Monday, January 30, 2006
The answer may not be a horrible as you might expect.
I was going to write a big dissertation on what the impact of the overturning of Roe vs Wade would be. Thankfully, the New York Times Cynthia Gorney beat me to most of it. So read it before you read anything I say:
As you can see, the Day We Have Been Dreading may not be the great horror we all thought it would be. As Cynthia said, 20 states (including California...and that's WITH AHH-nold) will continue to permit abortion. But it is going to be uuuuuuugh-lee! And to my anger, Our Side is pretty much totally unprepared for this. The good news, neither are bad guys.
Like I said, 20 states will allow abortion. That leaves 30 that might pass laws against it. And that is where the real fun begins.
A few years ago, I called Gloria Allred's program to speak to Randall Terry, then chief nutcase for Operation Rescue. And you know Gloria is a liberal with a capital LIBERAL. I just asked one simple question: "If Roe were overturned, what would the law be and who would be culpable?" I had never heard two people tap dance verbally like that in my life.
The bottom line is that the Pro-abortion side does not want to imagine life without Roe, and the other side is so giddy about the prospect of it that they forgot to think about what happens next.
One would think the targeted states would go back to pre-Roe Law, basically targeted doctors with loss of license, fines, and jail time in many cases. But listen to the rhetoric of Anti-Roe: Rev Tom Swartley, an Elm Creek, IL preacher, has recently called abortion murder during a sermon (http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2006/01/30/local/doc43dd93657a9a9540040238.txt). A recent headline in an Oregon paper proclaimed "47 MILLION KILLED IN AMERICAN ABORTION HOLOCAUST!!" (http://www.applegateoregonnews.com/articles/index.cfm?artOID=327166&cp=10963) And it goes on. This is the rhetoric that has been used for decades against abortion. In that vein, taking away a license would not cut it.
Based on those words, the only punishment for abortion, if one believed it was murder most horrible, would be capital punishment: life/no parole or death. And who would be responsible? The doctor, of course. So would the doctor's assistant. What if you took the mother to the clinic? You're on the hook, because accessory to murder makes you just as culpable. And the mother? Since the "abortionist" is the hitman in this case, the mom would fry too, since she put out the contract on the little bugger.
And don't think being under 18 would help you because, based on many of the same states current laws, underage felons can be tried as an adult. So imagine....a 16-year-old girl going to Death Row because she had an abortion.
Unthinkable? I would hope. But considering the rhetoric and the mindset of those who wan Roe to go into the ether, not entirely out of consideration.
That is why I feel the Pro-Roe forces have been lax in putting the feet of the Anti's to the fire. We need to know their post-Roe plans because, IMHO, it would be the only way to expose how nefarious these people truly are. Because if those plans do not mirror what I just laid out, the anti-Roe movement would be exposed as the sham it is for their actions would not mirror their words. And if they did, they would be exposed as people who would murder the living to save the unborn. Either way, its a position that is pretty much un-spinnable.
So while we still have time, and still have a 5-4 majority, it is incumbent on those who want women to have reproductive freedom to release their fears and engage the other side on what their plans are post-Roe. My feelings is that the truth will get a lot of people off the fence.
There is a lot of work ahead...and that work must start now.
Friday, January 27, 2006
By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent
The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of
suspected insurgents in hopes of "leveraging" their husbands into surrender,
U.S. military documents show.
In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a
nursing baby, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second
detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband
by tacking a note to the family's door telling him "to come get his wife."
The issue of female detentions in Iraq has taken on a higher profile
since kidnappers seized American journalist Jill Carroll on Jan. 7 and
threatened to kill her unless all Iraqi women detainees are freed.
The U.S. military on Thursday freed five of what it said were 11 women
among the 14,000 detainees currently held in the 2 1/2-year-old insurgency. All
were accused of "aiding terrorists or planting explosives," but an Iraqi
government commission found that evidence was lacking.
