Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship Government The Courts United States Your Rights Online News

U.S. Justice Department Prepares Assault on Pr0n 1103

Posted by michael
from the shock-and-awe dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the Justice Department is preparing to reawaken old laws to fight the war on ... no, not terrorists... porn! And not just the kinky stuff either. In the age of Internet connectivity, will this mean these jobs are headed to India too?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

U.S. Justice Department Prepares Assault on Pr0n

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:39PM (#8785894)
    then lets go after the easy targets.

    It is amazing what an election year can cause with regard to a countries policies and priorities.
  • Dear dear dear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Space cowboy (13680) * on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:42PM (#8785958) Journal
    Ashcroft, a religious man who does not drink alcohol or caffeine, smoke, gamble or dance,


    The perfect antithesis then, to all the people who pay for the 'products' on sale. The line "Don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?" springs to mind. Have you in fact checked he's still alive ?

    Sure, I'm dead-set against kiddie porn - string them up by the bollocks and burn them over a slow fire. Sure, there are other people being exploited in this industry. Newsflash: there are people being exploited in *all* industries - it's just that society places a higher importance on sex than fishing, cooking, or cleaning (for example).

    and has fought unrelenting criticism that he has trod roughshod on civil liberties in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, is taking on the porn industry at a time when many experts say Americans are wary about government intrusion into their lives.


    Yep, now we see, he is dead. In the water that is. When a public figures decide to go on a non-popular crusade, they're dead men walking. I suppose there's an outside chance (only in the US, [grin]) that he *might* be right - witness the uproar over 1 cm^2 of female flesh after a certain kickabout recently... Naaah.

    Simon.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:46PM (#8786016)
    Agreed. Additionally, this will be one of the best unintentional favors the Republicans can do for the Kerry campaign... the other being the war on Howard Stern.

    Here's to hoping this is all it takes to swing things back to the Democrats. I can't believe we'd forgotten how things get when they're not in charge.

  • by jCaT (1320) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:47PM (#8786023)
    And frankly, a lot of companies are scared. At this point everybody is just making sure their 18 USC 2257 [cornell.edu] links are up to date, and hoping for the best. The company I work for recently stopped selling videos (actually, before the Extreme Associates case) for the reasons listed in the article... and we've maintained a list of states that we will not send tapes to, exactly for the reason that got EA busted. That whole inter-state commerce thing can really get you in trouble.

    If they are actually going to go after the major TV and cable networks over their hardcore stuff, the industry as a whole is screwed. The majority of the "good" sites out there now make the spice channel look like hotel porn.

    I just hope that Bush gets voted out in november, so that we can ditch Ashcroft. He is completely out of touch with morality in this country! I'm not trying to say we should be selling explicit hardcore porn from vending machines, it has its place in our culture, and he and his cronies seem to not see that.
  • Thud (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Seanasy (21730) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:05PM (#8786263)

    The sound you just heard was Larry Flynt dropping a bucket of money in John Kerry's lap... right next to the dancer.

    I wonder what kind of dirt Flynt might have on DoJ people. He outed one congressman [washingtonpost.com] during the Clinton impeachment. I can only dream that he has something on Ashcroft. But, that might be asking a bit much.

  • Actually true... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MooseByte (751829) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:06PM (#8786272)

    "Yeah, I can still remember about the first readings of erotic material over the telegraph"

    Actually one of my old friends who served in the Navy (comm ops) told me about how they used to keep the morse code students interested - every now and then they'd slip a section of a porn story into the interminable copying sessions.

    You'd get keel-hauled for doing that these days, but I imagine it kept folks going. :-)

  • Re:Dear dear dear (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:13PM (#8786355)
    Well, I have to admit, I watch kiddie porn and enjoy it (posting AC for obvious reasons). It's a victimless crime as long as I'm not supporting anyone economically (get everything over P2P). I would never even think about touching a child, though, the porn's good enough and it's good that it's there...
  • Non-consensual porn. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rimbo (139781) <rimbosity AT sbcglobal DOT net> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:21PM (#8786455) Homepage Journal
    I enjoy porn as much as the next red-blooded male, provided the next red-blooded male is currently spanking the monkey underneath a trenchcoat in a slimy XXX-rated film house, or skipping work to order yet another lap dance from a stripper. Maybe I enjoy porn more than the next red-blooded male.

    Either way, this move is overdue.

    Most of what I see is fine, if filthy. But there's a large portion I see where the subjects are clearly not volunteers.

    Rape porn. "Hidden cameras." Girls under 18. "Amateurs" who don't look willing. You may not see a gun in the picture, but the girl keeps nervously looking at someone off-camera, instead of enjoying her hot dog.

    It takes the fun out of wanking. I want to objectify women who want to be objectified, thank you very much.

