UnAmerican: If Elected, Rick Santorum Would Banhammer Fap Sites

Everyone knows the Internet was created for two reasons: Lolcats and to allow free expression of everything else. Yet if elected, Rick Santorum promises something very un-American: To ban pornography on the Internet. That sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey–forget about it. (And teh kittehs may be next).

In a statement on his website, Santorum, whose name has become synonymous with a specific neologism meaning a frothy mix of certain fluids, spews forth:

Current federal “obscenity” laws prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier. Rick Santorum believes that federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced. “If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so.”

The Obama Administration has turned a blind eye to those who wish to preserve our culture from the scourge of pornography and has refused to enforce obscenity laws. While the Obama Department of Justice seems to favor pornographers over children and families, that will change under a Santorum Administration.

But what is obscene? That depends on prevailing community standards, which can translate to six squeaky wheels protesting in front of the Hustler store, while a lot of people stay home watching streaming triple-X raunchfests or reading Anaïs Nin. Or Aleister Crowley. Rick Santorum’s concept of obscene probably varies widely from mine. Or yours. Or the guy next door’s.

Dr. Omar Minwalla Clinical Director of The Institute for Sexual Health, based in Beverly Hills, CA pointed out in an interview with me that there is a large uptick in straight-identified men (admitting to) watching pornography featuring transgender people. Many couples, married or not, watch pornography together. Fifty Shades of Grey, a “romance” novel featuring heavy BDMS (bondage/dominance/sado-masochism) is best seller among women, especially it seems, married moms; the highly sexed novel is credited as putting the spice back into relationships. And this graph shows that traditionally Republican, conservative states have the highest Google searches for both “God” and “free gay porn.”

Filtering the Internet for obscenity is a slippery slope, and an election strategy that could backfire. Such a plan would cost taxpayers money and cause more government interference in our lives, while doing nothing to lower taxes, create jobs, strengthen the border, or end our dependency on foreign oil – all of which are huge Republican issues. While some people may outwardly support Santorum, when it comes to what they do at home and in the voting booth, both equally very private matters, personal issues could translate to a loss for the sexual-censorship-obsessed Santorum.

In an interesting side note, Dr. Minwalla adds that many of the clients he sees for sexuality concerns are often Republican, religious conservatives who are sexually acting out with not only pornography, but multiple affairs, prostitution, strip clubs, massage parlors, and with employees. Says Dr. Minwalla:

Often, in order to compensate for the shame they may feel about their secret and shame-based sexual behaviors, many such men will present as fighters for morality, or join organizations that fight pornography as a way to compensate for their shame and the discomfort about their own sexuality,as a way of soothing it and making themselves feel better.

Now Rick Santorum wants to create an even bigger, illegal shame pool for people to swim in using standards of obscenity based on the views of a group of people who think having Ellen DeGeneres–a talented, successful, married woman who gives to charity and is concerned about social and economic issues–as a spokesperson for a major department store is reprehensible:

I proudly support the efforts of the War on Illegal Pornography Coalition that has tirelessly fought to get federal obscenity laws enforced. That coalition is composed of 120 national, state, and local groups, including Morality in Media, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Family Association, Cornerstone Family Council of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania Family Institute, Concerned Women for America, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and a host of other groups. Together we will prevail.

Can you imagine the meetings these groups must have, huddled around the flickering screens of their computers, sharing files of fap-fodder, groaning in ecstasy disgust at the filthy perversions of their fellow Americans…

Oh and Senator Santorum, Ben Franklin participated in orgies. Plus our Founding Fathers appeared to like porn, the profits of which help found the American Revolution. So fap to that, Frothyman.

Late Night FDL: Love, Cats and Other Mysteries

 

Chocolate. Roses. Kittens. Lotz of kittehs.

What do you love, or loathe–about Feb 14? Or just in general?

#OpBART 3: SFPD Says “It Will Be Different” Anonymous Sez “Expect Us”

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr promises regarding #OpBART 3 on Monday August 29:

It will be different.

Hopefully he means “different,” as the San Francisco  police will not hit people with batons as seen in this video below. Or maybe that San Francisco police officers will not order people off the sidewalks then arrest them for being on the streets, something reported repeatedly on the #OpBART Twitter feed after the Auguest 22nd protest.

Or maybe “different” in that the SFPD will pay more attention to their arrest lists: The name of a 17-year old–date of birth 9-15-1993, arrested at the #OpBART2 protest, then booked and held in San Francisco County Jail under section 601 (missing person/runaway)–was released to the media, against SFPD media guidelines, followed by another email from the SFPD asking reporters to delete the previous list and use the updated one attached, whihc omitted the juvenile.

