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Policing Porn Isn't Part of The Job 592

Posted by Zonk
from the welcome-to-the-brave-new-world dept.
Rick Zeman wrote to mention a Washington Post article about an incident at a Bethesda library. Two uniformed men from a Homeland Security detachment made an announcement stating that pornography was not acceptable viewing at the library. They then questioned a patron's choice of reading material. From the article: "A librarian intervened, and the two men went into the library's work area to discuss the matter. A police officer arrived. In the end, no one had to step outside except the uniformed men. They were officers of the security division of Montgomery County's Homeland Security Department, an unarmed force that patrols about 300 county buildings -- but is not responsible for enforcing obscenity laws."
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Policing Porn Isn't Part of The Job

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  • Free news articles (Score:2, Informative)

    by alanw (1822) *
    The Washington Post article required registration, however there is plenty of free coverage of this article.

    Google news [google.com]

  • Neat! (Score:3, Funny)

    by wren337 (182018) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @09:31AM (#14748958) Homepage
    Do they get to wear brown shirts too?
    • Re:Neat! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Cpt_Kirks (37296) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @09:54AM (#14749040)
      I am a registered Republican (lesser of two evils, etc.).

      So now we have our own versions of the Muslim world's "Morality Police"?

      The main problem I have with the GOP is this damn puritanism. This is the 21st century, dammit! If we force our views (actually their views, not mine. I have TB's of pr0n) on others, how are we better than the damn Islamist's?

      The GOP is liable to take it up the ass big time in November. Hopefully this will clear out some of the ancient old farts so we can later elect younger pols with more of a Libertarian bent.

      But I'm not holding my breath...

      • Re:Neat! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by luvirini (753157) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:03AM (#14749069)
        Indeed... there is not much difference between one form of religious nut and other.. in both cases those people try to force their views on others..
        • Re:Neat! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by deanj (519759)
          "in both cases those people try to force their views on others.."

          There are some people in EVERY community that try to force their views on others. Some Islamic people do it. Some Christian people do it. You get in from Republicans, you get it from Democrats. You get it from straight people, you get it from gay people. You get it from Conservatives, you get it from liberals.

          Notice I said "some" not "all".

          The problem comes in when people are utterly convinced they're right, and the other side are evil f
          • Re:Neat! (Score:4, Insightful)

            by ezzzD55J (697465) <slashdot5@scum.org> on Saturday February 18, 2006 @12:12PM (#14749623) Homepage
            While I agree totally with your post, there is a correction I'd like to suggest to "Demonizing the other side is not right, and will get us no where.".

            Having sides is not right, and will get us no where.

      • Re:Neat! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by smokin_juan (469699) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:15AM (#14749111) Homepage Journal
        lesser of two evils, etc.

        These situations will not improve until people learn to count higher than two.
        • Re:Neat! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by roystgnr (4015) <roystgnr@@@ticam...utexas...edu> on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:26AM (#14749395) Homepage
          These situations will not improve until people learn to count higher than two.

          Unfortunately, the problems with plurality voting are described by game theory, not arithmetic. Everybody knows how to count higher than two; not so many people know the differences between instant runoff, Condorcet, and approval voting.

          What's worse: the biggest problem with democracy in America today is apathy, not ignorance. People get furious at anyone who voted for "the other guy"; yet for some reason they take it easy on the more numerous group who couldn't be bothered to vote at all.
      • Re:Neat! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ta ma de (851887)
        I don't think the Republicans are Republicans any more. A few years ago I heard Rush Limbaugh say that fiscal conservancy was liberal value. The incubent Republicans have yet to provide more liberty, less government involvement, and fiscal conservancy. They have grown the government and have begun to insert endiscopes up our collective butts.
      • Re:Neat! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sw155kn1f3 (600118)
        Didn't you think that you're free to chose another party instead of moaning about your current. Also they have god given right to have beliefs they like.
      • Re:Neat! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Eil (82413)
        I am a registered Republican (lesser of two evils, etc.).

        Huh? You're registered with a political party whose representatives have lied, spied on their own citizens, started bloody wars under false pretenses, legalized convictions without a fair trial, wantonly censor free speech and choice, endorse monopolies, and justify political decisions based on religious beliefs.

