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[P]
Dear Abbey hands pedophile to cops.

By jabber in News
Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 11:56:55 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

According to this story, a man who wrote to "Dear Abbey" asking for advice on handling his pedophilia was turned in to the authorities, and found guilty of possession of child pornography - 40 whole pictures. As a result, he paid $10k bail and is subject to a $10k fine and up to 5 years in prison, for each count.


Now, this story bothers me for a number of reasons.. The man had dirty pictures of kids on his PC.. He had not directly harmed a child in any way. What's 'pornography'? What's 'a child'? What's 'possession'?

I'm willing to assume that these were inarguably pornographic images, not anything 'artsy'. But even so, whose right is it to dictate what members of society look at for pleasure? I certainly do not want some official behind a desk, a court or boardroom of stodgy GOPs, or the local PTA deciding my behaviors or aesthetics.

I'm willing to assume that these were clearly minors, even pre-pubescents, not "barely legal teens". Here, I really can't argue, can I? Sexual exploitation of children is clearly wrong - but this begs the question:

By stating the problem in connotative terms, we're already assuming one position, before any discussion. The question should be about voluntary behavior, and that child's ability to comprehend and consent. If that is answered, only then can we address 'exploitation'. The whole 'age of consent' thing is badly broken, but the statistical approach society takes errs on the side of safety, and given the alternative, I accept it.

I'm willing to assume that these were intentionally retained images, not something stuck in a browser cache. I have an issue with it being a crime to possess proof of someone elses illegal behavior.. Yes, on the one hand, the man is creating a demand for child pornography - but in the digital age, the argument fails to hold. He likely did not purchase the images. (Yes, I am assuming this) He probably got them for free, as we all easily could. Therefore, the pornographer likely did not profit from the man's interest - so how exactly did the man prompt the illegal action?

Further, how is mere proof of illegal activity make the one in possession of it guilty by association? If I had a genuine snuff film, would I be culprit to murder? If I owned a Nazi bayonet, would I be accountable for the Holocaust? Images of deeds are symbols, not fingerprints.. I'm sure I own a book with the image of JFK being shot.. Better shoot me for treason before it happens again.

Clearly, advice columnists are not bound by any 'patient-doctor' privilege, but what of journalistic integrity? I am aghast at the fact that the article makes any mention what so ever of poor "Dear Abbey" losing sleep over her decision to bring the man's letter to the attention of authorities.. IMHO, she should be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail for this breach of public trust. Signing reader letters with "Pedophile in Wisconsin" implies anonymity, and disclosure of the addressee name and location violates that.

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Poll
Which is the most important issue here?
o Criminalization of pornography 12%
o Definition of "pornography" 2%
o Sexual exploitation of kids 21%
o Definition of 'kids' 2%
o Definition of 'sexual exploitation' 7%
o "Possession" in the digital age 10%
o Guilt by association 12%
o Journalistic integrity 30%

Votes: 175
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o this story
o Also by jabber


Display: Sort:
Dear Abbey hands pedophile to cops. | 370 comments (356 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
Spelling! (4.00 / 5) (#9)
by FredBloggs on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 10:38:05 AM EST

You dont want to get confused with the ignorant peasants mentioned in this article, do you?

http://www.salon.com/sex/world/2000/09/26/vigilante/

Haven't these questions been considered? (3.00 / 9) (#10)
by etherdeath on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 10:45:29 AM EST

By stating the problem in connotative terms, we're already assuming one position, before any discussion. The question should be about voluntary behavior, and that child's ability to comprehend and consent. If that is answered, only then can we address 'exploitation'. The whole 'age of consent' thing is badly broken, but the statistical approach society takes errs on the side of safety, and given the alternative, I accept it.

How is it badly broken? The 'child' part of child pornography means under 18? (or 18 and under?) Are you questioning that age? Perhaps it could be moved back a year or two (sacrificing that safty margin, which you say is in error), but are you suggesting anything beyond that? I don't think these question has been ignored - those of a child's ability to comprehend and consent - I thought that these are the exact questions considered when coming up with the magic number '18'. I believe there is little good case for allowing children to be the subjects of a pornography production, no matter how smart, well traveled or mature the child seems. I haven't studied the subject extensively, but I imagine there is a good deal of research to back that up?

Age of Consent (3.71 / 7) (#17)
by jabber on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 11:08:39 AM EST

The 'child' part of child pornography means under 18? (or 18 and under?) Are you questioning that age?

Yes I am.. See, you yourself don't know EXACTLY what it is.. Or where.. This chart gives a summary across the world, and among the American States..

Note how wide the differences are. Why is this? Should this be??

And, to wit, that is only one issues about this case. Even if the children in the pics were, say, 4 years old... There's a slew of difficult issues to grapple with.

Also please note, I am not advocating child porography or pedophilia by asking any of these questions or raising any of these issues.. I think that it is only through open and honest discussion, and exposing these issues, and understanding them, that we can do the right thing here.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Age(s) of consent? (4.25 / 4) (#19)
by etherdeath on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 11:29:31 AM EST

Yes I am.. See, you yourself don't know EXACTLY what it is.. Or where.. Point taken, but one of the reasons I don't know the exact ages is because my own personal rules are probably as or more conservative than the law. I guess there aren't two sets of age of consent for regular ol' private sex between two people and for pornography. I think the lines of consentual sex between two people are blurry, but I don't think they are nearly as blurry in regards to pornography. I suppose these distinctions might seem strange or stupid to some. Even if the children in the pics were, say, 4 years old... There's a slew of difficult issues to grapple with. What difficult issues!? Do you mean the part about whether or not owning the material is harmful, if it was gotten for free? (As you probably noticed, I haven't addressed that part of your story - I'm a wimp, it is indeed a difficult area.) Also please note, I am not advocating child porography or pedophilia by asking any of these questions or raising any of these issues.. Understood.. that's why I voted for your story.

[ Parent ]
Well, call me surprised (2.00 / 5) (#32)
by Ken Pompadour on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:33:34 PM EST

Age of consent is 14 in Canada? Some of them are pretty damned hot at that age (well, 15 is close to perfect actually) I'm going to get me some young pootang :) j/k

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
12 in Spain, IIRC (4.00 / 2) (#44)
by Jel on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:15:26 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Damn. Sorry =) (4.00 / 2) (#47)
by Jel on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:19:07 PM EST

nope, 13, having just read the chart. Low consent ages are much more common than I realised, though.

[ Parent ]
Standards of behavior for counselors... (4.23 / 17) (#12)
by yankeehack on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 10:48:26 AM EST

MHO, she should be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail for this breach of public trust.

This assumption is dangerously wrong. I was a mental health counselor while in college and one critical aspect of my training was that your conversation(s) or interactions with any clients were confidential unless themselves or others would/could be hurt. This is a standard that every professional counselor follows.

For example, in suicide counseling, if the counselor asks "Do you have a plan?" or "Do you have the pills in your hand right now?" and the client answers in the affirmative, the police get immediately called for intervention--no ifs, ands or buts.

And in the case described above, I believe the standard applies because the letter writer was a)fantasizing about having relations with little girls who could not possibly consent and b)most likely had materials in his posession (even if he didn't mention it in his letter).

No one who was bad in bed has ever been good in life (i.e. liberals, I've never had sex with a liberal woman who knew how to use her body.) Keeteel :-P I'm *right*!

While I agree with your training... (4.60 / 5) (#16)
by etherdeath on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 11:05:08 AM EST

How do those two reasons fall under someone hurting themselves or someone else? Especially option 'a', the fantasizing part... I suppose fantasizing about little girls could be considered harmful to the fantasizer, but is that reason to call the police?

[ Parent ]
Degree of Risk (3.57 / 7) (#51)
by Kwil on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:28:28 PM EST

We need to consider several factors here:

1. We as a society have deemed child molestation to be wholly unacceptable. So wholly that even thinking about doing such an act is a sign of not being in tune with society's general morals.

2. Sexual molestation of a child can cause severe psychological damage that lasts for the remainder of that persons life.

3. It is extremely easy for an adult to place themselves in a position of power/authority over a child.

Given these three things, the fact that the man fantasized about doing these things demonstrated that he is already "out-of-bounds" with regard to society's morality. Because he is already out of bounds, the fear is that there is less to prevent him from actually taking the next step.

If he does so, the damage could be severe and irreparable. For this reason it is judged that the risk is simply too high.

To link it back to the original comment, note that the psychologist must call if the patient has a plan - there is no requirement to determine intent to follow through with the plan.




[ Parent ]
factors (5.00 / 11) (#70)
by ethereal on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:08:45 PM EST

1. We as a society have deemed child molestation to be wholly unacceptable. So wholly that even thinking about doing such an act is a sign of not being in tune with society's general morals.

We have a word for that, you know. The word is "thoughtcrime".

I agree that there is a danger here, but on the other hand most people are dangerous to someone at some point in their lives. We don't pre-emptively arrest teens that are driving to a party on the theory that they won't be able to control themselves and will end up drinking and driving.

As far as I can tell from this write-up, the element of "having a plan" seems to be missing in this case. Possessing illegal pornography and being aware that you have a mental problem in this regard doesn't equal having a plan to commit such a crime, at least in my mind. Anyone who is reaching out for help seems to me to still be far enough away from committing the crime.

I agree with you that it would be wrong to wait until such a crime is committed against a child before going after the perpetrator. But I don't think we should be criminalizing someone's cry for help if it doesn't seem like they are about to immediately follow through with the action. I strongly believe that we can't start acting only on the basis of someone's thoughts, or else we'll all end up in prison someday.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

re:factors (2.50 / 4) (#73)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:14:44 PM EST

Very well said. Will we be citizens of Ingsoc soon?

[ Parent ]
enough with the 1984 shit already! (2.33 / 3) (#126)
by derek3000 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:58:56 PM EST

Seriously. If you keep paraphrasing it at this rate, I'm going to have to assume you are a just a precocious 6th grader.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

hehe (5.00 / 1) (#141)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:08:44 PM EST

I watched the movie last night. It's funny how it somehow relates to this topic. I'll stop now ;)

[ Parent ]
On Thought-Crime (4.00 / 1) (#98)
by Kwil on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:36:22 PM EST

I agree that there is a danger here, but on the other hand most people are dangerous to someone at some point in their lives. We don't pre-emptively arrest teens that are driving to a party on the theory that they won't be able to control themselves and will end up drinking and driving.

You're absolutely correct. What I was getting at is that the issue of child molestation is one of this society's core beliefs. As a society in general, we tend to feel that if you can go against this, you can go against anything. And yes, that does make it a 'thought-crime'.

It is similar to insanity, in that when someone is insane, we put them away because their core beliefs simply do not fit in with our society. They don't need to be actively doing anything wrong, it's simply that their method of functioning doesn't work with us. The same applies to child molestation.

Please don't think I'm suggesting this is right or wrong. I'm just trying to illuminate how I think it actually is right now and why so many of us have such a deep emotional reaction to cases like this.

Anyone who is reaching out for help seems to me to still be far enough away from committing the crime.

I completely agree. And we can be thankful that it looks like the judge realized this too. The point is, until the man has been "rehabilitated", so to speak and brought back into line with our society's core values, we unfortuntely will treat him as a threat to us. This means using force to ensure he either gets treatment or is taken out of society - and our main means of force is the police - hence the arrest.

[ Parent ]

DAMMIT (5.00 / 5) (#109)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:41:39 PM EST

Will you stop with this "society's core beliefs" shit? Killing Jews was one of Nazi Germany's "core beliefs." Enslaving, raping killing, and doing whatever they damn well pleased to anyone in the entire fucking pacific rim was one of 1940's Japan's "core beliefs." Female genital mutilation is one of the "core beliefs" of some pastural, tribal, african societies. Budweiser is a good beer is a "core belief" of America. GO start THINKING.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
Molest children...For Freedom! (3.33 / 3) (#184)
by Demiurge on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:37:12 PM EST

There's a reason why child molestation is considered wrong. It causes severe harm to the children it victimizes.

The man who wrote the letter was living with his girlfriend, and her two young children. It would have been morally irresponsible to NOT pass on the information to the police.

[ Parent ]
How far off line from society's core values? (5.00 / 1) (#115)
by etherdeath on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:48:06 PM EST

There are similarities to insanity, but the insane often don't seek help and don't recognize how they are different. Having fantasies or even urges to do something other than the norm does not mean you have disregard these supposed core values. Nor does it mean you don't understand them or can't understand them any better than the most well behaved members of society. Doesn't the fact that he wanted help means he has some idea of these core values?

[ Parent ]
Re: on thought crime? (5.00 / 1) (#116)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:49:50 PM EST

What if he CAN'T be rehabilitated? Is it possible to "re-educate" you to NOT have your sexual desires(whatever they may be)? I don't think ANY rehabilitation will make me not be heterosexual. I can be celibate, but my desires will stil be there.
Remember, it's not WHO you have sex with, it's who you WANT to have sex with.

[ Parent ]
Re: On Thought-Crime (5.00 / 1) (#119)
by Qarl on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:51:05 PM EST

There's a difference between a crime of thought and a crime of intent. Asking someone if they have a "plan" is done to see if they have the intent of following through. Technically, someone could "have a plan" but not mean to follow through, but I think in the case stated above of suicide counseling the assumption is that if someone says they definitely have a clear plan, they intend to follow through.

As far as insanity goes, insane people are not locked up because their "core beliefs simply do not fit in with our society". You could say the same thing about someone with radical political beliefs, but we don't lock them up. The insane are dangerous to themselves and others and are not capable of functioning as competent adults. That is why they are put in institutions (hopefully to be rehabilitated).

Now, I realize lots of people look on this differently, but you can't start legislating based solely on people's fears. A person isn't locked away for having child pornography because it means they're having bad thoughts. I can have bad thoughts about children all day long and even admit it and the courts can't do a thing about it. Having physical photos of real children being exploited demonstrates that I support the actual, real-life molestation of children (not necessarily financially).

Now, you can think what you want about thought-crime. I myself do not believe in legislating based on thought, but intent is what links thought to action and that you can legislate on. My real point here is that the law as it currently exists is *not* based on so-called "thought-crime", or at least can be viewed as not based on that, and I think it's an important point to make.


--Carl
[ Parent ]

thoughtcrime^2 (none / 0) (#135)
by etherdeath on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:04:23 PM EST

What if it was illegal to have thoughts about creating legislation to arrest people for their thoughts?

[ Parent ]
Re: thoughtcrime^2 (4.00 / 2) (#147)
by Qarl on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:21:43 PM EST

Then, uh, we'd have a thought-crime law and I wouldn't like it.


--Carl
[ Parent ]

criminalize action, not thought (4.00 / 1) (#282)
by ethereal on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 09:55:57 AM EST

It should be illegal to create such legislation, not to think about it. Then the circle of this thread would be complete :)

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

How about BDSM? (4.00 / 2) (#199)
by Robert S Gormley on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:17:13 PM EST

Bondage/Disciple, Domination/Submission, Sadism/Masochism?

All jokes about whips and chains aside, this perfectly "legitimate" (in most cases, barring extenuating circumstances) activity is also generally deemed "wholly unacceptable". The man who "likes to whip his wife" (regardless of whether she might enjoy it) is a evil male ghoul who needs to be locked up in most eyes...

[ Parent ]

Odly... (none / 0) (#326)
by Rk on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 07:43:22 PM EST

in Switzerland, there are no laws regarding what two consenting adults can do (apart from incest and polygamy, which I presume these are illegal in the US too, in the case of polygamy I am sure of it. ), but depication of violence in a sexual context is illegal. (as are depictions of child pornography and bestiality...)

I've always considered this law to be very stupid, the fact that it is currently being toughened further I find to be a clear sign that politicians are out of touch with reality. And before someone goes on about conservatives/facists/fundamentalists, socialists are also behind it ("human dignity" - a very ambiguous term indeed).

It always annoys me when politicians somehow believe that they can run politics through some kind of free-market system, where laws are created when some unknown unimportant politician sees an urgent need to solve a nonexistant problem with a draconian law. Politicians obviously believe that the more laws they create, the better society will be. More good PR for them. And here in Switzerland, most of the politicians aren't lawyers, so they don't profit directly from such laws.

It doesn't end there either, as far as Swiss laws go: The first paragraph of article 261 which deals with "trespasses against religous and cultural freedom" approximately translates as "persons who publicly and intentionally insult the religous beliefs of others, particulary the belief in God, or desecrate objects of religous worship...". Some would consider that a ban on religous criticism, though it isn't as bad as a similar law in Austria that forbids insulting religions, as opposed to the beliefs of their adherents (different wording). Though the wonderful new (introduced in 1993) antirassistische Strafnorm (261bis, see below) may well do just that. (I'm not a lawyer, my German isn't perfect, the penal code is heavy reading)

The other two laws that I have a serious problem with, 135 & 261bis, the first dealing with "depictions of wanton violence against persons or animals in such a way that it degrades their dignity, except where this serves a scientific or cultural (?!) purpose" and the second with discriminatory remarks (not surprisingly, human dignity comes up again here), revisionism (-> illegal to publicly deny the holocaust) and denial of goods and services based on race or religous beliefs.

[ Parent ]
Rationale (4.06 / 15) (#14)
by djotto on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 10:53:43 AM EST

For me, the key to legislating against something (drugs, porn, guns, etc etc) is proving that it causes harm to others.

There are two sources of harm to the victim here: firstly (and obviously) the abuse involved in the production of the image, and secondly that as the victim grows up s/he has to live with the knowledge that those pictures are "out there", being collected and traded.

Everyone will have a different threshold for "harm", but I'm quite happy to minimise future harm to the victim by making possession of the images illegal.

UK law makes the possession of simulated images or text illegal... that's a different question altogether.



Flame d'aeon (4.00 / 2) (#48)
by PigleT on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:21:29 PM EST

"causes harm to others."

Yes, this is a major downer in regarding something as wrong. Look back to your ethics (see other threads here on k5 from months ago) and you'll see that it's not necessarily the only axis on which to judge an action, but I'd agree it's a signifi[ck]ant one.

But what I really wanted to throw into the collective consciousness was the idea that paedophilia is one of the major sins in society because the media over-focus on it. The Victorian era is known for dark-alley multiple/chain murders; I'm sure other times have had their focuses as well, and would suggest that news reports of paedophilia should be viewed in this light - especially before stirring the populace into uproar.

~Tim -- We stood in the moonlight and the river flowed
[ Parent ]
Harm assumed, legislation unjustified (4.33 / 3) (#66)
by Jel on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:02:17 PM EST

I'm not sure that I'm entirely convinced by it, but there IS an argument is that the harm done in sexual abuse cases is not from those committing it, but (at least in part) by the social emphasis placed upon the damage done.

Even if it is the case that 90% of harm comes from the actual abuse, but I'm quite certain that people looking at a picture, in itself, has no effect whatsoever. It's exactly what censors do, and what investigators do.

Moreover, I can't recall any examples right now, but I'm sure I recall hearing about cultures where such things happen without anyone thinking it is harmful at all, including those subjected to it. In fact, I think the case I'm vaguely recalling might have involved father/daughter relationships -- often considered the worst cases in our culture.

As for being happy to minimise future harm to the victim by making possession of the images illegal... what is the point of even having children, if you're going to give away their basic social freedom to choose what they think is appropriate for themselves?

It has also been said that, compared to the scale and frequency of other crimes child abuse is very disproportionately handled -- for example, the media make a much bigger deal out of child abuse than they would a murder.

The alternative to exercising moderation in these extremely rare cases is to give up our belief in freedom for selfish fear, and to progressively loose more of our basic rights until we find ourselves living under fascism.

Since this whole argument is essentially about trying to protect rights, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me that we should give up some of our most basic rights for those in a few specialist cases.



[ Parent ]
Unaccountable (2.36 / 19) (#18)
by paxus on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 11:10:28 AM EST

The reason i dislike articles like this is the idea that the subject of this article should, in the author's view, be held unaccountable for his actions. This seems to be an American theme, from Oj, to JonBenet to now child porn. As far as i know, possession of child porn is illegal. Let's for the moment disregard the fact that he admitted to having pedophilia. I mean, seriously!
I will take the huge leap of assumption and say the author probably does not have children. I doubt any person who does would agree that someone who admits to having pedophilia and being in possession of child porn shouldn't at least be investigated.
Finally, to tackle your last point, there is no implied "immunity" from journalists. There is no doctor-patient privilege (can you see the words doctor-patient?), and even if there were, there are circumstances in which a doctor can report a patient without violating said privilege.

For clarity, i have lived in the US all of my life, and no, i do not have children. If i did have children, i would hope to not have neighbors like the author, who would wait until said pedophile attacks someone to say something. I do not believe the man should automatically be proclaimed guilty of harming children, but obviously he's guilty of having child porn in his home. Not a good start.

i'm tempted to give you a -1, but i'll be fair and not rate at all, much too emotional on this.


"...I am terrible time, the destroyer of all beings in all worlds, engaged to destroy all beings in this world... " - Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita
Thing with kiddy porn (3.87 / 16) (#20)
by wji on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 11:54:54 AM EST

It pushes two of our most sensitive buttons -- sex, and protecting children. So we tend to forget little problems like arresting people for what they actually do, not what we think they'll do in the future. As far as I can tell this guy might have got off on little kids, but he never actually abused one of them. Does he really deserve to lose tens of thousands of dollars and spend years in jail for thinking about committing a crime?

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
He did commit a crime (2.66 / 6) (#29)
by hulver on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:28:17 PM EST

Possession of Pornographic images of children is an Illegal act. He had some of those images in his possession, therefore he broke the law.

--
HuSi!
[ Parent ]
I never said he didn't break the law (4.00 / 7) (#36)
by wji on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:48:12 PM EST

I was speaking in terms of morals, not in terms of law. Absolutely, he broke the law. Uh, why do I care? The law can say whatever it likes, I'll decide for myself what's right and what's not.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
the law has moral force (2.00 / 2) (#229)
by rehan on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 07:28:26 PM EST

in a democracy, the law has some moral force. if you vote to constrain someone else's actions by voting for a law, you have to accept the other laws too.

you can't have your cake and eat it.


Stay Frosty and Alert


[ Parent ]
What the hell good is cake if you can't eat it? (5.00 / 2) (#232)
by ldambros on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 07:32:33 PM EST

Sorry, that ones just always bothered me. I don't want a cake if I can't eat it, as eating it is what cake is for.
Is not the greatness of this deed to great for us? Must not we ourselves become gods simply to seem worthy of it? -- FWN
[ Parent ]
That's not moral force. (5.00 / 1) (#283)
by Yellowbeard on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 09:57:19 AM EST

I suggest you do some study on what you think you mean by "moral."

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
what i mean (none / 0) (#377)
by rehan on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 05:24:42 AM EST

i mean to make a contrast between obeying the law out of fear, and obeying the law because you think it's right to do so (moral, one might say). morality would include keeping to agreements that you've made - the trade-off/agreement you've made here (by living in a democracy) is to get some input into the law, and in return to obey it.

Stay Frosty and Alert


[ Parent ]
Where do you live? (none / 0) (#316)
by Happy Monkey on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 04:47:40 PM EST

I've never voted for a law. One time I voted on a referendum, but even though it passed, the federal government overruled it. Where does the public get to vote on laws?
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
reply (none / 0) (#376)
by rehan on Mon Apr 01, 2002 at 05:20:48 AM EST

it takes a number of elections/votes/hurdles for a law to pass, one of which is you voting for your representatives. in any case, you still have input into what the laws are, you expect others to obey the ones that you agree with so the same duty lies on you.

Stay Frosty and Alert


[ Parent ]
Contraban (5.00 / 1) (#308)
by ka9dgx on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 03:13:25 PM EST

The idea that merely possing something inert should be reason for imprisonment is as dumb as they get. If I happen to posess some substance and don't intend to harm others with it (and its inert for discussions sake)... why should the government be able to decide I should go to prison for the mere possession of this substance?

If they decide that Lead is more dangerous than cocaine... should I be sent to prison if a TV set I happen to own has solder in it?

If they decide that a certain weed is dangerous (like... say a dandilion), should I go to prison if it happens to be in my yard? (Uncultivated)

If I happen to wish something bad on someone, and have no intentions on acting on it, should I be pubished for "sin in my heart"?

The obvious answer to all of the above is NO.

--Mike--

[ Parent ]

I felt deeply uncomfortable reading this... (3.68 / 19) (#21)
by maroberts on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 11:57:49 AM EST

...so I gave it +1FP! :-)
~~~
The greatest trick the Devil pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist -- Verbil Kint, The Usual Suspects
Parent post mod (5.00 / 1) (#257)
by maroberts on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 04:06:11 AM EST

When I wrote the parent post it was meant to be a serious comment stating that I wasn't sure I agreed with the premise of the article, but I felt that the quality of the article and the potential for discussion was so great that it deserved a +1FP.

It seems some 0/1 moddies didn't understand this.
~~~
The greatest trick the Devil pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist -- Verbil Kint, The Usual Suspects
[ Parent ]

Should have been editorial comment (none / 0) (#259)
by Secret Coward on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 04:59:51 AM EST

Perhaps some people loved your post, while others felt it should be an editorial comment.

[ Parent ]
-1 (4.31 / 16) (#23)
by jayhawk88 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 11:59:21 AM EST

But only because I think the discussion of "should owning child porn be illegal" is sort of glossing over the real issue here, namely Dear Abby giving up the guy.

As others have stated, child porn is demand driven, so I think it is right to punish those who are found in possession of it. You could argue the punishement this guy revieved might be a little harsh, and I might entertain that, but I don't really buy into the idea that owning kiddie porn pics shouldn't be a crime.

What I find most interesting here, however, is the fact that Abby gave the guy up. Yes, I know that there's no legal privledge here, like with a lawyer or a doctor. But there is perhaps understood expectation of privacy based on history. Dear Abby has been running for many years now, and has printed many letters from people who are in not-so-nice circumstances. I can't say for sure if she's ever done something like this before, but to my knowledge she doesn't make it a habit of turning in people who write to her with tales of illegal things they've done.

At the very least, there is a widespread public perception that if you write into Dear Abby for advice, your personal information is kept confidential. It could be interesting to see if this perception holds any weight, should the guy decide to sue or something.

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
Turning people in (4.16 / 6) (#33)
by Torgos Pizza on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:36:30 PM EST

I think that Jayhawk is right here. The fact that Jeanne Phillips, who for all intents and purposes is Dear Abby, turned this guy in troubles me. On the surface, it appears that this man only mentioned his desires for young girls. As sick as you may or may not think this is, was it enough evidence to go in and search this guy's house?

It almost sounds like the Thought Police are on patrol here. If Jeanne Phillips knew what I thought about my ex-boss, would she turn me in? What was in this letter that made her call the police? I can perhaps understand her actions if he wrote statements about stalking or actually committing a crime, but otherwise I think that his civil liberties and definitely his trust was mishandled.

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
[ Parent ]

Why is this so hard to comprehend? (none / 0) (#189)
by Demiurge on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:50:54 PM EST

He wrote that he felt attraction towards his girlfriend's two young daughters, whom he was living with.

It would have been irresponsible not to notify the police.

[ Parent ]
irresponsible? (5.00 / 3) (#243)
by mikeliu on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 12:41:53 AM EST

Maybe it's so hard to comprehend because this is a deeper issue than you're looking at.

I'm not so sure you're right on this one. The message that is clearly being sent out to all the other potential pedophiles is: DON'T SEEK HELP, YOU'LL BE ARRESTED IF YOU DO!

The real question is, is society better served by these pedophiles repressing their terrible secret and pushing it down deep inside of themselves, until it (maybe) someday explodes and they actually act on it? Or would it be better if a pedophile turns to someone looking for help, and confesses what he feels and maybe can get treatment for his problems. Because the message being broadcast loud and clear here is, don't go looking for treatment, you'll just be persecuted.

And personally, I think Abby did a terribly irresponsible thing. This man recognized in himself that he had a problem, and turned to her in confidence for help, and she betrayed him. She could have pushed him towards counseling and provided assistance, instead she threw him to the wolves.

Just out of curiosity, do you feel it would be any different if instead of writing to Dear Abby, this man had went to a confessional in a church? Because to me those seem like analogous situations, and I don't like the idea of anything a person willingly confesses to in such situations being used against him later. It just encourages people not to try and get help at all.

[ Parent ]
Abby's privateness; fiction (3.77 / 9) (#24)
by Silent Chris on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:07:24 PM EST

Out of curiousity, does anyone have any reference to something similar Dear Abby has done in the past? Like "I killed my neighbor's dog. I buried it underneath my porch. Sometimes I hear it barking." Surely there has been something in the decades that the column has run.

Also, where is the line between a person writing a "fake" letter to Abby, and a real one? I used to remember high school students talking about how "great" drugs were in class, but the teacher said that she couldn't do anything unless she had physical evidence (e.g. red eyes) in front of her.

