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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby Neato Torpedo » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:17 pm

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Every. Single. Time. :-[ :-b
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby Madison » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:19 pm

Art Vandelay wrote:I haven't said he shouldn't have to follow the law. Only that the law shouldn't prohibit him from writing or distributing the book. What I hope is that this case gets appealed to whatever court it needs to get to and found unconstitutional. To me, this law is bogus and needs to be tested. That's the way our system works. If everyone obeyed all laws at all times and never tried to have unconstitutional or unjust laws changed, we'd still be a British colony.


Right. You disagree with the law. So what? That doesn't change anything. If you want to see laws changed, challenge them in court (without breaking the law or laws in question). That is how the system works. Your way of challenging laws in court by breaking them is quite childish (I don't mean that as an insult, I just don't know of a better way to say it).

I don't think that word means what you think it means. Your argument that I called a strawman was--literally--a textbook definition of a strawman argument. That's not just my opinion of your argument, it's an indisputable fact.


You mentioned free speech and I showed it wasn't a free speech issue.

You said you disagree with the law and I pointed out that your opinion of the law doesn't mean you can break the law.

You mentioned entrapment, which is completely silly and not worth responding to, but whatever, it isn't entrapment.

You have made zero points on your case, so distract, distract, distract is all you can do.

Neato Torpedo wrote:Are you kidding me? Free speech doesn't only apply to things you say out loud, with your mouth and vocal chords. That's why flag burning, time and time again, keeps being upheld as a legal right under the First Amendment. It's functionally synonymous with the term "freedom of expression", and as long as this guy hasn't followed through on anything he's written about, it's covered.

CSI and Dexter don't reflect reality in any sense, and as far as anyone knows so far, neither does this book. Nothing in the book reflects actual events that happened, just like fictional TV shows!


Yet again where people misunderstand their so-called "rights". If "freedom of expression" was all encompassing, I'd be able to say "F you" to a police officer and not get a ticket (or better - give him the finger). I'm just using my "freedom of expression", right? He isn't covered by freedom of speech or freedom of expression. He broke the law, at least one, that has absolutely nothing to do with either of those, and even if by some stretch it did, he still crossed the line.

So the book was marketed as a "fantasy" or "fiction" book, because my understanding is that it was marketed and sold as a "how-to" book. Not that it makes much difference, it still breaks the law.




The funniest thing about this entire discussion? Amazon tried to defend it as free speech, so everyone jumped on that bandwagon when Amazon was wrong to use that defense to begin with. :-b They didn't pull the book down due to the threat of a boycott, they pulled it down because their defense was cow dung. Amazon's sales wouldn't have been hurt at all, they are cheap and people will still buy plenty from them. Look at all the negativity towards Wal-Mart, there's even a movie about it, yet Wal-Mart is growing, and growing, and growing. It wasn't the boycott threat people, it's that their defense was not a defense. ;-)
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Sick of those who are hypocrites.
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby Art Vandelay » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:46 pm

Madison wrote:Right. You disagree with the law. So what? That doesn't change anything. If you want to see laws changed, challenge them in court (without breaking the law or laws in question). That is how the system works. Your way of challenging laws in court by breaking them is quite childish (I don't mean that as an insult, I just don't know of a better way to say it).

Breaking a law, then challenging the constitutionality of the law during your trial is one of the primary ways that unjust laws are changed or rescinded. How would you "challenge them in court" without being in court? I can't just go to the courthouse and sign up to challenge a law.

Madison wrote:
Art Vandelay wrote:I don't think that word means what you think it means. Your argument that I called a strawman was--literally--a textbook definition of a strawman argument. That's not just my opinion of your argument, it's an indisputable fact.


You mentioned free speech and I showed it wasn't a free speech issue.

You said you disagree with the law and I pointed out that your opinion of the law doesn't mean you can break the law.

You mentioned entrapment, which is completely silly and not worth responding to, but whatever, it isn't entrapment.

You have made zero points on your case, so distract, distract, distract is all you can do.

What does any of this have to do with the price of tea in China? Even if all of this is true, your "people used to be against child rape" (or whatever it was) argument was a ridiculous strawman.

And you can continue to say it isn't a free speech issue, but that won't change the fact that it is absolutely a free speech issue. Refusing to realize or admit that doesn't change it.
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby StlSluggers » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:17 pm

Madison wrote:Florida got it right and it will send a very clear message to other child rapists that this country will not tolerate or protect them. ;-D

whoa whoa whoa

now this guy's a child rapist? because that's a big leap from obscenity
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby Neato Torpedo » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:19 pm

If I may quote Futurama:

HYPER-CHICKEN
Your Honor, freedom of speech applies
to what comes out of a mouth. Not what
goes in.


