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I believe that the religious right is really creeping into our lives daily... here is where you can post your Puritan watch news...(I want a bumper sticker "I didn't move to NYC for it to be CT")

Wal-Mart Sells Anti-Smut DVD Player
Tue Apr 13, 4:29 AM ET Add Movies - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Chris Marlowe

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Wal-Mart is selling the world's first DVD player that can seamlessly skip over violence, swearing, nudity and other potentially offensive movie content. The $79 unit features technology by ClearPlay and is manufactured by Thomson Inc. under its RCA brand.
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Risqué may be too risky for ads

By Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY
The aftershock to Janet Jackson's breast-baring Super Bowl stunt has finally hit the nation's cultural core: Madison Avenue. Some major marketers "” under pressure "” are abstaining from sex as a sales tool.
Anheuser-Busch said Thursday that it plans to drop risqué ads. The beer giant joins a growing list of edgy marketers "” including Victoria's Secret and Abercrombie & Fitch "” that have recently taken very public steps away from over-the-top sexuality.

An aging generation of baby boomers is increasingly queasy about the often-grungy sexual imagery that has become almost second nature to kids.

"There's a sense that nobody's minding the store," says Allison Cohen, president of PeopleTalk, an ad consultancy. "There's a real reining-in going on."

Not that sexuality is disappearing from advertising. Las Vegas revived its sultry image campaign around the steamy ad slogan, "What happens here, stays here." And in a new Levitra ad that began airing Thursday, an attractive brunette minces no words when she says the drug for erectile dysfunction increases her partner's desire to "do this more often."

Sexuality is central to companies trying to sell fashion, fragrance or alcohol, says Donny Deutsch, CEO of the Deutsch ad agency. But the Jackson incident was a "seminal moment" in pop culture, he says. "It forced a lot of this stuff to the surface."

Every few decades, Deutsch says, the nation goes through a "reflective stage." With the White House's conservative agenda, he says, we're at that stage.

Who's toning down:

"¢ Anheuser-Busch. August Busch IV, president of Anheuser-Busch, speaking Thursday in Florida, cited a changing decency environment that will only get tighter as the election approaches.

"People are drawing boundaries, and we have to figure them out," he said to executives at the American Association of Advertising Agencies management conference. "I think it's important for all of us in the advertising community to understand what the public mood is."

Busch said several popular ads the beermaker aired during the Super Bowl, including one featuring a dog biting a man in the crotch, would not air again.

"¢ Victoria's Secret. Last week, Victoria's Secret said it would drop its TV fashion show of lingerie "” in part because of public response to Jackson. Ed Razek, chief creative officer for the chain, said it wanted to focus on new ways to promote the brand. But, he added, "We had to make the decision ... when the heat was on the television networks."

"¢ Abercrombie & Fitch. In December, Abercrombie & Fitch said it would kill its quarterly catalog "” long criticized for young models in sexually suggestive poses. Executives declined to comment Thursday. At the time, the company said it was time for "new thinking."
Last edited by Michael Madison
She has nice ones. You know, the problem (in this country, anyway) is the complete inability to seperate nudity and porn-sex. There's always the local-yokel defence of: "She wuz weerin' a low cut top, so Ah cuddun' cuntrol mahsef." I see ads from other countries showing boobies and they've managed to keep it from looking like a xxx vid cover. Why can't the companies figure out how to do that here?
Bottom line is that in America parents would much prefer their kids watching a violent video than sex video... now I think THAT is ODD.. but ask a random bunch of 'average' americans and that is what they will tell you.
Growing up in Europe we all sunbathed topless on our holiday and were used to seeing nudes in adverts (men and women)

The prime representation of this SUV-driving, McDonalds-consuming, obese strip mall country. An insidious organization that defies the local legislatures and tramples the environmental standards of the communities it invades, panders to the Christian Right by strong-arming magazine publishers over their content and ruins worker protections by driving unionized businesses out of the market. Walmart is the WORST kind of suburban sprawl imaginable, a consumerist nightmare in which forests and wetlands are destroyed to make way for their ugly super-mall complexes, inevitably resulting in more highways, more traffic, more smog ad nauseum.

Capitalism has many virtues. And I realize it's foolish to fight the tide of low prices -- it can't be done. Other businesses will simply have to find other ways to stay competitive. But if Walmart represents 21st century capitalist progress, I think we're in pretty sloppy shape. Pull up to the trailer park, baby, in your long black Winnebago.

Walmart, A Nation Unto Itself

In the 19th century, he said, the standard-setting company was the Pennsylvania Railroad; in the mid-20th century, it was General Motors; and in the late 20th century, it was Microsoft. Today's prototypical company, he declared in opening the conference, is Wal-Mart, which, he said, rezones American cities, sets wage standards and even conducts diplomacy with other nations.