My uncle is a pedophile.... (3.68 / 29) (#26)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:16:46 PM EST

He has been having counseling for over 15 years. It has done nothing. He curbs his "appetite", because he has a "name" in the community. However, he has made some very interesting comments. His therapist was a homosexual. He remembered asking him when "homosexuality" no longer became a "sickness", did that all of a sudden validate it? How is pedophilia, homosexuality and even necrophilia different from each other? My uncle will swear to his dying day he was born this way. Schizophrenics are born that way too...they need medication. My point is, if he has a sickness, how come homosexuals don't??
In his eyes, the two are identical. He sees "13 yr old girls in the same way a homosexual man sees anoter man. He has even been to Yugoslavia and paid a family a LOT of money for the privelage...is he sick? If you think he is, then homosexuals are sick as well....something to think about

Bad Logic (3.76 / 13) (#27)
by jathos on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:25:48 PM EST

This is terrible logic -- the difference is obvious. A homosexual man or woman can give reasoned consent to sex. A 13-year old child CANNOT. End of comparison.

[ Parent ]
How is the desire different? (4.44 / 9) (#31)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:32:07 PM EST

My point is not how the ACTIONS are similar, but how the DESIRE is similar.Why is the desire of the same sex NOT a sickness, yet the desire for a younger person IS a sickness? I know the issue of consent, that is not the question

[ Parent ]
It's not a "sickness". (3.44 / 9) (#39)
by joshsisk on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:01:24 PM EST

It's not a "sickness". Sickness implies something that can be cured. You can't cure any sort of -philia. People like the things they like.

Necrophilia, beastiality and Pedophilia are illegal (and immoral) because the subject cannot give consent. Other fetishes/fixations where the person can give consent are legal (or should be).

If a guy has a thing for underage girls, he should get his of age girlfriend to wear pigtails and play "saucy catholic schoolgirl" with him. That's a-okay. If he tries, plans or does anything to a real minor, he needs to go to jail. And that's it. There needs to be zero tolerance for child molestation. ONE strike, you're out.
--
logjamming.com : web hosting for weblogs, NOT gay lumberjack porn
[ Parent ]
Blah blah (3.57 / 7) (#41)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:07:55 PM EST

Here's a great "reaction" rather than response. "The thought of X makes me feel all upset so I'll attack it blindly." Then you throw in the "(and immoral)" bit and it pushes me over the edge. Where the hell did you get qualified to judge what is moral and what is not?

To be fair, when I run into opinions like this one that are completely based on emotion and not reason, I tend to get all angry and pitch my own reason out the window. So I guess I'm guilty too. You /are/ entitled to your opinion. I have doubts that you are qualified to judge what is moral.


"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
How can you say that was a reaction? (4.80 / 5) (#52)
by natael on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:33:15 PM EST

Almost every post in this thread has reacted to the question by xtremex. The post by joshsisk was a great response. He basically agreed that its not fair to say one is a sickness while another is not. His reasoning was that neither is a sickness because they are not curable, but the point stands.

He then went on to give a very good reason why people might consider same sex relations ok while relations with a minor is wrong. The consent issue is central to this. This doesn't seem like a blind attack. He believes in a possition and gave an acceptable reason why.

"And now you're apologizing, not for insulting and denigrating people you don't
[
Parent ]

because I am pissed off (3.60 / 5) (#57)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:40:42 PM EST

and not thinking clearly. Ok - you're right - (s)he didn't react. However, I will stand by my guns saying that (s)he isn't qualified to judge what is moral and what is not.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
Your pedophilia is quite apparent, Yellowbeard. (1.00 / 9) (#260)
by Demiurge on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 05:03:59 AM EST

While your postings on K5 are hardly marked for clarity or informed opinions, the amount of inane venom you've been spewing in this thread(calling the columnist a stupid bitch), your irrational defense of such a heinous act(he was living with two young children, and admitted to having sexual urges directed at them), and your constant ascribing of your own pedophiliac urges(i.e., your assertion that men in their 30s increasing find teenaged girls sexually attractive) to others makes it abundantly clear.

So instead of wasting electrons, please just cut out the circumlocution and state that you think it should be O.K. to fuck ten year olds.

[ Parent ]
Gee. (5.00 / 2) (#281)
by Yellowbeard on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 09:55:14 AM EST

Can we say, ad hominem argument, boys and girls? Ok, you've got me. I want to fuck 10 year olds. It's true. Someone call Dear Abby and turn me in.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
Teenagers (5.00 / 4) (#336)
by Nick Ives on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 09:04:04 AM EST

I think you'd be lying if you honestly meant that you dont find teenage girls attractive. Unless you meant early teenage (13/14), I seriously dont see how you can stand by that statement. I first had sex when I was 16 with another 16yr old and she was hot. I'll still think that she was hot when I'm 30, 60, whatever, because she was. I'm 20 now, just for the record.

Anyway, I dont think thats a problem because here in the UK the age of consent is 16, which is a good age if you ask me. By 16 almost all girls are fully developed which means you get to take advantage of them for all their prime years. Cant complain =).

--
Nick
Uh, since when was 10 teenage? I missed that...

[ Parent ]

I disagree, well to a point. (2.00 / 1) (#358)
by joshsisk on Mon Mar 18, 2002 at 09:54:43 AM EST

Actually, I'm 25 and I find that, as I get older, when I see younger girls (under 21) I don't really get intertested at all anymore. Nowadays, actually, if I meet a girl and she looks like a college student, I generally am instantly not interested - though this may be my mind "playing tricks on me", as I know I don't want to be involved with a college-age girl.

But I can see what you mean, though.
--
logjamming.com : web hosting for weblogs, NOT gay lumberjack porn
[ Parent ]
Re:It's not a sickness (4.33 / 9) (#42)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:11:51 PM EST

On the consent issue, that's a touchy subject. My friend is gay, and has no problem going to Fire Island (beach community on Long Island NY with "gay" areas) and having Boy toys. Sitting by the pool as young buff males prance around naked. We're talking 12-14 year old "jocks". This happens ALL the time. You have old movie directors paying big bucks to have their boy toys. No one says a word about this. However, if they had the SAME thing with young girls prancing around nude, the place would be surrounded by feds. Why the hypocrisy?

[ Parent ]
No hypocrisy (3.40 / 5) (#50)
by Stickerboy on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:26:15 PM EST

It's exploitation of minors.

Those "movie directors" and your friend should both go to jail.

Homosexuality is fine. Exploiting 12-14 year olds, whether they're male or female, is criminal.



[ Parent ]
You're an idiot (2.00 / 12) (#54)
by Ken Pompadour on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:35:25 PM EST

I'll 'exploit' 14 year old chicks all I want.

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
Care to explain the 1 vote, pal? (2.75 / 8) (#72)
by Ken Pompadour on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:12:30 PM EST

Fucking 14 year old girls is perfectly legal where I live. So where's the exploitation?

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
There's some balance for ya, (3.66 / 3) (#88)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:28:18 PM EST

Pompadourouski.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
I'll explain it (5.00 / 2) (#101)
by bgarcia on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:37:53 PM EST

Your original comment was:
I'll 'exploit' 14 year old chicks all I want.
So you say you will exploit someone.
Then you ask:
So where's the exploitation?
Well, you *said* you wanted to exploit someone!

If you had originally said fuck instead of exploit, then you would have had an argument.

Exploitation is wrong, regardless of the age of the exploited. I don't blame them for ranking that comment a "1".

[ Parent ]

So you understand the contradiction! (3.33 / 3) (#110)
by Ken Pompadour on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:43:54 PM EST

Funny how as soon as I say it was legal where I live, it's no longer exploitation? There seems to be some confusion between law and ethics going on in this discussion.

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
Yes, but you misunderstood the confusion! (4.00 / 2) (#143)
by bgarcia on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:16:36 PM EST

Funny how as soon as I say it was legal where I live, it's no longer exploitation? There seems to be some confusion between law and ethics going on in this discussion.
I said you would have had an argument, not that it was definitely no longer exploitation.

If you are a 14 year old who wants to screw another 14 year old, well then I personally think this could be fine.

If you are a 40 year old who wants to screw an 18 year old, the law may be on your side even in the states, but I would still think you are exploiting the person.

[ Parent ]

Look closely (none / 0) (#157)
by Ken Pompadour on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:34:53 PM EST

I put the word exploit in quotations.

...The target is countrymen, friends and family... they have to die too. - candid trhurler
[ Parent ]
I saw that (none / 0) (#311)
by bgarcia on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 03:54:30 PM EST

I did notice that, and I also knew the implied meaning.

But you *did* use the word exploit. All I'm saying is that you shouldn't be surprised that some people rated it at 1.

I didn't rate it at 1. I thought it was a clever bit of bait. :^)

[ Parent ]

exploit (5.00 / 1) (#198)
by Robert S Gormley on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:14:24 PM EST

"To make use of meanly or for one's own advantage."

How is an 18 year old being exploited by virtue solely of her partner being 40??

[ Parent ]

Age and exploitation (none / 0) (#313)
by bgarcia on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 04:01:39 PM EST

How is an 18 year old being exploited by virtue solely of her partner being 40??
Of course, you are right.

It's just that my first instinct is to judge the situation based on age difference. As you and termite both know, each situation should really be examined individually.

My little sister (who is in her mid-20's) was dating a guy who is halfway between my sister and mother in age. It's kind of creepy for me to think about it in those terms. Once I met him, though, I found him to be a good guy and they got along great, and I no longer had any misgivings.

[ Parent ]

You've got to be kidding (5.00 / 2) (#227)
by pyramid termite on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 07:15:05 PM EST

An 18 year old is a legal adult. With the kind of logic you've just used, one could argue that any adult who has sex with any other adult could be exploiting the person. Come to think of it, you could argue that the 18 year old is exploiting the 40 year old.

It's really down to individual cases - you have to look at the people and their motivations when dealing with adult relationships, not their ages.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
I was wondering when you'd get to the point (none / 0) (#148)
by etherdeath on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:22:15 PM EST

of all your little vague posts. Well done!

[ Parent ]
Re: No Hypocrisy (4.66 / 9) (#55)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:36:01 PM EST

I agree they should go to jail, but my question is, how come THAT is tolerated?This has been going on for EONS.Everybody knows what happens in "Cherry Hill" Fire Island. As fas as I know, these "exploited" kids go there on their OWN because they make BEAUCOUP bucks to prance around naked. Do they have sex with them? I don't know. My fiance's brother used to be a "bartender" out there. He wore nothing but speedos and made enough money in one summer to pay his college tuition. He s not gay, but was willing to walk around naked to get $100 bills shoved down his drawers. (He was 15 when he did this). I wouldve done it if I had the physique.

[ Parent ]
Consent.... (5.00 / 3) (#214)
by BlaisePascal on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:56:34 PM EST

Necrophilia is illegal because of lack of consent? A dildo has the same level of free will as a corpse (i.e., none), so should it be illegal to have sex with a dildo as well?

[ Parent ]
Not a good comparision. (4.00 / 1) (#360)
by joshsisk on Mon Mar 18, 2002 at 04:01:45 PM EST

A dildo is a piece of plastic; your argument is flawed. A dildo is not a person, and never was. A corpse was a person at one point. I believe, as do many, possibly even most, that a person should have the right to decide what happens to their body when they die (within the limits of common sense : "I want to be laminated and placed on the top of the Washington Monument" would probably be taking it a bit far).

If someone says in their will that they want their body to be available for people to do the sex to after they die, that's fine by me. More power to them. But if someone is abusing bodies in a morgue or funeral home, that's wrong because that person did not give consent for people to do that to their body. Just as, in my opinion, it would be wrong to use a corpse for medical class dissection, unless the person had given permission.
--
logjamming.com : web hosting for weblogs, NOT gay lumberjack porn
[ Parent ]
So it would be OK with an animal corpse? (5.00 / 1) (#361)
by BlaisePascal on Mon Mar 18, 2002 at 04:28:58 PM EST

For the record, I'm not arguing that necrophilia (or necrobestiality) is OK, I'm playing devil's advocate suggesting that the "corpses can't consent, therefore it's wrong" argument is not a good one.

Actually, the "X can't consent, therefore it's wrong to have sex with X" argument is even more clearly flawed when applied to animals. We kill animals for food. Douglas Adam's "sentient meat" to the contrary, I'm sure that cattle, pigs, etc, aren't consenting to their own deaths. If we don't care about their consent before stealing their life and consuming them, why should consent be an issue when using an animal as a sexual toy? (For the record, I am a vegetarian, but not for moral or ethical reasons. I have no problems with killing and eating animals, nor with using animal products. For religious reasons, it's not appropriate for me to eat dead animals -- but I can use leather, hair, bone, etc, without moral problems). I am uncertain if I accept the idea that the dead have property rights on their own body. I fully accept the idea that the ownership of a corpse is transferred to whom the deceased wished upon death. As such, serruptitous necrophilia on the part of a third party (like a morgue attendent) is at least as bad as unauthorised use of private property. But such use by the owner of the corpse? Property rights alone won't convince me there's a problem.

[ Parent ]

Again, your arguement is flawed. (5.00 / 1) (#366)
by joshsisk on Mon Mar 18, 2002 at 06:50:42 PM EST

We eat animals to survive. We kill them to eat (though in today's advanced world, I guess it's no longer really essential - but meat eating is ingrained in most cultures now). We used to use them as pack animals, so we could survive (many places, they still do). Sex with animals doesn't help us survive in anyway. In fact, were it to become common, it would most likely hurt us as a species... Less children being born, possible introduction of cross-species diseases, etc...

However, I'm not for bestiality to be a felony or anything (I don't think it is in most places, but I admit I've never researched it). I put the rights of an animal lower than that of a person. Species loyalty, I guess. I eat meat sometimes, though I'd prefer the animal to have been treated humanely in life, rather than kept in a box or something equally horrible.

As far as property rights and corpses go, I'm a firm believer that a person should have the RIGHT to decide what happens to their body, within acceptable limits. So, as I have already stated, if they want their body open to post-life sex acts, that's fine with me. I'd prefer my body be chaste in death, and disposed of in a timely manner. This should be my right, I feel. In the US, it's is not, though it is at least the legal norm in most places.
--
logjamming.com : web hosting for weblogs, NOT gay lumberjack porn
[ Parent ]
If you're going to ask that (3.25 / 4) (#40)
by Spendocrat on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:06:57 PM EST

You have to ask why the desire for someone of the same sex isn't a sickness as well.

The desire is wrong because the actions are wrong. They might all stem from the same thing, but we place the desire to have sex with helpless children into the same category as the desire to murder someone.

If you're looking for some way to say what baseline morailty is, I can't help you. We deem some things as wrong, and some things as not wrong. The fact that homosexuality used to be seen as wrong by some people in no way implies that it was ever actually wrong. Before it was wrong, it used to be ok.

[ Parent ]

This is among the worst logic I have ever seen (4.66 / 9) (#45)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:15:32 PM EST

even from people of this site.

The desire is wrong because the actions are wrong.

What? Non sequitor.

The fact that homosexuality used to be seen as wrong by some people in no way implies that it was ever actually wrong. Before it was wrong, it used to be ok.

So, by this logic, we may some day see child sex as ok and then we can say it's ok even though some people "knew" previously that it was wrong? Are you living outside the land of logic?


"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
Yes (5.00 / 1) (#206)
by Spendocrat on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:33:52 PM EST

we may indeed.

To really *prove* logically that pedophillia is wrong you have to prove basic rights. In order to do that you have to have some baseline for morality.

I can tell you what I feel is right and wrong, but I certainly couldn't give you a rigorous logical proof. Can you give me one? (You can invoke god if you like, but that brings with it a whole other host of "what about...")

For me, it's my opinion and my feeling that homosexuality isn't wrong. I also feel that pedophelia isn't right. Now, I'm never going to change my mind on either, but future generations might not agree with me - on that or a host of other things. By the same token, I don't agree with past generations who found homosexuality wrong.

If I'm living outside the land of logic here, why don't you invite me in: show me where I'm wrong.

[ Parent ]

Also (none / 0) (#213)
by Spendocrat on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:51:01 PM EST

From what you're saying, should I question whether or not slavery is wrong, and whether or not women should indeed have a vote?

Previously people "knew" these things were wrong, but we think differently today.

[ Parent ]

What should they do? (5.00 / 3) (#67)
by QuickFox on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:04:14 PM EST

There are people who have this urge but would never ever act on it. They are convinced that acting on the urge would cause harm, and therefore they live in a constant struggle against their own desires.

You are saying that these people are immoral, that they are doing wrong.

What should they do then?

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.


Terrorists can't threaten a country's freedom and democracy. Only lawmakers and voters can do that.

[ Parent ]
Off topic but I have to respond.. (5.00 / 1) (#93)
by RandomAction on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:31:39 PM EST

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and fish stocks collapse.

[ Parent ]
I really don't know (5.00 / 1) (#212)
by Spendocrat on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:49:10 PM EST

I honestly don't know what these people should do. I wish I had an answer. Perhaps the answer is the same as for (other?) mental illness. Certainly if help can be given I hope society can provide it.

In retrospect, I'm going to contradict myself and say that the thoughts themselves are not wrong. As such, I would have no problem with someone who was in possesion of artwork, stories. Actual pictures I don't feel are right though, because children were violated in their making. It's all well and good to say that those possesor had no part in the making, but IMO the taint is still on them. To me it's the same reason why I wouldn't buy a stolen car stereo.

[ Parent ]

They are different (4.00 / 5) (#43)
by Boronx on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:12:54 PM EST

It is more similar to a gay guy who desires to *rape* other men. To be driven by the impulse is to not care about the target of your desires, because they would not or cannot possibly consent to what you want to do to them.
Subspace
[ Parent ]
Re: they are different (4.50 / 2) (#60)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:48:58 PM EST

I agree..like prison rape. The greatest quote I ever heard concerning this is: "It's not who you DO have sex with, it's who you WANT to have sex with"

[ Parent ]
Americans, that is. (4.16 / 6) (#69)
by Znork on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:07:41 PM EST

A 13 year old american cannot, you mean.

There are plenty of countries where 13 is legal age of consent, and that includes several western countries. The lowest accepted age of consent around the world is 12, I believe, altho it usually (in western countries) is accompanied with a requirement of consent from the parents too. Most of the world has an age of consent ranging between 14-16 years old.

Personally I do believe a 13 year old can give reasoned consent to sex, provided they've had a decent sexual education in school. It is a bit on the young side tho, and 15 is a better age of consent. The age of the partner would matter, and to avoid exploitation, the parental guidance clause in countries with low ages of consent makes a lot of sense.

16 is bordering on strange, and 18 like some US states have is rediculous, especially unless they make allowances for sex between people within the same age group. The youths are not going to care. Teenage pregnancy seems to increase when you increase the age of consent (possibly due to age restrictions on preventive measures, and a lack of sex-ed), which may make high age consentlaws worse than useless.

Oh, and I find it sortof annoying when people start comparing people having consenting sex with age groups who are capable of making some form of reasoned consent (which is still, imo, gross and quite tacky), with paedophiles who have sex with children (that is, ages 0-10) which is quite horrifying and utterly unethical. They are not in the same league, and blurring the borders between a serious abuse and something somewhat disgusting lessens the seriousness of what we are talking about.

[ Parent ]
Absolut stupidity (4.40 / 10) (#34)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:39:25 PM EST

Sane respectful homsexuality involves consenting adults.

Paedophila involves a child in a position of weakness and vulnerability.

Anybody that can't spot what the difference is needs to re-check its sense of logic.
---
"At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look;
at forty-five they are caves in which we hide." F. Scott Fitzgerald.
[ Parent ]
Re: Absolute Stupidity (4.00 / 7) (#37)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:53:26 PM EST

I'm not questioning the actions..I'm questioning the DESIRE. How is the DESIRE for people of the same sex different than the desire for people younger than you? I'm not saying the actions are the same...read my question

[ Parent ]
good question (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by ethereal on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:21:45 PM EST

I can't see a hole in your argument that the desire is the same. I don't think that we should be criminalizing people just because of what they think or feel, no matter how appalling it may be to other people. Although, I think there is still some medical evidence necessary before we can truly say that some desires are innate - for example, I remember a very interesting episode of This American Life recently about how homosexuality first became considered a disease by the psychiatric community, and then later was changed to not be considered a disease. I think it's reasonable to get some medical research in hand before we say for sure that every kind of desire is unavoidable by the desiree.

However, I think that it is possible to say that satisfying some desires is legal, and satisfying other desires is not. I desire to get home a lot quicker in the evening, but if I gratify that desire by driving too fast, I still get in trouble. So it may just be the case that some people have been saddled with desires which society will never be able to let them gratify. Are these people going to have a rough time of it in life? Yes. But your life could also be bad if you were born homosexual in a society that punished that with death, etc. Maybe those people don't have a disease as such, but regardless I don't see that society will let them live as they want to live.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Re:good question (5.00 / 2) (#107)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:41:03 PM EST

Rememebr the book/movie 1984? Sex itself was illegal. People had to sneak around to do it, and risk getting "re-educated". Some people though sex was appalling (after 40 yrs of propaganda) and they would turn you in quicker than shit thru a tin horn if they knew you were commiting this crime. (Which was part of thought crime)

[ Parent ]
Desire (5.00 / 2) (#85)
by Anonymous American on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:24:48 PM EST

How can you separate desire and the object of desire? I want to fuck an 8 year old boy and I want to fuck an 18 year old boy. The desire is the same, but the question of morality is completely different in each situation.

Regardless of whether homosexuality is a sickness or not, when it is carried out between two consenting adults I am completely cool with it. I can't be cool with pedophilia because no matter how intelligent the child is he does not have the experience to make this decision. Furthermore I consider such a relationship harmful to the child. As such I consider a pedophile a danger, even if his desires are repressed. I am wary of such a man, just like I am wary of a man with a repressed desire to punch me in the nose. Say the man fantasizes about punching me in the nose, he creates detailed drawings about punching me in the nose etc. All these activities show that this man is a danger to me. The 'harmless' activities of a pedophile show him to be a danger to society. How we react to these 'legal' activities is a gray area, but I believe that the viewing actual minors being molested is a crime, much in the same way that witnessing a murder and doing nothing to prevent it is a crime.

Your uncle paid a family for what privilege?



[ Parent ]
Re:Desire (5.00 / 2) (#103)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:38:15 PM EST

He went to yugoslavia where the laws are different.He fell in love with a 13 yr old girl (I dont know the details) in Yugoslavia. According to Yugoslavian law, the age of consent is 13, but he asked her parents for permission. They wanted money.He has broken it off since then for 2 reasons.
1) She got older
2)He felt guilty that her parents were pimping her.

[ Parent ]
Love (4.00 / 2) (#162)
by Anonymous American on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:43:18 PM EST

I'm not sure I buy that he fell in love, and I'll tell you why. I think when you fall in love with someone you want to grow old with them, and that even physical appearance doesn't matter so much. It's who they are, not how they look. I know this is yet another murky topic, and there are plenty of people out there that believe that love is simply a hormonal thing.

I think your uncle may differ from homosexuals in that he is so fixated on his partner being young that he can't accept anything else. Perhaps my ideal woman is eternally young, thin in the prime of her life, large breasts etc., but I can part with that fantasy in order to conform with reality.



[ Parent ]
Re:Love (5.00 / 2) (#176)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:10:31 PM EST

I agree with you about what love is. But 80% of the US is confused abut it. How many people do you know are married within 6 months to a year? How many of those people who were "in love" are now divorced?
I can't judge the couple getting married after 3 months for being in "love", so I can't judge the pedophile who insists he is in love.

[ Parent ]
A-HA!!! (5.00 / 2) (#106)
by jpm165 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:40:56 PM EST

Filthy pedophile,

You said, "I want to fuck an 8 year old boy"

Did you really think you would get away with your disgusting habits by admitting them in public?? I have forwarded a copy of your post to the proper local authorities. I would suggest you try to eliminate all evidence of your disgusting habit from your computer and all of the printouts and magazines and photos you took. They should be there shortly.

Have fun in jail

-Abby Van Buren


"But then, why should you listen to me? For I know nothing..."
[ Parent ]

At the very least ... (5.00 / 2) (#146)
by Anonymous American on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:18:29 PM EST

I will be subjected to a search and all my computers will get trashed. Argh, you really have to watch what you say/think around here.

[ Parent ]
Aha, sorry, that is entirely different. (none / 0) (#220)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 06:39:52 PM EST

And is pretty difficult to answer.

The sexual apetites of people are a very strange thing indeed.

I will not dwell in that, nevertheless we are not animals. We have a big brain that allows us to understand when we are inflicting pain into somebody else.

Any desire or apetite must be weighed carefuly against the harm one can cause to others.

A paedophile has lost that most basic of judgments, and as such , is a dangerous person that should be kept under supervision.


---
"At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look;
at forty-five they are caves in which we hide." F. Scott Fitzgerald.
[ Parent ]
Re: Aha! (5.00 / 2) (#226)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 07:13:37 PM EST

Let me play devil's advocate for a moment. If a pedophile is someone who is attracted my someone younder than consensual age, is that same individual a pedophile if he has a desire for the same age in a country where the age of consent is lower? In Spain, the age of consent is around 13 or so(I'm not up on my child sex laws). Is a 40 yr old man from Spain a pedophile if he has sex w/ a 14 yr old? Spain says he is not. It's all relative. I think it's a case by case basis. Is a 14 yr old able to consent? At 14, I was as horny as a toad. If a woman wanted to have sex with me, i wouldn't say no..HOWEVER, if she "raped" me. made me have sex against my will, or tricked me into it, that would be a different story.

[ Parent ]
Desire leads to action, that's why. (3.00 / 3) (#233)
by sacrelicious on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 07:34:53 PM EST

I'm not questioning the actions..I'm questioning the DESIRE. How is the DESIRE for people of the same sex different than the desire for people younger than you? I'm not saying the actions are the same...read my question

I'll try to explain... it's not the desire itself, but the fact that often desire induces action, when opportunity exists.

So, in the case of homosexuality, this can result, often, in a perfectly legal (depending on where you live) result.

However, in the case of sex with a child, the result will always be illegal, and immoral, due to the fact that one member (the child) will not be in a position to give consent (they're not old enough to truly know what they're doing).

Also, in the case of sexual relations with a child, it is highly likely that this is the first experience that this child will have with sexuality. And the first experience usually colors their whole life experience (you always remember your first time) Therefore, it's even more immoral, because the adult is stealing something permanent from the child (of course, this kinda falls into the "not old enough to know" section, too). Not to mention psychological damage... I remember hearing somewhere that pedophilia is actually a viral behavior, so that those who have been molested as children will have a tendancy to be molesters themselves... please correct me if I'm wrong.

So in short, it's all about consent, just like everyone else is saying here.



[ Parent ]

Your comparison (2.83 / 6) (#46)
by FredBloggs on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:17:13 PM EST

between a sex criminal and a homosexual is very sad.

BTW: Not all schizophrenics are born `that way` - society is a factor - read some RD Laing.

Of course the two groups are the same in his eyes - he has a messed up head. What about black people? They were slaves once, now they are treated the same as white people (in theory). Outrageous how things change, isnt it...

I think you need to work on your ability to reason and use logic.

[ Parent ]
Re: your comparison (4.42 / 7) (#49)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:25:51 PM EST

You have not explained why they are sad. My uncle has not molested anyone. I used schizophrenia as an example. If homosexuals are BORN homosexual, how come my uncle can't be BORN attracted to people younger than him? A person's desires doesn't know about laws. A person who is a molester/rapist is not a sex issue. it's a power issue. A person who molests children is using their power over another. I doubt child molesters are TRUE pedophiles. They see children as weak and chose to take control of that weakness. Same thing with a rapist. Has nothing to do with sex. My uncle is not married. He is 40 and chooses to stay unmarried because to him, marrying a woman is a lie. Just like a gay man marrying a woman. I have done research into this because it intrigues me. Everything else about my uncle is 100% normal, except his sexual preference. If I conclude he is sick, I HAVE to conclude a homosexual is sick as well. The desires are the SAME.

[ Parent ]
Huh? (1.50 / 2) (#84)
by bgarcia on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:24:27 PM EST

You said:
My uncle has not molested anyone.
But earlier, you said:
He has even been to Yugoslavia and paid a family a LOT of money for the privelage...
I think that makes him a child molester.

[ Parent ]
Huh? (4.50 / 2) (#96)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:34:46 PM EST

In Yugoslavia, according to their laws, he did not molest anyone. He asked permission of the girls parents, and they wanted money. SO her parents exploited her. I can't comprehend having love for a 14 year old girl. I can understand desire, but not love. He said he LOVED her. (He's been to Yugolsavia over 35 times in 2 years)...there is one problem however..this 14 yr old girl WILL get older, THEN what??

[ Parent ]
Laws... (3.00 / 1) (#132)
by bgarcia on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:01:45 PM EST

In Yugoslavia, according to their laws, he did not molest anyone.
Regardless of laws, do you think he molested the girl, given your understanding of the meaning of "molested"?
He said he LOVED her.
Does he really, or is it just infatuation? People mistake infatuation for love all the time.

Was it "love at first sight", or was it grown over time? Did he have sex with the girl all 35 times he has visited the country, or was there a "dating" period beforehand?

I can't help but think he is just fooling himself into thinking he loves her when it is really just an infatuation. But I don't know all the facts.