Oh wait, this is how San Francisco Police Chief Suhr means “different”:

I don’t want this to be construed as delivering a threat, but enough is enough. They made their point, and they are now losing in the court of public opinion. We don’t feel that we took appropriate action at the appropriate pace (on Monday). The next response will be quicker.

Anonymous responded to Chief Suhr’s words thusly:

Now you have our attention.  We do not appreciate threats nor do we take well to them, especially from a chief of police who has a very interesting background himself. May we remind you of 2003?  Allegedly conspiring to obstruct the investigation into the infamous Fajitagate affair, in which three off-duty cops allegedly beat up two men for their Mexican takeout.  Or maybe we should ask Chief Heather Fong why she had to reprimanded you in 2009.

Oh and in 2005, Chief Fong demoted Suhr to the backwater, literally–making him chief of security for SF’s water supply.

The police department replied to Anonymous, issuing a written statement:

As Chief Suhr has stated this is NOT a threat. We as a department will continue to facilitate first amendment rights to protest. Our goal is to provide a safe environment for everyone. While the demonstrators have the right to protest, we will continue to facilitate it to an extent where it does not infringe the rights of others. We as a law enforcement agency had a duty to protect the constitutional rights of all.

BART has stated that

expressive activities

are not permitted on the paid area of BART stations, meaning any area beyond the turnstiles, and expressive activity in the station requires a permit. Is standing on a platform in a tee shirt reading

I <3 Free Speech. Please Don’t Shoot Me!

a violation of BART’s rules and regulations? Is standing in the station area with duct tape over your mouth? Do these actions require a permit on BART property?

Police ienforced BART rules, making arrests of people chanting and passing out fliers on the platforms during the first two #OpBART protests; none of the arrestees were Anonymous, who confined their protests to outside the station, (though one Anon was  photographed tweeting behind a post on the BART Civic Center platform).

It’s important to remember that there are two groups which are uniting to protest BART (along with random unaffiliated citizens). No Justice No BART is demonstrating against the transportation agency’s police department and policies; BART police officers have shot two men in two years. No Justice No BART has successfully disrupted train service in the past during their demonstrations, most recently on July 11 in response to the shooting of Charles Hill, BART service was suspended when protesters climbed on trains.

Anonymous–which for the most part rallies for freedom of information and communication–was drawn into the fray when BART shut off cellphone service on BART platforms and in trains on August 11 to prevent a planned protest by No Justice No BART which BART Chief of police Rainey said was discovered on a

blog webpage.

In the past two and a half weeks, Anons have swiftly educated themselves on the background of BART and the shooting deaths of Oscar Grant and Charles Hill, much they did in 2008 when the removal of a Tom Cruise video on YouTube led to the development of  Anonymous’ Project Chanology, a year long series of real life  protests–the first time Anonymous moved off the interwebz –that embarrassed Scientology, and aided a number of high ranking members to leave what ex-members describe as an abusive cult.

During the #OpBART protests, it has been members of No Justice No BART who have been on the train platforms chanting and shouting, holding signs, while Anonymous and others have marched up top.

How will Anonymous make #OpBART3 different for the SFPD and the BART police? Civil disobedience tactics like chains, padlocks and “blackbear” lockboxes seem a bit old school for Anonymous who have shown their displeasure for BART spokesperson Linton Johnson’s high-handed tactics by scouring the internet for information about the  former anchorman and then providing a treasure trove of  photos featuring Linton Johnson frolicking topless in the Land Down Under. And wearing really stupid tee shirts. All from Linton Johnson’s publicly available blogs (since shuttered).  Anonymous also redecorated MyBART.org; and someone claiming Anonymity easily hacked into both the MyBART.org and the BART police databases, then released names and other information from both sites.

Anonymous’ effort have proven them to be a force with which to be reckoned: The international uproar over the suspension of cellphone service, made hugely public by the MyBART.org hack and the ensuing protests, has prompted an FCC investigation and forced BART to develop a policy limiting cellphone shutoffs. The majority of BART’s Board of Directors expressed emotions ranging from dismay and outrage over the suspension of cellphone service.

Anonymous has proven themselves to be rapidly mutable, highly adaptable organism with fluid intelligence and Trickster‘s sense of humor which can, to some at times, appear cruel or insensitive. At the core, Anonymous is doing it for the lulz. And like Trickster, Anonymous does not forgive, nor forget. Expect them. And expect them to do it differently, too.

Oh and the SFPD has opened its doors for new recruits. Preferably ones fluent in meme-speak and lolcats.

photo: OpBARTsf

 

Late Night: Is That a Ceiling Cat on Your Head, or Are You Running for President?


There is only one explanation for Donald Trump running for president: Trump is a counter-intelligence operative from LOLCATs, specifically the office of Basement Cat.

