Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
United States

Elizabeth Dole Calls for Library Net Filtering 336

A Big Gnu Thrush writes "This Wired article discusses Presidential candidate Elizabeth Dole's "technology platform," which includes a call to withhold funds from public libraries which don't filter Internet content. Finally someone with the guts to put a lid on these hothouses of porn. " Thanks liz. I'm glad somebody thought of the children *cough cough*
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Elizabeth Dole Calls for Library Net Filtering

Comments Filter:
  • No it isn't.

    Distribution of the publication as a whole has not been stoped. Merely one channel on distribution.

  • Goodness its dangerous to encourage one's beliefs anymore, isn't it?

    Oh wait, that's only if you're a moralist. Now, if you are gay, or a minority, then pushing your agenda and moral standards is peachy.

    No, we as Christians should not be allowed to force morality upon anyone. That is true. You can't change someone's heart by legislation. The whole point of Christianity is that God changes people, people can't change people.

    It's very popular and acceptable to flame anyone making a stand for their beliefs, as long as their beliefs are in line with the Religious Right or other "bible thumping mindless sheep" such as myself.

    But in light of all of that, I think the porn industry should regulate itself. I don't know, create some kind of "we are the elite porn site, we regulate ourself" stamp of approval. A very far off dream, I know, especially for an industry whose favored way to attract new customers is similar to that of a drug dealer. (get it for free at first, get addicted, start to pay...)

    But for all of the Pro-porn/anti-moral-lusers talk I've seen on here today... can you tell me one place that porn has ever helped someone? Did you ever hear someone say:

    "You know, my life was in shambles, my wife was ready to leave me, my kids hated me... then I came across porn and my life has been so wonderful ever since!"

    s/porn/Jesus Christ/ ...this you will hear. No, I'm not pushing a Bible into your lap, its something to think about. It's what this page is supposed to be about... different ideas and such, not making everyone conform to YOUR porn pushing ideals OR MY Christians ones.
    ----- if ($anyone_cares) {print "Just Another Perl Newbie"}

  • . . . wanted homosexuals stoned to death, along with adulterous women. He didn't want us to eat pork, either. Jesus was into tolerance -- as in "Go, and sin no more" -- but you and the rest of the thugs who call themselves "Christians" these days aren't much interested in what Jesus said, as far as I can tell. One of the very few areas where Jesus was more strict than the OT was divorce: He was against it, unconditionally. Modern evangelical US protestants think divorce is permissible, of course. Undesirable maybe, but certainly permissible.

    Don't just talk about the Bible, read it.

    . . . whom Christians serve

    Most Christians serve political Ayatollahs like Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson. The Bible is just an excuse, and an empty symbol.

    I think you folks have a very skewed idea of what Christianity is and who Christians are.

    I pay close attention to the Christian right, along with the Aryan Nation crowd and all the rest. Sporadically violent fringe lunatics make me nervous, and I feel better if I know what they're up to.

    I can't tolerate things that are wrong (sinful), but I can still love those who do wrong.

    You should've put "wrong" in quotes, because your twisted notion of "wrong" has nothing to do with community standards in the United States, nor very damn much to do with Christ's teachings either (whence most of those community standards came, by the way). Don't give us this bullshit about "loving the sinner but hating the sin", either. Nobody believes that hypocritical nonsense. I've seen enough "Christian" literature to know the truth: You people are bigots. You hate everybody but your own little group, and you'd throw us all in prison if you could.

    "I like you, but I don't like some of the things you do."

    Crap. Are all "Christians" pathological liars? Sometimes I get that impression. "Christians" don't want to "help" gays, not even by their own insane definition of "help". They want to deny gays their plain rights under the Constitution. They want to physically "punish" gays and throw them in prison. Some have advocated concentration camps (I am NOT making this up). Most advocate Chairman Mao-style reeducation. Predictably enough, you're speaking in very vague terms about the details of your "intolerance"; would you care to clarify? What are the details, please? Who's your role model, Mao or Hitler? Be specific.

    You've benefitted enormously from tolerance yourself, by the way. You are a clearly irrational member of a lunatic fringe cult, yet you're allowed to practice your odd rituals and profess your bizarre beliefs entirely unmolested. But we're not going to take orders from you. Why should we? The world is full of nut cults. One's as good as the next. What makes yours so special? Nothing at all, so don't go demanding any special privileges that the Hare Krishnas don't get. Enjoy your little hobby in peace, but leave the rest of us alone.

    As for your unwillingness to "tolerate" that which the voices in your head call "sinful", you can talk all you like, but if you try to implement your holy intolerance you stand a fair chance of being thrown in jail for aggravated assault, homicide, or whatever. And rightly so. When you stop talking and start acting, you'll be just one more common criminal. Every common criminal has an excuse and a sad story. Every rapist or murderer claims his victim made him do it. It won't help you any more than it helps them.

    "Once a solution is found, a compatibility problem becomes indescribably boring because it has only... practical importance"
  • What part of "in whole or in part" don't you understand?
  • Totally true. The sad fact is that this country still has too many Puritanical, Bible-thumping, uptight people. Sex is so taboo, like it's dirty to them. The sad fact is that many of these same people are sexual deviants and perverts. Heck, they are just as likely to pick up a whore and cheat on their wives. F 'em all......
    Once this country comes to grips with human sexuality, we might actually be a better society....
  • Which minority is that then?

    Those of us who understand that censorship is a fundamentally Bad Thing, and that the ends never justify the means. (Most /.ers fall into this category.)

    Whenever I hear some1 forget the last point, or assume that their ends are so ideal that means become irrelevant, well.. all I can think is "you poor sorry mindless bastard".

    I agree wholeheartedly on the "principle" point you make as well, BTW.

  • This might be a sore point, but I think your post would be a lot stronger if you would actually tell us what pr0n has done to (your?) kids. You've got me begging to know...especially since you went through all that trouble to not only boldface it, but also to type that pesky shift key with every letter of that sentence. (That's screaming in my ear, btw). So I would really appreaciate if you would expand upon that.


  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangster Of Love:

    >I think you know very well what I meant. Kids shouldn't be watching sex acts online. That's not the way to learn about sex. Pleasejust address the point and leave the smart-aleck remarks behind.

    I addressed the point, that it's not for you to tell me how to live my life. As long as I'm not hurting you or yours, my life is my business. Maybe you just didn't understand.

    >I think you also know very well that education is a continual process. Telling a kid once not to go near something does not mean he's learned not to. For awhile you have to be there to reinforce the message, and no parent can do that 24-7. Society as a whole must bear a part of that.

    Not even prison inmates are controlled 24-7. Do you ish to restrain your child even more than inmates at Attica? I don't. I want ot raise my children the way that I was raised. I was instructed as to what the rules were. I was expected to abide by them 90% of the time I did. When I didn't I faced the music.

    Society wasn't my parent, my mother and father were.

    >And I suppose that if a truck is bearing down on them while you happen to be walking along my sidewalk, you'll just let them get splattered.

    I'm not going ot trade places with them, if that's what you mean. I'd yell "Hey Kid! Get outta the street!"

    >Gosh, isn't it nice to know that you are not responsible. I hope you can sleep well at night.

    I wouldn't sleep at all if I were to die trying to save the kids that were playing in traffic because their parents were incompetent

    >Maybe my neighbor is "inept" at raising his kids and doesn't feed them. You'd just let them starve.

    No, I'd call CYS and get the kids out of there.

    > I'd take them in and feed them.

    Then the next day, when they're hungry again? And the day after that? And so on?

  • Ok. Let us say they don't. What has changed? There is still a maximum amount that the library is willing to pay for bandwidth--that's how budgets are made. In the extreme case that they go over budget, they cut the connection. So either way, there is a maximum to the bandwidth transferred.
  • Obviously, Internet filtering is a touchy subject for a large majority of the net community. But I think if they are going to require filtering in all federally funded orginizations then we should provide the filtering. If schools and librarys have to have filtering it should be available free! If anybody is interested in contributing to this project please email me. you can find out more by checking out HTTP://

  • True. He can't pull out hundreds of books in a minute. Unfortunately, there doesn't exist ANY filtering software that does filtering properly, and doesn't filter out the legitimate sites, such as breast feeding, breast cancer, etc.

    It's even more important to make information on AIDS (blocked by many filters), sexual abuse and recovery, Buddhism (I wouldn't be surprised if this was blocked by the Christian fundamental filters.)

    In short, it's not that we want children to be able to randomly chance upon the vast quantities of porn available on the internet, rather, we don't want to limit choices to a close-minded person's view of what's right.

  • I thought we were discussing censorship as a verb. You are refering to the noun portion of the definition.

    By your screwed up thinking the only library in the country that doesn't censor is the Library of Congress....
  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangster Of Love:

    >See a pattern yet? Or do you plan to argue that these strip joints are visited by "children" and should be shut down?

    A few misguided individuals aren't indicative of the entire group. Timothy McVeigh was in the Army, does that mean that all men discharged from the army are terrorists?

    I'm a republican with about 3gb of porn in my collection. My gun collection is impressive too.


  • . . . keep the ACLU out of it. Let people think for themselves and raise their own children.

    In other words, you want LOCAL governments to engage in censorship. As if there were "good" censorship and "bad" censorship. The ACLU wants nobody to engage in censorship -- not the feds, not Fort Dodge IA, nobody. You want local tyrrany; Libby Dole wants federal tyranny; in my book, you're pretty much equal. The Constitution seems to agree with my view, though with a big enough majority you could probably get that changed.