"In short, the company's management legislates for the rest of us key components of American social and industrial policy," Mr. Lichtenstein said.

Wal-Mart has created a very different model from General Motors, he added, noting that G.M. helped build the world's most affluent middle class by paying wages far above the average and by providing generous health and pension plans. Mr. Lichtenstein said G.M.'s wage pattern spurred other companies to raise compensation levels, while Wal-Mart's relatively low wages and benefits "” its workers average less than $18,000 a year "” were doing just the opposite.

The company's pay scale and hard-nosed labor practices, said Simon Head, a fellow at the Century Foundation and author of "The New Ruthless Economy: Work and Power in the Digital Age" (Oxford University Press, 2003) mean that "Wal-Mart is certainly a template of 21st-century capitalism, but a capitalism that increasingly resembles a capitalism of 100 years ago." He added, "It combines the extremely dynamic use of technology with a very authoritarian and ruthless managerial culture."

Last edited by Luxury Lex
But that is what the new military style of business has brought, along with the new constitution of what now has become of architecture, oddly enough, -a decentralization of the urban environment- actually, a de-matrialization as the computer network replaces urban forms of spatial organization. One result has been a refocussing of social violence which has now been tranformed into a contest between an individual's social rank set against their very own highly provisional economic status. When disequilibrium becomes the guiding systemic principle of late capitalist/pre-debitalist western economies the new socially responsive, conditioned citizen is one that has to constantly re-adjust to changing employment demands. Walmart is leading the trend into the new society of the very upper class and the very lower class with the remnant of the middle being a holdover from the 20th century. Walmart is actually 'Globalization', like it is practiced on the so called Third World, only being applied to our own society here at home. Each Walmart is really a maquiladora -those exported factories and assembly lines that crowd the MexAmerican border- planted in anySuburb USA. A kind of endo-globalization where the low-low wage jobs are in a way 'imported' in to our own social/economic environment.

But hey, what is the primary purpose of any corporation (?) - To extract money from society!
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by Jonathan A. Knee ... an article calling for criminalization of the PORTRAYAL of sex acts for money.

"The law of obscenity has not fundamentally changed since the Supreme Court in 1973 vaguely directed a jury to apply 'contemporary community standards' in reaching a verdict. In the Internet era, the question of what community and what standards is even less clear....

"What we need is a kind of regulation that does not implicate the First Amendment at all "” yet goes to the heart of the enterprises that fuel the multibillion-dollar pornography industry. The value of laws against prostitution is well established. What if we were to enact laws that made it illegal to give or receive payment to perform sex acts?

[And how does THAT bypass the First Amendment?]

"The policy justifications for such a law are similar to those for laws against prostitution: society objects on principle to the commodification and commercialization of sexual relations, even between consenting adults.

[This would effectively outlaw MARRIAGE too which is au fond a financial arrangement.]

"Such a law would not implicate the profanity or nudity that has been the recent focus of the F.C.C. "” it would deal exclusively with sex acts, which the Internet seems to revel in.

"This law would put the largest pornographers out of business: they could not pay someone to perform in a hard-core pornographic film. The First Amendment does not protect otherwise illegal activities simply because they are part of a movie. If it did, bank robbers would bring along a film crew to every heist and seek constitutional protection for their chosen vocation."

By this logic however, film producers could not show SIMULATED bank robberies or murder... ! Or for that matter seduction, or bedroom scenes... all those actors are such whores anyhow as we know.

Mr. Knee must have had a hard time recently opening Mrs. Knee, after she asked for more house-keeping money.
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Outlawing porn is a supreme right wing fantasy. Waging a war against it is mainly done for the headline-value. There is sooooo much cash in the porn industry that to eradicate it would cause serious harm to the economy in general. Besides which, with the internet, you would have to have some kind of global police force to chase all the service providers. A lot of news has been made from busting international child-porn rings but that is a different category of infraction since it mostly involves non-consenting minors.

The whole conservative witch-hunt-of-the-month thing has really worked itself up to a very shrill tenor at this point.

And sooo ironic that acts of sexual defilement seem to have been de-riguerly institutionalized in the armed forces' interrogation methods in this decades' conservative/man-made hell, Iraq. I guess that means we have to outlaw the army now.

