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Marc Baptiste
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Joined: 17 June 2004
Location: United States
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Posted: 26 March 2021 at 3:15pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Today I read TWO articles about Republicans at the state AND federal level signing and introducing new laws:

 

First, the Governor of Utah signed a bill requiring pornography filters on all phones and tablets sold in his state.  

 

Second, a very conservative US House Representative from Pennsylvania has introduced the Guarding Readers’ Independence and Choice (GRINCH) Act to deny federal funds to any agency that censors books.  Like you couldn’t drive a truck through that one.

 

Now take those along with the obsession the state governments and feds have with sticking their noses in who can play on girls’ and women’s sports teams and legislating “fairness doctrines” for social media (but NOT talk radio where they dominate!!) you would think someone was trying to make someone bake a cake!!

 

I thought Republicans were small government types who believed in free enterprise and market control of these types of things??  Can those of you on THIS board who were so adamant that the Christian baker had the RIGHT to refuse certain services to gay people please square your sentiments with current Republican philosophy/actions?  


Also, please please please tell me where the hell was the distinguished gentlemen from Pennsylvania when many school libraries refused to carry books remotely touching on LGBT topics and even went so far as to reprimand teachers who dared to read such books to their students??

 

I wish the Republicans of today were as concerned with COVID-19 and the overall health of the economy than they were about the PRIVATE estate of Dr. Seuss CHOOSING on its own to cease publishing 4-5 titles.

 

Marc



Edited by Marc Baptiste on 26 March 2021 at 3:16pm
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David Miller
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 26 March 2021 at 4:29pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Socialism is okay when resources are redistributed to elites.
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Peter Martin
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Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
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Posted: 26 March 2021 at 5:23pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Is the pornography filter an opaque piece of plastic that covers the screen?

And, if not, who gets to be the arbiter of what is porn?
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 123892
Posted: 26 March 2021 at 7:21pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Socialism is okay when resources are redistributed to elites.

•••

Over the years I’ve known a few people who self-identified as Socialists—tho it was pretty obvious none of them would actually want to live within a Socialist system.

Anyway, there’s a quote attributed to Margaret Thatcher that sums it up nicely: Socialism is fine, until you run out of other people’s money.

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Michael Murphy
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Posted: 26 March 2021 at 10:24pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

deny federal funds to any agency that censors books
-----------------------------------------------------
Don't public, private and religious schools curate the contents of their libraries? All of them receive federal funding. Is it then possible to sue to deny funds to schools that don't carry, or censor, oh - I don't know - The Satanic Bible? 
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Marc Baptiste
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Posted: 27 March 2021 at 2:02am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

JB,

I totally get what you are saying about socialism - however, my use of the word in the thread header is more in line with how it is being (ab)used by Republicans today.  It is more in line with "commie" - a catch all cudgel used to mean ANYTHING and EVERYTHING on the left or liberal side of the political ledger.  Being pro-choice or supportive of marriage equality would qualify as ANTI-family SOCIALISM in today's Republican mindset.

Marc
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Shawn Kane
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Joined: 04 November 2010
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Posted: 27 March 2021 at 6:00am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Marc, 
I support LBGTQ rights but I do have to ask a question when you mention sports teams. If my daughter is on the high school track team or even the high school wrestling team* and she's going into her Senior year and competing for a state championship, possibly for a college scholarship, and loses to someone who previously identified as a male, is that fair? 

She plays on a co-ed soccer team right now. The five top players on her team are 3 boys and 2 girls. Going forward if any of those boys were to identify as female, should they be allowed to take a spot from a girl who would have made the team otherwise?

*My high school team has an all female squad.
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Marc Baptiste
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Posted: 27 March 2021 at 7:54am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Shawn,

 

Excellent question.  It’s certainly NOT the hill I want LGBTQ rights to die on!  In fact, I have stated, more than once, that I personally do not necessarily believe the T even belongs under the LGBTQ umbrella.  I should have thought that through more when I wrote my initial post – I guess I was trying to make a broader point about Republican hypocrisy.

 

The short answer to the dilemma for trans athletes is I just don’t know.  Certainly, I hate the idea of a wholesale exclusion of them from all sports teams.  Yet, when it comes right down to it, as I stated in another thread, I believe in science – there ARE biological differences between XY-men and XX-women and sex segregated sports teams exist as an acknowledgement of this fact.  In a utopian world we would have all PEOPLE compete against one another and let the best PERSON win I suppose – but that doesn’t exist.

 

Since I have said quite clearly that I do not know the answer, I won’t go on further.  Except to say, again, that my point at the start of this thread was to address a totally different political point.

 

Marc



Edited by Marc Baptiste on 27 March 2021 at 7:55am
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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 27 March 2021 at 9:10am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Understood. I appreciate what you're saying, Marc. I certainly didn't want to cloud the thread with the sports question. It's a super complicated issue and I would hate for anyone to ever think that because I come down on one side with that issue that I'm against inclusion. I train in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu and there are plenty of females in my class that can totally whip my butt, so I'm not necessarily saying a female will always lose to a male, but it's definitely not an easy call to make.
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John Wickett
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Joined: 12 July 2016
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Posted: 27 March 2021 at 11:30am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Hi Marc.  I'll bite.  