    Hooray for the ACLU, and to hell with all tyrants everywhere.

    But I wouldn't tell you what to do, because it would set the precedent that you could tell me what to do.

    Maybe I misunderstood you, but you seem to be saying that you have no problem at all with telling me what to do, if I happen to live in your community. Sure, that's a lot better than you coming to Cambridge and getting on my case in my community, and it's arguable that if I don't like the way Fort Dodge works, I don't have to live there (not that you necessarily live there, but we may as well both use the same examples). By the same token, though, you can leave the USA, too, if you don't like things there (this is a not-so-gentle hint to all the Christians out there, by the way). One could argue that all tax-paying citizens have an equal claim not to be pushed around by the community, be it a national community or a local one.

    "Once a solution is found, a compatibility problem becomes indescribably boring because it has only... practical importance"
  • by matguy ( 7927 )
    So now no Yahoo in libraries, that's what we need.

    Net. Admin.
  • Kids have a right to privacy too.

    Actually, hasn't the Supreme Court ruled on this? Children are (despite evidence to the contrary) not fully "citizens". (Sarcasm implied- is there an emoticon for this?)

    I find the argument about abused children trying to find help online an interesting issue- considering that my finer half has lived through this (and I live with many of the scars). My wife is extremely protective of her children and agonizes over "normal" disciplinary action since she's taken a stand to break the cycle (IMHO she's done a very good job despite terrible things done to her by her first set of in-laws... Not that her current set of in-laws treat her much better).

    So, the argument for some shielding is logical, but how much is enough? How much is too much?

    In some ways a child's library card already limits a child's selection of books to borrow (though a child may browse and read, in the library, anything from the "adult" :-) section), so, given this caveat, it can be argued that there be two sets of systems- one filtered, intended for children, and one for the adult side of the library- but even this is flawed.

    As a parent, the one thing I want to be able to do with my children is TRUST them to consider their own integrity- physical, emotional and intellectual. If you teach your children properly it is possible to trust them- but you must also teach them WHY some of the material out there is not as interesting as they're being told...

    (I would not want to view a porn site and find photos of my oldest daughter. Would you?)

    What I want to instill is WHY there is little value to porn (or bomb-building, or whatnot).

    The arguments that we need to keep bomb-building and hate sites away from our children sounds good- but I'd rather my children know about these and realize why they aren't a healthy diet for the mind. I also want my children (when old enough, though, WHEN is "old enough"? It varies from day to day!) to see this so they can build their own immunities- at least once.

    As for tracking and reporting browsing behavior- perhaps it can be handled more generally. It also allows parents an ability to review the progress of their children (and to know where they are going).

    Don't forget, though, that (IMHO) abusers are also controlling/domineering and will not allow much access to communications channels they don't control (which is why schools are supposed to keep an eye on things).

    We should bring back house calls - when doctors could evaluate these risks...
  • >(although Bob Dole was a Grade-A war hero, POW, and so forth)

    I believe this is partially incorrect, that Dole was never a POW. He served in Italy, where his right arm was wounded to the point that he was honorably discharged, and he still suffers from that injury. (All this from memory, so there's a good possibility it's not fully correct.)
  • This filtering issue goes much deeper than just trying to block access to porn. It's members of the Christian right declaring that they have the monopoly on morality and that we had better listen. I wish Christians would stop being Christians and start being Americans.

    In reality most porn sites are more goofy than they are offensive. If you really want to see some of the more offensive sites on the net you should look at some of the outrageous lengths that the anti-gay or anti-abortion sites go to. I'm sure everyone is familiar with the old web site, and their are plenty of other ones just as violent if not worse.

    My point is that what the Christians really object to are "new morality" memes seeping into peoples minds. It's not this "save the children" crusade. If they want to fight this fight then we need to take the filtering to next level and start filtering out Christian content as well.

    Christian content and porn content serve the same purpose to distract people from real life and real problems. Both web sites just want to sell you a new lifestyle. They aren't so different both just wanna make a buck.
  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangster Of Love:

    Get off your high horse. Just because you forgot to buy a pack of trojans the ONE time you got lucky doesn't make your opinion any more valuable or relevant here.

    And for your land mine analogy, I should be able to plant land mines on MY property if I want to. Teach your kids not to tresspass you dumb prick.

    >You can't stop everything, but at least you can make it more difficult to accidentally trip across this stuff.

    It's not accidents that they're trying to prevent. If you kid types "www.wefu*" into the web browser it's not an accident. That kid is looking to see some porn, if they want to see it they will see it.
  • Why not have computers with and without filtering software at the libraries?
  • Unfortunately, there doesn't exist ANY filtering software that does filtering properly, and doesn't filter out the legitimate sites, such as breast feeding, breast cancer, etc.

    Anyone remember the good old days of Prodigy? I remember when someone mentioned using a "pot" in a recipe within a post, and blammo -- her account was suspended. Content filtering just doesn't work. (Not with keywords at least.) In short, it's not that we want children to be able to randomly chance upon the vast quantities of porn available on the internet, rather, we don't want to limit choices to a close-minded person's view of what's right.

    Thank you! You hit the nail on the head. I'd also add that few people anymore are actually smart enough to make this distinction.

    Thomas Hobbes may have been right after all: most people want an almighty patrician overseer for their government, one that frees them from the hard task of genuine thought. Even the "Libertarians" fall under this heading I'm afraid.

    And Wm. Bennett is a big fan of Mr. Hobbes. Scares the %$#@ out of me..

  • There are more people out there who will support strong encryption and privacy than will support free speech. Take a look at the Slashdot community - a community which is biased towards freedom and privacy. There are few here who would support key escrow or other encryption restrictions, and yet there appear to be many who are willing to abandon freedom of speech.

    The meaning of conservatism has been perverted. Conservatives in North America now seek not to maintain the status quo. Conservatives in North America seek to roll back the clock.
  • yea... we used to have one of thoes in harvard square... he was a hoot... all the goths would stand around and ridicule him but he and his pamphlet pushers (I used to collect them) would be there every saturday night.

    favorite line (at the top of his lungs):


    man I miss that guy

    I should move back to boston just for that.
  • if someone, ANYONE wants to research anything controversial, they better find somewhere besides the library, because the last thing we want is for anyone ever to get offended by anything...

    When are these people going to learn to shut up?
  • AC posts can be moderated up, yes.

    I personally don't find it all that hard to have an account. For each machine I browse slashdot on, I only have to log in once (assuming I allow the cookie). After that, I can forget it quite easily and always be logged in. And people generally pay more attention to users than ACs. You can also get some responses to questions/comments off-site if your email is available (I've only gotten one--positive at that--so don't worry too much...).

    At least that way you have the option.

  • Personally, I'm an advocate of immorality.

  • porn sites have a URL xxx:// and make it eazier to filter. Let the sites rate and police themselves. Informational sites about breasts could be weeded out from titilating site. What we have now is akin to having a porn store in Walmart, right in the face of people who don't want to see it. That would never happen and so shouldn't this. We need a change, now.
  • Libraries will never agree to release information on what people have been reading.

    I once discovered a family photograph tucked in a library book -- evidently someone was using it as a book mark. I took it back to the library, and the librarian informed me they couldn't do anything because they destroyed all records of who borrowed what, so nobody could ever be persecuted for what they read.
  • by _Dante_ ( 14004 ) on Tuesday June 29, 1999 @04:24AM (#1827535) Homepage

    I am unbelievably happy that a great American like Liz Dole (married to Grade-A war hero Bob Dole), has taken this step to protect out youth from bomb-making plans, satinism, wicca, and pornography.

    Why, just the other day I saw a bunch of goth-bomb-throwing-commie punks fornicating (in ungodly, premarital couplings I might add) on a bed of Das Kapital and On the Origin of Species.

    Only the saving power of our LORD, Jesus Christ, brought to earth via (dare I say it) his agent, Liz Dole, can save these children from the evil that is the library (Books? For Free? COMMIES!).

  • Some (all?) public libraries carry recent issues of magazines. I reckon that these libraries are pretty picky about the kinds of magazines they carry, and they'd not think for a moment about carrying top-shelf magazines.

    Maybe they'd see Internet filtering in the same kind of way - choosing what materiel they want to be available through their systems. Whilst some people are going to scream "free speech", these computers are library resources and the library is free to decide what they get used for.

    The flip side of this is that libraries carry literature like Lady Chatterley's Lover. Would materiel like that be filtered by the proposed filtering software?

    I think a line has to be drawn somewhere, but I'm glad I'm not the one who has to draw it.

  • Anybody know the bumper sticker
    "Last time politics and religion were mixed people burned at the stake"

    So what does that tell you? Does reading "In God we trust" on this countries bills not infringe on Freedom of Religion? If I do not believe in God(which I do not say I do or don't) why should I be forced to read passages praising god on things I use for paying for beer, food and well yeah I could use those small sheets of paper reading "In God we trust" to to to buy PORN?!?!? anybody else see the irony?

    I immigrated into the US, not for religious freedom or anything like that. But in Germany the party I voted for was the CDU, Christian Democratic Union (the ruling party for 16 years). Would you believe that they do not advocate stronger support for Christianity in Government and that a good chunk of their voters are not christian?

