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PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!

Rick Fielding 01 Oct 99 - 07:07 PM
Jeri 01 Oct 99 - 05:46 PM
Peter T. 01 Oct 99 - 04:52 PM
Joe Offer 01 Oct 99 - 03:58 PM
GeorgeH 01 Oct 99 - 06:45 AM
Joe Offer 01 Oct 99 - 02:46 AM
Lonesome EJ 01 Oct 99 - 02:12 AM
Joe Offer 01 Oct 99 - 01:50 AM
Lonesome EJ 30 Sep 99 - 05:10 PM
Larry B. 30 Sep 99 - 02:58 PM
GeorgeH 30 Sep 99 - 01:29 PM
Larry B. 30 Sep 99 - 12:00 PM
MMario 30 Sep 99 - 11:15 AM
GeorgeH 30 Sep 99 - 10:39 AM
GeorgeH 30 Sep 99 - 10:30 AM
Rick Fielding 30 Sep 99 - 01:35 AM
30 Sep 99 - 12:45 AM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 29 Sep 99 - 04:48 PM
paddymac 29 Sep 99 - 04:30 PM
Jon Freeman 29 Sep 99 - 03:27 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Sep 99 - 03:19 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 99 - 03:05 PM
katlaughing 29 Sep 99 - 02:15 PM
Larry B. 29 Sep 99 - 01:43 PM
JedMarum 29 Sep 99 - 01:37 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 99 - 01:06 PM
Jeri 29 Sep 99 - 12:50 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Sep 99 - 12:46 PM
Peter T. 29 Sep 99 - 12:36 PM
JedMarum 29 Sep 99 - 12:16 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Sep 99 - 12:00 PM
JedMarum 29 Sep 99 - 11:57 AM
JedMarum 29 Sep 99 - 11:54 AM
GeorgeH 29 Sep 99 - 11:42 AM
katlaughing 29 Sep 99 - 11:06 AM
katlaughing 29 Sep 99 - 11:05 AM
Larry B. 29 Sep 99 - 10:41 AM
JedMarum 29 Sep 99 - 10:07 AM
Peter T. 29 Sep 99 - 09:00 AM
GeorgeH 29 Sep 99 - 07:11 AM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 99 - 04:52 AM
JedMarum 29 Sep 99 - 01:51 AM
katlaughing 28 Sep 99 - 11:43 PM
Larry B. 28 Sep 99 - 11:33 PM
lamarca 28 Sep 99 - 11:14 PM
katlaughing 28 Sep 99 - 08:01 PM
Joe Offer 28 Sep 99 - 07:17 PM
catspaw49 28 Sep 99 - 06:45 PM
Peter T. 28 Sep 99 - 06:21 PM
katlaughing 28 Sep 99 - 05:49 PM
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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 07:07 PM

Peter, how bout if someone has slept with Christie of Oahu?


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 05:46 PM

***************Mudcat Party Announces Candidate ***********************************************An Offer You Can't Refuse ***************************************************Offer Only Good Until 2000


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 04:52 PM

Joe, have you ever slept with Julie Christie? That is my current criterion for Presidential, er, timber. Anyone who has slept with Julie Christie has been closer to divine truth that I have, and who knows, Warren might have learned something..... (naaaaaah. Joe Offer for President). yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 03:58 PM

It is something we should be careful of, George. We all have a temptation to demonize our opponents when it's to our advantage. If we take the time to properly nuance an argument, we often lose the readers' interest, so we tend to take shortcuts and steamroll over our opponents. Another thing is that it takes courage to respect an opponent's point of view, because your so-called friends may call you a traitor.
U.S. Republicans demonize the other side when they refer to Democrats being "soft on crime" or "tax and spend" liberals. Democrats/liberals have similar tactics, like accusing people of being sexist or racist for a simple slip of the tongue. Honorable people usually aren't in favor of crime, and there's really nothing wrong with making sure you collect enough money to pay the bills. And while we all come from a culture that is racist in may ways, most of us try our best not to be bigots and only occasionally slip and say something we shouldn't.
As for me, I consider myself to be a Democratic Socialist, in agreement with most positions taken by people who call themselves liberals. I prefer to think for myself, and not espouse any particular ideology.
Within the Catholic Church, I consider myself part of the "loyal opposition." That means I get flak from all sides.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 06:45 AM

Lary B: Thanks for the Websters quote; however either your or my interpretation of it is equally valid, and I stick with mine. In my view, your constitution, and the universal declaration, RECOGNISE those rights which I believe are inherent; they don't create them. But at the end of the day this argument is academic.

And sorry, Joe, no nasty spin was intended; I apologise if it seemed otherwise. I'm quite sure when it comes down to specific examples of what's right and wrong, where things have a clear effect on people we'd all agree what was right and proper (probably regardless of what the law had to say on the point!). But if only you WERE running and I was eligible to vote then the draft would most certainly be in the post!

So, to repeat, my apologies to ANYONE I may have offended - that wasn't my intention.