Iraqi human rights activist Hind al-Salehi contends that U.S.
anti-insurgent units, coming up empty-handed in raids on suspects' houses, have
at times detained wives to pressure men into turning themselves in.
deputy justice minister, Busho Ibrahim Ali, dismissed such claims, saying
hostage-holding was a tactic used under the ousted Saddam Hussein dictatorship,
and "we are not Saddam." A U.S. command spokesman in Baghdad, Lt. Col. Barry
Johnson, said only Iraqis who pose an "imperative threat" are held in long-term
U.S.-run detention facilities.
But documents describing two 2004 episodes tell a different story as
far as short-term detentions by local U.S. units. The documents are among
hundreds the Pentagon has released periodically under U.S. court order to meet
an American Civil Liberties Union request for information on detention
In one memo, a civilian Pentagon intelligence officer described what
happened when he took part in a raid on an Iraqi suspect's house in Tarmiya,
northwest of Baghdad, on May 9, 2004. The raid involved Task Force (TF) 6-26, a
secretive military unit formed to handle high-profile targets.
"During the pre-operation brief it was recommended by TF personnel that
if the wife were present, she be detained and held in order to leverage the
primary target's surrender," wrote the 14-year veteran officer.
He said he objected, but when they raided the house the team leader, a
senior sergeant, seized her anyway.
"The 28-year-old woman had three young
children at the house, one being as young as six months and still nursing," the
intelligence officer wrote. She was held for two days and was released after he
complained, he said.
Like most names in the released documents, the officer's
signature is blacked out on this for-the-record memorandum about his
Of this case, command spokesman Johnson said he could not judge, months
later, the factors that led to the woman's detention.
The second episode, in June 2004, is found in sketchy detail in e-mail
exchanges among six U.S. Army colonels, discussing an undisclosed number of
female detainees held in northern Iraq by the Stryker Brigade of the 2nd
The first message, from a military police colonel, advised staff
officers of the U.S. northern command that the Iraqi police would not take
control of the jailed women without charges being brought against them.
second e-mail, a command staff officer asked an officer of the unit holding the
women, "What are you guys doing to try to get the husband — have you tacked a
note on the door and challenged him to come get his wife?"
Two days later,
the brigade's deputy commander advised the higher command, "As each day goes by,
I get more input that these gals have some info and/or will result in getting
He went on, "These ladies fought back extremely hard during the
original detention. They have shown indications of deceit and misinformation."
The command staff colonel wrote in reply, referring to a commanding
general, "CG wants the husband."
The released e-mails stop there, and the
women's eventual status could not be immediately determined.
episode, Johnson said, "It is clear the unit believed the females detained had
substantial knowledge of insurgent activity and warranted being held."
On the Net:
First document: http://www.aclu.org/torturefoia/released/t2614_2616.pdf
E-mail exchange: http://www.aclu.org/projects/foiasearch/pdf/DOD044843.pdf
This adminstration has much to answer for. And the best way to get those answers is a trial of impeachment.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
The following article is from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 22, Number 1.
What does a society do about people who have evil thoughts? If it's a religious society, it punishes them. Our secular society, however, in its most essential document recognizes the importance of both freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and the link between them. Congress shall make no law, says the First Amendment to the Constitution, establishing a religion or prohibiting its free exercise—or abridging free speech in general. In this society, we do not burn those with heretical opinions, nor hunt down those who practice witchcraft.
We have had some lapses from this idea during our history, but in general, the record has been good. State laws against blasphemy have been struck down; a law that required schoolchildren to pledge allegiance to the flag was disallowed, even in the midst of World War II; we finally repudiated laws against that most heretical of opinions, communism.
We had one serious lapse when we outlawed the distribution of material embodying evil sexual thoughts about women (that is, obscenity) in the mid-to-late twentieth century, but even there, the Supreme Court said that, to be forbidden, material must affect an average person offensively when judged by community standards (not merely affect members of a special audience) and cannot be banned if, when taken as a whole, it shows redeeming "literary, artistic, political, or scientific value." Previously, sexual material had been deemed censorable if it "tended to corrupt" its audience, or those who might be especially susceptible. No more.