You heard it here first, folks, Mad is a hyper-chicken.
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Rocinante2: you know
Rocinante2: its easy to dismiss the orioles as a bad team
ofanrex: go on
Rocinante2: i'm done
Rocinante2: lmao

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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby Neato Torpedo » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:25 pm

Madison wrote:
Neato Torpedo wrote:Are you kidding me? Free speech doesn't only apply to things you say out loud, with your mouth and vocal chords. That's why flag burning, time and time again, keeps being upheld as a legal right under the First Amendment. It's functionally synonymous with the term "freedom of expression", and as long as this guy hasn't followed through on anything he's written about, it's covered.

CSI and Dexter don't reflect reality in any sense, and as far as anyone knows so far, neither does this book. Nothing in the book reflects actual events that happened, just like fictional TV shows!


Yet again where people misunderstand their so-called "rights". If "freedom of expression" was all encompassing, I'd be able to say "F you" to a police officer and not get a ticket (or better - give him the finger). I'm just using my "freedom of expression", right? He isn't covered by freedom of speech or freedom of expression. He broke the law, at least one, that has absolutely nothing to do with either of those, and even if by some stretch it did, he still crossed the line.

So the book was marketed as a "fantasy" or "fiction" book, because my understanding is that it was marketed and sold as a "how-to" book. Not that it makes much difference, it still breaks the law.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09083/957786-85.stm

The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that giving someone the finger, even a police officer, is protected free speech.


Bam, sucka. Bad example to use.
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Rocinante2: you know
Rocinante2: its easy to dismiss the orioles as a bad team
ofanrex: go on
Rocinante2: i'm done
Rocinante2: lmao

Play Brushback Baseball! (we need more people)
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby StlSluggers » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:12 pm

Okay, enough with position-taking. Let's actually look at some legal doctrine on the matter.

Miller v. California

Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973) was an important United States Supreme Court case involving what constitutes unprotected obscenity for First Amendment purposes. The decision reiterated that obscenity was not protected by the First Amendment and established the Miller test for determining what constituted obscene material.

So what was the case and what is the Miller test?

The appellant, Marvin Miller, operator of one of the West Coast's largest mail-order businesses dealing in sexually explicit material, had conducted a mass mailing campaign to advertise the sale of illustrated books, labeled "adult" material (also referred to in the vernacular as pornography). He was found guilty in the Superior Court of Orange County, California (the state trial court) of having violated California Penal Code 311.2 (a), a misdemeanor, by knowingly distributing obscene material. The conviction was affirmed by the California Court of Appeals. As stated in the preface to Chief Justice Warren Burger's majority opinion, the

Appellant's conviction was specifically based on his conduct in causing five unsolicited advertising brochures to be sent through the mail in an envelope addressed to a restaurant in Newport Beach, California. The envelope was opened by the manager of the restaurant and his mother. They had not requested the brochures and complained to the police.

According to the Court's decision, the materials in question primarily... consist[ed] of pictures and drawings very explicitly depicting men and women in groups of two or more engaging in a variety of sexual activities, with genitals often prominently displayed.

So far, we have a case of obscenity charges being brought against a guy who essentially distributed heterosexual pornography, okay? Going into this case, the "Roth" standard was applied to obscenity rulings, and it was a mess.

Roth ...defined obscenity more strictly, as material whose "dominant theme taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest" to the "average person, applying contemporary community standards." Only material meeting this test could be banned as "obscene."

Over and over again, courts failed to agree on how to apply the Roth standard. The result was that most rulings favored defendants who were committing the 'obscene' act.

Pornography and sexually oriented publications proliferated as a result of the Court's holdings, the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s flowered, and pressure increasingly came to the Court to allow leeway for state and local governments to crack down on obscenity.

Back to the Miller case, the Court decided that Roth was ineffective and essentially issued new guidance:

The question before the court was whether the sale and distribution of obscene material was protected under the First Amendment's freedom of speech guarantee. The Court ruled that it was not. It indicated that "obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment", thereby reaffirming part of Roth.[1]

However, the Court acknowledged "the inherent dangers of undertaking to regulate any form of expression," and said that "State statutes designed to regulate obscene materials must be carefully limited." The Court, in an attempt to set such limits devised a set of three criteria which must be met in order for a work to be legitimately subject to state regulation:

1. whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards (not national standards, as some prior tests required), would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;
2. whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions specifically defined by applicable state law; and
3. "whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

So that's the Miller standard and it's what's in effect today. Florida would have to prove those three things in order to win a complete prosecution against this guy. On the face, it seems like Florida might not have a hard time here. You surely won't find one in one million who wouldn't be offended by this book, and the book certainly meets the second criteria. The third point will probably be the sticking point, because the author claims that he wrote the book in order to show pedophiles how to go about committing the least harm while committing their crime. Imagine writing a book telling bank robbers not to shoot people in the bank because that's unnecessary and then detailing how to effectively subdue people in the bank as part of committing their crime. He sees his book in the same light.