[ Parent ]

Re: Laws (4.50 / 2) (#144)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:17:17 PM EST

Excellent questions..I'll answer them if I can.
He had been "dating" this girl over time....months I believe. The hole family thought he was "infatuated". However, it was I believe 6 months after they've been "dating" (that is so weird, how do you "date" a 13 yr old girl? Bring her to the mall?), and they were discussing having "relations", he asked her parents, out of respect. They said yes, but demanded money..I personally don't belive he molested her. He even brought her here to "meet" the family .(THAT was an uncomfortable situation).
But then again, because he was family, maybe I took his actions differently

[ Parent ]
However (2.00 / 1) (#275)
by bob6 on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 08:59:54 AM EST

For instance French sex crime laws apply to all French citizens even if the act has been committed outside France. So sex tourism is illegal for Frenchies in France, Yougoslavia or Thailand.
Actually I'm not sure the law has been voted yet, but it is an interesting legislation case.
He said he LOVED her
IMHO, your uncle is sick and that is not a crime but he molested her and that is a crime. Her parents are also guilty from my point of view.

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
Nonsense. (4.71 / 7) (#59)
by ghjm on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:43:10 PM EST

The difference between a sex criminal and a homosexual is which state (or country) they live in. In many areas, gay people *are* sex criminals.

The actual answer to xtremex's question is the age of consent. This is a legal and moral doctrine that basically says people under a certain age (usually 18) are unable to understand the consequences of their choices well enough to provide legally acceptable "consent." Homosexuality occurs between consenting individuals; pedophilia doesn't, because children are incapable of giving consent. Non-consensual sex is usually rape, therefore pedophilia is usually rape.

So the discussion should now focus on whether or not the age of consent doctrine makes sense. A good test question would be, what if an attractive 14-year-old desires to have some form of sex (which might or might not involve intercourse) with a pedophilic 40-year-old. For the sake of argument suppose that the 14-year-old issues a written statement that they understand what they are doing and want it to happen, and after the fact issues another statement that they enjoyed what happened and are happy that they did it. What is the moral and ethical situation here? Does it make a difference if the 40-year-old pays for it? Does it make a difference if pictures are taken? Does it make a difference if the pictures are distributed widely, either for free or for money?

-Graham

[ Parent ]
And a hetrosexual woman sees a man.. (3.50 / 2) (#102)
by RandomAction on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:37:56 PM EST

..pretty sick ain't it?

Seriously why all women aren't gay I will never really understand. At least not from an emotional viewpoint.

[ Parent ]
You're a jerk. (5.00 / 1) (#108)
by special ed on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:41:17 PM EST

I read through all those comments to see if someone had made the point...And then you beat me to it.

I can't understand why this always happens to me.

Meanwhile, the world turns foolishly on and ants tickle his butt.
[ Parent ]
Hee hee (none / 0) (#174)
by RandomAction on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:06:45 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Fine. Homosexuals are sick. (3.50 / 2) (#105)
by special ed on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:39:29 PM EST

So are heterosexuals. Those disgusting bastards, always acting on those depraved desires for the opposite sex.

Just makes me want to puke.

Meanwhile, the world turns foolishly on and ants tickle his butt.
[ Parent ]
The difference (5.00 / 3) (#183)
by Macrobat on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:36:42 PM EST

How is pedophilia, homosexuality and even necrophilia different from each other?

The difference is, one of the three conditions can be acted upon and satisfied between consenting adults in a relationship of equals with mutual trust and support, without coercion or deception. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine which one.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

what about necro (5.00 / 1) (#245)
by mikeliu on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 12:57:53 AM EST

Sure, there's no relationship fo equals with mutual trust and support, but there's no coercion or deception going on there either. Or even a relationship for that matter. Provided that whoever is the owner of that particular body is consenting, I see no reason why a corpse should be viewed differently under law than a dildo. Not much of a relationshipo or trust or support either, but many people seem to enjoy them nonetheless.

What about if the person gives permission before they die to be fucked after they're dead? Then you got the good relationship thing going there, does that make it ok?

I'm really kinda surprised more people haven't moved on his inclusion of necro in there.....

[ Parent ]
What about it? (5.00 / 1) (#356)
by Macrobat on Sun Mar 17, 2002 at 10:31:12 PM EST

There are two questions bundled into one about the "pedo/homo/necro" issue. The one is legality, the other is mental health. I can't find much of an objection legally about necrophilia (although I have no idea about who legally "owns" a corpse), but I've got to admit, anyone who finds themselves compelled to commit sexual acts with a dead person strikes me as being maybe a little unhealthy. (Note, I said compelled, not who has the occasional--or even more than occasional--fantasy.)

Speaking of legal vs. healthy, I have an acquaintance who sometimes slashes her wrists with razor blades, never deep enough to be life-threatening (yet), but enough to leave marks all up and down her forearms. She says it relieves stress. Does she have the legal right to do this? I think so. Does that mean she's healthy for doing it? I think not.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

Flamebait. (1.00 / 1) (#330)
by gromm on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 02:20:25 AM EST

There's a saying.

Never argue with an idiot, because people watching won't know the difference!
Deus ex frigerifero
[ Parent ]
Two different issues. (2.53 / 13) (#28)
by davidmb on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:26:24 PM EST

1. Should Dear Abby have turned this man in to the authorities? They could have tried to help him in some way instead. Do they have a duty of confidentiality? Obviously if a man wrote in to say he had children tied up in his basement they would have to call the police in, but did this case merit their actions?

2. You appear to be trying to defend the use of child pornography. In my mind there is no defence. These children do not have a choice in the matter, they are being abused for the pleasure of paedophiles. If there was no demand for these pictures, they would not be taken. What proportion he actually paid for is irrelevant. Should we prosecute only those paedophiles that keep the receipts?
־‮־

One of the Key Things (4.73 / 19) (#30)
by pridkett on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:30:52 PM EST

One of the big things here, is that the man wrote asking for help with controlling his urges. He didn't want to have the urges, and was honestly seeking help to avoid them. Even after being arrested he admitted that he needed help and denied ever having acted upon his urges.

The question then arises, what is someone to do if they have these urges? It's hard to say without the complete picture, for all we know the guy could have literally stumbled across the pictures and it flipped a switch in him.

Currently the judge ordered him to participate in a mental health program, which while good, I'm not sure if it will provide the help he needs.
--
Read this story.

How do we trust Dear Abby? (4.12 / 8) (#35)
by Torgos Pizza on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:45:27 PM EST

This case aside, what if I write to Dear Abby explaining that I have urges to steal cars. How can I trust her that she won't call the police to search my house for stolen items?

Because she's not a psychiatrist or medical doctor, there's no patient-doctor confidentiality. She can squeal to the cops as she feels. But there's an element of trust in a help column that when I write asking help, you'll keep my trust. There might be more to this specific cast of child porn than on the surface, but if I ask for help with some urges that I feel and no crime has been committed, how can I trust Dear Abby not to turn me in?

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
[ Parent ]

Don't worry (4.00 / 10) (#53)
by enave on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:33:31 PM EST

How can I trust her that she won't call the police to search my house for stolen items?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that as long as you are a women, and as long as you are writting to complain about men, then you really have no need to worry that she will contact the authorities.

She really wants to help [female] people with their problems [related to men (who are evil - evil I tell you)].

[ Parent ]

You're missing the implications. (4.20 / 5) (#134)
by Jack of Hearts on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:03:15 PM EST

If a search warrant was obtained, it clearly means that the letter had some admission of law-breaking, whether it be that he had child porn in his possesion or that he actually did molest a child. A search warrant was issued by a court, that means that the judge had to find probable cause. No judge would *ever* issue a warrant on only the grounds that the man said he had "urges," or something, because they would know that anything that was found would be tossed out in court.

[ Parent ]
You sure? (4.50 / 2) (#186)
by jabber on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:44:48 PM EST

Try making it public that you have *urges* to kill the President, or to blow up a prominent skyscraper.. Watch that door come down, with a warrant, just because you have *urges*.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Soon.... (4.50 / 2) (#192)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:53:41 PM EST

Then, they will start making laws restricting talk of your disdain for the president....Like in communist countries.

[ Parent ]
No warrant was issued. (4.33 / 3) (#203)
by BlaisePascal on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:28:36 PM EST

No warrant was issued, according to at least one news story. The police got the letter, went to his house and asked if he wrote it. He said yes, but he's never acted on those urges. They asked if they could search his house. He said yes. They found the child pornography. If he had said no to the search, that would probably have been the end of it.

[ Parent ]
are you for real? (4.00 / 2) (#178)
by Lenny on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:13:28 PM EST

how can I trust Dear Abby not to turn me in?
I am stunned that people feel somehow wronged by this. Dear Abby is a newspaper column. It is written by people (yes, more than one) who do not have any certifications or degrees (written or implied). It is an advice column. Where does the implied trust/confidentiality come from? NOWHERE!!! They are below journalists on the integrity scale even (and that's low).


"Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
-Me
[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#319)
by jmzero on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 06:36:45 PM EST

My first impulse is to say "If he was really after help, then they shouldn't have found anything on his computer...."

This is a wierd issue - it's about the only thing that is still taboo in our society. I personally think that making it should be illegal, and possessing it should be grounds for mandatory counselling.

Don't get mad at Abby though if this man is arrested. Get mad at the law.


.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]
And you say my foreskin article flamed? (4.50 / 22) (#38)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 12:57:32 PM EST

Disclaimer: The Author of this comment is from Arkansas

That aside. Look, I have no desire to look at children sexually (by children, here, I mean pre-pubescent). I don't personally look at any "child" pornography - meaning I stick to looking at naked women who are over 18. However, I don't think that any male who is starting to get a little older (like approaching 30) can deny the quote, "the older I get, the younger I like 'em." And any straight male who tells you that he has never looked at an attractive, 16 year old cheer leader with more than just interest in their pep abilities is a bald faced liar.

We have a problem in this country (oh hell, the whole world) where we get on one subject like child porn or terrorism and we tend to react rather than respond. We're supposed to get all uncomfortable any time we hear, "child pornography." I still have a question as to how one defines pornography - the only suitable way I can come up with involves the intent of the photographer, which is hard to prove.

How does one define child? I certainly have known plenty of 18 year olds who were in no way competent to make this type of decision. Equally, I am sure that there are 16 year old geniuses (emotionally as well as intellectually) out there who could make an informed decision about their own sex life. Just a few hundred years ago, 13 was marryin' age.

Here's another question. What if I have an artist draw me lots and lots of pictures of pre-pubescent people engaged in sex - is that illegal? Should it be? Does it matter if it's a drawing of an actual person? What if the artist saw the person clothed and then drew a pic of them naked (from his mind's eye). Where do we draw the line?

Now, I am not, repeat, not advocating change here. I am advocating thought. Stop reacting and start responding.


"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


Over-generalization (4.00 / 2) (#56)
by Kwil on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:37:03 PM EST

However, I don't think that any male who is starting to get a little older (like approaching 30) can deny the quote, "the older I get, the younger I like 'em."

I'm 30, nearly 31, and I'm sorry, but I'd rather have a woman in her late thirties than early twenties.

They've got more experience
They've got fewer hang-ups
And when they want it.. they really want it.

[ Parent ]

Welllllll (4.00 / 2) (#58)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:43:06 PM EST

Ok - point taken. But I was talking about aesthetic value, here - not to say that I haven't seen hot women across all ranges.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
i call bullshit on this line (5.00 / 2) (#81)
by tralfamadore on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:21:44 PM EST

They've got fewer hang-ups

[ Parent ]
Age and interest. (3.00 / 2) (#97)
by Znork on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:35:19 PM EST

Well, most of the world has ages of consent ranging from 14-16, which is more reasonable than 18. Quite a large percentage of kids have sex before 18 wether or not it is illegal. Of course, the US which has among the highest ages of consent also has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies, more than twice as high as most european countries.

But, frankly, no, 16 year old cheerleaders dont interest me. I break out in hives from naive people. Having had to live with younger sisters and their friends may have something to do with finding young girls quite a turnoff tho.

[ Parent ]
Re: Age and interest (4.00 / 1) (#113)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:44:30 PM EST

Good point..you don't find Britney Spears-loving-giggly-mall rats attractive???? Whats with you man??
<the above is sarcasm>

[ Parent ]
I think you two missed Yellowbeard's point (4.66 / 3) (#247)
by mikeliu on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 01:30:26 AM EST

And what if that hot 16 year old girl happened to be incredibly precocious, and more mature than your average 40 year old, with more intelligence than the average person will ever achieve? And in case I forgot to mention it, she's incredibly hot.

I'm sure that some subconscious machinery is at work in the back of your mind, and goes boop-boop under 18, not attractive. And then the moment she hits 18, boom, time to get your pimpin' on.

And lastly, ok, maybe I am wrong, and you prefer the physically 40 year old looking woman look better than the 16 year old girl look too. In that case, I would tend to say that you're the fetishist, not the guy who likes 16 year old pretty cheerleaders, no matter how much American society might wish that weren't true.

[ Parent ]
A poorly written troll (1.94 / 17) (#61)
by angry android on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:51:57 PM EST

Why was this voted to the front? This article contains almost no facts or details regarding the case. Its full of weak analogies and poor logic. The fact of the matter is that this man performed an illegal act, admitted it, and was legally and constitutionally prosecuted for it. I'm not saying I would have done *exactly* the same thing, and I'm not saying that maybe Dear Abbey took advantage of the sensational nature of the story, and screwed this guy over royally. But what are you complaining about? Inane liberals should not be ranting on the front of K5.

You must be new here... (5.00 / 2) (#218)
by Demiurge on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 06:25:26 PM EST

K5 is quickly becoming nothing BUt insane liberals ranting on the front page.

[ Parent ]
hate to be trite (5.00 / 1) (#248)
by mikeliu on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 01:34:58 AM EST

But, then, I'd say your response is pretty trite already, so here goes: If you see a simple solution to a complex question, chances are you're wrong.

Here we have a debate going where people (not just trolls) are actually debating from both sides of the story. The fact that people genuinely believe the two sides they're arguing for means that neither side is simply trolling. So how about rather than pointing out that there are "weak analogies" and "poor logic" you actually try and join the discussion and say what you think was a weak analogy (and what you think is a better one) or what you think was poor logic (and what you think is better logic).

[ Parent ]
I can't believe this... (4.79 / 39) (#62)
by Rahyl on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:53:11 PM EST

I can't believe nobody has brought up any of the REAL legal implications this case is going to touch on.

The only evidence authorities had was a letter written to a sex therapist. Is this anywhere near an appropriate foundation to base an investigation on? Do I only need write to Dear Abby to have someone arrested? Do we have proof that the guy really wrote the letter? Do we know how the "child pornography" got on his machine anyway?

The media has done a shoddy job on this case, and I'm calling them on it. I could easily email any one of you material that could be considered "child pornography," call the police to make nothing more than an accusation, watch them storm your house and confiscate your machine, and wait for the headline "Kuro5hin poster arrested, child pornography found."

Think about this: how many of you have been innocently browsing the newsgroups when you came upon some cross-posting @ss-wipe who dumped a bunch of child porn to the group? It's happened to everyone. If the police were to storm your home and check your machine, the headline "...child pornography found" would be completely accurate, although highly misleading. Add to this the fact that it seems all one needs to do is make an accusation and you've got some serious problems on your hands.

Let's review:

Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

A letter to a sex therapist confessing to fantasies about having sex with minors does not constitute probable cause. The reason it does not constitute probable cause is because there are too many what-if's. What if someone else wrote that letter trying to frame him? What if the person that wrote the letter only wanted to see if Dear Abby would answer that kind of question openly in the column? What if the person wrote the letter on behalf of someone else who really did have a problem? A letter to a sex therapist is not a legal foundation upon which to issue a warrant to search someone's home.

Dear Abby has a serious lesson to learn from all of this. I hope her column goes straight down the tubes. What she's done is a serious violation of the trust that's assumed to exist between a "therapist" and someone sharing information with them.



EXCELLENTE! (1.88 / 9) (#63)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:55:01 PM EST

Now THIS is good shit!

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
Re: I can't believe this (3.80 / 5) (#65)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:57:43 PM EST

Great point. It's funny. I watched the movie 1984 last night. It's been a while. The thought police are getting stronger and stronger in the US. Especially the "Patriot" act. They can break into your house whenever they damn well please. COmpletely disregards the 4th ammendment. And the American people just rolled over and LET the gov't do it.

[ Parent ]
Response (4.42 / 7) (#75)
by Stickerboy on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:15:41 PM EST

There's not enough facts within the CNN article to judge one way or the other whether the authorities had enough evidence within the letter to get a search warrant.

2 cases, either of which may be correct:

1. The letter contained an admission of fact that the man owned child pornography, which is a crime in the US. Something along the lines of, "I wank every night to my images of naked little girls!" would be enough to get a search warrant. Upon finding something during that search that is evidence of a crime (owning child pornography) the authorities take him in. Due process is covered.

2. The letter had no admission of owning child pornography, and was just an expression of a particularly distasteful urge that he has. In which case, the authorities upon receiving the letter do not have the grounds (yet) of getting a search warrant. They could open an investigation, but until they had more concrete evidence of wrongdoing, they couldn't act directly against the man.

I'd really like to read a copy of his letter to Dear Abby. That way, instead of all of this random, unsubstantiated speculation on this board, we could know whether or not the man's constitutional rights were violated.

[ Parent ]
even if... (4.66 / 3) (#111)
by Rahyl on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:44:06 PM EST

Even if the letter "admitted" to owning child pornography, the "what-if" issue would still be valid, imho. Someone else could have writtin that letter and put someone else's name on it. It could have been written simply to test Dear Abby and see if she'd print the letter in the column. It could have been written on behalf of someone else who really did have a problem.

The issue with child porn being on a computer is one that also deserves some attention. It could be aruged that every computer owned by those that regularly browse newsgroups has, at some point, had "child pornography" on the harddrive. Cross-posting is a common occurance that is impossible to avoid.

This doesn't even touch on the subject of Amendment V: ...nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;...

When this case goes to court, the defense will argue that the original letter's contents cannot be used as evidence in the case due to 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination. Since the search of his home was based soley on the existance of that letter, the evidence found there will likely be discarded as well.

There's basically no case here, if we assume that the law is to followed by the prosecution. What we're left with is a person who's sitting in jail when there is NO evidence that he's taken part in any illegal activity. To see that man turn around and sue the living Hell out of the police department for acting that way on nothing but an accusation would put a big smile on my face. This is careless law enforcement and it deserves punishment (jail time) for those involved.



[ Parent ]
Umm....no (3.25 / 4) (#127)
by Jack of Hearts on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:59:05 PM EST

"When this case goes to court, the defense will argue that the original letter's contents cannot be used as evidence in the case due to 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination."

No, that's really not how it works at all. The 5th amendment simply states that you can't be *forced* to answer a question that will incriminate you. It's not like I can run around the streets telling people about a murder I committed and the cops won't be able to do anything about it, which would be the result of your definition.

Here is the plain fact that everyone seems to be missing: There was clearly enough probable cause to obtain a search warrant, because a search warrant was obtained! That is the *only* standard by which we can tell if a search warrant should have be obtained. And, because it was clearly obtained legally, all evidence obtained through serving it is admissable in court.

[ Parent ]

Re: Umm..no (3.75 / 4) (#139)
by xtremex on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:07:26 PM EST

In case you haven't heard, the new US "Patriot" Act states they do not need a search warrant at all! If the powers that be (a cop) has probable cause, they can do what they want...they might think YOU might be a terrorist. If I owned a store, and I see a guy I THINK may rob my store, I can kick him out. The Civil rights movement made that a "bad Thing". However, the tables are reversed and profiling is the buzzword of the day and they can bug your house and tap your phone "just because". Oh, and if you encrypt your mail, you're very bad, because you have no reason to hide something thats isnt bad....right?

[ Parent ]
Are you sure about that? (none / 0) (#254)
by Secret Coward on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 03:31:39 AM EST

Could you specify where in the USA PATRIOT act this is so? The way I remember it, the police still need a search warrant. The law simply lowered the bar for obtaining one, essentially telling the court to rubber stamp warrants involving "terrorism".

The ACLU wrote up a comparison of the various anti-terrorism bills shortly after the WTC attack. They didn't mention anything along the lines of the government barging into my home and searching without a warrant.

[ Parent ]

Circular logic: see logic, circular (3.66 / 3) (#152)
by cyclopatra on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:27:02 PM EST

"There was clearly enough probable cause to obtain a search warrant, because a search warrant was obtained! That is the *only* standard by which we can tell if a search warrant should have be obtained."

So we can't question the judgement of the people who issued the warrant? Or do you think there is some objective standard for "probable cause" that we can quantify and use whenever a warrant is requested? More, are you naive enough to believe that our justice system uses such a hypothetical standard?

In your own words - umm..no. All it takes for a warrant to be issued is for the cops to convince a judge that there is cause. Judges are not infalliable. They can and do sometimes issue search warrants where there is no probable cause to justify it. Another judge may well rule that all evidence obtained in this search is inadmissable, simply because there was no cause to issue a warrant.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Well, not really (3.00 / 1) (#166)
by Jack of Hearts on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:50:22 PM EST

Alright, given the language that I used, I'll have to cede your point. I didn't really mean to imply that every search warrant was "correct" simply because it was issued, but I was rather trying to say that in this case, where we have virtually no information about the content of the letter, the only evidence that we have of a "proper" search was that a warrant was obtained. I was responding to the number of posts that were hysterical that the cops could just run in blindly after dear abby told them to, which clearly wasn't the case.

[ Parent ]
On warrants (3.20 / 5) (#172)
by Rahyl on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:59:56 PM EST

"There was clearly enough probable cause to obtain a search warrant, because a search warrant was obtained!"

There are cases where even after search warrants have been issued, the circumstances under which they were issued have come into question.

http://www.erowid.org/freedom/police/police_supreme_case2.shtml

In that case, a warrant was issued. A bust then occurred but because of other factors in the case, the original warrant was deemed invalid. A warrant being issued is no guarantee against constitutional considerations. In this case, the fact that a warrant was issued based on word-of-mouth evidence alone will certainly come into play.

"It's not like I can run around the streets telling people about a murder I committed and the cops won't be able to do anything about it, which would be the result of your definition."

In that case, someone has admitted that they committed a murder. In the Dear Abby case, no crime was admitted, only the fact that the person had "fantasies" about an activity that would have been illegal had he acted on them. If someone who had never done illicit drugs in their entire life admitted to the editor of High Times that they had fantasies about snorting cocain and that editor then sent the letter to police, would that constitute probably cause to search the person's home for drugs? Even if such a search then did occur and a bunch of razors and straws (but no drugs or evidence of the existance of drugs) was found, would the warrant to have conducted that search have been issued properly?



[ Parent ]
Compelled (none / 0) (#371)
by Woundweavr on Tue Mar 19, 2002 at 06:12:37 PM EST

The fifth amendment only covers "Compelling" incriminating yourself. If you couldn't be a witness against yourself at all,you couldn't have confessions, could you? And under your definition any statements made to another would be invalid.

A search doesn't require enough evidence to bring to trial, merely probable cause. Also, it can be assumed that the 40 images were intentionally saved. Otherwise the charge wouldn't have been bothered to be brought. If they made that mistake, then there will probable be a not guilty result(or then there will be a reason for complaint).

Even if the evidence is ruled out, there won't be enough for a sucessful civil suit.

[ Parent ]

Made The Problem Worse! (4.48 / 29) (#64)
by Blackaven on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 01:55:05 PM EST

I think that abbey made the problem worse by turning this guy in. The guy has never acted on his urges and was actively seeking help, Now he has been labelled as a "pedophile" and is facing jail time, his life is ruined. So what did all you other "active pedophiles" learn from all this or even anyone who just has the urges? Screw getting help and just stick to screwing children.

Missed the point (4.00 / 14) (#68)
by BushidoCoder on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:06:38 PM EST

This article was important, but not for any connection to free speech or pornography... this is a violation (in my untrained legal opinion) of due process, and should be examined as such.

Warning to the poster.... Be careful about defending the idea of legit child pornography; Dear Abby may be reading and you could find your door beaten down in the morning.

\bc

What due process? (5.00 / 6) (#169)
by hansel on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:54:10 PM EST

The idiot sent a letter with a return address to a newspaper columnist, confessing to paedophilic fantasies about specific underage girls with whom he had unsupervised contact. Said columnist called the police. The police asked the idiot if he wrote the letter; the idiot said he did. The police asked if they could search his place; the idiot said they could.

Abby is not his therapist--no confidentiality was violated. Police acted on a tip from an identified caller, giving them probably cause to approach the idiot. The idiot consented to all searches. What possible due process violation could there be?

[ Parent ]
Another article? (none / 0) (#255)
by BushidoCoder on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 03:45:06 AM EST

Do you have a link to another article on the what occurred? I ask because the article provided does not mention whether or not he allowed the police into his home or not.

What I construe as a violation of due process would be the case (and if this isn't what happened, my apologies) in which the police "raided" his house solely on the information provided by Abby. In that particular case, I don't believe sufficient cause was present to allow a search of his premises. As I said, I have an untrained legal mind, but based off the limitted amount of casework I have read, it is my working belief that a warrant cannot be gained solely off the unconfirmed testimony or accusations of a person who was not a member of the household which was raided.

\bc

[ Parent ]

Cite (5.00 / 2) (#304)
by hansel on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 02:13:05 PM EST

Story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal.

"Investigators, including some with the Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children unit, asked to search the man's computer and found a cache of 40 pornographic photographs of children, they said."

This wasn't a raid. They went to his house and asked if the letter was his, and he affirmed that it was. They asked if they could search his computer, and he consented. He could have said no, then burned his hard drive, but he didn't.

There may be details released later that the police strong-armed their way in, and that their way of asking wasn't really asking; if so, that will change my opinion of the due process in this case. But from what I've seen so far, he basically handed himself over when he could have stood on his rights, or simply denied everything, and gotten away with it.



[ Parent ]
Amendment (5.00 / 1) (#314)
by BushidoCoder on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 04:30:39 PM EST

I hadn't seen this article, or any other that stated he let them in. If that's the case, I was wrong. It's pretty plain cut simple law, and I totally agree with you; He was an idiot =)

Graci for setting the record straight.

\bc

[ Parent ]

Child Porn not okay (3.00 / 15) (#71)
by baronben on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:12:30 PM EST

While I'll agree that the police had little evidence to go on in this case besides the say so of Dear Abby (though considering that her advice is good enough for syndication, you'd think the police can trust it) we often forget the fact that in order for some one to possess child porn, some one had to make child porn.

Producing Child porn degrades the child, scars them mental and psyicaly for life. They are often abused. Soft core porn natrualy leads to hard core child porn, which invovles the rape of a child.

I'll concead the going after the demand for a product is one of the worse ways to remove a market, we've all seen this in the drug war. But by investigating the end user, they producer can be tracked down, arrested, tortured, what ever. Child Porn is one of the scurges of the earth, the children are absued, raped ect. I don't think that having 40 pics should send a person with a mental illness to jail for 10 years, I do think the person should be some how be heleped, and in turn, he should help the authorites to track down the source.


Ben Spigel sic transit gloria

So you're advocating torture? (3.54 / 11) (#74)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:14:48 PM EST

But by investigating the end user, they producer can be tracked down, arrested, tortured, what ever.

So, child porn: baaaaad.

Torture of people: ooooo---kaaaaaayyyy.

Do I have that right?


"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
Study done on this? (3.00 / 3) (#156)
by Redemption042 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:33:35 PM EST

I remember there was a study done like a year and half or two on this subject. The assumptions you've made about how harmful sexual relations of that nature with children was studied by tha American Psychiatric group people (I can't remember the name.) and they found that it had a lot less long and short term negative effects then previously thought. If I remember correctly the groupu was chastised by congress for performing the research and they supposedly "took it back" or some stupid shit like that. I'd go and find a link for people but due to static electricity I'm running on 32 megs of ram and Konqueror doesn't seem to like that. (Took me two minutes to just load up this page to post this.) I'd appreciate if someone would past a link for me.

[ Parent ]
CGI (4.33 / 3) (#159)
by aphrael on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:35:50 PM EST

Producing Child porn degrades the child, scars them mental and psyicaly for life. They are often abused. Soft core porn natrualy leads to hard core child porn, which invovles the rape of a child.

If that's the justification for banning child pornography, then should it be illegal to possess computer-generated child porn? That wouldn't degrade a child, or scar them mentally or physically, after all.

[ Parent ]

What this didn't mention . . . (4.47 / 17) (#76)
by Dphitz on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:16:37 PM EST

Was that the man lived with his girlfriend and her very young daughter. He mentioned that he had thoughts about her as well and that the child trusted him. Clearly the argument can be made that the child was in danger and that "Abby" was protecting the child, which she claimed was her motivation. I doubt she would have called the police if it were only an issue of him simply having fantasies. Who knows? I think she did the right thing.




God, please save me . . . from your followers

Cite, please (none / 0) (#100)
by Kwil on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:37:52 PM EST

If you can provide a link to your source on this, it would be an important thing to add to the discussion.

[ Parent ]
Sorry about that. Links provided (5.00 / 1) (#121)
by Dphitz on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:53:45 PM EST

I originally heard this on the radio but I've found some websites containing this info.
JSOnline
NewsChannel2000


God, please save me . . . from your followers

[ Parent ]
Evidence? (none / 0) (#104)
by QuickFox on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:38:20 PM EST

Interesting ... if true. How do you know this? Do you have some evidence?