    It's past time for a crackdown. The government has my blessing.
  • by hawado (762018) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:25PM (#8786501) Homepage
    I remember a recent article on the BBC web site that covered the topic of American sensitivity to sex etc compared to other countries. I can't find the link right now but it was an interesting third party insight.
    I really don't know what to say about this. It appears to me, IMHO, things will not get better or freer(sp) in the United States until the bible thumping nut jobs y'all vote in, or let steal elections, are put safely back into the padded rooms from whence they came.
    Over the last few weeks here on /. I have been given more reasons to be proud to be a Canadian than I have had in my whole life. We are not flag wavers or Anthem singers, but damn, we sure use our heads when it comes to sensibility.
    I am not nocking the United States, where would the world be without you guys? Oh yeh.... nevermind...
  • by Nice2Cats (557310) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:31PM (#8786562)
    This is another example of how the 18th century American legal system has become a liability to the whole country.

    Ashcroft is going take the tax payer's money and try to assault the First in court again, which the U.S. justice system will let him do over and over again for ever. In countries where these things are handled by laws that are set down in books, he wouldn't even get to court until the legislative changed the law itself -- and fat chance lawmakers would be caught debating pornography at a time when U.S. combat deaths in Iraq are climbing to at least a dozen a day [bbc.co.uk]. The War against Terrorism can't be too pressing if Ashcroft can take time off to push his puritan agenda.

    The whole SCO-farce has shown how bad the U.S. legal system is for companies and customers -- IBM and RedHat will still be in court years after German judges bitch-slapped SCO so loud it resonated all the way back to Utah. Ashcroft is demonstrating why the current U.S. system cannot protect the individual's rights adequately. Not that this could surprise anybody after parts of Cuba were turned into Bush's private holding pens, to the horror of the rest of the civilized world but with the go-ahead of U.S. courts...

    Time to admit that the system is beyond fixing, time to admit that case-based law needs to be dumped where all those other countries have already put it: On the scrap heap. Other countries don't have to go through this kind of crap, and there is no reason we should have to, either.

  • by kale77in (703316) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:32PM (#8786575) Homepage
    ...Taliban killjoys...

    The 'Puritan conspiracy' theory (us vs. them) is less useful here than the 'Alcohol analogy', IMHO. Alcohol can be consumed legally in moderation, but extreme use needs to be policed precisely becuase it is an addictive substance: it interferes with the end user's ability to self-regulate its use.

    In the case of pr0n, people get addicted to the 'hyperreal' (ie. exageratedly artificial) presentation of sex, and it undermines their relationships with others (who can become permanently objectified), their self-esteem, and their bank balance. (Wo, nearly thought I mistyped 'bonk balance' for a minute there... but if their capacity for relationships suffers, then that's a point as well.)

    For these kind of reasons, bars in the western world are not legally allowed to sell alcohol to someone who is drunk. When will the pr0n conglomerates take similar reponsibility for their 'customers' (if they wish to use the term with any credibility at all)?

  • by J. J. Ramsey (658) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:33PM (#8786585) Homepage
    It's called a distraction. Instead of the Bush administration pointing up at the sky and blurting "Ooh, look, birdies!" when the press start grilling it on how bad it's doing on the economy, Iraq, and terrorism, it makes noise about Evil Pornographers(TM) instead.

  • Re:Dear dear dear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by orthogonal (588627) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:37PM (#8786619) Journal
    But that reminds me: isn't the U.S. the country that imprisons (and tortures ("heals", "treats")) children if they touch *each other*?

    Actually, the U.S. has just charged a fifteen year old girl with possession of child pornography, and sexual abuse of children, for emailing naughty pictures of herself. [post-gazette.com]

    And they intend to try her as an adult.

    Kafka couldn't have come up with better folks: "Little girl, you're too young to be able to consent to sex, so those pictures you took of yourself are pictures of a child, and you kept those pictures of yourself, so that's possession of kiddie porn.

    "But young lady, you're old enough to know better, so we intend to try and convict you as an adult -- and force you to register as a sex offender -- as a kiddie pornographer, and child molester, no less -- for the rest of your life."

    (P.S., I submitted this for Slashdot's "Your Rights Online" about a week ago, but it was rejected.)

  • Re:Pointless (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Altizar (736406) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:39PM (#8786640)
    Most media (writing, the printing press, radio, television, 8-track, etc...) didn't see a lot of porn use immediately. I would say the amount of radio porn has always been pretty small.

    Written porn is well documented, the level of porn increased as society accepted it.
    Its noted that while the bible was the most reproduced book by the printing press, pornographic stories were in the list of top ten uses back then. Of course the language and style used back then holds nothing on today. Radio and television were not used for the transmision of porn because very early in their creation bodys (FCC) were created to regulate them and stop any such thing from being transmited.

    Just because you never bought a 8track of a porn story does not mean none were produced.

    The parrent said all mediums are used for porn, not that all mediums are used exclusivly for it. Society has become more liberal, things you see on TV and hear on Radio today in manny cases would have never been allowed in the past.

