Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Kiddie Porn: The New McCarthyism

By sudogeek in Culture
Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 12:00:00 PM EST
Tags: porn, lolita, sex (all tags)

The ongoing high profile arrests for possession, distribution, and manufacture of child pornography in the US and Britain raise a number of troubling issues. It's a object lesson in prosecutorial misconduct, political grandstanding, sensationalist press coverage, incompetent experts, and a politicized justice system. Meanwhile, based on the press and even blogs (where independent, non-mainstream thought is supposed to be found), the public is seemingly made of sheep with less capability for independent action than Planaria. I'm sorry to those Platyhelminthes lovers; that is not an intentional slam on those beloved biology lab creatures.


Consider the cases of ex-Who Peter Townshend or Robert del Naja of Massive Attack. Their arrests were front page news, but their subsequent exoneration didn't even make page 16. The details behind these cases are spelled out in many articles if you look. At the time of the arrest, the Economist ran an insightful series of articles. Now, that those cases have fallen apart, the Guardian details problems with the investigation. In brief summary, two US child pornography sites were raided by the FBI and their records confiscated.  One was the "Candyman" site which traded in kiddie porn exclusively; the other was the "Landslide" portal which was a generalized porn site including links to some child porn sites. The FBI obtained over 20,000 records of visits from the server logs, 7000 e-mail addresses (more than 2400 of these from overseas) and an undisclosed number of credit cards which were used to identify alleged pedophiles. The US Dept. of Justice provided UK police with the names of 7272 British citizens who visited the sites or subscribed. These names were investigated in the UK under the so-called "Operation Ore."

It is now clear that the UK police selectively investigated people on that list. After obtaining the names, the police divided the suspects into three groups. The highest priority for investigation was given to anyone with a previous conviction or who was on the sex offender register. The second category was those in a "prominent" position or "position of authority", while the lowest priority was given to the largest group - those not regarded as posing a particular risk to children or those persons who were not known to the police previously. In other words, after first rounding up the usual suspects (ex-cons), the police concentrated on political targets. They include judges, teachers, barristers, solicitors, university lecturers, hospital consultants, a deputy prison governor, 50 policemen (including two involved in the Soham investigation) and two senior Labour MPs. According to long tradition, the names were leaked by policemen selling information to tabloid papers. The net result was 39 suicides and uncounted broken marriages and homes and ruined careers. However, the police could bask in the limelight, being seen as doing something against so heinous a crime. And the police didn't even get started on the third group. No money in that, it seems.

Here in Florida, a similar pattern played out. Several recent local high profile arrests including a rabbi, a reverend, a social worker, and an assistant district attorney were splashed on the evening news and on the front page. All are accused of accessing child pornography on the internet and downloading pictures on their computers. One teacher committed suicide. The attendant witch-hunt atmosphere was manipulated by law enforcement. At the time, I was involved in a series of press conferences on another matter and I witnessed the manipulation as our interviews were put on hold while the media scurried to cover the (leaked and staged) arrest of the assistant DA. This story led in the media.

The charges of "engaging or manufacturing child pornography" are so seemingly heinous on the surface that they inspire revulsion and not close examination. Yet, the laws are written and interpreted so that downloading a picture constitutes manufacturing child pornography. By this definition, anyone who has looked at the "Anarchist's Cookbook" on the internet has manufactured a bomb and, according to the Ashcroft/Gonzales new, improved Bill of Rights, is therefore a terrorist who can be imprisoned without trial.

Such charges are so damaging that the mere accusation is enough to destroy one's life and career. It is analogous to the McCarthy era where simple accusations of Communist Party membership were enough for the blacklist. The evidence may be just as evanescent. In most cases, it consisted of IP and e-mail addresses which the police say point to the suspect; in others, it is images found on computers, after they are impounded and examined by police experts and only available for defense inspection afterwards. In the most recent set of dismissals, credit card information found on the site was used to accuse and convict supposed pedophiles.  It turns out that most of these were fraudulent or the result of identity theft. In other cases, the authorities were asked to prove that the pictures allegedly viewed by the accused were indeed those of a minor and in what jurisdiction (since the definition of minor differs in Alabama and Indonesia).  The police have gotten around this by seeding child porn sites with pictures of known minors and, thus, became child pronographers themselves.

Call me paranoid, but when prominent persons are selectively accused and ruined as they are trotted off in handcuffs in the full glare of a (selectively leaked) media circus, the possibilities for abuse are only too evident. The corruption of the police and the political nature of prosecutions by the government both in the US and the UK is old news, regardless of the party in power. The current US attorneys scandal lays that out in the open again. When a GOP Dept. of Justice investigates and charges Democrats 4 times as frequently as Republicans, all but the base can see it for what it is. But let's leave aside the political tit-for-tat, media manipulation, and press pandering and grandstanding. Are such draconian actions effective in reducing child pornography and child exploitation?

It is clear that such a reflexive "natural" revulsion to child porn is cultural. Historically, there is evidence of adult-child sexuality in the Greek and Roman eras. In modern Japan, erotic images of young girls are accepted and readily available. There is obvious social pressure for teenage and older girls to dress and appear pre-pubescent. Not incidently, Japan may also be the largest source of kiddie porn in the world. Even in our own culture, there is a not too subtle stream. In mass media though, it is only acceptable to present girls as slightly beyond pubescent (consider Nabokov or the movie American Beauty).

Hypocrisy and cultural myopia aside, let's posit that there is a social and government interest in protecting children from exploitation, whether through labor, abuse, or sexual acts. Given this state interest, then there are two main arguments for harsh penalties for those who traffic in child pornography. First, it is argued that looking at kiddie porn leads to child sexual abuse and creates predators. Secondly, paying for photographs of children being sexually abused creates an market and a financial incentive for more abuse in order to produce more material.

The first argument is weak. One widely touted figure is that, in America, 36% of those who watch child pornography are also child molesters. Whether or not that disputed figure is true, it does not prove that watching pornography causes abuse. What about the other 64%? For them, perhaps, looking is a substitute for doing. Interestingly, at the same time as child pornography has become more widely available, child abuse has declined. According to the Crimes Against Children Research Centre, a research group funded by America's Department of Justice, between 1992 and 2000 the number of substantiated cases of sexual abuse of children in the United States dropped by more than a third. In Britain, child abuse declined by 7% between 1991 and 2001. Other empiric evidence that those who look at child pornography are likely to be child abusers or sexual predators suggests that the number is probably less than 10%.

A corollary argument is that allowing any child sex abuse perpetuates a cycle of sexual abuse as these abused children become abusers in turn. This appears to occur at a lower rate than previously alleged (about 1 in 8). Further, it appears that, just as in the case of rape, violence rather than sex in the determining factor. Children who are victims of physical abuse, not specifically sexual abuse, are more likely to become sexual abusers. Once one dissects out the effect of physical abuse, the predictive value of prior sexual abuse in determining who becomes a sexual offender is difficult to demonstrate.

The second argument is that paying for photographs of children being sexually abused creates an incentive for more abuse in order to produce more such material. This seems logical but is an unproven assertion. In yet another case of unintended consequences of the actions of this benighted administration, Mr. Ashcroft himself may be one of the biggest child pornographers. After the Candyman and Landslide sites were detected, they were infiltrated by government agents and police posing as customers and the sites were allowed to continue operating for years. The Candyman site was a file sharing site. What did the FBI agents share and where did it come from? Landslide was a subscription site. I wonder how many of my tax dollars was paid to these sites and how much of that money flowed to the real porn manufacturers (photographers and distributors overseas)? It is certain that the interest shown by the agents and infusion of money actually stimulated production of new material and increased, not reduced, risk for children, again mostly overseas. Your tax dollars at work! The operators of the site actually lost money due to the huge volume of fraudulent credit cards used. The US government money may have been the only real money actually spent on porn.

The pornography industry is increasingly globalized and most porn appears to come from overseas. In this not-yet-declared "War on Porn," the DOJ and other police forces appear to be concentrating on the easy targets, the individual consumers of such material. A pattern of selective arrests and prosecution designed to maximize media interest and promote the appearance of doing something is evident. This strategy is doomed to failure, as in the so-called "War on Drugs," "War on Poverty," and "War on Terrorism."  Aggressive enforcement in the US could lead to 100,000 arrests (based on the number from the two operations so far) if all those so implicated were pursued. More sweeping arrests may net a number of actual sexual predators, which is laudable, at a cost of ruining of the majority of those accused, most falsely. Even so, that is drop in the bucket considering the world-wide consumer base. It is much harder for the DOJ to go after the producers in other countries and, thus, actually protect the children being victimized. This requires diplomacy, patience, funds, and a multilateral approach.  The is not the war paradigm and constitutes all things in which the administration has show little interest or competence.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Related Links
o Economist
o Guardian
o FBI obtained
o "Operation Ore."
o recent set of dismissals
o lower rate than previously alleged
o physical abuse
o Also by sudogeek


Display: Sort:
Kiddie Porn: The New McCarthyism | 134 comments (118 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
i'm going to write a story (3.00 / 11) (#3)
by circletimessquare on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 10:14:12 PM EST

about pedophiles with guns

would anyone vote that up?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

NO $ (none / 0) (#6)
by HackerCracker on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 10:22:33 PM EST



[ Parent ]
you know I will (none / 0) (#7)
by mybostinks on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 10:46:58 PM EST

if only for the discussions that will ensue.

[ Parent ]
You know it, cts.. (none / 0) (#10)
by dakini on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 12:54:46 AM EST



" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
[ Parent ]
FUCK NO (none / 0) (#90)
by kbudha on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 04:10:38 PM EST

YUO GUN HATIN FLOWER-POWER LIBERAL

IF YUO HATE THIS KOUNTRY SO MUCH THEN Y DONT YUO LEAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[ Parent ]

Hmm (2.77 / 9) (#9)
by livus on Fri Apr 20, 2007 at 11:28:16 PM EST

I find it odd - and irritating - that anyone who is against the proceedural and legislative problems you define here - trial by tabloid, FBI practices etc - almost always seems to concurrently argue that there is nothing wrong with people using child-abuse pornography.

I wonder why that is.


---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

Less wrong, perhaps. (2.75 / 4) (#28)
by sudogeek on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 06:37:26 PM EST

I certainly abhor the abuse of young children to manufacture or create child pornography, but the I think a generalized demonization of persons who allegedly view this crap is wrong.  As I try to point out, there is little evidence that viewing child pronography lead to the development of child predators.