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.


Terrorists can't threaten a country's freedom and democracy. Only lawmakers and voters can do that.

[ Parent ]
links (4.00 / 1) (#122)
by Dphitz on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:54:20 PM EST

I originally heard this on the radio but I've found some websites containing this info.
JSOnline
NewsChannel2000


God, please save me . . . from your followers

[ Parent ]
OK, so he's stupid... (4.83 / 6) (#149)
by BlaisePascal on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:22:36 PM EST

So here's the chronology, according to the Journal Sentinal article:

1) The man in question wrote Dear Abby about the urges he was feeling, especially towards his girlfriend's 4 and 10 year old daughters.

2) Dear Abby, after "agonizing over" the decision, gives the letter to the police in his home down.

3) Police show up at his door, asking if he wrote the letter

4) He says he did, but hasn't acted on those urges.

5) The police ask to search his house (the article makes no mention of a warrant).

6) He agrees, and they find the pornography.

This isn't a case of them getting a warrant based solely on a letter, this is a case of the police carrying out a routine investigation into a complaint, and the stupid "suspect" allowing them to search his house without a warrant.

If he had simply asserted his 4th amendment rights by saying "I'm sorry, you may not come in without a warrant", there would be no case against him. I seriously doubt that the police would be able to get a warrant based on the letter alone, and if they tried to bolster their case with "He wouldn't let us search his house when we asked nicely", the judge would laugh them out of court.

[ Parent ]

He Should Have Denied He Wrote the Letter (none / 0) (#235)
by RHSwan on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 07:49:49 PM EST

Even if he refused to let them into the house, by saying he wrote the letter, he gave them probable cause.



[ Parent ]
The exculpatory "no" (none / 0) (#253)
by vectro on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 03:20:53 AM EST

It is illegal to lie to the police (18 USC S. 1001). Used to be, if the cops asked you "Did you kill him?" and you said "no", that was OK, anyway. This doctrine is known as "the exculpatory no".

In 1998, however, The supreme court reversed the exculpatory no defense, which means that in this case he would have to respond with "I refuse to answer on the grounds that I may incriminate myself", which is basically asking for a warrant.

See http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/oig/hq/exculp.html for more information.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

A different case then (4.50 / 2) (#163)
by QuickFox on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:44:31 PM EST

This is interesting.

In my opinion she should have put him in contact with a psychologist rather than turning to the police. The psychologist could get to know him, judge what kind of help he needed, and judge whether there was any call for bringing in the police.

In my view that would make much more sense that calling the police based on such a letter.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.


Terrorists can't threaten a country's freedom and democracy. Only lawmakers and voters can do that.

[ Parent ]
This is what you get for being poor (4.08 / 12) (#77)
by chbm on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:16:53 PM EST

This guy, who obviously isn't rich or educated, turns to a colunist for help instead of a real psychiatric doctor.

Confessing a felony to someone like "Dear Abbey" sounds like a ReallyBadIdea to me, and probably most of us, but to him it wasn't so. He probably was desperate runing out of people to turn to for help, incapable of confessing his sin. So for not being able to aford a psycotherapist, who would have been bound by confidentiality, or not knowing the real implications of his actions he find himself convicted.

Did i mention i hate the Dear Abbys of the world ?

(sorry for the bad wording and possible spelling mistakes. booo)

-- if you don't agree reply don't moderate --
a felony (5.00 / 2) (#90)
by jpm165 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:29:39 PM EST

so its a felony to fantasize about having sex with children?

From what I gathered, he did not mention that he possessed child pornography to Dear Abbey, which apparently is a felony. He mentioned that he fantasized about having sex with children.

so i say again: its a felony to fantasize about having sex with children?

Can you point me to an online source for that?


"But then, why should you listen to me? For I know nothing..."
[ Parent ]

re: a felony (4.00 / 1) (#131)
by belldandi on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:00:09 PM EST

so its a felony to fantasize about having sex with children?
Now, I cannot say that I know the particulars of this case, but there is such a thing as probable cause which I could see some judge issuing a search order on this fellow for. He writes an email stating that he has pedophilic tendencies, to a columnist, and she turns it over to the police. For all anyone knew, this guy could have been some crazed pedophile that has 2 kids locked up in his basement. Do you really think a judge would say 'no, don't bother the poor fellow, he just has some problems.'

The distinction again is that he was not charged with thoughts of pedophile, but rather with material possession of child pornography.

-Tammie

Every time I hear an OO purist talk, I want to pick up my bat object, come to their house object, and start bashing their skull object. -- hardburn[ Parent ]
I just don't buy that (5.00 / 1) (#142)
by jpm165 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:13:28 PM EST

"The distinction again is that he was not charged with thoughts of pedophile, but rather with material possession of child pornography."

He wouldn't have been charged at all if his house wasn't searched based on flimsy evidence

I would like to point out also, that I have no idea what the original letter said. Maybe he did admit to it. But the article leads me to believe that he only admitted to fantasizing about it.

Is this probable cause? I don't think so. What if I wrote a letter to dear abby saying that I fantasize about children, but signed it with your name? It shouldn't even be considered close to probable cause. That the person was charge and found guilty is only a pleasant side-effect of a fucked up situation.

this is just my opinion.


"But then, why should you listen to me? For I know nothing..."
[ Parent ]

We need to see that original letter.... (5.00 / 2) (#195)
by defeated on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:57:50 PM EST

Is this probable cause? I don't think so. What if I wrote a letter to dear abby saying that I fantasize about children, but signed it with your name? It shouldn't even be considered close to probable cause. That the person was charge and found guilty is only a pleasant side-effect of a fucked up situation

You're right...and I'd *really* like to see the original letter. There must have been something damning in it - if the police got a search warrant on the basis of a letter to an advice columnist that said merely that the writer was fantasizing, and afraid that he might lose control, it seems like any halfway decent lawyer could get the charges on possession of CP dropped. The other day, someone cut me off, forcing me to take the shoulder. At the stop light, I stopped behind him and entertained an elaborate, satisfying fantasy in which I got out of my car, smashed in his window with a tire iron, then proceeded to beat his head to a bloody pulp. Am I guilty of murder? More to the point, if a law enforcement official read this, would the police have probable cause to get a warrant to search my house?

[ Parent ]

The search was voluntary... (none / 0) (#211)
by BlaisePascal on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:49:10 PM EST

As someone else put it... The idiot wrote to Dear Abby. Dear abbey turned the letter over to the police. The police asked the idiot if he wrote it. He said he did. The police asked the idiot if they could search the house. The idiot said they could search the house. They found child porn, and arrested the idiot. They had probable cause to go to his house and check out the story, but not probable cause to do more. He denied acting on the urges he wrote about, and they had no evidence that he did more than write to Dear Abby asking for help dealing with them. If he had refused the search, the case would probably have ended there. But the idiot let them in and let them search the house, which gave them their case.

[ Parent ]
plausible (none / 0) (#286)
by jpm165 on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 10:44:23 AM EST

but that doesn't sound like the same story I read. I would really like to see a link with more details. I'm not calling you out, I am just curious.


"But then, why should you listen to me? For I know nothing..."
[ Parent ]

oops..that meant to be a reply to another post (none / 0) (#287)
by jpm165 on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 10:45:01 AM EST

sorry

"But then, why should you listen to me? For I know nothing..."
[ Parent ]

not my point but, (4.00 / 1) (#262)
by chbm on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 05:24:11 AM EST

That's an interesting question but wasn't my point. My point was the columinst right to turn him in and the diferent turn of events in case he turned to a real doctor instead of a sham.

Your's is a question about the Law, I rather ask if the judge who wrote his sentence took steps to give him the medical atention he sought for.

-- if you don't agree reply don't moderate --
[ Parent ]
Demand-Driven Crimes - Child Porn and Meat (2.40 / 40) (#78)
by greenrd on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:17:37 PM EST

So, buying child porn stimulates the production of more child porn. Agreed. It's a demand-driven crime, like buying snuff movies would be if they existed.

However, another demand-driven "crime" (a "moral crime", although not recognised as such by law) which far exceeds child porn/molestation in sheer scale, is the purchasing of meat, poultry and eggs (for example) from factory farms - which directly contributes towards both criminal and immoral-but-legal infliction of pain and suffering on defenceless animals. Those who are so high-and-mighty about the consumption of child pornography to satisfy depraved sexual desires, but who eat meat, should stop and think carefully whether their infliction of pain and suffering on animals by proxy merely to satisfy their (also arguably depraved) tastes in food, is in any way comparable. I am having a really hard time getting my head round the contradictory public views of these two crimes.

Go ahead - mod me down to 1. I know you want to!

Disclaimer: I am quite a zealous vegan - not all vegans feel this way!

You are a freak (2.63 / 11) (#80)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:20:35 PM EST

Here's the other place I just lose it. Vegetarian/Vegans. We HAVE CANINES FOR A REAON! I mean, look - if you want to deprive yourself - fine, but don't even think about giving me that Peter Singer BULLSHIT about it being immoral.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
True (4.25 / 8) (#94)
by PhillipW on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:33:43 PM EST

However we weren't meant to buy them from a grocery store. I personally am not a vegetarian. But when someone says something stupid like "Vegetarians are stupid, we have teeth to eat meat," I can't help but point this out. $30 says most people who eat meat wouldn't be able to hunt, kill, and prepare their own food. They'd probably be grossed out at the thought of having to skin the cow. I'm the same way, but I don't sit on some high and mighty seat calling Vegetarians fools.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Uhhh, do you grow your own damn veggies? (2.14 / 7) (#99)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:37:38 PM EST

I didn't think so. Let's just go back to hunting... Oh - no, I mean, let's just go back to Fucking gathering, since hunting is so wrong. This is stupid.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
Please actually read (none / 0) (#117)
by PhillipW on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:49:57 PM EST

As you obviously missed the point. You are in no place to call someone stupid for being a vegetarian.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
You're the one not making a point (3.40 / 5) (#124)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:56:04 PM EST

You said, "$30 says most people who eat meat wouldn't be able to hunt, kill, and prepare their own food."

SO what? I don't make my own sneakers, either. Nor did I build my monitor. Nor do vegetarians grow their own vegetables. How does that make eating meat wrong? You're making a fallacy called: non-sequitor. Eat some meat, because you are clearly protein deficient!


"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
He didn't say that. (5.00 / 4) (#161)
by aphrael on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:42:05 PM EST

He didn't say that eating meat is wrong.

He said that calling people who don't eat meat stupid is wrong.

I know it's a subtle point.

[ Parent ]

Jesus Christ (1.30 / 10) (#190)
by PhillipW on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:52:02 PM EST

You're dense.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
damn city slickers (4.00 / 2) (#145)
by Manax on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:18:06 PM EST

I don't know about you, but both my parents lived on farms for a portion of their lives. I know my mom killed chickens, my dad has killed and cleaned deer.

But I have never done such things. I have been so insulated from it that it gave me the willies have to reach inside a cornish game hen (meat packed) to clean it out.

However, if it came to it, I could certainly kill and clean an animal. It would freak me out, I wouldn't be happy, but I certainly could.

So, my point is that, I'm one generation away from a farm, and I could get into the business of "harvesting" my own meat without too much difficulty, my children then would be very comfortable with it, due to me raising them on a (hypothetical) farm.

I've heard the argument before, and I think there is much less weight behind it than I once did.


"Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master." - SMAC
[ Parent ]

Most dentists... (3.00 / 3) (#112)
by derek3000 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:44:18 PM EST

will tell you that your canines are supposed to be spade-shaped and flat on the bottom, not sharp. They are not like the canines of true meat-eaters.


-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

Gee, I'm sure Dentists know more than (2.54 / 11) (#114)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:45:56 PM EST

ARCHAEOLOGISTS. Did I mention that I study humans FOR A LIVING? Dentists study TEETH.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
Right. (1.33 / 3) (#150)
by derek3000 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:23:19 PM EST

Which is why they would be in a better position to talk about TEETH (<--I put it in nice big letters for you d00d). Now shut your wordhole already, Indiana Jones.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

ummm.. (2.00 / 1) (#177)
by derek3000 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:11:09 PM EST

Dentists don't?

Please. It's like asking a Computer Science guy how CPU's are made as opposed to asking an R&D man for Intel.

Do you make your own shoes, or do you go to a store and buy them from someone who's livelihood is based on making shoes?

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

no (5.00 / 3) (#182)
by gibichung on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:34:52 PM EST

Please. It's like asking a Computer Science guy how CPU's are made as opposed to asking an R&D man for Intel.
No, it is more like asking an automobile historian why cars have rubber tires as opposed to asking a mechanic. A dentist knows plenty about teeth -- about how to repair them and how to clean them; suggesting that he knows more about their evolutionary development than an anthropologist is based on flawed reasoning.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Wrong again. (none / 0) (#191)
by derek3000 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:53:34 PM EST

Mechanics don't specialize in tires.

Car Historian -> Mechanic
Archeologist -> Doctor

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

weak. (none / 0) (#230)
by derek3000 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 07:29:40 PM EST

Learn something, and analogies don't have to be spot on accurate to be valid.

I don't think it's too much too ask that you come up with a better analogy, since started this by attacking mine.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

Actually, (5.00 / 2) (#280)
by Yellowbeard on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 09:50:32 AM EST

you idiot, Physical anthropology is one of the routes that dentists take to become dentists. We study teath /most/ of all human remains because after 10,000 years they are usually the only bits left. I know a physical anthropologist who can tell you what someone who died 40k years ago mainly had as a diet.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
factory farms! (4.09 / 11) (#118)
by garlic on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:49:58 PM EST

Even worse than this are the factory farms that grow mushrooms. They make them live in cow feces! They keep them in the dark! They're over-crowded!

And the baby carrots! Think of the baby carrots!

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

The explanation is simple greenrd (4.42 / 7) (#123)
by theantix on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:55:35 PM EST

Many people hold that differing values are placed upon the pain and suffering of animals and humans. If you don't care that animals suffer pain before, you won't care about the meat industry. And if you hold human suffering to be more important than the suffering of animals (as the vast majority of the world does), you will be more concerned with human suffering. It just makes sense -- they have different value judgements than you.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
Maybe not so simple (3.66 / 3) (#179)
by greenrd on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:15:17 PM EST

Many people hold that differing values are placed upon the pain and suffering of animals and humans.

As do I. I'm a speciesist, I'll admit it - though not of course to the extreme level of say a fox-hunter. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing to be slightly speciesist.

If you don't care that animals suffer pain before, you won't care about the meat industry.

Ah but, this is the crux. A strong majority of the British population believes that fox-hunting should be outlawed. Tony Blair has promised many times to have a free vote in Parliament on the issue. This is perfectly mainstream politics, not outer fringe Animal Liberation Front stuff - and I'm slightly amazed and pleased that that's true. But AFAIK previous advances in animal welfare would not have been possible without the support of elected politicians, so maybe it's not so surprising.

Anyway, why do you think so many British people would like to see fox-hunting banned? Is it because it's a sport of the upper class? I don't see any (politically significant) calls for Ascot to be shut down. Is it because they find it disgusting? I don't see any calls for artists like Damien Hurst who have produced disgusting works of "art" to be banned from producing such works.

Or is it because they think it's cruel?

But then, if people are opposed to inflicting suffering on animals unnecessarily - and I know many are - why do so many of them choose to eat meat?

The only answer that seems to fit: Orwell's notion of doublethink. Believing two logically inconsistent things at the same time.

A note of realism: I don't think that people living in fear of their lives from racism, or clinically depressed people, or homeless people, etc. etc. should have to think about such troubling questions. Although it turns my stomach to say so, let them have their meat in peace. At the other end of the scale, layabout toffs have no excuse. Most everyone else is somewhere in the middle.

And if you hold human suffering to be more important than the suffering of animals (as the vast majority of the world does), you will be more concerned with human suffering.

That doesn't preclude being horrified by animal suffering and going vegan as a result. You are jumping to a common false dichotomy which does not answer my conundrum.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

specisim explained (5.00 / 2) (#223)
by Cuthalion on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 06:46:31 PM EST

I too think that it's more wrong to harm a human than to harm a cow. My justificiation for this is based upon my moral value system, which basically states that happiness, creativity, beauty are intrinsicly valuable, and that pain and suffering are intrinsicly bad. Note that life itself does not have intrisic worth, except that it is a prerequisite of things which do have value. My perception of the world says that cows have a lesser capacity for these qualities than humans, and plants lesser still. Thus mistreating cattle or laboratory animals for the benefit of humans CAN be excusable (within limits), and mistreating plants for the benefit of humans can also be excusable (within broader limits). Viruses and yeast and so on are pretty much morally equivalent to granite.

I acknowledge that these criteria are all subjective. If that bothers you, screw off! :)

[ Parent ]
animal suffering (4.00 / 4) (#200)
by nodsmasher on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:17:28 PM EST

the real thing people care about is not animal sufering but land vertebrate sufering
nobody cares if you cut a sponge, why? becouse it can't feel pain.
people care about chikens 'couse they can feel pain
would it be cruel to do this to a chiken that was geneticly engeneared to feel no pain.
what about to not to have a brain and not be "consence"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
If the animals were smarter (3.85 / 7) (#136)
by TRy the egg rOLL on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:04:59 PM EST

Come on. If the animals were smarter, they wouldn't be made out of meat. We were MEANT to eat them.

--
"I am seriously impressed with your gaping ass art."  -oc3
[ Parent ]
If you're so worried about animals (3.14 / 7) (#151)
by gibichung on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:24:35 PM EST

Every time you waste my time trying to further your pet cause by posting something completely off-topic and irrelevant, I'm going to treat myself to a steak. And, since I regularly do that anyway, I'll also kick a puppy. Is it moral for you to keep bringing this up where it doesn't belong, knowing that cows will be eaten and puppies will be kicked? Does this "infliction of pain and suffering on animals by proxy" make you as "depraved" as us meat-eaters?

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Good question (3.00 / 2) (#164)
by greenrd on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:48:17 PM EST

Assume for the sake of argument that you were not joking. Then I would hope that someone would report you to the police for animal cruelty (i.e. kicking the puppy) and the question would not arise. However, if it did:

Is it moral for you to keep bringing this up where it doesn't belong,

Your moral priorities are screwed up.

knowing that cows will be eaten and puppies will be kicked?

Obviously not. Let me choose a different example. Imagine there is a k5 poster called Peter Phile who promises to molest a child every time you post something he doesn't like. Suppose he uses an anoymous offshore web proxy so it is difficult to find out who he is and, ahem, deal with him. Would you say posting things Peter Phile doesn't like, knowing what he will do, is therefore tantamount to buying child pornography?

You do bring up a good point though, tangentially. Buying a beefburger is not quite as bad as buying something like pate de fois gras, because with the beefburger you did not ask for cruelty and the level of cruelty varies, but with the pate de fois gras cruelty (grotesque force-feeding) is fundamental to the "production process".


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Personally (2.60 / 5) (#167)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:52:06 PM EST

I always insist on veal. Yummy, Yummy veal.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
congratulations (4.00 / 1) (#181)
by gibichung on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:17:19 PM EST

I guess you've been trolled. Though, I really wasn't expecting anyone to take the question seriously. The suggestion that you could be responsible was intended as a preposterous extension of your already preposterous analogy comparing eating meat to pedophilia.

Even if we were to somehow assume that animals have feelings comparable to humans (they do not; certainly they "feel," but they do not understand -- see Descartes), buying meat products still does not compare to buying child pornography. To keep it short, a consumer buys meat, and any suffering the animal may have gone through is irrelevant to that concern. Child pornographers, on the other hand, are selling the act of violence. After marking such a comparison, perhaps you should worry more about your own moral priorities than mine.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Kids and Animals (3.50 / 2) (#187)
by defeated on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:47:57 PM EST

Even if we were to somehow assume that animals have feelings comparable to humans (they do not; certainly they "feel," but they do not understand -- see Descartes)

I've seen animals pine for lost companions in a way that goes beyond simply being deprived of a fellow herd or pack member. I've had a dog throw himself into the path of danger in my defense, without regards to his own safety. The latter certainly shows some degree of "understanding", and the former must serve as an example that animals do forge bonds with each other. But I'm not sure what the argument is - a human infant surely doesn't understand inhumane treatment, but is it okay to neglect a baby?

To keep it short, a consumer buys meat, and any suffering the animal may have gone through is irrelevant to that concern. Child pornographers, on the other hand, are selling the act of violence.

As evidenced by some of the other posts on this board, particularly by xextremex (I think, too lazy to check for sure), most pedophiles don't see it as an act of violence, although they can see it as wrong and attempt to control themselves, as far as actually molesting a child is concerned. But here's some free pictures, depicting what he wants to do so badly! So, the consumer downloads child porn, and any suffering the child may have gone through is irrelevant to that concern.

After marking such a comparison, perhaps you should worry more about your own moral priorities than mine

I'm just playing devils advocate here, I'm not saying that child porn is comparable to the US meat industry in my own eyes, but some people do see it that way, and I can understand the reasoning. I wouldn't put an animals needs before a childs, but surely they do need to be addressed.

[ Parent ]

Re: Kids and Animals (4.00 / 3) (#201)
by gibichung on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:21:14 PM EST

I've seen animals pine for lost companions in a way that goes beyond simply being deprived of a fellow herd or pack member. I've had a dog throw himself into the path of danger in my defense, without regards to his own safety. The latter certainly shows some degree of "understanding", and the former must serve as an example that animals do forge bonds with each other.
Certainly, the actions of many animals in defense of their offspring or pack-members would be admirable if undertaken by a person. How did Lord Byron put it? "all the Virtues of Man without his Vices"

However, animals are not people. An animal is not capable of abstract thought. It cannot understand the consequences of what it is doing; it acts out of instinct. Again, I do not contend that animals can "feel," or even that they have emotions, I simply maintain that they do not understand what they feel. They are guided on a primitive level; in humans, emotions and instinct effect decision making, but in animals they all there is.

But I'm not sure what the argument is - a human infant surely doesn't understand inhumane treatment, but is it okay to neglect a baby?
A boy will grow up to be a man. A cow will always be a cow.
As evidenced by some of the other posts on this board, particularly by xextremex (I think, too lazy to check for sure), most pedophiles don't see it as an act of violence, although they can see it as wrong and attempt to control themselves, as far as actually molesting a child is concerned. But here's some free pictures, depicting what he wants to do so badly! So, the consumer downloads child porn, and any suffering the child may have gone through is irrelevant to that concern.
The question is not one of violence. It is a question of the actual product in question. Think: hamburgers versus video tapes of animals being tortured and killed.
I'm just playing devils advocate here, I'm not saying that child porn is comparable to the US meat industry in my own eyes, but some people do see it that way, and I can understand the reasoning. I wouldn't put an animals needs before a childs, but surely they do need to be addressed.
If they need to be addressed, it is not in a discussion about child pornography. Pointing that out is where my partisipation in this thread started, and it seems a natural place for it to end.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Agreed...shuttin' up now (5.00 / 2) (#202)
by defeated on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:26:11 PM EST

If they need to be addressed, it is not in a discussion about child pornography. Pointing that out is where my partisipation in this thread started, and it seems a natural place for it to end.

On that we agree...I really need to get to work, anyway

[ Parent ]

sloppy editing (4.00 / 1) (#207)
by gibichung on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:35:44 PM EST

Again, I do not contend that animals can "feel," or even that they have emotions, I simply maintain that they do not understand what they feel. They are guided on a primitive level; in humans, emotions and instinct effect decision making, but in animals they all there is.
Should read:
Again, I do not contend that animals cannot "feel," or that they do not have emotions, I simply maintain that they do not understand what they feel. They are guided on a primitive level; in humans, emotions and instinct effect decision making, but in animals this is all there is.
You'll have to excuse my poor editing. My normal (Windows 2000) desktop computer's harddrive began making strange noises. In the interest of 80 GB of data, I'm using my linux box until I can get a replacement drive. No desktop means none of the word processing tools where most of my draft revision usually occurs.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Okay, I think I see the point... (4.75 / 8) (#153)
by defeated on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:27:52 PM EST

At first I thought greenrd's post was somewhat OT, but on thinking about it, it brings up some interesting points. I'm a fat and happy carnivore and pet owner/animal exploiter, but animal abuse and bestiality click in a few notches below pedophiles who act on their urges on my Outrage-O-Meter.

A large part of the fury most of us feel at child exploitation stems from the fact that they're helpless, innocent, unable to consent. So is a de-beaked chicken crammed into a cage with a dozen others, or a puppy mill breeder bitch who is kept in substandard conditions and bred every heat until she's a worn out four years old. A hundred years ago, we would not have batted an eye at a mature man taking a 12 year old bride. Now we do, and we consider things like slave owning to be barbaric, but arguably, our methods of treating our food animals is considerably less humane.

[ Parent ]
Exactly! (2.66 / 3) (#168)
by greenrd on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:52:55 PM EST

You made my central point far better than I did - thanks. If only I had written a more considered post. I just had a knee-jerk reaction. I'm sure even some of my vegan friends would be aghast at my original post. :(


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

So, greenrd... (3.25 / 4) (#173)
by fluffy grue on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:05:11 PM EST

Wanna eat some nice, juicy baby carrots?
--
"...but who knows, perhaps [stories about] technology and hardware will come to be [unpopular]." -- rusty the p
[
Parent ]
No thanks (2.00 / 2) (#180)
by greenrd on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:16:53 PM EST

I think I've become desensitised to that particular line by now. If I don't think about it too hard.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Aww (2.66 / 3) (#225)
by fluffy grue on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 07:00:38 PM EST

But getting your goat is so fun!

'Specially if I get your goat, impregnate it, make it give an early birth, and then slaughter the kid for GOAT VEAL!!!! MMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!
--
"...but who knows, perhaps [stories about] technology and hardware will come to be [unpopular]." -- rusty the p
[
Parent ]

another large part (5.00 / 2) (#193)
by etherdeath on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:55:14 PM EST

Is that child exploitation is about exploiting helpless humans, not chickens or cows. Greenrd's point fails if you do not assume the eating of meat to be immoral.

I think a more interesting discussion would be about why it's considered moral to eat animals, but beastiality is not, since we are comparing the desire for sex and the desire for food now.

[ Parent ]
Seeking martyrdom (4.75 / 4) (#205)
by jasonab on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:29:25 PM EST

Go ahead - mod me down to 1. I know you want to!
You know, green, you're not a martyr if you ask to be killed.

[ Parent ]
Right on! (4.00 / 5) (#208)
by Tatarigami on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:36:02 PM EST

"Who cares if kids are suffering, trust is betrayed and society is cannibalising itself in a grotesque fit of madness? Cause X needs attention! Let's divert all this attention to where it rightfully belongs, on the issues that matter to ME!"

This is official notification that I'm no longer taking you seriously.

[ Parent ]
Murderer! (OT) (2.33 / 3) (#241)
by Anatta on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 10:43:21 PM EST

Do you brush your teeth, Greenrd? Use Mouthwash (hint: read the slogan)? If so, you are a murderer, inflicting needless pain and suffering on living beings through your quest for a clean mouth and pleasent-smelling breath. Face that fact, you are killing innocent organisms.

Do you walk down the street? Think of the thousands and thousands of living, breathing bugs you have crushed in your quest to get from one Vegan meeting to another. Innocent bugs, having no desire to have any contact with you whatsoever, were killed because of your actions.

Ever interact with other humans (outside K5)? If so, they are transmitting living bacteria to you that your body -- you -- is actively killing. Your White Blood Cells are the primary culprits. They are the killers. Perhaps you should get rid of them (there is one well-known way to do so).

You, Greenrd, are a murderer.

You will probably argue that microorganisms and bugs are "different" than large organisms, and that it is morally acceptable to kill them. Well why do you get to make that choice, but the rest of us do not? If you get to say that it's ok to for you to kill plants, bugs, and microbes, then why can't a meat eater say it's ok to for him to kill a chicken? If you want to argue that non-human organisms should have the same status as huamns, then you had better live your life in complete accordance to that argument. Your little tirade was completely uncalled for, and I'm not surprised a large amount of anti-vegetarian sentiment sprang up beacuse of it.

To those who think all vegetarians are like Greenrd: we are not. Many of us have made the personal decision not to eat meat for a variety of reasons, from ecological reasons to health reasons to taste reasons to animal welfare reasons. Many of us are not repulsed by the idea that others eat meat, and recognize that we have willfully made a decision as to which groups of organisms are acceptable for us to kill, and which are not. We welcome you to make the decision that best supports your worldview, however we hope you might consider the benefits of a vegetarian diet.
My Music
[ Parent ]

what, your saying you have no snuff films? (2.00 / 3) (#244)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 12:57:30 AM EST

i've had a few .mpeg's...personally they arent my type of thing...but believe me they do exist.
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
I won't (4.00 / 4) (#271)
by bob6 on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 08:28:55 AM EST

Go ahead - mod me down to 1. I know you want to!
Would it be a Demand-Driven Crime ?

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
Prompting the Action (2.75 / 12) (#79)
by Kwil on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:18:38 PM EST

He likely did not purchase the images. (Yes, I am assuming this) He probably got them for free, as we all easily could.

