UVLUG presents Pete Ashdown on Open Source, politics and government *PLUS* an installfest!

Josh Hansen josh_lists at xmission.com
Wed Feb 22 15:03:16 MST 2006

Richard K Miller wrote:
> I, OTOH, think the negative societal effects  
> of pornography are big enough that it ought to be treated more like a  
> drug. (I.e., the government doesn't let people enjoy cocaine in the  
> privacy of their own homes, nor child porn for that matter.)  

What, exactly, are the negative societal effects of pornography you are
talking about?  It is one of the biggest industries in the world, it is
one of the most in-demand products in the world, and it has always
helped advance technology.  Society seems to get along just fine with
all the porn out there, as far as I can tell.  Sure, there are always
losers out there who can't control themselves, but IMO, that's hardly a
reason to have the government treat porn like a drug.  Do you really
want the government to spend countless billions invading people's
privacy in a war on porn, which will undoubtedly fail, just like the war
on drugs?

How do you treat porn like a drug anyway?  Should neighbors who hear
porno music coming from someone's house call the cops, just like they
would if they suspected drug dealings going on there?  Should people be
arrested for possession of porn?  I wonder what would harm a family
more, a father who has a few hardcore videos in the closet that he
watches now and then, possibly even with his wife, or a father who got
arrested, taken away from his children, because of those videos.

Obviously, I really don't understand your reasoning here, but aside from
that, think about this.  No politician is ever going to succeed in
making pornography illegal, or treated like drugs, no matter how hard
they try.  The constitutional issues involved, along with the millions
of Americans who would never support a plan like that, make it
impossible.  So why even worry about that as an issue?  You can vote for
a guy who says he will put an end to porn, but he won't actually put an
end to it, so why even take that into consideration when deciding who to
vote for?  Doesn't it make more sense to vote for someone based on the
real issues that politicians will actually spend real time on?  I'm not
trying to tell you who to vote for, it's just my opinion that caring
about a politician's stance on pornography is pointless.

Child porn is a different matter entirely of course, I hope you weren't
lumping all pornography in with child porn but the way you worded your
post makes it hard to tell for sure.  But child porn is already illegal,
and the penalties for possessing it are usually stiffer than the
penalties for drug possession, so I'm not sure what else you think the
government should be doing about that, except maybe having a back door
into every single American's computer so they can do regular child porn

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