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War on Porn "A Running Joke" at the FBI:
The FBI is recruiting agents for an anti-obscenity squad, but career FBI agents aren't exactly eager to volunteer:
  Mischievous commentary [in response to FBI recruiting efforts] began propagating around the water coolers at 601 Fourth St. NW and its satellites, where the FBI's second-largest field office concentrates on national security, high-technology crimes and public corruption.
  The new squad will divert eight agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff to gather evidence against "manufacturers and purveyors" of pornography — not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults.
  "I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."
  Among friends and trusted colleagues, an experienced national security analyst said, "it's a running joke for us."
  A few of the printable samples:
  "Things I Don't Want On My Résumé, Volume Four."
  "I already gave at home."
  "Honestly, most of the guys would have to recuse themselves."
(Hat tip: Howard, naturally.) More on the response to obscenity prosecutions among career law enforcement personnel here.
KenB (mail):
They'll pry my porn out of my cold dead fingers!!

Um, possibly along with something else...
9.20.2005 11:01am
William Spieler (mail) (www):
Where do I sign up to get paid to watch porn?
9.20.2005 11:06am
Justin (mail):
Regarding David Post's post below: I've noticed only the indefensible, slanderous links lack comment buttons lately. I will no longer read or link to any post on this cite that lacks a comment button.
9.20.2005 11:06am
carpundit (www):
What does it tell you about the politics of the process when working FBI Agents think the endeavor is pointless and a waste of resources? It tells you the Administration is keeping a promise made to someone, or some group, rather than caring about effective law enforcement.

With censorship from the FCC, and the FBI going after purveyors of consensual adult porn, I tend to agree with Howard Stern - they're coming for our books next.
9.20.2005 11:12am
Cornellian (mail):
"Honestly, most of the guys would have to recuse themselves."

Hahahaha, so true.

Assuming a charge even passes 1st Amendment muster, I wonder how they're going to sell this to a jury that has at least a few men on it.

I am somewhat curious as to what exactly they're going after. Maybe I'm giving them too much credit but I can't believe they'd be going after mere nudity. So here are some other options, in roughly ascending order based on what I'm guessing is most likely to inflame the passions (if I can use that phrase) of whoever is behind this idiotic policy: 1) Masturbation 2) Procreative sex 3) Non-procreative sex between an opposite sex couple 4) Any kind of sexual activity between a same-sex couple (maybe 4.1 being 2 women and 4.2 being two men) 5) Groups of more than 2 people 6) Bondage and other kinky stuff.

Where exactly are they drawing the line? I'd have to think anything from 1 to 3 would get laughed out of court, either by a judge, jury or both.
9.20.2005 11:13am
A. C. Kleinheider (www):
I wonder how they're going to sell this to a jury that has at least a few men on it.

I think it might be easier than you think. There is some truly horrible stuff out there. No one likes to see how sausage is made.

Prosecutors pulling back the curtain and exposing what exactly is being subsidized when porn is consumed might have interesting results. The use and abuse that the girls endure, the drugs, the stark reality of depravity may cause more men to vote "against the first amendment" than you might think.

Paint the girls in porn as troubled, abused and exploited (which they are) and you'll have a lot of successful prosecutions via male juries who "should recuse themselves."
9.20.2005 11:51am
LTEC (mail) (www):
If the pornography in question is legal, then of course the FBI shouldn't be going after it, whether or not there is a War on Terror.

Assume for the moment that the pornography in question is not legal. Are you telling me that the FBI should have the right to ignore certain crimes because they are more minor than terrorism? Such as kidnapping? Or are you telling me that the FBI should have the right to ignore all enforcement of laws they don't like?

The point of the article, of course, is to ridicule Bush
and right-wing Christians. There is no mention, therefore, of the decades-long war by feminists against porn.

For the record, I would like pornography to be legal.
9.20.2005 12:01pm
Rhadamanthus (mail):
LTEC, I think you're being a little harsh on the FBI here. Let's assume as you said that it is within their jurisdiction. There is no doubt that certain crimes warrant more attention by an agency that has to ration agents and time. The war on terror would be rightly so far ahead of the war on porn that it isn't funny.