While getting the images for free is not the same as the creator not profiting (think page-views driving advertising revenues, etc.), let's even go so far as to assume that the man got the images from usenet and there was no profit made by the uploader from it.

The problem comes from knowing that since this man is already out of touch with one of our society's absolute core moral values (and there are relatively few of these - we can even justify to ourselves killing another human on occasion), we, as a society, have absolutely no assurances that he will not go farther and wind up actually doing the act.

This isn't about law, to be honest. This is about one of those deep-down collective agreements that we feel is a part of being a member of our society, and those things are always about thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs, not actions.

You make me want to scream (4.80 / 5) (#83)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:23:58 PM EST

The problem comes from knowing that since this man is already out of touch with one of our society's absolute core moral values

absolute core values?!

What psychoactives are you on?


"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
Yeah y'know absolute core values (5.00 / 1) (#95)
by etherdeath on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:34:20 PM EST

The kind you find by hooking yourself to an e-meter for a nice audit session. If that doesn't work try repeating the phrase : "Values qua values" until you discover them.

[ Parent ]
by that logic (5.00 / 7) (#86)
by jpm165 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:24:51 PM EST

if anybody ever fantasizes about anything that society disagrees with, then they should be put in jail or punished. So, Stephen King writes stories about murder, so he should be punished. I played Return to Castle Wolfenstein last night, and I obviously held little disregard for human life while playing. Who knows when I will finally go over the edge and do it for real? Is that waht you are saying? or are you saying that we should do that only for people who (say that they) fantasize about having sex with children? I am not trying to be confrontational here..i just want to get to the bottom of what it is OK to think about and what it is not OK to think about..I wouldn't want to find myself in jail because of my thoughts afterall...


"But then, why should you listen to me? For I know nothing..."
[ Parent ]

Return to Castle Wolfenstein (1.50 / 4) (#87)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:27:04 PM EST

ROCKS!

Getting my new video card today. YEAH!


"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
rtcw (none / 0) (#92)
by jpm165 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:30:31 PM EST

this is offtopic, but you really should be playing it in "I am Death Incarnate" mode...


"But then, why should you listen to me? For I know nothing..."
[ Parent ]

re: by that logic (5.00 / 1) (#120)
by belldandi on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:51:25 PM EST

if anybody ever fantasizes about anything that society disagrees with, then they should be put in jail or punished. So, Stephen King writes stories about murder, so he should be punished. ...
The thing to note here was - he wasn't arrested because of the letter. He was arrested for having child pornography in his possession. Having possession of the pornography, is what he can face jail time and fines for.

There is a difference between thought and substance here - it isn't like writing or playing a game. A more correct analagy would be if you were in possession of a gun and a letter threating bodily harm to the president. You would not necessarily be charged because you THOUGHT of doing bodily harm to the president, but rather because you had materials supporting it.

There is also one more thing to realize. Here in the USA is is considered to be a crime to take the pictures that he was caught with. Although the fellow may have personally hurt anyone, by his use of said materials, he can be construed to be propogating the crime by providing himself as a receipent of the pornography. Note that I am not arguing wether this is good or bad, but the same thing happens in other cases as well - drug buyers would be in the same category. They do no personal harm to anyone (except maybe themselves) but can be arrested for possession of the narcotics, and can be said to be furthing the production of drugs by providing a seller to the dealers.

-Tammie

Every time I hear an OO purist talk, I want to pick up my bat object, come to their house object, and start bashing their skull object. -- hardburn[ Parent ]
yes but.. (4.66 / 3) (#125)
by jpm165 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:58:50 PM EST

they arrested him because he had child pornography in his possession.

This is a fact, and nobody is disputing it.

The problem is, that how did they KNOW that he had child pornography? Because they searched his house. Why did they search his house? Because *somebody* wrote a letter to dear Abby saying that he *thinks* about having sex with girls.

My point still stands. I publicly admitted to deriving satisfaction out of killing lifelike (sort of) representations of human beings on my computer.

My question to you is: Should my house be searched because I posted this?


"But then, why should you listen to me? For I know nothing..."
[ Parent ]

re: yes but.. (none / 0) (#140)
by belldandi on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:08:31 PM EST

With my understanding (which I admit is limited - IANAL) in this case, I believe that the letter he wrote would have been probable cause for a search warrant.

Another thing of note is that this article does not detail how long exactly the letter was in police possesion before he was arrested. Maybe he was monitored, or his phone records pulled, and he was in the habit of calling some 900 number that advertises itself as a call center for hot teenies.

In this particular case, I also believe that if the evidence were obtained illegally that it would end up be suppresed, and the fellow wouldn't be facing any time or fines.

Note that I do not believe that there is a crime commited in the thought of acts, but I really don't believe that the thinking of the matter has anything to do with this case - criminally that is.

-Tammie

Every time I hear an OO purist talk, I want to pick up my bat object, come to their house object, and start bashing their skull object. -- hardburn[ Parent ]
Nonequivalence (none / 0) (#307)
by Hector Plasmic on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 02:57:03 PM EST

1. "wrote a letter to dear Abby saying that he *thinks* about having sex with girls."

2. "I publicly admitted to deriving satisfaction out of killing lifelike (sort of) representations of human beings on my computer."

You equate these two statements when they are not equivalent. Statement #2 should be that you admit to "(seriously) thinking about killing people." That might indeed well get you a deserved knock on the door at 2:00 am.

[ Parent ]
No logic. Description. (4.00 / 1) (#130)
by Kwil on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:00:03 PM EST

anybody ever fantasizes about anything that society disagrees with

I specifically never said "should". I actually made no comment on what should or shouldn't be done. I was commenting on what is.

I don't believe that thoughts should be a crime either. What I'm saying is that in our society, some are. Child molestation seems to be one, as evidenced by how quickly and deeply people react to it.

Also, you'll note that I specifically addressed killing in my previous comment. I don't believe it is one of our absolute core values, simply because we find situations in which we can justify it. There is argument about whether those justifications hold, but it is at least up for discussion.

Your own example shows the difference, actually. Our society has produced a game where the object is to go around and kill people, and while there are probably some groups who don't like it, you don't hear a lot about it. Now consider what the reaction would be if some company put out a game where the object was to molest as many children as possible. The game would likely be banned, the company put out of business, and I would even expect that people would be calling for the creators to be jailed. And this would probably happen even if no actual children were shown, and even if the molestation happened "off camera" so to speak.

Would that be "right"? I don't think so, myself, but that wouldn't stop it from happening, and this is why I think this issue touches on one of our core values - those that most people generally know unconciously.

Can I tell you what the others are? I don't think so. I believe homosexuality used to be one, but thankfully, that's changed. (A good thing in my opinion)

[ Parent ]

you are ... (none / 0) (#138)
by jpm165 on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:07:23 PM EST

absolutely right of course. I guess I was kind of expanding on your version of 'how it is' with my version of 'how it should be if things were "just"'. In other words, we were arguing two different points with the same words.


"But then, why should you listen to me? For I know nothing..."
[ Parent ]

Yet More Proof... (5.00 / 3) (#238)
by notcarlos on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 09:24:12 PM EST

Folks, how long will it take before you realise that your "moral absolute" isn't anyone else's? Not only are there entire societies where paedophilia is neither prohibitied nor a taboo, it wasn't even taboo in Europe three hundred years ago. In fact, such behaviour was considered "normal" all the way back to Akhilles and Patroclus.

Your morals are not everyone's morals; your world is not everyone else's.


He will destroy you like an academic ninja.
-- Rating on Rate My Professors.com
[ Parent ]
i'm sorry (1.50 / 2) (#246)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 01:00:53 AM EST

i always thought that mainstream culture and society's base morals WAS lust, pedophelia and greed...this guy to me sounds like a "normal"...i've talked to lots of people like him. <h6>for the record i amnot normal </h6>
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
A lesson to all paedophiles (3.95 / 22) (#91)
by QuickFox on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:30:05 PM EST

This will be a lesson to all you paedophiles out there. If you need help and counselling to stifle those urges, don't even think of it, we'll ruin your life. Go screw your neighbor's child instead.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.


Terrorists can't threaten a country's freedom and democracy. Only lawmakers and voters can do that.

For responsible pedophiles (3.00 / 5) (#154)
by wurp on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:29:57 PM EST

the lesson is to turn yourself in and suffer the consequences. It is better for you to be locked away for life than for you to hurt others. I would actually respect someone who had themselves put away to thwart urges that they know are wrong, whereas someone who just gives in and damages a child for life is just barely worth the cost of the .45 slug to put them out of their miserable existence.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]
Chemical therapy? (5.00 / 2) (#155)
by aphrael on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:32:57 PM EST

But there may be drugs that a pedophile can take that suppress their sex drive (for example); why should they be deprived of their freedom, and why should *we* pay taxes to keep them incarcerated, if there are other alternatives?

[ Parent ]
Agreed wholeheartedly, if such drugs exist [n/t] (none / 0) (#289)
by wurp on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 11:04:19 AM EST


---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]
What should the consequences be though? (5.00 / 1) (#185)
by Dephex Twin on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:38:51 PM EST

It is better for you to be locked away for life than for you to hurt others.

True, but it also is better for you to be helped so that you can perhaps live normally (and not hurt others) than for you to be locked away for life.

Doing nothing is bad, but locking the person up is not necessarily the best approach.



mark



Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Better for whom? (4.00 / 3) (#224)
by Macrobat on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 06:47:59 PM EST

It is better for you to be locked away for life than for you to hurt others.

No, it's better for others that you be locked away, not for you. It's better for you to seek psychological help, and get it. But being locked away for seeking help will deter people from seeking help, and that's worse for everyone. Much, much worse.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

Mis-parse (none / 0) (#288)
by wurp on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 11:02:21 AM EST

You mis-parsed my grammar, I assume intentionally so you could make a point. "for you to be locked away for life" is one phrase, not "it is better for you".

In fact, though, I agree completely with your point. We're just talking about two different things. What I'm talking about is "how should a <insert social maladjustment here> person behave in a society that doesn't offer them help?", and I believe I answered it appropriately. What you're talking about is "how should society deal with <insert social maladjustment here> people?", which is a complicated question that depends very much on the details of how effective deterrence is against the bad behavior, how effective various treatments are, what are the consequences of the bad behavior, how much do you value life versus liberty, and a whole host of other questions.

---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]
And why should I? (1.78 / 14) (#128)
by bakuretsu on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:59:14 PM EST

Why should I care if animals suffer pain?

People that believe that animals should not suffer to become our sustinence probably never watched the Discovery Channel's Wild Discovery, or Animal Planet. Our methods of slaughtering and processing meat products are far more efficient than claws and teeth. I would go so far as to say that we can instantly kill anything.

I think we should be permitted to cause suffering in animals who become our meals at least to the degree of pain that they suffer in the wild, at the claws and teeth of their natural predators.

Cry me a river.

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
What does that have to do with anything? (4.00 / 1) (#137)
by kelp on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:07:23 PM EST

What does this have to do with this article?

[ Parent ]
It's a misplaced post (4.66 / 3) (#160)
by aphrael on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:40:14 PM EST

He was probably responding to greenrd's post comparing child pornography to the eating of meat, but accidentally responded to the article rather than the post.

[ Parent ]
Dear Abby (2.05 / 18) (#129)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 02:59:15 PM EST

Your a bitch. Go to hell.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


DAMMIT (3.22 / 9) (#133)
by Yellowbeard on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:01:54 PM EST

You're! You're!

note to self: Learn to fucking spell!


"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
Pr0n or not? (4.20 / 10) (#158)
by Blarney on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 03:35:35 PM EST

Has anybody here ever heard the Frank Zappa song "Brown Shoes Don't Make It"? It starts with a beautiful blues-rock riff to hook the listener, but pretty soon it turns into heavy modern orchestral music with Frank ranting about a fantasy involving "City Hall Fred" and a nameless 13-year old girl. Is it illegal for me to have this song? I kind of think maybe NOT, because you can buy or special order the CD from just about any music store. Still, I wonder how this song ISN'T porn, because it's very explicit. Maybe social mores were different 30 years ago when the song was recorded.

Maybe it has to be visual to be "porn". I did once receive a picture in my email of a girl maybe 8, 9 years old, in a bathing suit, with a flirtatious comment attached. Even though the picture was actually scanned and mailed by the very same girl at 25 years of age, I still deleted it. I had to explain to her, her not being American and unfamiliar with our very strict laws, that this picture was worth 20 years in jail for me. She still doesn't believe me, how could this possibly be PORN?



In a bathing suit? (5.00 / 2) (#175)
by Macrobat on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:10:30 PM EST

If she was actually wearing the bathing suit and genitalia were not noticeable (i.e., the material wasn't see-through or so tight you could see the impression), it probably wouldn't qualify as porn in America either. I mean, Jock Sturges gets published (or at least distributed) in America, and his stuff reveals a lot more skin than a bathing suit snapshot. IANAL, of course.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

However... (3.50 / 2) (#197)
by Gris Grue on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:14:20 PM EST

Sturges has had to get used to being raided by and having his works confiscated by the FBI --

(http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&q=jock+sturges+fbi)

-- which, while it served mostly to make him more popular, tends to land the less rich and famous (i.e. defensible) among us in prison.


If a bad zombie gets you, he will weep on you, or take away your whiskey, or hurt your daughter's bones.
[ Parent ]

Still... (4.00 / 2) (#240)
by Macrobat on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 09:37:25 PM EST

Fair enough. The point is, since what Sturges does isn't deemed child porn, a snapshot of a girl in a bathing suit shouldn't (shouldn't) even register on the legal radar.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

Context (5.00 / 3) (#250)
by Blarney on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 02:02:34 AM EST

If the email arrived with a comment like "Your little siblings are having a great time at the beach - too bad you have to work! Ha ha! Love, Mom", that would obviously be not porn.

If it arrives with a comment like "Do you like her tits?", it magickally becomes porn - and a casual email snoop won't know that it's a really old picture of the sender.

[ Parent ]

Blarney's original post (none / 0) (#299)
by Macrobat on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 01:19:04 PM EST

If "do you like her tits" were the actual message that Blarney's friend attached to the picture, I would find it hard to believe his friend didn't understand why he interpreted it to be porn. But all he said was she had attached a "flirtatious comment." That's the context I'm assuming applies here. Besides, even if it did say "do you like her tits," I don't think that that alone is enough to get him arrested and convicted. Investigated, maybe.

That brings up another point: people seem to think that the three things (investigated, arrested, and convicted) are the same, and that Weiser has been thrown in jail for five years because he wrote to "Dear Abby." He wasn't. Police do and should investigate things that only appear to be crimes, and sometimes conclude that nothing illegal has taken place. Weiser was investigated because Phillips ("Abby") ratted him out, but the subsequent discovery of child porn on his home computer (which he allowed the police to search) led them to arrest him. He hasn't been convicted yet, unless I've missed something in the story.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

Baby pictures... (5.00 / 2) (#274)
by elgardo on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 08:53:41 AM EST

In Europe (where nakedness isn't quite as taboo as in North America, and people don't think you're being an exhibitionist just because you walk around topless), it's not too uncommon to send pictures of "our naked newborn child", or for that matter, "our 3 year old children playing in the bathtub" or "our 5 year old son running around naked in the garden".

It is also not too uncommon that the person on the picture might share these with others when they get older. Hence, the fact that there was a bathingsuit in the picture mentioned, would pretty much be sheer luck.

[ Parent ]

Making ordinary people see sexuality in children (none / 0) (#301)
by QuickFox on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 01:23:03 PM EST

Wow! The mores are really very different!

I'm Swedish. If I showed a friend some summer photos of my 9-year-old niece, it's very likely she'd happen to wear a bathing suit in some of the pictures. If the friend said the pictures were pornographic I'd be extremely surprised. My first conclusion would be that the friend must have some strange problems. "How can he see sexuality in such a photo? He can't be normal!"

This might create some very awkward misunderstandings!

Of course in this case the association he makes wouldn't mean that he is abnormal, it would just be a result of the general uproar over pedophilia. Maybe society is abnormal. Just think of it: Although the intent is to protect children from sexuality, the uproar makes ordinary people see sexuality in children. This is really very strange!

This uproar is just as strong here as everywhere else. The only difference is that we don't associate [semi-]nudity with sexuality in that way. Especially not with children. You can see small children naked on the beach any time, nobody sees any sexuality in that.

Swedes do react in a similar way, only the triggers are different. It seems to me that these exaggerated reactions must hurt the children.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.


Terrorists can't threaten a country's freedom and democracy. Only lawmakers and voters can do that.

[ Parent ]
Obligations (4.55 / 9) (#188)
by John Thompson on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 04:50:15 PM EST

I can't speak for "Dear Abby" but in my state (Wisconsin) and my profession (Registered Nurse) we have a legal obligation to report abuse and/or suspected abuse of children or adults. To do otherwise is considered dereliction and can result in loss of my professional license. I know other professions (teachers, social workers, doctors, etc.) have a similar legal obligation. Whatever my own thoughts on the specific situation confronting me is irrelevant; I must report it or risk losing my professional license and career. -John

Abby has no such obligation... (5.00 / 5) (#204)
by Rahyl on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:28:48 PM EST

Dear Abby is not a nurse. Dear Abby is not a licensed healthcare professional. Dear Abby is not responsible for the well being of those that write to her seeking advice. Nobody ever wrote Dear Abby under the assumption that they would be going to jail for asking for "help."

Consider this scenario: I write to the editor of High Times magazine admitting that although I am not a cocain user, I have fantasies about snorting and injecting cocain. The editor then sends my letter to the local police who then break down the door to my home and rip the place apart looking for drugs. During their search, they find a box of straws sitting next to a box of razors in a cabinet in the kitchen. They also find articles about drug use (pages in the temporary internet files folder from having browsed hightimes.com) and send me to jail.

Would the editor to High Times be practicing good journalistic ethics for having sent that letter to the police?

Would local law enforcement (police, judges) be acting responsibly by issuing a warrant to search my home for drugs based soley on the contents of a letter that made no admission to an actual crime being commited?

Would local law enforcement be acting responsibly by putting me in jail for the possession of "paraphanelia" (the razors/straws) found during the search covered by that warrant?

The bottom line in this case is that no law was broken. No crime has been committed and no crime was admitted to. Despite all this, the person who sent that letter to Dear Abby has had a genuine plea for help turned into a national media fiasco. He went to jail, has been ordered not to be near anyone less than 18 years old, and has also been ordered to stay away from computers.

This should scare the living hell out of everyone here. Maybe we should send letters to Dear Abby confessing our fantasies about child porn on behalf of our local representatives and senators. When the cops come knocking on their doors, maybe they'll see the error in how this has been handled.



[ Parent ]
But that's not what happened... (4.00 / 4) (#209)
by BlaisePascal on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:36:50 PM EST

There was no warrant. There was no breaking down of doors and ransacking of his house. The police came and asked if they could search his house. He said yes. They found evidence of a crime (possession of child pornography).

Using your High Times example, it's as if I were to write a letter to High Times admitting that I've felt the urge to deal crack cocaine, but never have. The editor turns the letter over to the police, who stop by my house and ask if I wrote the letter -- I say yes, but I don't deal in crack. They ask me if they can look in my house and I stupidly allow them to, and they find 10 pot plants in my basement, under grow lights.

[ Parent ]

however... (5.00 / 5) (#217)
by Rahyl on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 06:13:27 PM EST

In my High Times example, only drug-related items (razors, straws) were found. No drugs or hard evidence of drug use was found at the scene. Finding pot plants growing in a basement during a drug case (hard evidence) would, in a child pornography case, be akin to finding a studio in someone's basement with cameras containing film with images of child pornography.

In another post, I commented on how cross-posters in news groups often post child pornography. If your computer was set to automatically download new posts from your favorite group and someone had cross-posted child porn to that group, you'd "be in possession of child porn."

Here's a link to the story on CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/03/13/dear.abby.arrest.ap/index.html

He's been hit with three counts of possession of child pornography. That's a possible 15 years in prison and $30,000 in fines. Now, let's go back to our newsgroup cross-posting example. You come home from work one day, sit down at your machine, and start going over the posts that have been downloaded automatically during the course of the day from the alt.bianaries.pictures.wildlife.photography newsgroup. Suddenly, there's a knock at your door by the police. They tell you you've been accused of pedophilia and want to take a look around. Having nothing to hide (you aren't a pedophile after all), you let the officers in who then commence to confiscating your computer. A few hours later, you are arrested for possession of child porn (remember that cross-poster) and have your name plastered on every major news site in the nation.

This could easily happen. Let's take the registered nurse and see what kind of headline we could write if the scenario were to play out.

"Registered Nurse Arrested, Child Pornography Images Found"

That headline would be an accurate description of what happened but is still extremely misleading.

The point to all of this is that Dear Abby acted with complete disregard to accepted journalistic ethics. The person that wrote her that letter would not have done so if he believed there was any chance she would be reporting him to the police. As a direct result of her unethical behavior, a man who has committed no crime has been put in jail. He's been charged for "possession of child pornography" that very well may not have been intentionally downloaded (come on, a pedophile with only 40 images on his machine when countless gigs of it exist via newsgroups and filesharing around the world?).



[ Parent ]
Yes, and it sucks (5.00 / 1) (#237)
by afeldspar on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 08:31:35 PM EST

Mandated reporting, in theory, is a good thing. In practice, as far as I have been able to observe, it is a misguided practice that leads to few positive results and many dramatically damaging ones.

The legal obligation to report any suspicion of abuse creates a system in which professionals such as yourself are prevented from using professional judgement; instead, you must render your most suspicious judgement. The systematic effect is therefore not to separate abusive home situations from healthy home situations, but to pathologize nearly every home situation that has the misfortune to come under scrutiny.

I realize that some mechanism for preventing people from simply looking the other way is desirable, but mandated reporting is not it; it has shown its flaws too clearly.


-- For those concerned about the "virality" of the GPL, a suggestion: Write Your Own Damn Code.
[ Parent ]

What about technology? (4.80 / 10) (#210)
by KOTHP on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:42:59 PM EST

It won't be long before child pornography can be completely synthesized using computers. There's already a lot of Photoshop magic that can be done to existing porn with adult actors. Simlarly, there was a fellow in Iowa (I think) who was busted for child pornography that was nothing more than his own written fantasies about child-sex.

Creations like these, where the content is created without actually involving any children, bring comparisons to things like Quake more relevance. Sure, it's wrong to fuck kids, and sure, it's wrong to wander around killing people.

However, if you can create a believable simulation out of 'thin air', is it OK to pretend?

That's the issue. (1.00 / 2) (#252)
by mindstrm on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 02:32:52 AM EST

And you can make that analogy however you want.

The fact remains:
Our society does not accept child pornography
as acceptalbe. We don't accept those who get kicks out of viewing it as acceptable. So we ban
it six ways from Sunday.

Also. Pornography and quake are NOT the same thing.
When you play quake, do you fantasize about killing people? Running around with a real gun,
blowing people away? No. You simply play the game.

Pornography... that's not a video game.



[ Parent ]
Killing People (5.00 / 3) (#272)
by elgardo on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 08:36:03 AM EST

A guy from my class in middle school wrote an essay, where he fantasized about blowing up the school "so that all the teacher blood was spread all over the place". He was not sent to the police for having "criminal thoughts of murder", but rather to a counselor to determine if this was something he was planning on doing, and if so, determine what gave him these desires, and guide him back to a more healthy state of mind.

Then again, this did not happen in the US, where students get suspended for turning in a gun to an adult, when the school board had decided that they should have let the gun lie in the ditch, where anyone could have picked it up and shot someone with it.

[ Parent ]

You, not We (5.00 / 4) (#294)
by Joshua on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 12:12:17 PM EST

The fact remains: Our society does not accept child pornography as acceptalbe. We don't accept those who get kicks out of viewing it as acceptable. So we ban it six ways from Sunday.

Fuck you and your facts. Our society cannot be spoken of as a whole. You don't accept people who get their kicks out of viewing child pornography. Many others agree with you. I am undecided on the issue. I feel it is merely a symptom of a greater problem of sexual repression in our society. People who aren't getting laid, use that energy, often in negative ways. Many other things are banned that hurt many many people (marijuana comes to mind, not to mention all the other things that are mindlessly banned in this country, or have been in it's history (alcomohol anyone?)) feel should not be banned, and even enjoy.

To me, the opinion that matters most is that of the child. What if a sexual encounter was initiated by a child? What if that's what the child wants, who are YOU to say that that's not right for that child. The body wants what it wants whether you're 13 or 23 (I know my body at 13 wanted all the sex it could bloody well get it's hands on, and it wanted that sex, preferably with other 13 year olds, but just about any female body would have done, I feel sure).

Cheers, Joshua

[ Parent ]

Age (none / 0) (#321)
by jmzero on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 06:41:35 PM EST

What about 5 year olds then? Can they ask for sex?

Well, what do you tell your 10 year old when he wants to drive?

You tell him he could get hurt. And even if he still wants to do it, you don't let him. It's not responsible. There are risks that a 10 year old can't understand.

I don't know what the proper age for informed consent is. Certainly it has varied over history. But I think it's best to err on the side of caution - and I think the current statutory rape laws make sense.


.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]
I'll bite. (1.00 / 2) (#353)
by mindstrm on Sun Mar 17, 2002 at 08:16:06 PM EST

No, I can't speak for everyone.
But the large majority seem to feel child pornography is sick and wrong. Therefore, if you disagree, I don't want you in my society.



[ Parent ]
Create a set of naked kiddie.. (5.00 / 1) (#349)
by RandomAction on Sun Mar 17, 2002 at 11:40:16 AM EST

..skins for quake, make them sexually detailed, run around shooting them, and then wank each time you complete a level, is this illegal? Should it be? If I wank without killing them is that worse?

I'm comming ,slowly ,to the view that kiddie porn in which no actual children are involved should be legal. Yet the idea leaves a foul taste in my mouth.
Or perhaps thats just the fava beans?

[ Parent ]
That's what freedom is all about. (none / 0) (#364)
by enkidu on Mon Mar 18, 2002 at 05:05:40 PM EST

I'm comming ,slowly ,to the view that kiddie porn in which no actual children are involved should be legal. Yet the idea leaves a foul taste in my mouth.
I don't agree with everything he says, but Noam Chomsky has a good quote about that foul taste in your mouth: "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." I agree with that statement wholeheartedly. Of course, I sometimes wonder how many of our judges and representatives agree with it.

[ Parent ]
Fighting to be free! (2.16 / 6) (#215)
by pednurse on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 06:01:40 PM EST

I don't know how much probable cause we should need in order to search a suspected paedophiles house. I understand that we have to be careful where the lines are drawn because ultimately someone has to draw the lines but why can't we have the freedom not to indulge in child pornography at any level. Does it matter where or from whom he recieved the pictures? (He admitted he had them and he had a potential problem)Is it ok to have sexual pictures as long as money doesn't change hands as many have suggested. Would you feel the same way if the guy lived next door to you and your kids. Freedom at any cost is not freedom for all!

Prison is NOT the answer! (4.23 / 13) (#216)
by blankmind on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 06:06:05 PM EST

As a result, he paid $10k bail and is subject to a $10k fine and up to 5 years in prison, for each count.

Kudos to our legal system! I'm sure that $20,000 and 5 years in prison is really going to 'cure' his irresistible sexual urges.

What do they really expect to come of this guy after he gets out? Five years of sodomy and vicious beatings could make him a vindictive person. Now, instead of someone who was seeking help, we now have a child rapist.

This guy was asking for help, damnit. Why can't we give it to him?
--------
I have been trolled.

[sarcasm] (5.00 / 3) (#222)
by Rahyl on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 06:45:12 PM EST

[sarcasm]

Yea, I can plainly see how jail time is the best therapy for him. We all know how theraputic an experience being in jail on pedophelia-related charges can be, especially when his fellow jail-mates find out what he's in for. A few sud-filled showers with a cellmate can work wonders for one's libido, something I'm sure Dear Abby thought of when she was notifying the police.

[/sarcasm]

[ Parent ]
Prison for felons vs. county lock-up (none / 0) (#355)
by Macrobat on Sun Mar 17, 2002 at 10:03:58 PM EST

Although the activities you refer to go on in large-scale facilities where hard-timers haven't touched a woman in years, he was most likely thrown into the local lock-up where they hold people temporarily, pending trial or bail. It's not like someone becomes a nine-foot tall rapist the moment they hear the bars slam behind them.

I said it before, I'll say it again. Don't confuse arrest with conviction. Also, sarcasm is a tool to be used cautiously; it often backfires.

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

$20,000? (4.50 / 2) (#251)
by mindstrm on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 02:29:52 AM EST

I know it's sarcasm. But you get bail *back* when you show up for trial you know.

Furthermore, he has not been tried. Those figures of $10k fine and 5 years in prison are
simply taken from the lawbooks. Those are the
maximum penalties generally accepted.
The judge can just as easily sentence the guy to
no jailtime and a counselling program, which is
more than likely what will happen.







[ Parent ]
I can see your point, but.... (5.00 / 1) (#256)
by blankmind on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 03:47:05 AM EST

But you get bail *back* when you show up for trial you know.

