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Giuliani -- Threat or Menace

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Fenian_Bastard, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Shorter Wingman --
    If nobody gives a shit about your rights, they don't really exist.
  2. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Pastor, I actually agreed with him about the art. I'm not Catholic, and I personally don't care about religion. Much easier ways to get me upset. But if I was a Catholic who took my religion seriously, it would have pissed me off that a publicly-funded museum--using my tax dollars--was displaying artwork of that nature.

    That isn't a First Amendment issue. No one was trying to stop the artist from creating his work. If an artist wants to paint a picture with elephant dung, the Virgin Mary and pictures of naked buttocks, he has every right to do it. But tax dollars, and government support, shouldn't be going to fund something so offensive to so many people.
  3. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Ragu --

    That argument doesn't even pass the smell test.

    Government funding goes to all kinds of things people find offensive.
  4. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    F_B: Har har.

    The tradeoff between liberty and security isn't exactly a new thing, philosophically speaking. And the American people and their elected representatives -- except for your boy Feingold, I guess -- are, at the moment, willing to sacrifice some liberty in the hope of gaining security. When they're not, the law will be repealed. It's kind of how the system works, ya know.

    Not to threadjack, but I have to ask: Exactly how does the Patriot Act affect your daily life? Or mine? Or indeed anyone's?


    Still, the libertarian case against funding for the arts -- offensive or otherwise -- is pretty well-established.
  5. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    And I believe it shouldn't. If someone creates something obviously intended to offend a large group of people, my smell tests says that tax dollars shouldn't be supporting it. Use common sense. We are not talking about the lone crank who is offended by nothing. We're talking about something obviously intended to offend Catholics and their beliefs. Citizens shouldn't be compelled to pay for that through their tax dollars. Feel free to disagree. I think more people will agree with me, though.
  6. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    People are offended by art all the time. Tough. It's their problem. If they think they're going to be offended by a piece of art they can choose not to visit the gallery. The old "turn the channel" argument.

    The fact that the gallery is government funded doesn't and shouldn't enter into the equation of what the curator chooses to exhibit. They're not required to ask themselves, "Gee, I wonder if some taxpayers are going to be offended by it".
  7. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    It's well established--it's just wrong-headed, as a lot of libertarian arguments are.

    Governments fund lots of industries--directly or indirectly. Why should the arts be any different.--it is an industry, after all.
  8. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Fine. So is the libertarian case for closing down all publicly-funded schools. Which is why no libertarians are getting elected to anything anytime soon.

    The case for publicly-funding the arts to some degree has a pretty solid track record, too. Backed up by people who have actually governed.

    Hell, Ragu, what percentage of Americans are currently "offended" by this war? Does that mean I get my money back? (And not in Haliburton stock, please.)
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    If they are going to accept those taxpayers' money, they should have to ask themselves that.

    Why should this be any different than anything else? Let's say you own a business. You are not going to do things to piss off or offend a large segment of your paying customers. And if you are going to try to offend them--out of some principle you believe in--you should fully expect them to STOP to being paying customers.

    If that curator thinks it is important, for whatever reason, to display that painting, I agree that government shouldn't be stopping him. That is the First Amendment. But when people are inevitably offended by it, I don't have a problem with any private or public source of funds for that curator deciding that they don't want to sponsor it.

  10. The essence of how you lose civil liberties.

    1) We'll give them back when we're done.
    2) How does it affect you personally?

    Sorry. You can't have them. Nobody else can vote them away. They exist in nature and I own them by virtue of the fact that I'm alive and I'm here. Whenever they are diminished for someone else, they are diminished for me. We are less of a free nation because of it. These aren't abstractions. These are the only things that make this country anything more than Great Britain with better beachfront property.
    That we are cowards about it now is not my concern. It does, however, mean that we ought not to elect a nasty little Napoleon who will use that cowardice to feed his own authoritarian appetites.
  11. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Well, first of all, I doubt the people who were offended by it were a "large segment" of the gallery's customers. A vocal minority, as they say.

    I remember pissing off a whole bunch of people when I was a bookseller because I very vocally opposed a "family values" group who wanted to remove certain books from the classroom and school libraries.

    But then, I wasn't worried about the effect it would have on our business because most of the really vocal ones probably hadn't read an actual book since grade school
  12. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    They "exist in nature?"

    I thought they existed as emanations from penumbras. I'm confused.

    As usual, take the appeals to emotion and the Kos-esque ranting out of your post and there's nothing left. Except my quote, that is. And I stand by what I've already said. I repeat myself too much to you already.
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