Posts Tagged ‘ignorance’

California’s video game law has reached the high court. On Nov 2, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the law’s constitutionality.

Supporters of the law say it “facilitates good parenting” & keeps minors safe. Opponents say there’s no conclusive evidence that violent video games harm minors.

I happen to be one of the opponents of the law. Why? Several reasons. 1: Movie retailers are less effective at keeping mature flicks out of the hands of minors than video games retailers are. 2: Why hold one section of the entertainment industry to different standards than another i.e. movies vs video games. There are other reasons, which you can read in a previous post.

As I mentioned in a previous post, video games, like movies, have their own ratings system. The latest data I could find shows that this system, along with parents & retailers, keep age inappropriate games out of the hands of minors about 80% of the time, even though it’s not illegal. A store can use these ratings suggestions to decide if they sell these games to minors or not. And if they do sell the games to minors, then the responsibility falls to the parents to know what their kids are doing & if it’s appropriate to do so.

California’s law takes that responsibility away from parents & grants it to government officials. Why should it surprise me that they’d do that, though? This coming from a state that has a county that banned toys in McDonald’s happy meals. 

Other industries, even scientists, are coming to the aid of video games. Scientists are handing over evidence that violent video games have no harmful effects on kids. The motion picture industry sees the implications of the law on their industry if the law is found constitutional & are running to defend video games.

I pick on CA, but several states (including my own) have tried this approach with video games. And each & every time, the state Supreme Court found the laws unconstitutional. But CA’s the only state to take the case to the US Supreme Court. 

Why would a cash strapped state enact a law that could piss off a $20 billion industry? Hey video game makers: come to Tennessee. The auto industry found out we’re more company-friendly. Energy companies are moving to the South. Even some tech companies are realizing this. 

For a more extensive write-up, check out this month’s issue of Game Informer. To let lawmakers know where you stand, check out http://www.videogamevoters.org. G4TV has some good write-ups on the case, too.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Whichever side you’re on, I want to know why you’re in favor of or opposed to the law.

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“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

The very first words of the very first amendment to the US Constitution. These words are very important. The founders understood over 200 years ago that the freedom to practice your religion, whatever it may be, or no religion, is essential to securing all other freedoms.

This is just as true today as it was then. That’s why it bothers me when people from all sides of the political spectrum are calling for the community center (which is mistakenly referred to as a mosque) to not be allowed to be built two blocks away from the former WTC site. These supposed lovers of freedom are calling for two of the most basic freedoms, freedom of religion & the right to private property, to be denied to a select group of people based on what happened nine years ago (yes, it was a tragedy) perpetrated by a small group of terrorists from a country not even remotely like ours.

And it’s not just happening in NYC. Just an hour or so from my house, a community center (also referred to as a mosque) is finding opposition to a planned expansion in Murfreesboro. The kicker? The group has had a community center in the county since 1997. The reason for the epansion is because they’ve outgrown their current facility. Luckily, despite the opposition, the expansion will be allowed.

This battle is being fought all over the country. Newt Gingrich says that we shouldn’t allow mosques in this country until Christian churches are allowed in Saudi Arabia (or something along those lines). Howard Dean says it’s an affront. He also says those doing the project in NYC are doing it in good faith (that’s a little contradictory).

The fact is that none of these projects are in violation of any zoning laws, they’re being built on private property, and are run by those who have proven to be good citizens. Why should we deny them their constitutional right to practice their religion, especially on private property?

Do you disagree with Islam as a religion? If so, why? Are you aware that Islam, Judaism, & Christianity share many of the same tenets? Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, & the angel Gabriel all appear in the 3 religions, among other figures.

But Muslims stone people to death, right? Well, it’s allowed under their laws, but the majority of Islamic nations have ceased this practice. And don’t forget, stoning was an acceptable punishment in early Christianity & Judaism. 

Look, we all have our differences. But the fact is they have the right to practice their religion, especially on their own property. We have no right to take that away. And when you insult their religion, you most likely insult your own (unless you’re an atheist).

So, I keep reading comments about how opponents of ObamaCare only oppose it because they’re afraid of a black man in charge. I’m sure there’s a small fraction of the opposition that feels that way. The vast majority, however, oppose the substance/process/lack of transparency/closed door meetings/backroom deals/hidden costs/etc.

I’ve heard cogent arguments from both sides. I’ve heard lies from both sides. I’ve heard hate spewed from both sides. I’ve read studies on this (and past republican reform proposals). I’ve decided that with the doc fix (not passing the 21% Medicare payment cuts), administrative costs, unconstitutional mandates, higher taxes, etc, it’s not the best way to reform the health insurance industry.

Do these reasons make me racist or afraid of a black man in charge? Or do they make me informed and opinionated? I know my reasons. It’s up to you to make up your own mind.