I like one of S'tan's main points above, that marriage is by definition an economic arrangement. Conversely, prostitution is the flip side of that arrangement.
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Dr LAURA ... what a puritan...
This was e-mailed to me, thought it was cute..
Laura Schlessinger is a US radio personality,
> who dispenses advice to people who call in to her Radio show. On her
> radio show recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew,
> homosexuality is an abomination, according to Leviticus 18:22, and
> cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an
> open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted
> on the Internet.
> ******************************************
> Dear Dr. Laura:
> Thank you for doing so much to educate
> people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show,
> and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When
> someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply
> remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination
> .. End of debate.
> I do need some advice from you, however,
> regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.
> 1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male
> and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A
> friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not
> Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
> 2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned
> in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
> price for her?
> 3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is
> in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem
> is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
> 4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it
> creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my
> neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite
> them?
> 5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.
> Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally
> obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
> 6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
> abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
> homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?
> Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
> 7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if
> I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
> glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room
> here? (also note the excellent parody site:
> 8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the
> hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by
> Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
> 9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig
> makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
> 10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
> different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments
> made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He
> also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that
> we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone
> them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private
> family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws?
> (Lev. 20:14)
> I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
> considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.
> Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
> Your adoring fan
Lack of Rigor in the Right Wing Mind
...See quotes under 'Got Issues'... This issue is becoming my mantra. When I was in college (St. John's)
learning the dialectic method, one was discouraged from opening any argument with "God says..." because no-one can absolutely prove "God" said it anyhow. It was considered an argument along the lines of "My Daddy says," and infantile. Particularly gratifying it was to see this stupid "way of thought" slapped down, or rather modified and reasoned with... And there were alot of born-agins in the college because along with the major in Philosophy, they offered a minor in Religion. We read the entire 'fricken' Bible, but as a work of literature with provenances other than holy-from-on-high.

The pompous b-agins weren't allowed to call anyone who disagreed with them "godless" or "heathen" either, as that's an argument 'ad hominem', an argument "to the man", not the issue. Quite a few of them migrated to Bob Jones University... (BJU to you.)

"Each day in chapel we recite the University Creed. It is a concise statement of the most important truths taught in God's Word.... "I believe in the inspiration of the Bible, both the Old and the New Testaments; the creation of man by the direct act of God; the incarnation and virgin birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; His identification as the Son of God ; His vicarious atonement for the sins of mankind by the shedding of His blood on the cross ...etc etc etc

Not what you would call RIGOR.
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"It was pretty disgusting, not what you'd expect from Americans," said Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.). "There was lots of sexual stuff - not of the Iraqis, but of our troops."

I just love these lawmakers' majorly skewed views of Americans. It's a wonder that we're not all still wearing pinafor hats and buckled shoes. Fuck!


New York Post

May 13, 2004 -- WASHINGTON - Shocking shots of sexcapades involving Pfc. Lynndie England were among the hundreds of X-rated photos and videos from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal shown to lawmakers in a top-secret Capitol conference room yesterday.

"She was having sex with numerous partners. It appeared to be consensual," said a lawmaker who saw the photos.

And, videos showed the disgraced soldier - made notorious in a photo showing her holding a leash looped around an Iraqi prisoner's neck - engaged in graphic sex acts with other soldiers in front of Iraqi prisoners, Pentagon officials told NBC Nightly News.

"Almost everybody was naked all the time," another lawmaker said.

Many members of Congress left the 45-minute viewing session early, thereby missing the porno performance by England, but there were enough other images of torture, humiliation and intimidation to sicken anyone.

"It was pretty disgusting, not what you'd expect from Americans," said Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.). "There was lots of sexual stuff - not of the Iraqis, but of our troops."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who also characterized the photos as "disgusting," agreed, noting, "It's hard to believe that this actually is taking place in a military facility."

The shocking photos and videos, provided on computer disks by Pentagon officials, showed attack dogs snarling at cowering prisoners, Iraqi women forced to expose their breasts, and naked prisoners tied together on the floor, senators revealed as they emerged from the heavily guarded conference room.

"It was significantly worse than I had anticipated," said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore). "Take the worst case and multiply it over several times."

"I don't know how these people got into our Army," said Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), who reported seeing "several pictures of Iraqi women who were disrobed or putting their shirts up."

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) described the images as "more detailed and more graphic than the pictures that have been released publicly," referring to the disturbing photos of Iraqis being abused at Abu Ghraib prison that surfaced two weeks ago, and which Islamic terrorists claim led to this week's revenge beheading of American Nick Berg.

"Normally, I side with disclosure and openness, but in this case, these photos are evidence," Schumer said, indicating that he favors keeping the lid on the alarming pictures, as Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) have urged.

Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.), ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said she was most appalled by a video of a handcuffed prisoner beating his head against a wall in an apparent bid to knock himself unconscious to escape abuse.

In another video clip, she said, a group of men were shown masturbating.

Before the pictures of England's sex romps were shown to Congress, the 21-year-old reservist from West Virginia tried to portray herself as a reluctant participant who was just following orders.

"I didn't really, I mean, want to be in any pictures," England told a Denver TV station.

"I was instructed by persons in higher rank to 'stand there, hold this leash, look at the camera,' and they took picture for PsyOps [psychological operations]," she told KCNC-TV.