Of course they don't have the right to ignore certain crimes but to use an analogy, when the Washington sniper was around in the news, I'd have been a little upset to find no extra time being taken over it, say by removing officers from traffic duty.

I'm not sure I associate the article with an attack on Bush but then I don;t know the author, presumably that had something to do with your suggestion.
9.20.2005 12:12pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
The obscenity prosecutions that the Bush Administration is going after are films that involve sex with animals and that graphically depict rape and murder. From an ABC News report whose link no longer works, but that I excerpted here:

On April 8, law enforcement seized five movies produced by Zicari's California-based company, Extreme Associates, which bills itself as "The Hardest Hard Core on the Web."

One of the confiscated movies, Forced Entry, features three graphic scenes of women being spat upon, raped and murdered. Extreme Teens #24 has adult women dressed up and acting like little girls in various hard-core pornographic scenes. We can't even tell you the title of one of the films.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Thomas Lambert made no attempt to hide the kind of videos he peddled from his Montana home — hard-core sex tapes involving bestiality, sadomasochism and simulated rape.

The 65-year-old former schoolteacher had little reason to believe he could get in trouble. He was selling tapes to adults who wanted them and there had not been a federal obscenity prosecution in Montana in at least 16 years, according to his lawyer, Mark Errebo.

But Lambert and co-defendant Sanford Wasserman were charged last spring with violating federal obscenity statutes. In pleading guilty, they joined a growing number of purveyors of pornography whom the Bush administration has pursued.
9.20.2005 12:12pm
cfw (mail):
Sounds like a good way to publicize and build sales for the hardest hard core on the web.

Perhaps one should simply tax the industry, for the benefit of those performers who end up with illness or psychological problems.
9.20.2005 12:57pm
=0= (mail):
(*Off topic*)

Justin: Regarding David Post's post below: I've noticed only the indefensible, slanderous links lack comment buttons lately. I will no longer read or link to any post on this cite that lacks a comment button.

Just curious, Justin - You imply that you'll use the lack of comments on posts as a signalling mechanism. Is it really that, or is it the lack of a right-of-reply?
9.20.2005 1:47pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Sounds like a good way to publicize and build sales for the hardest hard core on the web.

Perhaps one should simply tax the industry, for the benefit of those performers who end up with illness or psychological problems.
It isn't for the benefit of the performers that the obscenity statutes exist.

I am inclined to think that the occasional consumption of pornography by well-adjusted adults is probably not terribly destructive. What does concern me a bit is:

1. The effect that a steady diet of violent and degrading pornography has on adults, especially those that aren't terribly well-adjusted. The tales that my daughter and son-in-law tell me of how soaked in porn their generation is--and the effects that it seems to be having on how men regard women--do not sound healthy.

2. As with most things, even though the law prohibits selling porn to children, there is a certain amount of it that flows through to kids. When I was growing up, there was a small amount of pornography that managed to percolate down to kids--but it wasn't much, because the total volume of pornography was limited. Even the most hardcore materials were generally pretty tame compared to the stuff that is being prosecuted by the Justice Department. As an adult, you can watch a pornographic movie and recognize that it isn't reality; hunky UPS drivers don't drop off a package at an office, and then have an orgy with the secretaries. Kids have a somewhat more limited understanding of the real world, and soaking them in it is likely to cause at least some kids to end up with pretty distorted views of themselves, of sexuality, and the world of adults.

3. Child molesters have long used pornography (both child pornography and adult pornography) as a method for both exciting the child just entering puberty, and for breaking down their inhibitions. Here's an example.
9.20.2005 1:50pm
LTEC (mail) (www):
Rhadamanthus --
You mock my assertion that the point of the article was to ridicule Bush and right-wing Christians, by implying that I was trying to read the mind of the author. I will elaborate.

The article:
-- is mocking in its tone and anecdotes
-- makes a big point that Bush and Christian conservatives are antiporn
-- does not quote anyone at the FBI as being antiporn
-- does not tell us that the extreme left (wearing the feminist hat) has been antiporn for a long time.
9.20.2005 2:18pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Assume for the moment that the pornography in question is not legal. Are you telling me that the FBI should have the right to ignore certain crimes because they are more minor than terrorism?

