Secular Right | Reality & Reason

TAG | Porn

Jul/12

15

Against the Hotel/Porn Axis

Via the Daily Mail:

A Christian scholar and a Muslim leader have teamed up to ask hotel chain[s] to stop offering pay-per-view porn.
Robert P. George, Princeton University professor and former chairman of the Christian group the National Organization for Marriage wrote a letter to hotel owners along with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, the founder of Zaytuna College, a Muslim university.

Both men requested that the hotels ‘do what is right as a matter of conscience’ and stop selling pornography to guests.
They say that as a conservative Christian and a devout Muslim, the pair have a lot to disagree on. However, on this issue they are of one mind, CNN reports.

‘We appeal to you not on the basis of truths revealed in our scriptures but on the basis of a commitment that should be shared by all people of reason and goodwill: a commitment to human dignity and the common good,’ they write in the letter.

Milton Friedman:

…The doctrine of “social responsibility” taken seriously would extend the scope of the political mechanism to every human activity. It does not differ in philosophy from the most explicitly collectivist doctrine. It differs only by professing to believe that collectivist ends can be attained without collectivist means. That is why, in my book Capitalism and Freedom, I have called it a “fundamentally subversive doctrine” in a free society, and have said that in such a society, “there is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

Quite.

Unless they are only addressing owner-managers, what George and Yusuf are suggesting is a little obscene itself. Shareholders first, please, gentlemen.

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Mar/12

16

Big Government Rick (Again)

Here’s Josh Barro writing for Forbes with details of some Santorum plans for wasteful and intrusive government:

The Daily Caller flags a little-discussed position paper on Rick Santorum’s campaign website—his pledge to aggressively prosecute those who produce and distribute pornography. Santorum avers that “America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography.” He pledges to use the resources of the Department of Justice to fight that “pandemic,” by bringing obscenity prosecutions against pornographers.

I would note that this is very different from what the Bush Administration did. The Bush DOJ did establish an Obscenity Prosecution Task Force in 2005, but this body focused on bringing prosecutions against small-time producers who made porn with extreme content. (Even so, it faced significant pushback from U.S. Attorneys, some of whom viewed such prosecutions as a distraction and a misuse of resources.) Many social conservative groups were disappointed with the task force, contending that more mainstream hardcore porn violates obscenity laws, and they urged the Bush Administration to bring obscenity cases against major producers.

Santorum promises that he would do exactly this. His statement references going after pornography that is distributed not just on the Internet, but also “on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV.” Perhaps I am not staying in the most interesting hotels, but my impression is that porn distributed through such channels is almost definitionally not extreme. Santorum’s statement also touts his work on this issue with “groups including Morality in Media, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Family Association”—many of which were among the groups calling on the Bush Administration to prosecute mainstream porn producers in 2007. And he says he “proudly support[s] the efforts of the War on Illegal Pornography Coalition,” which advocates the use of obscenity laws against mainstream porn.

Some of Santorum’s defenders have taken the tack of separating his personal views from his policy views. Santorum thinks contraception is “not OK” and he has announced his intention to use the bully pulpit to discuss “the dangers of contraception.” But he doesn’t think contraception should be illegal, and he voted for Title X contraception subsidies (though he said in a recent debate that he opposes Title X, despite voting for it.) On pornography, though, Santorum’s views can’t be written off as purely personal—he has stated a clear intent to use the levers of government to stop adults from making and watching porn.

And, of course to fritter away taxpayer money (and prosecutorial resources) while doing so.

Now that’s obscene.

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Apr/11

16

Bravo to Eric Holder!

I hadn’t expected to type such a title. A fan of Mr. Holder, I am not. If there is one issue that the some elements on the Right get as regulatory-obsessive as Henry Waxman it is pornography. Obviously there is a broad consensus that some genres of porn warrant investigation and legal proscription, but in its outline this is one component of the “Culture War” than the anti-porn Left and Right long ago lost.

Holder accused of neglecting porn fight:

Earlier this month, Hatch and 41 other senators sent a letter to Holder pushing him to bring criminal cases against “all major distributors of adult obscenity.”

“We write to urge the Department of Justice vigorously to enforce federal obscenity laws against major commercial distributors of hardcore adult pornography,” said the April 4 letter, circulated by Hatch. “We know more than ever how illegal adult obscenity contributes to violence against women, addiction, harm to children, and sex trafficking. This material harms individuals, families and communities and the problems are only getting worse.”

Most signers were conservative Republicans, but Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and six Senate Democrats also signed on: Ben Nelson and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Bill Nelson of Florida, Tom Carper of Delaware, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Dianne Feinstein of California.

A few distinct issues:

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