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Newsworthies - Peter Hentges

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October 3rd, 2006


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10:06 am - Newsworthies
My friend robin_d_laws explains in detail his difficulties in reacting to the Congressional page scandal. I share many of his misgivings. I'm clear in deploring the Congressman enticing a minor over whom he has at least some degree of authority. There can be, in my estimation, nothing consensual about any such relationship. I certainly don't think there's anything wrong about gay teens having sex any more than there is with straight teens doing so. (Play safe!) While the Congressman's actions are disgraceful, they also aren't as disgusting as they would be if the young person in question had been 10 instead of 16. Which is to say that Michael Jackson disturbs me far more than Tom Foley.

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So it seems we've goaded North Korea into flexing its nuclear muscle. They announced they plan to test a weapon. No one has tested a nuke since 1998. No one other than India and Pakistan have tested a weapon since 1996. Now North Korea feels they have to demonstrate that invading them prior to the 2008 presidential election would be a spectacularly bad move. I can't help but run through scenarios in my head: NK nukes a build-up of US and SK troops. US nukes a NK city. NK nukes Japan. US nukes NK. China nukes US. US nukes everyone because, fuck it, why go halfway?
Current Mood: cynicalcynical
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From:cakmpls
Date:October 3rd, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC)
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I agree in general with your first paragraph. I might write about this in my LJ. To me, though, it's the hypocrisy...</i.
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From:jbru
Date:October 4th, 2006 01:56 am (UTC)
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I agree. The specially flagrant hypocrisy in this case is worthy of note. The danger I see in pointing it out is that it doing so can sound very much like agreeing with the idea that using the Internet is somehow specially dangerous and we must throw all kinds of restrictions on its use in order to "protect the children." Said restrictions, of course, nearly always morphing into ways to actually protect businesses. See, for example, the recent targetting of Internet gambling.
From:don_fitch
Date:October 8th, 2006 03:03 am (UTC)
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You do bring up a knotty point -- or maybe just one big tangled knot. If Foley did anything illegal (the "if" depends on whether the explicit emails were written after the law was passed), this incident would be supremely ironic, as well as hypocritical. And yes, that law seems to me to create a Thought Crime, as well as pandering to the fear that the internet is somehow more dangerous than associating with real people. And on another axis (I guess) we're dealing with the idea that if something isn't actually illegal, it can't be profoundly Wrong -- or, flipping the coin over, that if we pass a law specifying that something is not illegal, that act then becomes acceptable. (Yup, I don't approve of the new Torture Law, either, especially the way it authorizes the potential perpetrator to define whether or not an action is legal.)

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