        If this is the lesser of two evils, I can only assume that the only other alternative was sending your campaign contribution to the Legions o
      • Re:Neat! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bani (467531)
        Not likely. The GOP's current strength comes from its marriage to fundamentalism and moralizing christians. The more puritanical the US becomes, the stronger the republican vote. For the republicans to lose, the appeal of puritanism would have to decline in the US. But with all the current religious fervor over "intelligent design", "stem cells", "fags", etc. the old farts will continue to wield power. If anything I expect support to increase.

        The american mullahs are in power.

        Consider how many people voted
  • Ha. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Voltageaav (798022) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @09:35AM (#14748979) Homepage
    While I don't think the library is quite the place, it's good to know that some people are keeping an eye on the government as it's peering over our shoulders and aren't afraid to speak up when they see them going beyond where they're supposed to.
    • by ACNSlave (750608) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @09:44AM (#14749005) Homepage Journal
      I agree that the public library is *NOT* the place to be doing one's pr0n surfing, HOWEVER, I'm more than a little concerned that the dept. of homeland insecurity folks have taken it upon themselves to assume the role of nanny. I would say the DHS folks went WAY beyond their jurisdiction here. In an actionable sense, if you get my drift. Two thumbs way down.
      • I'm more than a little concerned that the dept. of homeland insecurity folks have taken it upon themselves to assume the role of nanny.

        It makes perfect sense to me. Haven't you hard of the latest threat? PMD - Pornography of Mass Destruction. Unleash some dirty porn in a heavily populated area, and they're as good as gone.
    • I'm betting they were monitering the library computers for anything that might pop a red flag. Searches for "How to make a bomb" and stuff like that. They saw someone surfing porn at the library. How many of you would think that's acceptable? They obviously didn't know that local policy allowed it. So they decided to step in before some kid walked past or something similar happened.
      • Re:Ha. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by orthogonal (588627)
        I'm betting they were monitoring the library computers for anything that might pop a red flag.

        By random shoulder surfing???

        Look, even if you support this Big Brotherism, how in hell do you think looking over the shoulder of patrons is going to find "the terrorist" looking at a bomb-making page?

        It's not efficient, there aren't enough Homeland Security officers to look over every shoulder, so unless you think they can just shadow brown people in turbans -- and Tim McVeigh was neither brown nor a turban wearer
        • Re:Ha. (Score:3, Insightful)

          It's this training us to be docile Russians fearful of our own KGB that is destroying this country, far far far more effectively than the terrorists. the terrorists can only kill 3000 Americans at a time.

          Only 3000?! What if one day YOU are a victim? Then even if it was only 1, only you, it wouldn't be a small deal for you.

          Nuclear (including dirty bombs), Chemical, and Biological weapons can kill millions.

          This crap takes the freedom of 300 million Americans at a single blow.

          Give us a break. It was a local Ho
          • Re:Ha. (Score:3, Insightful)

            by KingJoshi (615691)

            Only 3000?! What if one day YOU are a victim? Then even if it was only 1, only you, it wouldn't be a small deal for you.

            Juxtapose 3000 with 3 million. That's 3 orders of magnitude of difference. Any pain and suffering, it doesn't even have to be death, can be devasting if it happens to you. Lose your job, break up from a long relationship, etc. Or comparing deaths, how about cancer or other illness related or even car accidents. That doesn't mean driving should be illegal and every has to take mass

          • Re:Ha. (Score:3, Informative)

            by Gulthek (12570)
            Only 3000?! What if one day YOU are a victim? Then even if it was only 1, only you, it wouldn't be a small deal for you.

            I'll take that chance. Better to die free than live in fear of a police state.

            Nuclear (including dirty bombs), Chemical, and Biological weapons can kill millions.

            Well the first one *might* be able to. Chemical weapons? Not bloody likely. Biological weapons have never proven to be capable in a widespread area, unless you count the spread of smallpox and even that required continual exposure
    • by CarpetShark (865376) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:23AM (#14749139)
      The library is EXACTLY the place. There are many reasons for looking at "porn" besides getting off. If it was being done in a library, from a book specifically bought in for its value, then the chances are that this "porn" was actually quite historically, culturally or socially important, and that a lot was being learned from it. I for one am very thankful that the library prevailed in this instance.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2006 @09:37AM (#14748985)
    Where have I seen this before... /me tries to remember... uniformed men, telling the civilian populace what is acceptable viewing, and what is not.