G.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 02:46 AM

LEJ, can I "offer" you a job - in my opponents' campaigns???
You think they'd let me hang out at the 'Cat if I were president?
Four hundred grand a year sounds pretty good, but since I'm a federal retiree, I'd be a "reemployed annuitant," and I'd have to work for peanuts. No, thanks.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 02:12 AM

Well, Joe, they just doubled it to 400,000. Although it would mean a return to a role as Civil Servant, you know. If you're serious, I have a great campaign slogan for you: " Honor! and Offer!"


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 01:50 AM

Well, George, I think you're reading stuff into my words. The problem with restricting speech that causes fear is proving how harm was done, and writing legislation that will outlaw harmful speech while protecting the freedom of those who do no harm. You will note that my official comment on speech that causes fear and emotional harm is "I dunno." That does not mean I believe this type of speech should be protected or allowed - it means I don't know how to deal with it, and I'm open to ideas. I do think it's an issue we need to deal with very carefully.
But heck, you guys are putting a nasty spin onto what I said and making me into some kind of libertarian monster or something....
Although many of my fans and supporters have urged me to do so, I am NOT running for President this year, or any time soon. Therefore, you guys aren't supposed to be allowed to put a negative spin on my words like that.
I may accept a draft, however....
Is the pay any good?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 05:10 PM

George, you are right. The subject of the phrase was ambiguous. But I'll bet you followed my meaning.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Larry B.
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 02:58 PM

According to Webser's New Collegiate Dictionary, a right is "something to which one has a just claim...the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled...something that one may properly claim as due...." Claims and entitlements are determined by a system of laws (i.e. the government) and are valid only while that government is in power. Certain rights were held to be inalienable by a group of rebels a couple of centuries ago in this country, and as long as the government they set up remains in power, those rights are inalienable.

In your post, you acknowledged that two rights could come into conflict. If I decide that a certain type of speech offends me, my complaint will only have weight if it is enforced by the government. By being able to decide what constitutes an infringement to my free and untroubled existence, the government is given the powert to limit speech.

LB


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 01:29 PM

Larry B: I disagree, utterly. I believe the concept of inherent and inalienable rights is of crucial importance; it allows us to emphasise the denial of rights rather than their "gift". Also there seems a strange imbalance in your insistence that rights are given (by whom??) and then (seemingly) wishing to deny the possibility of anyone determining which of two conflicting rights should have precedence. Actually, I disagree that privileges are necessarily earned, too - but I guess you're not familiar with our House of Lords . . .

G.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Larry B.
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 12:00 PM

George-

There are no absolute rights; rights are given (as opposed to priveleges, which are earned), and are only valid while the giver remains in power. As to the right of freedom of speech giving way to the right to a free and untroubled existence if they conflict with each other--who determines when they conflict? That person or entity (and yes, it would probably be the government) would be able to curtail your freedom of speech for his, her, or its own ends.

LB


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: MMario
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 11:15 AM

the blank person above posted: "for no punishment or evil in any form can be inflicted upon a sinless person. " --- makes me wonder. Scourging, public humiliation and death on a cross are not "punishment or evil"? and I can think of a great many evils that have been done to infants, who haven't had TIME to sin.

But THAT discussion belongs on another forum.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 10:39 AM

[Now entering pedantry mode] LonesomeEJ; did you really say "the suppression of speech BY such diverse individuals as Lenny Bruce, Pete Seeger . . ". Hey, you've just swapped which side those guys are on! [End of pedantry]

Jack (wicj): good point, well made. Still believe the protection of individuals is even more fundamental than the right to free speech, though.

G.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 10:30 AM

Jo. Love the red flashy bit. However there's no fault in my logic. You said that you would only legislate against speech which causes actual harm. My opinion (clearly one you don't share) is that the ultimate consequence of that policy would be to leave the victims of hate campaigns without any protection. OK, I didn't go to great lengths to express that opinion in the most carefully couched and unambiguous of terms.

At the risk of getting into still deeper water, I'd suggest that both freedom of speech and the right of individuals to a free, untroubled existence (ok, dream on on this last point) are absolute rights. By which I mean they can't be curtailed. Until you reach the point where they are incompatible with each other - which is exactly what we are talking about here. And IMO at that point it's the free speech which has to yield.

At least this approach (until someone points out further flaws in it) doesn't allow government to curtail my freedom of speech for its own ends.

Regards

G.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 01:35 AM

Gil, you're one heck of a contradiction. Sorry 'bout the chords.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From:
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 12:45 AM

Very well said, I agree.

Mary herslef acknowledged her need of a Saviour, for she said:

My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior" (Luke 1:46, 47)

Note particularly Mary's words, "my Savior." No one other than a sinner needs a Saviour, for no punishment or evil in any form can be inflicted upon a sinless person. Roman Catholics will have to take Mary's word or accuse "Our Lady" of lying. For in those words she confessed that she was a sinner in need of a Saviour. That should settle once and for all whether or not a Christian should pray to her. Mary was an admirable character, to be sure. But she was not sinless, and she was only human. It was, therefore, necessary for her to be born again of the spirit and to participate in the redemptiion provided by her Son.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 04:48 PM

In order to believe in freedom and democracy you have to be willing to accept defeat for while.

