There Are Several Good Reasons To End Entertainment Industry Subsidies, But Blasphemy Isn't One Of Them

from the free-speech-doesn't-work-that-way dept

There are a lot of arguments to be made against subsidizing movie/TV studios. The best argument is this: the payouts to visiting studios rarely pay off for local taxpayers. Politicians love the side benefits -- rubbing elbows with producers, actors, and other studio personnel -- but there's nothing to be gained financially by paying a studio to film in your town. In one case, a city was promised 3,600 additional jobs. In reality, only 200 jobs materialized, all but 14 of those temporary construction work.

Then there's the argument against using public funding to prop up an out-of-town industry. If there are extra tax dollars around, they're better spent locally, where they'll do the most good. Subsidizing businesses is always problematic. It skews incentives and allows governments to play favorites using the public's money.

But the worst argument someone can make against subsidies is this one: subsidies should be content-based. Two members of the clergy and a state politician are bent out of shape because a subsidized TV series shoot resulted in the depiction of a historical figure in compromising positions.

The AMC series "Preacher" has portrayed Christ in a graphic sex scene that combines blasphemy with pornography.

The August 21 episode titled, "Dirty Little Secret," showed an actor playing the role of Jesus having sex with a married woman in an extended, graphic scene with explicit vocals. The director used shadows and silhouettes to soften the two figures as they engaged in various sexual positions, but these cinematic techniques did not disguise the pornography.

We have laws governing porn which are mostly hands-off, provided producers follow several regulations. We certainly don't have blasphemy laws, thanks to a separation of church and state. But never mind the legal details. This small collective of pearl-clutchers wants legislators to pull funding solely because the imagery in this episode may have offended some members of one religion.

We respectfully request that the Administration, and the Office of Louisiana Economic Development, reject all efforts by AMC to obtain tax credits for the series "Preacher" and the episode which blasphemed Christ. We call upon the Administration and the Louisiana Office of Economic Development to flatly reject this request for a $16.2 million tax refund check.

The op-ed notes the state of Louisiana has a law prohibiting the use of public money to fund pornography. That's all well and good, but just because the writers call the images that offended them porn doesn't make them porn. To buttress this argument with talk of blasphemy only adds to the problem, ensuring that any state legislators attempting to follow through on this dubious suggestion will engage in multiple constitutional violations.

That's not all. The authors of the op-ed -- which include state senator John Milkovich -- claim their views are universal, something that's more factually-incorrect than everything leading up to it.

Thus, the larger truth is that there is never a good time to reward production companies that trash our Louisiana values, mock our beliefs– and dishonor Christ.

The state should definitely reject the request for a $16.2 million subsidy by AMC. If AMC is so keen on shooting scenes in Louisiana (or any other state), it should pay its own way. But it shouldn't do it for any of the reasons suggested here. It should end the subsidy program completely, rather than risk looking like it's making content-based decisions about what type of speech it's willing to fund.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2018 @ 3:55pm

    Ha yes, let’s defund the arts. Y’know, at a time when Silicon Valley’s legendary douchie-ness is at such an egregious level that even Congress can’t ignore it, this doesn’t seem like a real good time for this statement lol

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Apr 2018 @ 4:00pm

      Re:

      A state can end subsidies for the entertainment industry without “defund[ing] the arts”. If you can provide a reason why Hollywood should get a free ride to film a movie anywhere in the country when such filming provides little-to-no long-term benefit for the place where the filming happens, I would love to hear it.

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      • identicon
        JEDIDIAH, 18 Apr 2018 @ 4:14pm

        Don't be such a cheap bastard.

        The only reason this narrative even works is that the Anonymous OP won't pay for it himself. The "Arts" have to be bailed out by the government.

        Being dependent on a potentially hostile government (or pandering to it) pretty much eliminates much of the point of "The Arts" existing in the first place.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2018 @ 5:37pm

        Re: Re:

        We should at least be asking for more in exchange for these subsidies—like, allowing unlimited noncommercial sharing of the result. And maybe run some experiments with copyright length; it would take extreme stubbornness to leave the state because we're limiting their copyright to 50 years, so we might be able to deduce an actual dollar value.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2018 @ 4:16pm

      Re:

      Congratulations you’ve managed to be a bigger asshole than a Louisiana State Senator.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 18 Apr 2018 @ 10:30pm

      Re:

      Ha yes, let’s defund the arts.