First let me say this: I think the terms "liberal" and "conservative" are both very broad, and refer to an array of people with varied beliefs.  I often find myself disagreeing with other Republicans on a variety of issues, so I don't feel its necessary to "square my sentiments" with anyone else, but I'm willing to discuss all of these topics, and whether I believe these laws fit the definition of conservativism from my point of view.

Personally, I've always looked at these types of things in the same way the Supreme Court analyzes a statute.  First by asking whether the statute addresses a legitimate state interest, and (assuming it does), then determining whether the statute goes too far.  In other words, does it do more than necessary?

Starting with the UT statute, I think the state has a legitimate interest in keeping pornography out of the hands of children.  Is the filter a reasonable solution?  Maybe, but we need to know more about how it works. 

It would definitely be government over reach if access to content was blocked for adults, but the article I read indicated adults can easily disable the filter.  

I agree with Peter that defining pornography could be problematic, but I think there are some materials the vast majority of people would agree are not appropriate for children.  The other concern I have would be how well the tech works.  Assuming we could agree on what content should be filtered, can we be sure the tech will only filter that content, and nothing else?

If you can solve these problems, then I think the statute would be okay.

I don't like the Pennsylvania law.  I'm against censorship, including the removal of gay literature you mentioned from libraries.  I know that sounds hypocritical given that in this same post I'm agreeing that pornography should be censored for kids.  But banning books strikes me as a different type of censorship because we are silencing speech; including political speech.  

I think the state has a legitimate interest in preventing censorship, but this bill is not narrowly tailored to address that.  There are a number of problems, including:
  • The funding that's being blocked is unrelated to the purpose of the legislation, and there is too much potential for this to be used inappropriately or as a political weapon.
  • As Michael pointed out, all libraries curate their content.  No library has the capacity to carry every book in the world, so some must be cut.  As long as these decisions are not motivated by the desire to silence certain voices, curation does not equal censorship, but the statute is too broad to recognize that.
  • The statute is unnecessary, because there are other, existing ways to address this issue, and I think a law could be drafted that is more narrowly tailored to prevent the type of censorship this statute seeks to prevent. 
Regarding the issue of trans athletes, I think the government has to take a position.  Both  public and private organizations that sponsor sports teams are faced with the decision of who is allowed to play on their teams.  There will be instances where someone disagrees with their decision and  goes to court, claiming they've been unfairly treated, and these cases have to be decided one way or the other.  Inevitably, in the absence of a statute, those court decisions will become the law of the land.  So there's no way for the government to avoid "sticking their noses in" as you say.  

I'm not going to make an argument one way or the other with regard to how they should rule on this issue, because previous discussions on this board have shown that it is extremely complex, and I would want to take more time to inform myself before taking a hard stand.  But for the reasons mentioned above, I don't think it is hypocritical for conservatives in government to have an opinion, or to propose legislation to address this.  

Lastly, none of the issues you've raised have anything to do with socialism.  While I agree the conservative media has broadly painted all Democrats as socialists (which is clearly erroneous), I've never heard specific political opinions that have nothing to do with the economy (you mentioned pro-choice) being characterized as socialist views.  

You're obviously an intelligent person and recognize the media is wrong when they refer to all liberals as socialists, so I guess I find it a little amusing that in a discussion about hypocrisy you would deliberately make the same error.  
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Brian Miller
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Joined: 28 July 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 28197
Posted: 27 March 2021 at 11:52am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Luckily, here in good ol’ Tennessee, we just passed legislation saying
kids can only play sports based on their sex at birth.
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Marc Baptiste
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Joined: 17 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3530
Posted: 27 March 2021 at 12:31pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

John W.,

Well I HAVE heard conservative Republicans use the 'socialist' label when describing pro-choice and pro-marriage equality liberals; more than a few times in fact, and almost always in the context of using the socialist label to describe them as "anti-family".  

I distinctly remember this being used in abundance when it was found out that there was SUPPOSEDLY some feminist and LGBTQ link found to exist in the leadership/genesis ranks of the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement.

And as for my bringing up the pornography filters - it mostly relates to the Christian baker/gay wedding cake controversy - some people with a legal background jumped on me when we debated this issue saying that I was wrong to apply civil rights laws and equal protection to this issue because this was "different' - as it was government compelling a private entity/business to actively DO something, rather than NOT do something - a critical difference.  

Well, here we have the state, Utah, legislating that non-government business entities (e.g, Apple) MUST invent, install, and sell filters on their product because the state is telling them they MUST.  Perhaps against their will, and maybe against the preference of the bulk of their customers (remember market forces??).

Marc


Edited by Marc Baptiste on 27 March 2021 at 12:45pm
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