England acknowledged "it was kind of weird" when she was photographed smiling, with a cigarette in her mouth, as she leaned forward and pointed at the genitals of a naked, hooded Iraqi at Abu Ghraib prison.

England has refused to identify who gave her the orders, saying only that they came from "persons in my chain of command."

England faces a military court-martial that includes charges such as conspiracy to maltreat prisoners and assault consummated by battery.

She could face punishment ranging from a reprimand to more than 15 years in prison.

Additional reporting by Niles Lathem
You have to grant that The Post comes up with the sickest slogans. Leash Gal for a brief shining moment was Top Domme at the Iraqi Torture Chambers; now she's chopped liver. I'm been muttering "LEASH GAL!" all evening.
I'm half-expecting that phone call requesting "Leash Gal...? I'm into heavy humiliation!"

That quote was my favorite - "Not what you'd expect from Americans... lots of sexual stuff."
Elementary my dear Senator: A homely little chick finally gets as much action as she can take on - AND an audience - AND gets videotaped! How seductive for her. And now she won't name her Superior Officer who "made her" do it. Good slave!

The spectacle of these two countries now in a contest to one-up each other -- as to Who Is The Most Sadistic? Me! No, Me! Here, I'm chopping off an American head! Here, I'm fucking your mother on videotape! ... Not only disgusting but anxiety-provoking. We are guilty, guilty, guilty... The Puritans are going to have so much Catch-22 mileage out of shaking their fingers at the bad, bad soldiers, who got off on the sadistic fun set up for them, I believe, to enjoy.
I would love not to know any of this is happening. It would make me feel less cynical about humanity. But the media being what it is, and video-cameras being joyfully used to film criminal activity, I think we have no choice but to recognize atrocities are an everyday occurence. And perhaps with the looking, we have a responsibility to look at ALL of it and cry out against it.

The ring-leader of the sex-games was a guy, but it seems a big part of the "shock and awe" of this incident is the fact that a WOMAN was part of the tormenting. Does this girl even recollect the time when women were considered unfit for military action because of their periods, their sex-drives, their 'inherent' care-giving and kindliness? She has proven women can be just as callous as any guy in the theatre of war. Score for women's lib!

Back to the Puritan strain: Will the born-agins enjoy seeing how perverse a woman can be -- if she's not tied to a kitchen oven by her husband's leash?
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certainly...ignorance is never bliss in cases such as these... I want the truth... but I want the true truth

the newspapers want to sell copies... the TV is going for ratings... talk about who can out do each other...

now back to your regularly scheduled program... this is a great thread

by the way... I also dread the spread of the "Leash Girl" effect like a virus in our corner of the world...
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Americans are so socially naive it is known as a national trait around the world. And how fucking tainted and emotionally lie-mongering are all those congresspersons claiming to be shocked. Total flim-flam. No one gets to be a congressperson without having experienced massive forms of human denigration, simply through atrocious business and political practices. Like they don't remember all the congresspeople of the recent past writing memoirs and exposes about fornicating with administrative aids on the Capitol steps, etc. I agree with Troy -so much media puppetry. And whatsay?! -like there was ever any war that was pristine, ideally administered, - you don't kill or imprison a person humanely.

Wake up.

I like all of S'tan's points about the hard up chick luxuriating in a sexual free-for-all, the military unit loyalty. Any congressperson mouthing indignation and shock simply deserves it, and I don't really belive their protestations at all, which is what I think Troy is getting at.

This is all about getting caught. And it is another sub-category of stupidity about this particular war, so much less necessary than most other recent national misadventures. Ahbu Gharaib IS the Little Bush World, naked, open for everyone. "How did such people get in to the military?" How pathetic. Someone needs some acting lessons. A congressperson saying that is incomparably more
em bar(e)r ass ing.
It Was the Porn That Made Them Do It

"...Some of our self-appointed moral leaders are defending the morally indefensible by annexing Abu Ghraib as another front in America's election-year culture war. Charles Colson, the Watergate felon turned celebrity preacher, told a group of pastors convened by the Family Research Council that the prison guards had been corrupted by 'a steady diet of MTV and pornography.' .... porn, especially gay porn, gave soldiers 'the idea to engage in sadomasochistic activity and to videotape it in voyeuristic fashion.' ...

"Some of these same characters also felt that the media shouldn't show the Abu Ghraib pictures too much or at all - as if the pictures were the problem rather than what they reveal. They are of an ideological piece with Jerry Falwell, who, a mere two days after 9/11, tried to shift the blame for al Qaeda's attack to the 'pagans' and abortionists and gays and lesbians who have 'tried to secularize America.'

