Comments didn't seem to be working, but this comment (on Snowball) seemed too much to the point to lose

Neither the Nazis nor the Bolsheviks established their vicious dictatorships overnight when they came to power. In both Germany and Russia these regimes replaced liberal-democratic governments, and only put in their own iron-fisted policies gradually -- at first.

It was a little bit like the story of how you make frog stew even though you've lost the lid of your stewing pot. If you try to drop the frog into scalding hot water he leaps right out. Instead, you put him in comfortably warm water along with some carrots, celery, and potatoes. Feels nice to the frog. He just lays back and relaxes. Then you raise the heat so gradually that the frog doesn't notice the change. Eventually you will have a delicious pot of frog stew, and the critter never even knew that he was getting cooked.

So, the Bush regime doesn't actually institute censorship, at least not under that name. They don't openly attack the First Amendment. Not openly.

But the creepy Mr. Michael Powell at the FCC has a conniption fit over Janet Jackson 's right boob. A few months later half the ABC network affiliates decide not to show "Finding Private Ryan" -- not because the FCC says the film violates its rules but because the FCC refuses to say whether the film violates its rules, and the stations are afraid to take a chance.

Now NPR deletes part of the Christmas Elf story for fear of what -- upsetting homophobes?

Here's the funny part: I heard the full version of the Sedaris essay a couple of times in past years. Maybe I'm just dense or maybe I wasn't listening closely enough, but I never knew there was a gay angle in the story. I thought that the flirtatious elf was female, and she was simply coming on to Sedaris. I didn't know that he was gay, either.

So what does the present incident do? Hey, seems to me that it clearly publicizes and indirectly promotes the so-called "gay agenda." (BTW, I've never quite been able to learn what that agenda is, but then maybe I'm just dense or maybe I haven't been listening closely enough.)

Anyway, to change my culinary metaphor from frog stew to "salami tactics" -- do you remember that image? It was part of the Cold War propaganda struggle. The idea was that you and your enemy start with two plates and one salami, and the salami is on your enemy's plate. But you have a very sharp knife.

You reach over and slice off a very thin slice of salami, and transfer it from your enemy's plate to your own. The slice is to thin, it amounts to almost nothing on your plate, and your enemy hardly notices that anything has been removed from his plate.

But then you reach over and take another ever-so-thin slice of salami, and another, and another, until eventually . . . you have the whole salami and the other guy has an empty plate.

So much for our civil liberties under what is looking increasingly like America's first fascist regime.

Richard A Lupoff

(Oh, I have been told that NPR as such wasn't the censor, but that deleting Snowball was done on local levels . Still, the point of intimidation is applicable. You can't bust 'em or shoot 'em all -- only got to do one to quiet the rest down. Janet Jackson's right tit -- the most novel tool of Fascist intimidation ever.)


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