Are you suggesting the opposite -- that law enforcement should spend its resources on less serious crimes at the expense of more serious ones? "Sorry, Ma'am. I know your husband was murdered -- but there's a big backlog of unpaid parking tickets to deal with! We'll get to the corpse in your living room after that."

As for the rest, I have no more love for antiporn feminists than for the antiporn religious right. But the former have about as much influence as the Natural Law Party does, while the latter can clearly help set the agenda at the DoJ.


---

Clayton, I hear that there are some Greek plays filled with depictions of incest and murder, too.
9.20.2005 3:21pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Clayton, I hear that there are some Greek plays filled with depictions of incest and murder, too.
Yup. Go read Miller v. California (1973) if you want to understand how the Supreme Court has dealt with distinguishing obscenity from serious literature. The Miller standard isn't perfect, but it errs on the side of leaving a lot of stuff on the legal side of the line.

Some years back, Bob Guccione made an X-rated movie, Caligula, which would certainly survive the Miller test--and yet it was certainly made for Guccione's typical audience. (I didn't see it; a friend wanted to prove how liberal he was, but was so repulsed that he walked out.)

I understand that Asia Carrera, who is also a talented pianist and composer as well porn star, made a hardcore movie some years ago set in Beethoven's Vienna that would also survive the Miller test--and yet would make her usual fans very happy.
9.20.2005 4:19pm
TheCuriousKitten (mail) (www):
Cornellian;

As a woman who loves porn, I would be the first on that jury to dismiss the case.

And I don't like the "Fluffy erotica" either. I have categories full of 1-6! I'm truly afraid that they want to take my pornography. Oh well. At least they haven't taken my guns yet. Maybe I can use the guns to defend the porn. . .
9.20.2005 4:59pm
Ryan Waxx:
I have to agree with LTEC here - claiming that the! use! of! 10!!! agents!!!! (ohmygodMygodNoooo!) constitutes in any way, form or manner a 'diversion' from the war on terror is hyperventalating at the very LEAST. The job of 10 agents is in no way newsworthy unless the underlying motive for the 'news story' is an agenda.

If you can't figure this out on your own, and need me to come in here to point this out, you are a tool. How does it feel to be a tool?

Not that the other side doesn't have its share of fallacies as well. Clayton Cramer says:

The obscenity prosecutions that the Bush Administration is going after are films that involve sex with animals and that graphically depict rape and murder.


And in his very next post, says:

Child molesters have long used pornography (both child pornography and adult pornography) as a method for both exciting the child just entering puberty, and for breaking down their inhibitions.


Yeah, nothin like a horse -n- snuff film to excite the kiddies, eh Clayton? Or... could it be possible... that maybe you aren't going to stop pedophiles using porn as a lure until the day you ban Playboy. Hey, you can ban puppies too. I hear pedos use them to lure kids.
9.20.2005 5:01pm
cfw (mail):
"It isn't for the benefit of the performers that the obscenity statutes exist."

Not sure this is true. I would say performers are a protected class. Not the only ones that law writers want to protect.

"The effect that a steady diet of violent and degrading pornography has on adults, especially those that aren't terribly well-adjusted. The tales that my daughter and son-in-law tell me of how soaked in porn their generation is--and the effects that it seems to be having on how men regard women--do not sound healthy."

Not sure it always has a pernicious effect. Might it also help deter crimes, by giving another outlet (e.g., fantasy, masturbation)? Need empirical research before we can be too sure.

"2. As with most things, even though the law prohibits selling porn to children, there is a certain amount of it that flows through to kids. When I was growing up, there was a small amount of pornography that managed to percolate down to kids--but it wasn't much, because the total volume of pornography was limited. Even the most hardcore materials were generally pretty tame compared to the stuff that is being prosecuted by the Justice Department. As an adult, you can watch a pornographic movie and recognize that it isn't reality; hunky UPS drivers don't drop off a package at an office, and then have an orgy with the secretaries. Kids have a somewhat more limited understanding of the real world, and soaking them in it is likely to cause at least some kids to end up with pretty distorted views of themselves, of sexuality, and the world of adults."