    No federal law on porn would be upheald since it has already been ruled that porn in and of itself is protected by the 1st amendment. And i dont doubt the willingness of corperations bowing to federal witch hunts, i dont see them being able to fight that multi million dollar industry with crusaders like Flint would would likely fight it to his last dime on the principal of the issue.

  • by SlashdotOgre (739181) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:42PM (#8786675) Journal
    I heard over the weekend that 70% of American men age 18-34 visit a porn site at least once a month (and I'm guessing the other 30% just don't admit it), so this might be an uphill battle.
  • by commodoresloat (172735) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:47PM (#8786711)
    However, until I get arrested, just for exercising my first ammendment right to speech, the speech that I'll be making will be against Bush, Cheyney and Ashcroft.

    It is a sad but inescapable fact of modern America that most of the populace has left the defense of basic first Amendment values to commercial pornographers. I'm glad to hear this guy's voice, but it is disappointing that we aren't hearing many more such voices among Americans who don't make pornography for a living.

  • by blaksaga (720779) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:57PM (#8786842)
    Charge a 15 year old girl [theregister.co.uk] for sending nudie pictures of herself to people she met in chatrooms.
  • Re:The law's the law (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sflory (2747) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:58PM (#8786848)
    Isn't this the same Ashcroft who had some poor Canadian pulled off a plane. (Which was making a stop over in the US.) Deported him to Syria, and told them he's a terrorist. After about a year Syria deported him home, and said they were sure he wasn't.

    http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2002/10/16/arar021016
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,109153,00.htm l
  • Re:Well, not all bad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by orthogonal (588627) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:00PM (#8786876) Journal
    Over all I don't think they're really going to make that big of a difference. For me anyway. However, for all your French-Maids-Getting-Raped-By-Aliens pr0n lovers out there, you may have something to fear.

    Yeah, jack, once Ashcroft gets all the fetishists, he's a-gonna sit right back and say "missionary position porno is a-ok by me! Whack off to that till it hurts!"

    Sure he will.

    "Divide and conquer"? Who dem two -- never hear of dem!

    At this point it's traditional to quote Revered Niemoller's
    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out ---
    because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out ---
    because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out ---
    because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out ---
    because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me ---
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.


    What's less well-known is that Niemoller didn't speak out because until 1934, Niemoller was a fan of Hitler [wikipedia.org], and indeed, Niemoller's fame came from favorable Nazi reviews of his autobiography --and the Nazis gave him favorable reviews because Niemoller, in an afterword to the book, expressed hope that Hitler would bring about a "National Revival".

    It was only when Hitler surprised Niemoller by essentially abolishing Christianity (by trying to absorb all German Churches into one, more or less pagan, "Reich Church"), that Niemoller decided it was time to speak up.

    Like you, Niemoller thought Hitler would only go after the extremists -- for you, that's the fetishists, for Niemoller, a good conservative nationalist, it was pretty much as he states, Communists, Socialist, and Trade Unionists -- and would leave more "normal" stuff -- in your cases, plain vanilla porn, in Niemoller's plain vanilla Lutheranism -- alone.

    The thing is, totalitarianism require control, and especially moral control. That's why totalitarians either abolish religion and substitute sonething else -- a "Reich Church", in Hitler's case, official state atheism in Stalin's -- or they impose their religion and morality on you -- like the ayatollahs in Iran or John Ashcroft here in the U.S. Without that control, totalitarianism is on shaky ground, because until it is ceded all moral authority, people might believe they can still think for themselves, and question authority.

    Ashcroft's crackdown is just another way to cement control -- in this cases control over what we do in the privacy of homes, and control over our definition of "obscenity."
  • by SubtleNuance (184325) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:15PM (#8787058) Journal
    And yet at the same time, Janet Jackson's boobie pops out and we all have a fucking heart attack. It's all fake, it's a fucking fake reaction that we are all mutually emulating. Other people seem offended, so by God, I should be offended too!

    The thing is, nobody (or at least, hardly anybody) is really offended by it.


    This is a very keen point. Further, witness recent "mass mourning" events all i could find [google.ca] about it at the moment). People are being seduced by the mass media into connecting in a purley INDUCED emotional manner to the deaths of celebritis (and others). The masses have absolutely lost touch with what is relevant and real to them as individuals, they have instead accepted these induced emotional events as real -- replacing their own. Life has become too complicated, the media provides more information in a day than most can digest in a month and people have given up on trying to rationalize it all, instead, they have surrendered themselves to it.

    The next time some kid is kidnapped watch the reaction in people, the media and in these 'public mourning events'. It is terrible i know, but is it REALLY a concern we should all be concerned with? Violence and tragedy is as old as time, its not going anywhere, why are we seeming to loose the ability to rationalize?

    Personally, i have choose to ignore *all* the 'personal tragedy' bs that is blasted out network news (and on internet, watercooler-chat, newspapers, etc etc).