For what you get with democracy isn't the right to win, but the right to stay in the game even when you lose.

In practical terms, that means were only allowed to battle against (for example) the KKK. We aren't allowed to muzzle or outlaw them. They always get to come back tommorow and have another go at us. Democracy rejects ultimate victory no matter how worthwhile the cause. This is the great sacrifice democracy demands. Whenever you hear about proposed restraints on politically provocative speech its usually rootied in an unwillingness by the proposer to make that sacrifice. The fantasy is that they can have democracy and simultaneously deny the offending party their chance to win.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: paddymac
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 04:30 PM

Well, I think Joe wins on points. Meanwhile, think I'll hav a pint and wait for the next wild thread to start.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 03:27 PM

IMO freedom of speach and knowingly being offensive are very different matters and as an example, while I would totally disagree with the use of the word nigger, I think that when PC has reached the level where you should say chalk-board rather than blackboard (if the thing was white and chalk was black - I wouldn't feel offended if it was called a white board) the whole situation has got ridiculous.

I am more concerend about labeling of people in sosciety than the words used. In 1987, I was "diagnosed" shizophrenic - I dared to mention hearing a voice when I visited my doctor and spent a week in a mental hospital. I didn't take the tablets and still do not as I believe that the diagnosis was wrong and contary to the psychiatrist belief I am coping very well.

I worked through this with the company who employed me (and although it may be hard to believe with some of my grammer these days) throsh all this, I wrote documentation that helped to get my company BS5750 approval (I was the only author in my department) and was good at my job. I left partly to follow a couple of musical interests and partly over a difference of opinion over workloads - I can prove this: after I left, my job was split between 2 people (and argueably 2.5) - a supposedly sz person was doing more than they deemed was reaonable for a "normal" person.

The trouble came when I wanted to go back into my previous career. It makes no difference whether the term "mentally ill", "schizophrenic" or even "madman" is used, the fact is that that label remains on my record and I can not use the company that I did well with for a reference because of it. 2 weeks and the ensuing label managed to destroy my working life.

Jon


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 03:19 PM

Peter, your point is well taken. But a distinction must be drawn between the belief systems of a religion, and the practices of it's church. The Christian belief is based upon the life and teachings of Christ, and I find little in these teachings that authorize an anti-woman bias. In fact, as you yourself have said, women played a significant role in most of the major events of Christ's life. The patriarchal nature of the church built upon these teachings has little to do with belief, and everything to do with tradition and power.

I don't agree that the figure of Mary is a token icon. Her significance is more far-reaching. Where Christ has often been portrayed as the gentle redeemer in Christian Tradition, he is also portrayed as the Harrower of Hell, and as Son in the Holy Trinity. Mary's representation is much more approachable . She is the human face of Christianity. In representations, she is also the life-giver, and the bearer of sorrows, and carries much of the power and strength of the Earth Mother. My belief is that Mary may have become a popular figure in the medieval church not because the church fathers needed a token female figure, but because there was an easy transfer of devotion from adherents of earlier pagan, probably female, deities to her.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 03:05 PM

Well, I won't do another logic alert banner, but I can't let my words be twisted like that. Let me say it in bold print, so that there's no question: The type of free speech I seek to protect is the freedom to speak out about what's wrong with our society, and to propose ways to correct those wrongs. I think it is absolutely essential that this freedom be protected. In protecting that freedom, it may be that we will impair government's ability to restrict speech that is hateful or that causes fear. That is an unfortunate consequence of protecting our freedom of speech. I do believe in the need for government and for law and order and all that good stuff, but I'm afraid to give too much power to government when it comes to controlling speech. As I said above, I prefer to err on the side of freedom - with full realization that there are some very serious consequences to that error. The alternative, I'm afraid, is worse.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 02:15 PM

LeeJ, Jeri's answer made a good point. I don't have much energy for this, today. I am working on an editorial and jewelry.

Basically, from my studies, the early church co-opted the goddess of the pagan people, which really just means those who were slow to give up their old ways or beliefs. She became Mary and has served a very good purpose in that pagans found they could go along with the new religion because they still had a familiar "deity" to petition. Women still became subjugated and treated as lesser class, thought of as without brains, and good mostly for service and procreation.

I would refer anyone interested to the book I mentioned before, Encylopedia of Women's Myths and Secrets by Barbara Walker. Others I would highly recommend for a different perspective on things include one Sandy Paton recommended, God of the Witches by Margaret A. Murray; The Mystical Life of Jesus; and, The Secret Doctrines of Jesus, both written by H. Spencer Lewis, Ph.D. The last two are a little archaic in rhetoric as they were written in the 1930's.

