Mark Morford has an excellent, and by his standards almost understated, article on the recent Senate vote in favor of increasing the punishments for broadcasting disgusting unpleasantnesses such as a woman’s chestal region (you know who I’m talking about). I was actually planning a little rant about this myself, but he does invective so well that I don’t need to. Just remember that 80 million people a year in the US go without health insurance for some time, schools (the place where you send your kids to shape their understanding of the world) are underfunded, weapons are everywhere, advertising food that a zoo wouldn’t feed to its animals is a first amendment right, drugs are often easier for kids to get than alcohol, and we send children to war before they’re allowed to vote against the people sending them. But Bono saying a naughty word will be the end of civilization.
Oh, and a little example of what this thinking leads to: Senator Orrin Hatch has introduced a bill to drastically limit activities that might lead to copyright infringement. The bill centers on actions that might induce others to break copyright (which depending on how you read the text includes such inflammatory acts as making computers, or MP3 players), and is therefore called the ‘INDUCE Act’. So far so routinely evil, right? Well apparently those capital letters are there because INDUCE stands for “Inducement Devolves into Unlawful Child Exploitation”.
That’s right, if I tell you how to make an MP3 from your CD I’m helping paedophiles.