    As you said, this mass hysteria is truly dangerous. Personally, i think the next kook-with-a-back-pack bomb-in-a-subway is going to send the USA into a spiral of hysteria that ends up in WWIII (after you trash your civil liberties, crown bush king, and deport/intern/imprison anyone who looks like The Enemy(TM))
  • by Rimbo (139781) <rimbosity AT sbcglobal DOT net> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:29PM (#8787194) Homepage Journal
    Off-topic.

    I'm not talking about staged rape porn. The directors and actresses won't be winning Oscars any time soon; you can tell staged from real pretty easily.

    It's not even limited to the "rape" porn; the porn itself may be mundane, like a simple nude photograph, but the subject is NOT there because she wants to be. She is a kidnapping victim, the sister of a loan shark's debtor, or a "product" of the booming child slavery trade.
  • by noone06 (678036) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:41PM (#8787307)
    Actually when he first became junior senator, he litteraly had friends annoint him with oil, like the old kings of Isreal.
    This guy is crazy, check it out [antipope.org]
  • by shadowbearer (554144) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:44PM (#8787324) Homepage Journal
    Not my point. Reread what I said.

    Besides;

    What makes you think that this crusade of Ashcroft's is going to differentiate between staged/faked and not? Perhaps you can tell the difference (I doubt it, I've seen some pretty convincing vids, and I'm not a kid by any means nor easily fooled) but what makes you think that the government "researchers" will be able to tell?

    Or that Ashcroft will care? Remember who he is and what he espouses. He wants *all* porn banned. Don't believe that he doesn't, not for one minute. He's not one for half measures.

    The thing is, that what you talk about is already illegal. We don't need more laws concerning *real* rape/murder/child porn, they exist. We don't need another "War on ****" from the Feds, the other ones have been damaging enough. They can continue to enforce existing laws. What this is, really, is election year galloping PR from our AG, trying to convince some segment of the public that he's "doing something" about a topic that disturbs his boss's campaign donaters...

    It's a slippery slope you propose our country to tread...

    SB
  • by pherris (314792) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:44PM (#8787329) Homepage Journal
    ... will go as well as the war on drugs. I'm waiting for someone to get a two year MMS for selling an old copy of Hustler. "Honestly man, I was just holding".

    Moral conservatives constantly say that liberals want to make the US into somekind of utopian society yet IMO it's the conservatives that want to make the US into the "United States of Jesus" or some other claptrap.

    I have a great idea: Leave people the fuck alone. So long as all parties are adults and consenting let them be. Pray, fuck or smoke a joint, I really don't give a shit, it's your life not mine. Whatever happened to "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"? Oh, I forgot, AG Ashcroft believes dancing is a sin (no shit, he really believes this) so porn must become illegal.

    I can't believe how fucked up this country has become. BTW, the Democrats have done their share to fuck things up too. Term limits people, that's the only way we'll get ourselves out of this mess.

    Over a dozen brave US Marines died today holding their position in Iraq and the DOJ has the balls to bring this crap up? We are truly FUBAR.

    pherris quietly puts on a fire retardant suit and watches his karma head south.

  • Re:Pointless (Score:1, Interesting)

    by gravyfaucet (759255) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:53PM (#8787391)
    there is no need for this crackdown. Everyone [riaa.com] knows internet trading will bring pr0n to its knees. er, economically speaking.
  • Re:Only Extreme? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The Unabageler (669502) <josh.3io@com> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @09:30PM (#8787716) Homepage
    I was employed by a pr0n company for 4 years, writing and maintaining the members area software and the affiliate system software. so, surfing our members area was definately a large part of my job.

    It's overrated.
  • So remember folks, BUSH is pulling the FBI off terrorism to fight PORN. PORN didnt bomb the trade towers on 911.

    Saddam Hussein didn't bomb the World Trade Center, either, but look what happened to him. And notice that a majority of Americans still believe that he was involved.

    I wouldn't put it past Ashcroft to persuade the country that Larry Flynt is a terrorist. Remember those moronic ads that tried to link terrorism to drug use? You think Ashcroft won't try a stunt in the same vein to go after porn?

  • WTF? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Chr1s-Cr0ss (743037) <Chriszuma@com c a st.net> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @09:52PM (#8787881) Homepage
    I know this has been said, but... what the hell?

    A: This country was founded on the premise of the government not being allowed to control what we do in the privacy of our own homes.
    B: Consenting adults!!! People who are offended by pr0n don't have to watch it.
    C: Without pr0n, what are people going to wank to?
  • Re:Dear dear dear (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jack Comics (631233) * <jack_comics@ p o stxs.org> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @09:58PM (#8787917) Homepage
    Yep, now we see, he is dead. In the water that is. When a public figures decide to go on a non-popular crusade, they're dead men walking.

    Rather ironic then that he lost a Senate re-election to a dead man [cnn.com], eh?
  • by Vancorps (746090) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @10:02PM (#8787946)
    I'd say America has matured but currently there is a big religious movement caused in no small part by 911 and then the problem kept growing from there at the convervative movement gains more and more momentum. This is against the common morals of I dare say most of America. Look at TV over the last say seven years, the stuff that is allowed on broadcast TV has greatly changed, of course, now there is always someone that attempts to go a little further than a group of people are willing to go and you end up with this taking steps backwards that you see cause of the Janet Jackson incident which is considered stupid by a good portion of this population.

