KY Rep. Seeks To Ban Anonymous Blogging

Forgets it's an election year

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First rule of politics for incumbents: During an election year, try not to highlight your general uselessness, especially if you share a name with a famous football player, because people will notice.

Second rule of politics for incumbents: If you go to the trouble to introduce a bill, be prepared to defend it until the bitter end, even if you know in your heart it will never pass, not in a million years, unless futility somehow becomes a desired legislative virtue.

Oh wait. Scratch that futility part. Futility gives the administrative branches of government something to do*.

Ahem. On with the article, right?

Kentucky state representative Tim Couch** (R-Hyden), introduced a bill to the General Assembly that would bar Kentuckians from anonymously commenting on Websites, or via their own blogs. The bill would require anyone leaving a comment to provide their real name, address, and email address to the website on which they wish to comment. Website operators would be required to enforce this policy or face fines.

Yes, their home address, too, which I think is illegal in Michigan.

Does Couch think this legislative measure will pass or even do any good to combat the cowardly drive-by anonymous jibes left on countless websites everyday? Well, no, not really. This bill was just to get your attention, not for real legislative purposes.

John Cheves reports Couch doesn’t think it will go anywhere or that the legislature can do anything about it in reality. Also in reality, Couch is using his legislative powers to bring attention to online bullying, especially when bullying is exacerbated by parents who join in on the anonymous gauntlet, which we can agree is pretty cowardly and rotten.

This quote was the kicker, though: "I think right now (online posting) is pretty much just on its own. It’s a machine that’s going to go its own way," Couch said. "The state can try to pass some rules, but I don’t really think it would do anything."

But he introduced it anyway, House Bill 775, dubbed "Prohibit anonymous blogging," just to show us Kentuckians our money is well-spent. Tip: If you’re going to be introducing symbolic protest bills, better reconsider that whole casino gambling thing so we have a better way to pay for them.

Then again, without the logic to support bills-to-nowhere, we wouldn’t have the logic to support why state lotteries, horse racing, and bingo are okay while casinos, back-room and online poker games, and betting on sports are not. Ahem. But I digress.

I don’t think I need to talk about freedom of speech, the First Amendment, civil liberties, or the necessity for anonymous speech even if it is abused by a few dastardly, yella-bellies—I get a few of those comin’ by sometimes myself. Perhaps an anonymous commentator called "rossh" can present that defense for me:

"The erosion of personal liberties continues ever so quietly … The government is here to protect us."

Well said, whoever you are.

And something like that is not something to be taken so lightly that you risk civil liberties just to get attention. God forbid you get enough votes to actually pass it.

The good news: It’s an election year and Couch has 3 Republican opponents signed up to run against in Leslie County, or thereabouts.

*The Third Rule, of course, is: Do not play with the electorate’s inalienable rights endowed by their Creator, yada yada, what Thomas Jefferson said.

*While not the famous rocket-armed quarterback, Rep. Couch shares his name and his home county with Tim Couch. And he kinda looks like him, too. Guessing there’s a relation, then, but just guessing. In a county of 12,400, I suppose it’s possible there are two unrelated Tim Couches who kinda look alike.  



KY Rep. Seeks To Ban Anonymous Blogging
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  • Anonymous

    Also he’s a known furry.

  • http://www.bigjoeknows.com Smokin Joe

    Typical waste of tax dollars by someone who couldn’t get a real job.

  • http://www.theartworkshopinc.com Christine

    May Rep. Couch should more time to first worry about the bullying that takes place in the workplace, school yards, and neigborhoods .

    Rep. Couch this is my real name and email addresss , if you would like to respond!

  • Anonymous Blogger

    I’m going to rape you in your sleep

  • http://www.missionbeachsouth.com Guest

    …be free enough to leave any comment at all.  Another example of how our apathy is allowing the removal of all our freedoms.  Someone please stuff a rag in this guy’s mouth and stuff him ina trunk.  Wake up Kentucky!

