Terrorism

The No More Mooninites Bill

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Cato's Jim Harper notes a case of "we gotta' do something-itis" in Congress:

Here's Congress siding with Boston's idiotic public officials. The Terrorist Hoax Improvements Act of 2007 would allow government officials to sue people who fail to promptly clear things up when those officials mistakenly think that they have stumbled over a terrorist plot.

There's nothing in the bill allowing individuals or corporations to sue government officials when hare-brained overreactions interfere with their lives and business or destroy their property.

Is it me or does the name of the bill suggest that Congress is trying to help terrorists concoct better hoaxes?

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  1. It also sounds like the bill might be in the business of helping the gov’t concot better hoaxes involving terrorism, thus paving the way for broader and less responsible use of power.

    Blinking light boxes in public? terrorism!
    The old lady we busted in on and killed? she was a terrorist!
    Incandescent light bulbs? a terrorist plot!
    opposition to universal healthcare? off to Gitmo with those terrorists!

  2. Yea, just like the David/Nick/Radley candidate Hillary demanding we do something about kicking terrorist ass in Iraq, i.e., stop that shit. Okay, it is the opposite.

  3. It’s time for the fucking revolution … I am tired of this nonsense . . . all of us know here this is leading. We need a 5th of November . . . that actually succeeds! Time for the groove to manifest itself in rainbow clarity! Time for the peoples to fill the streets and crowd the air with truth-bombs!

  4. Hoax?

    A “hoax” implies that the Aqua Teen Marketers wanted Boston to think that they had planted bombs though out the city. Instead, they put a bunch of LED signs with cartoon characters on them to advertise a movie.

    Our society is largely populated by fucking idiots.

  5. Yea, just like the David/Nick/Radley candidate Hillary demanding we do something about kicking terrorist ass in Iraq, i.e., stop that shit. Okay, it is the opposite.

    I would suggest that Guy is devolving into self-parody, but think I may be a couple months late on that.

  6. you know, it’s also time for people to do this all over the country, en masse . . . let’s all organize a mass day of confusion whereby innocuous but slightly confusing images and blinky things are posted in odd locations near major metropolitan areas . . . after all, that’s the kind of shit that leftist/oddball guerilla artists have been doing for the past thirty or so years, sometimes with public funding!
    I would love to see the Hannity’s go nuts declaring war on every eccentric freedom-lover in America! Maybe it’s time that we deliberately brought the stuffed-shirt , Osama-hunters to their knees with a day, just one day, of oblique and openly strange artistic nonsense, scattered about near federal buildings, trams, airports, and monuments. When we no longer have the freedom to act harmlessly weird, we have lost everything that is good about America.

  7. bin Laden has to be laughing his ass off…

  8. Hoax Improvements – comedy gold. There’s a fatal flaw here though I don’t see a cute acronym. THIA isn’t very catchy. How about PANTLOAD? You could work that into something:

    Preventing Annoying Not Terrorist Liasons On Any Day Act of 2007.

  9. Apparently, this is intended to allow the government to determine intent as it sees fit. This should help.

    Perhaps we should put some money in the “War Emergency Appropriations Bill” to expand Gitmo.

  10. Clarification: I do NOT advocate violent revolution, vis a vis blowing up Parliament/Congress, etc. . . the only way to affect actual change is through a revolution of the mind. Thus my advocacy of artistic protest . . . so, we need the spirit of the 60’s squared with the cynicism and self-reliance of Gen X’ers, expressed in persistent, non-violent, but forceful freedom of expression. We MUST demonstrate exactly how silly and sad our government is. We must make them look like the buffoons they are.

  11. “innocuous but slightly confusing images and blinky things are posted in odd locations near major metropolitan areas”

    Already have those. They’re called road condition notices.

  12. extend the prohibition against conveying false information and hoaxes to any federal crime of terrorism

    I wonder if anthrax-spewing drones fall under this category.

  13. Our society is largely populated by fucking idiots.

    If only we could get them to stop doing that!

  14. Oh, you so have to love the beauty of bi-partisanship; S.735 courtesy of Sens. Kennedy, Coleman and Kyl. Didn’t Kyl get some love on H&R recently?

  15. If only we could get them to stop doing that!

    Gotta give some credit to Jocelyn Elders – she tried!