    Sweet god, people, how far does this farce have to run before you realise that the "threat" that Homeland Security was set-up to combat is *you*?
    • by luvirini (753157) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @09:44AM (#14749008)
      Judging by prior events.. the thing will still take 10-20 years to run it's course.
    • by rjamestaylor (117847) <rjamestaylor@gmail.com> on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:58AM (#14749289) Homepage Journal
      Having actually read the article I discovered that the two morons making the library announcement were county officials in the county dept of "Homeland Security" and were not part of the US Gov't Dept of Homeland Security. Moreover, these two blokes were acting on their own initiative and without approval from their superiors.

      Stupid as these two guys were this was not related to the Patriot Act, it wasn't related to Bush, it wasn't related to the GOP, it wasn't related to Ashcroft, Alito, Cheney, Halliburton, Microsoft, SCO, or Rush Limbaugh.

      Please becareful navigating posts in this story as the knee jerks could cause serious damage.
      • by William Baric (256345) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:52AM (#14749516)
        If the two guys are fired then I agree. If not, then it probably means they have at least the implicit approbation of their superiors.

        As for the Bush administritation, they just have to create the climate . They certainly won't give every orders. Do you really think Hitler did everything all by himself ? There was a lot of local initiative like this one in Germany in the 1930.

        And guess what... The Bush administration did create the climate for such things to happen. So yes it's related to Bush, Ashcroft and all the others.
        • If the two guys are fired then I agree. If not, then it probably means they have at least the implicit approbation of their superiors

          From the article

          A librarian intervened, and the two men went into the library's work area to discuss the matter. A police officer arrived. In the end, no one had to step outside except the uniformed men.

          the officers had been reassigned to other duties

          Still, Montgomery plans to train its homeland security officers "so they fully understand library policy and its consistenc

      • by typical (886006) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @02:05PM (#14750254) Journal
        Having actually read the article I discovered that the two morons making the library announcement were county officials in the county dept of "Homeland Security" and were not part of the US Gov't Dept of Homeland Security. Moreover, these two blokes were acting on their own initiative and without approval from their superiors.

        See, here's the problem. We have limitations on the power of government for a reason. It's because government badly abuses it when it gets the opportunity -- years of the FBI under Hoover [wikipedia.org] taught us that lesson very well.

        Now, lots of people -- possibly even well-meaning people -- in a position to receive increased powers are all for those increased powers. After all, *they* know that they are not going to abuse those powers. Surely, if someone else or someone later on abuses those powers, they'll be smacked down.

        The problem is that this logic also justifies authority having unlimited, absolute power.

        We already had to go through this very painfully before.

        From WP's CIA article [wikipedia.org]:

        DCI James R. Schlesinger had commissioned a series of reports on past CIA wrongdoing. These reports, known euphemistically as "the Family Jewels", were kept close to the Agency's chest until an article by Seymour Hersh in the New York Times broke the news that the CIA had been involved in the assassination of foreign leaders and kept files on some seven thousand American citizens involved in the peace movement (Operation CHAOS). Congress investigated the CIA in the Senate through the Church committee, named after Chairman Frank Church (D-Idaho) and in the House through the Pike committee, named after Chairman Otis Pike (D-N.Y.); and these investigations led to further embarrassing disclosures. Around the Christmas of 1974/5, another blow was struck by Congress when they blocked covert intervention in Angola.

        The CIA was subsequently prohibited from assassinating foreign leaders. Further, the prohibition against domestic spying, which had always been prohibited by the CIA charter, was again to be enforced, with the FBI having sole responsibility for domestic investigation of US citizens.


        The FBI had plenty of its own dirty laundry turned up by the Church Committee [wikipedia.org].

        Why go through all this again? We *know* that if you grant unnecessary powers and simply trust that they will not be abused, they *will* be abused. Why on earth did we allow PATRIOT through?
  • by bwcbwc (601780) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @09:46AM (#14749014)
    A lot of people have been saying for a long time that "homeland security", the PAT-RIOT act and the war on terror were just codewords for more government interference in people's daily lives. So now pornography is a homeland security issue?

    Various conservative factions first gained power at the local government level and leveraged that power to take control nationally. Between RICO and PATRIOT and executive orders authorizing surveillance, the federal government certainly has the capability of being just as interfering as these Montgomery County officials.

    I'm starting to feel like that corny old poem about first they came for the Jews, then the homosexuals and I never spoke up. In the case of the U.S. it's already progressing from the terrorists to Muslims in general, non-violent political agitators, and now pornography viewers.