Not sure we are giving kids enough credit. I suspect they can see what is fake pretty quickly.


"3. Child molesters have long used pornography (both child pornography and adult pornography) as a method for both exciting the child just entering puberty, and for breaking down their inhibitions. Here's an example."

Having prosecuted sex crimes with children, and consulted with experts, though not recently, I think this is incorrect factually. It could happen, but I would not say it is "long used as a method". If used, I would expect some pretty tame material.
9.20.2005 5:27pm
Penta:
OK. I'm split here.

On the one hand, some of this stuff is disturbing beyond measure, and I think the FBI is going after the stuff that really has only a thin shield on it, such as depicting bestiality (which is illegal in every state bar WA, after all, and WA's non-ban is unlikely to last long given that it just got graphically exposed a few months back).

On the other, the thought "Don't they have bigger things to worry about?" does come to mind.
9.20.2005 5:28pm
Ryan Waxx:
CuriousKitten, I don't see any real difference between antigun people and antiporn people. They both:

* Argue that their chosen vice corrupts and/or kills, without much evidence (evidence that non-fanatics would take seriously, that is).

* Deceptively use the tactic of making small, reasonable inroads into guaranteed freedoms so that they can expand those restrictions. For those who dislike the 2nd amendment, it's assault weapons and gun registration. For those who dislike the first amendment, it's "anything more kinky than playboy". "Just ban this and you'll be safe... then this... then this..."

* Have no moral qualms - none - about using children as a tool to futher their agenda. For antigunners, the bogeyman is 5-year-olds shooting themselves and friends. For antiporners, the bogeyman is lurking pedophiles. Do both dangers actually exist? Yes. Are the actual threats inflated with more hot air (and about as many lies) than a Michael Moore movie? Also yes.
9.20.2005 5:37pm
Bryan C (mail):
Sounds like a waste of time to me, but not a serious one. Law enforcement must handle matters both big and small. And I don't think that "eight agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff", in an agency as large as the FBI, are all that stand between success or failure in the war on terror. I'd certainly hope not.
9.20.2005 5:45pm
Public_Defender:
Jokes aside, a serious question in an obsentity case would be how intrusive of a voir dire to permit.
9.20.2005 6:10pm
LTEC (mail) (www):
David -

1) Yes, I believe that law enforcement should spend (some of) its resources on less serious crimes at the expense of more serious ones. And I bet you do to. Ask yourself if serious crime in your town could be reduced by spending more money on it instead of ticketing traffic and parking offenses. Would you therefore advocate a policy of ignoring all such minor offenses?

2) I believe that anti-porn feminists, which includes most feminists, have a huge amount of power; the Natural Law Party has almost none. What do you think Dianne Feinstein's opinion would have been if she learned that Judge Roberts liked porn even more than North By Northwest?
9.20.2005 6:32pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Not sure it always has a pernicious effect. Might it also help deter crimes, by giving another outlet (e.g., fantasy, masturbation)? Need empirical research before we can be too sure.
Think of it as advertising. Do you think advertising reduces demand for the products being offered? Do you think that political advertising influences people to vote for or against someone? What makes you think that obscenity doesn't influence consumers?

Not sure we are giving kids enough credit. I suspect they can see what is fake pretty quickly.
Some needs to spend a bit more time around children. It is astonishing how innocent and naive children can remain even into their early teens. Why do you think so much product placement advertising works as well as it does to get kids to buy things?

Having prosecuted sex crimes with children, and consulted with experts, though not recently, I think this is incorrect factually. It could happen, but I would not say it is "long used as a method". If used, I would expect some pretty tame material.
I gave you one example there, and I found another example just by looking through my blog archives. If I can find two examples this quickly, I rather doubt that this is a particularly scarce phenomenon.
9.20.2005 6:50pm
carpundit (www):
I doubt the FBI is pulling agents off terror cases to work pornography. Much more likely, they are pulling agents off other criminal cases, like fraud or embezzlement or other computer crimes.
9.20.2005 6:59pm
Wince and Nod (mail) (www):
Hmmmm. So we should ignore all traffic offenses, so that people violate traffic laws more often, causing more fatal accidents? And we should ignore smaller offenses, like vandalism, in spite of the fact that when you prosecute small infractions it reduces crime overall?