Did we need a book like this? Not really, but that doesn't change the fact that he certainly believes he was writing a book of 'serious' literary value'. Of course, he'll need a jury to agree, and you'd be hard pressed to assume he'll get a jury on his side for that part of the ruling. So I'm betting, as I have all along, that he'll be found guilty in his first trial. Presuming he appeals, here's where it gets tricky...

Controversy arose over Miller's "community standards" analysis, with critics charging that Miller encouraged "forum shopping" to prosecute national producers of what some believe to be "obscenity" in locales where community standards differ substantially from the rest of the nation. For example, under the "community standards" prong of the Miller test, what might be considered "obscene" in Massachusetts might not be considered "obscene" in Utah, or the opposite might be true; in any event, prosecutors tend to bring charges in locales where they believe that they will prevail.

The "community standards" portion of the decision is of particular relevance with the rise of the Internet, as materials believed by some to be "obscene" can be accessed from anywhere in the nation, including places where there is a greater concern about "obscenity" than other areas of the nation.

In the years since Miller, many localities have cracked down on adult theatres and bookstores, as well as nude dancing, through restrictive zoning ordinances and public nudity laws. These types of actions have been upheld by the Supreme Court. Additionally, in 1982's New York v. Ferber, the Court declared child pornography is unprotected by the First Amendment, upholding the state of New York's ban on that material. In the recent Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition case, however, the Court held that sexually explicit material that appears to depict minors might be constitutionally protected.

In American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression v. Strickland, plaintiffs American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, joined by various publishers, retailers, and web site operators, sued Ohio’s Attorney General and Ohio county prosecutors in United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Plaintiffs alleged that Ohio Revised Code §2907.01(E) and (J), which prohibited the dissemination or display of “materials harmful to juveniles,” unconstitutionally violated both the First Amendment and the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Plaintiffs specifically challenged the statute's definition of "harmful to juveniles," as well as the provisions governing internet dissemination of those materials. The court held the statute unconstitutional because the statute's definition of "material harmful to minors" did not comply with Miller. Defendants appealed the decision to the Sixth Circuit.

There's a lot going on there. First, as has been mentioned in this thread already, the issue of how the internet plays into the 'community standards' principle has never been ruled on at the highest level. The Supreme Court has admitted that they want to rule on it, and you'd have to think they are more interested in restricting it than expanding it (otherwise, they wouldn't voice an interest, because it's already pretty loose). Second, there's at least one Federal precedent where the Supreme Court indicated that they might not consider "sexually explicit material that appears to depict minors" to be obscene. Third, there's a state case where a law that matches this almost identically was declared unconstitutional; however, that was on the Miller standard and did not result in a ruling that the children depicted in sexual acts was, in and of itself, not obscene.

All of this basically goes back to my hypothesis laid out earlier: He's guilty at the local and maybe even state level, if they don't buy his defense that he was creating a work of 'literary value'. Assuming he takes this all the way through the appeals process, I see the Court probably ruling that Florida had no jurisdiction and restricting the bounds of the 'community standard' test much in the same way that sales taxes are limited on internet sales. Exactly how the redefine the scope of the jurisdiction, I can't even begin to guess. The big wild card is whether or not the Court would take that opportunity to rule on the constitutionality of depictions of children in sexual acts. They may ignore that completely if they have another agenda regarding a case like this.

So there you have it. That's it out of the nutshell. Knock yourselves out.
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby StlSluggers » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:14 pm

And for Madison's 'can't swear to a cop' thing, I want to point out:

2. whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions specifically defined by applicable state law; and

Notice that the Court restricted obscenity laws to sexual conduct and excretory functions. It has to meet that standard to be considered obscene.
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby StlSluggers » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:22 pm

So as not to confuse Madison, this is completely unrelated to any other discussion:

Playmobil Security Check Point

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Review:

I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger's shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger's scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said "that's the worst security ever!". But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital.

The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas. I've heard that the CC TV cameras on that thing are pretty worthless in terms of quality and motion detection, so I think I'll get him the Playmobil Abu-Gharib Interogation Set instead (it comes with a cute little memo from George Bush).
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Re: News of the weird/funny/pointless

Postby StlSluggers » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:01 pm

Interesting. His book only has words, no images. Certainly makes the case harder for the state of Florida.
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