True, but you still have to come up with the money. I'm willing to bet that not too many people have $10,000 lying around. This means he might have to take out a loan or borrow from a relative, all of which could result in interest. So yes, even though you get the $10,000 back, it is likely to cost more in the long run.

The judge can just as easily sentence the guy to no jailtime and a counselling program, which is more than likely what will happen.

I'm not too sure about the conviction rates, but there seems to be a kind of 17th century witch-hunting type of mentality that people have with pedophiles. If that mentality holds true, I wouldn't be suprised if he was treated as a rapist and not as someone who is seeking help.


--------
I have been trolled.
[ Parent ]
democracy and law (3.37 / 8) (#219)
by nobby on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 06:30:40 PM EST

I think that it was the right thing to do, the punishment may not be right (too harsh or too light depending on your views), but this man definitly had to be dealt with in some way.

maybe 'abby' was actually trying to do the right thing within the frame of a democratic society? A society where thinking this way is not 'right' to the majority.

A more cynical view might be that the paper did not want any future lawsuits from the possible victims of this man, when he says to the jury:

I asked abby for help, Her advice just made it worse...sob...

And walks all the way to the waiting psychatrists couch. Just think of the lawyers rubbing their hands together...


Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
she could have... (4.75 / 4) (#221)
by Rahyl on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 06:40:18 PM EST

She could have posted his letter in the column (without his name) and simply advised him to seek professional counsel before his urges got the better of him. This would have removed any possibility of a lawsuit claiming her adivce wasn't sound, maintained her journalistic integrity, and in all likelyhood might have convinced others with the same urges to come forth and get professional help.

Now, however, she's plainly indicated that journalistic integrity means nothing to her. She's proven beyond any reasonable doubt that seeking her guidance will land you in jail if it concerns only the "fantasy" of sex that would be illegal if carried out.



[ Parent ]
"Advised" him? (4.50 / 2) (#231)
by Demiurge on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 07:31:10 PM EST

He was living with his girlfriend's 4 and 10 year old children, and admitted he was sexually attracted to them.

Morally, the only thing that could have been done was to notify the police.

[ Parent ]
Jail time for your attractions? (5.00 / 2) (#270)
by elgardo on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 08:26:44 AM EST

If you should notify the police every time someone feels an urge to do something illegal, then please do remember that just about everyone have criminal impulses several times in our lives. We might think about something we could do, and even feel attracted to the idea. It's just that most of us don't act on these impulses.

Imagine a married guy meeting a girl somewhere. They really hit it off, become great friends, but don't do anything sexual. They are just great friends on the same wavelength.

The guy then confides to a friend that "This girl is just wonderful, it is so difficult for me to keep my hands off her. I'm married, but I really want to roll in the hay with this other girl. What do I do, man? This is so difficult! I need help!"

Notice that the guy hasn't ACTUALLY cheated on his wife yet. Rather, he is asking his friend for help so that he can stop himself from cheating on his wife. Are you saying that the friend should, in response to his, tell the guy's wife that "your husband is having sexual fantasies about someone else?"

[ Parent ]

not a good analagy...it's not fantasy (1.00 / 1) (#273)
by nobby on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 08:45:17 AM EST

The married but faithful friend who fantasises about the friend has not done anything wrong. He is breaking a trust/vow if he sleeps with her, but he is not breaking the law.

pictures of child porn ARE wrong in every way, they are against the law - To get them you have to exploit a child. Therefore this man broke the law, whoever took the picture broke the law.

Before you throw the computer generated stuff at me... If the picture promotes the 'reader' to act on his impulse then clearly it will cause a breach of the law. So it is wrong, just like saying something racist to incite acts of hatred.


Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
[ Parent ]
Breaking the law (5.00 / 2) (#278)
by elgardo on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 09:20:08 AM EST

In order to break the child pornography law, all you have to do is a) have sexual fantasies that include underage children, and b) write them in your diary, where you also might comment that "I am bothered that I have these fantasies, and consider getting help."

If the picture promotes the 'reader' to act on his impulse then clearly it will cause a breach of the law.

How about movies that promote the 'viewer' to act on his impulse? Such as Money Train?

So it is wrong, just like saying something racist to incite acts of hatred.

Presidents excepted, of course

[ Parent ]

OK, I was getting a little heated. (none / 0) (#279)
by nobby on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 09:49:20 AM EST

I take your points about the film, and government. I do find all of this a bit emotive....
Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
[ Parent ]
uh huh (5.00 / 1) (#297)
by Rahyl on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 12:34:30 PM EST

[sarcasm]

Yea, I guess the "moral" thing to do was to call the police, knowing full well that he'd be arrested. I've heard lots of stories about how theraputic spending time in jail for child-sex related crimes can be, especially when other prisoners find out that's what someone is in for. No doubt being raped by one's cell mate(s) should to a lot to help him overcome his attraction to his 4 and 10 year old step daughters. God knows they're better off now with their father in jail, his reputation tarnished, and possibly a fresh STD as a bonus.

Yea, I'd say Dear Abby, a trusted, long time friend to those with serious questions, did the right thing by sending that letter to the police instead of recommending to him that he seek professional counseling.

[/sarcasm]

[ Parent ]
yes but... (4.00 / 2) (#234)
by nobby on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 07:47:13 PM EST

lets suppose that he did seek help, but actually did carry out some kind of attack. What is the response of people who read the paper going to be?

This newspaper editor, and abby knew he was out and about and did nothing... the victims should sue the 'king 'stards

and even if it was unfounded, having seen the US legal system at work (I'm an avid fan of LA Law reruns over here) It would cost a small fortune...

You may have guessed, as far as I'm concerned - journalistic/big business & integrity are mutually exclusive...


Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
[ Parent ]
then he goes to jail (5.00 / 1) (#296)
by Rahyl on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 12:28:06 PM EST

If he carries out an attack, he carries out an attack. Carrying out an attack is his choice, not Dear Abby's. If we're to hold "sex therapists" responsible for the actions of those that simply write to them, what are we supposed to do for social workers and probation officers when their "charges" go out and commit more crimes?

The responsibilty ultimatly rests with the individual. Urges or not, if he commits a criminal act against another person, he's the one that made the decision, not the columnist.

[ Parent ]
If the letter writer wanted to be anonymous ... (3.45 / 11) (#228)
by pyramid termite on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 07:19:07 PM EST

... he shouldn't have included a return address. And from what other people have said, it's apparent that he allowed the police to search his house; there was no warrant.

Is it possible this man was actually trying to stop himself by doing things that would get him arrested? True, he could have done it a lot more simply than that, but people don't always do things in the most clear cut way when they're feeling conflicted about what they should do.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
you might well be right (none / 0) (#236)
by nobby on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 07:49:56 PM EST


Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
[ Parent ]
The real question is ... (5.00 / 1) (#352)
by blackwizard on Sun Mar 17, 2002 at 06:58:16 PM EST

Did he rename all his pictures DSCnnnnn.JPG?

[ Parent ]
In defence of the Law (4.42 / 14) (#239)
by localroger on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 09:24:46 PM EST

Yes, it is illegal to possess child pornography in the US. Even if it is rendered by CGI and did not involve the participation of actual children. Even, in some cases, if it consists only of words.

This law is evil. It's so evil for so many reasons it's hard to even begin enumerating them; we can start though with about half of the Bill of Rights, and the common-sense notion that we should be punishing people for harm they have caused, not harm they might possibly at some indefinite point in the future cause.

"Abby" is evil for ratting her correspondent on this evil law. The cops are evil for enforcing it. There is absolutely nothing to feel good about in this case.

Disagree? Suppose if, instead of upholding the fine socially acceptable cause of preventing the corruption of our youth circa 2002, he had been ratted out and hauled off for the fine socially acceptable cause of rooting out the Jewish menace in Germany circa 1942.

We have the Bill of Rights for a reason, people. Fucking with it is a Very Bad Idea. Unfortunately, the icon used for the "Constitution" topic over at Adequacy is looking more appropriate every day -- and Dear Abby just joined the conga line of folks lined up to wipe their butts with it.

After this I wouldn't write the bitch to give her directions to Hell -- and neither would anyone else with any sense.

I can haz blog!

Your right, but educate me further... (4.00 / 1) (#266)
by nobby on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 07:43:56 AM EST

I'm not from the US, so correct me if I'm wrong. In a 'democracy' majority rules. So If the majority vote in some way to have a law created surely it needs to be enforced.

Just because it takes precident over an older law/rule doesn't make it evil, it just reflects the changing values of the majority.


Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
[ Parent ]
Not a democracy. (5.00 / 3) (#291)
by Happy Monkey on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 11:26:34 AM EST

As is often quoted, a democracy is one sheep ant three wolves voting on what's for dinner. The US is supposed to be a representative constitutional republic. The "representative" part in theory is supposed to put the wisest people in power, minimising the tyranny of the majority. The "constitutional" part is supposed to put absolute limits on what the majority can do to minorities, even through representation.

It's a good design, but it's implemented by people. Therefore it will always be flawed.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
thanks, (none / 0) (#293)
by nobby on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 12:05:30 PM EST


Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
[ Parent ]
Your invective is misdirected. (none / 0) (#302)
by demi on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 01:28:09 PM EST

First of all, by writing this letter to Abby and furnishing contact info, this man exposed her to a significant civil liability (to say nothing of the moral burden which you seem to discount). Her interpretation of the letter was that it was a "cry for help", which reasonably might precede more drastic behavior if it had gone unheeded. I'm not sure that turning him over to the cops was the most productive way to handle it, but I would wager that it's what most ordinary people would have done in the same circumstances.

"Abby" is evil for ratting her correspondent on this evil law. The cops are evil for enforcing it. There is absolutely nothing to feel good about in this case.

Without getting into a debate over the criminality of child pornography, realize that neither Abby nor the police were in hot pursuit of a Suspected Harborer of Illegal JPEGs. They had their own reasons to suspect that this guy may have been planning to commit a very serious crime (even in the eyes of some convicted criminals). I can't speak for the conduct of the local police as to whether they actually wanted to help the guy, or if it was really a witch hunt, but I would be inclined to believe that the child pr0n charge came as a result of a routine and obligatory investigation of the guy. I am sorry, but I don't see any evil in what Abby or the police did, even if I did disagree with the particular interpretation of obscenity laws in question. Oh, and as for dragging Nazi Germany into this... I mean please.

We have the Bill of Rights for a reason, people.

I believe in a very broad interpretation of the first amendment, but obscenity standards are generally asserted locally, which has been upheld by the Supreme Court. I personally doubt that the framers would have included child pornography under the free speech umbrella had they been able to predict this contingency, but that is just my opinion FWIW. I also realize that what is now called pedophilia and pederasty was once a standard rite of passage for boys and girls in classical times, but in this day and age it is not publically tolerated and the current interpretation of the BoR and the beliefs of the framers is a reflection of that.



[ Parent ]

My invective was understated (5.00 / 2) (#325)
by localroger on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 07:27:50 PM EST

This whole thing just really, really, really pisses me off.

First of all, by writing this letter to Abby and furnishing contact info, this man exposed her to a significant civil liability

That is only true in a police state where you are legally obligated to nose into your neighbors' business and snitch them out ... oh, wait a minute. I guess it was a liability problem.

(to say nothing of the moral burden which you seem to discount)

You know what? Nobody twisted this lady's arm and made her be an advice columnist. In fact, it wasn't even really her idea; she inherited the business from her Mom (who would probably have had more sense). In a moral sense Abby's role is a lot like that of a priest who takes confessions; while there is no code of ethics or legal requirement for being an advice columnist, the principle is the same as it is with the priest or the psychiatrist. How can you expect people to come to you with their problems if your response might be to rat them out to the authorities? "Abby" has only ensured she will never be faced with this ulcer-inducing moral problem again, because nobody in their right mind with a real problem would dare come to her for advice any more.

realize that neither Abby nor the police were in hot pursuit of a Suspected Harborer of Illegal JPEGs.

Nevertheless, when the cops arrived and found out he hadn't done anything that was actually wrong, that is what they arrested him for and that is what he faces the fines and jail time for.

I can't speak for the conduct of the local police as to whether they actually wanted to help the guy, or if it was really a witch hunt

Well I can -- re-read the article. They showed up, and took the low road. Instead of saying "We have information from a certain advice columnist that we should keep our eye on you, so you should be sure you keep your fantasies in your head where they belong," and leaving as they should have done, they arrested him for possessing the aforementioned JPEG files because they had nothing else on him.

Sorry Demi, but in my book that is a witch hunt.

I personally doubt that the framers would have included child pornography under the free speech umbrella had they been able to predict this contingency

Predict? What predict? The Marquis de Sade was active in France during the years when the Constitution was being drafted. It is inconceivable that people like Franklin and Jefferson were totally ignorant of one of the big ongoing scandals of one of our closest allies, whom they visited frequently and for prolonged periods of time. Sade, in case you have never subjected yourself to him, is not shy about bringing children into his writings. I believe the Founders meant exactly what they wrote in the Bill of Rights. If they had meant "except for obscenity," that language would be there in the Constitution. It is also important to point out that Sade blended politics and obscenity to an extent rarely seen even today. This is no new development which would shock our founders; they had one of history's most flagrant examples close at hand, and the language is not there to deal him out of the First Amendment.

If the man wanted the police involved, he could have dialed 911. He was betrayed. There is no proof, not even any hard evidence, that anybody was at risk for anything; people all over the world talk and obsess over things they will never do. Sometimes all we need is a safe outlet for these feelings. Such safe outlets are not created by this kind of betrayal and witchhunt; they are sealed off, forcing more people to the conclusion we fear most. It's just an utterly stupid, counterproductive, wasteful, and inhuman thing all the way around. It's evil.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

He should have sought real professional help. (none / 0) (#343)
by demi on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 02:46:57 PM EST

You know what? Nobody twisted this lady's arm and made her be an advice columnist...

True enough, but what comes to mind first, when thinking of the Dear Abby column: advice for the quandaries of suburbanites which is read by millions, or confidential psychotherapy for people who may be contemplating felony child abuse? I understand, and agree, that this guy got a raw deal, but your anger toward Abby and the police is misdirected. You might be overlooking certain political realities, such as the fact that there isn't a D.A. in the US that would allow himself to be viewed as 'soft' on child molesters, especially in a case such as this where publicity was unavoidable. And if you scoff at Abby's civil liability as cowardice, it makes me wonder if you pay attention to the state of tort law in 21st century America (BTW, Abby enjoys no confidential privilege in her correspondence with readers). I'm sorry that the world is an ugly place, but what Abby did was what most people would have done, and your anger might better be used against a cinder block wall where it will have an equal effect as railing against the animal instinct for self-preservation.

Sorry Demi, but in my book that is a witch hunt.

You are obviously able to read more into that brief article than I was, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if it was a witch hunt. That's an effect of the way child pornography, its producers, and even its consumers are viewed in society. In my mind, if you are going to be pissed about anything, be pissed about that. If you want to be brave, become a public advocate for the reformation of child pornography laws. Join NAMBLA. But don't call the police, or even Abby, evil for doing what they (and many other people) thought was right, just because it's incompatible with your personal ethos. With all due respect, that's very naive.

It is inconceivable that people like Franklin and Jefferson were totally ignorant of one of the big ongoing scandals of one of our closest allies, whom they visited frequently and for prolonged periods of time.

Sure, and John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester (1647-1680) was English and raised a similar controversy long before the time of de Sade (although Rochester was less depraved). Neither of them, nor the innumerable anonymous bawds that published their works, have ever been tolerated publically. And in reading the first amendment or its contemporary literature, it's obvious that protecting political and religious expression was foremost in the minds of the framers, and universal protection secondary (more of a reaction to The Doctrine of Prior Restraint). I'm not qualified to argue the minutea of constitutional law, but the free speech issue of criminal obscenity is much more an argument of the 20th century than the 18th century. I'm one of the people that thinks that all speech, no matter how vile, should be protected, but I am not as strident as you are in asserting that this situation was fully envisioned in the 1780's.

I agree that this man's situation is tragic and unnecessary but you are pointing the finger at the wrong people.



[ Parent ]

Help vs. Punishment (none / 0) (#323)
by jmzero on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 06:58:50 PM EST

I don't think we should mandate punishment for it, but I think mandating treatment is fair game. Same with drugs or suicidals. But it should be done privately and not as "punishment" in any way.

None of these should be a crime, but they're all things that these individuals need to be helped with. For their own good and the good of society.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]
Your thinking would have fit right in... (none / 0) (#347)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 08:19:57 PM EST

... with those in the government of the USSR that sent political dissidents to be treated for their insanity.

The line between treatment and punishment is not clear, and the way you seem to draw it "For their own good and the good of society" is one of the worst, most easily twisted.



[ Parent ]

Yeah... (none / 0) (#372)
by jmzero on Wed Mar 20, 2002 at 11:20:45 AM EST

Probably a good thing I'm not in charge of things. I have a faith in government that wiser people like the framers didn't share. Perhaps there is no mechanism here that is : 1. Fair to the person involved 2. Protective of society 3. Difficult for government to abuse .
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]
An SO Counselor's POV . . . (4.70 / 30) (#242)
by MalTheElder on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 11:15:56 PM EST

A lot of uninformed hooey has been written in response to the original post, and a few issues raised that need to be addressed. I've also read some pretty insightful responses as well. BTW, props to jabber for an insightful post, and for raising a number of serious questions to be addressed by Usian society as a whole. This is an area where it takes real eggs to question the typical PC assumptions. I am moved to address some of the misinformation, and spank Abby just a bit.

For the record, I am a case manager/counselor at a highly successful treatment program for sex offenders, so possibly I have a clue . . . I've been involved in the field since the late '80's.

Homosexuality vs. pedophilia
The argument has been made that, if homosexuality is legal, then so must pedophilia be. Not so: Homesexual acts are between consenting adults. A child, by definition, is considered unable to give consent to any sexual act. That includes posing for certain types of pictures, e.g., kiddie porn. That's why homesexuality is (usually) legal, but sex with children, animals, etc. is not. No consent possible. Offenders against children may target boys, girls, or both. It has nothing to do with their adult-oriented sexual preferences. Homosexuals are not trying to turn your children gay! So get over it, OK?

Pedophilia and child molesting/child sex.
Similar, but not quite the same. Child molesting, sex with children and such are definitely heinous, and are indeed among the behaviors exhibited by a pedophiliac. Pedophilia, though, is when these behaviors develop into an established pattern of behavior, and a fixation on children as sexual partners, and is generally recognized as occuring only in adults.

Pedos and other sex offenders are usually acting out of a well of anger, shame and a set of totally crippled coping skills, compounded by their massive thinking errors. The first person they con is themselves, into thinking that what they do is OK. I won't go into it here, but there are well-established behavior maintenance cycles that the offender follows.

Abby and kid porn
Now, the gent that Abby busted may or may not be an active molester or pedo. He has started on the chain of behaviors which could lead him to offend against a child. He is developing his cycle. Obviously he was asking for help, and most offenders recognize that their behavior is wrong. Guilt and remorse (for themself) is part of the cycle. Abby, though, should have referred Bubba to a good treatment provider, not busted him. Thanks for copping out, Abby. What credibility you may have had just dropped to zero. Though you are an entertainer, you are viewed by many as a counselor, and you should feel some oblication to behave ethically.

Before y'all totally flame me, I think kiddie porn is heinous, too. More than most, I know that some child was victimized in making it. I hear about the victims every day from the people I work with. Part of the process is to help the offender develop emapthy for the victim---the proof of that is when the offender identifies with his victims enough to feel what they felt as they were offended on. when that happens, it ain't a pretty sight. And when it's faked the offender looks like he's seven kinds of fool, nor is he allowed to get over. Still, the point remains that Bubba did not physically victimize the kids in his picture collection (secondary or tertiary victimization is another issue). He should not be prosecuted for what he might do in future. What's that sound? Oh, just the Constitution ripping.

What Bubba is doing with his kidpix is objectifying the children in them---making objects out of them, and of other children by extension. That is the danger of kid porn (and adult porn). It conditions you to treat people as objects to be used for self-gratification. It breaks down the boundaries of non-exploitive adult-child relationships. It becomes easier to take the next steps on the way to becoming an offender.

Locking Bubba up won't help. This does nothing to fix the problem, which is part of a cultural mindset that encourages many types of objectification and boundary-violations. Remember that, without intensive, effective treatment to modify his thinking and behavior, a child molester will average around 400 victims in his lifetime. Prison does not affect this progression (and as another poster noted, may just worsen the problem). Sex offender get into really big self-pity trips, which is part of the offending cycle---and being in prison can really induce a load of self-pity. And, no, castration does not prevent preople from offending---the problem is psycho-social, not sexual, behavior.

So Abby, shame on you. To anyone out there with sexual issues, especially those involving children or other non-consenting individuals, haul out your Yellow Pages and find a real counselor. and when you do, know that they cannot fix you---you have to do that yourself. And you will fight it, denying it all the way, amking every possible excuse to keep from having to face the things that drive you to offend. Remember, you are your own first victim.

'Scuse my rant, but this is a topic that's part of my everyday life, and I get kind of passionate about it. Hope this is at least semi-coherent, and that somebody learns something from it.

Namu Amida Butsu,
Mal the Elder
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." --- Benjamin Franklin

What should she have done? (4.50 / 2) (#258)
by Demiurge on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 04:56:09 AM EST

As you concede, the man who wrote the letter was progressing along a path that would lead him to child molestation. He was living with his girlfriend and her two young children, and admitted in the letter that he felt attracted to them.

Should she just urge him to seek counseling and hope everything works out? If someone told you something similiar in the course of your work, would you be obliged to report it?

Finally, there hasn't been any sentencing or even a trial yet.

The judge ordered him to participate in a mental health program. The DA stated that he admitted to needing help. It hardly sounds as if they're just going to throw the book at them. Court-mandated counseling is probably the best possible alternative in this situation.

[ Parent ]
Competent professionals on the subject at hand (5.00 / 2) (#265)
by QuickFox on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 07:25:09 AM EST

She should have put him in contact with a competent professional. This professional could judge what kind of therapy he needed, and judge whether it was necessary to bring in the police.

She wouldn't need to just hope everything works out, she could follow it up and see if he did get help. If he refused, then it would be time to consider calling the police. That's not very likely since he was seeking help.

Therapies tend to work much better when the subject is willing, so this would be much better for all concerned, especially the children that he will meet in the future.

In fact I'm surprised that the police didn't arrange something like that when they were alerted. Clearly a professional counsellor would be much more competent on the subject than a law enforcement officer.

I say this considering that at the time nothing at all was known about the child porn. All that was known was that the man had this urge which he was repressing and trying to get rid of, actively seeking help for that purpose. In that context a professional on the subject at hand makes much more sense that experts on law enforcement.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.


Terrorists can't threaten a country's freedom and democracy. Only lawmakers and voters can do that.

[ Parent ]
Consider the situation (none / 0) (#318)
by Demiurge on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 06:28:36 PM EST

What the article at CNN doesn't note is that he also stated he was sexually attracted to the two young children(3 and 10) of a female friend, and that these children "trusted him". Knowing that, I don't think she could have just hoped that he'd seek professional help.

[ Parent ]
crap. (4.50 / 2) (#261)
by lazerus on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 05:07:24 AM EST

I'm probably going to be moderated to hell for this, but what the hell...

unable to give consent to any sexual act [...] animals, etc. is not

You claim that it's illogical to compare pedophiles and homosexuals, because children cannot consent to sexual acts...I agree with this. Pedophilia is terrible and should not be accepted.

But then you try and stretch this to include animals. There is a very big difference between animals and children. Animals produce offspring. They do consent to sexual acts. I realize this is "taboo thinking", but it has been noted that in almost all adult mammals, including dogs, horses, monkeys, etc, these animals show real sexual desire and even masturbation (dogs and horses humping things and in the case of female horses, rubbing themselves against things when in heat (including humans!), etc). There have been countless cases of animals displaying sexual behaviour towards humans when in heat. I'm sorry that you find this unacceptable and liken it to pedophilia, when the truth is that there is no similarity.

Yes, children are sexually immature, they have no concept of what sex is and don't show signs of wanting it, so all sexual acts done to children are definitely forced.

But this is not the case with animals. The only people who liken animal sex to child sex are reacting with a completely knee-jerk reaction.

Sorry for the rant. Now, moderate me out of existence :)



[ Parent ]
not the point (5.00 / 1) (#264)
by crayz on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 06:11:38 AM EST

There are children who want it or consent to it, just like there are children who want alcohol or pot or whatever. The point of being below the age of consent is not that they can't verbally give their consent, but that the government sees them as too immature to make up their minds in a rational way. They aren't allowed to decide for themselves, and regardless of what they say they cannot give consent to, for instance, having sex with a 40 year old.

The issue of animals is obviously pretty complicated, but the logic the original poster used is very much applicable: if children's minds aren't developed enough to consent to sex, then how could a dog or horse's mind ever be?

[ Parent ]
I'll grant you some of it, but ... (none / 0) (#267)
by lazerus on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 07:45:18 AM EST

The issue of animals is obviously pretty complicated, but the logic the original poster used is very much applicable:

I'm glad that you admit that it's not black and white and that it IS a complicated issue, but I still disagree with your conclusion that the logic of the original poster holds with animals: Sorry, not really, I have to disagree.

if children's minds aren't developed enough to consent to sex, then how could a dog or horse's mind ever be?

True, but this is assuming that mental development *in terms of human mental development* must be extremely high to consent to sex. This isn't the case. Each species reaches sexual maturity in relation to its mental maturity in its own time and pace. Children, on the other hand, are not physically developed, their hormones haven't kicked in, and their bodies are not mature enough to have sex - and yes, in terms of huamn mental development, they probably aren't psychologically ready. I agree 100% with all of that - but that relates to humasn and humans only - you can't use human development to state whether or not animals can consent to sex. Verbal consent is another issue, but consider that humans who don't know eachothers' languages can still communicate with expressions, gestures and movement: body language, a universal language.



[ Parent ]
children can consent (none / 0) (#277)
by crayz on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 09:14:47 AM EST

There was the big story a while back about the female teacher who got had sex with her young male student, and got pregnant. The youth was below the age of consent and yet very much wanted the relationship to continue.

Also consider that in the US years ago, and in other countries still, many people are married at the age of 14-16. I think it's pretty absurd to pretend 14 year olds don't have sexual desires - I sure did when I was 14. The point of the laws is not whether the child is being forced to do something against his/her will, but really whether the child has a right to decide in the first place. The current policy is that children below a certain age do not have that right. I think you can argue about the age, but the principle is almost universally accepted.

[ Parent ]
lumped into the same group? (none / 0) (#331)
by lazerus on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 03:34:35 AM EST

I think it's pretty absurd to pretend 14 year olds don't have sexual desires

Yes... the age of consent in most countries is between 14 and 16. But this isn't really what I was talking about when I replied to your previous post.

The point of the laws is not whether the child is being forced to do something against his/her will, but really whether the child has a right to decide in the first place

Ok, I wasn't really arguing with you about any of that. What I was arguing with you about is the fact that you lumped animals in the same group as children, which is a very sweeping thing to do. There is a very clear difference between adult animals and non-adult animals. These differences vary from species to species, but there is no question that there is a difference between adult animals and immature animals. It would be more apt to compare children to immature animals rather than compare animals of any age to children, since animals have certain ages they are considered adult, just like humans do.



[ Parent ]
no I don't think so (none / 0) (#334)
by crayz on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 08:37:49 AM EST

If the laws are mainly about whether an individual is mature enough to consent to sex, then it seems clear no animal would ever have the necessary intelligence/maturity to do so. Laws also generally frown upon relationships where the older/more mature person is in an authority position, where when it is the dog or whatever that you own, you obviously are in such a position.

[ Parent ]
mature enough? (none / 0) (#337)
by lazerus on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 10:07:18 AM EST

If the laws are mainly about whether an individual is mature enough to consent to sex

Mature enough in terms of human maturity or respective animal maturity? Different species have different development rates and thus different measures for maturity. Many animals have entire lifespans less than a quarter of a human lifespan, but I think it'd be a tad ridiculous to claim they'd die before they reached adulthood. For humans, 11 would be considered immature, for horses it'd be considered prime, and for dogs it'd be considered old age in most cases.



[ Parent ]
you are missing the point (none / 0) (#338)
by crayz on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 11:25:41 AM EST

I am not talking about physical development or sexual desire, I am talking about how well the person/animal is able to understand/make well-thought decisions about his/her environment. If you go seduce a retarded woman with an IQ of 60, I don't care if she's 40 years old, I and most of society is going to find that extremely distasteful. People generally think relationships should be between two people who are basically equals. If you are having sex with a small child, an animal, or a retarded person, that entire concept just gets tossed out the window.

[ Parent ]
not really. (none / 0) (#339)
by lazerus on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 12:23:24 PM EST

If you go seduce a retarded woman with an IQ of 60, I don't care if she's 40 years old, I and most of society is going to find that extremely distasteful.

Agreed.

