AOL - Can You Say "Sensorship", everybody??

John A. Quayle blueoval at SGI.NET
Tue Sep 5 21:17:36 MDT 2000


Inside Stories
Paul Weyrich's Commentary:
Ted Turner and Religion in the Same Sentence?

"Endangered Liberties" Program Excerpts:
Overpaying at the Pump? Blame it on Big Oil - But it's the EPAs Fault

The Free Congress Commentary
AOL Censors Out 2nd Amendment Rights
by Lisa S. Dean

 From the  "Endangered Liberties" Television Program

        The Internet is the only free uncensored system of communication in
this country. Talk radio would come in a close second but there are many
restrictions on the types of topics that can be covered, limitations on the
number of times individuals can participate, restrictions from government on
the radio stations themselves. And, of course, at any moment a talk station
today carrying Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura and a host of popular local talk
show folks can tomorrow turn into an acid rocker station with 24 hours of
head-banging or what some claim is music.

        That is why knowing who controls the Internet and what their
policies are becomes very important. For the last year or so, the 800-pound
gorilla of the Internet in the US is America On Line. With 22 million
subscribers it dominates everyone else in the field. That is why it
isextremely disturbing that AOL has adopted a policy that treats guns and
ammunition the same as child pornography and pedophilia. If you try to buy
or sell live ammo from your AOL account you will be monitored and
eventually you will be warned and if you don't cease and desist, then your
account will be closed.

        Last year AOL sent an email to one of its customers, a licensed
firearms dealer saying "We have become aware of a web page site that is
part of your account. This web page violates Hometown AOL's Community
Standards, which prohibits sexually explicit graphics, links to other sites
which Hometown deems offensive, harassment, the use of vulgar or sexually
oriented language, discussion of illegal activities, and/or other
activities that may
impair the enjoyment of our community's members.
        "We have placed a note of this incident on your account history and
consider this a first warning. We have removed all the file(s) from your web
page/ftp site. A second occurrence will result in termination of your
account with no chance of reactivation."
        AOL has made this policy arbitrarily and yet will not explain it to
its subscribers. Child pornography is illegal.  Guns and ammunition are
protected under the Second Amendment.  Yet AOL chooses to treat the two
identically by refusing to allow any one of its subscribers to engage in his
Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. In doing so, of course, AOL has
followed in the path of a host of smaller Internet Service Providers who
have the same policy.
        When the Constitution provides that a practice is legal and yet
someone hinders our ability to exercise that practice, that someone is
setting himself up as an arbiter of our rights. From whom does AOL get this
authority?  Well, of course, they are a private business and they can adopt
whatever practice they wish. But when you look at what companies AOL has
swallowed up in the past year and those few that are left that don't have
such arbitrary policies, it is truly frightening. Unless someone with a lot
of capital is willing to come in to start a new ISP and is going to be open
to keeping the Second Amendment alive and well, there may come a time very
soon when gun owners are simply shut out of every medium of communication.
They have no television sympathetic to them. Radio, with the exception of
short wave, is very restricted. Now many newspapers and magazines will not
take ads for guns and ammunition and if they do, gun-grabbing organizations
are encouraging readers to tear them out. The Internet was one place, for a
short time, gun owners could go to exercise their freedom.
        Yes, AOL is a business free to make its own policies. But customers
are also free to make their own decisions as well. No person who respects
the Second Amendment should subscribe to AOL unless they change their
policies.  There are millions of gun owners and other online services that
will gladly accept new customers and the cost is in dollar amounts, not in
freedoms.
        If computer users take their freedom seriously and switch to another
provider, AOL will feel it in the bottom line. At that point perhaps they
may be willing to discuss the matter with their subscribers. At that point
perhaps AOL will respect and preserve the rights of Americans to practice
the right to keep and bear arms in practical terms.  If not, perhaps AOL
should find a more comfortable home elsewhere . . . say . . . in Havana or
Beijing.
Lisa Dean is Vice President for Technology Policy at the Free Congress
Foundation.
For media inquiries, contact Robert McFarland   202.546.3000 /
rmcfarland at freecongress.org
For other questions or comments, contact Angie Wheeler
awheeler at freecongress.org

Ted Turner and Religion in the Same Sentence?
by Paul M. Weyrich
 From the "Endangered Liberties" Television Program
So now the United Nations, thanks to Ted Turner, is in the business of
religion. This is the same Ted Turner who had to apologize for making a
nasty joke about the Pope. The Pope, of course, wasn't present at this
Summit Conference of World Religions Turner has put together. Nor was the
Dali Lama, because the Chinese Communists objected. But just about everyone
else is represented and that is outrageous. This conference is blasphemous.
That these people would pray together? To whose God? At least when various
Christian groups get together in an ecumenical fashion they share a belief
in Jesus Christ. If they are Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians, they
likely believe that Jesus Christ is God. So there is a basis not just for
dialogue, but also for common prayer. One could even argue that Jews and
Christians share the Old Testament, and that when they pray to God the
Father they are praying to the same God. Forgetting about the revelation of
the Trinity, at least that argument has some basis in Scripture.
There are those in the Middle East who even go so far as to suggest that
Jews, Christians and Moslems are all monotheistic and therefore pray to the
same God. Perhaps.
But at this conference are religions, if you want to call them that, which
have nothing whatsoever to do with the ancient scriptures. Indeed the
beliefs of these religions have kept mankind enslaved in parts of the world
for centuries. Their beliefs are an insult to the one true God. For those
who claim to be true believers to offer common prayer with the likes of
these people is a scandal. Moreover, for those who claim to worship the true
God to then plot world peace with false religious leaders cannot lead to
anything permanently good. And then these religious figures are supposed to
use their findings as the basis of a new secular world order.
Forgive me. God did not ordain this novus ordo and it surely will fail or it
will be the basis of some reign of terror in the latter days which so many
have feared.
I know that the Lord has been able to use the jawbone of an ass to
accomplish his ends but even God would have trouble, I fear, finding good
from the works of Ted Turner who has not been exactly an agent of God's team
for a long time now.
There are rumors that Jane Fonda has become a Christian and that is why she
and Ted broke up. If that should prove to be true, then maybe she can get
back together with Ted, convert him and then and only then might his efforts
such as this religious summit possibly produce some edible fruit.
Paul Weyrich is president of the Free Congress Foundation.
For media inquiries, contact Robert McFarland   202.546.3000 /
rmcfarland at freecongress.org
For other questions or comments, contact Angie Wheeler
awheeler at freecongress.org
.



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