The War On Porn

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Bad Decisions, General Politics, Social Programs, The War On Terrorism

No, I didn’t spell that wrong. It’s simply how technology people choose to spell it… (NOTE: this might seem confusing, but the original title was War on Pr0n, but then I changed it back to Porn, but didn’t omit the striked sentence. Doh!)

From the Wash Post.

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.”

Really? We’re going to pursue this and divert our attention from possible terrorist attacks? Personally, this seems like a really poor decision, especially since this targets porn between consenting adults…

But then again…

Applicants for the porn squad should therefore have a stomach for the kind of material that tends to be most offensive to local juries. Community standards — along with a prurient purpose and absence of artistic merit — define criminal obscenity under current Supreme Court doctrine.

“Based on a review of past successful cases in a variety of jurisdictions,” the memo said, the best odds of conviction come with pornography that “includes bestiality, urination, defecation, as well as sadistic and masochistic behavior.” No word on the universe of other kinks that helps make porn a multibillion-dollar industry.

Listen, this is not easy stuff to talk about, but I will say that bestiality should certainly be prosecutable. That shouldn’t be allowed, but to group those with the other sex acts seems inequal…

And to that point, the other sex acts aren’t criminal. Fringe? Of course. But having said that, I certainly don’t think that people should go to jail if they want to do such things.

In short, is this really how we want our top cops spending their time?


This entry was posted on Friday, September 23rd, 2005 and is filed under Bad Decisions, General Politics, Social Programs, The War On Terrorism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

17 Responses to “The War On Porn”

  1. ford4x4 Says:

    So who decided this squad was even needed?

  2. Fcb Says:

    Unless you’ve since changed your title, it appears my browser has automatically corrected it? I love these little touches…

  3. Justin Gardner Says:

    Oh, I think I originally titled it “War on Pr0n” as a nod to what hackers call it. But I felt that would get lost in the translation, so I switched it back.

    And to ford4x4, our current or former Attorney General is most likely responsible for this. That’s the top cop and they decide what they’re going to try and prosecute. I could be wrong about where this decision came from, but that’s the usual way things go.

  4. Callimachus Says:

    Are comments working today? I’m trying to add one here and it’s not taking. Or am I using a bad word?

  5. Callimachus Says:

    Evidently it’s a bad word.

  6. Callimachus Says:

    OK, try again. Why should b-stiality be prosecutable? Who is the victim? Who is harmed by it?

    I want the government to have as light a hand as possible when it comes to 1. publication 2. s-x.

    There is a clear line of interest for the criminal justice system to investigate non-consensual s-x. That includes s-x acts with those deemed incapable of giving consent (children/minors).

    Beyond that, I’m skeptical of any government role. How do you know the German shepherd doesn’t like it? I’d rather have my government use its time and my money for other, more pressing matters.

  7. Justin Gardner Says:

    Hey Cal, we have spam blocking on, and s e x is blocked so we don’t get deluged with crap. Maybe not the best idea for a post about p o r n.

  8. Justin Gardner Says:

    OK, try again. Why should b-stiality be prosecutable? Who is the victim? Who is harmed by it?

    The argument is that the animals, since they have no real say in the matter, are victims by default.

  9. Callimachus Says:

    Just like in circuses?

  10. Callimachus Says:

    Ann Althouse today quotes Antonin Scalia saying, “The line between protected pornography and unprotected obscenity lies between appealing to a good healthy interest in sex and appealing to a depraved interest, whatever that means.”

    Her rejoinder is, “What is less sexy than Scalia, et al, deciding what is ‘a good healthy interest in sex’?”

    Personally, I found the “whatever that means” telling.

    Nothing about the consent of German shepherds in it, though.

  11. Justin Gardner Says:

    Just like in circuses?

    Well, I think only the clowns eff the lions and the elephants. Does that count?

  12. Callimachus Says:

    OK, so b-stiality should be prosecuted as a violation of animal rights, not a morals offense. Then it’s a job for the FDA, perhaps, not the AG’s office. You can bludgeon your cow to death and eat it, but you can’t f*** it. But what about pictures of merely simulated sex acts with animals? And what if the dog jumped on the girl’s leg first?

  13. Callimachus Says:

    Hey, it let me say “sex.”

  14. Callimachus Says:

    sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex

  15. Justin Gardner Says:

    Ha. Cal can say “sex”! Yea!

    Were you logged in? That’s all I can guess that happened.

    Very humorous points, but I can’t just go out and kill a cow. I have to have all sorts of licenses to do that. However, you don’t really need any licenses for common house pets and I’d imagine that they’re what’s most often used in this type of grotesquery.

    Wow, I can’t believe I just used the word “grotesquery” in a sentence. How many points do I get for that one Cal?

  16. Callimachus Says:

    Well, let me enlighten you, though that hardly seems the right verb. A few years back, when I was looking for some extra cash, I helped compile an “adult” search engine for a major internet company who shall remain nameless (because that was part of my contract with them). As my chunk of the work, I undertook to compile all the “fetish” sites online, because it’s one of the topics that fascinate me. I must have looked at 10,000 sites, including a share of animal-sex sites.

    No, it’s not pets, for the most part. I mean, did you ever try to screw a housecat? Don’t answer that.

    Farm animals, primarily. Horses, cows, that sort of thing. And some large dogs. Depends if its a F or M scene. One of the most fascinating sites was a detailed description of how to get a cow aroused. You reeeeeally don’t want to know.

    Believe me, unless that desire, that perversion, is firmly rooted in you from some very early age, beyond recollection or revision, you’re not going to be converted by the pornography itself. The fetish pictures pose no risk to society. You don’t hear of people confessing, “I used to like sex with girls. Then I heard about sex with chickens. So, I thought, why not? …”

    Which leaves the only possible government interest in this sort of pornography to be in the matter of distinguishing whether it was real or mock sex. You know, “No donkeys were harmed in the making of this movie.” But that seems to be a fairly minor matter and nothing that requires the attention of the FBI.

    And frankly I’m still not convinced that messing with a cow’s pudenda is cruel to the cow to a degree that requires legal intervention.

    You realize that your line is eventually going to run you into someone who says, “The government says it’s wrong to french kiss your Weimaraner, but it will help you kill your unborn child!” And frankly I’d be hard-put to stand up and explain why that ought to be so.

  17. Justin Gardner Says:

    This last comment was certainly enlightening…although that doesn’t seem like the right verb. Jeez…I hope the money was worth it…and then some…and then, even more some…

    Currently, I work with some people who worked at a company called Cycorp. They have been and are still trying to manually build a natural language corpus of knowledge. It’s A.I., only it doesn’t really work.

    In any event, they’ve told me stories about some of their coworkers having to build taxonomies for pr0n. And whether we like it or not, pr0n is one of the biggest cash cows (P.T.P.) of the internet, so it was certainly needed. I don’t think I have to say that those people certainly didn’t enjoy trying to find all of the words associated with “bl0wj0b” or “cun+”

    And to your last paragraph, well, I’m certainly ready for that discussion.

    As our Prez would say, “Bring It On.”

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