    So just because Liz advocates censorship because of her religious believes it makes her a good candiate? Yes I want to vote for a candiate that will make this country even more sexually repressed. What She wants is to keep information which she deems to be offensive under wraps for people using Libraries? How constitutional. Could you point out the passage in the constitution the reads "you will have to, against all principales of a democracy, life by the standards of a minority to protect another minority?" Start with Libraries and soon we will have a Senate Task force to eradicate none-G rated material on the Internet.

    Did anybody ever wonder why the majority (us which are above 18) have to cater to the minority (those below 18) and hide violence from them or sex. People come on, Sex is a normal everyday thing, no other country is so "closed closets" about sex as the US. If you want to worship your religion keep it worshiping and believing in your religion without forcing it upon people like me. And do not force your moral standards on me either, because as an individual it is my choice to accept your religion OR morals and should not be forced to accept them.

  • I'm sure the "Antiporn" group mentioned, along with the multitudes of "think of the children!" groups would be agast if they actually spent time at a library reading the books. There is more stuff in your public library that could be "harmful to children" than most people realize. Shoot, if we're worried about harming the children's delicate sensiblities, we should keep them out of school entirely. After all, nothing good can come from letting people think on their own...

    Just my $0.02
  • Sex did not destroy those lives. Ignorance did.

    Education, not censorship, is our best weapon against the ills of the world.

  • While I'm not talking about your circumstance perticualarly (your childeren are very young, barly to the age of being able to make complete cause and effect conclusions) I bet if you let a school aged kid eat icecream all day they would be sick as a dog a few times and eventually learn the lesson. Now I'm not quite sure why they havn't learned about poison ivy yet. I mean it only took me one or two times, the pain is just not worth it. But if one sees fit to only explain to children concepts and not to let them find out the stupidity of it for themselves, the are goint to get nowhere. Children are naturally rebellious explaniations do nothing. Libraries have had a long term commitment to not censor. I mean they might not have a subscription to playboy or anything, but thats more a matter of legality as you really can't leave such items out in public. Do you take your kids to the movie rental place and let them pickout whatever they want. As you should watch your kids in regular society, libraries don't have to be the exception (I do believe school libraries should offer some filtering simply because parents have no means of control). You know what annoys me most.. I really wanted libby as pres. too.. now I'm gonna have to rethink that idea. :(
  • If this means less government spending then it means less taxes which is good enough for me. Buy your own computer if you want to see what you want on the web. Internet connections in libraries are not meant for fooling around-people pay for them too. I'm tired of some people who want to censor everything but I'm ALSO tired of people who want taxpayers to PAY for abortions, porn, free needles for drug users etc etc
  • To some extent, you're talking apples and oranges. This is a college library that you are talking about, and "Pornoman" is legally an adult, whereas the issue in question is how to keep kids from viewing porn in public libraries. From a practical standpoint, it is probably easier for a librarian to tap the shoulder of a kid viewing Internet porn and tell them to leave, than it is to tap the shoulder of a corresponding adult. Also, it is legally much easier, I suspect, to make rules about what content a kid is allowed to access versus what an adult is allowed to access. There is already precedent for barring kids from engaging in conduct considered harmful to them, but conduct that adults are allowed to engage in; kids are not allowed to smoke, drink, and AFAIK, they are not allowed to view printed porn. AFAIK, adults legally have the right to view porn themselves, at least when they are by themselves or with others who are viewing the porn with them. My point is that it is probably much easier to take action against "Pornokid" than "Pornoman".

    As is already painful obvious from what I've said above, I am not a lawyer.

  • face it, you're a racist. There are many decent religious Christians out there. I'm not a Christian and I don't know what you are but I'd rather see 100 of them to one of you
  • /db990524.html

    Second wife of a failed presidential candidate. Work with the Amer. Red Cross. Politicially appointed officeholder of ineffective federal agencies.

    Great qualifications to be a VP.
  • Wow, I love their porn cam... is that live?
  • I quote from the Wired article: "Federal tax dollars should never be used to poison our children or provide free pornography for adults," Dole said during a visit to a library in Bellevue, Washington. This is an example of go-nowhere rhetoric designed to inflame jingoistic NIMBYs into passing a lot of ineffective, poorly reasoned legislation that has absolutely no hope of achieving any of the goals I think Mrs. Dole, in her infinite wisdom, has decided are important for our country. Here's the reality, folks. Most porn sites will make you pay to see the really racy stuff. Other than that, you get more skin at the beach or public pool. I don't know many kids who are a) Impressionable enough to be 'poisoned' by sexual images. and b) own a credit card that can be used to gain access to a porn site. What seems to have been missed is that PORN SITES ARE NOT FREE!!! If an adult wants to go to a public library and PAY to see porn, then so be it. I *know* that porn is not easy to 'stumble' on to. If you claim to have 'stumbled' on to a porn site, gimme a break. Come clean, you were looking for it, and you know it. What is the most important thing about this is that Liddy Dole cares nothing for your kids and what they can and cannot see in the library. She wants to be President. She said those things to garner support from culturally conservative people who have some other really awful ideas. I can't believe that a single slashdotter actually believes that Liddy Dole stands for anything other than herself, lining her pocketbook, and being president. She did a terrible job as President of the Red Cross, and would make an awful President.
  • Yes, personally I'm very offended by lycos' advertisment of porn sites? What corperate idiot decided to link to that meta-dog site in the first place? Anybody up for an email campain against lycos? (I used to accually respect lycos believe it or not)
  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangster Of Love:

    Since I'm a republican, I guess I'll throw my hat into the ring.

    >>Republicans tend to have a similar view for economic policies, but are very socially conservative. They are typically anti-abortion, pro-drug laws, pro-gun rights, pro-death penalty, and anti-porn. I think a majority are also unsupportive of homosexual rights and extremely free speech (supporting measures such as banning flag burning, etc). Many are extremely religious and try to force it on others.

    You're pretty much on the mark, but I'll try to further refine a couple of your points. Republicans are Anti-porn in the hands of children. Republicans are not "unsupportive of homosexual rights". We don't believe that there is such a thing. There are no more "homosexual rights" than there are "heterosexual rights".

    >>Exactly. Sex is a perfectly natural act, as nudity is a perfectly natural state. I find it highly confusing that people attack the porn industry so readily, yet balk at the idea of attacking violent movies and TV shows. In my mind, showing violence is a lot worse than showing people having sex.

    Both activities are perfectly natural. We've got genitals for participating in sexual activity and procreation. We have fingernails, and ribcages because no matter how "enlightened" we think we've become we're still just animals and violencs is just another part of life for us.

  • "1. I don't think it is unreasonable to attempt to limit the use of a scare public resource to activities which are beneficial to the community."

    Then support things like time limits and the like, that _actually_ deal with the issue of fair allocation of scarce resources. Censorship is _never_ about scarcity. Censorship does not address this concern.

    "I (personally, as an individual with an opinion and a vote - not a veto) don't consider free access to porn an acceptable use for public money."

    And I, personally, don't see capital punishment as an acceptable use for public money. I also don't see the implementation of censorship as an acceptable use for public money. The _lack_ of censorship does NOT have an impact on the amount of money spent. The same amount of money is going to be spent whether the user is downloading porn or doing bible research. However, both of my examples above _do_ have an associated increase in financial costs borne by the taxpayers.

    "2. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be allowed to do whatever you like in your own home. I just don't want to pay for it."

    What anyone does in their own home was NEVER at issue here.

    "3. I'm not proposing myself as the censor. You'd probably be better at it :-)"

    Perhaps. But only because I'd be bound _not_ to censor.

    "4. I understand the technical limitations of filtering software. I was talking on an philosophical level."

    The technical limitations are FUNDAMENTAL limitations of any system of censorship, whether implemented by software, or by human intervention. There have been many attempts, in many parts of the world to define effectively pornography and obscenity. I'm not aware of any such appropriate definition.
  • Libraries will never agree to release information on what people have been reading.

    I sure hope so- at least, to the authorities.

    It can be argued that a child's (minor's) reading history should be available to a parent, especially when a wider range of material is available.

    The idea, though, that the community can "look over your shoulder" (like, if you sit in the libary and read, others can see the title of the book you're reading, and, perhaps, glance over your shoulder- there's no privacy from others) may help chill out abuses of the system. This places "control" (actually, attention) where it belongs- in the LOCAL community. Communities will vary in anxiety levels, so, let's not standardize the cultural wall too high since we don't want to lock too many folks out.

    Remember- As a multi-cultural society, we are fairly permissive- which allows us to HANDLE multiple cultures. Any change away from this stance by raising our "minimal" level of expected behavior (it can be argued that these minimums have drifted downwards over the years) will raise cultural bars against others (though I'm something of a language bigot- I speak two languages: English, and BAD English) that may be unscalable without some kind of accomodation.

    I've seen an interesting .sig once:
    "It _doesn't_ take all kinds. We simply _have_ all kinds."

    On a side note: We tolerate pranking too much. I think this leads to criminality (with the sensation of doing unto others without consequence) faster than drugs. Too many are not taught about "how it feels when the shoe is on the other foot". A little bit of empathy is needed...

    Yeah, my mind wanders. It's a miracle it ever finds it's way home.

    "Son, it is impossible for you to EVER learn about impotence the hard way." - me
  • Sorry I take that back.. lets not have an email campain.. apparently isn't owned or operated by lycos it simply redirects to and open up porn windows while its at it.. They are probably making good money doing this... does anyone know of the legality concerning such actions, as they are using lycos's content to make money for themselves?
  • 1. I don't think it is unreasonable to attempt to limit the use of a scare public resource to activities which are beneficial to the community.

