Friday, December 06, 2002

Reading the Bans of Government

The Canadian government seems to be having a difficult time these days deciding what to ban. Banning things, of course, is one of the prime functions of government and fringe benefits of political power, so this could end up turning into something of a national crisis. The first ban they’re considering is on the Lebanese group Hezbollah. This plan follows a speech by Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah encouraging true believers to adopt the practice of suicide bombing worldwide and to “not be shy about it.” Indeed – there’s nothing worse than a timid suicide bomber. Progress looks like it’s going to be slow, though, as the government is waiting for official intelligence and law enforcement reports before proceeding. Before proceeding, that is, to seize the Canadian-held assets of a known terrorist organization that has expressly advocated genocide. Wouldn’t want to rush into that rash course of action without crossing all of your Ts, certainly. The Canadian Justice Minister is also putting the brakes on another impending ban, this one on child pornography. He is of the opinion that the legislation moving through Parliament on that topic needs an “artistic merit” exception. That way, if you’re going to sexually exploit children while producing pornography, you’re going to be required to have really nice lighting and a believable plot first. First up under the new law – an all-nude, all-underage performance of King Lear. What could have more artistic merit than that?


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