      Curious how you turned a corporate give away to giant corporations as "funding the arts."

      That's not what those subsidies are for and you know it.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2018 @ 10:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Theoretically they're for PR and visibility for the tourist industry. I really don't believe Louisiana needs that, however. There aren't many much more famous a town as New Orleans. "Laissez le bon temps rouler!" "Let the good times roll!"

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        • icon
          Richard (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 3:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Theoretically they're for PR and visibility for the tourist industry.

          In which case the argument made against the film actually does make some sense. Don't view it as censorship - view it as a commercial marketing decision.

          I presume you would have no problem with a company not sponsoring a film which they believed might offend some of their customers so why complain about an official doing it. In this context the state is not acting as government it is acting as corporate marketing.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 3:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Unless I'm mistaken, that would still fall afoul of violating the separation of church and state. Regardless of whether it's a marketing decision or for another governmental role, the state is still endorsing a particular religion.

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            • icon
              Richard (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 4:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              My point is that the state isn't acting as a state in this context - it is acting as a commercial marketing operation and hence should be free to act in its own interests, whatever it perceives them to be.

              Actually funding the film would also be a violation of the separation of church and state since it is not a neutral act.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 4:40am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                They're still agents of the government no matter what they call themselves. Do you think they can escape any other responsibilities by temporarily assigning themselves a different job title, or just this one?

                "Actually funding the film"

                So subsidies don't count as funding? Hmmm...

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                • icon
                  Richard (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 4:55am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  They're still agents of the government no matter what they call themselves.

                  Hmm - governments often set up companies to do things, often in order to circumvent this kind of rule (I don't approve of it btw). In fact my own (public) organisation once set up a wholly owned company which employed all of us in order to take advantage of a tax loophole.

                  Ever heard of PFI?

                  I'm not tryimg to defend them here - just trying make everyone aware of they way they might think about it.

                  so subsidies don't count as funding? Hmmm...

                  Never said or implied that - what an earth are you on about here???

                  What I meant was that whether the coose to fund (or subsidise) the film or choose not to fund (or subsidise) the film then they are making a judgement on a religious issue - and hence violating the separation of church and state.

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                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 5:09am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "I'm not tryimg to defend them here"

                    No, you're just making excuses as to how government workers can evade the law.

                    "What I meant was that whether the coose to fund (or subsidise) the film or choose not to fund (or subsidise) the film then they are making a judgement on a religious issue - and hence violating the separation of church and state."

                    So, you agree with what I'm saying, then. The only question is why you're trying to find loopholes so they can pretend they're not in violation.

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            • icon
              Richard (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 4:20am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Of course all this really underlines the basic point of the story - which is that the staste shouldn't be involved in this kind of stuff at all - since whichever way you jump there is an objection.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 4:42am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "the state shouldn't be involved in this kind of stuff at all"

                If they opt not to finance any film at all, fine. If they pick and choose which ones to finance based on content, that's not fine. No matter which role they make up for themselves while making that decision.

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                • icon
                  Richard (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 4:48am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  If they opt not to finance any film at all, fine. If they pick and choose which ones to finance based on content, that's not fine.

                  If they pick and choose at all what criteria could they possibly use that would exclude content?

                  If they don't pick and choose does that mean that anyone who turns up with a proposal to make a film gets funded?

                  Be realistic, any decision is bound to include the content of the film in some way - and if there is no decision then this is just a magic money tree.

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                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 5:05am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "If they pick and choose at all what criteria could they possibly use that would exclude content?"

                    The actual benefit to the local area, for one. You know, the supposed reason why these things are agreed to in the first place.

                    "If they don't pick and choose does that mean that anyone who turns up with a proposal to make a film gets funded?"