    Maybe I give America too much credit but I think its come a long ways since the times when you couldn't even say pregnant on TV.

    Ashcroft needs to wake up that's for sure, I'm not sure that guy knows what country he lives in. Everytime I look at him and look at his policies I think Nazi Germany, the guy scares me more and more because Bush keeps fucking giving him more power, way more power than the attorney general was ever supposed to have.

    I hope this will be a very active election year, last election all of America made the mistake of being apathetic, who'd have thought things would turn this drastic since the two candidates in the last election were more or less the same. America did not elect someone to change things and Bush has sure done a great job of forgetting that.

    Anywho, porn employs a good chunk of us IT people, I'd like Ashcroft to please leave it alone.
  • Re:Pointless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AxelBoldt (1490) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @10:23PM (#8788099) Homepage
    No laws are going to stop it.

    I find this often repeated argument exceptionally weak. No laws are going to stop murder either. One hopes that laws against murder decrease the incidence of murder, just like Ashcroft hopes that laws against porn decrease the incidence of porn.

    The correct argument is of course: every person has an inherent right to watch what another person wants to perform.

  • by JavaLord (680960) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @10:25PM (#8788115) Journal
    Way to drive away those independant voters during an election year. Let me tell you something, you can outsource a man's job to the moon but never, EVER fuck with his porn.
  • by alizard (107678) <alizard@ecis . c om> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @10:48PM (#8788317) Homepage
    Teen girl charged with posting nude photos on Internet
    PITTSBURGH (AP) ? A 15-year-old girl [usatoday.com] The girl, whose identity was withheld, was accused of sending out photographs of herself in various states of undress and performing a variety of sexual acts. She sent them to people she met in chat rooms on the Internet, police said.

    . . .

    She has been charged with sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography.

    Rest at the URL.

    So if you're a 15 year old with a Webcam. . . Ashcroft says that it is not only illegal to send out nude photos of yourself, but it is even illegal to take and keep nude photos of yourself on your own hard drive.

    If the DOJ is so well funded that they can fight terror and send little girls to jail at the same time, maybe it's time to start looking into cutting their budget. They obviously don't need it to protect Americans.

    If Bush manages to get himself reelected after this kind of crap, time to look for a free country.

  • by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @11:11PM (#8788466) Homepage
    Porn doesn't sneak into your phone, VCR, or cable TV: you have to call a 900 number, rent a video, or order pay per view.
    Here is where I've been unwillingly subjected to porn -- which I do not want:
    • Razor Magazine suddenly started coming to my home every month. I have a feeling it might have been because I subscribed to Men's Fitness a decade ago -- when it was about fitness and not about sexual technique (I canceled when they switched for that reason).
    • Walking through a mall and Victoria's Secret has a 12-foot high photo of a completely nude woman in the window.
    • Stores display unshrouded soft porn [underreported.com]
    • South Beach Diet banner ads
    • Spam (which you noted as your sole exception)
    • Women jogging down the street in training bras. Folks, the first bra on TV was the 1986 Playtex cross-your-heart bra commercial -- 10 to 20 years after the so-called sexual revolution. Immodesty accelerated through the 90's.
    • Even at the office -- before 1990, sleeveless dresses were considered improper work attire. They used to be called "sundresses." Now stores don't even sell dresses with sleeves.
    Your standards may be different than mine, but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to be able to choose whether or not to consume what was considered porn in 1980.
  • by superyooser (100462) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @12:17AM (#8788921) Homepage Journal
    We have no king but Jesus.

    Ah yes, that's the motto of the American Revolution [worldnetdaily.com].

    In 1774, Hezekiah Niles, a British governor, wrote to England about events in America in "Principles and Acts of the Revolution in America"

    "If you ask an American, who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ."
    This comment became known in the colonies and the rallying cry became "No King but King Jesus." Later, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams commented:
    "We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His Kingdom come."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @12:35AM (#8789034)
    You really think that a woman in a jogging bra is porn? Or a sleeveless dress? I would assume you're a troll, but if so you're a deeply confused one.

    For you to tell a female jogger what she ought to wear - even in a slashdot post - is far more offensive than any porn I've ever seen. Even the goatse guy (if that could be considered porn).

    Porn is when someone's giving someone else a good fucking (granted there are endless permutations of fucking, but you know it when you see it). Softporn is when someone's giving someone else a good simulated fucking. Nudity is nudity. Semi-nudity is merely fashion. If any of these things disturb you, check out the goatse guy or some other scatological resource for some perspective. You'll survive, and so will America.