There is also little evidence that publicly accusing all potentially identified in a flawed investigation does more harm than good.  Only a small proportion (apparently) of those accused were guilty yet all were ruined. Even if one could magically shut down the US market for such product, there is no evidence that it would have any effect on child abuse as both manufacture and a significant market is offshore.

There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
[ Parent ]

of course, Im not IN the US (none / 1) (#31)
by livus on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 08:09:55 PM EST

so my perspective is different, vis a vis "the US market". I'm more inclined to see it as a trans-national phenomenon.

The typical, here, is more like a case a couple of weeks back: German police "alerted" NZ police, who then searched and arrested some completely non-famous average citizen who had masses of the stuff.

No big deal, and I find his subsequent fining and possible incarceration in line with my views on anyone importing stuff our society has already voted to not have here.

We also have laws by which we can prosecute any of our citizens who abuse children in other countries. We just don't like it or see why we should have it.

Answering my own earlier question, I think the reason why people with your views are so much more vocal than people with my views, is because my satisfaction that these people are apprehended is greater than my irritation with the ways the police go about it. Also, my problems with the police, the US FBI etc extend way beyond this issue.

Whereas for those of you who don't want child abuse pornography banned, it's more of a concern.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

It's not that kiddie porn shouldn't be banned. (2.87 / 8) (#32)
by sudogeek on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 09:19:45 PM EST

It's that such police tactics and state exercise of power must be viewed with skepticism if not alarm, regardless of the crime. Certainly, you can be satisfied when the police announce some poor sap is a pedophile.  Chalk one up for the good guys!

Even after McCarthy was literally dead, subscribers to the People's Daily were on certain FBI lists and blackballed for a security clearances. Members of the Communist Workers Party and Socialist Workers Party were identified and their names and addresses leaked to police agents and others, leading to harassment, firings, and in the case of the Greensboro 5, state sanctioned assassination in broad daylight. Hysteria about Arab terrorists leads to people being accused of aiding and abetting terrorism if they view certain websites (jihadi porn, I guess) or give money to Islamic charities.

Maybe next year, after another school slaughter or two, it's people who are NRA members. The point I'm trying to make is that this politically-driven hysterical response, habeas corpus be damned, to a crime whose harm is (likely) overblown does more harm than good to the rule of law and a supposedly free society.

There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
[ Parent ]

I completely agree with your point. (none / 1) (#56)
by livus on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 08:37:37 PM EST

I just think your argument is weakened by commenst like this:

"paying for photographs of children being sexually abused creates an incentive for more abuse in order to produce more such material. This seems logical but is an unproven assertion." [followed by no review of the literature]

I don't think these kinds of points are necessary to your main argument, and was lamenting the fact that most people who put forward your main argument marr it by simultaneously trying to argue against the reasons people use to ban child abuse porn. It's a common tendency.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

What is the main point? (none / 1) (#112)
by Jah-Wren Ryel on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 01:31:19 PM EST

When I read articles like this, my interpretation of the main point is that the laws are bad because of unthinking knee-jerk responses.

One result of the knee-jerk response to kiddie porn is the lack of investigatorial oversight as demonstrated in this case, the other result of the knee-jerk response has been the creation of a class of thoughtcrime.  If we are going to violate the basic right of freedom of expression, then we damn well better have solid evidence -- not just the emotional knee-jerk -- that this violation produces the intended results.

Both problems - lack of oversight and restriction of expression - have a cost to society.  If neither of them produce a benefit greater than their costs, then neither of them are valid.

Thus I see the argument against overzealous enforcement and prosecution and the argument against restriction of speech as being one and the same.

[ Parent ]

Well, I don't (none / 0) (#119)
by livus on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 01:13:09 AM EST

you're conflating three issues

-intent of the law
-efficacy of the law
-enforcement of the law

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

I was thoughtless (none / 0) (#121)
by livus on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 06:29:32 AM EST

I'm sorry.

If I'd stopped and thought about it I'd have probably realised and abstained.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

CAUTION: stereotyping inside (2.25 / 4) (#45)
by mr strange on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 05:53:45 AM EST

Men are concerned with ensuring the process is fair. They worry about bad precedents leading to slippery slopes. In contrast, women often believe that the end justifies the means. If the malefactors are punished, then who cares about a few procedural niceties, they think.

I'm a man, so like sudogeek, I worry about the process. Livus, I think you're just conforming to the female stereotype.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]

Don't you mean poor reading comprehension inside? (2.66 / 3) (#55)
by livus on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 08:32:02 PM EST

Although intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine, I can't imagine how you construe my comments to be an argument for "the end justifies the means".

I'm a pragmatist, with utilitarian leanings, but the rest is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?

If you re-read my post, you'll see that I note that the process over here doesn't seem as fraught as the US one, which is probably one of the reasons it doesn't bother me more than other proceedural matters do - in other words, in terms of time, money, and justice, it's simply not as big an issue as, say, police prosecution around, say, marijuana laws.

My other point was simply that if I thought the law was unjust per se, as Sudog does, the issue would weigh more with me, because it would be a double evil - do you see what I mean now?

For what it's worth, I don't believe as a rule one can achieve a particularly satisfactory end with unsound means. The whole concept's off.

 

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

s/sudog/ sudogeek! n (none / 1) (#60)
by livus on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 09:51:53 PM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Sigged! (none / 0) (#66)
by mr strange on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 05:32:59 AM EST



intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
aw (none / 0) (#83)
by livus on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 10:56:45 PM EST

why do sigs of me always sound so sinister?

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Sigged! (none / 1) (#108)
by eavier on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 04:13:49 AM EST

Just kidding dok.

Whatever you do, don't take it into your house. It's probably full of Greeks. - Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi

Ufology Doktor in da house

[ Parent ]
common views? (none / 0) (#127)
by dougmc on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 04:22:48 PM EST

I think the reason why people with your views are so much more vocal than people with my views, is because my satisfaction that these people are apprehended is greater than my irritation with the ways the police go about it.

So you're claiming that the people who suggest that child porn isn't so bad are so much more vocal then those who claim it is so bad?

If there is such a difference, it's only because the laws already say it's `so bad' -- the `no child porn!' people have already won.  They don't have to convince anybody -- the law already agrees with them, pretty much worldwide.  If somebody were to push for some changes to the laws to reduce the laws against child pornography the cries of `THINK OF THE CHILDREN!' would pretty much drown everything else out.

In any event, I suspect that the masses don't seem to really mind losing their civil rights in the name of the war against terrorist, or drugs, or kiddie porn -- as long as the police don't knock down THEIR door.  And once that happens, nobody cares because they're a terrorist pedophile druggie.

[ Parent ]

Let's try that again with less garble. (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by sudogeek on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 09:23:00 PM EST

I certainly abhor the abuse of young children to manufacture or create child pornography, but the I think a generalized demonization of persons who allegedly view this crap is wrong.  As I try to point out, there is little evidence that viewing child pornography leads to the development of child predators.

It is also evident that publicly accusing all potentially identified in a flawed investigation does more harm than good.  Only a small proportion (apparently) of those accused were guilty yet all were ruined. Even if one could magically shut down the US market for such product, there is no evidence that it would have any effect on child abuse as both manufacture and a significant market is offshore.

There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
[ Parent ]

I don't agree. (none / 0) (#91)
by kbudha on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 04:15:21 PM EST

Perhaps you are misinterpreting his arguement.

[ Parent ]
This is well done. +FP when it goes to vote. (none / 1) (#12)
by dakini on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 02:03:34 AM EST



" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
{fap fap fap fap fap fap} (2.87 / 8) (#13)
by Peahippo on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 03:54:41 AM EST

It's certainly a topic that lesser men (i.e. most of them, and notably not myself) don't want to have broached in public, but men find certain species of ideal youth to be sexually attractive. There's no magic line that makes a 17-yr-old unattractive and then makes them sexually appealing as soon as they purse their moist lips and blow out those stiff candles on their 18th birthday.

Instead of throwing men and women into jail for years, let's lower the age of majority upon the basis of testing for various purposes. As long as you can demonstrate use of birth control and understand the social consequences of playing sexual mindfuck games, you should be able to join the rest of sexual Humanity.


And, perhaps you are normal. (3.00 / 3) (#17)
by sudogeek on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 10:28:18 AM EST

Don't fuzz it up with modifiers like "certain species" or "ideal."  Men (and women) find youth to be sexually attractive.

Watching any gymnastic competitions recently? Why do you think those are popular? What about music videos?  Why is it that porn stars shave?

There are society-sanctioned displays all around. My argument is that prosecution of people for looking at pictures on a computer is arbitrary and ineffective.

There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
[ Parent ]

The shaving of pubes (3.00 / 5) (#18)
by tetsuwan on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 11:15:13 AM EST

I don't think that's about pedophilia. I think it's a combination of fashion and the fact that pubic hair obscures the genitalia. Male pornstars shave as well.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Another important reason (3.00 / 2) (#50)
by Stjck on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 01:51:00 PM EST

Is that a mouthful of hair just isn't that nice.

[ Parent ]
Agree an disagree (2.75 / 4) (#14)
by svampa on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 07:57:38 AM EST

Summarizing:

  1. Authorities like to accuse publicly famous persons rather than unknown anonymous guys.
  2. When someone is accused, press prints several pages and 20x20 headlines in front page . Nevertheless, when the case goes nowhere, it deserves just two paragraphs in page 135.
  3. Sometimes cases are fuzzy, the evidences are not that evident, proofs are debatable, and with the suspicion that they have been made up by police.

Yes, you have pointed out what happens when there is a political campaign against certain crime (prostitution, drugs, taxes...), in this case child pron.

When famous persons are arrested and complain that they are victims of political prosecution, they are right, even if the have really committed that crime.

Such campaigns are always unjust, because certain crime was formerly considered minor, at least ignored by police, that used to look with its blind eye. But suddenly they change the rules. It's some kind of retroactive application of a new law. The haven't changed the words of the law, but they have change it in the sense that until now it wasn't applied.

In addition, they usually prosecute popular people (artists, teacher, doctors, priests...), that are well known but not powerful out of their circles. They won't prosecute CEOs of the corporations, that could turn nasty, strike back and crash the politician, the judge and the policemen implied.

The problem of the press is not only applied to pedophiles. You know "Good news are not news" If you solve the problem of why press is biased to sensationalism, you will help the people unjustly accused of child abuse. I don't have the solution, and as far as I know none has. This matter deserves another story in K5.