    To take this to another level, should I be allowed to stroll into a public library and play network games all day? Perhaps, so long as there is sufficient slack capacity in the system. Suppose 20 of my friends come with me and we all do the same. Should the taxpayer fork out to provide this service?

    I'm not arguing about the porn/free speech thing, I'm arguing about scare resources and what is an acceptable use for them.

    I (personally, as an individual with an opinion and a vote - not a veto) don't consider free access to porn an acceptable use for public money.

    2. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be allowed to do whatever you like in your own home. I just don't want to pay for it.

    3. I'm not proposing myself as the censor. You'd probably be better at it :-)

    4. I understand the technical limitations of filtering software. I was talking on an philosophical level.
  • Remember, we all had this discussion about government-enforced library censorship a while back, in response to " House Might Mandate Net filtering in Libraries []"?

    Go read this thread [], then come back if you have any questions.

    BTW, why should 10-year-old Joe's geocities website be assumed adult when he doesn't know what 'adult' even is to rate his site? Why should i and everyone else with a non-adult website have to go through and add your rating to every single page, then re-upload them all, to state the obvious (i.e. no adult content)? Are you willing to foot the bill for all that? ;)

    kernel: lp0: using parport0 (polling).
    kernel: lp0 off-line
    kernel: lp0 out of paper

  • I'm all for filtering as an additional service that libraries may want to offer the parents of their younger patrons, if it encourages library use. But just because you assume that pleasure is not a good enough reason for an adult to look at internet pornography, it doesn't mean there aren't other, more legitimate reasons. Maybe I'm writing a book about the depiction of violence against women in porn; I can't very well do that without looking at some of it. There should always be unfiltered workstations available.

    The same goes for other controversial topics, like abortion, birth control, and hate speech.

    If some hate group is organizing in my town, I want to know what the group is saying to its audience.
  • The largest problem with what Mrs. Dole is asking for is the fact that she wants libraries to censor both children and adults.

    Agreed. *THIS* is a problem. Of course, Libraries are already segregated by age - at least in terms of what a person may borrow (I'm using the NY Public Library as a model here... I obsolete already?).

    A library, however, is a public space. My main argument is that there is little/no reason for filtering AS LONG AS A BROWSER REALIZES THAT THIS IS BEING DONE IN A PUBLIC PLACE AND PRIVACY IS NOT POSSIBLE. If an activity belongs in a bedroom, well, don't view the streaming video in the library unless you don't mind having all of your neighbors watching over your shoulder. This is the core of my "position" (albeit non-missionary).

    OK, so I'm a "compassionate" conservative. Folks who have raised children through to adulthood will tend in this direction- though is it mainly to protect one's own bloodline? BTSOOM! But I want my children to succeed...

    A teen-age daughter wears out her father when she's dating since she always seems to pick a boyfriend 3 (or more) steps below her on the evolutionary ladder. Mothers constantly fret that they haven't set aside enough money to bail out their teen-age sons...

    So, with that background provided, let's wade on in...

    Values are important- but I don't want my children to automatically salute an authority figure and I'd like them to think for themselves. That doesn't stop me from wanting to implant certain (survival linked) prejudices:

    Race is irrelevant. I someone else can put up with me, I can put up with them, regardless of race, color, creed, whatever. Discovering that one's spouse's ex-in-laws instilled a sense of racism in one's stepchildren is an appalling thing to experience.

    Drugs (whose truth on the web?) - Hey, I was introduced to MJ in college 25+ years ago. It was interesting. Once. Maybe I'm wired funny but it wasn't all _that_ interesting. I guess I needed to get a life that I hated.

    Sex can kill, these days. Granted, it can be argued that diseases won't jump between species (my daughter's boyfriends and her) but the reality is, for a father, far more frightening. Additionally, unless one's spouse is interested in knowing about differing positions there's not much point. Why bother? Porn isn't all that harmful except that it often gives the wrong message, like "When she says NO it really means YES"- and one doesn't want to hear about your daughter being date-raped by a guy who's viewed the same material YOU like.

    Bombs can be considered evolution in action. It's also stupid. Knowledge is fine but it is illegal to act on it. A lot of things are that way. In all seriousness, sure, bomb-making information isn't all _that_ harmful since many of the idiots who'll act on it will blow themselves up- or get caught and then executed.

    Violence is an ambiguous item. There are times where violence is called for- after all, War has existed (and been tolerated by God) because it performed a useful function (if you've looked at history, it has tended to take down corrupt leaderships). In this day of a more unified world we no longer have it as a useful check-and-balance. Likewise, on an individual basis, it could be argued that duelling should never have been outlawed (though it should be confined to principals and not use seconds). Duelling could function as another check-and-balance against corruption on an individual level and has the side effect of rendering politeness as an evolutionary advantage.

    So, I've exposed (not XXX-posed :-) some of my thoughts, of which (I am sure) many will disagree, and here is the key to civilization:

    Tolerance is required. Approval is NOT required.

    I tolerate people with other opinions and lifestyles; I am no more required to approve their lifestyles than they are of mine. Don't try too hard to sell me (which is an expression of intolerance) any more than I'll try to sell you.

    No matter how much I'd like things to be different they won't be.

    The bottom line? A library is a public place. There should be no privacy there. There should also be no censorship, either. There are many who would restrict our sources of information, but we must keep them open. Libraries tie us together as a civilization since they maintain the inventory of human knowledge- even if some of that knowledge is ugly.

    Knowledge is power. Power provides freedom to choose.

    Don't forget that politicians would love us all to be illiterate- then we could be more easily manipulated.

    Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. Those who DO study history will be able to recognize that they are repeating it- even if they can't do anything about it.
  • I couldn't agree more. But you can bank on the fact she will be used heavily to garner the women's vote.
  • "You can't legislate morality. And unlike the response that said, "Morality is a personal trait, not a template with which to make law." I do believe that law must derive from morality. Would you like to live under the rule of immoral laws?"

    I would certainly not wish to live under immoral laws. However, I find amoral or at least secular laws to be significantly preferable to laws based on one religion.

    "at least [Christians] have a motive for trying to do more than meet their own selfish ambitions."

    As do many conscientious Muslims, atheists and agnostics. Christians do not have a monopoly on the moral high ground.

    "I'd prefer it if schools and libraries and other places I fund through my taxes were trying to help me in my efforts to raise my kids morally, rather than hinder me."

    Providing information, showing the good and bad of mankind can not hinder your efforts to raise your kids morally. The only way that people can learn to run their lives morally is to see what is moral and what is immoral. If you insist that the government should protect your children through censorship, _you_ are hindering _my_ attempts to raise my kids morally.

    "What do you all have against teaching children to focus on thoughts that are righteous and pure, and trying to protect them from what is impure?"

    Censorship does not protect kids from what is impure. The only thing that can protect kids from that which is impure is critical thinking. If you are unable to teach your kids to deal in a moral manner with impure things, your kids will not deal in a moral manner with impure things.

    Another /. Christian reader who supports the separation of Church and State.
  • Don't let your kids leave the house if you don't want them exposed to anything outside your control.
  • Even if the information is "wrong" people should have access to it. I believe people are not just things than you can input to, but that the inputted information also can be processed within that person. That is to say, people have a mind of their own and we should let them decide what is "wrong" information and what is not.

    The most important issue here is who the heck should decide if something is "wrong" or not. Yes, with certain things you can say that this is right and that is wrong, for example a hypothesis regarding a chemical experiment. But when it comes to different ideologies, there is no single way to say that this is wrong and that is right. I believe in capitalism and I do not think communism is the way to go, but look at U.S., and all the problems it has. Obviously it does not utilize the 'ideal ideology'. Communism is a great idea, that no person is worth more than another, and that therefore no one should have more than anyone else. Problem is that it doesn't work in Real Life. If we let people read whatever they want, and let them make their own decisions, someone might just get a bright idea of how to merge the best of communism with the best of capitalism, or any other ideology for that matter, and that would be a really great thing, right? This of course requires that there is an open debate in society and freedom of speech. Something that can not be found in neither China nor USA.

    OK, OK, 50 states. I'm not from that side of the swamp, alright?

  • Actually, I don't have kids (yet), but if I did, I certainly would take them to the library often. You obvously didn't catch the overstatement in what I wrote. Oh well.
  • Ever use a search engine? Quite a bit of the returned links are porn sites. (A notable exception is Google [].)

    Smoking is no more a public health issue than the internal combustion engine or volcanic eruptions, which aren't getting banned from public places anytime soon.

    And speed limits are set up mostly for safety reasons. Ever drive a road at 90 MPH? Not much time to react to road conditions. They don't make school zones 20 MPH for no reason other than revenue.

  • Out of all the responses to my original post, this is the only one that (a) is sensible, (b) understood my use of overstatement, a (c) didn't annoy me.

    Thank you for seeing my point and responding with the answer I was looking for. And not even insulting Christians.

  • Not that I'm defending Clinton or anything, but that was a compromise to get the Republican-controlled Congress to agree with it. The Republicans wanted a more "Let's ask, and if they won't tell, we'll burn it out of 'em" approach.