"This time the point of these scolds' political strategy... is clear enough. It is not merely to demonize gays and the usual rogue's gallery of secularist bogeymen for any American ill, but to clear the Bush administration of any culpability for Abu Ghraib, the disaster that may have destroyed its mission in Iraq. If porn or MTV or Howard Stern can be said to have induced a few bad apples in one prison to misbehave, then everyone else in the chain of command, from the commander-in-chief down, is off the hook. If the culture war can be cross-wired with the actual war, then the buck will stop not at the Pentagon or the White House but at the Paris Hilton video or maybe 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.'

"The hypocrisy of those pushing this line knows few bounds. They choose to ignore the reality that the most popular images of sadomasochism in American pop culture this year have been those in 'The Passion of the Christ,' an R-rated 'religious' movie that many Americans took their children to see, at times with clerical blessings. Mel Gibson's relentlessly violent, distinctly American take on Jesus' martyrdom is a more exact fit for what's been acted out in Abu Ghraib than the flouncings of any cheesy porn-video dominatrix.

'The other hypocrisy of the blame-the-culture crowd is that 'normal Americans' don't partake of the 'secular' entertainment that is doing all this damage. In other words, the porn that led to prison abuse is all ghettoized in the blue states. The facts say otherwise. Phil Harvey, the president of the North Carolina-based Adam & Eve, one of the country's largest suppliers of mail-order adult products, said in an interview last week that his business has for years been roughly the same per capita throughout the continental United States, with those Deep South bastions of the Bible Belt, Alabama and Mississippi, buying only 10 percent fewer sex toys and porn videos than everyone else."
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Par for the course... And I think we owe them a very deviant reception. Whaddaya say to resurrecting the BROWN PARTY???

And I wonder, who pays for these Broadway show tickets anyway?

June 8, 2004
Broadway's Best Shows Too Risque for Republicans

Filed at 9:43 a.m. ET

NEW YORK - Gay puppets, transvestites, assassins and a pedophile child killer piled up Tony honors on Sunday but those shows will be shunned by Republican delegates at the political party's convention in New York this summer.

With thousands of Republicans set to descend on the Big Apple to nominate President Bush for re-election, convention organizers decided to treat delegates to the glitz of Broadway before they knuckled down to the business of politics.

But Republican organizers, selling themselves as the family-values party, decided to buy tickets to tame shows like ``42nd Street'' and Disney productions like ``Aida'' and ``The Lion King,'' avoiding more offbeat fare.

Besides Tony winners such as the naughty puppet musical ``Avenue Q'' and best play ``I Am My Own Wife,'' about a German transvestite, other hits including Mel Brooks' ``The Producers,'' were vetoed by those arranging Broadway outings.

``The Republicans were so desperate to escape Roger DeBris, the cross-dressing buffoon concocted by Mel Brooks, that they have gone and picked two shows set in France,'' wrote New York Times columnist Frank Rich, referring to evergreen musicals ``Beauty and the Beast'' and ``Phantom of the Opera.''

Other shows approved as appropriate to entertain the faithful before nominating Bush for the November ballot are ``Bombay Dreams,'' ``Fiddler on the Roof'' and ``Wonderful Town.''
Federal Court OKs Ban on Sale of Sex Toys BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld a 1998 Alabama law banning the sale of sex toys in the state, ruling the Constitution doesn't include a right to sexual privacy.

IS this unbelievable!!! I think since Bush has been in power the clock has gone back to the Puritan days... expect witches being burnt at the stake in Union Sq next wk!
How about a section on makeup for church. Consultant at large: Tammy Faye Baker!

In addition: Monday Night Football is now under investigation for their opening sequence in which a Hollywood starlet drops her towel in the team locker room and falls naked in to the arms of one of the team (all shot from behind and from the waist up). And the NFL opines in the news that it is innapropriate for their audience!!! That's like saying Howard Stern would be out of place at Wrestlemania. The NFL must be more dumb than the people they think they are being contrite to. And what about "those twins" ?
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U must admit its a VERY important matter for the FCC to be concerned with... seeing a naked back on the telly... how awful, shocking and tawdry... i bet thousands of people who saw that will now fall to the depths of depravity.. its much nicer to show that sweet young chappie Yankie Soldier boy shooting that wounded Iraqi that was on the news that other day... now THATS what should be on the tv ... not naked ladies backs ....

How come American doesn't get it!!!??
This is a long two page article from the NYTIMES but it is spot on target regarding some aspects of the mass delusion being incubated by the Little Bush Idiocracy. And it took some backbone for Rich to write it. Curious as hell though that the Times put it in the Arts section and perhaps it is a little delusionally symptomatic that an article about censorship in the news is written about for a cultural context. The main point though, that the political administration in power proclaims that the world no longer is reality-based, that news no longer is news if it is reality-based, it just outright sick. And I mean SICK. So we are heading in to a time when reality will become reduced to what individuals whisper among themselves.

