Monday, September 21, 2009

HTM comingles with "Harmful to Adults", according to conservative columnist


The Washington Times has a feature on Mondays, “Cultural Challenge of the Week: How to save your family” (as if you had to presume you’re a victim cowering in fear), with Rebecca Hagelin writing, on p A18, “The plague of pornography.”

She decries the voyeuristic fantasy-based interest of “otherwise respectable” businssmen between flights at airports, and then discusses her work at Salvo Magazine (link), and makes the point that young people exposed to porn “have a lack of interest in marriage and in having children of their own,” after talking about viewing people as “objects.” That sounds like she is following on the heels of Wetzstein’s recent column discussion the recent Allan Carlson book “The Natural Family: A Manifesto.”

The Washington Times link is here.
Hagelin also gives a “victims” link here.

She seems to be as concerned as adults as children (the old HTM issue), although its odd that she makes a comment (taken or read literally, as an “Aspie” like me would) that children don’t become interesting in marriage – literally, should they?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Law banning commercial sale of depictions of animal cruelty brings back some arguments from COPA, CDA


There is a law, passed in 1999, regarding the sale of depictions of animal cruelty, which in some ways resembles laws against obscenity and child pornography, even COPA. The law is USC 18.3.48 with Cornell Law School link here.

Some of the argumentation dealt with “crush videos” and the idea that for some people they represent a sexual fetish. Other argumentation sounds familiar from COPA.

Back in April, the Supreme Court indicated that it will hear a case challenging the law on First Amendment grounds, partly because it could interfere with legitimate reporting. The sale becomes illegal when the act is illegal in the jurisdiction sold. So, theoretically, it’s illegal to sell a video of a bullfight in Spain. There was a comprehensive story in “Finding Dulcenia” by Rachel Balik in April here.

The 3rd Circuit had struck down the law in United States v Stevens, but the Justice Department is arguing for its reinstatement. The defendant had been prosecuted after Pennsylvania police were able to purchase some video that he regarded as educational.

The First Amendment Center has some legal analysis here.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

NY Times reviews general problems of s.o. registries: do they really protect minors?


On September 2, 2009 the New York Times featured a front page story by Monica Davey, “Plenty of Data … but Registries are Just Start”, link here.

She discusses the Garrido case in California, as something that slipped out of sight for 20 years because of its low tech nature. The article talks about the proliferation of state offender list websites, and many private subscription ones, some of which can be easily loaded onto mobile devices by nervous parents traveling in neighborhoods they believe to be bad.

Some of these sites are pretty explicit themselves and could frighten kids who find them. Furthermore, as John Stossel has pointed out, they mix the non-violent offenders together with the “worst”. In some communities, even non-violent offenders are so stigmatized that they concentrate in rural areas or become homeless.

Liliana Segura has an article on this problem on AlterNet, here.

In one of my own screenplays, not now displayed and something that got me in trouble when I was a substitute teacher over the “implicit content” issue (only tangential to COPA), an accused s.o. (who may, according to the logic of the fictional story, not be legally guilty) foregoes trial and then prefers jail to actually being on the registry and “free” on supervised probation; the character dies in prison while his music is performed publicly by one of his “contacts”, an irony that some people found too much to take. But it’s easy to imagine a story like this in independent film. None of the material came even close to the “HTN” definition of the 1998 COPA law.