Mindless chaos makes sense. And maybe bread and circuses. But srsly, if Trump announces his campaign for presidency, it could disrupt NBC’s fall schedule — the announcement of which comes five days before the nuttimendalists are claiming Judgment Day will hit. Coincidence?

To paraphrase a line from the recent Trump roast, would America vote for a man whose autobiography has four Chapter 11s? Are we that celebrity struck, mindless and bloated? Yes, in the past Ronald Reagan, a not so great actor with scary hair and a weird tan, was elected President, but for Gods’ sakes he was an an actor. Trump is a salesman. And/or a better performance art piece than Sarah Palin designed to distract us from some real issues. And he’s endorsed by GaryOnly-Victoria-Jackson-is-CrazierBusey!

What would Trump do if elected President?

See here fellas…Kim, Jong, Il, whatever your first name is, you were not a team player and you spend your budget on mass games for which you could not sell advertising. And ratings stunk! Muammar, you spent your country’s budget on Bea Arthur’s wardrobe. It was a hard choice, but you’re both fired.

“Refudiate” Refudiated!

I thought refudiate meant to barf up dinner, an act immortalized in the Romans’ vomitoria as indicative of their excesses and by Clare Booth Luce as

the cow’s diet

in The Women.

I have obviously been spending too much time on ICanHasCheezburger.  Silly me!

But now Sarah Paln, who seemed all proud about her coining the term even comparing herself to Shakespeare who did some fine wordsmithing in his day, has gone and refudiated her nifty neologism, saying it was a Twitter typo, even though she’d spoken the the word on Sean Hannity’s show.

Late Night: Senate to Drop Ban Hammer on teh Internets?

The Internets. Both of them. This meme may become a reality…

We will support a free and open Internet.

That’s what Barack Obama told the United Nations. But then why is there a bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee that would allow the Attorney General to block certain Internet domain names from ISPs?

The bill S. 3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) would create two blacklists of Internet sites “dedicated to infringing activity,” which is defined very broadly as any site where counterfeit goods or copyrighted material are “central to the activity of the Internet site.”

Heck, that could be eBay–I’ve seen some pretty bogus Marc Jacobs Stam bags on there, as well as faux Max Studio, BCBG  and Betsey Johnston dresses. And certainly YouTube could be considered such a site, though they do pull any video  which is flagged with a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) infringement notice. Flickr.com and other photo storage sites allow people to upload their photoshopped images, as of course does the monster shoop site ICanHazcheeseburger.com

Anyway, one of the blacklists can be added to by the courts, the second by the Attorney General.  According to Demand Progress:

Internet service providers (everyone from Comcast to PayPal to Google AdSense) would be required to block any domains on the first list. They would also receive immunity (and presumably the government’s gratitude) for blocking domains on the second list.

Copyright is a tricky thing. The Associated Press says:

Associated Press text material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use.

And that means if a tree falls in the forest and only the AP is there to cover it, does that actually mean you can’t mention the tree hitting the earth without violating the AP’s copyright, even if you blogged under Fair Use that

a mighty big piece of living lumber  was felled by unknown means, according to the AP

rather than

a tree fell in the forest

because that is “rewritten”?

So technically if you did blog about it, under COICA your site could be blacklisted by servers and basically disappear because you “violated” copyright by reporting news to which you didn’t have direct access. Unless you paid the AP. So news becomes proprietary information. And that means control of information and possibly no freedom of the press since unlimited access would be truncated.

Nowadays, copyright infringement is handled with lawyer letters, threats of lawsuits and actual court trials, where there is a burden of proof. Should this pass, the lights would go off on sites deemed violators. Demand Progress says:

This bill would bypass that whole system by forcing Internet service providers to block access to sites that are otherwise up. People in other countries could still get to them, but Internet users in the US would be blocked.

Blocked from entire domain names. Sort of like how the governments of Iran, China, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere block undesirable sites. Granted, because of copyright and licensing laws, when I was in Ireland, I couldn’t watch clips from The View on ABC.com; when in Turkey, I was unable to listen to Coast to Coast on KFI640.com, so I wonder how many blocked sites would actually still be visible. And plus there are ways around that. Demand Progress claims that

if this law passes Internet traffic will be reconfigured to route around it. Companies will move their US servers and domain names overseas, Internet users will route their traffic through other countries (just like Chinese citizens have to do now!), and software will have to be reconfigured to no longer trust answers from American servers.

Demand Progress is concerned that this bill is the start of a slippery slope  and that with a little prodding from Teh Gubbermints  all sorts of sites could end up being banned, not only news, blogs, politics, and entertainment, but  porn and gambling, which is really what fueled the series of interconnected tubes.


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