November 21, 2004
Bono's New Casualty: 'Private Ryan'

s American soldiers were dying in Falluja, some Americans back home spent Veteran's Day mocking the very ideal our armed forces are fighting for ­ freedom. Ludicrous as it sounds, 66 ABC affiliates revolted against their own network and refused to broadcast "Saving Private Ryan." The reason: fear. Not fear of terrorism or fear of low ratings but fear that their own government would punish them for exercising freedom of speech.

If the Federal Communications Commission could slap NBC after Bono used an expletive to celebrate winning a Golden Globe, then not even Steven Spielberg's celebration of World War II heroism could be immune from censorship. The American Family Association, which mobilized the mob against "Ryan," was in full blaster-fax and e-mail rage. Its scrupulous investigation had found that the movie's soldiers not only invoked the Bono word 21 times but also, perhaps even more indecently, re-enacted "graphic violence" in the battle scenes. How dare those servicemen impose their filthy mouths and spilled innards on decent American families! In our new politically correct American culture, war is always heck.

The stations that refused to show the movie were not just in Baton Rouge and Biloxi but in cities like Boston, Detroit, Cleveland and Baltimore. For some reason, a number of them replaced "Ryan" with the 1986 movie "Hoosiers," the heartwarming tale of high school basketball players who claw their way to the championship in 1950's Indiana. But even Indiana and jocks have no immunity from the indecency cops in 2004. Less than 48 hours after "Hoosiers" supplanted the censored "Ryan," the Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Tyler Palko used the Bono word in a live interview with NBC Sports's Tom Hammond after his team's upset of Notre Dame. Unless the F.C.C. wants to open a legal Pandora's box, it now has no choice but to apply the same principles to a victorious football player's spontaneous expletive that it did to a victorious rock star's.

For anyone who doubts that we are entering a new era, let's flash back just a few years. "Saving Private Ryan," with its "CSI"-style disembowelments and expletives undeleted, was nationally broadcast by ABC on Veteran's Day in both 2001 and 2002 without incident, and despite the protests of family-values groups. What has changed between then and now? A government with the zeal to control both information and culture has received what it calls a mandate. Media owners who once might have thought that complaints by the American Family Association about a movie like "Saving Private Ryan" would go nowhere are keenly aware that the administration wants to reward its base. Merely the threat that the F.C.C. might punish a TV station or a network is all that's needed to push them onto the slippery slope of self-censorship before anyone in Washington even bothers to act. This is McCarthyism, "moral values" style.

What makes the "Ryan" case both chilling and a harbinger of what's to come is that it isn't about Janet Jackson and sex but about the presentation of war at a time when we are fighting one. That some of the companies whose stations refused to broadcast "Saving Private Ryan" also own major American newspapers in cities as various as Providence and Atlanta leaves you wondering what other kind of self-censorship will be practiced next. If these media outlets are afraid to show a graphic Hollywood treatment of a 60-year-old war starring the beloved Tom Hanks because the feds might fine them, toy with their licenses or deny them permission to expand their empires, might they defensively soften their news divisions' efforts to present the graphic truth of an ongoing war? The pressure groups that are exercised by Bono and "Saving Private Ryan" are often the same ones who are campaigning to derail any news organization that's not towing the administration line in lockstep with Fox.

Even without being threatened, American news media at first sanitized the current war, whether through carelessness or jingoism, proving too credulous about everything from weapons of mass destruction to "Saving Private Lynch" to "Mission Accomplished." During the early weeks of the invasion, carnage of any kind was kept off TV screens, as if war could be cost-free. Once the press did get its act together and exercised skepticism, it came under siege. News organizations that report facts challenging the administration's version of events risk being called traitors. As with "Saving Private Ryan," the aim of the news censors is to bleach out any ugliness or violence. But because the war in Iraq, unlike World War II, is increasingly unpopular and doesn't have an assured triumphant ending, it must also be scrubbed of any bad news that might undermine its support among the administration's base. Thus the censors argue that Abu Ghraib, and now a marine's shooting of a wounded Iraqi prisoner in a Falluja mosque, are vastly "overplayed" by the so-called elite media.

President Bush tried to turn the campaign, in part, into a referendum on Hollywood's lack of a "heart and soul." Now that he's won, administration apparatchiks have declared his victory a repudiation not just of Hollywood's dream factory but of the news industry's reality factory. "The biggest loser was the mainstream media," wrote Peggy Noonan in an online analysis for The Wall Street Journal after Election Day. She predicted that institutions like the networks, The New York Times and, presumably, the print edition of her own newspaper (editorial page excepted) were on their way to being rendered extinct by "the blogosphere and AM radio and the Internet" ­ in other words, by opinion writers like herself.