  • by fsterman (519061) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:00AM (#8789153) Homepage
    Actually this is exactly what they did. Once we told them we were going to fight it they pressed _more_ charges. We couldn't sell pipes because they would just bust down on us again, doubling the number of charges. The headshop went to shit quickly. Everyone was trying to run a business while not knowing if they would be spending decades in federal prison and after that being laden with untold amounts in fines.
    After months of _getting to_ court and spending thousands on lawyers we caved. The DOJ and whatever Ashcroft wants it to do has an unlimited budget. We realized that it wasn't worth it. Most of us had deteriorating mental heath, some considering suicide. We took 2 years federal probation.
    It really isn't funny. No one smoking pot. Some places can still sell wooden and clay pipes, everyone can sell rolling papers, and you can always buy and apple at a supermarket. Some have gotten better at rolling, some are putting their health in worse danger (depending on your view of MJ on the lungs) because they use tinfoil and pop-cans.
    What really IS funny is many glassblowers started making glass dildos. No joke.

    http://www.glassfantasy.com/
  • by shostiru (708862) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:30AM (#8789409)
    Amen to that. I've done, and continue to do, contract work for website and database backends for some adult businesses (I've never been fortunate or determined enough to wrangle it into a full-time job). The adult product and service industry has never struck me as being any more disreputable than any other. I've always been compensated fairly and treated with respect, which is better than I can say for most contract jobs I've done.

    There are a lot of small businesses -- I hesitate to say "mom and pop outfits" tho you do see those occasionally ;) -- who will bear the brunt of Ashcroft's pathological desire for control. Larry Flynt can afford the lawyers, somehow I doubt that Wifey's World (just an example, no I didn't do any work for them) can ... and fucktarded bullies like Ashcroft always seem to go after the people who can't fight back.

    Oh, and thank you for not spamming. Advertising responsibly is tough enough in any industry, but spammers just give pornographers a bad name.

  • Re:Dear dear dear (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:54AM (#8789802)
    A simlar event happened at my high school last year. A good freaind of mine though it would be a good idea to set up his web camra to brodcast him and his girl freand, playing lep frog. Well both where under age (17 and 15). Some how the girls father found out, and he called the police on him. He was tride as an adult, and found guilty. His punishment three years in juvinal, followed by a minume of two years in jail, and he's now a sex offender. His entire futer is ruined, all because of some stupid indescretion.
  • by Tyreth (523822) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @04:38AM (#8790151)
    Oh hang on, their religion is built on crap like "sex is evil, sex is a sin" to keep everyone but the REAL wierdos sinning

    Get a clue. Christianity states that sex is a good thing, and that reproducing is a desire of God. Christianity also states, however, that you are NEVER permitted to sleep with the wife of another man. When you have sex, it is not just a physical thing, but a spiritual binding - "the two become one flesh". This is through the act of sex. Therefore, when a man has sex with a woman who has been with another man, they both commit adultery. There is nothing wrong with sex - you set up a strawman then attack it. The problem is in improper use of it. I don't care what you say - the thought of a man recording his wife (as I heard in one case) act in sex scenes makes me sick and angry.

    The whole porn industry in general makes me angry - a comment which is bound to displease many slashdotters, as I know how popular pornography is. After seeing how immoral it is, I cannot say anything good about it. I saw the deception and manipulation that is involved in getting these women involved in acts of depravity they would never normally agree with.

    But I just had to counter your point. The objections to pornography are nothing to do with thinking sex is evil. Sex should never be a public thing. Sex should never involve multiple men. It should never involve having sex with another man's wife. It is an evil institution that damages the lives of people who participate in it, and those who view it. Unfortunately a transcript for a story I viewed went into detail on this, but is now not available for viewing by the public. So here [porn-free.org] is a smaller list of reasons why porn is bad for the viewer.

    Of course, when one believes that humans are nothing more than animals, I can offer no argument directly against pornography. But you used the words "created", so you must have some belief in the divine. How many of you porn supporters can honestly say you'd be pleased if your daughter became a porn star, having sex with many different men in her life, for thousands of other men to view?

    I can't see anything laudable, praisworthy, edifying, good, or righteous about pornography. I see instead addiction, obsession, lust, debauchery, insecurity, adultery, betrayel.

  • Re:who cares? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheWingThing (686802) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @04:54AM (#8790190)
    I'm a doctor, and it's a case of elephantiasis. The larvae (microfilariae) of the parasite (Wuchereria bancrofti) get into lymph vessels and block lymph flow. So, the body part doesnt get drained of lymph, and it swells much. It's common in legs, but rarely seen in male/female external gennitalia. It's easily treatable with an antibiotic though.
  • Don't you know? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by daniel_yokomiso (641714) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @06:03AM (#8790370) Journal
    It happened a few years ago: Yahoo Erotica Editor Fired for Excessive Programming [bbspot.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @06:11AM (#8790393)
    How does one make sense of an ever more complex world than can only described in an ever widening vareity of generalities all of which are guaranteed to fall short?

