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Cop Provides Sex Offender With "Slutty" Photos of High School Girl

Thursday, August 21, 2008
An internet safety program presented by John F. Gay, III at a high school in Windsor, Colorado has outraged parents by singling out students' MySpace pages for criticism. According to the DenverChannel.com:
A police officer giving an Internet safety course sparked criticism for calling student MySpace pages "slutty" and telling one student a sexual predator in prison masturbated to her photo.

[ . . . ]

One female student was told by Gay that he shared her online personal info with an (sic) state inmate who said he gratified himself with her photo and would "tear her apart."
The student, who was singled out, left the assembly in tears. That's when Gay showed her telephone number that he got from the Internet and called her. He hoped to show how easy it is for anyone to track down someone posting personal information on MySpace or other social-networking sites.
[Full Story]

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Art?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
From The Observer via The Guardian:

"Chaining up a dog and forcing it to go without food and water in the name of art is a surefire way of making yourself unpopular with animal lovers."

Guillermo Vargas, also known as Habacuc, "has been called an animal abuser, killer and worse over claims that a stray dog called Natividad died of starvation after he displayed it at an exhibition last year at the Codice Gallery in Managua, Nicaragua. Vargas tethered the animal without food and water under the words 'Eres Lo Que Lees' - 'You Are What You Read' - made out of dog biscuits while he played the Sandinista anthem backwards and set 175 pieces of crack cocaine alight in a massive incense burner. More than a million people have signed an online petition urging organisers of this year's event to stop Vargas taking part."

Not to defend Mr. Vargas's actions, or those of the gallery in which Natividad was chained, but it seems as if animal rights activists may be erroneously reporting that the dog died when, in fact, he did not. According to Juanita Bermudez, the director of the gallery, the dog "was untied all the time except for the three hours the exhibition lasted and it was fed regularly with dog food Habacuc himself brought in." Of course, it makes a good deal of sense that people would be up in arms about this sort of thing. Still, if Natividad did escape with his life, that fact will undermine the authority of some of the understandably concerned animal rights activists who have (either mistakenly or in a deliberate manipulation of information) presented a far bleaker picture of the installation. I mean, there are scads of people already clustering "animal rights activists" under the broad umbrella of alarmist extremists. Let's not give those people any fuel.

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The FCC Might Let You Be

Tuesday, March 18, 2008
From The Washington Post:
"The Supreme Court announced yesterday that it will rule on the government's standards for policing the public airwaves for the first time since the court agreed 30 years ago that a midday radio broadcast of comedian George Carlin's 'seven dirty words' monologue was indecent."
[Full story]

In an era when parental vetting of television programming has become more and more common, when the V-chip and the ratings guides have become the norm, it seems to me that the Supreme Court should loosen the restrictions it places on the language broadcasters may use on air. There has always been the concern that children may be exposed to various words and images their parents deem "inappropriate" and, I suspect, any softening of the FCC's regulations will likely draw criticism from some of the more socially conservative demographics traditionally concerned with such content but, really, it is high time to lighten up. If parents don't want their children exposed to a particular type of content, it is their responsibility to weed it out. After all, no one has to buy a television.

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