The problem of the police is particularly bad in USA and UK. Every country's police pushes to find proofs "against" not "in defense of", but in USA it is worse because it's what they are supposed to do. In anglosaxon countries the police works for the attorney, in other countries the police works for the court, both defense and attorney may ask police search of proofs analysis, experts etc. But the worst part of anglosaxon way is that they are more submitted to political power, usually judges are more politically independent than attorneys.

The worst part of political campaigns of crime prosecution is that they show how inefficient the law and resources are. Instead of really fighting against crime they move by hypes. They don't have enough resources to fight the crime, so they replace the actual fight for periodical campaigns.

On the other hand, your speach against hypocrisy, old Greeks etc, is meaningless. A lot laws are hypocritical because they fight against personal dark wishes that if they were satisfied the society would be a hell. Each society sets limits, to certain extend arbitrary, that is all. If child abuse is a crime, it must be prosecuted, if child porn is a crime it must be prosecuted.



Political judges. (none / 1) (#16)
by sudogeek on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 10:18:46 AM EST

In many US jurisdictions, the judges are more than political. They are elected. Thus, they become bush-league prosecutors themselves so that they may appear "tough on crime" in the next election cycle.

The point about cultural norms determining criminality is obvious but is important. People need to think about these prosecutions in more reasoned ways than an "OMG think of the children" reflex from somewhere in the midbrain. Kiddie porn is not as harmful as it is demonized and is certainly not viewed as such in other presumably civilized societies. Prosecution for abuse of children may be a laudable societal goal, but to ruin someone for looking at images on a computer is not justifiable.

When they came for the kiddie porn, I said nothing. But when they came for my porn, I was pissed.

There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
[ Parent ]

political judges (none / 1) (#23)
by svampa on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 04:26:37 PM EST

In many US jurisdictions, the judges are more than political. They are elected.

Good point, I forgot that judges are elected in USA.

In my opinion, judges should be just civil servants that apply laws like, for instance, generals that are not directly elected. It could look more democratic, but whenever I watch a judge election in a movie, I think "That's sad". Nevertheless. It is just an opinion, and it is another question.

However, a politically biased judge statistically would be 50% towards prosecutor and 50% towards defender. If the attorney is biased, he is always against the accused. And has all the tools: police etc.

People need to think about these prosecutions in more reasoned ways.

We, people, should do a lot of things in more reasoned way.

  • Having several wifes, even if women and man agree, is bad because...why?
  • Having several husbands, even if men and woman agree, is bad because...why?
  • Euthanasia is bad, but stopping treatment against cancer to those who can't afford it is tolerable.
  • ...
  • ...
  • And a thousand more.



    [ Parent ]
    Political judges freak me out (none / 0) (#64)
    by livus on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:49:42 AM EST

    Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

    I only found out about it recently. It's crazy. What's next, making all the police be of one particular political party too?

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]

    Lots of laws like that... (none / 0) (#96)
    by Eivind on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 04:20:50 AM EST

    Particularily when sexuality is involved, there's tons of stupid laws like that, forbidding activities where there's no reasonable case for any harm to any person.

    Incest is outlawed. (well, atleast marriage between close-relatives is, your mileage on just the sex may vary with jurisdiction) The argument is, it causes a higher risk of gentic defects in children.

    This argument is exposed though, when you consider that:

    • Adopted siblings are also prevented from marrying.
    • People unable to have children are also prevented from marrying.
    • You're not magically allowed to marry your brother if you let yourself be sterlized first.
    • Hell, even siblings of the same sex are prevented from entering registered partnership with oneanother.


    [ Parent ]
    Ruin - understatement (long, sorry) (2.50 / 2) (#54)
    by fyngyrz on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 07:00:10 PM EST

    ...to ruin someone for looking at images on a computer is not justifiable.

    There was a fellow here in my small town named Norm. He used to manage a Pizzas of Eight outlet, but at the time of this story, he was the manager for the local Subway franchise. He used to come to Thursday evening chess night, a gathering of myself and 4-5 others at my place. We don't just play chess; video games, movies, it is more of a guy's night without involving a bar than it is anything else. Much pizza is consumed, and arguments about pizza are common - I own a pizza oven, and opinionated doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about pizza. Yes, I even download pictures of pizza off the Internet. Anyway, Norm was funny, competitive, maybe a little odd, but then, non-drinkers are exceptions in our society anyway. Guy was about 40 years old, not ugly, not handsome, reasonably smart. He won some games, he lost others. He was a little pissy when he lost, which we ragged him about. We didn't think anything of any of this. He fit in pretty well, really.

    So, one day, I'm half way between my town and the next big city (300 miles away, we're pretty rural), driving with my lady, when she says, "hey, know what I heard today at work?" I provide the obligatory "what" to nudge her along, and what you surely know is coming, came. "Norm was arrested for child pornography yesterday!" You could have knocked me out of the driver's seat with a feather. I pulled over. "Are you sure? Norm? Our Norm?" She was sure. She was right, too. Much conversation and speculation ensued. And not a little disbelief.

    So, a few weeks later, she and I are sitting at the table of our favorite pizza joint, and who walks in but Norm. He walks over and plops himself down at our table, and I commence to asking the hard questions. I'm kind of a blunt guy in person; stuff like this doesn't intimidate me at all. So I ask first, are the charges legitimate, or is this some kind of monumental screw up. Norm, being more than a little naive, responds "Yes, it's true." I press on with "So are we talking about one or two pictures that came in email, or a real collection?" Norm tells us that the porn in question was about a thousand or so images, all carefully squirreled away on his hard drive, he got them from Kazaa (sp?), which is some kind of file sharing software. I had one more question for him - "And is this stuff teenagers, or are we talking about little kids?" Norm assures us that it is little kids. Well. Huh. Christ on a crutch. So I asked him if he had a lawyer - and he said no. I told him in no uncertain terms that if he didn't get a lawyer, and a good one at that, he was looking at some serious problems. He assured us that the FBI agents (interstate problem - transferring files over state lines) had been really nice and that he "didn't think there was going to be a problem, and besides, he couldn't afford one." I told him he "couldn't afford not to get one", but this made no visible impact.

    After this encounter, Norm was pretty scarce for several months, we'd see him maybe filling his tank at the gas station or something, but he kept clear of everyone he knew, including the other fellows from chess night. He quit Subway immediately. One day it occurred to me that we hadn't seen Norm in... quite some time. Months. We had eventually heard on our local news what the charges were, basically just what you'd expect from what Norm had told us - but nothing further. I started asking around, and pretty soon got the news he'd been found guilty and jailed. No one seemed to have any details. I mentioned this to my lady, and she said "look it up on the net", which is what I did. In very short order, I found Norm as a prisoner at a federal institution - the sentence was right there; ten years.

    Now, as far as I know, Norm never touched or even spoke in any unacceptable manner to a child. He didn't take any pictures. He didn't buy the stuff, and he didn't sell it. He did forward it if you'd call it that by the nature of the Kazza thing, apparently you send stuff out as well as take it in. Hence, distribution, I think, in addition to the obvious possession.

    Ten years. I think this is such a ridiculous sentence that I am beyond words. I'm not interested in little kids. I'm not even very prone to the US infatuation with late teens; I always liked older women, and in fact, as a young teenager, the shoe was on the other foot. I had several encounters that would, today, have put the women involved into the justice system in a very harmful way, should I have been a braggart or simply a little less private of a young person than I was. The last one along those lines was actually one of my high school teachers; I won't be more specific than that. I certainly don't consider myself "abused." I'd use the word privileged, or perhaps even honored. I learned a lot more from them than I ever could have from my peers, and I surely had a great deal more fun. One reason I mention this is because I want to be perfectly clear that I don't just roll with society's ideas of what is OK or not because there's some stupid law on the books somewhere.

    Another is because as a direct consequence I'm hardly in a position to point fingers with regard to the letter of the law. Still, I admit, Norm's frank interest in little kids made me very, very uncomfortable. His lack of fooling about with actual human beings, however, causes me to unhesitatingly class his "activities" with the people who jack off to anime; I think they're surpassingly weird and unusual in their interests, but they're not doing anyone any real harm, and I think Norm's interest in these anonymous faces and figures floating in off the Internet can fairly be classed as the same.

    I don't buy the argument that viewing a photo of an act perpetrates the act or is a new type or incident of abuse. When there is actual abuse, meaning lack of informed and intelligent consent, regardless of the ridiculous hard line in the sand people attempt to draw in the last half of the teen years, then the harm occurs with the act. When the images are initially distributed, we now have the problem "my naked and abused body was exposed to many people", but adding or subtracting one or a hundred views doesn't ameliorate or exacerbate that one whit.

    I think Norm should have had his hand slapped, and hard. Maybe a year's probation, or even house arrest without a computer for a while if you really wanted to be hardassed about the whole thing, but... ten years? Our society is truly confused.

    Norm took care of his mom, an elderly lady (Norm was 40, and mom was really up there somewhere.) When they sent him away, she had to sell her house and move. Shame, perhaps to some degree though I have to say the town wasn't being all that hard on Norm, according to him; but she really couldn't live without help, and help wasn't to be had once Norm was gone. Don't know exactly why, but the bottom line is that it wasn't just Norm who got caught in the jaws of justice, as it were.

    So. If he isn't killed by the other inmates, Norm's going to come out of the pen at age fifty, unable to find employment as a felon and a registered pervert, sexually frustrated to the tune of ten years without having so much as having seen a little kid, and he's going to be dropped back into a society that won't accept him, which will list him as a predator on websites, and if he wasn't a threat when he went in, I fail to see how he will be less likely to be so when he comes out.

    Witch hunts. That's precisely where we are. No one can help Norm now. The pyre has been burning for some time, and until we're willing to turn on the evil idiots who are arranging for the burnings, we're not going to see any end to this. There is no force for balance here. None whatsoever. Ruin. Destruction. Devastation. Complete conversion from minor closeted pervert to full blown enemy of society with no hope of re-integration whatsoever. I can't imagine how we could get this much more wrong. Then again, I never thought that we, the good old US of A, would ever countenance torture, and here it is, Bush's favorite play-toy and by extension, ours. Is it too much to say we've lost our way?


    Blog, Photos.
    [ Parent ]

    I'm really curious - did you ask? (none / 1) (#63)
    by livus on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 02:47:49 AM EST

    You say you don't know whether Norm approached, or wanted to approach, actual children.