  • Anonymous


  • FreeUs?!

    I agree that people should be responsible for their actions but this is not the answer. Not even close. More laws that restrict are never the answer!

    This was not a well thought out solution to a problem. This seems to me to have been a drastic reaction that could have horrible consequences (if it had gone unnoticed).

    This is a (semi) free society and should remain free. If we keep giving up liberties in the name of safety we will soon be anything but free.

    There has to be a better way.

    • The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.  ~Louis D. Brandeis


    • He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.  ~Thomas Paine



    • Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.  ~Abraham Lincoln



    • There are two freedoms – the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought.  ~Charles Kingsley



    • Men fight for freedom, then they begin to accumulate laws to take it away from themselves.  ~Author Unknown



    • They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.  ~Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759



    • No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.  ~Frederick Douglass, speech, Civil Rights Mass Meeting, Washington, D.C., 1883



    • I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.  ~James Madison, speech, Virginia Convention, 1788



    • I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery.  ~Author Unknown

    Just a few comments from a few people with a little more experience with this issue of freedom and liberty.

    We have to think a little longer before we give up another freedom so that we can be a little safer from the bad people.

    I believe that if people are made to be responsible for their actions starting as a child that they will be more prone to study the consequences of their actions before committing them.

    There will always be those who choose wrong over right even though they know the consequences which is where the consequences should be strongly enforced with trial by jury of peers or some type of fair hearing to establish the absence of innocence. When guilt is established the punishment should be swift and severe equal to the offense committed.

    Just my opinion.

    This is the age of information (so it seems.) Why can’t we (as a nation) come together and decide on a just solution that does not take away our liberties. There are millions of opinions and ideas that can all be brought together to some type of consensus that is fair and just.

    We have a long way to go but it is possible.

    Just my two cents.


  • Billy Bongo

    He’s been blogging, and found some greifer that aggravated him, and he wants to use that other Kentucky law, You can kill a man on your own property if he was not invited… by dragging his dumb a$$ to his lawn, and ventilating his skull… dunno who he’s trying to fool… Poor Mr. Couch… Guess you dont get to shoot me after all… I’m in Florida anyway…. DUMB A$$.

  • http://www.hemroidshelp.com hemroids

    It’s interesting when you watch rules passed down the pipe. It’s often so hard to determine where the ‘kink’ started in the hose of thought. Prohibiting anonymous blogging is downright ridiculous. Some of the best ideas and out-of-the-box thinking are from these people that prefer to not take credit for their creative leaps in thinking. Furthermore, the idea simply shows that the ‘real laws’ are antiuqated, that the process of reviewing and updating laws is the same, and that the working, defacto rules of life and lviing dont necessary meet up in the middle.

  • http://www.crbuses.com used buses

    What a ridiculous notion. Why shouldn’t anonymous users post in blogs? What if the blog is about something very sensitive and the user wants to give their input? Why should they expose their real name and email? And 99% of the time, if they do not want to share the info, they will use a false name and email anyway

  • http://www.websitesforjewelers.com jewelry website design

    The entire idea makes very little sense to me. People need to educate themselves better before making those kind of statements.

  • http://www.skintagsolution.com Skin Tag Removal

    I find that more and more as information is more easily accessible on the Internet, we rn the risk of ‘idea clashing’ where various opinions on subjects collide. This is the case here I believe, the world is getting smaller.


  • http://www.homeremedyhaven.com Home Remedies

    In this day and age, it is hard for me to believe that anyone could mae a comment like that. Gone are the days of that level of personal accountability, and blogs are all about anonymous readership.

  • Wart Removal

    It’s no wonder the Republicans lost this election, if those ideologies exist.

  • http://www.m4s73r.com/ Internet Marketing Indonesia

    thanks for your article. Very help me. I will more like visit to webpronews site. :) Fantastic

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