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"And walking through a local mall a week ago I was startled and just a little excited to see the display of garter belts and bustiers right there across from the get-your-picture-taken-with-Santa super-kiosk"

Would that be The Mall St. Matthews, where the Victoria's Secret is across from the over-sized and vaguely homo-erotic posters of the Abercrombie & Fitch? I worked at the Mall for three years, and it is a virtual gauntlet of sex through there.

Ah, yes! The market trumps all, including community standards.

The free marketers say that Victoria's Secret, et al., have the "right" to sell what they want and advertize it in whatever way they see fit, and consumers have the right to buy or not to buy whatever they're selling.

What about the right of those who don't want to be unwillingly and unwittingly exposed to erotic wares? What about those who don't want children exposed to the overt sexuality in the display windows of such emporiums? Is it reasonable to say "don't go to the mall"?

You're right that Vicky's isn't doing itself--or sexuality--any favors by overexposure. However, just as local governments can decree porn-free zones around schools, they can and should demand--even require--that businesses conform to local community standards.

I don't think local government should be allowed to declare porn-free zones around schools, either.

On what basis do you think that local gummints shouldn't be allowed to declare porn-free zones?

I am interested in your reasoning. However, since I don't know your answer, all I can say at this point is: Sorry, can't agree with you here. As great as capitalism is, there are things greater than it, things like community, morality, and decency.

Based on my belief that government has no power to limit freedom of expression. Porn free zones are a way of limiting free expression, since they start out small and then get bigger and bigger until the whole municipality is a porn-free zone because every place is within, say, 3,000 feet of a church or school or playground or whatever. That's nothing but a cute way of censoring a particular form of communications.

There is no Constitutional Right to not hear speech you don't want to hear. There is no Constitutional Right to go through life without being offended.

Certainly you're not an advocate of letting the most delicate among us decide for everyone what should and should not be said, and where and when it can be said. If we do that, your opinions on race and religion will be the first to be suppressed. If you're allowed to discuss your beliefs only if you make sure you say it where no one hears, how free are you?

So how is sex -- harmless, fun, universal, valuable sex -- any more worthy of suppression than your own views on race and religion?

And where in the Constitution is sex singled out as being subject to government to control?

"my belief that government has no power to limit freedom of expression"

So the gummint doesn't have the power to limit seditious speech? We can't prohibit people from yelling "fire" in a crowded theater? Sorry, but the gummint can, and does, prohibit certain speech acts. The First Amendment is not absolute.

In the first case, speech that is dangerous to the state is suppressed. In the second case, speech that is dangerous to public safety is suppressed. Finally, by not allowing (semi-) pornographic advertising, "speech" that is dangerous to morality is suppressed. I would argue that all three--integrity of the state, public safety, and morality--are equally necessary to a healthy society.

I see nothing wrong with communities banning displays of wares that retailers don't have the common sense to leave inside their shops. In fact, I don't have a problem with banning the sale of some products that particular communities finds excessively objectionable, like child porn (legal some places but not here, fortunately) or Nazi memorabilia (banned in Germany).

It's not about the "right" not to be offended (your words, not mine)--I certainly don't believe in any such nonsense. However, I believe in values that transcend the individual and his wants. I believe that the needs of society can, and should, supersede the individual, as necessary.

Incidentally, PC has made it impossible for many people with "conservative" views--views that were commonsensical just 50 years ago--to express themselves openly. Why do you think I use a jerk-off handle like Squidley? Because I don't want to put my career at risk. So we're already in a society where some (not necessarily the most delicate) decide "what should and should not be said."

Not even close to relevant, Squid. Not even close. You whole argument is empty rhetoric. You were a high school debater, weren't you.

That government can band seditious speech -- which I think, actually, it can't -- or yelling "fire" in a crowded theater does nothing to justify other bans on expression.

And the whole point of the First Amendment is to protect speech that is dangerous to the state.

And you you can't ban speech based on morality because whose morality reigns supreme.

And whether your opinions hurt your career or not has nothing whatsoever to do with free speech because private individuals and associations -- corporations, for example -- have every right to disassociate themselves from people who hold and express views they find repugnant. The First Amendment applies to the government.

You missed on all counts. Not even close.

You are, of course, 100% mistaken in your assertion that "the whole point of the First Amendment is to protect speech that is dangerous to the state." Anti-sedition laws and prosecution (and even execution) of anarchists and the treasonous are part of our American heritage.

Also, the notion of "community standards" is explicitly incorporated into pornography laws, so the question of "whose morality" is already dealt with: the community. Different communities are allowed to have different standards--as it should be. This is one area where the ever-expanding Federal hydra is not sticking its unwelcome nose into.

Let's not forget that libel and slander are also not protected speech, so let's drop the First Amendment absolutism, shall we? It isn't found in reality.

Also, if I'm not mistaken, there is a distinction drawn between commercial "speech" and that made by individuals or organizations without the motive of profit, so commercial "speech" is considerably less protected.

I think it's indisputable that PC imposes its orthodoxy on what is and isn't acceptable to say in public--and increasingly, even private--forums. Of course, leftism has always been intolerant of dissenting opinions, and the creeping leftism of modern PC is very, very scary.

You are correct that private organizations and individuals are, in principle, free to associate--or not--with whomever they choose. However, the Federal government, through AA, the banning of IQ tests,* and other coercive measures, has made it increasingly difficult for private organizations to freely choose their associations. Lawsuits brought by individuals against private organizations have also infringed on such organizations' ability to choose their associations. However, as far as I'm concerned, if a club wants to ban blacks/whites/ Eskimos/Jews/Catholics/Wiccans/men/women/whomever, let them! The same should extend to landlords, employers, and business and their choice of customer. Public opinion and profit will sort out the successes from the failures. It would also restore some of the liberty that the government has devoured over the past several decades.

*The US military is exempt from this ban. Their studies reveal that those whose IQ is less than 92 cannot retain their training adequately to do the jobs they are tasked with.

lol wow some people have way too much time on there hands and way too many complaints about everything

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