    You say you asked him very directly about his arrest, etc, so I'm curious - did you directly ask him about these other things too?

     

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]

    Yes. (none / 1) (#75)
    by fyngyrz on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:01:04 PM EST

    Yeah, I asked that, and a few other questions along those lines you'd find pertinent. The three of us talked for about 1/2 an hour - that's a long time for a really directed conversation, which this was.

    He denied anything like that, and it is just barely possible, given how straightforward he was about the rest of it, that he might have told us. He didn't perceive Deb or I as a threat (incorrectly... if they'd have dragged me into court, I'd have simply told them what he told me, and I'd have suggested the same to Deb, and furthermore she'd probably have arrived at the same position by herself, as the daughter of a lawyer) but I also have to think that he wasn't completely naive. Even if you think looking at anonymous pics is just god-awful-horrible, it's a safe bet you think grabbing some little kid and fooling about with them is god-awful-worse.

    The bottom line is, I don't know. No one ever surfaced with such an accusation, and his job, as long as I've known him, had him behind a counter. There were kids at my house sometimes (I'm a grandparent) and I never even caught a whiff of inappropriate behavior, nor did Deb.

    As I said, we did hear the charges on the local radio station, and they were all about the computer and the images on it. They confiscated the computer right up front, let him run around for a few months, then court and FUBAR.


    Blog, Photos.
    [ Parent ]

    Interesting (none / 0) (#82)
    by livus on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 10:34:27 PM EST

    I find things like that quite disconcerting.

    Knew a guy for a while turned out to be raping one of his kids, but never saw him after his arrest. Just as well, really - would've made for a pretty awkward conversation.

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]

    A difference between child porn and anime. (none / 0) (#86)
    by creature on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 10:20:54 AM EST

    Norm's frank interest in little kids made me very, very uncomfortable. His lack of fooling about with actual human beings, however, causes me to unhesitatingly class his "activities" with the people who jack off to anime; I think they're surpassingly weird and unusual in their interests, but they're not doing anyone any real harm, and I think Norm's interest in these anonymous faces and figures floating in off the Internet can fairly be classed as the same.

    That's fine, but there's the difference that with anime nobody was ever harmed in the production of the material. Some artist somewhere may have to have some fringe interests, perhaps, and have something of a perverse imagination (in the case of hentai/yaoi/whatever) but the material all comes from an artist's pen. With the child porn, though, some kid somewhere was stripped of clothes and dignity before being subjected to (probably sexual) abuse. Chances are such abuse will not be a one-off event either.

    I'm not saying whether Norm deserved 10 years or not, but I do think that viewing such material is not quite the victimless crime you suggest.

    [ Parent ]

    Disagree. Here's why. (none / 1) (#87)
    by fyngyrz on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 01:55:38 PM EST

    I really don't think that any additional harm is done once the images are out on the net. You have to think about what is going on. The victim, upon learning of the distribution of the image(s) on the net, is harmed at that time and by the person who put them on the net.

    The harm is inherent in the idea that [some uncontrollable number of people, quite possibly large] will see them in their altogether and observe their actions and the actions taken with them, and this imbues the victim with some level of abstract misery, embarrassment, and so on.

    I specifically say abstract, because the specifics of who is viewing what will never be known. The harm is as great if the initial transmission silently fails as it is if it reaches 150,000 viewers, because the victim doesn't know and will most likely assume the worst, especially with the ready assistance of panicky family, psycho-babblers, social workers and so on.

    Now when Norm, or some other person, views the image, this is in no way changes the victim's suffering, perception, etc. That's the key idea here. But there are others.

    The viewer may not view the image in the same spirit in which it was made, cops for one example, those viewers who imagine the child to be informed, competent and willing for another... those who see the image accidentally and may feel nothing but sympathy. Viewing the image and getting off may relieve a potential abuser of the need to hit the street and seek a victim, for that matter, and in those cases I'd say some good has been done. You simply can't say "viewing the image" equals harm. That's just too simplistic and it doesn't address the reality of what is going on. It's just knee-jerking.

    I think if something is secret, or private, then the person responsible for the exposure of that beyond secret or private is the one we have to focus upon. Not recipients of the information. It doesn't make sense.

    There's a problem with hysteria as well. Surely more harm has been done by people shrieking about how some kids life was ruined than any kid ever felt on their own. That's how most of this shame and angst really gets a foothold, you know — people telling kids that the stuff they were involved in is something terrible and will scar them for the rest of their lives. It's no surprise that it does. Even with that in mind, the idea that because Norm saw some particular kid's image in one of these situations can't be reasonably assessed as having increased the harm said kid experienced. These are trees falling in a forest where no one hears. We simply know, or assume, that there is such a forest, and that trees are falling. Any particular tree-fall is really not the point.


    Blog, Photos.
    [ Parent ]

    your argument ignores supply and demand. (none / 1) (#118)
    by livus on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 01:10:39 AM EST

    Basically this is the same as arguing that there's nothing wrong with buying sweatshop goods because other people do too therefore the sweatshop stays open.

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]
    No, that's simplistic and incorrect. (none / 0) (#126)
    by fyngyrz on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 03:22:08 PM EST

    Basically this is the same as arguing that there's nothing wrong with buying sweatshop goods because other people do too therefore the sweatshop stays open.

    The network existence of this type of photo, or events that consist of more views of such a photo, do not serve to keep the maker of the photo in business. There is no money changing hands here. There is no remunerative market. The reason the taker made the image wasn't money, it was something in their own head. Sweatshops will stop if no one buys the product. Photography won't - the existence of an audience isn't the point. The photographer is the primary audience, the one with the socially unacceptable worldview. So you can't make an accurate analogy to commerce here — that's not what is going on, and viewing it as commerce leads to a faulty analysis of the situation.

    If you really want to insist on the sweatshop argument, then you have to compare to a sweatshop-produced item in perfect condition that is passed along second hand while additional perfect copies are made of it by third parties using their own resources and not using the sweatshop at all, thereby reducing the need for the sweatshop. That's what is happening with these images. They get out on the net, someone copies them without the need for any participation by any person in any situation; no child is involved in this process, or aware of it.

    Even then, the analogy doesn't address the extreme likelihood that were there no distribution at all, the photos would still be taken. Because they weren't taken for money. They were taken to fulfill a desire. Distribution isn't going to do that, certainly not to the same degree that actually taking the photos would. But exchange may actually reduce the number of events by addressing those desires. Remember, this isn't about money — the currency here, the driving force, is eerily similar to what you and I feel when looking at an adult who meets our definition of desirable.

    So distribution, meaning these photos going from one person to another, addresses a want or a need. If you reduce the number of images in such distribution, you are leaving those people looking for a replacement experience. I don't think you really want to do that; not if your primary concern is for potential victims. I also don't think you can catch them all; I have no doubt that some distribution consists of carrying thumb-drives from place to place, for instance.

    Because of these facts, the solution to the problem lies with dealing with the individuals who take and initially distribute such photos. If no initial distribution occurs, no new harm will occur. This is akin to actually shutting down the sweatshop of your argument, but leaving the items produced in circulation. Just as having an old tiger rug on the floor of your den does not cause harm to the current endangered tiger population, the ebb and flow of those images on the net causes no new harm.

    And of course, if we can manage to shut the producers down, there will be no new material, and no new harm. Working towards that seems to be the obvious solution.


    Blog, Photos.
    [ Parent ]

    a heaping helping of unsubstantiated claims there (none / 0) (#129)
    by livus on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 11:35:17 PM EST

    These are unsubstantiated and dubious, particularly given the socio-economic conditions in many of the major source countries of the images:

    "The reason the taker made the image wasn't money, it was something in their own head."

    "If you reduce the number of images in such distribution, you are leaving those people looking for a replacement experience."

    This is technically wrong given the role of pornography in grooming for abuse:

    "They get out on the net, someone copies them without the need for any participation by any person in any situation; no child is involved in this process, or aware of it."

    and I think this is just naive:

    "Just as having an old tiger rug on the floor of your den does not cause harm to the current endangered tiger population"

    Nope, I don't buy your argument at all. You need to back up your premises.

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]

    Fair enough. (none / 0) (#131)
    by fyngyrz on Wed May 02, 2007 at 01:04:49 AM EST

    Nope, I don't buy your argument at all. You need to back up your premises

    I find my premises obvious and my conclusions inevitable. You don't have to buy either (after all, 99% of the rest of the world doesn't.)


    Blog, Photos.
    [ Parent ]

    That's a limited subset of images. (none / 0) (#130)
    by sudogeek on Tue May 01, 2007 at 11:56:57 AM EST

    There may be some images made by individuals with no monetary interest which are distributed on the net to friends, associates, or whatever you would term these people. In that case, some aspects of your argument may apply.

    The weight of the information suggests that the majority, perhaps nearly all, of the pictures and videos distributed are made with a profit motive. In this case, the purchase and "comsumption" of these images provides an incentive to further production and harm to minors used in production.

    I have a hard time completely buying the argument that some incremental harm is done when one buyer shares the photos with another without compensation to the manufacturer. Perhaps there is some, by some mechanism, but I can't quantify it. I cannot refute this idea either.

    There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
    [ Parent ]

    What? Now you have me wondering... (none / 0) (#132)
    by fyngyrz on Wed May 02, 2007 at 01:16:12 AM EST

    The weight of the information suggests that the majority, perhaps nearly all, of the pictures and videos distributed are made with a profit motive.

    What information? I've never even heard of a child porn for money bust; From your tone, it sounds like it is well known to you that there's a raving market for it — so where did you learn this? My exposure has been limited to the occasional awful chunk of email, inappropriate picture in an entirely non-porn oriented newsgroup (I saw my first "snuff" photo there too... ugh and double ugh), and watching Norm get his ass toasted. But I would think that I would have noticed something in the news - I hear all the time about people being busted with CP on their computers, piles of disks or CDs in the closet, fooling with their kids, that sort of thing; never a word about people buying it. Is it like regular porn... it's all over the place for free and only an idiot would buy it, but the idiots make a market? Imagine giving out your credit card number to a CP producer. Man. Incomprehensible.


    Blog, Photos.
    [ Parent ]

    harm as a requirement (none / 0) (#128)
    by dougmc on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 04:50:08 PM EST

    That's fine, but there's the difference that with anime nobody was ever harmed in the production of the material.

