One giant step over the line in Illinois

Pete Cashmore’s recent article for Mashable and an article in Salon report on Governor Pat Quinn signing into law a bill that prohibits registered sex offenders from using social media sites.

At first glance, to the masses, it looks like common sense legislation aimed at protecting us from the likes of child predators and serial rapists. The problem is, some offenses considered sex crimes that require registration are as piddling as public urination, a misdemeanor. That’s just one small example; many other offenses that fall far short of the stereotypical child predator or rapist one thinks of when they hear “sex offender” would also be barred from using Facebook, Twitter, et al. For life.

It disgusts me enough that Facebook feels it necessary to bar access to anyone who is a “convicted sex offender” when that term is not clearly defined elsewhere in Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR). One must assume that this is any offense for which registration as a sex offender is required. I voted against the revised SRR for this reason, and I feel no particular shame for having done so.

If society as a whole does deem this kind of law necessary, I think the least we can do is restrict it to those who have exhibited actual sexual predatory conduct or are at high risk of doing so, not college kids who got caught peeing behind the frat house.

It’s also time to put an end to rubber-stamping conditions of probation for any remotely sex-related crime with prohibitions on any Internet use. That, in 2009, makes about as much sense as prohibiting someone from using a telephone.

In case anyone is wondering, no, I am absolutely, positively, not related to the governor of Illinois, despite sharing the same last name. To be honest, that makes his signature on this bill all the more embarrassing. Thus, the reason I’m debuting a new tag, “box-of-rocks-dumb,” for when “galactically-stupid” just plain doesn’t do justice.

Knocking down granny: unacceptable police brutality

How do scum like this get a badge and gun?

Stephen’s blog at and Infowars both report on an incident involving Virginia Dotson, an 84-year old Alzheimer’s patient. Warning: the video is very disturbing to anyone with any sense of decency.

I am grateful that the woman wasn’t injured. I hope the officer that used what I can only describe as egregiously excessive force are fired; hopefully, he/she (I can’t really tell gender from the video) will be spending the rest of his/her life in retail, fast food, and manual labor hell.

What’s unfortunately likely to happen: suspension with pay while investigation is pending, desk duty for a few months until the people forget about this, and back on the streets.

And we wonder why some people don’t trust cops.