[linux-elitists] IANAL, TINLA

The Robber of Zork robber@zork.net
Sun May 30 10:11:56 PDT 2004

begin  Mister Bad  quotation:

> My question is: why? I've always assumed that we do it to avoid the
> appearance of practicing law without a license...

You must be sorely disappointed with this thread; you offered several
well-crafted paragraphs in order to present reasonable questions, and, as
Hume said of the first edition of his Treatise, they "fell stillborn from
the press." The responses were flimsy and unenthusiastic.

Only Nick, with his ear for poetry, comes near the truth of the thing: 

1. Lawyers are assholes.

2. I'm gonna talk about legal stuff, but...

3. ...please don't mistake me for a lawyer - I'm no asshole!

4. As noted, I get to insert the term 'anal' into the discourse, thus
raising the prosodic ante (aka "snicker factor") to near-Beavis/Butthead

How do you get into these fixes, Mr. Bad? Sad to say, I believe you are
hoist on your ideologue's petard. Not every question can be forced via
Procrustean working into a talking point for your Libre Content mission.
Just look at what you try to drag into this discussion of innurnet

> It seems quite dangerous for free speech that discussing government
> policy without being careful could cost you fines or possibly jail
> time.

I submit that carelessness GENERALLY ought to entail risk, and that
absent that connection one descends rapidly into moral bizarro world. In
particular many sorts of careless speech have, traditionally, entailed
the risk of severe punishment, and properly so.

The problem here extends beyond diminishing the scope of personal
responsibility. Also eroded is the proper function of risk itself. We've
seen both under severe attack as liberal bizarro world gains ground: no
one can be held accountable for their actions, and everyone is to be
insulated from all risk. You read the papers, yes? Consider:

"If the last presidential election was any indication, the outcome of
November's contest will be decided in large part by voters' religious
commitments. The more often you attend church, the more likely you are to
vote Republican. What polling data don't tell us is why the religiously
observant vote as they do. [...]

"What is it about the policy positions and cultural attitudes described as
Republican or conservative that makes them so attractive to religious
voters? What principle links, say, a passionate defense of gun ownership
and a strong preference for low taxes? The link can be summarized in
three words: individual moral responsibility."


Further reading:


Best &c.,

Beware The Frumious Robber of Zork

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