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mahatmakanejeeves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:08 AM
Original message
Policing Porn Is Not Part of Job Description
Policing Porn Is Not Part of Job Description

Policing Porn Is Not Part of Job Description
Montgomery Homeland Security Officers Reassigned After Library Incident

By Cameron W. Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 17, 2006; Page B08

Two uniformed men strolled into the main room of the Little Falls library in Bethesda one day last week and demanded the attention of all patrons using the computers. Then they made their announcement: The viewing of Internet pornography was forbidden.

The men looked stern and wore baseball caps emblazoned with the words "Homeland Security." The bizarre scene unfolded Feb. 9, leaving some residents confused and forcing county officials to explain how employees assigned to protect county buildings against terrorists came to see it as their job to police the viewing of pornography.

After the two men made their announcement, one of them challenged an Internet user's choice of viewing material and asked him to step outside, according to a witness. A librarian intervened, and the two men went into the library's work area to discuss the matter. A police officer arrived. In the end, no one had to step outside except the uniformed men.

They were officers of the security division of Montgomery County's Homeland Security Department, an unarmed force that patrols about 300 county buildings -- but is not responsible for enforcing obscenity laws.
....
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
1. how many years do we have left of this piece of shit administration?
JAYSUS we need some real leadership EVERYWHERE
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. 1067 days 14 hours 32 minutes
nt
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. That is *if* they will willingly leave office.
Which I rather doubt.
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Unfortunately, Ben, I know you are correct.
There is absolutely no chance. People that say "Just wait until 2008" are fabulists, IMHO. I hope they are absolutely right & I am just an old pessimist. I pray that is the case.
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
2. The Gestapo are feeling their oats.
Don't you think it is time to rise up and force these goons from power?

We need to have a non-violent Revolution of non-cooperation and protest in this country ASAP.
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. K&R this one folks! nt
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. Homeland Security's main weapons are fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency..
..and an almost fanatical devotion to George Bush.

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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. I'll give you two out three!
Perhaps even three out of four, I'll concede ruthless, but we must quibble over efficiency, the only thing efficient about this administration has been their incompetence!
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joneschick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
8. the librarians that I know
would take those asses out back and well, you know. This is beyond ridiculous. I'm going to my library to check out some porn today!!! No, I'm too sick, but I may encourage others......
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. I know I would
Although, being a medical school library, we have patrons looking at nekkid people all the time. But we do have procedures in place for dealing with Patriot Act stuff as well as formal subpeonas.
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mahatmakanejeeves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #14
30. Your patrons probably also harbor thoughts of
cutting people up too. They're violent as well as lewd. Smoke 'em out and lock 'em up.
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:33 AM
Response to Original message
9. what the hell are homeland security officers...
doing this kind of enforcement in the first place? Porn is now homeland security? Or, from the snip below, sexual harassment? What the hell is going on?

<snip>
Romer said the officers believed they were enforcing the county's sexual harassment policy but "overstepped their authority" and had to be reminded that Montgomery "supports the rights of patrons to view the materials of their choice."

The sexual harassment policy forbids the "display of offensive or obscene printed or visual material." But in a library, which is both a public arena and a county workplace, the U.S. Constitution trumps Montgomery's rules.
<snip>
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. "An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child
of this great nation. We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our homeland." --Adolf Hitler, writing about the creation of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany.
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
12. My mom would have handed them their ass.
She worked for Montg county library for decades and would not put up with censorship or suffer fools lightly.
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. If things get even worse in this country, I want to be in a resistance
cell full of librarians. They got our backs.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
15. Kick over the top
This is bizarre. And, I hope, a one-time occurence.
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ArmchairMeme Donating Member (390 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. K & R
Great work on part of the LIBRARIANS!
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. Welcome to DU!
Libararians and Oprah will save the country.
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GrpCaptMandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
16. Thank God for fascists
Every time I think "Well, Bob, ol' boy, you're really up against it for something to babble about tonight," some handy-dandy little gang of brown-shirted thugs comes along and makes everything all better.

Between this and the Repiglicans who are pushing the "christian" petition stating that women don't have to right to run for President, well, no worries for this Friday night!
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ArmchairMeme Donating Member (390 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
18. Uniformed Federal Police
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Uninformed Federal Police. nt
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
21. Your $50 billion a year tax dollars at work. But we can't fund
hurricane relief or the rebuilding of NOLA.
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RhodaGrits Donating Member (688 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
22. Gonzales said adult use of pornography was going to be
his number one priority. Guess it filtered down to his minions. Nice to know there is nothing greater to worry about anymore.
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Maraya1969 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
23. One question. ARE people allowed to log into hard porn sites at a
library? I would think they were blocked because children would be around.

Other than that this whole thing is just one more idiot moment in life under the Bush Administration.
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. They are blocked at public terminals, usually.
But not at the ones in the adult use area.
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #23
29. Probably wasn't hard core porn
Could have something as innocuous as someone looking at a diagram of breast tumor or a photo of a Greek statue that happened to be a nude.

If a library receives federal funds, they are required to use filters on all public access computers.
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mahatmakanejeeves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Alexandria, Virginia, library policy:
Edited on Fri Feb-17-06 02:58 PM by mahatmakanejeeves
Internet Access and Policy

....
All Internet resources accessible through the library are available to all library users. PARENTS OR GUARDIANS, NOT THE LIBRARY STAFF, ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INTERNET INFORMATION SELECTED AND/OR ACCESSED BY THEIR CHILDREN.

Patrons may not use the library's Internet terminals or wireless connection to access or display any obscene material. Violations of Library Policies may result in loss of library privileges. It is the policy of the Alexandria Library Board that patrons not use any library Internet terminal or wireless connection to access or display any obscene material. In this regard, the following provision of the City Code should be noted:

"IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON TO POST, PUT UP OR EXHIBIT ON THE STREETS OR ANY PUBLIC PLACE IN THE CITY, ANY INDECENT OR IMMORAL PRINT, PICTURE, FIGURE, OR DESCRIPTION..." City of Alexandria Code Sec. 13-1-18.
....


Don't blame me; they're the ones shouting. You'd think they'd know better. Shhhhh!

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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #23
34. According to the article
One county has rules against porn. The other says a librarian isn't a legal authority on determining what is and isn't porn. One county restricts gambling and things like that in addition. The other has privacy screens. So it seems to be dependent on the county.

But I have absolutely NO idea why Homeland Security is doing anything except fighting terrorism, and being connected to county law enforcement, or whatever the hell they're doing. I think we need to be calling our own county law enforcement and finding out what the hell is going on.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
24. We are now a theology. The moral police, like in Iran, are upon us. nt.
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #24
36. Theocracy, with a budding Dictator. Kick and Nom
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lostexpectation Donating Member (312 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
26. Random ?
Did they just randomly walk in and decide to announce this across the library or what?
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. If not, they were WATCHING surfing behaviours remotely. nt
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
28. Sounds like freepers with fake badges and an attitude
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RazzleDazzle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
32. Can we say OVERREACH?
Geez, I'm very anti-porn, but this is ridiculous. Actually, it would be funny (comedy skit material) if it weren 't so sick and frightening.
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Quakerfriend Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
33. The irony of this is that it is the repugs who are making mega$
in the porn industry!

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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
35. How many counties in the US have a "Homeland Security Department"?
nt
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