If you are having sex with a small child, an animal, or a retarded person

You can't animals in with those other two. You claim that they aren't able to understand their enviroment and or/react to changes in their enviroment. This isn't the case - it's only the case if you are trying to consider an animal's intelligence and perception in terms of human intelligence and development. This is a fallacy, because it's clear that in terms of dog intelligence, no human will be as intelligent as a dog, or be able to understand another dog, except in terms of human understanding and perception. This is essentially the same argument that because a cow can't talk, the cow is equivalent to a retarded person. Nope, not at all. When humans can speak cow language and understand exactly what the cow is thinking or feeling, then perhaps I'll agree with you. Overall intelligence in humans might be higher than in cows, but it doesn't mean that cows are equivalent to retarded people or small children, they are mentally and emotionally developed, as cows (or whatever), in terms of cow maturity and development than humans are in relation to cow maturity and development. Now, before you start screaming at me, realize that I'm not saying that cows are smarter than humans here, all I'm saying is that it's a fallacy to compare human development and try and box cow (or whatever other animal's) development into the same compartment as humans'.

Ok, time for an analogy... (note, these things are almost always bad, but whatever :) )...

Say an alien from outer space landed on Earth. It looked around, saw these things called humans walking around, quite primitive beasts really. The humans, though, refused to accept that the aliens were superior, because, the aliens couldn't speak English. So the humans said to themselves: "This alien is clearly inferior, because he cannot speak English or argue in terms of human perception or emotion, and therefore cannot argue human philosophy." Obviously, the humans would be full of themselves in this case, linking all intelligence/perception with the human-only understanding of the above concepts. Ok, before you start protesting, note that was a reverse analogy...I'm not suggesting that animals are smarter than humans...

Now, back to the cow. Say the cow was grazing in a field with the rest of the herd of cows. Suddenly, a bunch of humans decide that the cows will be bred for milk and meat. The cow could think: "Well, well... these humans think they are superior, but because they are bad at cow language and body language, and can't argue in terms of cow philosophy, I refuse to accept that they can do this thing." Obviously, the cow would be mistaken here, just as the humans were in the above reverse-analogy. But here is a key point: The cow is definitely right about one thing, humans are NOT as inept as cows in cow communication and understanding of reality as it affects cows. But this isn't really the analogy I was proposing earlier, either ... this is more of a reverse-reverse-side analogy. But both of these do contain ideas that illustrate what I'm getting at, because the truth is, any direct analogy I make on this issue won't illustrate the point, but hopefully these two will bring accross the point of cognition and thinking in different species, and why you can't equate all intelligence or conciousness with human intelligence and conciousness.

I and most of society is going to find that extremely distasteful

In terms of children (below the age of consent, non-adult) and retarded people, I agree completely. Animals, though.... well, if you really mean that, it's ironic, I must say... I don't know about you personally, but "most of society" finds it perfectly acceptable to kill millions of animals per day for consumption, but finds it "distasteful" to have sex with one. So it's ok to kill them and eat them, but it's "distasteful" to have sex with them. Just from that statement, I would have to say that on that particular issue, I would have to disagree.

People generally think relationships should be between two people who are basically equals.

Ok, "equality" is such a touchy issue that it's almost like going into a minefield even talking about it. Even a century ago, blacks would have been considered "inferior" to whites, and women would have been considered "inferior" to men in a heck of a lot of respects. Two centuries ago, in Western society at least, it was even worse. Only in the 20th century did the concept of "universal equality" really become the norm in Western society. Ancient civilizations had more of a grasp of democracy than Western society did up until the end of this century. In pre-Christian societies, including the Greek empire, the Celts, and many African native societies, sex with animals was totally acceptable, and in the case of the Greeks and many African tribes, marrying animals was acceptable as well. (In some ancient civilizations, soldiers married their mares so that they would have a stronger bond with them in times of war)... certain Celtic derivities believed that white mares represented the Goddess Epona, and sex with white mares, was, therefore, actually considered a holy ritual. Even prehistoric tribes probably found it acceptable, judging from cave-paintings of humans and animals having sex. At what point did it become a taboo topic? Christianity. Before you blast me, note that I'm not saying that everything in Christian teachings is bad, at all, I am just pointing out that before Christianity became widespread, many civilizations and beliefs were not opposed to the topic in question.

The answer to whether animals and humans are "equal"? No, of course not. Humans are superior in some respects. Animals are superior in other respects (in many cases they are faster, stronger, they can read body language more easily, and they can relate to other animals in the context of how the given enviroment effects that species a lot better than humans can).

So all in all, I'm sorry, but I'm still going to have to disagree with you. I DO agree that it's wrong for an adult to have sex with anyone below the age of consent (and in fact, below the age of recognized adulthood, 18 in humans, various ages in various other species). As for regarding animals as children or retarded humans? No, I'm sorry - doesn't make much sense.



[ Parent ]
fair points, but... (none / 0) (#340)
by crayz on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 01:24:41 PM EST

I think you are confusing intelligence with skills. Yes cows and dogs can do things humans can't. So can computers, bicycles, and daffodils. That's all fine and dandy, but if you are going to make the argument that animals can understand their environment I think there's a large amount of evidence that they do not(or at least, don't any better than a small human child or retarded person). In terms of decision-making abilities and logical thought it's pretty clear animals don't hold a candle to an human of normal intelligence. And that is not about whether they can speak the queen's English, it is just about their basic capacity to reason. I think the only animal you can argue comes even close to children/retarded humans are certain primates, who do show remarkable intelligence in many experiments.

The point about us killing animals is fair enough I suppose. I still think having sex with them is wrong, but it makes it a difficult to make such a case in terms of animal rights. Although we do generally recognize that even animals that are going to be killed deserve to be treated humanely, and I think there's an argument to be made that taking advantage of them sexually is inhumane. And regardless of the animal's perspective I think most people find it immoral for the human, in the same way they find necrophilia immoral even though you'd be hard-pressed to show exactly who is being harmed by it. It just "shocks the consciousness"(as SCOTUS would say)

Anyway, this is a far more in-depth discussion than I ever wanted to have about bestiality :D

[ Parent ]
I'll grant you some of it (again), but not all. (none / 0) (#341)
by lazerus on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 01:54:24 PM EST

but if you are going to make the argument that animals can understand their environment I think there's a large amount of evidence that they do not

Sorry, I think that you're a reasonably intelligent person and everything, but what you've said here just isn't correct. There is NO evidence that proves that animals can't understand their enviroment and react to changes in their eviroment. In fact, this is the exact argument of sentience in animals. Let's consider the definition of sentience.

Feeling as distinguished from perception or thought.

Well, there's no question that animals perceive what's around them. They have senses - sight, feeling, taste, hearing. It's been proven that they can use these to determine what's around them, what's happening, and they process this information and react accordingly, in essence: thought.

Are animals concious? The answer is yes. They are concious, they perceive what's around them, they react to it, they have herd/pack/etc structures and are aware of who their herd members are and how they fit into the herd (or pack in canines' case, but I'll just use herd instead of going through the social structures of multiple animals and hope that you understand what I'm getting at), in other words, their position in the herd, and the positions of the other horses in the herd. They show clearly that they have feelings, displaying anger, happiness, sadness, loneliness, sexuality, etc.

In other words, animals are concious AND sentient. So your conclusion that animals are not aware of their enviroment is incorrect.

(or at least, don't any better than a small human child or retarded person).

In terms of human conciousness and perception, most likely not... but then again, in terms of horse conciousness and perception, humans are less able to understand their enviroment - in terms of horse perception and understanding.

And regardless of the animal's perspective I think most people find it immoral for the human

And I think you've just summed up the opposing argument quite nicely. It comes down to this: No matter what the animal thinks about the whole thing, it's wrong because it's just wrong. (Or in some cases, because the Bible says it's wrong, or because it's different and therefore it must be wrong, or whatever the case is). But this is arguing about human standards of morality, etc. The question is whether or not an animal can consent. The answer is, yes, they can. And they can also kick, bite, etc, your head off if they don't consent and you try and force the issue.



[ Parent ]
what is horse consciousness? (none / 0) (#344)
by crayz on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 04:31:29 PM EST

Why is there any reason to think that a horse is very conscious of itself and it's environment, beyond the basic reactions needed to survive. Can a horse actually learn things and process information in an intelligent way?

For example chimps have been found to be able to pass down things they have learned to other chimps. Can cows do this? Dogs? You've talked about animal languages or communication before...what evidence is there that those types of animals can actually communicate in any significant way, beyond making some hard-wired sounds that denote very general situations.

What evidence is there that animals(other than primates) are capable of any "deep" kinds of thought(and if you're going to say that's "human thought" - well that's the point. the kind of thought needed to decide which kind of grass to eat isn't the same as being able to make a mature decision about sexual partners)

[ Parent ]
conciousness. (5.00 / 1) (#345)
by lazerus on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 05:20:38 PM EST

Why is there any reason to think that a horse is very conscious of itself and it's environment

Because horses react to changes within their enviroment, they get to know different humans and different horses in their herd, they have a sense of where they belong in the herd, and where the other herd members belong in the herd, and each horse definitely exhibits a unique personality, no one horse is the same. A lot of horses are able to figure out knots, gate latches, and weaknesses in fences. This might seem like a small thing, but it proves that they are aware of the existence of fences, gates, ropes and knots, and can manipulate them. They also definitely display emotions based on what happens within their enviroment, for example, if two horses are close, and are seperated, they will show anxiety and unhappiness.

For example chimps have been found to be able to pass down things they have learned to other chimps. Can cows do this? Dogs?

In a nutshell, yes, they can, and do. All female animals (mothers) pass down things to their foals, calves, etc. That's why you'll often find that nervous mares have nervous foals, and friendly mares often raise friendly foals. Some of it is genetic, but there certainly is an enviromental factor in how animals behave, and this is passed down to their offspring. Using chimp analogies is a bad move, because it won't really prove anything. No matter what chimps learn and pass down, horses and cows probably won't be able to, because they aren't chimps - they're horses and cows. Similarly, chimps won't be able to learn horse mannerisms, body language, and herd structure like foals pick up from their mothers.

You've talked about animal languages or communication before...what evidence is there that those types of animals can actually communicate in any significant way

Horses have very well defined body language, as do most animals. Sounds also come into play, and they aren't always "random", but overall, body language is more important. Herd structure can be very complex, as can pack structures, and the social organizations of them definitely prove that these animals aren't "just going on instinct to survive".

Likewise, I really doubt that horses that manage to untie knots and open gates, doors, latches, etc are just acting on instinct. They are sentient creatures, and they can learn and interact with their enviroment in more than just a random manner.

What evidence is there that animals(other than primates) are capable of any "deep" kinds of thought(and if you're going to say that's "human thought" - well that's the point.

No, that's not the point at all. Other primates can learn human mannerisms to some extent because they are built more like humans than other animals. It doesn't mean that they are more able to consent to sex than other animals, and it doesn't mean that they are superior to animals in any other way than understanding things from a human-like perspective. A monkey or other primate would probably be less apt at reading horse body language than, say, a horse, or understanding their enviroment from a horse's perspective. You're trying to tell me that human intelligence is the only intelligence, and without it sexual consent is not possible. This just isn't the case.

If horses weren't able to make descisions about sexual partners, there would be no more horses. In fact, this is rather a complex descision in terms of herd structure. The alpha mare decides who she wants, and amoung the stallions, the alpha stallion also decides who is getting the next mare.

But, now we've veered completely off-course. The original point I was making, was that it is not right to compare animals to retarded humans, or small children. And the fact remains that you can only judge humans in terms of human sentience and understanding/perception. Other animals do not fit into this bracket, they can only be judged according to their own sentience, perception and cognition.

So is it wrong? Yes, and no. I can't deny that in some cases where humans have interacted with animals, it has been abusive, breaking trust, inhumane, etc. And cases like that should be dealt with, as any other animal abuse case should. But are all bestiality cases like that? No, of course not. You mentioned it was wrong to use animals for sexual gratification in an earlier post. I agree completely. It's also wrong to use people for sexual gratification. The fact is, some bestiality will be abusive, but not all of it, in fact most of it, probably won't be. Will it still be wrong? Maybe - depending on your point of view. Sooner or later you'll learn that a great many of the truths that we cling to depend greatly on our own points of view.

Comparing animals to children in this case is totally illogical. Children (below the age of consent) are not sexually mature, they are not ready for sex, and they shouldn't be exposed to it. On that we all agree. Children who are above the age of consent should still not be exposed to it, but for different reasons. They might not be mentally ready for the hang-ups and taboos associated with human sex, and there are many dangers that come with human sex. STD's, teenage pregnancies, etc. Animals don't have these sexual hang-ups and problems. No - of course not all animals will consent to having sex with a human. Some of them won't accept it and they are capable of showing that they don't like it and won't accept it. Some of them will ... It all depends on the individual animal, and the individual person.

Comparing animals to children, or retarded humans, doesn't work. They aren't children, and they aren't retarded adults. They are (insert species here), and they can only be judged on a scale of maturity and understanding that in terms of the development pace and perception/cognition of their own species.



[ Parent ]
Animal consent (none / 0) (#269)
by elgardo on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 08:05:49 AM EST

if children's minds aren't developed enough to consent to sex, then how could a dog or horse's mind ever be?

If a dog's mind can never be developed enough to consent to sex, then can dogs breed legally at all? Or did you just turn all dogs into a result of an activity you think should be completely illegal?

[ Parent ]

but... (5.00 / 1) (#276)
by crayz on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 09:09:38 AM EST

AFAIK it is not illegal for two children below the age of consent to have consensual sex. The idea with the sex laws is essentially that any relationship between an adult and a child is necessarily coercive - the child is just not operating on the same level as an adult and the adult is abusing his/her greater power/maturity/intelligence to have a relationship.

Two children having sex is not the same thing, nor is two animals.

BTW, I am sure you could poke holes in the above argument, and so could I. I think the main one would be when the child/animal is clearly initiating the relationship(say a schoolchild approaching her teacher). The answer in the end is that even in those situations society has just deemed that:
a) it is too immoral to allow
b) it's easier in a legal sense to just declare all such relationships illegal rather than to get in a situation where prosecutors would have to prove that the child didn't initiate the relationship, where it would probably just be the adult's word vs. the child's(if the child would even testify)

[ Parent ]
Illegality of underage sex (5.00 / 1) (#312)
by greenrd on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 04:01:09 PM EST

AFAIK it is not illegal for two children below the age of consent to have consensual sex.

I can't speak for any other jurisdiction, but here in the UK that definitely is illegal - regardless of whether the girl (let's say a 15-year-old girl, because 16 is the age of consent here) says she gave full consent. The consent is no defence, just as it would be with adult-child sex. The precedent is to charge the boy and leave the girl alone. If the girl's parents want to press charges, they can. And as it is a sex offence, if the boy was convicted it would remain on his criminal record for the rest of his life, unlike other offences.

At least, this is what I was informed at school in year 10 (trans: 9th grade), when a police officer came in to give a stern talk on the law. It's absurd, really. But some absurdity such as this is probably necessary, unfortunately.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

hrrmmm (5.00 / 2) (#315)
by crayz on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 04:34:37 PM EST

I briefly looked into this, and I think the problem is that I was using "age of consent" in an incorrect manner.

There are, first of all, age of consent laws, by which I meant laws saying that a person below such and such age can't have sex with a person above that age(and sometimes they're done as a moving range or whatever). However, apparently(someone correct me if I'm wrong; reading off ageofconsent.com here) when the law says "age of consent" they mean a strict boundry, below which individuals can't have sex period, even if the two people involved are the same age.

To the extent that those laws are enforced(which I'm guessing isn't too great, it seems(England excepted) that you'd usually have to charge both participants with statutory rape, which is absurd), I find those laws extremely oppressive. Some states age of consent is 18, and anyone with the slightest grasp on reality knows that many people have sex below this age, and I don't think most people consider it an illegal act.

I think the gov't has a valid interest in preventing adults from entering into relationships with youths, but to prevent two youths from exploring things by themselves is an unnecessary infringement on their civil rights.

[ Parent ]
hmmm (4.40 / 5) (#300)
by Rahyl on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 01:19:23 PM EST

"Homosexuality vs. pedophilia"

Neither of these topics has relevance to the case at hand. The defendant in the case is not a pedophile by any definition; he has not engaged in pedophilic acts. Therefore, the legality of pedophilia isn't in question, even considering that many posters to this topic believe it is.

"Pedophilia and child molesting/child sex"

Again, no pedophilic acts or child molestation has occurred in this case.

"Now, the gent that Abby busted may or may not be an active molester or pedo. He has started on the chain of behaviors which could lead him to offend against a child"

Oh boy, the chain of behaviors angle! This is the absolute sham that has destroyed the credibility of many mental healthcare "professionals." Here we read "He has started on the chain of behaviors which could lead him to offend against a child. He is developing his cycle."

Ok, so exactly what is this "cycle," the old view-child-porn-then-get-urges-then-become-pedophile cycle? I have one for you. How many pedophiles drink Coke? Uh oh, have I found yet another sinister cycle here? Did not the pedophile likely drink Coke **before** ever having viewed the child porn which tempted him down the path of destruction to pedophilia? I think I've found the real culprit here. Let's see, Coke has caffeine, which increases the heart rate as it's a mild stimulant. Since all these pedophiles were drinking Coke long before they started viewing child pornography, the mild stimulating affect must have some kind of connection. Stimulating the body with commercially prepared softdrinks seems to make it "easier to take the next steps on the way to becoming an offender" as we're seeing a high instance of Coke abuse among known pedophiles. We've seen this pattern with hard-core heroin addicts and their tendency to first smoke pot, the "gateway drug." Perhaps we should treat all pot smokers as heroin addicts so that we can nip this cycle in the bud to? Didn't healthcare "professionals" announce that pot smokers are several times more likely to end up addicted to harder drugs than non-pot smokers? CALL THE INQUISITION!

I think you understand my point. Of course drinking Coke doesn't increase the chance of one becoming a pedophile. It's called a spurious relationship, where you find correlations between events that are actually not directly related. Another example would be the scientifically proven, direct correlation between ice-cream sales and instances of rape. We all know that ice-cream doesn't make people rapists. The reason there is a correlation is a seasonal one: more rapes occur during warmer months of the year, when ice-cream sales also happen to be higher.

Does viewing child pornography make you a pedophile? Does it increase the chance of your committing a pedophilic act enough to warrant immediate incarceration of anyone even suspected of having pedophilic images on a hard drive? Our benevolent mental health "professionals" would have us believe so, but the hard facts is, we have no idea how many people are viewing child pornography. How does one even estimate the number of people that have viewed child porn? Does counting file downloads count? What about newsgroup cross-postings? What about people who are sent such images unsolicited? Or websites that claim to be one thing but are found to be another? All of these situations can, and still often do, occur all over the internet every day.

Child molestation and pedophilia unfortunately do occur. In our particular culture, the stigma that comes with being a perpetrator or a victim is a very strong influence on our understanding of why it occurs. As a result, we end up on "witch-hunts" which cause far more damage to the fabric of society than any pedophile. The man that wrote Dear Abby had not committed any illegal act. The possession of child pornography doesn't make him a pedophile anymore than your desktop image of a pot-leaf makes you a drug addict.

As a direct result of Dear Abby's unethical behavior and the police department's "let the witches burn" attitude in response nothing but an accusation, that man's name has been tarnished beyond any hope of recovery.

What a great example to set for others looking for help...




[ Parent ]
Mostly Agreed (none / 0) (#329)
by TheAJOfOZ on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 02:05:27 AM EST

While for the most part I agree with your statements, I would tend to shift the blame off of Abby and onto the justice system. Abby should not be required to go around protecting potential victims of people who write into her, she should be able to pass the matter on to the officials (since in this case it is an offense regardless of whether you think the law is good or bad) and have teh officials follow up the matter in the best possible way.

You state that jail time often worsens the problem and I would agree with that, so the justice system needs to be refined to stop falling back to jail time as the be-all and end-all of remedies. In this case, counselling is most likely the best option with a restraining order if the children are in immediate danger. This punishment may yet be handed down by the court of course, but in general jail time is used far too frequently.

[ Parent ]

Hello (2.42 / 7) (#249)
by Should be a Diary Fascist on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 01:57:33 AM EST

Possessing child pornography is against the law and as citizens in a lawful society we are obliged to assist our government in upholding the law. Would you say the same thing if Dear Abby became aware of people posessing drugs, stolen good, or dismembered corpses, or do you allow this privelige just for pedophiles?

--
Hello, I am the Should be a Diary Fascist. That is all.
Journalistic Privelige (5.00 / 1) (#268)
by elgardo on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 07:53:31 AM EST

Must a lawyer correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe a journalist is not obligated to reveal their sources, even if the source is a drug addict, thief, necrophile, or whatever. You see anonymous criminals presented in investigative reporting all the time, and the government has no opportunity whatsoever to demand information about the people involved. Just recently, I watched a story about illegal immigrants entering Europe in various (dangerous) ways. One of the journalists followed a group that tried to cross over to Greece from Turkey. The journalist is not responsible for the illegal immigrants, and he does not have an obligation to reveal information about them to the government. In fact, if he has any obligation at all, it is to NOT reveal such information to the government. This is true for Europe, and I believe it to be true for the US.

[ Parent ]
That priviledge does not exist (none / 0) (#303)
by DavidTC on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 01:53:45 PM EST

While lawyers and priests can refuse, journalists have no priviledge at all, and are legally required to turn over their sources if the government goes though the correct channels.

However, they usually don't do it anyway. Sometimes they end up in prison for contempt of court for refusing.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

You're correct... (none / 0) (#320)
by manray on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 06:40:05 PM EST

Here's a recent story that supports your post:
http://www.cpj.org/news/2002/USA04jan02na.html

Much less is known than not.


[ Parent ]

I don't know how the hell you made that link ;) (none / 0) (#346)
by DavidTC on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 05:33:25 PM EST

But here it really is. It's worth checking out, I hadn't heard about it.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]
um... (5.00 / 1) (#295)
by Rahyl on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 12:21:15 PM EST

"as citizens in a lawful society we are obliged to assist our government in upholding the law"

No, we are not obliged to assist our government in upholding the law. In this particular case, the letter writer did not admit to having committed any crime of any kind whatsoever.

"Would you say the same thing if Dear Abby became aware of people posessing drugs, stolen good, or dismembered corpses, or do you allow this privelige just for pedophiles?"

Pedophile? How can you be a pedophile when you haven't engaged in pedophilic activities? If I fantasize about using drugs does that make me a drug user or drug addict?

People in here keep mis-identifying the defendant in this case as a pedophile. Wake up folks, he never engaged in any activity that would define him that way. He hasn't broken any child-sex laws.

As far as the "child porn" that was "found" on his computer, someone could have emailed him a .zip file with those pics in it. They could have been the result of a cross-poster in a newsgroup like alt.bianaries.wildlife.photography. Come on, only 40 pictures? There's a limitless supply of "child porn" available online from newsgroups to file-sharing apps like Morpheus and they only found 40 pics? That could easily have been mistakenly downloaded.

There's really no case here.

[ Parent ]
My own $.02 on the issue: Bluring the lines. (4.91 / 12) (#284)
by DangerGrrl on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 10:15:25 AM EST

I originally posted this on a sexuality activist list I am on. As youc an imagine, the debate there is not terribly different from the debate there.

I remember reading, and feeling outraged, about a man who used to trace children's feet with parents permission, and then went home and masturbated to the images. He was arrested as a pedophile. I believe he was also convicted. It was a while ago... but I remember feeling absolutly outraged... I don't think this was exploitation in any way... but I guess the parents did when they somehow found out what he was doing.

MY parents have a whole photo album (you know, the photo album you never want your SO to see) of me when I was 2? 3? Where I'm playing around naked, trying on their shoes and hats and smiling and giggling. I just thought it was playing at the time, and my parents thought it was cute and wanted to document the memory... to humiliate me infront of my dates. Should I be worried that someone will knock down their door claiming they own child pornography? What parent doesn't have naked baby pictures of their child? Do we know that some of the pictures that are circulated as child porn aren't pictures of this type?

And even further, I own a LOT of Victorian erotica. There are things in those books I would never dream of doing. Often they feature incest and "under age awakenings" and Older-younger "initiation" into sexuality. Am I a pedophile because I get off on such things? Sure I usually picture myself in the younger role when reading them, and the actual thought of sex with someone who isn't developed is repugnant to me, but would that matter to an overzealous DA?

I do think the lines are blurred when we start entering the realm of fantasy Vs action.

I am a bit torn as to "Dear Abbey's" actions, but after mulling it over, this was so obviously out of her range of "expertise" (and I use the term loosely, Does she hold a PhD in... anything???) that she probably "had no choice" but to turn it over to someone else.

Lesson learned - If you're going to write into a hack advice columnist for advice about a potentially illegal problem, don't write from the "I" perspective, write from the "A close friend of mine..." perspective.

Or better yet, get 'real' help.

Free will etc etc (4.75 / 4) (#285)
by widoxm on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 10:32:59 AM EST

Firstly, acting on these urges is utterly wrong and unjustifiable. Sex without consent is wrong under all conditions, there is no doubt about that. I also agree that possesing such illegal pornography is also wrong, and could possibly help to feed the situation.
However, a large number of responses to this article show a complete lack of empathy and human understanding. Ie People completely unable/unwilling to see the world from someone elses point of view. Please, try to step out of your pathetic little system, turn off auto-pilot, think for yourself and try to see the world as others see it.

I don't know about the exact conditions, but it would seem we have a man who has put himself in considerable danger to prevent harm coming to others through his actions, and a lady who has had no qualms whatsoever in condemming such a man to a life that from now on will most likely be hell. Neither are ideal, but who is the better person here?
Desire and action are very seperate. No body should ever suffer because of their beliefs, no matter what they are. We are born with some desires, and others we grow, adopt or learn along the way. We do not choose them, and once we have them they are either acted out or suppressed. Supression unfortunately only harms the suppressor. We should feel sorry for people cursed with desires that only lead to pain and isolation for all parties involved, and give them help instead of blindly hating and condemming.


Well.. (3.33 / 3) (#290)
by mindstrm on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 11:13:43 AM EST

You'll find that mental maturity of people changes form culture to culture as well.

North American culture treats people as children until they are around 18.

Many other cultures, people are treated like adults when they are around 14 or 15. Or younger, depending on the individual.



Actually.. (5.00 / 1) (#328)
by AnalogBoy on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 01:45:32 AM EST

Depending on the situation, you can be treated like an irresponsible child until the age of 90. Car insurance. you're not considered mature (Not "experienced", but "mature") until 25. Alcohol. You can't drink until 21. The draft. You're mature enough to get killed for your country at 18. In some states, you're old enough to quit school at 16. In some other states, you're mature enough to spend your life in prison at 12. Careers.. You're considered a child until you're in your late 20's. No matter how much experience you have. (I'm a tad angry.) You're not mature enough to sleep with whomever you wish, go to (or not go to) whichever worship service you wish, etc in the eyes of religious groups across the nation. It's a sliding scale, very subjective.
--
Save the environment, plant a Bush back in Texas.
Religous Tolerance (And click a banner while you're there)
[ Parent ]
Consent (4.64 / 14) (#292)
by Joshua on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 12:01:11 PM EST

I was a very very horny 12 year old kid. I had sex for the first time at 15 (with a girl who was 18 at the time), although had gotten as much play as I could manage before that. What is a child? A child certainly cannot be defined by age. The Hebrews of old considered boys men at 13, and if those individuals are treated like men, then they will behave appropriately.

As a 13 year old, I was (I consider, and who the hell else's opinion matters, except my parents, who were quite aware, and left the matter to me) capable, and quite enthusiastic to give my consent to some things. Now, my orientation happens to draw me to women, but this is incedental. If an attractive older woman had wanted me at that age, I would have been more than willing to oblige, and learn all I can.

Sex is part of life, and a very important part at that. I know this opinion isn't very PC, but I feel that sex is something that should NOT be hidden from children, and I feel that it is the taboo that causes the problem, not sex itself. If a child is old enough to WANT sex, then that child is old enough to experiment with sex, and if it's an older person who happens to be showing them, I see nothing wrong with that.

This of course, all applies to consentual acts. I do not approve of force in anything, including sex, in adults or children, and I do feel that children who have not yet reached puberty probably aren't going to want sex, therefore shouldn't have it forced on them, but I think that these things need to be left up to children, not to adults who don't understand the matter.

As for child pornography... jail isn't good for anybody. It doesn't help anyone change their ways, it doesn't educate them, it doesn't re-imprint their brain circuits for different behaviors... all it does is make them miserable, make everyone who loves them miserable, and cost the state a bundle. Looking at a picture hurts no one, just as smokinig a joint hurts no one, I don't think either of these activities should be punishable with something as rediculous and useless and meaningless as incarceration.

Incarceration should ONLY be used with uncontrollable VIOLENT individuals. Period. People who use force against others against the other's will.

Cheers, Joshua

except... (3.50 / 2) (#298)
by nobby on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 12:41:32 PM EST

Looking at a picture hurts no one

except the child who happens to be the subject of the picture... If you outlaw the pictures, then (perhaps this is naive) less children get abused...


Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
[ Parent ]
This is the part that gets me (4.50 / 8) (#305)
by Yellowbeard on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 02:31:44 PM EST

Looking at the pictures does not actually do harm. Unless you have some whack view of the universe that "pictures rob my soul" or something, there is no way you can convince me that "looking at a picture does harm to the pictured."