    First, some juristictions make it illegal to have drawn or computer generated pictures of children in sexual situations.  No children were involved at all, but ... it's still legally child pornography.

    Also, harm is hard to quantify.  Yes, I'd argue that somebody physically raping a pre-pubescent child qualifies as harm, filmed or not.  But What if two children happen to be playing around, and somebody films that (perhaps the kids themselves) ... is that harm?

    What if you're 18, and you're with your 17 year old girl friend, and you film yourselves having sex.  Where's the harm?  I can't find any harm, but the law has a name for that sort of film -- child pornography.

    (Actually, in many states, the age of consent is less than 18 -- so you can legally have sex with this person, even if you're 80 and she's 16 -- but you can't film it.)

    People (well, teenagers, under 18) have even been busted for child pornography (or threatened with it, I'm not certain) by posting pictures of themselves mastrubating on their their myspace or similar pages.


    [ Parent ]

    I agree with you (none / 0) (#59)
    by livus on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 09:50:31 PM EST

    if I had five dollars for every time I'd witnessed someone bringing up a hazy and inaccurate idea of what went on in ancient Greece I'd be polishing monacles on my yacht in the Greek isles by now.  

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]
    I call bullshit (1.85 / 7) (#19)
    by Liar on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 02:04:17 PM EST

    "Yet, the laws are written and interpreted so that downloading a picture constitutes manufacturing child pornography."

    Proof or STFU.

    Also,

    "Given this state interest, then there are two main arguments for harsh penalties for those who traffic in child pornography. First, it is argued that looking at kiddie porn leads to child sexual abuse and creates predators. Secondly, paying for photographs of children being sexually abused creates an market and a financial incentive for more abuse in order to produce more material."

    You also missed that the creation of child porn involved the crime of child abuse/molestation/statuatory rape to begin with. We have all sorts of laws and conventions to respect the dignity of prisoners of war that prohibits the taking and distribution of their pictures. We also have laws to protect the identity of women who make charges of rape, to protect them from the unscrupulous eye of the public. For similar reasons, we do not turn a blind eye when it comes to the portrayal of a sexual crime against a child.

    And finally, while the cases against celebrities may not have resulted in jail time, they weren't without cause (at least in the Townshend case where enough details have been released). As you noted, credit cards can be fradulently obtained. That doesn't mean that the police shouldn't follow such lead which is what they did in both celebrity cases you cited. Further, regarding Pete Townshend, he wasn't really innocent. Quoth Petey: "I accept that I was wrong to access this site, and that by doing so, I broke the law, and I have accepted the caution that the police have given me." In my book, that falls far short of being (in your words) exonerated.

    McCarthyism is unsubstantiated witch-hunting. It's hardly a new McCarthyism if a person admits they went to a communist party meeting or if there is some evidence that they attended.

    Admit it, you're floridasun and you desperately want to molest children who know no better.


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    i say shit on shit (3.00 / 4) (#24)
    by postDigital on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 04:48:30 PM EST

    Since you chose to make your point regarding Townsend with an out of context excerpt of his quotation in the article cited

    "As I made clear at the outset, I accessed the site because of my concerns at the shocking material readily available on the Internet to children as well as adults, and as part of my research toward the campaign I had been putting together since 1995 to counter damage done by all kinds of pornography on the Internet, but especially any involving child abuse."

    He said: "The police have unconditionally accepted that these were my motives in looking at this site and that there was no other nefarious purpose, and as a result they have decided not to charge me.

    "I accept that I was wrong to access this site, and that by doing so, I broke the law, and I have accepted the caution that the police have given me."

    Anyone familiar with the Who's late 60's release "Tommy", should not be surprised that Townsend has repressed emotions regarding his own childhood abuse. I seem to recall that Townsend had indeed contacted organisations, whose stated intention is ending child pornography, with the very pictures he had personally paid for and what made him a target of police investigation. This indicates that there was no criminal or prurient intent which could be logically ascribed to his acts, but instead flowed from an altruistic desire. Any rational person would believe that this was exoneration to the charge of being a consumer of child pornography, yet in your book, you feel it is proper to disguise this lack of criminal intent in your efforts to prove your point, the truth notwithstanding



    [ Parent ]
    I'd like to research getting high (1.50 / 2) (#25)
    by Liar on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 04:55:59 PM EST

    I guess that let's me off the hook, eh?

    You should look up the word "exonerate". Not pressing charges is different from being considered innocent of the charge.


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    oh and (1.50 / 2) (#26)
    by Liar on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 04:58:45 PM EST

    from that same article:

    "Standard procedure in these cases provides that Townshend will be entered on the Sex Offenders Register for a period of five years."

    Yup, innocent clear and free. Discharged of all wrongdoing. For christ's sake man, he admitted to breaking the law.


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    Not the same thing (3.00 / 2) (#53)
    by fbjon on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 03:35:19 PM EST

    Breaking the law isn't the same as breaking the intent of the law. In his case it seems to be a mere technicality.

    [ Parent ]
    true (none / 1) (#62)
    by Liar on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 10:36:13 PM EST

    I think you mean the spirit of the law versus the intent of the law. The intent of the law is the punishment for violation. That's the only thing it "intends" to do.

    But I'd also agree that there are degrees of violation, just as we distinguish between first and second degree murder.

    Still there's a different idea really at work here than a jurisprudential operation of law. One of the reasons that variable sentencing exists is because we recognize that sometimes good people do stupid things or are sometimes caught in unfortunate situations. The law does not forgive in these cases, but it is lenient. For example, if you're 60 days overdue on vehicle registration, a cop may pull you over to give you a warning. You're not innocent, but the warning will likely bring you quickly back in compliance without creating hostility between the state and its citizens. Or suppose you have a clean record but get busted for theft, you'll probably only be sentenced for the minimum instead of the maximum.

    If anything is in play here, this is. The police are willing to accept Townshend's story that he wasn't doing his actions with the intent of causing harm and therefore he doesn't need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent. This is evidenced by the caution and his registration as a sex offender. Still, Townshend committed an unwitting harm; he violated the privacy and dignity of those whose pictures were obtained through illegal exploitation.

    Perhaps an illustration might demonstrate better: I knew a girl in junior high school. During the rehearsal for our graduation ceremony before going to high school (technically, a culmination ceremony) as she was walking up to the podium she threw up; she was ill and experienced nausea when she suddenly stood up. Her embarrassment was so great that before the end of her freshman year she transferred to a high school in a different county because her embarrassment was so great.

    Now, imagine she was molested and those pictures made available for all to see and I think you can get an idea of the ongoing harm these recordings have by being in circulation.

    Now, should those images even be made available to researchers then? Should they be available to self-appointed researchers even?

    Townshend was in the wrong. But he's not a bad guy. That's why he only got a caution. It's not a technicality, it's the law operating as it should.


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    In order. (none / 1) (#29)
    by sudogeek on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 06:44:31 PM EST

    The laws are written as such, at least in Florida.  To download an image and display in some medium - either print or video - is considered manufacture. Seriously.

    Regarding your second point, that is the meaning of the last sentence in the section you quote. To repeat that, "paying for photographs of children being sexually abused creates an market and a financial incentive for more abuse in order to produce more material." It is also addressed in the next to the last paragraph.

    Finally, during the McCarthy era, people were ruined by accusation, not only by admission.

    There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
    [ Parent ]

    English, motherfucking pedo. Can you read it? (1.22 / 9) (#44)
    by Liar on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 04:55:16 AM EST

    In my second point, I didn't say anything about incentive to do further harm. The picture itself is the harm. The point I was making says nothing about protecting other children or protecting that same child from having further abuse--the distribution of child porn is deemed continual abuse upon that same child.

    That's why I drew comparisons to photographs of enemy soldiers (which is prohibited under the Geneva convention since it is considered demeaning) as well as protecting the identies of rape victims (so that society doesn't further stigmatize the victim).

    I don't know how to make it any more clearer to a child molestor like you, floridasun. <sarcasm>Oh, I'm sure the florida connection is just coincidence.</sarcasm>


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    Soooo ... (none / 1) (#73)
    by Peahippo on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 06:48:15 PM EST

    ... when you take a photograph in Denmark or something of a 15-yr-old, where it's perfectly legal, and that photo is downloaded to the US, where it isn't, then at what point does that photo magically become harmful to the child?

    As treason is merely a matter of dates, so child pornography is a matter of an arbitrarily-drawn legal definition.

    Realizing that truth, one then has move on and consider how a photograph has NO effect upon the person it was taken of. Photos record events; they are NOT the events themselves. BUT ... I don't think you're ready for that extent of truth yet. So, I'm just waiting on your answer to the above question.


    [ Parent ]
    two answers (short one and long one) (none / 0) (#76)
    by Liar on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:19:27 PM EST

    Short answer:

    It's still illegal because a person's involvement with the U.S. doesn't end just because they don't enter the United States. Protections and liabilities, desired or not, are afforded to all who export any goods to our shores (ask Dmitri Skylarov and that dude who is being extradited from England for exploiting the lax security within the U.S. Department of Defense). Strange as it may sound, but from the perspective of my argument, the U.S. is protecting that person, even if that protection isn't offered in their own country. This isn't a legal argument though, as will be made clear in my longer answer. The legal argument is that all child porn is outlawed no matter the source.

    Long answer:

    The reason it's not a legal argument is because if we take that argument to the logical conclusion, we would also have to question industries that manufacture goods through incredibly low wages or through child labor, and then export those goods back to the U.S. This has a quasi-legal status. The same applies to industries that pollute beyond lawful industry standards and then sells those goods back to us.

    Nonetheless, I think people in the U.S. see this as a loophole that for the most part should be closed. Perhaps the Philippino mother working in the Nike factory doesn't need to make minimum wage at the U.S. federal standards because the dollar lasts longer over there but neither should it be slave wages. Consequently, I think it would be seen as... to use a technical word... "icky" if we permitted Dutch child porn because businesses would flock to Denmark, exploit those children, and circumvent local laws.

    Still, the author was basing his argument in support of child pornography on two grounds: that exposure to child porn increases a persons tendency to engage in sexual exploitation and that photos already in circulation creates incentives to produce more. I was introducing a third argument that it we see the photos as causing a harm. That doesn't mean the other two stop applying.

    He rejected the first point (and I'm willing to accept that) but his rebuttal of the second point is that it hasn't been scientifically established even though he admits that it makes sense. Instead, he decided to set up the U.S. Government as a straw man to avoid addressing it.


