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Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010
One last bit on censorship...
Now, pornography in general has precious few allies in politics. And that's not really all that surprising: The Christians [claim to] hate it on the Right, the Feminists hate it on the Left and no one in the middle really wants to stand up and declare, "Hey, I LIKE PORNOGRAPHY!"
So if you're going to take on censorship, Porn is a pretty good place to start. And kiddie-porn might be the least sympathetic issue of them all.
No, I'm not going to defend kiddie porn!
But awhile back I heard about some software that a company was developing that could recognize and track innappropriate or illegal images on the 'Net. They were selling it as a tool to comabt kiddie-porn, but in theory it could be used for pretty much ANYTHING deemed inappropriate. They way it was described, the way it would work is that you could flag an image, and the get a record of everyone who clicked on, and/or downloaded that image and you could then go after that person (for example) for possession of child pornography.
And I thought, not only "What a terrifying idea," but also, "What a stupid way to address the problem!"
Let's assume for the moment that I have a clearly inappropriate or illegal image - perhaps the picture of a women in a public restroom taken without her knowledge or consent. Now, let's take computers out of the equation for the moment, because people just get stupid when they are involved in anything law-related. So let's say I do the old-world equivalent of posting said picture on the 'Net: Let's say I blow it up to 100 feet tall and hang it up in the town square.
Now, clearly this woman is being vicvtiminzed, and something must be done.
Now... According to the logic behind this software, no action would be taken against the person who took the photograph or the person who hung it up. Also the photo would not be taken down. Instead the police would just stand by and arrest everybody who happened to walk by and LOOK AT IT.
Does that seem backwards to anyone else?
If there is a website that's distrubuting kidde-porn, SHUT IT DOWN and ARREST THE WEBMASTER for distribution of child pornography. It is painfully obvious to me that THAT is the appropriate response, and that it punnishes those who are actually reponsible for victimizing the child and/or other victim. Go after the producer and distributer for Pete's sake! Why the hell do I even CARE about some guy who downloaded it?! How (unless they are PAYING) are they really committing a CRIME here?
What's more, and I'll admit that I'm not altogether up on the latest laws, but at one point it was illegal to bring in Japanese Hentai that featured under-aged sex. Now, without attacking or defending the tastes of those who might watch such a thing, let's consider what it means to OUTLAW CARTOONS that feature under-aged sex. This means that I could sit in a room, by myself, with nothing but a pad of paper and a couple of pencils... and commit a crime.
Does THAT seem just a little bit absurd to anyone else? Who's the victim of this crime, I wonder? Because the only victim I see, the only person who is being wronged there, would be the guy who's being arrested for DRAWING A PICTURE.
Now, I said this was non-partisan, and it IS, because like I said, It's not like PORN has a whole lot of allies, politically speaking. But why do we always say "I'll defender the KKK" when we talk about free speech? Personally? I think Larry Flynt has done more than any other American to defend our freedom of expression. And while there are still the feminists on the Left, we know who really has the heft when trying to fight these freedoms. (Family Values sound familiar to anyone?) And while we'll defend the KKK's right to speak, or so we claim, it's pretty clear to me that "freedom of speech" only matter to a Republican if you're saying something s/he wants to hear.