Excerpts from Electric Degeneration, Degenerate Press' semi-weekly e-zine, free and ad-free. A full episode contains sections for music reviews, upcoming events, blasphemy, classifieds, and anything else we feel like saying. If you'd like to subscribe just contact us.
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"I don't like to think of it as white slavery. I like to think of it as
Velvet Jones from a SNL skit.
BLASPHEMY continues with another round from SOS. Next episode your editor jumps
into the fray. You have been warned.
>>Nice attempt at avoiding the question. First, the basic freedom in question
is one of expression or speech; secondly, as Net access is increasingly
necessary for basic satisfaction of these rights, yes, lack of access to
computers - and phones - are begining to fall under the category of 'failing to
respect human rights.'<<
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Internet access is =NOT= a basic human right. You have
the right to self-expression, but the -means- of self-expression are not
automatically yours by right. You usually have to pay for whatever means you
choose to express yourself. If somebody else -gives- you those means, that's
wonderful too, but if they then stop doing so for whatever reason, they might
be depriving you of the -materials- of self-expression, but not your -rights-.
You can still express yourself, you'll just have to change tactics.
>>But more basically, for our purposes, after access has been established, by
what authority is one deprived of use of the technology in question? BY
government, only after it is shown one has broken law -- OR by a private
interest who has been allowed to control the medium for profit and whose rules
are arbitrary and bear no resemblence to law?<<
Answer-- whoever -owns- the technology in question. In this case, the big,
bad, arbitary, private interest. Sorry, but that's the way it works. Would
you want somebody telling you what you could or couldn't do with your computer?
Then why are you insisting that Time Warner be forced to keep racist crap on
>>Well, yes they do; they have a monopoly on their site which is the most
visited site on the WWW. No one can reach as unified and sizeable an audience
as one can by means of PATHFINDER's bulletin boards - thus making its situation
unique amongst BBS sites... a virtual monopoly.<<
Wrong again. If Pathfinder was the -only- place you could -possibly- visit
when you got on the web, then you'd have a monopoly. But there are a million
other places to go. How do you know their site is 'most visited', anyway? I'd
think maybe Yahoo or somebody would have that honor. And if they have the
largest audience share, why does that suddenly burden them with the requirement
to allow every single point of view, no matter how obnoxious? My feeling is,
if they did, their site would suddenly become a lot -less- visited, so what
precisely would they gain by this?
>>The problem is that (A) I can't find the racist rants on TIME-WARNER's boards
and (B), they would be there were it not for censors acting 'in loco
governmentis,' yet with no respect for law or the 1st Amendment - as if money
absolves a corporation from such messy considerations.<<
THE FIRST AMENDMENT APPLIES TO GOVERNMENT AND NOT TO PRIVATE CORPORATIONS.
Sorry to yell that, but you keep seeming to miss that point. Otherwise, you
wind up with corporations being -forced- to express points of view that it
doesn't agree with--and taking all the flak for said points of view. Besides,
inflammatory speech isn't even necessarily protected by the 1st Amendment-- the
Supreme Court ruled -ages- ago that speech or expression that does damage to
someone else (clear and present danger doctrine) is =not= protected by the 1st
Amendment. And clogging up a message board with a big, useless flame war is
probably damage enough.
>>That's why many fora such as PATHFINDER have attempted to make a buck off the
'phenomenon' of publicly expressed opinion; but when, in the course of making
that buck they suddenly wish to play some other game and not take any of the
liabilities (e.g. allowing unpopular speech) for their Internet experiment, I
As far as I can tell, all those publicly expressed opinions were expressed
-voluntarily-. You were invited to post your opinion, but you were neither
required nor forced to. Hell, you weren't even -paid- to. When you -gave-
these people your words to put on -their- system, they were willing to put them
up, but they were never -required- to. For the umpity-umth time--it's their
computer, it's their show, if you don't like what is being done with your
words, =don't give your words to them=. Just because Pathfinder has the
=appearance= of a public forum, that does not automatically =make= it one.
>>There is no root for the belief that one can or should profit from speech
while silencing the speech of those whom one does not agree with<<
Ever see a letters column in a magazine? People send in letters. Some get
printed. Some don't. The magazine sells them as part and parcel of the whole
package and therefore makes money off of free expression. If a letter isn't
printed, is the letter writer being silenced? Perhaps silenced in the sense
that his letter isn't being seen by gazillions of people, but he was still
perfectly free to write the letter in the first place.
>> -- as if neo-Nazis cannot be argued to a stand-still once they are allowed
You haven't argued =me= to a standstill yet, have you? What makes you think a
boneheaded racist nimrod is going to listen to reason in the first place?
>>No one, least of all me, has called for 'unfettered' speech<<
I was quoting -you- when I used the term.
>> I am simply calling for recognition of and respect for 'Constitutionally
See big capital letters above.
>>If such speech is too burdensome in the course of TIME-WARNER's investments,
too frightening, then I suggest they simply get out of the business of human
communications technology. Because they have no call blatantly disregarding
American law and precident on this topic, the very law that has made it
possible for them to amass their fortune in this field. If they will not serve
the public good, fine; let them go find another sort of work and never again
bother with the press.<<
Constiutional =protections= do not automatically translate to Constitutional
=obligations=. They have the freedom to express themselves as they want to,
(short of obscenity, libel, slander, etc.) but that doesn't mean they are
legally obligated to express every single point of view that comes down the
If somebody spraypaints grafitti on the side of your house, are you repressing
that person by cleaning it off? No. If the guy spraypaints grafitti on the
side of -his- house and you decided to clean it off, =then= you'd be treading
on his rights. The same principle is at work in this case, regardless of how
you feel it -should- be.
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