How about this notion: We should enforce all the laws as long as they are on the books. That would both engender respect for the law and incent us to repeal laws which should not be on the books. If Texas lawmen had been regularly enforcing their anti-sodomy statutes all these years I bet they would have been repealed long before Scalia had a chance to write a dissent. And if we don't have enough resources to enforce all the laws, perhaps that is a signal that we have too many.

Yours,
Wince
9.20.2005 6:59pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Ryan Waxx writes:
Have no moral qualms - none - about using children as a tool to futher their agenda. For antigunners, the bogeyman is 5-year-olds shooting themselves and friends. For antiporners, the bogeyman is lurking pedophiles. Do both dangers actually exist? Yes. Are the actual threats inflated with more hot air (and about as many lies) than a Michael Moore movie? Also yes.
Lurking pedophiles not only exist, they are a big problem, with typically 30% of adult females and about 9% of adult males reporting that they had been sexually abused as children. Maybe you think that this isn't a big problem.

Deceptively use the tactic of making small, reasonable inroads into guaranteed freedoms so that they can expand those restrictions. For those who dislike the 2nd amendment, it's assault weapons and gun registration. For those who dislike the first amendment, it's "anything more kinky than playboy". "Just ban this and you'll be safe... then this... then this..."
I suggest that you do a little research on the First Amendment's guarantees before getting so confident with your bogus analogies. Obscenity has never been considered protected by the freedom of the press clause. You won't find any equivalent limitations in the colonial or early Republic period on the type of guns that you can own. (You will find obligations to own guns, but that's not quite the same thing.) You will find gun registration laws in the early Republic, but these laws only applied to free blacks, such as the 1840 North Carolina statute at the heart of State v. Newsom (N.C. 1844).
9.20.2005 7:16pm
Ryan Waxx:
Oh, thank you for reminding me of another similarity, Cramer. Both antigunners and antiporners piously claim "oh, but the founding fathers never meant to protect _______". Fill in with : Private gun ownership - cable porn - assault weapons - 'kinky' sex - gun shows - porn websites - right to carry - guns outside a safe - porn outside a fort knox security website to keep kids out - guns in high school clubs - libraries without content locks...

...etc etc etc ad nauseam. And, of course, each and every one thinks 'their cause' is holy and pure and CAN'T possibly be oppressive. Yes, Clayton, your cause is unique as a snowflake... just like all snowflakes... and causes... are.

BTW, I'm familiar with that 'study'. It's easy for people with causes to cook the books. I'm sure you ALSO realize that being a family member of the victimizer is FAR better an indicator than the existance of porn is. Are families next?

And you *STILL* haven't even ATTEMPTED to contend that the kind of porn being pursued by the FBI agents have anything to do with molestation. Should I take your silence as acquesiance?
9.20.2005 7:36pm
NickM (mail) (www):
If "patently offensive" is seriously enforced as a gatekeeper requirement by magistrates issuing warrants, I would expect that bestiality and simulated snuff films (including extreme sadomasochism not purporting to result in death) would be prosecuted. Judge Haynesworth wrote an apellate opinion about 20 years ago in a case upholding obscenity convictions for films of this nature -I don't remember the case title offhand, but Alan Dershowitz was appellant's attorney, and argued that the films were, in essence, too sick to be obscene - that they did not appeal to the prurient interest in most people. He lost.
[The attorney and judge names should be sufficient to find the case with a simple LEXIS or WESTLAW search that doesn't attract unwelcome attention if anyone else looks at your search log.]
How many people believe bestiality or simulated snuff films should be exempt from prosecution as a legal matter? As a policy/allocation of resources matter?

Nick
9.20.2005 7:49pm
Cornellian (mail):
I don't know why the discussion has drifted into bestiality. The story says they're going after porn that "depicts and is marketed to consenting adults". I read that to mean adult human beings, and not including animals (adult or otherwise). Presumably bestiality was already being dealt with, along with child porn, and the point of the story was to indicate that some people within the FBI wanted to branch out into adult (human) porn and that the rank and file agents, not surprisingly, were pretty skeptical about whether this was an efficient use of FBI resources.
9.21.2005 11:18am
Duncan Frissell (mail):
From one of the cited articles:They say there are far more important issues in a high-crime area like South Florida, which is an international hub at risk for terrorism, money laundering and other dangerous activities.