In 1982, in a decision called New York v. Ferber, the high court examined a state child-pornography law that forbade material that didn't fit the definition of obscenity. Even here, the Court outlawed the photographic representation of actual children engaged in sexual conduct, not because it was offensive, but because its creation involved violating the rights of the actual children being used. The justices were very sensitive to First Amendment issues, and several concurring opinions pointed out that such laws should not be applied to works of serious "redeeming value"; that they should not be triggered by "clinical pictures of adolescent sexuality" or those "engaging in rites widely approved by their cultures"; and should not be invoked by the use of an otherwise-offending work for serious research, artistic, or educational purposes.
The federal child-pornography law was amended in 1984 to conform to the Ferber decision, and failed to include an affirmative "taken as a whole" serious-use defense solely because the Department of Justice testified that Ferber had made it unnecessary.
But since that time, some in our society have become more concerned with the danger of evil thoughts. In 1996 Congress threw out all this careful reasoning and enacted the Child Pornography Prevention Act (CPPA), a law being challenged this fall before the Supreme Court. Gone in this law is the justification of the harm to actual children. Gone is the constitutional protection of "redeeming value." Non-obscene child pornography produced by using young-looking adults, or computer-generated images that use no children at all, are to be banned and punished severely because they might "whet the appetite" of pedophiles (members of a special audience if ever there was one) or be used to seduce children into performing sexual acts.
The long history of First Amendment jurisprudence—which has decided in case after case that "giving someone ideas" that might lead to bad conduct is protected speech unless the incitement is immediate (Go do this now!)—should be overturned, argues the government in defending the CPPA, when the ideas involved are sufficiently evil. And anyway, the argument goes, computer technology makes it too hard to prosecute child pornographers if you have to prove that actual children were used.
Did Congress have reason to decide that the distribution, indeed the very possession, of such materials can never be justified? Was there proof of their evil effect? Who needs proof? Could sexual images of children be used in successfully treating pedophiles, and actually lessen the frequency of child molestation? We will never know, because a study to find that out would now be criminal.
Pedophiles—those who have sexual thoughts about children, not necessarily child molesters—are defined as evil. Anyone who says he has any reason to possess these evil images must be a pedophile. In 1999, journalist Larry Matthews was convicted of downloading and sending child pornography online and sentenced to eighteen months in prison and a fine of $4,000, even though he said he was doing it to research a story. Actually he was lucky, since he faced thirty years in prison and a fine of $500,000. Perhaps his thirty years as a reporter and his previously reported stories for a radio station on Internet child porn weighed in his favor.
This law allows for no possible "literary, artistic, political, or scientific value," and the result is chilling. The movie remake of Lolita starring Jeremy Irons couldn't find a distributor for a year. A young woman cartoonist depicting the molestation of teenage girls is under fire. Those people who thought a series of provocative Calvin Klein ads were child pornography some years ago weren't joking.
As in the anti-communist frenzy of the McCarthy era, the public is responding to the charges of pervasive danger. In a telephone survey earlier this year, 92 percent of those surveyed (not all of whom were Internet users) were more worried about child pornography on the Internet than about computer viruses, fraud, or terrorist activity online. The author of the study was quoted as saying, "As soon as we asked the question, it was overwhelming how people reacted negatively to child pornography. It's something that may or may not touch the lives of every American, but everybody is horrified."
Precisely because, in an age of sound bites, it can be seen as dangerous to be seen as supporting "child porn" (Do not forget that all classes of obscenity are still illegal: it is nonobscene suggestive images that are in question here), the implications for unpopular speech in general are grave. Child molestation, whether to create a saleable image or to gratify a sexual impulse, is indeed something to be horrified about. But to define a class of expressive material as so terrible that even its temporary possession taints a person irrevocably is to believe in witchcraft. If the Court decides that material deemed to be inciting in this way can be, indeed, must be illegal under all circumstances, how long will unpopular political speech be safe? True, to most of us, the idea of child pornography is so unpleasant that we don't even want to think about it. However, when it comes to making thoughts unconstitutional, we'd better think twice.
I repost this, because it explains what I have been saying....and shall
be....better than I can myself.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
This steaming piece cam in my mail today:
Because of your efforts, NBC cancels 'Book of Daniel'
NBC's anti-Christian program The Book of Daniel has been
cancelled! Your efforts, combined with those of hundreds of thousands of other
AFA Online supporters, had an impact. NBC's decision to pull The Book of Daniel
shows the power of the pocketbook. NBC didn't want to eat their economic losses.
