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Re: Child porn as thoughtcrime

Chuck Thompson <[email protected]> writes:

 > The answer to the all the questions in the first set is
 > yes, in this country anyway, if they are interpreted by the
 > legal system as intending to incite illicit sexual acts,
 > fantasies or obsessions about children.  The fantasies or
 > obsessions are assumed to lead to the illegal acts.

The problem here is that they are "assumed" to do this as a
matter of inerrant scripture, in spite of quite a bit of evidence
indicating that this is not the case.

It doesn't exactly send those under 18 a positive message about
their bodies when it is suggested that capturing the slightest
overt representation of their sexuality is a crime worthy of
flaying and burning at the stake.

I agree that persons should probably be protected from working as
models or service providers in the commercial sex industry until
they reach the age of majority.  But the things that are being
proposed these days look much more like an ideological purge of
material relating to youthful sexuality than a serious attempt to
protect children.  The reasons given as justification are almost
always overly vague.

 > Well, I'd say that anyone who benefits materially from the
 > distribution of child porn is exploiting either the
 > children, the pervert or both.

The definition of "child porn" today is so excessively broad that
it tramples on the notion of protected free speech and need not
involve a "pervert."

Since the alleged sexual exploitation of children is the one
political issue no CongressRodent can afford to be seen as soft
on, it is hardly surprising that this single issue will likely be
the wedge used to successfully attack protected free speech.

 > Hold on here..  you are making an invalid comparison.  To
 > my knowledge, there is no law against speaking in favor of
 > child porn, any more than there is against speaking in favor
 > of drug usage.  It against the law to *use* either of them.

But of course we aren't really talking about "speaking in favor
of child porn." That's just the buzzword phrase used by the
opposing side to characterize any argument against their

We are talking about the right of citizens to privately converse
with each other on any topic of their choosing, including through
the use of visual material, without government interference. This
is independent of the issue of child porn, and who is exploited
when money is made through its distribution.

 > The argument is not dependent upon whether or not actual
 > children are used, any more than whether or not an actual
 > gun is used in a robbery - the net effect is the same.
 > Children are harmed by the promotion of child porn because
 > it leads to the abuse/exploitation of kids.

This is a very vague and spurious connection, much like the
suggestion that sympathetic views towards Communism in the '50s
would lead to the overthrow of our government.  Purging all
depictions of adolescent sexuality from our society under threat
of imprisonment is hardly a prudent public safety measure.

 > Let those who believe that they have a constitutional right
 > to "keep and bear child pornography" violate the various
 > laws and see if they can prove that their constitutional
 > rights are violated by the law which proscribes such things.

Our constitution would be far better if it had a strong privacy
provision, rather than the current First Ammendment. There will
always be reasonable exceptions to the notion of absolute freedom
of speech, and in every era, people will believe that their own
pet issues, (Communism, Child Sex, Abortion Information), should
be amongst the special exceptions made.

In a country like Sweden, for instance, a constitutional
ammendment would be required to ban private possession of any
printed material in a citizen's own home.  Here, all it takes is
some grumbling by the child sex hysterics, and you can go to
prison for sitting at your kitchen table with sissors and a jar
of paste, and making a collage from selected pieces of the JC
Penney Catalog and the latest issue of Playboy.

Many so-called child porn laws are easily the silliest examples
of the "Tyranny of the Majority" and "thoughtcrime" ever to rear
their heads in modern times.

     Mike Duvos         $    PGP 2.6 Public Key available     $
     [email protected]     $    via Finger.                      $