Hurtful language hurts politicians

United States Senator Bill Hagerty on Tuesday joined Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and nine other colleagues to introduce the Public Servant Protection Act, which protects public officials and employees and their families from having their home addresses displayed publicly online. Text of the bill may be found here. …

United States Senator Bill Hagerty on Tuesday joined Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and nine other colleagues to introduce the Public Servant Protection Act, which protects public officials and employees and their families from having their home addresses displayed publicly online. Text of the bill may be found here.

(Via Chattanoogan.com)

That’s not how free speech works.

Should public servants and their families be protected by law enforcement? Yes. We all should, and those serving in office should get protection specific to their role as the vitriol is particularly incendiary and the service they provide is important.

Should government officials be sheltered from voters who disagree with them, those who say things they don’t like, in a peaceful manner? No. If the voices are dangerous? Yes.

Should journalists and news outlets couch political grandstanding as “protection” from “threats”? No.

Should public employee addresses be public record? That’s not clear cut. I think elected officials should have their addresses on record since their residence is part of the requirement to hold office. If public service employees, like fire and police, are required to live in their community, then that should be public record as well.

Of course, this is largely moot. Most everyone volunteers their location on social media. It would not take much work to figure out where a public servant lives based on posts by themselves, their significant others, or their offspring.

Lawn care specialists, house cleaning professionals, au pairs, and the like could also post location information.

Maybe neighbors post their own information and it becomes easy to triangulate a voted-on public servant’s house?

That is not your pipeline

Imagine a bill to study energy infrastructure in your state:

On March 2, a seemingly innocuous bill in the Tennessee General Assembly proposed a study on energy infrastructure,  but an amendment to remove local government’s ability to regulate fossil fuel infrastructure threw up red flags with legislators, local government officials and environmental groups.

(Dulce Torres Guzman via Tennessee Lookout)

Based on my limited understanding:

A libertarian would say the state should not supersede the will of the locality, and the locality not supersede the will of the local people and deny the pipeline;

A liberal would say the good of the many outweighs the good of the few (or the one), but part of the calculus should be the environmental impact and deny the pipeline;

A conservative would say the good for business is the good for all as pipelines and their ilk will create jobs, short term and long term and approve the pipeline;

A modern Republican would be for state’s rights, religious legislation, and where the others don’t intersect, a hands-off approach to business in this case, probably pro pipeline and approve the pipeline;

A MAGA would demonize those against pipelines (pro conservative) and demonize those for local control (anti libertarian) and variously pro- and anti-Republican depending on short-term goals and approve the pipeline;

A modern Democrat will do something either in concert with other Democrats or not;

An independent informed thinker, not an Independent voter, will look at the proposal – pros and cons, history, who benefits – and will be disappointed that the State government is moving so fast on this item.

Is this government helping or hindering?

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the “Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act” on Tuesday in an attempt to bolster the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure owners in the country.

The new bipartisan legislation, among other things, stipulates entities that experience a cyber incident to report the attacks within 72 hours to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in addition to alerting the agency about ransomware payments within 24 hours.

(Via Hacker News)

I’m keen to read up on this legislation and seeing the analysis. At first blush I see it as benefiting government more than the businesses and organizations that would be bound by the law, if passed.

The US government doesn’t have the best track record on legislation around security. See Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) that was meant for financial oversight but stuck most of the responsibility with IT & security teams.