                    According to a certain criteria, yes. They can set the criteria, so long as it doesn't have "we prevent this on religious grounds" anywhere in them.

                    "Be realistic, any decision is bound to include the content of the film in some way"

                    Not if impartial decisions based on the benefit to the local community are the actual reason for these projects going ahead.

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                    • icon
                      Richard (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 6:43am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      The actual benefit to the local area, for one. You know, the supposed reason why these things are agreed to in the first place.

                      and

                      According to a certain criteria, yes. They can set the criteria, so long as it doesn't have "we prevent this on religious grounds" anywhere in them.

                      Except that "benefit to the local community" inevitably includes "how many people will want to watch this movie" and one criterion for that is always going to be "will there be a substantial proportion of the potential audience that will find this scene objectionable and hence will not want to watch it.

                      Another criterion might be that it portrayed the cultural environment of the local area inaccurately.

                      Note that it is not the personal religious leanings of the offical that (should) count here but rather his/her opinions about the religious opinions of others.

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                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 7:41am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "Except that "benefit to the local community" inevitably includes "how many people will want to watch this movie""

                        Not really. The number of Tunisians who might watch Star Wars wasn't really a consideration when they shot part of it there. The potential local audience for the end product is not a big factor.

                        "Another criterion might be that it portrayed the cultural environment of the local area inaccurately."

                        That might be a concern, but then they could insist that local people are hired as technical advisors to ensure that doesn't happen. As long as they aren't government officials being hired for a side job to push a religious agenda, there shouldn't be anything wrong with that.

                        "Note that it is not the personal religious leanings of the offical that (should) count here but rather his/her opinions about the religious opinions of others."

                        So, not based on any evidence, then, just whatever the official decided to make up.

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                        • icon
                          Richard (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 2:26pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          _Except that "benefit to the local community" inevitably includes "how many people will want to watch this movie""

                          Not really. The number of Tunisians who might watch Star Wars wasn't really a consideration when they shot part of it there. The potential local audience for the end product is not a big factor._

                          Please read my comment more carefully before you weigh in.

                          I said "the number of people" NOT "the number of local people.

                          Worldwide there are around 2 billion Christians and 1.5 Billion Muslims. That's around half the world population. Add to that the large numbers of Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus etc etc and it is clear that offending religious sensibilities is likely to impact the viewing figures for a film. Secular skeptics are a minority demographic worldwide.

                          they could insist that local people are hired as technical advisors to ensure that doesn't happen. As long as they aren't government officials being hired for a side job to push a religious agenda, there shouldn't be anything wrong with that.

                          That might not be acceptable to the film producers - if their script was along the lines in the article - assuming that the local community was generally a religious one - sounds like a recipe for conflict to me.

                          _"Note that it is not the personal religious leanings of the official that (should) count here but rather his/her opinions about the religious opinions of others."

                          So, not based on any evidence, then, just whatever the official decided to make up._

                          There you go again - I never said anything about how the official might come to his opinions. Of course it should be evidence based and the legality of the decision would be dependent on that.

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                • icon
                  Richard (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 4:59am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  And by the way - if you are going to say that they could use "commercial viability" of a criterion and that that would somehow exclude content then that is just not credible. Commercial viability clearly includes considerations like not offending certain potential customers.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 1:35am

      Re:

      "Ha yes, let’s defund the arts"

      These aren't starving artists being given grants to create their work. These are bribes given to major corporations, with little benefit to the community they're supposed to help. Including local artists, who might get some of those grants if politicians weren't trying to buy celebrity access with it instead.

      But, you'd know this if you had bothered reading the article.

      "Silicon Valley’s legendary douchie-ness"

      They;'re still rank amateurs compared to Hollywood, yet here you are demanding they keep getting free money,.

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      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 20 Apr 2018 @ 5:45am

        Re: Re:

        I've always had a problem with the idea of government funding "the arts" since it tends to mean that *someone* is deciding what constitutes art and what doesn't. Here's your problem:

        https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/hospital-forks-out-70000---554832

        We need that dosh for other things; we're suffering from cuts to services as it is. That money would have been better spent on a scanner or more staff.

