In my description I say that there will be select rants and raves, so here’s my first rant!
It turns out that the Hoosier state is dominated by one party. The House, the Senate and the Governor are all Republicans. Whenever that occurs, any ding-dong that managed to get himself elected can push through any manner of law without the usual sort of checks and balances. This provides the opportunity for individuals to take stabs at people/organizations/ideas for their own personal reasons rather than for the value of the people of the state. This year should provide many opportunities for rants!
The first one to remark on is Senate Bill 373 authored by Senator Travis Holdman, a Republican from Markle, which would make it illegal for someone to enter an agricultural or industrial operation and take pictures with the intent to distribute the pictures. This bill is aimed directly at those people who try to record illegal, immoral, or unethical types of activities at these operations, i.e. animal cruelty, pollution, child labor, unsafe working conditions, etc.
Clearly the goal is to protect certain operators from getting a bad reputation for doing unsavory things. This bill would make it illegal to expose illegal activity!
More importantly, it also stomps on first amendment rights, i.e. freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
Amazingly (not really), the Senate passed this bill and now it’s on to the House. It’s not clear when (or if) the House will vote on this.
If this does become a law, you can be sure that the Humane Society or someone else will immediately break the law so that it will go to trial and ultimately be struck down as unconstitutional.
It will be nice when the next election comes around and we can get back to a bipartisan government that can’t get anything done.