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'...and now sign here that you will not use this cucumber for licentious purposes...'

Yesterday the Supreme Court™ refused to hear a case about an Alabama law prohibiting the sale of sex toys.

Supreme Court Rejects Appeal on Ban on Sex Toy Sale

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court rejected on Tuesday a constitutional challenge to an Alabama law that makes it a crime to sell sex toys.

The high court refused to hear an appeal by a group of individuals who regularly use sexual devices and by two vendors who argued the case raised important issues about the scope of the constitutional right to sexual privacy.

The law prohibited the distribution of "any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs." First-time violators can face a fine of up to $10,000 and as much as one year in jail.
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They [the ACLU] said Alabama has never explained "why sales of performance enhancing drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra and even ribbed condoms are not similarly prohibited."
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The appeals court said it agreed with Alabama that the law exercised time-honored use of state police power to restrict the sale of sex. It rejected the ACLU's argument that the constitutional right to privacy covered the commercial sale of sex toys.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King opposed the ACLU's appeal.

"This case involves conduct that is both public and commercial -- the sale of sexual devices to the general public in commercial retail shopping centers" and at in-house Tupperware-style parties, he said.

King said the law respected "the distinction between public commercial conduct and purely private behavior." He said, "It ... stays out of people's bedrooms."

The fact that the Supreme Court™ has refused to hear this case, taken together with its recent decision to expand police power in conducting searches, should serve as definitive alarums that Murka has passed a point of no return in the erosion of personal liberties. Actually, that happened 13 days ago with the disgusting, outrageous, egregious travesty of justice that is the Lynne Stewart verdict — which I would consider the last nail in the coffin of constitutional rights in Murka. What more proof is needed? Your Uncle Sam is announcing with every new decision, with every new law, that he would far prefer to be considered your Big Brother.

You know, there's one thing I've never understood about those who (self-)righteously proclaim to love Murka the most (as if they had a monopoly on patriotism) because of all the "liberty" and "freedom" Murka offers its citizens. What are they talking about? Where is it? I don't fucking see it (unless, of course, you're wealthy and probably white). Where is this "liberty" and "freedom" of which they speak? I mean, what, after all, is the fucking threat to anybody if Marilyn wishes to purchase a Jackhammer Jesus™ to piston in Suzie's cunt in the privacy of her own home? How is refusing her the ability to buy it in any way indicative of "liberty" and "freedom"? Because now Norman Uptight and his lovely family are free from fearing they'll inadvertently see a string-of-pearls or cock-rings in the shopwindow of Mr. Fetter's Leather Shop in Downtown Birmingham? But no, because Marilyn can't even buy it at a hot lezzie tupperware party in her own home.

I suppose if by "liberty" and "freedom" one means "free to buy automatic weapons" and "free to despoil the land" and "free to commit corporate crime" and "free to foist my religious nonsense on you" and "free to get fired without cause" and "free to buy lots of useless stuff" and "free to get strip searched" and "free to die because I can't afford health care" then Murka, by such a definition, would be that land. (I suppose it's the kind of freedom Saint Reagan meant when he said "Freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from religion.")

So why doesn't the definition extend to what a person does with their own body? or what consensual people do between themselves? It seems freedom applies only to one's ability to interfere with another's freedom, but not to one's ability to pursue their own pleasure, particularly if it involves orgasm, consciousness expansion, or wishing to alleviate one's own suffering, either with drugs or even one's own death. I suppose in Murka one also has the freedom to suffer, but not to alleviate it. (Hey — do you think maybe there's a connection between suppressing pleasure and decreasing personal freedoms, and increased cultural fear, paranoia, neuroses, enhanced security statehood, social control...Nah!)

[The Supreme Court™ also announced yesterday that they'll review assisted suicide laws. You can just bet which way they're going to decide on this issue.

There's a remarkable quote inside this article:

"The court has an opportunity to insure that patients receive truly compassionate care and pain relief by limiting physicians' use of narcotics for healing — not death," David Stevens, executive director of the Christian Medical Association, said in a written statement. "We don't need to empower physicians to administer lethal doses of narcotics. We need to empower physicians to administer truly pain-relieving doses of narcotics.

"We need to send a message that even in our darkest hours, life is still worth living, that loved ones will come alongside to help and that doctors will treat pain effectively and compassionately — not with a lethal prescription."

How dare anybody decide such a thing for another human being?! There is no greater injustice, no greater cruelty, than forbidding someone the comfort and solace of knowing they have the choice to take away their own life. Such fucking nerve! Such gall! Sometimes the most compassionate thing to do is to aid someone's death. It's cruelty beyond torture to prolong an unwanted life, especially one of interminable pain. Suicide is the ultimate symbol of freedom. How dare they try to take that away!]

Freedom is not a zero-sum game: increasing one person's freedoms doesn't take away someone else's. Freedom is like hospitality — it increases the more it is shared and enjoyed.

Murka is deeply schizophrenic, so trapped in doublethink that it somehow easily equates freedom with oppression and liberty with obedience. There's even a new term for it: Ordered Liberty. (Eg: 'liberty is "not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought." Thus, the focus should not be on expanding the horizon of choice for each individual, but rather on understanding which choices are consistent with morality and virtue.' Of course, who gets to define what constitutes 'morality' and 'virtue' is the tricky part. I think I can guess what his answer will be...)

America is becoming a land where one is free to kill but not to party, free to fear but not to hope, free to obey but not to follow the dictates of one's own conscience.

Perhaps I'll let the great American political philosopher, the ex-mayor of New York City, Rudolph Giuliani — who, unfortunately, only got a C+ in his class on Ordered Liberty (but an A for effort!) — have the last word about what Freedom™ means in America: "Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."

You know, considered this way, America really is the Land of the Free after all...