    When will the "small-government" conservatives put their votes where there brains are? A "wasted" vote for the libertarian party would demonstrate commitment to their principles and send the major parties a message.
    • If you'd read the article, you'd see that the officers involved had overstepped their bounds, they arrested no one and they've been reassigned. The departments involved said they would improve their training so rights are not violated. Sorry to burst your bubble.
      • by GoofyBoy (44399) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:12AM (#14749097) Journal
        >you'd see that the officers involved had overstepped their bounds, they arrested no one and they've been reassigned.

        1. They thought they were doing the correct thing. This is after their training. After getting approved for acting as a government official. After talking to another trained person (each other). (And MAYBE after talking to other trained persons, including their supervisor.)
        2. The librarian, who knows what legal knowlege he had, had to talk to them in private. How did it even get to this point? Even then, they had to call in a police officer.
        3. If we hadn't heard of this, would they have been reassigned? Why aren't they let go? Its clear they didn't get their training. Will they ever be in the field again in the future? Are they in a position to use their judgement again, even behind the desk (where they could potentially do even greater damage)?

        I don't TRUST the police/law enforment, just because they have a badge and a nice uniform because in the end they are just human, like anyone without a badge and nice uniform. I give them a certain amount of respect, but I give everyone the same amount of respect.

        (Police/law enforement don't trust their own either, ask them if they have locks on their lockers in the police station.)
    • by Archtech (159117) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:37AM (#14749434)
      re: "...that corny old poem about first they came for the Jews, then the homosexuals and I never spoke up".

      Is this what you meant? Please note the first three lines (usually omitted in the USA), and that there is no mention of homosexuals. Political correctness is one thing; rewriting history and literature is another.

      Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Kommunist.
      Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.
      Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.
      Als sie die Juden holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Jude.
      Als sie mich holten, gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.
      - Martin Niemöller, Der Weg ins Freie, (F.M. Hellbach, Stuttgart, 1946)

      When the Nazis arrested the Communists, I said nothing; after all, I was not a Communist.
      When they locked up the Social Democrats, I said nothing; after all, I was not a Social Democrat.
      When they arrested the trade unionists, I said nothing; after all, I was not a trade unionist.
      When they arrested the Jews, I said nothing; after all, I was not a Jew.
      When they arrested me, there was no longer anyone who could protest.
      - translated by Bob Berkovitz (rbbrook@worldnet.att.net).
    • So now pornography is a homeland security issue?

      according to the administration, yes it is [washingtonpost.com]
  • Hypocrisy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Council (514577)
    People shouldn't look at porn in public libraries -- at least, not where there's a significant chance of it disturbing other patrons, including children.

    That idea is not incompatible with the view that the federal government has no place policing this. It's not hypocritical to say that something is bad while also thinking the government shouldn't police it.

    But please, people, a $50 computer and a $10-a-month dial-up connection will get you all the porn you want at your house. Stop making this an issue.
    • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jcr (53032) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:02AM (#14749067) Journal
      People shouldn't look at porn in public libraries

      Define "porn".

      -jcr
      • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by joel8x (324102) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:18AM (#14749119) Homepage
        Define "porn".

        Exactly my point. If I'm looking at a nude piece of art and some tooth-fairy worshipping zealot thinks its gross, I shouldn't be stopped. They have a choice not to look over your shoulder.

        And if you are worried about the children, guess what? They got here through SEX!! Yes, a penis actually entered a vagina and sperm was injected! There might have even been some oral sex to get the whole thing started!!

        How about not worrying about the kids being parented by the government and start parenting them yourself.

      • Obscenity is defined at the local level, and that's fine. And those in many Alabama counties are the most clearly defined and stringent on the books. This degree of state- and local intregity in the make-up of quality-of-life legislation was everything that the Founding Fathers were about. Today, the fine folks of West Hollywood don't have to play by Salt Lake City's mores, and vice-versa. My bet is that the people of Montgomery don't want what they have defined locally as obscene being viewed within th
    • Re:Hypocrisy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Bob9113 (14996) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:23AM (#14749387) Homepage
      But please, people, a $50 computer and a $10-a-month dial-up connection will get you all the porn you want at your house. Stop making this an issue.

