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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

PA HB 683: Bloggers Beware!

Please take a few minutes to review the entire bill here - sponsored by eight Republicans and one Democrat - paying special attention to the language below:

3309.1. Interfering with agricultural operations.
10(a) Offense defined.--A person commits the offense of
11      interfering with agricultural operations if the person:
12(1) Without consent from the owner of an agricultural
13      operation or the owner's agent:
14(i) records an image of, or sound from, the
15     agricultural operation by leaving a recording device on
16the agricultural operation; or
17(ii) uploads, downloads, transfers or otherwise
18     sends recorded images of, or sound from, the agricultural
19     operations over the Internet in any medium.
And for the record, from page 3 of the same bill:
9  "Agricultural operations." Any public or private property
10 where an agricultural activity or farming is conducted or takes place.

If you've taken the time to read the entire bill, which should only take a few minutes, you will hopefully recognize that it may soon be a FELONY to document/post all the alleged bad things happening in ( right now ) the mostly rural Marcellus Shale Zone. If you don't think this is the possible intent of this bill...read it again, and check out the biographies of the sponsors.

I'm sure everyone remembers when (then) PA Attorney General Tom Corbett went after his Twitter critics?  Now, it seems everyone who posts anything ( videos/pics ) online critical of anything remotely related to or possibly impacting farmlands can be pulled into his administration's Marcellus-Shale-funded and directed crosshairs.

I ask; who does this legislation serve to protect - the people who own/farm the land, or those whose indu$trial activitie$ degrade the land, water, or crops or animals raised there?  

At minimum, I'm getting a whiff of some First Amendment challenges here. We need more whistleblowers, not less.
As a land-owning, tax-paying and voting citizen of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I am disgusted with our current crop of elected "leaders" and their appointees.
The vast majority should be dragged from office.
However, on the outside chance there are any good & ethical men and/or women in Harrisburg working for the benefit of the citizens of PA who would be willing to speak out against this legislation...please step forward.
I'll be waiting...


  1. Posted this to the NEPA Bloggers page on Facebook!

  2. Don,
    My rep, sorry to say, is Moul, who backdoored into office when the incumbent-for-life-if-he-wanted-it refused to give back the illegal raise the House gave themselves years ago and the voters angrily voted for Moul, one of the backers of this "Act.". Moul backs most Republican plans because his brain functions poorly, if at all.
    Ideating sensible plans is beyond him.

    I intend after I write this to you to post info on 683 on my local FB page where I will urge others to share it to their own timelines--------such a flagrant and ridiculous abrogation of the 1st Amendment should have no traction in the judicial review.....but the mindless hubris of even attempting such bullshit needs to be thrown, like all the manure they no longer wish to have photographed, directly into their faces and open, slack-jawed drooling mouths.

    Hope you're in full recovery, DW.

  3. Thanks, RC. The more folks that get the word out about this joke of a bill, the better our chances are at getting a public hearing. Be well.


  4. I just saw a friend post about this on facebook. I copied the bill on my own page, and even sponsored the posting to get the word out (cost: $7). So far, crickets. So, is the consensus that this bill will be shot down before it ever reaches a vote?

  5. Kevin: Thanks for your comment and your efforts to get the word out. I've seen a continued growth in traffic to this specific post over the past ~48 hours. Democratic Underground just picked it up as well...so this is not "over" by a longshot.