I think it is safe to say, some of us are never going to agree with each others beliefs. Personally, I am with George on the part of speech. The kind of speech, I think Joe means to protect, I would consider terrorising in certain circumstance. One important thing I would liek to point is, that when one person of a certain group is singled out for hatred, spoken or otherwise, simply because they are perceived to be a part of that group, it doesn't just effect them, it effects the whole group. A simple example is one African American family having a cross burned in front of their house. The hatemongers not only terrorise them, but the entire people of colour community. People don't usually decide to go burn a cross on someone's lawn without it being discussed and spurred on by hatefilled speech. Amongst themselves, I feel they ahve that right to speech, but when it spills over into the community is where I'd like to see the line drawn. Not an easy task no one with easy answers.

And, that is the last I intend to say on either of the subjects for now. Thanks to all fo you for posting.

kat


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Larry B.
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 01:43 PM

Liam:

I suppose you mean you can't imagine why you would put those photos up on a website. (Or rather why someone else would.)

LB


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 01:37 PM

Lonesome EJ - once again I find us in fierce agreement. I do not advocate a prohibition on nude photos of anyone. There is a clear distinction here. Abusing a child for sexual gratification and/or financial exploit is illegal - and it has nothing to do with the care and love a parent gives a child. I am sure that nude photos of your daughter or my son, have nothing to do with abuse. Small minded people may howl all they want to the contrary, but they do not have a legal leg to stand on, and common sense will prevail, in this arguement. I can't imagine why I put those photos up on a website, but I don't expect that we can legislate good taste. Abuse, on the other hand, is a clear distinction.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 01:06 PM

* alert: logic error * alert: logic error * alert: logic error *
Jo O: So if your words merely terrorise others without causing them actual harm that's OK?? I beg to differ

Caught ya, George! I think you fell into a Kattrap on that one. Did I say that speech causing terror is OK??? No, sir, I certainly did not. I don't know where you're from, but I find that's a common error in American thinking - to believe that anything not specifically prohibited by law is "OK." I think I stated my strong opposition to hate propaganda, and the efforts I would take to restrict it. My question is whether it should be considered a matter for criminal or for civil legal action. I also think that there has to be strong proof of the harm done, and the intent to cause harm. When it comes to restricting speech, we have to be very careful.

Next error: this patriarchal church issue. Seems to me that until the very recent past, all institutions were patriarchal. That was the nature of our society. Labor unions were patriarchal, too - and still are, to an extent. Are you antipatriarchs opposed to labor unions? I think that's changing in all our institutions, and I am very pleased that women are finally coming into leadership roles. Still, I cannot condemn all past institutions, simply because they were dominated by males.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 12:50 PM

LEJ, I think that depends on which form of Christianity you're talking about. As far as I know, protestants don't pray to Mary the way Catholics do.

Organized religions to a large extent reflect societal norms. Problems occur when a society adopts new attitudes about right (and rights) and wrong and the religion doesn't change. Some people argue that the bible was written with divine guidance, and therefore change and adaption of the religion are impossible. People base their beliefs on what makes sense to them, and if a religion doesn't make sense, it will lose believers.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 12:46 PM

Liam- (just to play Devil's advocate) we can easily agree that certain portrayals of child sexuality are and should be illegal, but what about tasteful or beautiful photographs of children naked? Pictures of my daughter which I took when she was three, and which I cherish, would probably be considered prurient by some. If they were displayed on an internet site, yes they would probably seen as pornographic. In many cases, the crime is not in the content, but in the context. Again, the situation is rarely black and white, and cannot always be placed in such a neat descriptive phrase as child abuse. What's more, we deal with a sliding scale- nudes done by Impressionist painters were considered by many at the time to be titillating. Today, we may consider them sensuous, but rarely pornographic. They were seen by many as harmful to the society then. Now we agree that they enrich it.

The question of freedom of speech and of expression goes to the heart of how we perceive ourselves and our society, and how we structure our personal and societal moral codes and ethics. I would not live in a society where the degradation and abuse of children is accepted. But neither would I welcome a system that denies personal freedom in the attempt to ferret out these abuses.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 12:36 PM

If this thread has to creep, I would rather it creep towards the Virgin Mary! I'm not kat, but I can do this one!! Surely every religion that is going to survive has to incorporate some resonances from every part of human life, including the female. So what happens in this case. It is not that contentious (unless you are the Pope) that Christianity, from just after the very outset, did what it could to marginalise women. We have the spectacle at the beginning of Jesus being primarily supported by rich women, and consorting with them. It is obvious the women see this as a chance to break out. We have these women sticking by him when things get rough, while the guys head off in all directions. We have the Marys who are the only reliable witnesses to the resurrection (all reputable Biblical scholars recognise that the additions to Mark where Peter shows up are later). We have reports of women celebrants and deacons from the very outset. And what happens: within 200 years they are no where in the evolving hierarchy. But what to do about the basic feminine impulse? -- give them the Virgin Mary, the Vice-Presidential supplicator to God for humanity. Thus we keep them in the tent, but keep them humble (the humble handmaid of the Lord). There is a lot more in the tradition that is positive, but this part is pretty straighforward. Over to you, Kat.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 12:16 PM