  • I can't imagine the Court will reverse itself, so Libby and the GOP can try all they want.
    Put aside considerations of "self-control" and "pornography" for a moment, and think about ex-offenders trying to cope with the trauma of prison rape upon release. Most don't have computers but can get access to the supportive community and information they need to begin treatment and recovery through computers at public libraries. The prison-rape support sites that I know of all have graphic letters from inmates describing rapes (, for example). No non-human filter will be able to tell that the user is seeking therapy and not sexual titilation (again, putting that issue aside).

    These sites also use the letters from raped inmates to spread awareness about what happens in our contries prisons and jails. It's how I first became informed about the issue. Informing the public about the issue is a major concern...but what if they are politely filtered from every public library? This was just one of many points that convinced the Supreme Court to strike previous net-censorship laws.

    This is all just to say that while kids do need protecting, and the government *may* have some good ideas about how to help, this is not one of them.
  • I wasn't planning to respond to this post, I think it pretty much scuttles itself quite well without additional torpedos, but I find it extremely intersting how the idea of "if you don't have children your ideas and opinions can and do not matter" is used as a rational argument. Ludicrious. And it doesn't even matter the subject in question; guns, sex, books or the weather, appearently if you've not had a child you've not been "living it" so to speak, and so you can't speak. Interesting; guess I better go out and get some girl pregnant so I can figure it all out and then rightfully participate in the democratic process!!

  • Shouting loud loses face. Unfortunately, staying silent doesn't change laws (or keep them the same as the case may be). So what's the solution?....VOTE FOR ME. I don't see any other way around it. I'll accept the burden of the presidency, with a heavy heart, but always willing to help out when I can. No need to thank me. :)


    Hey, I experienced it first hand, so if you're going to tell me I'm degenerate because I was watching the playboy channel when I was 8 years old, save your breath.

    And geez, did you ever go to a library? Did you see a bunch of young kids there, who weren't there with their parents? 9 out of 10 kids don't want to go to the library, and the other one isn't going to care about porn anyway.
    "Let's hang out at the library after school and look at porn!"

    OK. You Defenders can start sending me your hate mail now. Just remember that I don't give a rat's a$$ about your opinion unless you've had children of your own.

    If it weren't for the endearing nature of your post, the rat's a$$ would have been spared on you, be sure.
  • A few misguided individuals aren't indicative of the entire group.

    Ah, but a few individuals are indicative of the entire group, when those individuals are the leadership of the group.

    Why are Republicans in favor of the Ten Commandments being hung in all public schools? Because the Religious Right asked them to. Less than 5% of the group, but they hold enough key positions to be very influential. Mayor Giuliani or whatever the hell his name is is being groomed as a presidential candidate in 2004 or 2008, hence his Senate race in 2000. That's another very influential position. Only a few people, sure, but they're enough to swing the entire party to a certain position if they choose.

  • Small doses of censorship are fine and peachy, good stopgaps for the underlying problems that we are afraid to face. We'll take our doses of it like sour medicine and smile at the end when we can look and say "there! we did something...and all for the children"...but the doses accumulate faster than one might think, and where before it was just a small poem torn up, a small idea thrown out, those words, those concepts, they collectively become a larger and larger chain to bind us all into a slavery of unthought. It starts and continues in small doses like this, stopgaps politicians use to get elected, to stay in office, to fool you; be wary of the small doses, for unlike other toxins, these doses of bitter poison will never flush out of the system with time alone.

    Some may say that my post is completely off-subject, that blocking child access to library porn has nothing to do with censorship or slavery. As I say, small doses.

  • why should she have to run a gauntlet of teenagers who are watching movies of woman having sex with animals?

    Why isn't this against the library policy, and why doesn't the librarian kick these people out? It doesn't take government coersion or fancy software to protect your kids, just a realization of what is and is not allowed in a public place and enforcement of that in the case someone is stupid enough to break the mores.

    I assume your library would kick someone out who brought in a bunch of porn magazines, spread them around the table, and stared at them. But if they're in the guy's breifcase and he doesn't remove them (or sit staring into the briefcase) then what's the problem? [The analogy: not looking using the library's computer]

    kernel: lp0: using parport0 (polling).
    kernel: lp0 off-line
    kernel: lp0 out of paper

  • I mean, really. If I were serious would I be so blatant? I used the word fornicate fer christ sake - this was obviously satire

    Would you be so blatant? Definately. At NCSU, we have a preacher (we call him the brickyard preacher) who has made it his mission to preach to all us ungodly college students--and the language you used exactly mimics his. He uses the term "fornicate," etc. Furthermore, his preaching is equally bad--"women should go around bare-foot and pregnant", "God gave men the right to beat their wives, it says so right here in the bible!", etc. He is there every single day we have class, preaching away in ernest. That's more scary than anything else (albeit somewhat funny).

    Now that I reread your post in light of your intended humor, I see the satire. But how am I to know that was a joke when you could well be my very own brickyard preacher come online? I'm glad you aren't, but it was genuinely possible that you were completely serious. I mean, hey! Look at your nick! [g]

  • Posted by Talancc:

    As everyone knows that censorship in public locations is going to happen whether we like it or not, we have to take a look at the other side of the coin. As a student worker in the library here at college, I have a chance to debate this out with those who see what needs to be done on a frequent basis. First you have to limit (on at least one machine in the public domain) the porn. Unfortunately, this means that anyone trying to find information on health related issues such as breast cancer are also going to be limited. We need to find a way to create a filtering system that doesn't hurt the ones we are trying to protect from the people who will put anything in a meta tag to get their pages listed a bazillion times in a search engine. There has to be a way to stop the insanity before we just say, "Sorry kids, you can't use this powerful tool because it isn't made for children." I guess I won't forget to teach my little girl that the old fashioned books still work, just in case they decide to pull the plug from our children's experience with the internet and the world of information that most libraries couldn't think of holding in one place.
  • Posted by Solar Jetman:

    In theory, any and all tyranny in a democracy is the "tyranny of the majority" -- where 52% of the population pass laws that oppress the other 48% of the population. To avoid that, democracies have constitutions, telling them what they can and cannot do, regardless of what the people happen to think. Thus, whether a government action supported by a majority is justified depends upon whether it is constitutional. Is such a federal mandate constitutional? No -- libraries are run by the states/local governments. Such a state/local decision IS constitutional and justified, because the government is simply deciding how to run its own institution. A library could (if the people voted to make it so) keep out every book with the phrase "First Amendment" in it, and it would be constitutional (though absurd and bad for library attendance).

    As soon as the government starts telling ME that I can't look at porn AT HOME, that's when we're talking about tyranny.

  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangster Of Love:

    >>Kids don't need to be watching people copulating online.

    Adults don't "NEED" to be watching people compulating online either.

    >>Parents can't monitor their children 24-7.

    Then they should TEACH them what the rules are. My step-dad had the playboy channel when I was 9 years old. My parents sat me down and explained to me that I was not to watch it. I didn't.

    >>Society has a responsibility to pick up the slack.

    I'm not responsible for anyone else's ineptness.

    >>Personally I think the Fed should leave it up to local communities to decide for themselves, but they should restrict other entities (the ACLU springs to mind) from inhibiting those community's decisions on the matter. More local autonomy, less gov't control, no special interest group interference.

    Even though I don't always agree with them the ACLU exists to make sure that the government (at all levels) obeys their own laws. If the constitution says that the government can't do something, it's up to the citizens and groups like the ACLU, the NRA, the JPFO and others to make sure that the government follows it's own rules. Otherwise we have a facist police state. Sure maybe kids in a facist police state can't look at porn, but I'd rather live in a free society and accept the respobsibility of teaching my kids better.

    >>Parents should be the ones raising their children, and I'm all for empowering them to do that better. I am not an advocate of Big Government, but I am an advocate of family and morals.

    Your morals may not be mine, and mine may not be yours. If you force your morals upon me, what is to stop me from doing the same to you?

  • Hey going to the library with your kids sounds like an excellent first step to taking care of them. You can't expect the library to babysit your kids if you are that worried about porn. Your kids are going to look at porn if they want to and you can't stop them from doing it. If your kids don't want to look at porn then it really isn't going to magically get thrust in their face. Either way you can't put the responsibility with the library.

    Your question about whether people really think children should at porn is irrelevant. The child is NOT going to look at porn just because they get on the Internet. A filter-free connection the Internet is not going to make porn ads jump out at children. Regarding smoking you are being stopped from smoking anywhere because it has been deemed a public health issue. Unlike Christians, science has not been so conclusive on public health issues that are created by porn. If porn was a public health issue I'm sure you would see filters up at libraries.

    You jokingly hit upon a point about getting rid of speed limits. Most speed limits are NOT set up according to civil engineering principles of the 85th percentile. They are setup because of a greedy local government trying to bring in revenue. This is another example of where the light of science is ignored and mindless sensationalism is trumpeted to satisfy a slobbering minority.
  • Gee...thanks for the tip, but I already explained myself [].

    Here's my helpful hint: Look around before you jump to comment--I wrote my post about 10 hours before you did, so you really have no excuse for missing it. If you are having trouble seeing everbody's comments because you can't tell what is relevant or not, use nested mode instead of's higher bandwidth perhaps, but you never risk missing something b/c you didn't click on something relevant--it's less work too. YMMV.

  • I have noted a trend of similar parental behavior in situations of this sort. The availability of pornography to his children has, like the screaming majority of other plaintiffs, enabled him to communicate far above and beyond normal volumes while simultaneously removing his desire to contaminate his arguments with facts or logic. It's an amazing problem, really, and for the sake of parents everywhere, I hope our nation's libraries get a good working-over by Czarina Dole.
  • Shoot, if we're worried about harming the children's delicate sensiblities [...]

