After tomorrow I may risk jail time if I ever go to Boulder Colorado.

Why? Because they’re debating setting up a “hate hotline” so that folks can report people like me for saying insensitive or mean things about them:

Tuesday, the Boulder City Council will take up the matter of allocating public funding for a “hate hotline,” which would give residents an opportunity to report incidents in which Boulderites use tactless language.

“Our concern – and there are many – is that there is no confidentiality, no legal confidentiality,” explains Judd Golden, chairman of the Boulder American Civil Liberties Union, which has not yet taken an official position on the hate-line. “So it’s potentially chilling if people think they are providing this information in confidence and then that information were provided to the government or the government sought access to it. That would chill free speech.”

Golden says the agenda item on the hotline is “extensive” and a “real dilemma” for the ACLU. There are some very “broad standards” laid out in the resolution.

There is, for instance, the policy statement condemning the usual individual or collective acts of racism and bigotry. Great. But it also condemns those who attack “personal beliefs and values.”

I’m saying mean things about people’s personal beliefs and values all the time so, in Boulder at least, I must be public enemy #1. Hopefully this lunacy will stay limited to Boulder because one of the few places I’ve ever seriously considered moving out of state to was Denver, but if the whole state goes loopy then I’ll have to cross them off my very short list of places other than Michigan I’d want to live.

Not that Michigan doesn’t have similarly idiocy on the books. Technically we still have blasphemy laws including one specifically in regards to Jesus Christ himself. There’s a law I’ve violated a few million times in my life already. Surprised they haven’t come to lock me up yet. I’m dangerous ya know.

16 thoughts on “After tomorrow I may risk jail time if I ever go to Boulder Colorado.

  1. oh, Denver’s safe. I lived in Boulder for 5 years and the Denver Post was accurate when they once described Boulder as a town nestled between the mountains and reality.

    While I lived there the city council was wise enough to address the following issues (while blissfully ignoring the lost sales tax revenue when all the small retailers fled for the next city over):

    1. Folks who own dogs were officially re-named “Dog Guardians” which would instill more of a sense of responsibility.
    2. Couches and other stuffed furniture was outlawed from porches. Evidently, they start riots and fires (no doubt they’ve considered a class action lawsuit agains Ethan Allen).

    … my personal forward-thinking favorite:
    3.  Descrimination on the basis of genetic engineering is outlawed. I don’t remember the exact words, but it will be illegal for you to hire/fire, show preferential treatment for someone based on the fact that their blue eyes and uncanny mathematics skills were determined in a test tube prior to conception (once that technology becomes available to the masses). The City Council prides themselves on being the first city in the US to enact that little gem.

    I don’t live there anymore, but I read the opinion section of the local paper every day for the sheer comic value.

  2. What is ‘hate speech’, really?  Many confuse all disagreement with hate speech, or look for keywords, rather than contextual meaning.  Saying, ‘I despise facism’ could be hate speech, if one is for a strong govenrnment with ties to industry and the military.  I am against all laws which prohibit any speech.  The case for any exceptions needs to be supported on a granite foundation.

    BTW the town of Normal, Illinois (where I live) has also outlawed padded couches on lawns.  It is known locally as ‘The Comfy Chair’ law, an allusion totally lost on the town council that approved a nice sculpture depicting ‘The Normal Family’.

  3. The People’s Republic of Boulder just demonstrates, sadly, that ostensible liberals can be as tyrannical and anti-liberty as ostensible conservatives.

  4. The People’s Republic of Boulder just demonstrates, sadly, that ostensible liberals can be as tyrannical and anti-liberty as ostensible conservatives.

    Sometimes I think of the liberal/conservative spectrum line as a ring, with a “crazy zone” tying the ends together.

  5. I think we should fully support Boulder.  All of us have been victims of hate just for saying ‘Evolution has more evidence than 6 day creationism’.  Some of the hate may be on this site, some of it on fundie sites saying we are all going to burn in hell for saying this.  Why don’t we all move to Boulder, visit fundie sites, then report them.

    THEN (and this is the clever bit) we invite Shrub along, ask him how he personally feels about Bin Loonie, then get him locked up for hate crime.  This has the knock on advantage it will mean Sadie doesn’t have to blow him.