In this diet of "news" championed by the right, there's no need for actual reporters who gather facts firsthand by leaving their laptops and broadcast booths behind and risking their lives to bear witness to what is actually happening on the ground in places like Falluja and Baghdad. The facts of current events can become as ideologically fungible as the scientific evidence supporting evolution. Whatever comforting version of events supports your politics is the "news."

The reductio ad absurdum of such a restricted news diet is Jim Bunning, the newly re-elected senator from Kentucky. During the campaign he drew a blank when asked to react to the then widely circulated story of an Army Reserve unit in Iraq, including one soldier from his own state, that refused to follow orders to carry out what it deemed a suicide fuel-delivery mission. "I don't read the paper" is how he explained his cluelessness. "I haven't done that for the last six weeks. I watch Fox News to get my information." That's his right as a private citizen, though even Fox had some coverage of that story. But as a senator, he has the power to affect decisions on the conduct of the war and to demand an accounting of the circumstances under which one of his own constituents was driven to revolt against his officers. Instead Mr. Bunning was missing in action.

He is, however, a role model of the compliant citizen the Bush administration wants, both in officialdom and out. In a memorable passage in Ron Suskind's pre-election article on the president in The New York Times Magazine, a senior White House adviser tells Mr. Suskind that there's no longer any need for the "reality-based community" epitomized by journalists. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," the adviser says. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality." A test run of this approach dates at least as far back as May 2003, a week after the president declared the end of major combat operations. When a reporter told Donald Rumsfeld in a Pentagon press briefing that "journalists in Iraq report that a sense of public order is still lacking," the secretary of defense ridiculed journalists for showing only "slices of truth." The reconstruction effort, couldn't anyone see, was right on track.

The creation of this alternative reality has been perfected into an art form in Falluja. Almost everything the administration has said about this battle is at odds with the known facts. "There are over 3,000 Iraqi soldiers who are leading the activities," said the now outgoing deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage, as the operation began and those Iraqi troops were paraded before the cameras. But as Edward Wong of The Times later reported, the Iraqis actually turned up in battle only after the hard work was done, their uniforms "spotless from not having done a lick of fighting." Meanwhile, another group of crack Iraqi trainees fled their posts in Mosul, allowing the insurgents, and possibly our current No. .1 evildoer, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, to wreak havoc there while Americans were chasing their ghosts in Falluja.

Casualties are also now being whipped into an empire's idea of reality. "We don't do body counts," said Tommy Franks as we fought in Afghanistan in 2002 ­ an edict upheld in a press briefing in Iraq as recently as Nov. 9 by the American commander Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz. But only five days later, as the "reality-based" news spread that many of the insurgents had melted away before we got to them, that policy was sacrificed to the cause of manufacturing some good news to drive out the bad. Suddenly there was a body count of 1,200 to 1,600 insurgents in Falluja, even though reporters on the scene found, as The Times reported, "little evidence of dead insurgents in the streets and warrens where some of the most intense combat took place." By possibly inflating both body counts and the fighting prowess of the local army against guerrillas, the Bush administration is constructing a "Mission Accomplished II" that depends on a quiescent press (as well as on a public memory so short that it won't notice the similarity between the Falluja narrative and Tet).

As the crunch comes, we'll learn whether media companies will continue to test such Iraq war stories against "reality-based" reportage, or whether they'll kowtow to an emboldened administration, spurred on by its self-proclaimed mandate and its hard-right auxiliary groups, that can reward or punish them at will. For now the most dominant Falluja image has been that of the "Marlboro Man" ­ the Los Angeles Times photo of the brave American marine James Blake Miller, his face bloodied and soiled by combat, his expression resolute. It is, as Mr. Rumsfeld might say, a slice of truth. But other slices ­ like the airlifting of hundreds of American troops to Germany to be treated for the traumatic fallout of Falluja's graphic violence ­ are, like "Saving Private Ryan" on Veteran's Day, missing from too many Americans' screens.
Meanwhile, in modern places...
Can you imagine this ever happening here? It sickens me the way we keep people "alive" on machines -- often for years and years -- though they're braindead and have no hope of ever truly "living" again.

Netherlands Hospital Euthanizes Babies
Nov 30, 3:03 PM (ET)

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - A hospital in the Netherlands - the first nation to permit euthanasia - recently proposed guidelines for mercy killings of terminally ill newborns, and then made a startling revelation: It has already begun carrying out such procedures, which include administering a lethal dose of sedatives.

The announcement by the Groningen Academic Hospital came amid a growing discussion in Holland on whether to legalize euthanasia on people incapable of deciding for themselves whether they want to end their lives - a prospect viewed with horror by euthanasia opponents and as a natural evolution by advocates.

In August, the main Dutch doctors' association KNMG urged the Health Ministry to create an independent board to review euthanasia cases for terminally ill people "with no free will," including children, the severely mentally retarded and people left in an irreversible coma after an accident.

The Health Ministry is preparing its response, which could come as soon as December, a spokesman said.