    Interjection: my mother runs a computer program at an elementary school, including lots of internet stuff with fifth- and sixth-graders (~11-12 years old) -- just about the age where "inappropriate material" is most worrisome: old enough to be interested in looking for it and young enough that there is actually (arguably) some harm that it could do to them.

    This is how she handles the issue: she tells them, point blank, "Don't do anything in here that you wouldn't want to show and explain to: (1) me, (2) the Principal, and (3) your mother." There's a very strongly-implied "...because that's exactly what's going to happen if I catch you" hanging from the end of that. As far as I know, she hasn't had any "incidents", so apparently the combination of showing a little respect for their judgement and making them imagine the embarrassment that they would be in for actually works.

    David Gould
  • Is there any serious problem with embedding standardized, descriptive information in digital media (web pages, images, digital video, HDTV, digital audio). All of these formats could easily carry "fields" which describe what the media contains (which would be useful aside from censorship) as well as "fields" appropriate for censorship use. You could imagine a quite objective (and possibly detailed) set of fields describing aspects of the content (eg: adult language, levels of nudity, etc.) which everyone would be expected to embed in the media. Media which doesn't include the info can be blocked. The info can be "audited" on a random basis or by anybody in the world who notices that it does not follow the guidelines.

    For censorship, this provides an objective (and fine grained) description of the content and allows the consumers (or their parents/school) to decide where to draw the line. It also is trivial to implement using computers (except for analog media) and includes a nice auditing system where any person can notice if some media has been mis-labeled.

    For other uses, this can be quite valuable. If I am doing a study on tree leaves, I can search the web for images which have a field describing the image subject as a tree leaf. If I want all audio clips of Linus Torvalds, I can search for exactly that by reading the headers of all the audio clips I find. Search engines would actually find what you want, and not only for text, but any media.

    This seems like such an obvious solution. Is there any serious problem with this? Is anyone implementing anything like this?
  • Kids don't need to be watching people copulating online...That's not the way to learn about sex.

    These are two separate quotes you (I presume, they were both ACs who sounded the same) made in this thread. I'll discuss them together.

    Tell me, where should a child learn about sex? Behind the barn with that kid Jimmy down the street who stole his dad's Playboy? I've read several of your comments, and I don't see any solutions, just aimless whining about problems. I'd rather teach my kid that there's nothing wrong with sex per se, and hope that they're somewhat "normal," in that they could be gay, straight, bi, or a nun/priest, so long as they weren't a rapist or into anything truly harmful.

    Parents can't monitor their children 24-7. Society has a responsibility to pick up the slack.

    It takes a village, huh? Bullshit. Childhood is a part of life, and life means living. Childhood is not a prison with safety-padded bars. You teach your child as much as you can, but you have to teach them to explore and to learn on their own.

    I broke my arm as a child, doing something I shouldn't have. Had my parents warned me not to? Certainly. Did I do it anyway, first chance I got? Damn straight. My own son is the same way, he just broke his leg doing something just as stupid. And he's being punished for it - by being in a cast for six weeks, being in considerable pain, and having to explain very fully and explicitly what he was trying to do and why. Did I know he would try it? Yup. I hadn't planned on him breaking his leg of course, and I was as scared as any parent when he did it - but you know, I wouldn't change what I did regardless. I see classmates of my son who don't have the sense God gave a mongoose because their parents shield them from everything. By contrast my son is a stubborn, intelligent, willful boy who won't take anyone's word for it "just because;" he'll try it himself. That doesn't mean he'll run out in front of a truck because he won't listen when I tell him that would be a bad idea; he can work out for himself that he'd be killed.

    I'd say it's better to teach my children to be brave, smart, curious, and careful. Explore where you can, but look before you leap. Don't take anyone's word for it that something's wrong - but don't dismiss things out of hand, either. It all boils down to one thing - Go anywhere, do anything, try any experience. After you've considered the possibilities and judged the risks.

    If my child is playing in the street - he won't be, he's got more sense, without 24/7 monitoring - and you walk by, certainly I hope you'll tell him to get out of the street, and I hope you'll tell me about it. But don't tell me how I raise my son.

    Parents should be the ones raising their children. Period. Don't "empower" me, don't monitor me or my children, and you can take your "morals" (a nice, kind word for self-rightous interference in matters that don't concern you) and stick 'em where the sun don't shine. And if you're not sure where that is, there are a lot of internet sites happy to show you a close-up view.

  • Seriously, though, if the display tubes in the library are large ...
    Librarians have already considered this and shot it down. While it discourages some people from viewing objectionable material, it doesn't discourage all people. Those who aren't easily embarassed keep right on viewing objectionable material, but now everyone - small children included - will be able to see it. some librarians hzve noted that exhibitionistic patrons actually seemed to enjoy viewing objectionable material more if they knew that everyone else knew they were looking at it.

    Let's keep it that way- leave it an open channel for information in print
    I seriously doubt that any of the libraries you patronize have subscriptions to Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, etc. They could easily afford to. I don't doubt that such magazines would have a higher readership than "Photography Today" or "The New Yorker". The only possible explanation for their failure to provide such materials is censorship.
  • I don't want my money to go toward providing porn to my kids or yours. Why do you want to use your money (yes I realize it is just as much yours as mine) to supply porn to my kids?

    Porn isn't supplied to the kids or to the adults (in libraries I have seen which carried Playboy, for instance - though I don't consider Playboy porn - Hustler, OTOH...) - it is the access to it that is supplied.

    If we allow the removal of access to porn, what's not to say we will remove the access to, for example, the text of the Constitution of the United States or the Bill of Rights?

  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangster Of Love:

    >Only a few people,sure, but they're enough to swing the entire party to a certain position if they choose.

    Not at all. The left wing, country club republicans have been trying for years to get us to drop the anti-abortion plank from the party platform.

  • As a registered Democrat who agrees with you, what'll we do? Take over the Libertarians? (Don't laugh -- a kid from Finland is taking over the world as we speak.)
  • What's the harm in actually teaching our children what's bad, and what they probably should stay away from, instead of trying to put a clamshell over them and hope that nothing ever gets through?

    I keep poisonous household chemicals in a cabinet with a "child-proof" latch. Applying your reasoning to this situation would suggest that I should let my kids have access to these poisons and teach them not to drink them. I'm not going to take the chance that my kids might ignore me. Ultimately, they'll be old enough to get through the child-proof latch, but by then they'll be old enough to understand exactly what poison is and what it can do.

    I feel the same thing applies to knowledge about the world around us. My *%@^ inlaws told my son about tornadoes, and now we have to hold him at night anytime there's a windstorm while he cries about "tomatoes". He was too young for that knowledge.
  • It's censorship straight from the definition, your morality crusade aside:

    censor n : a person who is authorized to read publications or correspondence or to watch
    theatrical performances and suppress in whole or in part anything considered obscene or
    politically unacceptable v 1: forbid the public distribution of; as of movies or newspapers [syn:
    ban] 2: subject to political, religious, or moral censorship; "This magazine is censored by the
  • Being married to a librarian, perhaps I can help here.

    Policies on adult material vary from one library system to another, but in general there is a distinction drawn between adult and obscene. For example, most major libraries do carry Playboy because, whatever one may think of the photographic content, the magazine does have articles and editorial content and does not meet the common legal definition of obscenity (appealing only to a prurient interest) in most parts of the US.

    An important concept in all obscenity laws is the notion of community standards for acceptability. What is considered obscene in one community may be considered perfectly acceptable elsewhere. This is where Ms. Dole's plan deviates from prior legal practice, by setting a national standard. Libraries often use their own community's standard for "obscene" to decide what is and is not in their collection.

    Incidentally, my wife happens to be a strong free-speech advocate (as am I). In her selection of what A-V titles to carry, she makes a point of keeping a broad-spectrum collection, especially in the areas of politics and religion. She has in the collection hundreds of videotapes which she personally finds objectionable from religious grounds, but which she believes others have a right to see if they wish to do so.

    Other librarians in the area run the gamut from free-speech advocates to those who would censor even literary classics. There is a Library Bill of Rights (put out by the American Library Association, I think) that lists among its tenets the right of any patron to access any material, and the right to privacy of that material from government review. This does not mean that children can view bestiality at the library, but it does mean that your local sheriff cannot get the "goods" on you and harass or arrest you just for reading about illegal drugs.

    In many areas, librarians are on the front lines in the battle to preserve free speech.

  • I've tried notifying Slashdot about this last week. The House of Representatives ALREADY APPROVED this legislation and is waiting on a vote from the Senate.

    Please check out the Thomas Register [] (where many bills can be viewed). Check specifically H.R. 1501 [] and the specific Amendment (Title XIV) [] that:

    (1) IN GENERAL- An elementary school, secondary school, or library that fails to provide the certification required by paragraph (2) or (3), respectively, is not eligible to receive or retain universal service assistance provided under subsection (h)(1)(B).

    ...and this is retroactive, which means that the libraries must refund the discounts received during this past calendar year I believe.

    So if anyone in your library finds information on breats feeding, breast cancer, Dick Simon Trucking, or whatever else, your library will be poor. That's how I view it.

    Please write your congress persons. Check out Vote Smart [] for a place to start for contact information.

