia and finding information •Jump to: navigation, search
Bashing is a harsh, gratuitous, predjudicial attack on a person, group or subject. Literally, bashing is a term meaning to hit or, colloquially, to assault but when it is used as a suffix, or in conjunction with a noun indicating the subject being attacked, it is normally used to imply a sense of uncompromising vehemence and bigotry about the assailant.

The term applies to two different types of attack: physical assault and verbal or critical assault. In the latter case, bashing is used metaphorically to indicate an attack on a subject that is of similar aggressiveness and motivation to the physical case.

Topics which attract bashing tend to be personally sensitive topics for the bashers, the victims or both. They also tend to be highly partisan issues. Common areas include religion, nationality, sexuality, politics and topics of critical appraisal within fandom.

* * *

Definition
The non-pejorative definition of bashing is the act of striking an object with physical blows. Colloquially, it normally refers to a physical assault. When the term is used in conjunction with a topic or with an implied topic, it relates to a class of attacks which share common motivations and levels of intent, taking on a pejorative meaning.

Physical bashing is differentiated from regular assault because it is a motivated assault. Societally, no level of physical assault is normally considered morally acceptable therefore the motivated nature implies that the perpetrators are unaware of societal norms or are sufficiently bigotted and predjudiced to believe that the motivation justifies the actions. This aspect of the definition of bashing overlaps with that of hate crime and other incidents of motivated assault.

In non-physical bashing, the term is used to imply that a verbal or critical attack is similarly unacceptable and similarly predjudicial. Use of the term in this manner is an abusive ad hominem action, used to denounce the attack and admonish the attackers by comparing them to perpetrators of physical bashing.


Motivating Factors
The underlying motivations for bashers tend to be the same, irrespective of the target subject. Karen Franklin in her paper "Psychosocial motivations of hate crimes perpetrators" specifically identifies the following:

socially instilled predjudice or partisan conflict
the perception that the bashing subject is in some way contrary to, or in offense to, an underlying ideology
group or peer influence"
here
5.22.2008 2:32pm
SFC B (mail) (www):
This was a fairly enlightening read and comment thread about the Lori Drew case until I somehow started reading a wholly different post involving the suicide of an autistic woman's mother and a judge. I don't remember clicking on a different story, and the back button takes me to the front page. I am so very confused.

My profession occasionally takes me to St. Louis, so I have a passing practical interest in things like the SLPD citing me for cussing out the McD's employee who jacks up my Mig Mac order for the third time.
5.22.2008 3:44pm
Rochesterian (mail):
SFC B SAID:
This was a fairly enlightening read and comment thread about the Lori Drew case until I somehow started reading a wholly different post involving the suicide of an autistic woman's mother and a judge. I don't remember clicking on a different story, and the back button takes me to the front page. I am so very confused.

SFC,
the post you found confusing was crafted as a response to various anonymous posters who consistently attack an autistic poster (MKDP) as "ranting."

Perhaps you may wish to refresh your memory on the core essence of this topic which you admit "enlightens' you and realize autistic persons are typically the targets of the exact kind of abuse the Missouri law intends to deal with.

In sum, "James B" is the poster "perp" the law is intended to put behind steal bars in lieu of giving him/her a Bar license.

DEAL WITH IT
5.22.2008 4:47pm