    Why is a big question. In the see of uncertainy, maybe it's comforting to not have to fight the current. To trust than an opportunity will avail itself. As an abstract mathmatical argument, "Keep swimming, but don't tread water and don't kill yourself fighting the current, it's bound to change for the better" seems to at least guestimate to true. But it'd be nice to have that emotional componant. To be able to set down, not my moral compass, or personal responability, but the worry, the what-ifs. To have that feeling of absolute clarity or purpose when the going is tough and you don't know what is comming next.... That's an intoxicating concept.

    I've been in a couple (two) of what someone might call emergencies. And they were miserable. But there was one thing. Everything was very simple for those moments. There wasn't any thinking, or rather doubting. I didn't know if I was doing the right thing, but I knew *exactly* what I wanted to do. And I'm not completely certain. But I think that's what faith feels like. I don't really have anything else to comparity too.

    But man, that little part of it, that is a great feeling, every bit as good as that first breath of sudden understanding when a hard problem reveals it's answer.

    I think religion is just the mess that gets in the way, the get quick rich scheme for spiritual wealth.

    But if that feeling is really what people get, I would be religious as a mo'fo' jack. To just have that on all the time....man! Maybe the answer to the uncertain "Why?" cast into the void, or pillow, is a the certain "Why not? It's all cool in the end, my friend." I can see how people might be asking that question a lot, especially after 9/11. But I don't think it started there.

    Look at movies. How many of them eschew reason over intuition now? That wasn't always the case. Plenty of movies started off with the hero/anti-hero knowing who the villain was, but they had to know how and why.

    I don't think Nazism or its ilk can hold sway for long here. That rugged individualism, and reliance on personal initiavite are too much a part of our mythos. Things aren't better than they have been over the course of my short life. But man, things have been really bad, much more dangerous for our little experiment in America before. A President with a child out of wed-lock, native american VP's (a Republican!), JP Morgan wielding more financial clout than the country, trusts, FDR trying to stack the supreme court, the great depression, two world wars, a civil war ... so many things on every side. Ashcroft is like an Ed Meese E Strike Lawyer. No one is outlawing booze again, hell they won't even be able to pass a gay marrige amendment. (One would hope they'd add a line item veto amendment first.)

    Things might be a little worse than they have been recently, but they're pretty much as they have been if one takes a few steps back.
  • by Tyreth (523822) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @06:31AM (#8790454)
    You miss the point, and fail to distinguish between two methods of obtaining true beliefs. One of them is a bad way, the other is good.
    1. Your claim that you are able to determine right and wrong independant from God or the threat of hell is a testimony to your willingness to listen to subjective feelings about good and evil. Since you willingly concede that different people will have different conceptions, then you must also agree that such terms "right" and "wrong" are subjective. And without a God, or a yardstick, such understandings must be fluid.
    2. My point was a logical one - if there is no afterlife, no God, then there is no "right" or "wrong". The important question is not "could you know the right thing to do without the threat of eternal punishment", but rather "is there a right or wrong if there is no God or eternal punishment?". I do not distinguish between right and wrong out of fear of damnation. I do it out of a love for God and a desire to follow His laws as He created humans initially. This is where our concepts of right and wrong come from - which are, literally, meaningless in a naturalistic worldview.

    And this is one of the greatest hypocricies of the atheist position - a failure to acknowledge the logical conclusion, that "good" and "evil" only make sense when we consider the divine. Without any God, there is no right or wrong. So, restating what I said - it's not a question of if I could do "good" if there was no God, but rather that there is no such thing as "good" if there is no God.

    Naturalists are probably deathly afraid of these conclusions for two reasons:
    1. It goes against every fibre of humans, because the truth is we do know good and evil, and that we know it because there is a God. The understanding is so overwhelming that even a logical conclusion denying "good" or "evil" is avoided, because it is counter to what we know a priori.
    2. If the naturalist/atheist was to acknowledge the logical conclusion of their beliefs, then it would give great power to their opponents (mostly, theists) in condemning their teachings as insane ramblings, and to label the naturalists/atheists clearly as evildoers and evil promoters.

  • by orthogonal (588627) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:33AM (#8790902) Journal
    I make porn. That's what I do. I work a 50 to 60 hour week.

    I checked out your site.

    There was something missing, though.

    I didn't see any big banner ad reading: "Attorney General Ashcroft wants to make it illegal for you to visit this site. Vote John Kerry for President."

    Now, I understand that you might be reluctant to put up such a banner, since it's pretty well documneted that Ashcroft targets those, like pornographer Rob Zicari and bong seller Tommy Ching, who he thinks are "defying" him.

    But presumably you have some contacts with other porn site owners. If you all put up the banner at the same time, even Ashcroft can't single out every one of you.

    You must do what, of all people, Howard Stern is doing: you have to take the fight to your customers, make them aware of what's going on, make them realize that the fight is for their rights too.

    In the short term it will scare away some customers, and lose you some business.