Had NBC not had to eat millions of dollars each time it aired, NBC would have
kept The Book of Daniel on the air. Because of your efforts, the sponsors
dropped the program. NBC then decided it didn't want to continue the fight. Even
an impassioned plea by Daniel's producer Jack Kenny could not match your
participation. "Ordinarily, I would never ask anyone to do this, but the AFA and
bullies like them are hard at work to try and prevent you from seeing these
beautiful shows, and that is censorship...pure and simple. And that is both
un-Christian and un-American," Kenny wrote. His attitude is typical in today's society. Non-Christians telling Christians what is Christian. People like Kenny don't want people like you to have a voice. They want to deny you the right to get involved. You are supposed to sit back and take the trash. And when you do
speak up they call you names. This shows us that we don't have to simply sit
back and take the trash, but we can get involved and fight back with our
pocketbooks. I want to thank the 678,394 individuals who sent emails to NBC and
the thousands who called and emailed their local affiliates. Thanks for caring
enough to get involved!
Donald E. Wildmon, Founder
anChairman Americanan Family Association
P.S. Please forward this e-mail
message to your family and friends!
MaI i say to you, Mr Wildmon..Withth all the sincerity that I can muster. FUCK YOU! Fuck you and the inbreds that follow you. "The Book Of Daniel" may not have been must see TV, but is should have been cancelled for the reason all shows get cancelled.....ratings and ratings alone.
People have 200+ choices otheirer TV screens, although youdopplegangerer, Brent Bozo...errrrrrr.....Bozell said that he would he happy of there were only 20 choices...as long as he made the choices.
So the line has been drawn. You want war, you'd better call up the DragonSkin boys because you are going to need them. You will need them when your Tax-exempt claims are looked into. As your life is looked into. As your political dealings are looked into. And don;t worry, Donny dear, people always leave paper trails.
I so much hope to see you in hell, Donny.....and swear the God I serve....I, the people who read this, and the people who STILL believe in freedom, are now dedicated to put you there.
Burn well, you asshole.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Bean Counters Don't Get It
DefenseWatch Roger Charles
January 06, 2006
When the post-mortem on our current military venture in Iraq is finally written,
and if an honest analysis is allowed, the failure of the United States to
provide decent, best-available body armor to our fighters will be acknowledged
as the worst equipment failure of all.
And, again assuming an honest report,
the stupendous investigative work and writings of Defense Watch's own editor,
Nat Helms, will be highlighted as the benchmark on this topic. Without meaning
to embarrass Nat (too much), I think it is fair to say that his series of
articles published in DefenseWatch have ripped the scab off a festering sore
that badly needs some strong exposure and treatment.
Nat has revealed yet one more sad example of a dysfunctional DoD
acquisition system that cannot get body armor of acceptable quality to our
grunts for a few thousands of dollars per unit cost, but one that can spend
obscene amounts of taxpayers' funds on aircraft that cost hundreds of millions
of dollars each, or on warships that cost several billions of dollars
Brigades of Gucci-wearing, greasy-haired, K-street lobbyists in
Washington protect the bloated budgets for what Hack called the "toys," while
the "boys" (and "girls," too) have no such proponents to peddle influence on our
The end result is this same system with gold-plated, diamond-encrusted
toys cannot give America's Grunts that which most directly and yes, routinely,
determines whether they live or die -- the best-available body armor.
(Perhaps some interested DefenseWatch reader will take a good look at
the disconnect between the DoD acquisition system that finds body armor at $4000
per set too expensive, while the DoD personnel system is now paying $400,000 in
death insurance benefits to the beneficiaries of each KIA. Nat's latest article
show irrefutable evidence that a substantial number of these KIA's would have
survived had they had better body armor. Maybe the DoD bean counters will
now re-compute their cost-benefit analysis to reflect the new death benefits.