    Also check out the American Libraries Association [] (ALA). They have a Legislative Issues [] page which says that a Senate committee even already approved the bill.

    Let's stop this madness and educate the lawmakers that any limits to information should be evaluated by the local communities and NOT be federally mandated, especially on such misinformation.

    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
  • The problem is, as you state, who is it that gets to draw the line?

    My opinion on this is that for adults, no one should draw the line, there should be no restrictions AT ALL concerning what adults may read, hear, view, etc.

    And as far as children go, the ones who should draw the line are the parents, not the government, not their church, not their next door neighbors.

    The solution to the problem of how to deal with any kind of information availablity is the requirement of personal responsibility. If some adult, for example wants to read, whatever, information about making bombs, for example, so be it. If they choose to make them and use them, they should then be held responsible for the results, period, end of story, no babysitting, no mollycoddling, just appropriate punishment. In the case of children, if a parent chooses to allow the child access to such information, again, so be it. If the child then applies that knowledge, then the parents should be held responsible for the results of those actions, or if the child is past the age of about 10-12 or so, then the responsiblity should be applied to parent AND child.

    The problems that are so harped upon in this country are not caused by guns, or bombs, or porn, or drugs, or whatever the flavor of the week is this time. The problems in this country are caused by the attitude that "It's not my fault, someone (or something) else made me do it!".

    If we really want these problems to go away (to the degree that is possible to do so), we need to quit wasting our time and money trying to control the behaviour of people, and apply it to enforcing the requirement of personal responsibility, through education, and appropriate repercussions. Any other attitude is only going to make the problem worse.
  • by soup ( 6299 ) on Tuesday June 29, 1999 @04:34AM (#1827668) Homepage
    Actually, the best filtering is to ensure there is NO expectation of privacy; If a librarian (coordinator/whatnow) is walking around and there is no way for a browsing user to "hide" the contents of the screen, there should be little difficulty. Additionally, for all users, how's about recording sites visited through the library system's firewall? Like a libary card would help them record what kind of material you are reading (assuming anybody is interested) a children's account would be associated with their parent's card, so the parent would get notification of material the children have accessed (if you're really paranoid).

    Filtering should NOT be necessary- since, once you start filtering, where do you stop? China, for instance, finds political discourse offensive.

    The First Amendment is not so much a right to speak as a right to hear other voices. While *I* would not be happy if my children read some of the material on the web (heck, there's stuff out there *I* don't even want to see, but it's sometimes helpful to trip over it on occasion as a booster for immunities) I would like to know where my son (and, someday, my daughter) have been reading, since it'll give me an idea of what I'm missing as a parent.

    Perhaps the search for "easy, simple" solutions is wrong. Who ever said parenthood is easy?

    Politics is the effort to sell easy, simple solutions- but there are none. Human nature implies a huge "gray zone", though there are some things that we must accept as minimums just to work together.

    Laws are needed to constrain behavior- they should not be constraining thought.

    Seriously, though, if the display tubes in the library are large (heck, just put monitor repeaters where others in the library can see, with enough defocussing to make text unreadable) and in a central place where people usually walk through (not some dingy back room) the community will correct itself. If you're determined to cruis porn, well, why shouldn't your neighbors know? The Library is a _public_ place! Let's keep it that way- leave it an open channel for information in print and otherwise...
  • by ethereal ( 13958 ) on Tuesday June 29, 1999 @04:37AM (#1827679) Journal

    I don't mean to fire off a flame at you, so please don't take this that way - I just feel a good rant coming on about the whole issue.

    Whilst some people are going to scream "free speech", these computers are library resources and the library is free to decide what they get used for.

    If this was what Mrs. Dole was supporting, then I couldn't agree more. The problem is that the local libraries aren't going to have those choices if the federal government calls the shots on filtering. And when you think about it, a national standard for what is filterable is going to upset as many people as the current situation. Some people still won't feel that the federal filtering standard is restrictive enough, others will feel that it is too restrictive, and some people are just opposed to federal intervention at the local level (a position you would expect a Republican candidate for president to take, but that's a different argument).

    I think a line has to be drawn somewhere, but I'm glad I'm not the one who has to draw it.

    Aren't you glad we have politicians to do the thinking for us? I don't see why this line has to be drawn at the national level, rather than local.

  • Yes sir, nothing like the smell of banned websites. Let's just put them up there with the banned books. My question is who filters the filters? Why are we letting someone else decide what is and is not appropiate for our viewing pleasure? I am not advocating porn all around, but let's get real here. Any kid who has spent any time on a computer can get around any filter. Problem is most public libraries still confrom to the old lab usage. Let's keep the computers locked in a seperate room. How about putting the computers in the main part of the library? No one and I mean no one looks at porn where someone can see them. Computer usage should be a privilege, screw around and you will have the privilege removed, and that fact will be recorded on your library card. This is assuming we can hook up the computer to a card reader.
  • Yes, it's not an oxymoron. I happen to be both without any cognitive dissonance. There are two key things to realize here. One is that, as John Stuart Mill says, there should only be laws restricting things that a societal consensus believes to be harmful to others. The other is that as Christians our first priority should be changing the hearts and minds of others (i.e. building consenus), not making laws. For instance, on the abortion issue, our priorities should be (a) trying to build a national consensus that abortion really does kill an unborn human and that it's not right and (b) offering as much support to unwed mothers as we can, be it prenatal care, adoption services, whatever.

    So what does this mean for censorship? I don't believe in censorship of any sort for adults. Well, ok, we should censor subliminal messages -- if you want to try and manipulate me, I want to know about it -- and you should be liable afterwards in a court of law for any slander or libel you commit. But I do believe there are some things we should censor/forbid for children, especially young children. Pornography and drugs come to mind. Children simply do not have the wisdom to make informed decisions for themselves on tricky issues such as these. Pornography and drugs -- alchohol, cigarettes, and illegal varieties -- are extremely dangerous for young minds because the pleasure is immediate, but the dangers are far from obvious. I want as much of a chance as possible to educate my children on the dangers before they even have a chance to be exposed. Even so, friends, school-mates, and society in general will probably see to it that they'll both have seen porno and been offered drugs by the time they're 15 or 16. But hopefully by then I'll have had enough time to educate them on the dangers so that they know what to do. If not, then I'll be in big trouble when they move out on their own :^(

    But I certainly don't want to have my kids exposed to porno because some wacko is downloading it in a public area of my local library. Moreover, while I will try to be there to do the educating and censoring myself, I'd like to believe that public institutions such as libraries and schools would, if not help me out, at least not work against me. My suggestion to libraries would be to have a public computer area where porno was not allowed and a private, uncensored area. And as far as implementing the no-porno area, I would discourage the use of filtering software -- which as many others have stated filters out useful information such as breast cancer research -- and encourage a policy of revoking/suspending a patron's access should they attempt to view material determined by a librarian to be pornographic while they are in the no-porno area.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... is one of the most despicable things I can think of. It still amazes me to see people who think that ignorance -- about anything is good. You don't protect people by keeping them in ignorance. You protect them by letting them know as much as possible, and talking to them so that they are able to judge the consequences of things.

    If you're worried about your kid viewing pornography, tell him about the consequences of unsafe sex, objectizing women, and remind him of any moral code that your family might adhere to on the matter. If you're worried about violence, teach gun safety. And teach the consequences of violence. Make it personal. Introduce him to some victims. Show him what it looks like when a person's face gets shot off. I guarantee you that will have a lasting impression.

    Keeping people in darkness doesn't help them. They'll go behind your back and then they'll just be getting a one-sided view of things. By forbidding it, you make it even more likely that they'll take an interest in it -- kids are like that. But by letting them explore -- kids' minds are built to explore and learn -- and by not making a big deal about it, they're more likely to come to their own decision about it, which if you've raised them well, will probably coincide with your own. I had access to pornography and violent media when I was a kid. I looked at some of it. It wasn't a big deal. I didn't turn into a sex maniac, I can see the value in waiting until marriage before sex, I'm not a violent psychotic, etc. But who knows what would've happened if I lived in a domineering family that tried to dictate my thoughts and beliefs? I might easily have rebelled in quite the opposite manner.

    If I want to teach my kid something, I'll present my view and the opposing view. If I just present one side of things, then he'll get the impression I'm trying to snow him. Kids aren't stupid.

    On the other hand, present one point of view enough and you may get a nicely brainwashed kid. I've seen it happen. Personally, raising a kid to be a little copy of me without any free will or capacity for independent or critical thought isn't the reason why I'd raise a kid. But lots of people seem to be into that.

    As someone else said, I find it ironic that it's the strongest backers of this kind of thing are conservatives; you'd think that they'd be as far away as possible from the government controlling information sources. But of course, those conservatives who back this sort of thing are the type of people who want to blame society's ills on convenient abstractions like "pornography" or "the movie industry", etc. (can we say "Columbine"?) without taking any personal responsibility for raising their own children. Usually while reviling "liberals" for doing the same thing (blaming others rather than themselves for social issues). It's that kind of thing that gives the Republican party a bad name, which is shameful, since I know plenty of reasonable conservatives who aren't bent on controlling other people's beliefs.

    Those people act on fear. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hatred, hatred leads to suffering. :) They fear that kids will mindlessly emulate anything they see. They fear that they can't control their children. The only thing it proves is that their value system or their parenting is so weak that it can't stand the light of day, all opposing viewpoints must be hidden for it to prevail.