      The issue is not pornography, nor whether viewing it in a library is acceptable. The issue is whether DHS is authorized and trained to police it. Are pictures of breasts pornography? What if you have breast cancer and are learning about the disease? What if you're doing a report on mammalian reproduction and child rearing? What if you're doing a report on the state of obscenity on the Internet?

      Not only is DHS not qualified to decide, no gov't official is. That's what the whole freedom of expression thing is about. If you are over 18, the US gov't is not granted the right to choose what you read or see except where the material in question is illegal for non-obscenity reasons, such as child porn (consent/abuse), top secret documents (homeland security), stolen goods (copyright infringement), etc. Libraries are the place where people who would otherwise be unable to afford media are granted the opportunity to learn - the raison d'etre of libraries is unfettered access to information.

      People shouldn't look at porn in public libraries -- at least, not where there's a significant chance of it disturbing other patrons, including children.

      Libraries provide privacy screens, on request of either the viewer of the questionable material or of other people in the Internet area of the library.
  • Not only porn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by recoiledsnake (879048) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @09:49AM (#14749025)
    From the article here [boiseweekly.com]

    A federal employee gets hassled by Homeland Security for antiwar stickers on his car. Is it a mistake, a new rule, or the part of a trend of the First Amendment being bullied out of existence? Read the transcript, read the rules and decide for yourself

    • Re:Not only porn (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NtroP (649992) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @03:19PM (#14750741)
      A federal employee gets hassled by Homeland Security for antiwar stickers on his car.
      I'd classify myself as in support of [the current] war. I also happen to drive a very nice vehicle that I'd never consider putting anything tacky like a bumper sticker on (I don't even like the inspection stickers on my windshield). But I'll tell you what: If I found out that there were government agents hassling people over an anti-war sticker in an official capacity - I'd have my car plastered with them!

      That sort of thing has no place in this country! As a private citizen I have a right to disagree with the anti-war people and I can take it up with them, but the Government had better back the fsck off!

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @09:54AM (#14749038)
    "In the post-9/11 era, even suburban counties have homeland security departments. Montgomery County will not specify how many officers are in the department's security division, citing security reasons. Its annual budget, including salaries, is $3.6 million."

    I have an idea that will save $3.6M/year...can you guess what it is?

  • by biglig2 (89374)
    I didn't realise you had state-level homeland security people. Sounds a bit confusing to me.
    • Re:Wow.. (Score:3, Informative)

      by Shag (3737)
      Actually, these are county level. If you're from outside the US, that's a further subdivision within a state.

      After 9/11, pretty much every state got some homeland security/anti-terror stuff going (my freshly-retired aunt worked for the state I grew up in, and I think wound up with ties to their anti-terror folks, since she dealt with things terrorists like, such as laundered money), and funding for "homeland security" has been doled out down to the lowest levels of government (where it's been spent on some
  • Cheers! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MMC Monster (602931) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @09:59AM (#14749059)
    Cheers to the librarian who had the guts to stand up to defend the rights of the people.

    As the article mentions, the library system in that county includes privacy screens so that people can view whatever they want without disturbing anyone else. A very reasonable alternative to blocking sites based on content.
  • (flame on hold)

    Is the real problem the law, homeland security or just the people in the position?

    I think the problem here is that you have individuals who went outside the boundry of what they are supposed to do. Yes, it is wrong. However, do you know blame the law or the agency they work for? Isn't it just a problem with these knuckleheads? They were doing something they were supposed to be doing. I think it is more of a people problem, rather than a problem with the law. If they were doing what they
  • by RedHatLinux (453603) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:12AM (#14749094) Homepage

    Most MD police are yocals and bullies, who will try to bully or dick you around if you let. I've found that handing them my ACLU card deters them. Even better was I knew some of these commanders, and there was nothing funnier than watching an officer explain to division/area commander, why he trying to get the county sued.

