02 March, 2007

Does the ACLU really have our best interests in mind?

Recently, News10 (the local NBC affiliate) did a story about how easy it is for anyone to walk in off the street and view adult themed web sites at the public library.

Shortly after the story, complete with hidden camera footage and a convicted pedophile sent back to jail on a parole violation, County Executive Maggie Brooks threatened to pull county funding of the library if they didn't do something to filter out the porno sites.

Cue the ACLU.

They come riding in on their high horse and start screaming 1st amendment violations. They came in shouting about government censorship.

Here is why the ACLU is full of crap..

Sure adult themed websites are (for the most part) well within the bounds of the law. Adults, who are so inclined, have the right to view the material if they so chose, but is it the tax payers responsibility to provide it? In a word, No.

Now, an argument can be made that that is the government censoring what can and cannot be viewed at the library.


There are books about Nazis, Marxism, all sorts religions, and many more subjects that some people may find offensive, and if you wanted to, you could do internet browsing on such topics.

The library is a place where people of all ages can come to do research on any number of subjects. It is an open source of knowledge.

Here is where I show a bit of ignorance. I do not remember the last time I was in a public library. I know you can read magazines, but I doubt you can read the latest issue of Playboy. You may be able to, I didn't check.

About the censorship, where I work, I can't even view my bank's website. There are a number of reasons why, but one reason is the whole 'unsafe work environment' thing. I can't go to an adult site from work because it might offend someone else.

The library employs people, why can't we use this reason?

What about that stupid 'no smoking' law? It's the same thing. I bet if there was a physical health effect like second hand smoke, there would be all sorts of people lobbying to block it.

Bottom line, If you are a consenting adult, you can pick up a copy of a porno mag in any number of places, but I don't want to pay for you to read it. If you want to view this material online, I don't want to pay for you to view websites of similar content.

The funding should be pulled until they install a state of the art filtering system, or until the computers are pulled from the libraries.

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