Bingo, Lonesome EJ. Exactly my point in a previous post above liam_devlin . But in the case of Kiddie porn, we are talking about activity which is illegal to begin with; child abuse. The laws surrounding these activities can be enforced, easily, and have a long history of successful prosecutions. If I knowingly particpate in, and film a murder or an armed robbery and then publish the film of those illegal activities, I am guilty of several crimes. Enforcing these laws has not been viewed by our courts as an infringment on freedom of speech. Back to my previous analogy; if you are practicing your right to swing your arms, that's fine, but when you strike me on the nose, you have violated my right to be unmolested.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 12:00 PM

The concept of words having the potential to damage or weaken an individual can be extended to society in general; thus, pornography has been interpreted in the past as an attack on the larger construct of individuals known as a Nation or State. This was the logic that has been used to make child pornography illegal, but it is also the motivation behind the suppression of speech by such diverse individuals as Lenny Bruce, Pete Seeger, and Ernest Hemmingway in this country, and the stated cause for the book-burnings in Nazi Germany. The slope that supports both freedom of individual expression and censorship is indeed a slippery one. A reasonable balance is the foundation of true democracy, but movement too far in one direction or another leads to either anarchy or repression.

Kat- re your argument that Christianity is a patriarchal religion that has an inherent interest in the oppression of women: How do you account for the fact that a woman was the central focus of Christianity for most of it's history? That,indeed, she was perceived as the central arbiter on behalf of mankind with a creator that was otherwise unapproachable? Just curious.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 11:57 AM

hmmm - serious thread creep, from Politically Correct to Kiddie Porn. Sorry Kat!

liamdevlinwhohasnodisciplinewhenitcomestothreadcreep


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 11:54 AM

kat - I couldn't agree more with you, about voting! I am appalled by the small percentage of people who understand and accept this responsibility.

george - well perhaps I am a bit naïve, but I thought kiddie porn was being successfully controlled on the Internet. I am sure that our laws could be enforced though, without circumventing the constitutional rights of others though.

Sites that disseminate the material could be prosecuted, users who access those sites could be tracked and prosecuted, people who create the material could be tracked and prosecuted. I suspect we already have enforceable laws on these matters. Maybe Law enforcement technology hasn't caught up with Internet dissemination technology yet, but it will. It must.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 11:42 AM

liam: Of course child pornography is available to US citizens via the Internet. And - unless draconian changes are forced on the net - it always will be. And IMO the more general loss of freedoms that those changes would bring make them unacceptable.

As for tracking those who access such material - I would have thought your constitution made that almost impossible, although there I could be wrong . .

Don't get me wrong - I'm not supporting the sites or those who access them.

G.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 11:06 AM

Arrggghhh! That should read "their right to vote"!


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 11:05 AM

It would help if we had citizens who were willing to actually exercise their right to vote.

And, I still don't think free speech should protect someone from using derogatory language towards children.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Larry B.
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 10:41 AM

Now all we have to do is find people who both want to run for public office, and are capable of producing responsible legislation, as well as more citizens who are willing to pay for diligent law enforcement.

LB


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 10:07 AM

Peter T. -

I think Internet story on porn exemplifies how free speech limits are imposed reasonably. Simple nude photos are not typically judged to be 'obscene' but most US legal standards. Photos of consenting adults performing legal, sexual activities, are likewise not often judged to be obscene, in US communities. But child pornography is explicitly illegal, in several enforceable ways. We have the ability, in the US to prosecute purveyors of such material. I hope you are wrong about it's being available to US Internet viewers, but if you aren't I hope that US law enforcement is going after these merchants and viewers.

I think someone put it best, in this thread when they said, analgous to free speech ... you have the right to swing your fist as widely and freely as you like, right up to the point that it strikes my face! Now where is the point that your swinging actually infringes on my right to be unmolested - is a question to be answered by responsible legislastion, and diligent law enforcement.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 09:00 AM

Kat, I think my response about the Internet was a muddy way of saying that although there is much more of it, we are already learning to cope. It is a pretty ugly sight, but we are. People thought that television was going to destroy us, beaming into our homes. They were completely right, but we go on. We bounce around for awhile, but then the safety nets of sense and tolerance get woven around a new set of boundaries. Democracies do that -- we assume that most people will cope, or look at the stuff once and move on -- the important thing (if you buy this) is that things are challenged (with which we all seem to agree here), and put in their rightful place as irritants. One tough part (of course) is that all this is based on a bunch of reasonably strong, well-adjusted people (Mill's Victorians), when we know that there is at least a minority that isn't (anywhere), with (in your country) easy access to handguns. Do we change the rules to protect ourselves against the thoughts that they might have, and the things that they might do, or not? Is the tradeoff worth it? And is the assumption that all citizens are able to make up their own minds independendtly worth hanging on to, even if we all know that that isn't true?

I have an Internet pornography story which exemplifies this. I was talking to one of my male students about pornography on the Internet, and he said, "I expect that after the ten thousandth picture of a naked woman, you might begin to lose interest.""Yes?" I said. "Naaaah", he said.
A good story, but it has nothing to do with the disgusting child pornography, etc., you can find easily on the Web. We could joke about it.
As I said, deep questions. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 07:11 AM

Jo O: So if your words merely terrorise others without causing them actual harm that's OK?? I beg to differ!