  • by jdwclemson (953895) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:16AM (#14749112)
    The article states nothing about these employees actually trying to enforce Homeland Security regulatinos, they were clearly speaking on their own behalf. This was irresponsible, as they were in uniform and on duty. Keep on mind that they were also part of a subsidiary of the DHS. This is the same thing as if a fey Marines still in uniform did the same thing. It isn't Department of Defense policy to enforce indecency, but that doesn't mean they can keep every one of their thousands of employees from doing this kind of thing out of personal ignorance. Homeland Security is only focused on the safety of people, look at their site and look into their operations(http://www.dhs.gov./ [www.dhs.gov] They are not investigators, they are not crime stoppers, those guards were sent there to patrol and they stepped out of bounds. Look into the matter more and you can be sure they got in trouble for this irresponsible move on their part. Some people just are not aware that playboy is available at the library for its articles. If this mess was actually caused by a Homeland Security rule, I would say it might be a big deal, but clearly it had NOTHING to do with them except for that two employees stepped out of bounds while in uniform, and they need to be reprimanded.
  • This surprises me... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Billbapapa (866975) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:20AM (#14749128)
    I'm not upset in the least that a regular police officer stopped this, but I am surprised that they were able to.

    I admit I don't know too much about these Homeland Security officers but I somehow imagined they would outrank the police. From the article it sounds like they are no more powerful than your run of the mill mall security guard - at least those guys are given flashlights.
  • Terrorist have won (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 8400_RPM (716968) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:22AM (#14749135)
    When people are standing in the libraries monitoring what we read, the terrorist have won.

    They haven't killed any more people, but they've killed what makes America, America. Our freedom.

    .

    • by Archtech (159117) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:54AM (#14749525)
      It's tempting to say that - of course 9/11 and other events smoothed the way - but it's not terrorists who want to take away Americans' liberties. It's other Americans. The terrorist scare just gives them a huge gaping window of opportunity, just as the Communist scare set Joe McCarthy up in business.
  • Petty Tyranny (Score:3, Interesting)

    by daigu (111684) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:39AM (#14749204) Journal

    No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets. - Edward Abbey

    Amazing the effect any authority has on small minds. Invariably, it leads to attempt to usurp new power and tyranny. It would have been better if the librarian would have immediately asked the Homeland Security people to go outside and state that such declarations - even from police officers - was illegal and inappropriate.

    Interesting that they were merely reassigned, rather than fired for their stupidity.

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:53AM (#14749269)
    Porn, porn, porn. . .

    Defending American values? Well, sheesh. Isn't more than half of the world's porn made in America? Playboy, anybody?

    Sounds to me like Bush's stiffs are more interested in re-defining American values rather than in defending the existing ones. Not like "American Values," which seem to include destroying budding democracies and economies around the world by funding evil men like Saddam, and maintaining one of the lowest standards of living in the world's industrialized nations, the shortest number of holidays, largest number of work hours, largest percentage of starving, homeless and illiterate. . . Golly! Let's defend that!

    But with some spiffy re-defining and defending of New American Values, why in 50 years, (if there's still a U.S. around in 50 years when the radioactive dust settles and Bush's babies crawl from their luxurious underground retreats), Americans may well be making the best automobiles, watches and repressed sexuality fetish porn in the world, and be putting all their verbs at the end of the sentence where they damned well belong!

    Anyway, what exactly does stamping out porn have to do with stopping 'terrorists' blowing up buildings? Heck, Islamic Extremist groups don't like porn either. They say it's a moral corruption. So wouldn't they approve of this latest move by Bush's stiffs?

    It's all nuts. None of it makes sense except when viewed through the spyglass of fascism.

    I'm sure people laughed at the brownshirts too. Don't give them an inch.


    -FL

  • by layer3switch (783864) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:03AM (#14749317)
    I don't care what you say... Librarians are sexy, and I'm a conservative! I won't be going to library to see some porn on internet. I'm going to the library to see some library hotties.

    Inside that thick dull glasses, boring 2 piece dress, layaway cheap pump shoes and 9 dollar hair cut, there is some really sexy woman just waiting to explode. mmm... daddy like... daddy like...
  • by Skapare (16644) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:24AM (#14749389) Homepage

    This is an example of why privacy has to be preserved and ideas like cameras in the home [slashdot.org] cannot be accepted. They ask "If you've done nothing wrong, why worry about cameras monitoring your every activity?" ... to which this case is the perfect example of exactly why cameras should never be forced into any private place, and not even in some public ones.

  • by mad.frog (525085) <steven@crinkli[ ]com ['nk.' in gap]> on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:51AM (#14749506)
    (Long line inserted here to get around "comment has too few character per line" filter...  Long line inserted here to get around "comment has too few character per line" filter... Long line inserted here to get around "comment has too few character per line" filter... Long line inserted here to get around "comment has too few character per line" filter...)