        Let the market decide what's hot or not where art is concerned. There will always be patrons for the works we members of the hoi polloi aren't interested in.

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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Apr 2018 @ 3:57pm

    If these people want to be offended on behalf of God, maybe they should wait until God weighs in on the matter.

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    • identicon
      God, 18 Apr 2018 @ 5:21pm

      Re:

      I am not offended

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 18 Apr 2018 @ 7:24pm

        Re: Re:

        Just curious. Which God are you?

        Which religion do you support? One of the may varieties of Christianity? One of the Muslim sects? How about Buddhism? Or Hindu, or Zoroastrian, or hell I don't know there are thousands of religions. Which one is right? Or, are the all right?

        Right. It is only their religion. Which one was that again?

        If we remain with the Christian religions, we have to take into account the many contradictions exhibited in the bible. Slavery is OK. Two threads must not be incorporated in one cloth. Working on the Sabbath is subject to penalty of death. Etc., etc., etc..

        My point is that these objections on 'religious' grounds are merely a methodology for objection, and in the long run 'control'. Do I want to demean anyone's beliefs? Hell no. They can believe what they like. Just don't attempt to foist it on the rest of us.

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        • icon
          Richard (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 3:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If we remain with the Christian religions, we have to take into account the many contradictions exhibited in the bible. Slavery is OK. Two threads must not be incorporated in one cloth. Working on the Sabbath is subject to penalty of death. Etc., etc., etc..

          That argument only works on the assumption that you believe the bible to be the literal word of God (like the Koran is supposed to be).

          However it isn't. Jesus wrote nothing - and in the Gospels the expression "word of God" refers to Jesus not to a book.

          Unfortunately the US is badly infected with a form of protestantism (which is effectively Islamised Christianity) where literal interpretation of every single text holds sway and skeptics like you can have a field day. The Church rejected all those misinterpretations many centuries ago.

          For example on Slavery: Thou shalt possess no slave, neither for domestic service nor for the labor of the fields, for man is made in the image of God.

          Theordore the Studite (8th century)

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 7:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            However it isn't. Jesus wrote nothing - and in the Gospels the expression "word of God" refers to Jesus not to a book.

            According to your interpretation, I've seen plenty who absolutely believe it is. If not written by god, then 'inspired' by or 'guided' by, such that there's effectively no difference.

            (Some of which own up to the nastier parts and simply hand-wave them away with 'god did it/ordered it done, god is always moral, therefore despite what we with our tiny brains might think the action was perfectly moral', others who pull the 'it's metaphor' game when said nasty things come up while taking as bald fact those parts they agree with.)

            The Church rejected all those misinterpretations many centuries ago.

            Which church, because you may not have noticed but there's just a few different religions(even just in the christianity category) that can have wildly different interpretations of what the book says. Your sect may claim that things like that were misinterpretations, but others were quite happy to claim that the bible very much supported the practice, and it's not hard to see why.

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      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 18 Apr 2018 @ 7:24pm

        Re: Re:

        Just curious. Which God are you?

        Which religion do you support? One of the may varieties of Christianity? One of the Muslim sects? How about Buddhism? Or Hindu, or Zoroastrian, or hell I don't know there are thousands of religions. Which one is right? Or, are the all right?

        Right. It is only their religion. Which one was that again?

        If we remain with the Christian religions, we have to take into account the many contradictions exhibited in the bible. Slavery is OK. Two threads must not be incorporated in one cloth. Working on the Sabbath is subject to penalty of death. Etc., etc., etc..

        My point is that these objections on 'religious' grounds are merely a methodology for objection, and in the long run 'control'. Do I want to demean anyone's beliefs? Hell no. They can believe what they like. Just don't attempt to foist it on the rest of us.

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        • identicon
          Dingledore the Previously Impervious, 19 Apr 2018 @ 2:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          btw - you do know that the Christian God and the Islamic God is the same God (along with the Jewish God)?

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          • icon
            Richard (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 3:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            you do know that the Christian God and the Islamic God is the same God (along with the Jewish God)?

            Not really. You are repeating a commonly held inaccuracy.

