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IP: A Beehive in their Bonnet, from The Netly News
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 02:29:28 -0400



The Netly News (http://netlynews.com/)
October 20, 1997

A Beehive in Their Bonnet
by Declan McCullagh=A0 (declan () well com)

=A0=A0=A0=A0John Caldeira's remark in a beekeeper's discussion
=A0=A0=A0=A0area on Prodigy seemed innocuous enough: It
=A0=A0=A0=A0described how to rid honeybees of parasites. "Two
=A0=A0=A0=A0ounces of Mavrik mixed with one gallon of water and
=A0=A0=A0=A0sprayed on the bottom boards of one's hives several
=A0=A0=A0=A0times a year. It is reportedly very effective,"
=A0=A0=A0=A0Caldeira wrote.

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 Honey may attract flies, but this discussion about its
=A0=A0=A0=A0production drew swarms of bureaucrats. The Texas
=A0=A0=A0=A0Department of Agriculture charged Caldeira with
=A0=A0=A0=A0violating a state law banning unapproved discussions
=A0=A0=A0=A0of bee medicines and fined the 42-year-old hobbyist
=A0=A0=A0=A0$600. A draft statement from the department
=A0=A0=A0=A0complains that Caldeira was "criticizing
=A0=A0=A0=A0regulations" and improbably argues that "the honey
=A0=A0=A0=A0market in the U.S. could become depressed because
=A0=A0=A0=A0of widespread concerns about its safety and due to
=A0=A0=A0=A0Mr. Caldeira's suggestion that commercial beekeepers
=A0=A0=A0=A0are using Mavrik in their hives."

=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 But the Texas bureaucrats have a problem: The law
=A0=A0=A0=A0seems to violate the First Amendment's guarantees
=A0=A0=A0=A0of freedom of speech. "There is absolutely no doubt
=A0=A0=A0=A0that John Caldeira's speech is -- and should be --
=A0=A0=A0=A0protected speech under the First Amendment to the
=A0=A0=A0=A0U.S. Constitution," says Mike Godwin, staff counsel
=A0=A0=A0=A0to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


"Photons have neither morals nor visas"  --  Dave Farber 1994

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