Now, you /could/ argue that the knowledge that your nude form is being looked at might be psychologically harmful - that I might concede, but the only reason it's harmful is because society says it is harmful - psychological damage of this sort only occurs when society sets up a situation such that we have to feel ashamed. Shame is a product of societal upbringing.

You might also argue that the child whose picture was being taken was somehow abused in addition to having his/her pic taken - if so, however, there would only be circumstantial evidence for this (assuming the pics don't portray actual abuse).

We have a very weird idea of the some sort of power that images of ourselves has over us. Somehow, this composite, chemical representation, can "harm" us, or the knowledge that such a representation is out there can cause some sort of "harm." I am not sure I buy this, and if I do, I go back to the point that if society were not fucked up, no harm would be possible.

Sex with pre-pubescents can be damaging to them - both psychologically and physically. Psychologically because of the power differences involved (although, there are power inequalities in most relationships, but I think we could all agree that the power difference is probably too great to overcome in this situation). Physically - well, that should be obvious.

When someone is post-puebescent, things become very gray and interesting. Gray, because, there just isn't any way to set a hard line on something as varied as people as to who is "competent" and who is not. Interesting for the opposite reason that "clear cut" cases are not. This is where the rubber meets the road. Sex with a 4 year old is obviously a bad idea. Sex between an immature 19 year old and a saavy 15 year old - hey, who's to say? I do not buy that setting an arbitrary age limit is the right answer.

Though accused by some in this forum because of my radical beliefs, I am not a pedophile. I /do/ find younger women (yes, high school cheer leaders included, as American Beauty clearly points out) attractive sexually. I would not have a relationship with one (other than under extreme circumstances like post-nuclear holocaust type deals) because they are not psychologically powerful enough for the ground to be relatively even. It's just not fair, IMO.

I think this is a knee-jerk issue. I get pissed off when I observe other's knees jerking, and it generally illicits a knee-jerk responce out of me. I just want people to think more about the issues and not merely shout their emotions. However, I freely admit that I can be just as guilty of this as anyone else.


"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
interesting comments (4.00 / 1) (#309)
by nobby on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 03:35:25 PM EST

there must be a guideline however, it seems that in the US this is 16-18 - I'm not sure what the actual age of conscent is there. In spain (I believe) it is 12. As I have said several times the majority dictates the standard.

I have had a long drive home from work and clearly I did have a knee jerk reaction to this...

I think that I'm beginning to see all the arguments now... Yes the age of conscent is a grey issue, Yes there may be graduations in the level of transgression, Yes it may be that couciling is a better option than jail.

My knee jerk reaction was initially to the porn - I immeadiatly thought of my two year old son. But Very quickly - and I'm new to this - My knee jerk reaction was to the replies - guess I've been a bit of a jerk...

So to any one I've been harsh to - sorry.


Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
[ Parent ]
Yes. (2.50 / 2) (#335)
by valeko on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 08:45:36 AM EST

I think you have a lot of clarity into the matter.

You made a very good point in underscoring that nobody is actually hurt by looking at pictures. Sure, the child pictured may have suffered a substantial degree of damage. But, probably ninety percent of most people's brand-name clothing is made through the suffering of third-world workers. Doesn't stop them from using and even enjoying it. I can safely conjecture that a substantial portion of porn featuring "adults" also functions through mechanics of sexual exploitation/enslavement of various women who don't have a practical way out. Doesn't stop people from getting satisfaction from it, by the looks of things.

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy, you're absolutely right. Treat men like men, and they will act like them. Treat them like children, and consequently they will function in a capacity of a child. I'd think that the folks who really have problems are the ones that get sexual pleasure from prepubescent females, but beyond that who's to say that the threshold of sexual attraction should be 18, 16, whatever... I think that's collectively self-defeating to make such rigid, dogmatic assertions. I think it's relative too. I'd be more concerned if a 40 year old consistently got off on [presumably illegal] pictures of a 15 year old than if another 15 year old did. Obviously all of this is in some shape or form illegal, but the knee-jerk "paedophile!!!!!!!!" crap one gets for bringing such questions up is nauseating.

(Note to law enforcement agencies: I am not advocating sexual intercourse between individuals with the legal status of an adult member of society and individuals which are deemed "under-age" by various statutory rape laws.)

But I agree with you completely.


"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

What jurisdiction did you grow up in? (5.00 / 1) (#350)
by haflinger on Sun Mar 17, 2002 at 06:07:28 PM EST

In Canada, you wouldn't have broken any laws. The age of consent in Canada is 14 (except for anal intercourse, bah; gay men have to restrict themselves to blowjobs until 18, stupid rule). There's an additional exception: if minors under 14 but at least 12 years old have consensual sex with other minors who are two years or less older or younger than they are it's still legal.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
Hm, does this mean that... (none / 0) (#363)
by JChen on Mon Mar 18, 2002 at 04:36:36 PM EST

...it's legal to "possess" and "watch" 14 year olds having sex on TV in Canada, but illegal to export it across the border?

Let us do as we say.
[ Parent ]
Nope. (none / 0) (#369)
by haflinger on Tue Mar 19, 2002 at 10:31:10 AM EST

The ban on child porn in Canada extends to anyone who is under 18 or is depicted as such. That means, yes, it's illegal to watch people perform legal acts here.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
Reminds me of a story (5.00 / 1) (#359)
by Betcour on Mon Mar 18, 2002 at 12:07:36 PM EST

The Register ran a story last year about how the police arrested a dangerous English pedophile who was trading and collecting kiddie porn. When the police searched the home and arrested the guy, they discovered that it was in fact... a 13 yo boy. The judge scolded him on how wrong it was for a 13 yo boy to look at naked 13 yo girls, and that's about it.

[ Parent ]
Why Sex Is Bad: (none / 0) (#362)
by JChen on Mon Mar 18, 2002 at 04:34:13 PM EST

Sex is "bad" because many interpretations of religion says it is. It's bad because of people who are embarassed by their own sexual fantasies don't want to discuss them. It's bad because people who can't and won't understand why other people perform sex for the reasons that they do. It's bad because people are afraid to discuss it because they don't know much about it. It's bad because people fear others' reactions to their personal thoughts. Basically, sex is "bad" because of the fear and arrogance that doesn't really need to but still does exist as a mystical and dangerous cloak around it.

Let us do as we say.
[ Parent ]
The irony! Oh, my sides are splitting (4.42 / 7) (#306)
by Tatarigami on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 02:38:13 PM EST

I've just been reading a follow-up article on this event, and I can't help but smile and shake my head ruefully when I read that Abby herself is a bit disgusted with the police -- for violating her privacy by bringing her name up in discussions with the media.

"I do feel a bit betrayed," admits Abby Phillips, the columnist.

Pot, kettle, black...

Maybe he's smarter than people think (none / 0) (#332)
by Secret Coward on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 05:20:39 AM EST

Reading the follow-up article, I have to wonder if Mr. Weiser wanted to get caught. According to the article,

He said he'd tried to get help from four doctors in the past but had been told he was fine.

Mr. Weiser put his real name on the letter, admitted to writing it, allowed the police to search his home, and allowed the police to take his computer. Later, the article states,

"Dear Abby was his last hope, I guess," said Phillips, who had been told by police that Weiser felt "relieved" by his arrest.

I can't really fault the police for arresting someone who wants to be arrested.

[ Parent ]

I think there may be other points. (4.20 / 5) (#310)
by flesh99 on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 03:36:15 PM EST

First off we have to be willing to define Dear Abby as a journalist. I am not willing I am willing to elevate an advice column writer to that level. But to argue this, I will have to concede that point.

So a lot of people here are talking about journalistic integrity. Why do we feel we can impose a personal idea of integrity on someone else? This is getting close to saying everyone should have the same morals and that my friends is very dangerous ground. To re-iterate a point made here in another post, even lawyers have a legal obligation to break attorney/client privilege to report crimes that could happen. He admits to being a pedophile, he wrote in his letter that he had fantasies about children he actually has contact with in every day life. This IMO is enough evidence to obtain a search warrant, but the police did not need to, he let them search his home. He knew he had illegal pictures on his computer, and he let them in anyway. Dear Abby did the right thing. If he has fantasies about children he knows in real life, psychological research shows us that this is the pre-cursor to commting the acts. By turning him in there is a good chance she prevented innocent children from being harmed by his hand. He had already acted on the impulse to look at children in the nude and more than likey got off to it. He had done everything so far BUT actually molest a child, at least according to his claims. He is facing a reasonable punishment for his crimes of possessing kiddie porn.

Let's look at another scenario. I work for a large webhosting company as an assitant sysadmin. We have a fairly clear AUP and it covers kiddie porn in a very clear manner. In the course of my daily duties I see a lot of adult content, and only once have I run across child porn. What I did run across was hardcore porn involving 8-10 year olds, with each other and adults. We pulled the plug on the server immediately and turned over the hard drive to the FBI as the client was out of state. They have arrested him and there is a good chance I will have to testify. I am a sysadmin, and I have a fairly strict belief about privacy on the net, should I have done what I did? Emphatically so, you see above and beyond the right to privacy is the right of a child to keep their innocence and that is what is violated in the case of kiddie porn.

Futhermore someone made a fairly standard mistake in quoting the Hebrew religion's doctrine of becoming a man at age 13. This is incorrect, you take on the responsibilities of a man, you still live under your father's roof. You have all the responsibility and none of the benefits. You do not recieve the freedom of being a man until you are 30 years old in the Hebrew religion. You are not able to be sexaully active until then. So their standards are actually more strict than the 16-18 year old age of consent we have in the US.

To sum up, Dear Abby did the right thing, there is very little question about that. The main question in my mind is how anyone elevates her to the level of journalist.


It takes 47 muscles to frown, but only 4 to pull the trigger of a finely tuned sniper rifle.
Hmmmmm.... (5.00 / 2) (#324)
by paddymick on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 07:22:59 PM EST

I will agree with you that you did the "right" thing as a sysadmin. Not because it was right, but because it is what you are legally required to do. As for the fellow in dear abby, till you do the crime, it isn't a crime. "...psychological research shows us that this is the pre-cursor to commting the acts..." --so what? The only people that this psychological research applies to are convicted felons. They have no data at all showing how often the general public thinks about such things. My suspicion is that most people, unless really weird, think about a lot of things during the course of their lives that they would never actually do. Just because some people do, and then admit to having thought about it first, by no means justifies assuming that everyone who has similar thoughts will commit similar acts. I also feel children should be protected. I have my own children and I would personally dismember anyone who tried to involve my children in pornography. But I also know a lot about computers and their ability to manipulate graphics. So does the government. That is why it is very hard anymore to use digital photographs as proof of anything--they are too easy to manipulate. And yet, when it comes to "kiddie porn," they (the government) are all-too-willing to arrest and prosecute someone for downloading a picture that may or may not really be an image of a child in a sexual context. There is a lot of controversy regarding this issue right now and no one really knows how to approach the overlying issue of legislating it. I think the guy in the dear abby case was a little sick. He definitely needs help (professional help). But is he a criminal pedophile? I would need much more hard evidence to be convinced of that.
Man is a stranger everywhere.
[ Parent ]
But he already HAD committed a crime. (4.00 / 3) (#327)
by Demiurge on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 10:55:53 PM EST

He was guilty of possessing child pornography.

[ Parent ]
Problem with the search (4.50 / 4) (#322)
by joemorse on Fri Mar 15, 2002 at 06:54:23 PM EST

I don't think the search warrant will pass constitutional muster. Courts have a fairly consistent record of striking down the legality of searches based on peoples' fantasies. This guy was clearly describing a fantasy when he wrote the "Dear Abby" column. Of course, it doesn't help him much now that he's been arrested and exposed to the whole country. Too often an arrest in the US is treated as a conviction by the public, the media, and employers. This guy is screwed.

Don't get me wrong: I don't like the idea of child pronography, but there's just too many problems with how this guy got nailed. The media often rant on people getting acquited on a "technicality"... If you consider the Bill of Rights a "technicality" then you've got bigger problems than kiddie porn.



Here's my take on it. (3.00 / 2) (#333)
by valeko on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 08:29:08 AM EST

Obviously, the guy just wasn't very bright. Nobody writes to some "Dear Abby" columnist looking for serious advice - that's just too absurd. If you want serious help with a "mental problem" of yours, you need to go to a medical professional according to the rules of society here. (*snort*) But I think if you engage in activities which are subject to legal question, writing to newspaper columnist who claims to dispense "helpful advice" isn't quite the thing to do.

On another note, I wonder if the images he had in his possession were even actual child porn. Nobody seems to understand what child pornography is, including the district attourneys that prosecute people for it. Yes, I think we've had tangentially related discussion before.

Obviously the whole thing is BS, but I suppose most people would have the common sense not to incriminate themselves by writing to a silly newspaper columnist - or whatever she calls herself to justify her very useless "occupation". I'm almost inclined to think maybe somebody else wrote the letter and the guy was framed by one of his malevolent acquaintances, or at least turned in involuntarily.


"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart

Currency . . . (3.00 / 2) (#342)
by halo64 on Sat Mar 16, 2002 at 02:34:17 PM EST

I'm willing to assume that these were intentionally retained images, not something stuck in a browser cache. I have an issue with it being a crime to possess proof of someone elses illegal behavior.. Yes, on the one hand, the man is creating a demand for child pornography - but in the digital age, the argument fails to hold. He likely did not purchase the images. (Yes, I am assuming this) He probably got them for free, as we all easily could. Therefore, the pornographer likely did not profit from the man's interest - so how exactly did the man prompt the illegal action?
Child pornography is it's own currency. True people do not spend money on the images they have or create, but the images/videos themselves are the currency. They are traded for other child porn you have, hopefully not seen. Therefore, if you can create your own "content" you have something to bargain with.

No, I don't like child porn either. I run an adult website and am a member of ASACP. I have also helped bust several child pornographers.

As far as the age of consent laws, pre-pubecent teens and those that are even younger, have no business performing sexual acts for any reason. I do think that once teens reach the age of 16/17, it becomes a tricky issue. Who's to say they don't know or realize the full consequences of their actions?

/* begin sig here
I don't have one because I'm lame
finish sig here */

Let nature take it's course (4.66 / 3) (#354)
by sydb on Sun Mar 17, 2002 at 08:20:42 PM EST

pre-pubecent teens and those that are even younger, have no business performing sexual acts for any reason.

Really?

As a child with my age in single figures, I performed 'sexual acts'- acts of discovery of my body and my friends'. Actually, I wouldn't call those acts sexual, because I did not experience any sexual 'thrill'; the thrill I got was of learning something new about my status as a human. Seeing that beneath clothes there was flesh, everyone had similar flesh, and that the configuration of a girl's flesh was different to that of a boy.

It wasn't until other children - children who had participated in the same learning games - betrayed me and pilloried me that I learned there was something wrong or undesirable in exposing and touching flesh. After this, my childhood became, for much of the time, a nightmare of abuse at the hands of my peers.

Your post continues that attitude. What one does as a child, if not influenced by the acts of one's parents, is inherently natural. My parents rarely if ever exposed any sexual side to their nature. If I asked questions, I got answers, generally neutral and factual in nature. The value judgements were left to my peers, and to them I was, presumably, disgusting.

I would be melodramatic to say I was scarred. But I was deeply affected by the acts of my fellow schoolchildrem, affected to the point where I couldn't have sexual relationships for many years - out of fear and insecurity. And that is still with me to this day.

Had I not suffered at the hands of this 'You can't do that - it's disgusting' attitude, I am sure my sexual and social being would be all the more healthy. Nature would take it's course.
--

Making Linux GPL'd was definitely the best thing I ever did - Linus Torvalds
[ Parent ]

You're right . . . (5.00 / 1) (#365)
by halo64 on Mon Mar 18, 2002 at 05:42:47 PM EST

My attitude wasn't appropriate. I myself did things like that, and believe that all children go through a phase of learning about their bodies. I don't believe it is wrong by any means. What I do believe is wrong is somebody older, or in your case, someone their own age, taking advantage of that innocence.

Unfortunately, I have been exposed to child pornography. The images sickened me to my stomach as I have little brothers and sisters. All I could think of was, "What if that was my sibling or a child I know?" It was a horrible experience for me, as I was not prepared for what I saw.

In the pictures though, all of the children have a look of innocence. They didn't know what they were doing or what the pictures were being used for, they were just experiencing a part of nature.

However, I still hold that child pornography is disgusting. I don't think there is anything wrong with human sexuality or learning about your sexuality at a young age. A child's innocence just shouldn't be exploited in that way though.

/* begin sig here
I don't have one because I'm lame
finish sig here */
[ Parent ]

What SHOULD have been done in this case (4.11 / 9) (#348)
by Dreamwizard on Sun Mar 17, 2002 at 04:25:42 AM EST

I am surprized that no one, at least not from what I have read, has come up with the obvious way this matter SHOULD have been handled. The following actions would have addressed the mans needs and requests and would have protected the integrity and confidentiality of this matter and addressed it in a discrete yet professional manner.

Upon receiving the letter and deciding to take appropriate action, "Dear Abby" should have contacted a mental health agency in Milwaukee and asked for a Psychologist or Psychiatrist who deals in sexual matters such as pedophile tendencies or fantasies. Since this is a major city there is likely to be a number of trained professionals and or agencies that could deal with such matters or give a recomendation to someone who could help. Once a person was found, she could then turn the information over to this doctor giving him the mans name and address and phone if available, and the contents of the letter she received. She should then prompty contact the man and give him the Doctors name and request that the man contact this doctor as he is a person that is qualified to help and that the matter has already been brought to this doctors attention. She should also request that the man and the doctor should send her a followup letter to assure that each of them had followed through and that the contact had been made and the matter was now in the hands of someone who was capable of dealing with the matter in an appropriate and discrete manner. Since he had not acted on his feelings, the doctor could give this man confidentiality and evalute the matter and then set an appropriate course of treatment as needed. This would give the man what he needed and asked for and fill any obligations of reporting this matter to someone who could deal with the issues. If the matter needed legal intervention, it would be a matter for the doctor to decide as he is the one who is obligated to report any abuse if there was evidence or admission of such. No ones rights would have been violated here and the matter could have stayed out of the media eye.

As it stands now, this mans life and reputation are ruined. This is just plain WRONG. It makes a criminal out of a person who obviously wanted help befor he became a public spectacle and criminal for child abuse

I feel the the mans rights were totally violated and that professionalism and trust on the part of Dear Abby was totally discarded.

From what I have read about the letter, it contained no admission of sexual abuse, simply sexual feelings that the man was uncomfortable about. He aparently not only had the ability to resist acting on his feelings, but he also understood that the feelings were wrong and he needed help and reinforcement in dealing with this matter.

Nobody writes to an advice columnist and expects to be arrested on the basis of confiding about some inappropriate feelings. Inappropriate actions is a different matter, but NOT feelings or fantasies. One does not control feelings or fantasies, they control actions. Since he had not acted inappropriately, his feelings in of themselves do not constitute a crime particularly when he admits that he is aware of his problem and is asking for help.

The actions of "Abby" are shameful and destructive of trust. They made a media circus out of this mans problem and out of "Abby's" supposed "heroic" measures. Ultimately this publicity harms BOTH parties but the man is the one who will suffer the most as he is branded as a "sexual offender", when he only really wanted help dealing with feelings.

A search warrent should NOT have been issued on flimsy evidence of a letter when there was no supporting evidence of wrongdoing. Since he did not mention or admit to the pictures on the computer, the police were on nothing more than a "fishing expedition" to find somthing to convict this man for. The object was NOT to get help for him, but rather to convict him and make him a public spectacle of shame.

I sincerely hope this man has a good attorney. He needs good legal representation now, just as much as he needs help with his feelings which will now be even more difficlut to manage. He now faces public contempt, feelings of betrayal, loss of privacy, and loss of relationships that may have been very important. Im quite sure that this will result in other losses as well. ALL of this for having inappropriate feelings or fantasies.

I wish him well! This is a damn shame!

Dreamwizard

what should have been done (none / 0) (#351)
by youngirony on Sun Mar 17, 2002 at 06:49:57 PM EST

Like a psychologist/psychiatrist, does Abby have the same responsiblity to report harmful/destructive/criminal behaviors to authorities? I believe that she does, and was acting in accordance with professional ethics.

[ Parent ]
"Abby" is not a psychologist (5.00 / 2) (#357)
by Dreamwizard on Mon Mar 18, 2002 at 01:59:49 AM EST

Dear Abby is not a psychologist, psychiatrist or doctor of any sort. Furthermore this man never disclosed or admitted to any type of destructive or crimanal behavior. He asked for help on dealing with "thoughts" or fantasies that disturbed him. These are NOT actions, they are NOT behaviors. Thoughts and fantasies in of themselves do not harm "victims" if they are not acted upon.

When abused children write to "Abby" for help, she contacts the authorities in the area who deal with child abuse. She lets THEM take the necessary steps to deal with the childrens problem as well as deal with those who are the perpetrators. She is not qualified to give "mailorder help" on such matters and it would not address the problem anyway.

The same logic applies here. This matter is out of the scope of her knowledge or ability to deal with the matter. She should have contacted someone who handles such matters as this.

The police are not therapists. They dont offer "help" that this man needed or was asking for. At the point where she received the letter, no laws had been broken regarding any actions against the girls. If he was contemplating such action, he was certainly not indicating it, nor would he be likely to write a letter requesting help.

I have read followup information about the man and his "problem". It seems that he had discussed the matter with other doctors who aparently didnt think it was a problem serious enough to require any "action". Since they had dealt directy with this man, they would be the ones who should decide if legal action was/is required.

Since this man aparently was not happy with the result of seeing these other doctors, I suspect that they were not qualified to deal with such matters. A referral to a person who is trained in this area is what was needed.

Since There was no admission of wrongdoing, "Abby" is not required to turn any information over to any authorities. What "you believe" as to her obligations does not constitute a "fact". Abby writes a syndicated advice column. She is not a "professional" therapist. If anything, she is a newspaper columnist that writes answers to peoples problems. They may or may not be the best possible solutions to ones situation. Many newspaper columnists are given the right to keep information and sources private, unless there is direct evidence that a crime is being comitted. That is not the case here. This matter should have remained private and certainly out of the eye of the media.

Many of the people who write to "Abby" are trying to deal with inappropriate feelings toward somebody or toward a situation, or simply feelings that are not socially acceptable. Finding a solution to deal with and resolve these feelings, is what the advice collumn should be about, NOT jumping in and having someone arrested for their feelings.

Referring the matter to a qualified professional, would be the professional way of dealing with this matter. What "Abby did was UNPROFESSIONAL!

Dreamwizard

[ Parent ]

There can be no discussion (5.00 / 2) (#367)
by greggman on Tue Mar 19, 2002 at 04:41:52 AM EST

I have no interest in child porn but it is interesting to discuss. Unfortunately it practically feels illegal to discuss.

There's the question of cultural differences.

What is child porn? People under 18? People under 13? People under 8? Does it have to be real people or is just stories or drawings about child porn illegal? When is it porn? If they are naked? If the situation is suggestive even if they are not naked?

Here in Japan there is tons of manga child porn. I've been surprised places like Mandarake in Torrance, California haven't had more complaints since they stock that kind of manga. I'm talking about drawings and stories of sex with 5 year olds. Yuck. But, it's just a drawing. Does that make it legal?

There are also the picture collection books in Japan

http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/249-7681531-9100336

I don't know if that link will work. But, they are Sports Illustrated style collections of pictures. They go at least as low as 12 years old. I don't know at which age it is okay to appear naked but I know it's lower than 18. And even if it's not okay to get naked the 12 year olds are posing like they are in tried to sell langerie to men.

These books are also best sellers in Japan, displayed prominately in the front of normal bookstores, not in back dark corners of adult stores.

Would owning one of these books land you in prison in the U.S.?

A link that will work (none / 0) (#368)
by greggman on Tue Mar 19, 2002 at 04:44:17 AM EST

That last link was to a search result and does not work.

This is to a specific book. From there you can see similar items.

[ Parent ]
Not the right way to handle this. (5.00 / 2) (#370)
by hebertrich on Tue Mar 19, 2002 at 11:39:29 AM EST

To me the matter is different.It's about treatment.. First when someone asks for help you dont call the cops.This dosen't solve the issue.If the guy asks for help you refer him to qualified medical personnel. The police is far from being in that category. Yes this and that is true . posession etc.. But here you have a guy asking for help, he's treated like a criminal. That will make other people like him go even more underground rather than surfacing to seek proper medical attention. The person who called up is totally incompetent and should be banned from holding a column altogether. This being said ... back to compiling Gnome 2 ( plug plug ) Richard Hebert

Usual Suspects.. (none / 0) (#373)
by gblues on Wed Mar 20, 2002 at 05:47:10 PM EST

Either consciously or subconsciously, he's relieved because he'll finally get the treatment he's been trying to get--desperate enough to derail him from the track his life was on. I wouldn't be surprised if "turn myself in to law enforcement" wasn't too far down the list of steps to take after writing to Abby. Nathan
... although in retrospect, having sex to the news was probably doomed to fail from the get-go. --squinky
Why should he turn himself in? (none / 0) (#374)
by Dreamwizard on Sat Mar 23, 2002 at 04:17:34 AM EST

"I wouldn't be surprised if "turn myself in to law enforcement" wasn't too far down the list of steps to take after writing to Abby."

I would be quite surprised if this was a step he "would" have taken. Frankly he has VERY little to be relieved about and MANY things to fear at this point. Unless he was actually wanting to be a media spectacle, he has MUCH to fear.

Society is very much in a "witch hunt" mode when it comes to matters of people who exhibit any sort of pedophile tendencies. Frankly a lot of people would just as soon "shoot first and ask questions later", if it were allowed. Since his name has been plastered all over the media, it will make no difference if he crawls into a hole, there are people who will remember. The ones that do, will not forgive or forget, even though no actual crime was comitted against the girls.

Since he had images described as lewd or child porn, on his computer, he may well be branded by megans law, which will further peoples reasons not to forget.

He faces substancial fines and possible imprisonment for possession of the imsges in question. Neither of these qualifies as "therapy" nor does it do a thing to help him with the problem he asked for help with.

If he does spend jail time, he runs a serious risk of being a victim of abuse in jail. People dont take kindly to those who have illicit thoughts about kids.

All of these are REAL and substancial areas of concern. All of this could have been avoided if discression was used. Even if he did turn himself in, this event would not have turned into the "media circus" that it is now.

He had no reason to turn hinself over to the police. He had not comitted a crime against the girls. His "crime" was illicit thoughts and illicit pictures. What was needed AND what was requested was help in dealing with these thoughts BEFOR any act was comitted.

Therapy such as this is not always easy to find. A person has to be trained in areas such as pedophilia. A good person can assess the matter and THEN avaluate the "real" dangers involved. A therapist is bound by legal ethics to turn over matters that pose serious danger, or matters where a child has been violated. When one attempts to find therapy, they are sometimes met with people who will either blow the matter off completely, or will overreact and get authorities invloved even befor any evidence of a crime against a child is presented. THIS is why I stated in a previous post, that Abbey should have contacted a therapist in the mans hometown and referred the doctor and patient to each other for help. If there was a concern on Abbeys part, she could have requested a "followup" from both parties to see if the contact was made and that the man was getting the help he asked for and needed. This would have cleared Abbey of any obligation or responsibility she "thought" she had; since the doctor would be obligated to act in an ethical manner in reporting any problem or "potential" problem if a real threat was evident.

Abbey makes her living from the media. However this mans life may well be destroyed by the media. THAT is IRRESPONSIBLE. Even if the man gets treatment, he may well be looked upon in the future as a "risk". Does he really need that hanging over his head?

The handling of this matter also does far more to drive people away from reaching out for help, than anything I can think of. Who wants to admit to inappropiate feelings and end up in the newspater and on the radio and TV. Those things are usually reserved for people that commit serious acts, NOT people who ask for help with "feelings or fantasies".

I still feel that attorneys should be looking into the violations of this mans rights. His "thoughts, feelings and fantasies" should not be a matter of public exposure befor a crime was actually comitted. The pictures were a symptom of a problem, but hardly worthy of such exposure or humiliation at this point. If people cant feel free to come foreward and ask for help, there will be a lot fewer people ASKING for help. Plain and simple

DREAMWIZARD

[ Parent ]

Missing the Point (none / 0) (#375)
by Bestroika on Thu Mar 28, 2002 at 02:45:17 AM EST

It doesn't matter where the images came from, or if they were purchsed or not..you have to remember that these laws were made to protect children. As a Mom, I can tell you this...if I were to discover that someone near me had pics of naked children..I would want them gone..not just punished. You worry about them taking the next step, not meaning to sound judgemental, but what he did was very wrong. My job as a parent is to protect my kids, and I can gurantee you that the punishment this guy got was by far, not enough. Who cares how he got reported? I would personally be thanking Abbey for what she did, but that is just me..the mom with two small kids to protect. In the end, no punishment is enough for owning, distributing, or participating in child pornography...because as long as people want it they will continue to exploit children to make it. Would I report, or support someone else in reporting a pedophile? Absolutely, because it is one less monster on the streets.

Dear Abbey hands pedophile to cops. | 370 comments (356 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
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