Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Stupid is as Stupid Does

From the Letters to the Editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, via Michael at Musings Musings via Atrios.

"Too high a price on naughty words?"

"I was wondering why the Republicans believe that hearing a four-letter word on the radio is more damaging than death or catastrophic injury. Consider that the Bush administration wants to increase FCC fines for indecency up to $500,000 per violation per station, yet at the same time, it wants to restrict noneconomic damages in tort cases to $250,000 or $350,000.

"So if a DJ says a four-letter word on the radio, the harm is so appalling that a fine of $500,000 per word, per station is justified. But if someone is paralyzed, killed or otherwise catastrophically injured, the most the family could get for the (noneconomic) loss would be up to $350,000.

"Apparently, Republicans have reworked the children's adage about words never hurting to: 'Sticks and stones may break someone else's bones, but words will hurt me worsely.'"

Dennis Mulvihill.
(Mulvihill practices tort law.)

This is convoluted logic at its fundamentalist Republican finest. Fining stations for obscene words enhances the power of the state. Limiting the ability of the individual to obtain redress for injury, intentional and accidental, limits the individual. Hmmm. Oh, now I get it. I don't like it, but I get it. Saying "fuck" is dangerous. Getting "fucked" by bad doctors, sloppy hospitals, and such is just part of the risk each of us takes for being so fucking plebeian as to put ourselves in harm's way in the first place. What a brave new world Republicans want to create for us.