  6. Boulder is not the smartest place to live. They have plans to FORCE Boulderites to buy smaller cars by making ALL the parking spaces in town more narrow so that large cars/SUV’s won’t fit.

  7. Last_Hussar:  You haven’t thought it through.  Just saying “Evolution has more evidence than 6 day creationism” is an attack on someone’s “personal beliefs”.

    And by saying that your plan is unwise, I’m attacking YOUR “personal beliefs”.  It’s language so vague, it covers practically any disagreement whatsoever.

    P.S.  Am I being “bigoted” if I think most creationists are fools?  Or is it no more bigoted than saying whites are more susceptible to sunburn, i.e. it’s not bigotry if it’s demonstrably true?

  8. Moloch: They have plans to FORCE Boulderites to buy smaller cars by making ALL the parking spaces in town more narrow so that large cars/SUV’s won’t fit.

    Cool – wish they’d do it here. Those big bastards piss me, and my baby Daihatsu, right off.LOL
    Someone (Walmart) could make some money with a car park outside of Bouldertown and run a shuttle service to Walmart for the SUV owners.  cool smile

  9. Freaking. Morons.  Hate speech may not be pretty, but it shouldn’t be criminal.  And this doesn’t even begin to address what counts as “hate speech”.  The best we could hope for is for this farce to backfire; every time someone disparages obesity as dangerous to health, there should be tons of calls decrying the belittling of the overweight.  Hey, why stop there:  we should get a congregation of the Church of the Invisible Pink Unicorn to go there, and call nonstop about the populace attacking their beliefs.  Drown them in the tide of their own political correctness.

    Sometimes I wonder if a time will ever come when it will be a crime to criticise anything in this damn country.

  10. Something I’ve always wondered:  since when is hurting someone’s feelings a crime?  I mean, it’s not like scoffing or even belittling someone’s beliefs or attributes has a real economic impact, like denying people jobs based on race or religion.  Doesn’t mean it should be encouraged, but damn those Boulder fools are a bunh of crybabies.

  11. Something I’ve always wondered:  since when is hurting someone’s feelings a crime?

    Good question, and a tricky issue, Iolite.  There’s no obvious line that can be drawn between harmless (and perhaps constructive) criticism and hate speech.  I think that political correctness in the sense of not offending people is usually well meant, but it can easily spiral out of control, as we see here. 

    My mother often said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.  I think what she meant was that one shouldn’t be unnecessarily rude.  Of course, the rub is: when is rudeness necessary?  Sometimes rudeness is necessary to get things done, or simply to get feelings out in the open where they can be dealt with.

  12. “Boulder is poised to be at the very forefront of transit development” said Magdovitz.

    Boulder and transit development? Who has the light rail system with over 100 miles of trackway? Denver. Who has one of the best public bus system within 1000 miles (That also cooperates with the light rail)? Denver. Who has an international airport? Denver. Who thinks about the population’s needs insted of what they “think” is best for population should do? That’s right. Denver.

    I’d like to walk over to Boulder and just pop the bubble that they think they live in.

  13. A big part of Boulder’s “transit development” needs is self-inflicted:  the pricing-out-of-town of much of the workforce of the city, which must then commute in.  Not to mention the commute out of town because of the businesses (employers and retailers) that are not allowed “inside the moat.”

  14. One suggestion is to making parking spaces smaller to force people away from SUVS.

    Meh, most recent metered parking spots in Chicago are shorter than they used to be, all that happens is it makes it even more likely that some A hole is going to force his way into a tight spot by repeated bumping my bumpers as full size sedans and full-length pickup trucks spill over into more than one spot.

    Mitchell Magdovitz, who works for an alternative transit company, said people should be encouraged to use electric vehicles. He said it won’t be easy as long as they face the prospect of confronting a 5,000-pound SUV.

    The solution is to create separate lanes for small cars, said Magdovitz.

    Have they actually driven on the streets?  People have enough trouble keeping compact cars in one full-size lane as they meander along, let alone narrow lanes (like some of the lanes around Chicago).

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