            The Christian God is the same as the Jewish one - because Christianity accepts the same old testament as the Jews. (Although the new testament overrides the old when they disagree.)

            However the Islamic God is NOT the same - he is actually the pagan moon god (just look at the top of a mosque for the clue) - and Islam has its own (rather weird) versions of the old and new testament stories.

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    • identicon
      ryuugami, 18 Apr 2018 @ 6:24pm

      Re:

      You'd think that if an All-Mighty Creator was scandalized by sex, he'd, you know, Create stuff so it works without it.

      Or is God less powerful than Apple and Nintendo?

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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 18 Apr 2018 @ 4:18pm

    Its a shame they want to hold the production company to a higher standard than their elected officials...

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2016/12/louisiana_political_hall_of_shame.html

    Subsid ies make no sense. Despite the horrific claims the sky is falling (for the last 5 decades) & they aren't making ANY money (Ya gotta wonder why Louisiana doesn't adopt Hollywood accounting) while having record years with blockbusters... somehow these states still believe anything Hollywood tells them & ignores their lying eyes when they look at the 3,600 jobs that ended up being 14.

    There is no benefit to have them film there. But hey they make taxpayers pay billions to build new stadiums for those poor sports teams & then let the team sell off the naming rights to line their poor pockets after not contributing anything to begin with.

    "blasphemy with pornography" - Its almost like these clerics are issuing a fatwa against those who offend their religion... The ISIS comparisons just write themselves...

    "Everyone agrees with us!!!" Well yeah, when you are running around screaming sinner at anyone who hesitates to agree with your insane rambling, many people hold their tongues lest you turn your wrath on them next.

    How about you rail against the corruption in your states government before looking at the outsiders as being the problem?

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    • icon
      J5892 (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 11:20am

      Re:

      > There is no benefit to have them film there.

      This is flat out wrong. The amount of money and new business that has flowed into New Orleans as a result of the film industry is clear to anyone who lives there. It has created jobs for several of my friends, who would otherwise just be working retail.
      The only downside to the subsidies, is that when they were taken away, those jobs disappeared.
      Now that they're back again, New Orleans' economy is surging. The city itself has improved as a direct result of the film industry's presence.

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      • identicon
        ryuugami, 19 Apr 2018 @ 5:52pm

        Re: Re:

        It has created jobs for several of my friends, who would otherwise just be working retail.

        So, they had a job anyway.

        The only downside to the subsidies, is that when they were taken away, those jobs disappeared.

        The presence of those jobs is dependent on continuous payments by the government? Then it's not the film industry that created the jobs and pays the workers, it's literally the government that did it. Why not cut out the parasitic middleman and employ those people directly?

        Now that they're back again, New Orleans' economy is surging. The city itself has improved as a direct result of the film industry's presence.

        The city has improved as a direct result of the government subsidies. It's not much of an "economy surge" if it falls back to zero the very moment those stop. Why not subsidize some local businesses instead? That could have a lasting impact.

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  • identicon
    Thad, 18 Apr 2018 @ 4:42pm

    You don't like how your tax dollars are spent, huh? Yeah, there's a club for that. It's called "everybody". Meetings are at the bar.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2018 @ 5:27pm

      Re:

      That reminds me of the one interesting hypothetical - what if people could benchmark their tax dollars by sector (no 'paying back to me immediately' option). How would the funding shake out? It would probably be fiscally pretty nonviable but it would be very interesting to see how people would prioritize their funds if they could.

      I would expect a horribly balanced system would ensue either way with say NASA having trillions and the DMV having to fund itself on exorbitant fees alone.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 1:39am

        Re: Re:

        I'd expect some regions would essentially remove any social benefits, especially for minorities, while other places would keep those in place and defund the military instead. I'd also expect the former to be the areas that insist they are devout Christians.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Apr 2018 @ 9:34am

        Re: Re:

        If you had lower limits on everything, then it could work.

        Say you try it on the state level. Reduce all current taxes to 75% their current amount, and then this new decision-based tax is equal to the remaining 25%. That money has to go somewhere already getting funding from your taxes, but you can choose something as broad as "emergency services" and it gets divided between police and firefighters and national guard and park rangers, or as specific as "injured firefighters pension".

