Porn in the library - and the ACLU
The policy at the central branch library in Rochester is that all computers are filtered to keep young people away from objectionable material. But you can get the computer unfiltered if you are above a certain age and ask for it to be done.
A local television station did a report showing that some people are doing this to watch porn on the library computers, and that these computers are within view of other patrons, including children.
When our county executive (Maggie Brooks) heard this, she threatened to pull all county funding – the bulk of the library’s budget – unless the library blocks the computers so that people can’t view porn where children and other patrons can see what they are watching.
As you might guess, the ACLU galloped in to defend 1st Amendment rights.
As far as I know, Brooks is not obliged to support the library, so she does have the power to withdraw county funding. And I certainly agree with the notion of public funds not being used to pay to support something many people find morally objectionable (alas, there are some government actions I consider morally objectionable that I do have to pay for).
I think what we may end up with is the libraries can't completely block porn where there can be reasonable limits (ACLU side) and the county does not have to pay.
Such an outcome could hurt the library - and all of us.
That gets me to my main point. If this leads to funding cuts, we all end up getting screwed.
But that is just another example of how pornography is NOT a victimless crime - ooops, sorry, a victimless 1st Amendment protected activity.
Pornography distorts our view of sexuality and relationships. It turns people into objects. It debases and exploits the people involved in the industry. And don't give me that crap about they choose to be involved. So many of those people are addicted, used, and so on.
Look at someone like Anna Nicole Smith and tell me porn is victimless.
Even if we don't use porn ourselves, we are all affected by it. We are all victims of it.
Under our Constitution, porn is permitted. But some folks - including me - think there are higher moral and ethical laws.