Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Quiet Morning

It's a quiet morning ... the children are downstairs with their cousins Kiefer and Keaton. There has been only one difference of opinion, solved by bringing an extra blanket and pillow. The baby still sleeps though a few gurgles were heard through the baby monitor. Mom is sleeping as well, enjoying her day off - part of her part time work schedule.

Me? I've been involved in a free agency draft for one of the fantasy leagues I am in ... this one for which my team is the defending champion. It will be a one-year reign as the team has already been dissassembled, ala the Florida Marlins.

Bopping around the Internet, I saw this quote:

"Other than telling us how to live, think, marry, pray, vote, invest, educate our children and, now, die, I think the Republicans have done a fine job of getting government out of our personal lives." -- Sunday Portland Oregonian


I had been having discussions with a fellow named Tracy over at Boots and Sabers. We had been discussing speech and its limits. He is of the belief that pornography, abortion, etc. are all liberal inventions. Since the founding fathers envisioned the 1st Amendment to be a protection only for political speech, he said, anything else is a liberal assault on the true meaning of this amendment (paraphrasing).

Folkbum and Scott Feldstein joined in the fray ... all of us amazed at the shortsightedness of this fellow. No one I know likes pornography. It is a disgusting abuse of the human spirit. Of course, Tracy could not look past the child pornographers he apparently sees around every corner, courtesy of liberal thought. I wonder if he has ever given thought to the manipulated women and what circumstances caused themselves to expose their souls in such a hard and unsavory manner.

Yet, for all its inherent evil, the right to publish this crap is enshrined in the 1st Amendment. Because, if this was banned, what would be next?

Modeling for art classes? (And then next, government-sponsored art).
Erotic speech. Would Giacomo Casanova be banned.
Art literature magazines.
Magazines with erotic poetry.
Just modeling.
All non-government magazines.
All speech (unless approved).

It's not a complete slippery-slope list, but I hope you get the idea. There are laws to combat predators. Let the police do their job. Communities have the right to deny pornographers residency. The Internet presents a unique challenge. But I've got news for you, Tracy. There were child pornographers before the Internet and access to this trash can be purchased anywhere.

We need to be very cautious regarding any chipping away at our freedoms. Unfortunately, this adminstration and its many followers, like Tracy, are only too glad to wield a chisel.

Meanwhile, the children blissfully play in the basement and watch the Cartoon Network ... and the baby and her mommy sleep soundly upstairs. There is still much good in this world.

7 Swings of the bat:

Anonymous said...

I lean conservative, but I'm a free speach absolutist.

In fact, no liberal I know will go as far as I would.

I don't think any speech (that is not fraud) should be prohibited and only libel/slander should be actionable in civil courts.

That means: no hate speech laws (or hate laws at all because they create an additional penalty involving the exercise of speech), no commercial advertising restrictions, no anti-porn laws (the making of child or violent porn would be prevented by laws against child abuse, rape, etc), and no election "reforms" limiting money.

Speech is either free or it's not. The liberals have been just as complicit in limiting speech as the conservatives have. It's the main reason (along with the willful ignoring of the 2nd Amendment) that I stopped being a liberal when I was in my 20s.

Scott D. Feldstein said...

Well, elliot, by your definition: it's not. There's nothing fundamentally different between where you draw the line and where I do; we all still want a line. Your position is not an absolute one after all.

Other Side said...

If conservatives have been just as willful, then what were your reasons again?

Seriously, lines are drawn by the will of the people. It is mostly our conservative brethren who are interesting in drawing extreme lines. And others areas as well, such as denial of habeus corpus.

We are a nations of laws. We do not fight the lawless by becoming like them. To do otherwise would be to lose our souls.

fyi: I've never liked the "hate speech and crime" provisions.

Other Side said...

Oh, elliot ... you're always welcome here, though. Here free speech is an absolute.

Anonymous said...

Love that bit from The Oregonian!


Anonymous said...


I don't understand what you mean.

I really don't want a line. The "exceptions" I mentioned are crimes in and of themselves. Speech is just the vehicle they use to commit those crimes.

I also didn't say I thought those things should be prevented. I flat out believe the answer to wrong speech is more speech.

Anonymous said...

Other side, I don't consider myself a conservative.

In college I moved from a liberal to a small goverment libertarian and I haven't looked back since.

(And often what you see on my blog is the result of my being a contrarian by nature. ;)