The problem is we're all talking broad generalisations, and at that level each of us probably holds irreconcilable believes. We probably all support "free speech", oppose censorship, and believe everyone should be able to live their lives in resonable comfort, safety and lack of fear . . That circle can't be squared. All we can hope to do is arrive at the best, most pragmatic compromise in each set of real circumstances.

Just my 2p.

G.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 04:52 AM

Freedom of speech is a sticky question. I think that government should not legislate against speech unless it causes actual harm to another person. If it's physical harm, then I think criminal prosecution might be appropriate. If it's economic or other harm, then I think it should generally be a matter for the civil courts. Fear and emotional harm? - I dunno.
On the other hand, it I were an Internet Service Provider or the publisher of a newspaper, I would be very reluctant to allow my publication or service the be the vehicle of hateful propaganda. I don't know what the law says, but if somebody wanted me to run a hate ad in my newspaper, I'd go to extremes to prevent it.
If my car mechanic were a hate monger, I think I'd find another mechanic - but I'd first do my best to try to lead that mechanic in the right direction. I guess you could say that's economic pressure against hate, and I'd generally say that's a good idea.
I'd like to day I'd do my best to speak out against hate. I'm not all that sure rhetoric works. Kat and I like each other pretty much, although we often have different perspectives. Usually, I keep my mouth shut, but today was a slow day at work so I decided to I decided speak my piece. My logic and rhetoric were admirable, I'd say - but maybe you noticed that Kat didn't budge an inch. So, did my rhetoric do any good? Did Kat change my mind? If I can't sway my friends, how will a affect the opinions of my enemies? Well, I plan to speak out, anyhow. I have in the past, and I ain't quitting now.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 01:51 AM

Thinking back to the 50's, as lamarca invited us to do ... in those days Pete Seeger was so shamefully 'silenced' (as much as he could be) by our legal watchdogs ... so were the KKK. I agree that Pete, and other gentle souls of his day who spoke/sang their messages of importance, can in no way be compared with the hate mongers of the KKK ... but the point is, our society was more successful in those days, at its attempts to repress the points-of-view it found unaccepable. Today communism and socialist theory are discussed openly and without the Nationalist paranoia, (and even hysteria) it produced in the late 40's and the 50's. In those days, even at the cost of our freedom of speech - it was not allowed. This cost Pete his unfair treatment.

Since the freedom of speech in the US is more liberally applied today than it was back in the 50's, we have an increase in the availability of the less desireable stuff as well. We have seen an increase in the availability of the hate stuff, and I find it disturbing, but I know it is the price of my freedom of speech. The hate mongers are governed by the same laws that govern the rest of us. If we fight them, and we must, we do so within reasoned law application, diligent law enforcement and organized social pressure. I believe this last means of combatting hate was Kat's original point - social pressure; we must all practice responsible, considerate behaviors. Our words and deeds must be those of sensitive adults who display acceptance and open minds to all people, not just those from our own little demographics group! I not agree with this notion, I practice it.

When we have free speech and we apply the same rules to all within our society ... we will have people who say and do things we don't like. Even those 'hateful bastards' with messages we find abhorrent, are entitled to speak their opinions ... as long as they voice them under the same rules we do ours.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 11:43 PM

Sorry, Lamarca, I agree with soem of what you say, but I do not consider the tracts of the racist white power groups, who are free to say what they want, to even be in the category as Pete Seeger or the Washington Blade. While I am not familiar with what exactly Pete had to say back then, I do believe that he and the paper you referred to neither one probably advocate annihilation of other groups of our society.

I have been working with a human rights org., here in Wyoming, for about 5 years now. We have studied, presented, studied, organised, and worked hard towards educating people, and welcoming anyone who wants to dialogue with us, those who don't agree wiht us and those who do. We recognise that, yes, before there can be any progress, we have to be able to talk to one another and try to work out some common ground.

The main thing I was saying (I wish people wouldn't just take one thing I've said and go with that. I've said a lot more.) was it is mean, hurtful, demeaning, and should no longer be acceptable in society, for someone to use the old terms which put people down, whether they are a person of colour, an MRDD, like Pat's son, or any of a number of other things, including gay.

Don't worry about the animosity. Joe and I know where we stand and once in awhile a heated debate can clear the air and bring about all kinds of further discussion. It is possible to have an argument such as this and still bend an elbow afterward in the Tavern.*g*

And, sometimes, I get tired of being the sweetness and light, contemplate your navel, resident "woo-woo", as WW dubbed me, recently. Sorry if you were offended.

kat


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Larry B.
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 11:33 PM

The verbal contention in the U.S. is only to be expected. It was designed by a group of men who could not change the status quo with words, so they did it with guns. They tried to set up a system to prevent a repeat performance of the American Revolution, and it has worked indifferently well, with a notable exception in the mid-nineteenth century.

I can't remember where I read the following, and it is probably not an exact quote, but "Democracy was never intended to ensure good government, it was intended to insure against bad government."