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    Learn to Read (none / 0) (#77)
    by Peahippo on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:47:36 PM EST

    Your short and long answers, predictably, didn't answer the question. I wasn't dealing with the original poster's topic; I was dealing with YOUR statement. To repeat my question:

    "When you take a photograph in Denmark or something of a 15-yr-old, where it's perfectly legal, and that photo is downloaded to the US, where it isn't, then at what point does that photo magically become harmful to the child?"

    The question was rhetorical. The answer, short or long, is that the photo doesn't magically become harmful to the subject. It was never harmful. The legality of photos of sexual acts or body displays by children is an arbitrary line drawn by nations, and that line varies.

    There certainly are some damaging pornographers out there. However, we're not serving the cause of justice by excessively demonizing not only their product, but similar products. Books by David Hamilton are still legal to buy and own in the USA, for example.

    Please note US law is not world law. It would serve you well to remember that in your crusade against kiddie porn ... that sanity and restraint are better protectors of civil rights and law than mindless crusading. Under our law, domestic molesters should be stopped; but their photos are just photos, and children who may have been harmed aren't any less harmed by burning not only those photos but also Hamilton's books.


    [ Parent ]
    Well, that's your vote (none / 1) (#79)
    by Liar on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:54:22 PM EST

    Except, you're not the only one who does.

    There are many people in the U.S. who disagree with you and feel that exploitation of those children in any part of the world is harmful.

    Just a thought.


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    yeah (none / 1) (#84)
    by livus on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 12:01:32 AM EST

    there's a difference between "this is illegal because it's wrong" and "this is wrong becaus it's illegal" that I think Mr Hippo is missing.

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]
    more (none / 0) (#85)
    by Liar on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 01:00:13 AM EST

    I could say that Mr. Hippo and the florida boys (sudogeek, floridasun and this guy all of whom I suspect are all one in the same person ) are boy-loving molestors. That would be wrong but not illegal.


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    And judging from ur response to all this (none / 1) (#92)
    by kbudha on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 04:19:00 PM EST

    I can say you must be a recovering victim of NAMBLA or some other sodomy cult.
    .

    [ Parent ]
    and if I was? (none / 1) (#93)
    by Liar on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 06:48:18 PM EST

    That would change... what exactly?


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    It would change the fact of your bias (none / 0) (#97)
    by kbudha on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:24:03 AM EST

    I have been robbed twice in my life, you don't see
    me standing on a soapbox crying about how we need more gun control.

    You may like living in a psuedo-democracy where big brother is constantly monitoring us, I DON'T.

    GET OVER WHATEVER "TRAUMA" HAPPENED TO YOU.
    That or stop trolling.


    [ Parent ]

    you need to take your own advice (none / 0) (#104)
    by livus on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:24:30 PM EST

    it seems

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]
    Are you mentally retarded? (1.50 / 2) (#111)
    by kbudha on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:53:55 AM EST

    My diary was a troll. Obviously it worked.

    It was designed to fuck with all the vagina-phobic biotches on this site.

    Obviously you're one of the fore-mentioned group.

    [ Parent ]

    Don't be such a baby (none / 0) (#115)
    by livus on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:15:27 PM EST

    I hate it when people complain when I take their troll seriously.

    I WANT TO BELIEVE goddamn it.

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]

    BELIEVE (none / 1) (#123)
    by kbudha on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 08:19:30 AM EST

    Sry to test your faith.

    [ Parent ]
    Right (none / 0) (#105)
    by Liar on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:58:05 PM EST

    Let me make sure I have this right: are you really trying to say that an adult being robbed and a child being the subject for pornography experience anywhere the same emotional impact?

    If so, you're a worse than an idiot. You're a harmful idiot.


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    cry me a fucking river (none / 0) (#110)
    by kbudha on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:50:25 AM EST

    What?

    Are we comparing who got screwed over worse in life now?

    Please end your misery and everyone else's by taking your "night night" pills, the whole bottle at once.

    [ Parent ]

    I'm not crying (none / 0) (#116)
    by Liar on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 09:57:25 PM EST

    I'm angry. Big difference. Angry enough to want to change things, starting with this site which shows a disconcerting tolerance toward pedophilia and child pornography.

    You seem to want to retain a system where innocent people are muzzled and told to "get over" whatever wrongs they suffer. Nice. That'll do the trick.

    Meanwhile, I've said nothing about my own personal story or whether it's worse than yours. What I am saying is that robberies--where no violence is committed--is nothing compared to the trauma that children suffer when sexually abused. It's typically a trauma that lasts their entire lives. Look at it this way: you were able to get over your theft experience but most molested children never fully do; their lives and personalities are almost always permanently altered. That alone should clue you in to the impact of those experiences.


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    BLAH BLAH BLAH (none / 0) (#124)
    by kbudha on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 08:29:13 AM EST

    Don't care.

    "robberies--where no violence is committed" - so standing there thinking of how you might die, time seeming endless.

    Yeah, that has no impact whatsoevar!
    That why some weaklings, like yourself, need counseling after an event like this?

    And I don't wish to muzzle innocent ppl ALL THE TIME. Just when they start preaching about shit they don't know.
    Like the usual(ie. harsher penalties, more gun laws, treating all offenders like animals, bitching about how their tax dollars pay for criminals lives in comfort)
    Lemme guess you probably agree/believe in all these.

    Ppl like you perpetuate the system.
    .

    [ Parent ]

    Nice try (none / 0) (#125)
    by Liar on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 05:36:28 PM EST

    I never said that getting robbed has no impact. However, by the time people become adults, they usually have enough experience along with the emotional capacity to endure it with minimal long term emotional stress.

    Children who suffer sexual exploitation tend to have this perpetrated by close family members: father, mothers, brothers, etc. The creepy uncle and the exploitative babysitter is not the typical exploiter. Consequent to this, a whole series of issues manifest dealing with familial relationships: trust and boundary issues most notably. When committed within the family, the child's notion of family itself becomes damaged. Meanwhile, your call to "get over it" makes no sense. Part of the healing process involved is to develop a healthy ability to trust and draw boundaries again but since the family provides no support (and is indeed frequently hostile to this sort of healing) the child never heals and retains these ingrained patterns into adulthood.

    Seriously, the two experiences aren't comparable. Getting robbed is bad but if it happens when you're an adult, you have a lot more resources at your disposal to endure it. When children are exploited, it frequently sets down patterns and behaviors that last for the rest of their lives that takes a lot more work to undo. That's why children deserve greater protection than adults and from adults.

    I'm sorry for your experience, but for as bad as it seems to have been, you'd think you'd show a bit more compassion to those who are more vulnerable than you and be outraged against those who would encourage abusive behavior.


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    nigga please (none / 1) (#102)
    by testicular torsion on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:20:36 PM EST

    weigh the number of things that are wrong and illegal against the number of things that are wrong and legal and examine the fraction you get


    "I added a significant number of &nbsp;s to the end of that ascii art, making it a derivative work and therefore not pasta of any variety, no matter how delicious." - Jobst
    [ Parent ]
    I get a huge margin of error. n (none / 0) (#103)
    by livus on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 08:23:23 PM EST



    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]
    Clarification. (none / 1) (#80)
    by sudogeek on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:56:41 PM EST

    The first commonly used argument against distribution of child pornography is, as you correctly paraphrase it, that exposure to child porn increases a persons tendency to engage in sexual exploitation.  This has not been rebutted but some scientific studies suggest the facilitating effect of exposure is less than has been touted. It may not be zero. The possible effect of exposure to kiddie porn in triggering abuse by certain individuals must be balanced by the fact that, for some, the images may suffice. "Looking as opposed to doing" appears to be the result in +/- 90% of viewers.

    Regarding the second argument, what I said is not that "photos already in circulation creates incentives to produce more" but that sale of child porn provides incentive for producers. I would argue that the kiddie porn industry is not motivated by a drive to abuse children but by good old-fashioned capitalist principles like greed. It is certainly true that if kiddie porn is profitable, some will continue to produce it. I don't think a complete refutation of this proposition is possible.

    The argument becomes one of degree. To what extent does draconian prosecution of alleged consumers of child porn deter child abuse? Most of those charged in Operation Ore were innocent (at least if we follow your definitions above since most prosecutions were dismissed, dropped by the Crown, or the persons were found innocent). Some were guilty. Yet, on balance, the ruin of the innocent majority must be measured against the jailing of the few guilty and an infinitesmal effect on this worldwide market.

    The proper approach is not to attack the consumers but to prosecute those who really are directly abusing the children - the overseas producers. It is a slam on the US administration but they are incompetent, not only in the Iraq occupation but in any endeavor that requires diplomacy, foresight, and a multilateral approach.

    There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
    [ Parent ]

    suspect reasoning (none / 0) (#81)
    by Liar on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 09:30:55 PM EST

    First of all, I can't accept the account given by the "Guarniad" you cite in your piece. It says that Pete Townshend was falsely accused but that's not really square with the facts, is it? After all, he admitted to breaking the law. And that's just one fact that I knew off the top of my head.

    Meanwhile, the author is a defense expert witness.

    I have a feeling that a bit of that article is spin and comparing this article to the sources cited in wikipedia shows similar inconsistencies (number of suicides, for example).

    Still, regarding the first point where you and I agree, I have a feeling that looking at child porn only stimulates those who were already pre-disposed to exploiting children in the first place. Like video games with those who commit violence, the game/porn has no effect on the overwhelming majority but for those with whom the desire was already within the person. It could be argued, though, that the game/porn aggravates such people into action. I won't. I don't have the facts on that and I'm not sure anyone does but it's a thought worth considering. What to do about it may be a question without any satisfying answers.

    Regarding the second point, though, accepting your correction, your argument makes little sense. Consumption incentives production, right? And you ask whether we've gone too far in cracking down on consumers. Your evidence: the British Operation Ore.

    Now, floridasun, you say you live in Florida, but from what I'm reading the similarities between Operation Ore and Operation Avalanche are not even close. Not in the number of arrests, the method of investigation, and, well, nothing.

    I have an idea: why don't you review the policies and indictments and case law of one country at a time instead of trying to blur the issue? Otherwise, when you ask whether "we" are cracking down too hard gives you a schizophrenic response. Or are you intentionally trying to blur the issue?

    Oh, and seriously, Iraq? What the hell kind of red herring is that?


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    About floridasun. (none / 0) (#30)
    by sudogeek on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 06:52:30 PM EST

    Thanks for pointing out that article, I hadn't seen it. Anyway, I'm not him.

