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Monday, November 5, 2007
By Steven L. Taylor

Via USAT: Military’s porn ban questioned

Ten years after Congress banned sales of sexually explicit material on military bases, the Pentagon is under fire for continuing to sell adult fare, such as Penthouse and Playmates In Bed, that it doesn’t consider explicit enough to pull from its stores.

Dozens of religious and anti-pornography groups have complained to Congress and Defense Secretary Robert Gates that a Pentagon board set up to review magazines and films is allowing sales of material that Congress intended to ban.

There are a lot of ways to address this issue, from the notion that the Congress has the right to determine what is sold on US military bases to the notion that if soldiers are going to get shot at, they might as well get to read what they like.

Without engaging those debates, the thing I find the most amusing (if not absurd) about the whole thing, is the fact that with the rule in place, there has to be a board to review the material to determine exactly how “sexually explicit” it is. It’s the whole bureaucratization of the famous Potter Stewart quip about not knowing how to define hard-core pornography, but knowing when he saw it.

if anything, they are keeping busy:

About 67% of the 473 “titles” reviewed have been barred, the Pentagon says.

(Yes, hon, it was one heckuva a day at the office. The inbox was just full of stuff to review!)

One can imagine the process of selecting the members of that committee, not to mention the process that leads to findings such as follows:

This year, the board reviewed Penthouse and several Playboy publications and determined that “based solely on the totality of each magazine’s content, they were not sexually explicit,” Arsht wrote. However, the board did decide to bar the sale of several videos found by the anti-pornography groups at military stores, including Girls Night In and Wet.

One can imagine the discussion, but I shan’t attempt to replicate it here.

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7 Responses to “The Bureaucratization of Porn Evaluation”

  1. Philadelphia Steve Says:

    The government should not be controlling what is available for Americans (military or not) to read, other than the usual items that one would expect.

    And, considering that in some locals, the PX may be the only source, then it should reflect what the soldiers (legally) want.

  2. Sirkowski Says:

    DOSE NOT APPROOVE!!!!!!!!!!111111111, said Jesus.

  3. They Didn’t Have Sh*t Like This on the Jetsons…I Don’t Envy the Young(er)…Get the Hell Off San Francisco Already… « al gore’s beard Says:

    [...] We are still more afraid of sex than war. Awesome. [...]

  4. Baby-Eating Liberal Says:

    Look, people and groups who make it their goal to tell others how to live their private lives don’t hold anything sacred (except the thing they’re holding sacred, that is).

    Thus the laughable attempt to prevent red-blooded American soldiers, far from red-blooded American women, from accessing materials suitable for ‘choking the camel’. Context doesn’t matter; is wrong, wrong, wrong!

    Also, the attempts to persuade the Justice Department to divert precious funds that could be used to intercept actual bad guys to trying (and quite likely, failing, if the past is any indicator) to jail and prosecuting porn producers? Priceless. Somehow, a gaping vagina is as big a threat or larger than Osama.

  5. MSS Says:

    Is anyone collecting data on Steven’s sitemeter stats since this post went up?

  6. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

    Not much movement, actually.

  7. John Ryan Says:

    It was the Republican Congress who passed that bill.
    It worked great for the Republicans in 2000 and 2004 the Christians hate sex and really turned out the vote for them.
    WILL IT HAVE TO BE THE DEMOCRATS THAT CHANGE THIS ????


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