Tuesday, August 01, 2006

But....It's For the Children!

According to a story on C-Net, Congress is dead serious about controlling access to social network sites to minors. These sites include MySpace, Livejournal and Facebook. I'm behind the bell curve on these sites, only having visited a couple of friends' sites on MySpace. While youngsters will still be able to access these sites on their own computers, they will be blocked from doing so on computers in government children's prisons and government libraries.

Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, a Neocon Republican from Pennsylvania, along with the fat and waffling Rep. Dennis Hastert and other unscrupulous Republicans are pushing a bill called the Deleting Online Predators Act, or DOPA. It's rather an apt acronym, because it describes both the Act and its proponents.

One of the many problems with this proposed law is that it's very broadly written. It would include Blogger.com, as well as AOL and Yahoo's instant messaging features and the XBox 360, which allows in-game chat, for example.

Thanks to Laura Ingraham's radio show, I hear that the bill has been voted 'pon in the House and passed with a large majority (who's going to vote against the children in an election year?). Remember, though, congressfools, that these same children will be voting in a few years, and they just might remember!

Sadly, and tellingly, Ms Ingraham (donning her very own neocon cloak), supports this distressing proposed new law, once again illustrating her own unease with the Bill of Rights in particular and human liberty in general. Wasn't it conservative Republicans, not too many years ago, who often voiced the sentiment, "why don't they understand that 'Congress shall make no law' means 'Congress shall make NO LAW?'"

This new proposed law, "DOPA," is obviously a blatant violation of the First Amendment. We can't predict, totally, what the unintended consequences of this new law might be. I mentioned the (maybe remote) possibility that today's youths might vote their anger, a few years hence. More seriously, it almost certainly will drive young students away from public libraries during the exact time in their lives when they ought to be acquiring the habit of using them.

Another important intended consequence is that this intrusion takes even more of a parents' rights away from them and places them in the hands of government. It's very sad if the parents resent this, and even more so if they don't.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

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