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Mark's Home Page

I'm Mark Gilbert. Welcome to my home page. How are you? I am fine, thanks.

For something less old, visit me at my blog: Belly Full of Wine


Whose country is this, anyway? In whose God are we to trust?

The McCarthy period, during the Cold War, was one of the low points in this nation's political history. During that time, we subjugated our belief in freedom to our fear of communism. Two of the mistakes we made at that time were adding "under God" to our Pledge of Allegiance, and making, "In God We Trust" our national motto. American Atheists provides a history of "In God We Trust." I am not religious, and I am angry that my government rejected a patriotism that includes everyone in favor of an expression of religious devotion that represents only the majority. There is now a movement underway to undo these errors. Visit the web page of the Pledge Restoration Project.

Liberty alert!

I believe that the internet has the potential to improve society. Surely, the most urgent challenge that faces humankind is that we must extend our sense of identity beyond nations to encompass the entire human species. What better way to do that than with instantaneous communication from any person to any other, anywhere in the world. To this end, it is important that the internet remain a forum for free speech and a democratic forum where individuals, regardless of their beliefs, are free to express their opinions.

The US Congress attempted to restrict free speech on the internet when they passed the Communications Decency Act (CDA), which was struck down by the US Supreme Court. They have now drafted another law, which they hope will survive the scrutiny of the court. Civil liberties groups contend that this new law is also too restrictive. They say that while we wish to protect our children from some things, we must not reduce all public speech to the level suitable for children.

In striking down the original CDA, Federal court Judge Stewart Dalzell wrote:

Cutting through the acronyms and argot that littered hearing testimony, the Internet may fairly be regarded as a never- ending worldwide conversation. The Government may not, through the CDA, interrupt that conversation.

As the most participatory form of mass speech yet developed, the Internet deserves the highest protection from governmental intrusion.

For information on this issue, check out the Center for Democracy and Technology or the ACLU. The ACLU has a very complete section on the Communications Decency Act.

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