Davey: I insert line breaks with the [Enter] key. If your browser interprets this as a command, maybe you can change your browser defaults.

LB

Line Breaks look like this: <br> You can double-space by hitting the enter key twice, but for single-spaced line breaks, you have to use the HTML <br> tags.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: lamarca
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 11:14 PM

Sorry, kat, but I have to side with Joe on this one. You say
I am not advocating control of anybody's speech or mind. In their clubs, homes, etc. anybody is free to whatever they want to declare. What I am concerned about is in general society. There are people nowadays who would welcome the ability to be so free in their speech that they would post "no niggers allowed" signs in their windows.

Think back to the 1950's, when those same arguments were used against the left wing, and used to silence Pete Seeger and others by "blacklisting" them to prevent their "dangerous" views from being made available to the general public.

Currently there is a debate in our area whether "The Washington Blade", a local gay newspaper, should be in the periodical section of the library. The social conservatives are afraid that the "dangerous and immoral" views in the paper will persuade our vulnerable children (and adults) to perhaps consider that the publishers of this paper might have views worth thinking about. How is this censorship different from wanting to prohibit publication and distribution of a tract saying the world's ills are caused by blacks and Jews?

The distinction that needs to be made is one between speech (and writing) that is offensive, and speech or writing that incites violence (which is what I think Joe meant by "hurt"). The recent court case that declared the anti-abortion web site that had a "Hit List" of abortion providers and their addresses crossed this line. The offensive sign you mentioned would be illegal - not for the content of its speech, but because of the illegal action it proposes. Case by case, the American judicial system is trying to make those distinctions and still preserve our First Amendment rights.

I believe that most "hate" speech doesn't really persuade many people who aren't already converts to that perverse way of looking at the world. I think that the most effective way to fight hate is to evangelize for tolerance by the way you live, by showing respect for people you deal with in person, no matter how skewed you think their views are, and by countering inflammatory arguments made by ignorant people with calm, love and rationality. I'm not saying we have to love Rush Limbaugh, but rather than getting into a shouting match with one of his supporters, drive them nuts by being civil to them and countering their more outrageous pronouncements with more rational arguments.

All of us need to periodically examine our own beliefs and try to figure out how much of what we believe has basis in fact, how much is based on blind prejudices (and, yes, we liberals have them, too) and how much is based on faith. It is my personal religious belief that no matter whether there is a Divine Being or not, the greatest morality is to respect others and treat them as you would like to be treated; in short, the Golden Rule. Remember, also, that one's right to swing one's arm ends BEFORE it hits the next guy's face - which also applies to trying to impose your personal views and beliefs on someone else. I know I fall short of this more often than not, but I think it's as good a rule for moral behavior to strive for as any.

Finally, I am upset by the personal animosity some of the arguments on this thread are showing, and would like to request that folks take a deep breath and count to 10 before firing off replies to each other, and remember how we've tried to keep Mudcat more civil than many chat groups. I've enjoyed being able to debate issues here, and would like to see that we can occasionally agree to disagree and not have "debates" turn into raging arguments. I enjoy all of your company, and don't want to see us hurt eachother needlessly.

Mary


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 08:01 PM

Wow! I had no idea I was so powerful and original! I can cleanse minds and force vocabularies??? Hmmmm....so all-powerful, must be the gawdess personified. Yes! At last!*g*

Joe, I think what 'Spaw is concerned about, as am I, is the dogged stance regarding free speech and harm. First you say that those who spew hate should be free to spew, which would imply, no matter how much it might hurt others. Then you say speech should be free, but do no harm. Which is it?

I am not advocating control of anybody's speech or mind. In their clubs, homes, etc. anybody is free to whatever they want to declare. What I am concerned about is in general society. There are people nowadays who would welcome the ability to be so free in their speech that they would post "no niggers allowed" signs in their windows.

If we don't work towards a change in mass consciousness, towards the upliftment of all humankind, then what are we even doing here? If that means using a new term to refer to someone's skin colour, what harm is there in that? BTW, my son-in-law, whom you know is from Antigua, does NOT like the term black, as he doesn't feel that is a true term for his skin tone. He is a gorgeous mahagony and when with family or when we refer to him, that is his choice and ours. People of colour seems to be more accurate, in general.

PeterT, I didn't mean that as an alarmist post and I don't think Lars-Erik Nelson did either. In fact in his article he said censorship is not the answer. I do not agree with you that hate hasn't changed in its accessibility, though. While there may have been hate flyers etc. available where you grew up, there is no denying the fact that the Internet has opened up the entire world to millions and millions of people. Just as an example, before the Internet, anyone of us may have been able to see a few pictures of the Sistine Chapel or access information through inter-library loan programs. Now, anyone of us with Internet access can take a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel and visit other sites directly with access to archives that are unbvelievable in their scope and that were available to only a limited few in times past. There is one site I go to which has direct translations of ancient writings of the saints, with direct quotations of their last words, etc. It is incredible. In the same way, hate and the violence it can beget are much more available than ever before.

