Archive for April, 2005

Catholic Church Tries To Shut Website Over Insult To Pope

Saturday, April 30th, 2005

From the anti-free speech files comes this article about the Catholic Church trying to get a website shut down because it insults the new pope:

Rome judicial authorities sought a temporary injunction on Friday against an Internet site which carried doctored photographs of Pope Benedict dressed in a Nazi uniform.

Rome investigating magistrate Salavtore Vitello said in a statement the pictures violated a national law prohibiting defamation of the Catholic Church. Vitello said he was also considering taking action against the owners of the site for insulting the authority and honour of the Pope himself.

Ratzinger served in the Hitler Youth, a Nazi paramilitary organisation, in World War Two when membership was compulsory for young Germans.

It’s illegal to parody the church in Italy? What kind of free speech is that?

Alabama Bill Would Ban Books By Gay Authors

Thursday, April 28th, 2005

Unbelievable article from the CBS News website today about a proposal to ban all books by gay authors from certain libraries in Alabama:

Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. Under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.

“I don’t look at it as censorship,” says State Representative Gerald Allen. “I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children.”

Books by any gay author would have to go: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. Alice Walker’s novel “The Color Purple” has lesbian characters.

Allen originally wanted to ban even some Shakespeare. After criticism, he narrowed his bill to exempt the classics, although he still can’t define what a classic is.

Don’t be concerned though, because as he explains in the excerpt above, burning books isn’t really censorship, it’s just “protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children”. The Founding Fathers expressed their hatred for children when they decided that free speech and the First Amendment might be important in a free society.

Apparently Gerald Allen thinks that America could be a great country, if only the Constitution didn’t exist! :(

Google Video Search Beta

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

If you haven’t seen this yet, check it out:

http://video.google.com/

It looks like they are eventually going to allow people to post videos and charge for viewing them, though I doubt they will allow adult content.

U.S. President Announces Support For Censoring Cable/Satellite

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

This is just plain bad news for free speech in America:

President George W. Bush told newspaper editors Thursday that he supports extending indecency regulations to cable and satellite TV…”

You expect there to be a few nuts in the government who want to censor everything that Americans read, hear, and see, but when the most powerful person in the government is a proud supporter of censorship, people should be very worried.

How can anyone, especially someone who claims he is for less government in people’s lives, support allowing extremist religious fanatics to determine what adults can watch on all cable and satellite TV and radio?

It’s a disgrace and all Americans who care about their rights and the Constitution should be outraged.

Andrea Dworkin, Anti-Free Speech Feminist Dies

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

Andrea Dworkin, a radical lesbian feminist who was infamous for her idea that “all sex is rape”, has died at the age of 58.

Dworkin fought militantly against all pornography and did not believe in the idea of free speech. She, like many other extremists, believed that free speech was too dangerous for society. She also thought that hetrosexual marriage was subordination of women. She was married to an openly gay man.

If you want to read more about her life and her attacks on free speech in America, including her work with the infamous Meese Commission and her lawsuit against Larry Flynt in the 1980′s, here is an obituary from Wired Magazine.

U.S. Congressman Wants George Carlin Sent To Prison

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

When will the extremists in our government stop? When everyone who disagrees with them is in jail? When everyone who disagrees with them is “re-educated”? That day might be closer than you think.

This article talks about one right wing congressman who is working to make cursing on the radio a criminal offense, punishable by prison sentences:

The chairman of one of the entertainment industry’s most important congressional committees says he wants to take the enforcement of broadcast decency standards into the realm of criminal prosecution.

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner III, R-Wis., told cable industry executives attending the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. conference here on Monday that criminal prosecution would be a more efficient way to enforce the indecency regulations.

“I’d prefer using the criminal process rather than the regulatory process,” Sensenbrenner told the executives.

He wants to put people like George Carlin, Howard Stern, and Janet Jackson in prison, rather than fining them, when they upset some sheltered whiner who’s never heard the word “gay” or “ass” before.

At least you can still get decent shows on cable, right? Think again – there are more extremist politicians who want to make cable content, including HBO “family friendly” as well. That would mean that anyone doing anything on cable that wasn’t approved by every church group in the U.S. would be a criminal offense, and the actors would be sent to prison for “re-education”. The article goes on:

Although cable and satellite TV are not covered by the indecency statutes, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, have said they want to bring multichannel programrs into the legal mix.

How long before these right wing anti-free speech extremists come for the internet?

A better question is, who votes for these anti-American politicians in the first place? These guys sound like they’d be more at home in the Taliban than in America. Once they decide that sending people to prison for saying the word “damn” isn’t enough, maybe they can suggest hanging people for it. What next from these guys?

Where in the U.S. Constitution does it say that you have a right to not be offended by what other people do?

[ Edited 04/16/05 to correct that Sensenbrenner is a congressman, not a Senator like Stevens. Thanks to the person who pointed that out. ]