  16. “Our society is largely populated by fucking idiots.”

    and we vote

    Amen!

    We racist pricks in the south were corect to test before allowing the right to vote. We just tested the wrong crowd.

  17. But as Akira points out, the ATHF ad campaign wasn’t a hoax. The link from Cato gives the summary of the new law:
    http://www.washingtonwatch.com/bills/show/110_SN_735.html#toc0

    The relevant bit is:
    “(3) allow a civil remedy for damages resulting from hoaxes perpetrated by an individual who later fails to provide accurate information to investigating authorities about the actual nature of the incident”

    So would this apply to ATHF? From what I understand, there was no attempt to deceive. Ergo, no hoax. Why does Cato claim that this is a response to ATHF in Boston?

    As a side note, I’m unclear on what “later fails to provide accurate information to investigating authorities…” means. Do the authorities have to ask? If not, how is this managed? I think that vague laws like this shouldn’t be passed; aside from that, I think it might not be an unreasonable law.

  18. PANTLOAD

    Ok, I’ll bite….

    Panic, Anarchy, and Numbnut Terrorist Litigation Overload Act, Defined

    It’s pretty close, not quite there yet, anyone want to bat cleanup for me as I need my beauty sleep?

  19. Protecting America from Nuclear Terrorism, Lite-brite Ornaments, and Anthrax Dispersal Act of 2007

  20. sasmith,

    You’re absolutely right, but the part of the law that I liked was

    (4) extend the prohibition against mailing threatening communications to include corporations or governmental entities (as well as individuals).

    Did we have a problem with govt agencies sending terrorist threats thru the mail? And more importantly, does this mean that when the IRS sends you a threatening letter because you forgot to sign your return, they’re breaking the law?

  21. * Terrorist Hoax Improvements Act of 2007 *

    My fellow Americans; tonight I come before you to direct your attention to one of the most important issues facing this country: the Terrorist Hoax Gap! I shall not rest until this great nation has secured its rightful leadership in the global market for terrorist hoaxes.

  22. P Brooks,

    It all begins with education. We need to shift emphasis away from math and science in our schools, toward shop and theater. Knowing Newton’s Laws and the Pythagorean Theorem isn’t going to be of any use in designing new terror-inducing advertisements.

  23. I shall not rest until this great nation has secured its rightful leadership in the global market for terrorist hoaxes.

    Terrorist hoaxes are OK in Boston, so long as the indians get blamed. Real stand-up guys there.

  24. Hoax?

    A “hoax” implies that the Aqua Teen Marketers wanted Boston to think that they had planted bombs though out the city. Instead, they put a bunch of LED signs with cartoon characters on them to advertise a movie.

    Our society is largely populated by fucking idiots.

    Speak for Boston and the northeast. The other cities in the campaign had no panic at all.

  25. So the government behaves like a bunch of idiots, screws up royally, commits crimes and gets to punish people who haven’t committed a crime? How would you like to be the defendants’ lawyer?

  26. Protecting America from Nuclear Terrorism, Lite-brite Ornaments, and Anthrax Dispersal Act of 2007

    We have a winner.

  27. we need the spirit of the 60’s squared with the cynicism and self-reliance of Gen X’ers, expressed in persistent, non-violent, but forceful freedom of expression.

    4chan /b?

    …desu

  28. But I need a drink anyway.

  29. “Our society is largely populated by fucking idiots.”

    and we vote

    Well, there’s my next bumper sticker.

  30. “Our society is largely populated by voting idiots.” …and we fuck

    Now THAT’s even scarier!

  31. “Our society is largely fucked by voting idiots”…and we populate

  32. It’s the “we need to sue other people because we can tell the difference between a sign and a bomb act.”

    The bill we will never get passed is the “I can sue the government because it’s being stupid act”

  33. “””would allow government officials to sue people who fail to promptly clear things up when those officials mistakenly think that they have stumbled over a terrorist plot.”””

    How much time is “promptly”? My understanding is that the Cartoon Network DID try to clear things up promptly when they found out it was a problem.

    But hey, how often does Congress pass a chance to further regulate life? Doesn’t seem to matter which party is in control.

  34. Terrorist Hoax Improvement Act

    The federal government’s answer to the 9/11 Commission! Finally!

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