        Then add in a provision that the most unpopular tax each year gets mandatory reevaluation, to see whether it can be adjusted to better fit the will of the people. But just reevaluation, not revocation, because the will of the people can also be uneducated and selfish.

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  • identicon
    Zem, 18 Apr 2018 @ 7:24pm

    I am absolutely sure that the entertainment industry see's any talk of ending subsidies as blasphemy.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2018 @ 7:45pm

    Well if you think that

    You have not accepted Jesus as your personal savior or you would know that the only people he identified with where the poor, the dispossessed and the unwanted, everything about the MPAA and RIAA are about abusing all those people, they are a blasphemy, so it's clear all Christians should declare a Crusade against them. because they hate Christianity.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 1:41am

      Re: Well if you think that

      Re-read your own words, this time imagining you're a sane person. You might understand why outsiders aren't particularly attracted to your flavour of religion, and perhaps even decide to mock it.

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      • identicon
        Valkor, 19 Apr 2018 @ 8:04am

        Re: Re: Well if you think that

        I'm going to read the OP as satirical, because, hey, what better way to mock copyright organizations than to say that God himself would approve of a Holy War.
        Against, um..., a corporation. Clearly, God hates jobs!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2018 @ 7:53pm

    Wrong!

    The best argument against any IP laws is that they only serve to restrict creativity and innovation, so we get Uber and Facefuck instead of things that are actually innovative we get only DARPA sponsored monopoly's and violent state spy's..

    Sorry surveillance Capitalism has Zero social good, violence sociopaths don't make an economy.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2018 @ 10:50pm

    I think you underestimate the appeal this particular argument would have *in the middle of the Bible Belt*. The majority of the populace in Louisiana consider themselves Catholic (South Louisiana, especially south eastern) and much of the rest are Protestant (North Louisiana), practicing or not. The various religious lobbies have a great deal of power with enough constituent backing they can't be ignored. This would have a very strong vibe with the senator's constituents and it's really not a stretch for the state to rule the film, if it actually contains explicitly sexual scenes and if the statute is vague enough, pornographic. It will then conveniently fall under the ban on funding pornographic films. Blasphemy arguments officially not used. Judicial oversight would turn on the official reasoning as written so long as there's no paper trail on other reasons considered.

    I'm not saying I agree with the senator's arguments. I'm saying I understand where he's coming from having grown up in the state. For Bible Belt states the line between church and state is not as clear cut as it might be elsewhere in the country. For example, there's plenty public high schools that teach Judeo-Christian biblical history (from ostensibly a historical point of view) as an elective, and these classes are often full. You'll generally see more than the fair share of Christian churches in any particular town large or small, and others scattered out in the middle of nowhere. Other religions are only tolerated to various degrees entirely because of a an often maligned "separation of church and state" that "really isn't in the Constitution, only the opinion of Thomas Jefferson who wasn't Christian" (true, he was Deist).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 1:56am

    Explain :

    PURE OF HEART AND SOUL??

    An individuals Concepts of these should be Non-existent..
    WE...dont know God..Or his Supposed Son, or Anyone WELL ENOUGH to decide if they should match these words..

    How many preachers have fallen by the way side, after preaching GOD LIKE morality...

    Come back after you have met a few of those gods...and tell me what THEIR idea/morals/??? is really like..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Apr 2018 @ 4:59am

      Re: Explain :

      Much fewer than the number of preachers, priests, and pastors that have kept their faith. The media loves to sensationalize this sort of thing. But, the reality is for every priest, pastor, or deacon that has fallen there are hundreds of others that have kept their trust and are fine upright people.

      Frankly, your argument is incoherent and capitalizing a few words do not make it more so nor factual.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 20 Apr 2018 @ 8:20pm

        Re: Re: Explain :

        Good thought..
        BUT who is standing up on TV, yelling at everyone to PRAY AND HAVE HOPE...