    Finally, let me just say that anyone who thinks that pornography turns people immoral is, IMHO, pretty whacked. Whatever morals or lack thereof one might have are likely already present. It's like blaming school killings on wearing trechcoats. If I put on a trenchcoat, it doesn't make me a killer.

  • by / ( 33804 )
    Whilst some people are going to scream "free speech", these computers are library resources and the library is free to decide what they get used for.

    Sorry, try again. Libraries that are funded/run by US governments are beholden to the constitution; Federal ones by the first ammendment, and state/local ones by the first ammendment via the fourteenth. The whole point of a constitutional democracy is to have the government not be free to do whatever it likes. If you're into that sort of thing, then hop on over to Australia, where their consitution doesn't protect civil rights.

    The original rationale behind allowing libraries to ban objectionable books was that the amount of money available for purchasing books is scarce. Because a library cannot own all books, there is some leeway granted in determining which books are to be carried.

    Bandwith, however, is not scarce under the current scheme of non-hourly rates. As such, there is no independent and clear government purpose in regulating which speech can be heard and such filters are therefore unconstitutional. This is independent of the fact that dumbing down adult speech to protect minors is not exactly constitutional either.
  • In a so called democracy, why are you letting minorities (like the self confessed Christian above) run the show?

    In a democracy, you let whoever gets the most votes run the show, no matter what their beliefs are.

    You can't say "Christianity is a minority belief, so Christians shouldn't be in office" any more than you can say "The country is predominantly white, so only whites should run for office". If you find someone's beliefs objectionable then just don't vote for them :-) but they have as much right to campaign on a platform built on those beliefs as you would to campaign on a platform built on yours.

  • by ethereal ( 13958 ) on Tuesday June 29, 1999 @04:56AM (#1827718) Journal

    It isn't the porn filtering that bothers me, it's the federally-imposed filtering of a public information source. The companies who write filtering software have proven time and time again that they don't just filter porn - they filter educational information about birth control and human sexuality, discussion sites that they don't like the tone of, and even sites which are anti-filtering software. It's that last one that really bugs me - it doesn't bother me a whole lot if my local community filters porn in the library, but don't take away my access to sites just because they threaten Net Nanny's profits.

    Also, that was a really cheap shot about homeless people. Don't you think they have more important things to worry about than surfing for porn? All the homeless people I've run into in a library were there because it was warm and indoors, not because it was a porn-haven. We might as well say: "people that post to Slashdot must have nothing else to do, so they are probably all researching porn at work (or school) right now".

  • So hey, what better way to get the pathetic sheep behind you than to promote "family values" at the expense of a minority (us)?

    Which minority is that then? The minority that like using library computers to view pr0n? :-)

    If this legislation were to go through, I think it'd impact the life of the average nerd very little. It's the principle of the thing that a lot of Slashdotters find distasteful.

  • You really should get an account here - I wish more people would have the opportunity to read such a well-reasoned and well-written post.

  • by Protheus ( 22482 ) on Tuesday June 29, 1999 @05:58AM (#1827780)
    All censorship is bad. I'd challenge anyone to argue with that point, but since I probalby won't revisit this page, there's really no reason.

    Have any of you we-have-to-protect-our-children-from-naked-people- big-brother-will-take-care-of-us lamers actually thought about your stance on the issue?

    What's the harm in actually teaching our children what's bad, and what they probably should stay away from, instead of trying to put a clamshell over them and hope that nothing ever gets through? You know what, something eventually will, and they won't be prepared. The argument is complicated further, since children have the same rights that any of us do, and can make their own decisions (that should upset some people). If a child wants to do one thing or the other, and is responsible about it, then there's no problem. The goverment has no right toay what a child can or can't do, and any parent had better take their responsability (not right) to supervise a child very seriously. As a parent it's your job to prepare your child for life, not shelter them from it.

    So, if you think porn is bad, then explain to your child and hope they see it your way, because if they don't, you really have no authority to force your views upon them. You might be suprised, children are highly intelligent, and often like to do what's right.

    On the point of censorship in general, let me put it this way: Do you think that making laws is going to discourage pornography any more than it has with, say, drugs? No, It's just going to complicate things more. So argue your point, speak intelligently, make informed judgements, and NEVER try to take away another person's freedom, because loss of a freedom for one person will sooner-or-later be a loss for everyone. Democracy is supposed to be founded on the idea that people can collectively make their own decisions -- so why not do this with minimal interference from the goverment? It can be done, and we'd be better off. Legislation is not the answer, but rather communication is.


    Yea, yea... I know what you're going to say. "You have to educate your kids. Filtering is no substitute for education." Sure sounds mighty fine when you say that, with your chest puffed out with pride in being Holy Defender Of Free Speech. I suppose if someone started planting land mines around my house, you'd tell me, "Well, just EDUCATE your children to not STEP on them, you dumb prick!"

    Sorry, but it doesn't work that way.

    I know, filtering is a lousy technology, but I think it should be possible to put at least some level of filtering on URL's, like "www.wefu*". You can't stop everything, but at least you can make it more difficult to accidentally trip across this stuff.

    Why at the Library? At home, I know what goes on with the computer. I can see a page and know what the difference is between a gang-bang and an article on breast cancer.

    You go somewhere else, and there are no rules, no guidelines, noone checking over the shoulder. It's as if the Library had opened a section on Porn, and left all the hard core magazines out on the table for anyone to pick up. Is this really how you want to educate your children?

    OK. You Defenders can start sending me your hate mail now. Just remember that I don't give a rat's a$$ about your opinion unless you've had children of your own.

  • I`m at work, and I can't let this stuff be seen on my computer.
    I was looking for some MP3 sites this morning and the same thing happened.

    This is one of the reasons that I browse the Web at work with images turned off, and only load them once I'm sure the site is okay.

    I think that this kind of behaviour is worse than the actual porn sites, you can choose not to go there but when you are effectively taken against your will it is not acceptable.

    Right on. I don't want to visit porn sites. I find porn offensive. If people want to put porn on the Web, that's up to them, but I object to being tricked into viewing their materiel. If I buy a subscription to a computer magazine, I wouldn't expect to be subscribed to Big Hooters Monthly as well.

  • It's sarcasm, people (although Bob Dole was a Grade-A war hero, POW, and so forth). You know how I can tell? Dante correctly spelled and boldfaced the titles of both books.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

  • "Filtering" does not work. It either permits access to some "bad" sites, or it prevents access to some non-"bad" sites. But having said that...

    children...can make their own decisions
    This is laughable. Children can not always even make competent decisions about basic survival, let alone abstract ideas. I have for years explained the importance of a good diet, yet my children would eat only ice cream, candy, and kool-aid if I let them. They would play in the street (balls bounce better there), walk through poison ivy (they can't distinguish it from box elder), and hit each other ("He hit me first!") if I let them, despite the fact that I have explained REPEATEDLY why they shouldn't. Therefore, I forcefully limit their activities, adn will continue to do so until I judge they are smart/wise enough to take care of themselves. I likewise limit their exposure to knowledge until they are old enough to handle it. My oldest (who is four) has learned over the past two years that there are dead animals, living animals die (even baby bunnies), people sometimes kill and eat animals, and people die. I haven't let on yet that people kill people. Last night, I sent him to his room to play while I watched a violently explicit documentary on guerilla warfare on PBS.

    The upshot is, I don't think YOU (as in "We the people...") should take MY money and expose my children to things they aren't ready for.
  • >>What exactly are we shielding our children from anyway? Sex? Why do we give kids such a complex about it and make them think it is bad?

    Well, you can argue that porn is violent and degrading, but there are women out there who do buy and produce porn, so it's not like, one of those male-oppressive things.

    When I was a kid, there was sex all around. I mean, it was so *open*. We'd watch films, get shown books, even from a young age...there's enough sex on TV...certainly when I was a kid, it was thought that educating kids more about the human body was a good thing...videotaping birthings was all the rage. It was like, *so important* to know where babies come from.

    I can't speak for Americans, being Cdn, but why do politicians cross their legs and say that all these things are evil? What is so wrong with Jessie Helms (see a book called Close to The Knives) that there's something evil about men loving each other when the US army was invading little island nations and killing people.

    Why do people need protecting anyway? Are the American people so afraid of themselves that everyone and everything needs to be locked up, that anything that might offend someone is somehow *evil*...that's Geocities job isn't it?

    And I agree, you'd think that the last people to do this would be Republicans...what's there to be so uptight about? Lock up the porn, but don't lock up your guns?

  • The problem is, as always, where do you draw the line?

    Yes. I mentioned in a post above (at the top level, one of the first) that a line has to be drawn somewhere[1], but I'm glad I'm not the one who has to draw it. For a start; I'd not know where to draw the line, and even if I did, I'd still cop flak from people who thought I was being too restrictive, and from other people who thought I was being too liberal.

    [1]: I know that this point of view isn't really appreciated here, but I am in favour of drawing a line somewhere. I'm going to go off on a bit of a tangent here, so stop reading now if you don't care. Whilst freedom of expression is a Good Thing, it is a double-edged sword. There are some things which are so harmful, so destructive that I think it's in everyone's interests that they don't get said at all. Problem is, who decides? I couldn't decide for everyone, because I'm easily offended and would ban stuff that others wouldn't see the slightest problem with. It's a thorny issue. I can't agree with the "don't censor anything, let people make up their own minds, total free speech for all" solution though, because of what I said above; some things are just too bad to be tolerated.

The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.