Three years ago, the Dutch parliament made it legal for doctors to inject a sedative and a lethal dose of muscle relaxant at the request of adult patients suffering great pain with no hope of relief.

The Groningen Protocol, as the hospital's guidelines have come to be known, would create a legal framework for permitting doctors to actively end the life of newborns deemed to be in similar pain from incurable disease or extreme deformities.

The guideline says euthanasia is acceptable when the child's medical team and independent doctors agree the pain cannot be eased and there is no prospect for improvement, and when parents think it's best.

Examples include extremely premature births, where children suffer brain damage from bleeding and convulsions; and diseases where a child could only survive on life support for the rest of its life, such as severe cases of spina bifida and epidermosis bullosa, a rare blistering illness.

The hospital revealed last month it carried out four such mercy killings in 2003, and reported all cases to government prosecutors. There have been no legal proceedings against the hospital or the doctors.

Roman Catholic organizations and the Vatican have reacted with outrage to the announcement, and U.S. euthanasia opponents contend the proposal shows the Dutch have lost their moral compass.

"The slippery slope in the Netherlands has descended already into a vertical cliff," said Wesley J. Smith, a prominent California-based critic, in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Child euthanasia remains illegal everywhere. Experts say doctors outside Holland do not report cases for fear of prosecution.

"As things are, people are doing this secretly and that's wrong," said Eduard Verhagen, head of Groningen's children's clinic. "In the Netherlands we want to expose everything, to let everything be subjected to vetting."

According to the Justice Ministry, four cases of child euthanasia were reported to prosecutors in 2003. Two were reported in 2002, seven in 2001 and five in 2000. All the cases in 2003 were reported by Groningen, but some of the cases in other years were from other hospitals.

Groningen estimated the protocol would be applicable in about 10 cases per year in the Netherlands, a country of 16 million people.

Since the introduction of the Dutch law, Belgium has also legalized euthanasia, while in France, legislation to allow doctor-assisted suicide is currently under debate. In the United States, the state of Oregon is alone in allowing physician-assisted suicide, but this is under constant legal challenge.

However, experts acknowledge that doctors euthanize routinely in the United States and elsewhere, but that the practice is hidden.

"Measures that might marginally extend a child's life by minutes or hours or days or weeks are stopped. This happens routinely, namely, every day," said Lance Stell, professor of medical ethics at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., and staff ethicist at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. "Everybody knows that it happens, but there's a lot of hypocrisy. Instead, people talk about things they're not going to do."

More than half of all deaths occur under medical supervision, so it's really about management and method of death, Stell said.
That kind of stupid trash has probably been taught to teenagers since teenagers were invented. I too heard the abstinence bell tolling, but happily I got to frolick all through the free-love/early birth-control/pre-AIDS window of opportunity. Liberty, freedom of choice...? Everyone should be able to enjoy a phase of unrestrained promiscuity, esp. at age 15 when you are cute as hell and on sexual overdrive!
It is a self-taught education that I never regretted...
The more intelligent amongst the teens will know it's all tripe. The rest will slump towards "safe" breeding, only wake up one sliding-towards-forty morning with the sinking sensation that *somehow* they missed out. Hello, local escort servce?
At least someone in Congress (Waxman) is speaking out against the reaaally hideous attempts to make people stupider than ever.
With an Idiocracy in control of the national government it is only consistent that they try to pass on a National Program of Stupidity Creation. Maybe the president's own daughters would care to serve up a nice seminar on abstinence, after their seminar on an alcohol-free adolescence. It could all be folded in to the new Bureau of American Hypocrisies with an office right next to the Secretary for the Use of Banned Napalm. When the National Shame Index goes off the Little Bush Scale because of millions of pregnant ( and why not make only young women and girls the guilty -oh so Evangelical ) teenagers recovering from hangovers while weilding those new improved formula napalm charges maybe the Idiocracy will be able to harness all that mataphysical capital in to a generational scapegoat to justify stacking the Supreme Court with a John Ashcroft-like Chief Justice. Next: Concentration camps for movie stars.
Last edited by seven
This country has been puritan for ages!! AGES! The moral majority has ruled for SO long... don't forget ... it wasn't THAT long ago here that folks were segregated cos of color... that people were PUT ON TRIAL under mcCarthy... that Lenny Bruce was arrested... that Bill Hicks was removed from network tv... that Taye Diggs gets death threats cos hes married a white chick... that Roe V Wade is STILL an issue... in the words of Yul in the King and I "excetterrrah excettera...excetterahhhH!"
Sadly this Puritanical shite ain't as new as we think it is.... but perhaps its these very starke lights on all that is "correct" and pure is actually shedding dark shaddows on what is believed to be 'sin'... and its that darkness that draws us 'sinners' in!!
viva la sinners!

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