        If thats all you get..KEEP praying..you might get horse.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jinxed (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 3:17am

    If the movie industry can use child pornography and sex trafficking as excuses to pass copyright legislation, then I believe it's fair play to allow blasphemy and "pornography" to block tax incentives.

    Remember: the movie industry took the gloves off first.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Apr 2018 @ 5:35am

    hypocritical and fearful: hollywood

    Where are the negative depictions of allah and buddah and such?

    ...crickets...

    1.Christians are such an easy target because, if Jesus is our example, we're taught to walk in love and turn the other cheek
    2.if God is real, you don't have to fight for Him and try to force others to respect and accept Him
    3.God, the true living God of the Holy Bible, loves all people the same, but he gave us all free will and, as such, will not try to force us to love Him. Believing Jesus is the only way to heaven; rejecting Jesus is the only way to hell--the choice is yours to make.

    Jesus loves you the most.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 7:35am

      Re: hypocritical and fearful: hollywood

      "Where are the negative depictions of allah and buddah and such?"

      They're around, but Buddhists don't get irate about things like the thin-skinned Christians who comprise the vast majority of religious folk in the country Hollywood is in. Muslims might do, but they're still a vast minority in the US so don't get the same attention domestically.

      "Christians are such an easy target because..."

      ...there's so many of you represented in US public life, and so many of them do so many silly things, including those that are against their supposed scripture.

      "if God is real"

      That's a big if.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Apr 2018 @ 8:29am

        Re: Re: hypocritical and fearful: hollywood

        Really, Paul. That’s your excuse? The Muslim’s god doesn’t get attention because Muslims are such a small number in the US. Bull crap! Ask a black American about being made fun of and being misrepresented in popular media (blacks are a minority too ya know), and get back to me.

        Truth is, Hollywood won’t make fun of Islamic diety because they’re afraid of terrorists reprisals.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 9:02am

          Re: Re: Re: hypocritical and fearful: hollywood

          "The Muslim’s god doesn’t get attention because Muslims are such a small number in the US"

          Yes, people tend to pay attention to who is biggest and loudest. I don't see many depictions of Sikhs in US media either, because they are not a large or vocal group in the US>

          Hypocritical "Christian" preachers on the other hand...

          "blacks are a minority too ya know"

          Not as much of a minority as Muslims, and there's actually a sizeable number of people who belong to both groups. Also, there's plenty of depictions of Muslims, just not so much their deity - do you see the vital difference between that and what's discussed here?

          "Truth is, Hollywood won’t make fun of Islamic diety because they’re afraid of terrorists reprisals."

          Or, because it's more fun to wind you people up because you're afraid of any criticism than it is to mock people who most likely live in theocracies that will never let them see your movie to begin with.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Apr 2018 @ 6:24am

      Re: hypocritical and fearful: hollywood

      Point of order: Allah **is** god. The same god. Just like YHWH, it's just a different way of writing "god."

      Also, the buddah is not a god.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 19 Apr 2018 @ 6:04am

    Okay

    Oh my god everyone. I can't think of anything funny to write...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Apr 2018 @ 7:47am

    It is disappointing but not surprising to watch our esteemed leaders gleefully sign on to corporate handouts while at the same time berating those less fortunate, telling them to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and show some personal responsibility and other such silliness.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 7:51am

    "That offends me!" "...and?"

    Would they have been similarly outraged if the depiction had not involved a central figure from their religion? Would they have been decrying the blasphemy if the individual displayed were say Mohammad from islam, claiming that because people might be offended seeing the central figure from another religion in a compromising situation the subsidies should be cut?

    Somehow I doubt it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    wereisjessicahyde (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 8:39am

    Getting upset about things that never happened is dumb

    "....the imagery in this episode may have offended some members of one religion"

    Or rather the imaginary in the episode.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    btr1701 (profile), 19 Apr 2018 @ 1:44pm

    Excess Taxes

    > If there are extra tax dollars around, they're better
    > spent locally, where they'll do the most good.

    Or, hey, here's a thought: Maybe if the government has more money than it needs, it can just cut taxes and give the money back to the people who actually earned it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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