    There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
    [ Parent ]
    fallacy (none / 0) (#41)
    by binford2k on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 03:15:33 AM EST

    McCarthyism is unsubstantiated witch-hunting. It's hardly a new McCarthyism if a person admits they went to a communist party meeting or if there is some evidence that they attended.

    Because we know that being a member of a minority political party is such a heinous crime!

    You were going in the right direction, but you lost it here.  What was unsubstantiated was whether a person's communist connection really mattered.

    Guess what?  We've got several American communist parties today:  Communist Party USA, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Progressive Labor Party, Ray O. Light Group, Revolutionary Communist Party, Workers World Party, Workers Party, USA

    You wanna throw them all in jail too?


    [ Parent ]

    Um, you misunderstand the U.S.'s concern (3.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Liar on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 04:36:28 AM EST

    Communism advocates forceful overthrow. This is why if you join the armed forces, FBI, or CIA they have you answer a list of questions one question of which reads: "Have you ever been a member of the Communist Party or any other organization that has advocated the overthrow of the United States." That's true today and I had to answer such a question before getting my security clearance.

    It's literary, philosophical, and historical ignorance to claim that a free society has nothing to fear from Communism. The goal of Communism isn't the real problem; the main problem is the means to get there and that concern is accurate. Note, that we're talking about "Communism" here not "communism" and both of those are distinct from "socialism". McCarthy and subsequent American policy has always been opposed to Communism while tolerating the other varieties.

    The reason McCarthyism got such a bad rep was because Joe McCarthy was throwing around accusations in order to make political hay. Also, if someone was professionally jealous of another, they would report their rival to the House Unamerican Activities Committee after which they'd receive a subpoena to testify and be subsequently black balled no matter how flimsy the proof. The problem was the ease with which a charge would stick even when unsubstantiated.

    It was this specific element for which The Crucible was written and why the HUAC and McCarthyism was so closely associated with the Salem Witch Trials. The problem with the Salem Witch Trials wasn't the witches, it was the innocents accused of being witches.

    And that's really what this author's thesis is: that today's law enforcement is going after innocent people. He cites two cases of celebrity arrests in which they didn't serve jail as an example, even though one of them admitted to breaking the law.


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    curse words in anger (none / 1) (#69)
    by clydemaxwell on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 09:38:33 AM EST

    You fook; that's like "have you ever had sugar, or PCP?" No good answer, there.

    McCarthy and various other people believe communism (little c!) was evil; that people who believed in it as a political ideal were evil; that they should be imprisoned and punished. There is no evidence that McCarthy especially would put up with either form.

    Stating that the goal of communism is a forceful overthrow is some closeminded, ignorant bullshit. Compare this to your claim of literary, philosophical and historical ignorance. I think you threw those words around to sound nice, because you obviously don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

    [ Parent ]

    you're speaking from historical ignorance (2.00 / 2) (#78)
    by Liar on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:52:17 PM EST

    During the time of the McCarthy hearings, all breeds of Communism advocated the violent overthrow of the bourgeousie, including the then leader of the Communist Party in the U.S. Eugene Dennis who was convicted on these grounds. For example, he openly agreed with the position of Communist International which advocated conflict "by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and for the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the State."

    Read Marx, Lenin, whomever on how they propose transitioning nations from capitalist regimes to communist regimes.

    In the 60's different varieties appeared that advocated socialist reforms that would eventually lead to a gradual state of communism and much of the stigma against being a communist disappeared. Whoulda thunk that people might be more responsive when threat of force was eliminated?

    It was at this time that people separated the notions of Communism and communism, just as we differentiate the idea of Republicanism from republicanism. Capital "C" Communism is a platform. Thus, the only kind of Communist that existed during the McCarthy era were those who accepted the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie. And if you read the papers from that period, you'll find that the concern was for those who advocated revolution in America. For example (last paragraph).

    Further, until the 50s, the world saw the violent overthrow of Russia, China and Korea by aggressive communist forces. Communism, as implemented, presented itself as system of revolution and violence.


    I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
    [ Parent ]
    Next time, (none / 1) (#20)
    by Kasreyn on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 02:54:38 PM EST

    do it without using the phrase "perfect storm".


    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    btw, War on Poverty? (2.50 / 4) (#22)
    by Kasreyn on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 03:13:27 PM EST

    There's a War on Poverty going on?

    Where??

    Ohh, wait. You just said it wrong. I know that war, it's quite apparent in the U.S. You just meant to say War on the Poor.


    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    Persuasive and topical! $ (none / 0) (#51)
    by Scott Robinson on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 01:54:45 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    It doesn't (none / 0) (#27)
    by ljazbec on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 05:42:58 PM EST

    seem to be that important.

    Pedophiles don't complain. (none / 1) (#35)
    by sudogeek on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 10:03:20 PM EST

    That list is a ranking of crimes that internet users (victims) complain to the FBI about.  Of course, the viewers of kiddie porn aren't complaining to the FBI, even if they got ripped off or their identity was stolen on the porn website.

    There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
    [ Parent ]
    Oh I see. (none / 0) (#72)
    by ljazbec on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 04:14:10 PM EST

    I just thought it was a list of things on the internet people in general complain about.

    Would be funny though. "This website ripped me off! WTF I can't get to my kiddie porn pics. HELP ME FBI!"

    [ Parent ]

    +1 fp (none / 1) (#37)
    by SCORCHED zombie Private Papers on Sat Apr 21, 2007 at 10:53:52 PM EST

    since it's sudogeek.

    btw i vote based on the personality of the author and his public image. kind of like how americans vote for their president. i think it makes a better k5!


    I just found out how USians fund campaigns (none / 1) (#57)
    by livus on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 09:43:24 PM EST

    everything made more sense.

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]
    The only logical option (none / 0) (#46)
    by starX on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 09:03:08 AM EST

    Is for Federal Governments to create Bureau of Pornography that includes a seal of approval by which all film and images can be stamped. Legal porn would be instantly identifiable as such, as it would clearly carry the full sanction and blessing of the federal government.

    "I like you starX, you disagree without sounding like a fanatic from a rock-solid point of view. Highfive." --WonderJoust
    You've never used photoshop, have you? /nt (none / 0) (#88)
    by Mathemagician on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 02:57:17 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    In the words of the immortal Black Mage (none / 0) (#89)
    by starX on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 03:53:23 PM EST

    We're going to have a code. When I stab you in the ear, that means I'm being sarcastic. Got it? :)

    "I like you starX, you disagree without sounding like a fanatic from a rock-solid point of view. Highfive." --WonderJoust
    [ Parent ]
    Gah, I haven't been here in months (none / 0) (#95)
    by Mathemagician on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 08:01:21 PM EST

    my trollometer's all rusty. Can you ever forgive me?

    [ Parent ]
    Sure! (none / 0) (#98)
    by starX on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 11:55:47 AM EST

    Acts of forgiveness are worth lots of karma, I'm sure that will make up for some of the misdeeds of my youth.

    "I like you starX, you disagree without sounding like a fanatic from a rock-solid point of view. Highfive." --WonderJoust
    [ Parent ]
    Nabokov. (3.00 / 2) (#47)
    by vera on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 09:24:16 AM EST

    Consider Lolita, perhaps, but not Nabokov.

    No, he still fails. (none / 0) (#135)
    by grendelkhan on Sat May 12, 2007 at 03:56:22 PM EST

    Dolores Haze was twelve in the book. sudogeek is clearly working from a hilarious idea of the meaning of "post-pubescent".
    -- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
    [ Parent ]
    well argued and persuasive (none / 0) (#49)
    by nostalgiphile on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 10:36:06 AM EST

    Just wish you'd spent more time weeding out the typos. +1FP anyways.

    "Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
    Focus too broad: (1.50 / 2) (#58)
    by sudog on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 09:46:56 PM EST

    : And therefore you open yourself to attacks on your incomplete presentation of the evidence upon which you apparently based your article.

    If you had narrowed your focus down further to a specific point, you would've had plenty of room to present evidence for your argument. After all, if you actually do have academic articles or studies you can cite, there are only a small handful of people here who could and would actually look the citations up, and an even smaller handful of people who could usefully argue with you.

    The provocation of a debate, I'm coming to think, is mere pointless diatribe amongst unqualified individuals the likes of which hang out in Internet Forums like this and refuse to see issues from others' perspectives.

    I suppose that begs the question: What the fuck am I doing wasting my time here?

    End of Line.


    your question answers itself. n (none / 0) (#61)
    by livus on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 10:04:21 PM EST



    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]
    Well... (none / 0) (#107)
    by JohnH on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 12:15:59 AM EST

    I suppose that begs the question: What the fuck am I doing wasting my time here?

    You mean besides misusing the phrase "begs the question"?

    [ Parent ]

    Well done. (none / 0) (#65)
    by creature on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 05:13:11 AM EST

    I'm annoyed I didn't get a chance to vote this up. The witch-hunt against child pornographers does worry me; as you say, it seems that all it takes is an accusation to wreck a life. It borders on hysteria sometimes; who can forget the paediatrician who was attacked because people got her job confused with "paedophile"?

    kiddie porn: the new preferred choice (none / 1) (#67)
    by noogee on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 08:23:51 AM EST

    of the IT professional

    --
    still here

    No mention of WebeWeb is pretty odd (2.83 / 6) (#68)
    by benenglish on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 09:05:49 AM EST

    If you want to make a point about (per)(pro)secutions gone awry, I find it odd that you don't cite the WebeWeb case.  The U.S. Attorney is prosecuting as child pornography some 80 (out of many, many thousands) photographs where everyone admits that the girls are clothed and there's no sex happening.  You could see just as much if not more teen and pre-teen flesh just by going to the beach on a hot day.  Essentially, U.S. authorities have moved to defining child porn not as pictures of kids being abused but merely as the state of mind of the purchaser.  What you do is now illegal based on what you think while you do it.  I find that unsettling.  I realize there is precedent; the whole concept of conspiracy to commit a crime is based not on action but on words and intentions.  However, applying such standards to child porn is a radical break from the original justification for making the stuff illegal in the U.S.  Whether that change in standard is justified or not is, to my mind, what we should be talking about.

    Hmmmm (none / 1) (#117)
    by livus on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 01:07:13 AM EST

    I think there's a strong argument that some of those types of sites are abusive toward their "models".