    But better a short term slump than being shut down and sent to prison.
  • by cavemanf16 (303184) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @10:16AM (#8791752) Homepage Journal
    Please for the love of America can we stop stating Ashcroft == Bush == elected?! No, I voted for Bush who I felt would do a much better job with international military matters as well as give us a tax cut. He gave us a tax cut, and has handled international matters quite well considering the situations he's had to deal with (in my book, feel free to disagree). I DID NOT VOTE FOR ASHCROFT and never will!

    Most people would probably lump me in the category of "conservative Christian", but Ashcroft is waaaaayyy far right of where I'm at. In fact he's bordering on (if not outright) fanatical. Yes, there are certain freedoms granted to every American by the Constitution that Ashcroft continues to trample horribly. I may be repulsed and disgusted by what some of you choose to do in your spare time, or even get paid to do, but according to the governmental regulations provided by the Constitution, you're not doing anything legally wrong! So I agree, Ashcroft is about the crappiest Attorney General ever, but please stop whining about how the "conservatives" elected him. Please? I elected Bush, but I'd never vote for Ashcroft, even if it meant abstaining from a vote. Some of us "conservatives" hate his policies as well!
  • by Cervantes (612861) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:58PM (#8794403) Journal
    I did some heavy-duty searching, and I was able to find several similar speeches from a variety of high-ranking government officials who feel the same way as Ashcroft. I was going to provide some links, until I watched a few and realized that most of the /. crowd would complain about the quality, given they were rips of talkie reels from the 30's, and even fewer would be able to understand them, given that they were subtitled in German.
  • by Tyreth (523822) on Thursday April 08, 2004 @07:23AM (#8801834)
    Now perhaps you could argue that the only way to arrive at even this rule is through religon. Personally, I can arrive at it by simply recognizing that all people are equal in that we all have a soul. I cannot, therefore, justify causing pain to others, even if it results in my own gain

    You are all defending the wrong point. I already believe that an atheist can form a relatively correct view of right and wrong. But, I beleive that this is only possible because God exists. Even though the atheist rejects His existence, it does not cause Him to cease to exist. The atheist gains his understanding of right and wrong from what God has implanted in us. We know these things a priori, but we have perverted them - which is why we come to similar, but not identical, conclusions. This is why God's word is invaluable for distinguishing when our conclusions disagree.

    But back to the point, and what I quoted above - if you believe there is no God, then on what basis do you believe that you must come to the conclusion of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you"? What makes this 'right'? What makes something else 'wrong'? I'm not questioning your ability to arrive at that conclusion, I'm questioning whether there is any basis for:
    a. Looking to reach that conclusion
    b. A foundational belief to begin the steps of reasoning to it
    Assuming a world without God.

    Put another way, "If there is no God, why is it wrong to hurt someone else?".

  • by Tyreth (523822) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:26PM (#8821870)
    Thankyou for your response. As you probably realised, you didn't answer "what is wrong with murder" from an atheistic perspective. You again appealed to an arbitrary desire for fairness (as you indicated) which has no foundation in an atheistic worldview.

    I am supposing that the consequence of this realisation you seemed to muse on the possibility of there being a God, but expressed the belief that which view of Him is accurate cannot be known, so it is better that we do not worry and apply our own rationale.

    To answer this question - yes, I believe the reason that you, atheists, and members of other religions can determine somewhat accurately right from wrong is because there is a God. And I find a deeper understanding of this innate knowledge from the Christian God, who through His prophet Moses said:
    "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die"..."Behold the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil.". This was the legendary forbidden fruit.

    Now your question is a worthwhile one. The argument of morality I used has a formal name - the axiological argument. Once you accept this argument and realise there must be a God, then the question of what He is like, and what He requires (if anything) is an important one. Probably too much detail to go into here. For now I will just offer a suggestion: it has been said by others wiser than me that Christianity is the best place to start. It is simultaneously the most likely to be true, and the easiest to disprove if not true. Unlike most other religions, Christianity opens itself up to be tested and attack by it's skeptics - because we believe our religion is rational. We believe our God is rational, and for that reason He made us rational beings. The world makes sense, and our religion should not have internal contradictions, or even historical ones. This is a summary of my view anyway. Not all Christians share it, as some have lost the belief that Christianity is rational, but believe it anyway.

    The other question is, why should you try to find out which religion is true? Consider it this way - if we were created, then we must have been created for a purpose. If we know the difference between good and evil, we know that we ought to do good, and ought not to do evil. We can also conclude that the Creator is good and not evil. It is also a fact that despite our knowledge, we disagree on some points of what is good and what is evil. Therefore, humans, being evil, have corrupted their view of what is good and evil. There is still a shadow of our ability to understand, but not perfectly. Therefore, our Creator being good would be the ultimate standard for knowing:

    a. Our purpose in life and meaning
    b. What is required of our lives, what is good and what is evil

    After all, if there is an intelligent Creator who is wiser than any other man in history, wouldn't you want to know Him? Or at least, wouldn't you want to know if He wants you to know Him? Or any of the other thousands of questions that spring to life over the meaning of our lives.

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw

Working...