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Friday, February 04, 2005


Week Seven: When

Much as I would like to see all our men and women in uniform home in time for Valentines Day, even if it were practical, or indeed possible, it would not be ethical. We collectively took on the responsibility for Iraq’s security until the new Government has not just been selected, but until its cut its teeth and has the military and police organs to protect its citizens. This is the first attempt at nation building in decades, and it needs to be done right, I don’t expect the US will pull out most of its troops for four or more years.

Monday, January 31, 2005


Week Seven

Now that the Iraqi's have voted, what should our next step be? Should we draw down our troops? Do nothing for a time? Start leaving immediately?

Sunday, January 30, 2005


Week 6: Censorship

I generally agree with both the CO and J'myle. There should be absolutely zero censorship so long as a particular exercise of the Freedom of Speech does not directly hurt someone (i.e., shouting 'Theatre' in a crowded fire (I like that =)) and so long as I have a reasonable opportunity to avoid the exercise of Speech that I find offensive. So...TV, Radio, Movies, etc. are all free game as far as I'm concerned. The issues that we all own the airwaves and so the FCC can regulate what travels upon them is quickly becoming moot. With cable and satellite the wackos have ever more medium to ply their often offensive trades (need I even mention the internet?) and I have ever more opportunity to avoid them and find things that suit me. Hence...a Free Market complete with wide selection and consumer freedom will determine what society wants far faster, cheaper and more accurately than the Government ever could.

So, the only things I would suggest that should be rightly censored are truly public spaces. We should not be subjected to images of situations put so delicately by the CO (he does have a way with words, doesn't he =)) on a billboard in Times Square. Nor should we be auditorally assaulted by profanity-laced tirades amplified by a megaphone in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

How, exactly, we are going to decide which Speech gets censored in public places is difficult. In the end the decision must come down to common sense. If someone is offended by another's legitimate ideas, too bad. If, on the other hand, someone is offended by another's insulting language...then maybe something needs to be done (e.g., do we really want to defend my right to spew profanity while standing on Lincoln's head?). Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules and each case needs to be judged individually. If you don't like that answer then -phetwe-. I spit on you. Be gone from my sight!

Anyway...Before signing off, I would like to point out that I used two examples of truly public spaces: A city street and the Mall in DC. Inside a privately owned store or even within your local mall are a completely different manner. If Sacks 5th Ave. wants to allow CO-esque acts of carnal playtime or if the Mall of America ownership don't mind having those profanity-laced-megaphone-enhanced-tirades on their private property, there is absolutely nothing that gives any government the right to interfere. Which brings me to my pet peeve: smoking bans in "public places" that just happen to be privately owned restaurants and bars. Related...maybe...but we'll leave such things until another time.


All right, I also just noticed a comment left at J'myle's post by Tefran and I would like to briefly respond. What we are suggesting here is that Speech should not be constrained by the government unless it's going to harm someone else or (as I suggest) it is being exercised in a public place. Speech that fits these criteria has nothing in common with taxes, murder or theft. All three of those hurt people (in various ways and to different degrees) and so can be rightly outlawed or constrained depending on the circumstances.