I'm not sure that money laundering (perfectly legal from the dawn of time until 1986) is a dangerous activity. I'm sure porno does more damage to the producers and users than financial privacy does (it does none). In neither case a Federal issue.
9.21.2005 12:00pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Ryan Waxx writes:

Oh, thank you for reminding me of another similarity, Cramer. Both antigunners and antiporners piously claim "oh, but the founding fathers never meant to protect _______". Fill in with : Private gun ownership - cable porn - assault weapons - 'kinky' sex - gun shows - porn websites - right to carry - guns outside a safe - porn outside a fort knox security website to keep kids out - guns in high school clubs - libraries without content locks...
I can prove that the antigunner claims are incorrect. I've got gobs of evidence. And your evidence that the Framers believed that there was a right to sell obscene writings is?

...etc etc etc ad nauseam. And, of course, each and every one thinks 'their cause' is holy and pure and CAN'T possibly be oppressive. Yes, Clayton, your cause is unique as a snowflake... just like all snowflakes... and causes... are.
Prohibiting porn involving sex with animals and depicting rape and murder is oppressive because?

BTW, I'm familiar with that 'study'. It's easy for people with causes to cook the books.
There are dozens of studies, giving generally the same figures. Child molestation is actually a pretty widespread and serious problem. I've lost count of the number of victims that I have talked to over the years.
I'm sure you ALSO realize that being a family member of the victimizer is FAR better an indicator than the existance of porn is. Are families next?
That's a strong claim to make. Girls tend to be at greatest risk from stepfathers and live-in boyfriends; boys tend to be at greatest risk from men outside the home. (Fixated pedophiles tend to go into professions or avocations that give them access to little boys.)

And you *STILL* haven't even ATTEMPTED to contend that the kind of porn being pursued by the FBI agents have anything to do with molestation. Should I take your silence as acquesiance?
You mean the bestiality porn isn't being used by child molesters? Almost certainly not. But why is it so important for you to defend bestiality and simulated snuff movies?
9.21.2005 12:50pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Cornellians wites:
I don't know why the discussion has drifted into bestiality. The story says they're going after porn that "depicts and is marketed to consenting adults". I read that to mean adult human beings, and not including animals (adult or otherwise). Presumably bestiality was already being dealt with, along with child porn, and the point of the story was to indicate that some people within the FBI wanted to branch out into adult (human) porn and that the rank and file agents, not surprisingly, were pretty skeptical about whether this was an efficient use of FBI resources.
It drifted into bestiality because that is one of the categories of material that the Justice Department has been prosecuting with some vigor in the last few years. You are assuming "adult (human) porn" in spite of this, and also ignoring that the prosecutions that have actually been going to court include makers of films that graphically depict rape and murder.
9.21.2005 12:53pm
LTEC (mail) (www):
Although I do not share Cramer's views on pornography, he is making some very straightforward claims about the kind of pornography that is actually being prosecuted. The article, on the other hand, only makes the extremely ambiguous statement that the government is prosecuting:
"not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults". This could mean that there are no human children in the movie, and that all the human actors were consenting, even if their characters weren't.

Given the choice between accepting Cramer's "facts" or the Post's ambiguous assertions, since the article is loaded with propaganda, I would go with Cramer.

Why do I say the article is pure propaganda?
A number of reasons appear in this comment and in earlier ones I've made. But the best proof is the following:

My friends and I were making jokes about it around the water cooler!
9.21.2005 2:56pm
Crane (mail):
And you *STILL* haven't even ATTEMPTED to contend that the kind of porn being pursued by the FBI agents have anything to do with molestation. Should I take your silence as acquesiance?


You mean the bestiality porn isn't being used by child molesters? Almost certainly not. But why is it so important for you to defend bestiality and simulated snuff movies?


