Doorstops and PaperweightsWritten by Terry Mitchell
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Second, imposing decency on cable and satellite channels would cripple, or possibly kill, an entire industry. In addition, burgeoning IPTV technologies, which would likely be strapped with same regulations, would be stymied. Think of damage it would do to economy. Thousands would be laid off or not hired. Many people subscribe to cable or satellite TV because they want access to something that is more edgy and is free to go a little further than broadcast TV. That's main reason that broadcasters are pushing so hard for decency standards to be extended to cable and satellite. Although they've been trying to compete by pushing envelope with our own programming since advent of cable and satellite, they know they are at a disadvantage with good portion of public that desire programming with more artistic freedom. If cable and satellite TV were suddenly held to same decency standards as broadcasters, a huge number of their subscribers would pull plug. Scores of cable and satellite set-top boxes would be reduced to doorstops and paperweights almost overnight. Third, and probably most important, regulating of cable and satellite TV would represent a slippery slope toward other, even more serious kinds of censorship. History has taught us that, without strong restraints, governments will stop at nothing to restrict free speech and expression of their citizens. These restrictions are often based on rather whimsical criteria. If government entities can get away with censoring material delivered as part of a private contract by means of privately owned equipment, then what's to stop them from censoring books, videos, newspapers, magazines, and even internet? The First Amendment, you might say? Well, no, if First Amendment could be interpreted in such as way as to allow censorship of cable and satellite TV, our last line of defense would be broken down. Nothing could stop government, as flood gates would be opened to just about any kind of censorship they wanted. Therefore, with First Amendment having been breeched, we would have a constitutional crisis of monumental proportions. The one that people talked about in reference to Watergate would seem like child's play by comparison. Video stores, bookstores, and libraries could be busted for carrying indecent material, even if it couldn't legally be ruled obscene. Websites could be shut down by thousands for being deemed a bit too risqué. If a government official didn't like something you wrote in a newspaper, magazine, or book, you could get slapped with a hefty fine or thrown in jail. Now you might think I'm exaggerating a little and that none of this stuff could ever happen in United States, but would you be willing to take that chance? Now, with all of that being said, I seriously doubt that this proposed regulation of cable and satellite TV will become a reality any time soon. It would be better if legislation would just pass and courts would strike it down and thus reaffirm First Amendment. However, that's not way I think it will play out. I believe there won't be enough votes because of constitutional concerns on part of majority of legislators, so Stevens, Barton, and company will have to back off for now. What I suspect, though, is that decency hawks in Congress will try to use mere talk of regulation to intimidate cable and satellite operators into practicing more "restraint", as Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), a likely presidential candidate in 2008, calls it. However, that's a just a euphemism for "censor yourselves or we still might get back to trying to censor you later." Of course, cowering self-censorship is most insidious form of censorship there is.
Terry Mitchell is a software engineer, freelance writer, and trivia buff from Hopewell, VA. He also serves as a political columnist for American Daily and operates his own website - http://www.commenterry.com - on which he posts commentaries on various subjects such as politics, technology, religion, health and well-being, personal finance, and sports. His commentaries offer a unique point of view that is not often found in mainstream media.
I Pity NigeriaWritten by DD Phil
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We are not free anymore. Our lives are threatened for sake of truth. Our heads are not seen as leaders, but as rulers. They dictate and give orders. They hate counsels. They detest truth and hide it in their undies so it decays and stinks like dead rat. Corruption has become their hobbies.
They help to revive peace and unity in other countries, while our country is falling apart. Crisis, conflicts, pains and poverty is what our nation has been experiencing since 1985 till date. And probably, it might extend till 2007 and beyond.
Yes, I'm sure, because leadership still rotates among same old "cargoes," who refuse to die or who never get tired of staying at Aso-Rock—the seat of power. They sit tight there in conducive rooms dictating what happens to masses. They've never experienced hardship.
At times, I ask myself this question: "Will this nation ever return to her former state?" "And if it will, who will be Moses or Savior that will achieve that for us?" The answers to these questions are far fetched. Because corruption, as started and practiced by leaders has indirectly been legalized for every citizen.
Or maybe we need a moral man. Not a Christian. Not a Muslim. Because none of these religious groups have made any positive influence on us. But question now is: Where is moral man?
Now think of population of Nigeria. Where are resources to take care of them? Budgets? No. They read budgets. And we hear of large amounts mentioned. The budgets are shared among state and local governments. And we don't see what they do with it.
An average Nigerian can no longer afford three meals a day. There is hardly a family where you won't find a child with malnutrition. Except for rich ones.
Oh God of creation, direct our noble cause Guide our leaders right. Help our youths truth to know. In love and honesty to grow, And living just and true. Great lofty heights attain, To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.
That was second stanza of National Anthem composed by a true Nigerian, Mr. Ben Odiase, of Nigeria Police Band in October 1st, 1978. He never expected that one day his nation would turn for worse.
I pity Nigeria. I pray for change!
DD Phil is a romance writer. His book titled "How to Marry your Spouse" is coming soon. Mailto: email@example.com
DD Phil is a romance writer. His book titled "How to Marry your Spouse" is coming soon.