    Many of them offer things like items of the child's clothing and letters from her for sale to high bidders.

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]

    Democracy does not scale well (none / 0) (#70)
    by svampa on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:17:53 PM EST

    The idea is not so bad, we all together in our community choose the justest person. The idea is good and works well. Well, it has a little flaw when there someone from out of the community involved. In fact, he is expected to be a good and unbiased referee for the members of the community, not to be just. Nevertheless, the idea works.

    Unfortunately, forgetting the little flaw, this works only in small communities, but not in larger groups. The judge may not belong to your community (and probably won't), in the sense that a city, (even a small town) has several "communities" inside, so he could be a good referee of "his community", his circle, his environment, but not for you, you are an outsider.

    In addition, in modern states you don't know the person you choose, you are a victim of propaganda and advertising.

    This is applicable to any democratic process. Democracy sucks, but in the case of the electing government, at least we save us a civil war,it's not a trifle. In other cases, meritocracy is better.



    Churchill (none / 1) (#71)
    by sudogeek on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:25:42 PM EST

    Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

    There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
    [ Parent ]
    Highly disingenuous (none / 1) (#100)
    by fyngyrz on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 01:23:35 PM EST

    Neither England nor the USA is a democracy by any stretch of the imagination. The USA is a democracy only in the sense that voting among two small groups of people results in legislation. England, with its queen, parliament, and musty old trappings of liege rule such as peerages and commoners, is no sterling example of democracy either. Between the two of them, they're about as democratic as a family unit - everyone gets to have input, and then those who make the decisions basically ignore those inputs at will. So Churchill was in no position to pontificate about this. Not that such a thing would ever even slow down a politician.


    Blog, Photos.
    [ Parent ]

    Fuck Churchill (none / 0) (#133)
    by Djinh on Wed May 02, 2007 at 01:28:38 PM EST

    as he was the first to suggest gassing the Kurds in Iraq...

    --
    We are the Euro. Resistance is futile. All your dollars will be assimilated.
    [ Parent ]
    It doesn't scale at all, because it is flawed. (none / 1) (#99)
    by fyngyrz on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 01:03:30 PM EST

    Democracy is a system that can only work if the voting members are equally informed. There are two ways to accomplish this. The first is practical now; it simply involves testing the voters to see if they are informed about the issues. If they can show they are informed, they can vote. Very tough, but doable. The second requires that all voters (a) be of requisite intelligence, which implies genetic engineering, and (b) be forced to educate themselves, which implies considerable loss of freedom.

    We can sum up the problem thusly: Any two uninformed people can outvote an informed person; worse, in today's unfiltered rights-fest, any two idiots can outvote an informed genius.

    The idea of one man, one vote seems alluring until you realize that most people have no idea what is going on. Some because they can't wrap their heads around it, and some because they neglect to. Consequently, the trend that develops from democratic voting is a downward one; decisions are made for the wrong reasons, and that means that instead of a general force towards the best choice, voting looks more like random noise, slightly peaked with the input from the right side of the IQ gaussian... until the media is involved.

    The media doesn't inform. It propogandizes. A lot. Shamelessly. Huge segments of the population sit and drink it in, eyes wide and minds closed. Terrorists! Pedophiles! Immigrants! Global Warming! At that point, the gullible portion of the populace - almost everyone on the left side of the gaussian, and not a small number of the right - is pushed one way in particular, and viola - we end up with politicians like Bush, ex post facto laws, and shows like American Idol.

    So you can't fix the system with input from the populace, unless you change the system - and lo and behold, you can't do that without input from the populace. That leaves the only option as continuing to skate downhill, faster and faster, until a core of disaffected people burn out the old leadership, re-assert basic rights (or assert some new set of rules) and the system gets a clean re-start without the enormous weight of the baggage of the old.

    I think we may be within a decade or two of this happening; right now, the only element of the bill of rights that hasn't been significantly eroded, if not outright trampled, is amendment 3 - no one has yet been forced to quarter soldiers in their homes; I suspect this amendment has simply been superseded by technology. Aside from that, a good deal of article 1 has been corrupted as well. The government is currently operating in a mode that shows absolutely no reluctance to make vicious law against personal or consensual, informed, victimless choices such that they become criminal acts. In the business realm, small players are becoming ever more marginalized as a consequence of draconian patent and copyright laws; internationally, our actions are almost universally reviled due to our government's insane drive to impose our system, and artifacts of our system, upon other sovereign countries. Our military is being misused, our economy is being outsourced, land ownership has become an illusion that can be shattered at any moment by a local government seeking higher tax revenues, and a myriad of other problems of similar divisiveness and corrosive capacity eat away at our day to day lives.


    Blog, Photos.
    [ Parent ]

    Nice article. (none / 1) (#74)
    by 7h3647h32in6 on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 07:28:58 PM EST

    I'm using it to create a debate if you don't mind. You can participate on http://www.gamegeneration.net/forums/showthread.php?t=18072

    YOUR DEBATE FAILS (none / 0) (#101)
    by testicular torsion on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 03:16:50 PM EST




    "I added a significant number of &nbsp;s to the end of that ascii art, making it a derivative work and therefore not pasta of any variety, no matter how delicious." - Jobst
    [ Parent ]
    Could there possibly (none / 1) (#94)
    by Kasreyn on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 07:45:32 PM EST

    ever be any point in a bunch of anonymous assholes on the internets discussing this?

    What - you think a few score half-interested computer geeks are really going to do something about the religio-cultural media-circus hysteria of millions?

    The point is manufactured fear. If the media didn't have "pedophiles stalking YOUR KIDS - learn how to protect your family tonight at nine!", they'd simply find another boogeyman. They won't have to look far, you know. It turns out any problem can be blown out of proportion if you're dishonest enough. If the media wanted, hair gel could be the next terror du jour, and everyone would be trembling in their little individually packaged lives. So how do you propose to heal any of society's ills when all avenues of debate are increasingly coming under the control of those who have a vested interest in not healing those ills?


    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    Close. (none / 0) (#106)
    by sudogeek on Wed Apr 25, 2007 at 11:08:36 PM EST

    It was pet food, not hair gel.

    There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
    [ Parent ]
    Personally (none / 0) (#113)
    by Cro Magnon on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 02:05:34 PM EST

    I wouldn't recommend eating either one!
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    Good lord. (none / 1) (#109)
    by creature on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:28:44 AM EST

    You've completely missed the point of K5, haven't you?

    [ Parent ]
    k5 is great fun (none / 1) (#114)
    by Kasreyn on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 05:40:25 PM EST

    for pointless wankery. It saddens me when I see people mistake it for some sort of activism site that's going to actually do something.


    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    [ Parent ]
    I'm hoping (none / 0) (#134)
    by daani on Mon May 07, 2007 at 08:32:55 AM EST

    that they can start keeping the heat off us druggies. Now that somebody else is ruining the world maybe they'll leave us alone.


    from the daughter of a convicted "pedo" (none / 0) (#136)
    by kitykat on Mon Aug 06, 2007 at 05:41:51 AM EST

    Ok people I have been reading some of these blogs about the pedophiles who veiw or exchange online material and want to put my chin on the line and tell you briefly a few things that dont seem to be covered here.

    a. People keep telling me and i read here that people(pedophiles) who exchange pictures,videos and so on actually are creating victims by them veiwing such material ,

    my response: From what I know to be fact a good 50% of the so called material was made in the 60's/70's and 80's well thats a long time before the internet became what it is today , so this will back up the theroy that alot of people that this will always happen no matter if some one exchanges it or not ! yes pay sites can and probably do encourage some people make such material but the vast majority of the material was once never paid for , then a site will put it on and charge for it.

    b. People say that a "online pedophile" ie the ones who exchange material is worse than a "hands on pedophile" and a far greater risk to the public.

    my response:
     How many people have watched a film with a murder in it ? does that make us a murderer ? now there will be people who will say its not real so thats fine.

     well ok how many of us have watched or purchased a documentry about any crime say the cop car chase videos (i know i have) well does that mean that by watching this it will encourage me to go rob a car or have high speed car chases ? I DONT THINK SO , and yes it is the same we all watch thinks that "excite us" to some extent otherwise we would not watch them.

    c. Some experts say the ratio's for a "online pedophile " becoming a "hands on pedophile" are as low as 3%.

    My response: we can argue that is high and we can also argue that what about the percentage of pedophiles who never veiw it and abuse but dont get caught ? that could be exactly the same or even higher percentage as no one knows.With over 70% of child abuse happening inside the family circal it is often never discovered or spoken about.

    d. Every goverment has the power and the abilty to stop 98% of the online material every being available , china did it with certain material regarding anti comunist and germany did it regarding nazi material. from the studys it would take for example £500,000 to do this and a team of 10 people!

    my responce :

     they dont  for one simple reason its an "easy" target and if anyone has ever noticed that they always anounce a big arrest when ever the goverment is under pressure from a different area , this makes us all think the goverment is doing a good job catching these "dangourous people" its being used as a smoke screen most of the time people wake up! why else would they not "prevent the crime " prevention is always better than "cure" isnt it ?

    Now my Father was convicted in 1999 for downloading material , now He was the best dad I could of wished for , he never ever laid a finger on me in the "wrong" way , he was always there for me when i needed him much more so than my mother. when he was arrested yes i was shocked , devestated , repulsed and so on. Yes he let me down by going to prison , but after 7 years I know alot more than i did then. Yes he shouldnt of done it but he is no way a threat to any child , and to be honest now i blame the goverment more than him as they did not stop it being available and to the best of my knowledge all he was charged for was for non paid items.

    My veiw is clear i think , people need to get off the HIGH HORSE they are on and think about it , ask your self this how many of us have ever had under age sex with a bf or a gf ie when we where in school ? was that abuse or did the other party go on to be a rapist or did you ? if ever you have watched a documentry about any crime did it make you do the same ? and what are the goverments actually doing to stop it being available in your country ? and why arnt they ? it has been around long before the victorians but is now just more available and technoligy is such nowadays it can be stopped and should be! but dont let the witch hunt of online pedophiles make you think that they are all "preditors" I would not change my Father for anything he is still the same man he was before the arrest but now does not go there only because he knows i would not cope with the witch hunt if he got arrested again.

    kitty

     

    Kiddie Porn: The New McCarthyism | 134 comments (118 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
    Display: Sort:

    kuro5hin.org

    [XML]
    All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
    See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
    Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
    Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
    My heart's the long stairs.

    Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!