1. The FBI is going after extreme porn - bestiality and snuff movies.

2. As you say, child molestors tend not to be into that kind of porn. They certainly don't use it to attract children.

3. So... if the porn being prosecuted has pretty much nothing to do with child molesters or molestation, why is it relevant to point to molesters as a justification for said prosecution?
9.21.2005 3:06pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

3. So... if the porn being prosecuted has pretty much nothing to do with child molesters or molestation, why is it relevant to point to molesters as a justification for said prosecution?
You might want to go back and re-read the context of my statement. Somehow asked a question that implied that the purpose of obscenity statutes (not just these particular prosecutions) was to protect the performers. I responded:

It isn't for the benefit of the performers that the obscenity statutes exist.
Then I listed three reasons why obscenity statutes exist. You interpreted this as meaning that the particular prosecutions now under way were justified by the three reasons that I listed.
9.21.2005 3:15pm
Hoya:
Here's a perfectly fine reason to outlaw this sort of porn and to enforce laws against it: it is a terrible thing to get sexual satisfaction from the depiction of rape and murder. If you don't think so, or can't help yourself, such law is a benefit to you, not a burden. Think of it as a seat belt law for the degenerate.
9.21.2005 3:27pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Here's a perfectly fine reason to outlaw this sort of porn and to enforce laws against it: it is a terrible thing to get sexual satisfaction from the depiction of rape and murder. If you don't think so, or can't help yourself, such law is a benefit to you, not a burden. Think of it as a seat belt law for the degenerate.
You have no future as an academic, using language like that! How narrow-minded you are, unprepared to accept a diversity of viewpoints!

One of the reasons that I am not entirely heart-broken about having no future in academia is that it is a community awash in people who would prefer to defend simulated snuff movies, rather than admit that there are some things that are depraved and evil. Academia seems to have confused diversity with perversity.
9.21.2005 3:55pm
LTEC (mail) (www):
Cramer --

I believe that there are some things that are depraved and evil and even dangerous to society, that should nonetheless be legal. One example is Michael Moore films. Simulated snuff films may be another example (I'm not sure). Surely there are examples of things that you yourself find depraved and evil, whose legality you would nonetheless support.
9.21.2005 6:17pm
Cornellian (mail):
Would a non-sexual thrill be an acceptable reaction? I would think in the case of murder that covers about 90% of Hollywood movies in the "thriller" or "action" category e.g. the recent "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" which lots of people seemed to like and which had bodies dropping like flies.

Do you really want to run with the argument that because some people have an objectionable reaction to a film, that the law should prohibit anyone from watching that film?


"Here's a perfectly fine reason to outlaw this sort of porn and to enforce laws against it: it is a terrible thing to get sexual satisfaction from the depiction of rape and murder. If you don't think so, or can't help yourself, such law is a benefit to you, not a burden. Think of it as a seat belt law for the degenerate."
9.22.2005 7:57am
M. Simon (mail) (www):
This is just another example of Republican Socialsm. Bans only increase the profits of sellers of banned products bringing more such products into the market. Economics 101.

It fits in with the biggest Republican Socialsm project of all. The war on drugs. Other wise refered to as price supports for gangs and other criminals.

Bust Pork, Not Drugs. In any case the drug war any more is hardly about controlling drugs. It is a jobs program that favors Republicans.

Republicans are addicted to bans on all kinds of behavior that is not malum per se.

As to porn screwing up the performers: they were messed up before they got into the business. You want to decrease the supply of performers? Do something about child abuse.

About 80% of child sexual molestatiion is done by family members. So why don't the Republicans deal with root causes? It might tarnish the image of the family.

BTW my take on drug use is similar. Drug users take drugs as self medication for PTSD. The #1 cause of PTSD in America is child abuse. Studies have shown that 70% of female heroin users were sexually molested as children. Might that explain the correlation of drug use with porn performers?

Heroin
9.23.2005 2:40pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
I am totally against simulated snuff films.

Can we ban "Saving Private Ryan"?
9.23.2005 2:44pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
Clayton,

The way around such a ban is to make all such porn into "historical" films.

Edipus Rex. etc.
9.23.2005 3:13pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
I am particularly looking forward to the xxx rated version of "The Trojan War".
9.23.2005 3:26pm