Ben Langhinrichs

May, 2004
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Fri 28 May 2004, 05:23 PM
My daughter is working for the John Kerry for President campaign as part of her Senior Project.  She had some materials she wanted to make copies of, so she decided to go to OfficeMax to make the copies.  Since the material was on the MoveOn.org website, and she didn't have a printer handy, she called OfficeMax, and they said she could print a page from the internet from their store, and then make copies.

So, when she go to the store (driving herself with her brand new driver's license), she went to the CopyMax part of the store and asked them to print out the page and copy.

"We can't do it.", they said.

"Why not?", my daughter asked.

"We are not allowed to print or copy anything from MoveOn.org.  Company policy." was their answer.

Not allowed to print or copy anything from MoveOn.org?  That sounds a lot like censorship.  Now, I don't just feel like that because MoveOn is a liberal organization.  I would feel the same way if they said they wouldn't copy anything from George Bush's website.  I am a strong believer in free speech, and restricting the content of what people print and copy seems a pretty strong deterrent to free speech.

It makes me not want to patronize OfficeMax, which is pretty painful, as OfficeMax has the rare distinction of being yet another company headquarted in Shaker Heights.  Still, principles are important.  

I also intend to communicate with the owners and see if I can get a clarification on this policy.  I'll keep you informed.

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