kat


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 07:17 PM

Dunno, Spaw, I thought you said it pretty well. I don't disagree with what you said, but I don't have much to add that hasn't been said already. Both the liberals and the conservatives want to control our speech. Kat wants to cleanse our brains by forcing a new vocabulary upon us.
I think we need to allow our opponents to speak their minds without setting rules for the vocabulary they use. Then we should respond without verbally battering them, so they will feel free to rebut our response.
But I don't accept the arbitrary rules set by those would wish us to be politically correct. Kat doesn't seem to understand that point. Why should somebody be able to dictate that I must use the word "black" this week, but "African-American" next week? Heck, I already changed my languuage at their request a couple of times - now they're demanding that I change again.
Yes, speech should be free. Yes, speech should be civil. There's a balance - speech should be free, but not cause harm. Generally, I'd prefer to err on the side of freedom. Attempts to control speech get me worried.
But if I say much more, Kat's gonna bop me on the head. I think I already have more words than she has in this thread....(grin)
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 06:45 PM

hey Joe....How come you don't want to take on the free speech issue? Thank you Davey for at least addressing the other central problem here. I keep asking for an opinion but evidently it's hard to address of I'm such a general fockup that no one takes me seriously....probably just as well come to think about it.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Peter T.
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 06:21 PM

Apart from the Roy quote, which is worth pondering, I would argue that hatred is about as accessible as it ever was, certainly in my lifetime. Kids got all kinds of pornographic and vicious hate literature all the time in my happy American high school. They especially liked it because it was banned and dangerous.


While these quotations should be read with care, this sort of argument is often used with panicking people in mind, so they will do something drastic. Hitler was quite adept at using the threat of Jewish terrorism to suppress Jews. Some of these statements are not arguments: they are just opinions. For example, with great respect, Rabbi Abraham Cooper is completely wrong historically. The history of democracy in the West is one in which hate, racial violence, and terrorism have flourished quite happily in the mainstream. You only have to read Southern (and Northern) newspapers before the American Civil War to read exhortations to all kinds of racial hatred. After the war, newspapers were quite happy to keep at it, and add the Irish and Chinese to the mix. Henry Ford was a good example: he was not exactly out of the mainstream! In Quebec 55 years ago, flagrant anti-semitism was widespread in the media. Widespread racial jokes and stereotypes flourished. In many cities public figures, streetside speakers, and organizations promulgated hatred. The mainstream was saturated in hatred.

I am not unconcerned, but I think we can relax a little: the Internet is not going to drag us down to perdition. We are already there.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 05:49 PM

Thank you, Davey and Northfolk/Al, well put and thoughtful. The other thing I had talked about earlier, which was lost, was the fact that so much hate is so much more accessible than ever before because of the Internet. This is another reason I feel so strongly about common language and the need for it to reflect an enlightened consciousness.

In an article by Lars-Erik Nelson, copyrighted by the New York Daily New on 9-17, entitled Hate Is Easy To Find Online he explains how a search for info on "a leading American industrialist, Henry Ford" brings one directly to, for one thing, a listing for the book "International Jew"; Amazon.com then kindly informs one that people who've ordered that book, have also enjoyed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and White Power by "George Lincoln Rockwell, (the late American Fuhrer)." (Quoting Nelson, here. Also, he does note that "Old Henry was an anti-Semite, at least for part of his life, and International Jew is still in print."

His article includes a quote from Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who testified before a Senate Committee: "For the first time in the history of our democracy, those promoting hate, racial violence and terrorism have been able to do so directly into the mainstream, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Many of these groups, once isolated geographically and marginalised to the fringes of society, have succeeded in creating an online subculture of hate."

The article also quotes Joseph Roy of the Southern Poverty Law Center (just a quick note, I found out, yesterday, that I will have the privilege of dining with the head of the SPLC, Morris Dees, next Tuesday night, along with other "locals", before he gives a lecture, right here in little ole' Wyoming! I am thrilled!) Anyway, Roy said, "A few years ago, a klansman needed to put out substantial money and effort to produce and distribute a shoddy pamphlet that might reach 100 people. Today, with a $500 computer and negligible other costs, that same klansman can put up a slickly produced Web site with a potential audience of millions." Noting that young poeple who wouldn't dare go to a klan rally can now sit at home & easily enter a world of hate, he added, "The Net, with its promise of privacy, lowers any social inhibitions they might have had about consorting openly with racists and other haters. And, nobody will disagree with them. There is no real exchange of ideas on www.whitepower.com."

Nelson also points out that a couple of years ago, if one went looking for info on the French chemist, Joseph Gay-Lussac, one was led mostly to gay pornography. He says, now, due to publis pressure, you "no longer get flooded with gay pornography" when looking for references to Gay-Lussac.

Curiously, none of the Internet Service Providers who were invited to the Senate Committee hearing chose to attend.

This was an excellent article, which was republished in the Liberal Opinion Week of 9-27-99. Again, it illustrates to me why 1) the Mudcat is so important because of its general tone of civility and openness, and 2) that it is most important for us to lead the way in using terms that are no denigrating and hurtful.

kat


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