    Smut!
    Give me smut and nothing but!
    A dirty novel I can't shut,
    If it's uncut,
    and unsubt- le.

    I've never quibbled
    If it was ribald,
    I would devour where others merely nibbled.
    As the judge remarked the day that he
    acquitted my Aunt Hortense,
    "To be smut
    It must be ut-
    Terly without redeeming social importance."

    Por-
    Nographic pictures I adore.
    Indecent magazines galore,
    I like them more
    If they're hard core.

    (Bring on the obscene movies, murals, postcards, neckties,
    samplers, stained-glass windows, tattoos, anything!
    More, more, I'm still not satisfied!)

    Stories of tortures
    Used by debauchers,
    Lurid, licentious, and vile,
    Make me smile.
    Novels that pander
    To my taste for candor
    Give me a pleasure sublime.
    (Let's face it, I love slime.)

    All books can be indecent books
    Though recent books are bolder,
    For filth (I'm glad to say) is in
    the mind of the beholder.
    When correctly viewed,
    Everything is lewd.
    (I could tell you things about Peter Pan,
    And the Wizard of Oz, there's a dirty old man!)

    I thrill
    To any book like Fanny Hill,
    And I suppose I always will,
    If it is swill
    And really fil
    thy.

    Who needs a hobby like tennis or philately?
    I've got a hobby: rereading Lady Chatterley.
    But now they're trying to take it all
    away from us unless
    We take a stand, and hand in hand
    we fight for freedom of the press.
    In other words,

    Smut! (I love it)
    Ah, the adventures of a slut.
    Oh, I'm a market they can't glut,
    I don't know what
    Compares with smut.

    Hip hip hooray!
    Let's hear it for the Supreme Court!
    Don't let them take it away!
  • Built-In Godwin (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Esion Modnar (632431) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:55AM (#14749528)
    Damn. First mental image I got was of two men in long black boots, brown shirts, and high-peaked caps, saying thinks (I mean things) like "Ve have vays of making you talk", making references to "Der Fuhrer," and smoking those nasty little European cigarettes with a menacing squint.

    If we don't take a stand now, we'll be living in a real Honest-to-God police state 10 years from now. (I know, some will say we already are.)

    Hope they got a boot right up their right-wing ass, and a quick face-skid along the asphalt.

    • Re:Built-In Godwin (Score:3, Insightful)

      by paimin (656338)
      Here is an interesting quote from the wikipedia article on the Gestapo [wikipedia.org]:

      The role of the Gestapo was to investigate and combat "all tendencies dangerous to the State." It had the authority to investigate treason, espionage and sabotage cases, and cases of criminal attacks on the Nazi Party and on Germany.

      The law had been changed in such a way that the Gestapo's actions were not subject to judicial review. Nazi jurist Dr. Werner Best stated, "As long as the [Gestapo] ... carries out the will of the lead
  • by rmpotter (177221) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @01:19PM (#14749945) Homepage
    ... gather evidence against massage parlors by paying for and receiving oral sex. Policing sexuality is clearly a "tricky" business, i guess. Does anyone else see these stories as another sign that the U.S. is headed toward the kind of twisted Christian theocracy Margaret Atwood describes in The Handmaid's Tale [wikipedia.org]?

    See Washington Post article [washingtonpost.com] to read about the Spotsylvania police "beat".

  • Yay for librarians (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RichardX (457979) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @02:07PM (#14750272) Homepage
    Librarians are some of the most under appreciated people in our society. They're far more than just curators of large book collections, many of them care deeply about issues related to privacy, copyright, freedom of access to reading material, and so on, - basically, many of the issues the likes of the EFF deal with a lot.

    The American Library Association [ala.org], the largest library association in the world, takes a particularly strong stand on civil liberties, intellectual freedom and privacy [ala.org], and those who really want to show they care can even order themselves an 'Radical Militant Librarian' [ala.org] badge. Hell, kinda makes me wish I was a librarian :)

    Finally, on the general subject of librarian appreciation, his seems like a good place to link to Unshelved [overduemedia.com], a great webcomic about life inside a library.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @06:49PM (#14751884) Homepage
    Well, I guess we can declare the war on terrorism over if Homeland Security agents have this much time on their hands.

    I voting against every Republican incumbent on the ballot this fall. Maybe the only message we can send is "throw the bums out" but if I have anything to do with it, they'll damn sure get that message.

nohup rm -fr /&

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