These soulless bureaucrats and their Perfumed Prince bosses have damn sure
ignored the moral aspects of sending young Americans to the killing fields with
inferior body armor. Sadly, the current rate of KIA's is probably too low to
force Pentagon budgeteers to re-calibrate their standing decision that favors
cheaper, inferior body armor.)
The issue is a straight forward one. It is not like searching for the
cure for cancer, or for a single cause of obesity, or for the origins of the
What we have here is on one level "just" an engineering challenge,
and the solution must combine only critical factors: (1) the best designs, based
on scientific study and on input from those who wear it and fight in it; and (2)
the best materials and workmanship that American industry can provide.
If either of these two critical factors is weak, incomplete, shoddy or
otherwise flawed, America's Grunts will continue to pay for the failures with
their lives, their limbs and their blood, period.
Let's be very clear about
one point. We are not arguing for some sort of "cocoon," as Marine General Peter Pace termed it last summer, which renders
America's Grunts impervious to the ordnance of today's battlefield. Nor, are we
arguing for some unrealistic suit of body armor that makes each soldier a
mini-Abrams tank on two feet.
Our Grunts must be able to take the fight to the enemy, and they must
be agile, mobile and lethal when doing so.
The battlefields where our enemies await our Grunts are deadly places,
yet there are those who falsely claim that the goal is perfect protection for
our troops. This is an insult to the bravery of our soldiers, and most
especially of those who have paid the ultimate price in service to our great
Nat Helm's DefenseWatch articles have shown clearly and directly, that
the current body armor most often issued to our general purpose forces, the
Interceptor Armor, is poorly designed. He has also presented indisputable
evidence that our government has found both the materials and workmanship, in
thousands of sets of the body armor, to be sub-standard. (The recalls of
thousands of sets speak volumes.)
So, what is the solution?
If there was ever a case for the U.S.
Congress to assert its constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive
Branch's bungling of a sacred duty, it is this one. The Armed Services
Committees of both the House and Senate should conduct extensive investigations
into this entire matter. They should determine just how our nation spent
hundreds of millions of dollars on body armor that was in far too many cases,
sub-standard in both design and material.
A good place to start would be the
role of the Army's Natick Lab (as us old-timers knew it) and Aberdeen
Proving Ground in their dual achievements -- (1) approving inferior designs and
material specifications for body armor to be procured from American contractors,
and (2) rigging the test and evaluation process so as to preclude a "fair
hearing" for other designs and materials that show demonstrated superiority to
the current Interceptor armor.
Will the Congress rise to this challenge? I am not optimistic. Only an
outraged public can force their elected representatives to do their duty, and I
see little sign that enough Americans, care enough, to change the status quo.
Perhaps I should explain both my pessimism and why this is a
"hot-button" issue for me (as it was for Hack). Nearly 38 years ago a Marine in
my infantry platoon was shot in the front torso while just a few feet from me.
He literally fell almost into my arms. When I turned him over to check for signs
of his wound, I first noted the frothy blood dribbling from his mouth. I'd paid
attention in my first aid class at Quantico and realized I had a Marine with a
sucking-chest wound. My platoon corpsmen were otherwise engaged with other
casualties and I was the only person in position to render immediate aid.
Knowing that I needed to get the entry wound sealed, I preceded to
un-snap the metal buttons the Marine's flack jacket. The enemy round had gone
right through the zipper, mangling the teeth on the zipper, and making the
zipper useless. Yet, I had to get the flack jacket open enough to get the wound
sealed. What do you do now, Lieutenant?
Thanks to my K-bar, I was able to cut the cloth part of the zipper from
top to bottom, opening access to the Marine's chest sufficiently so that I could
put the plastic wrapped bandage onto the wound, and wrap a strap around the
Marine's chest to keep the bandage in place. His breathing became more normal
and the bloody froth from his mouth subsided. (The Marine survived.)
recall this incident in this detail because it highlighted to me the stupidity
of the engineers in the Army acquisition system who designed a zippered front to the
flack jacket. (The snap buttons worked just fine. Why have both?)
Their failure to understand what an AK-47 round would do to the zipper,
and the problems it would make for someone like myself who was trying to treat a
wound earned them a stream of my strongest curses as I was forced to use my
K-bar, and precious seconds, to open the Marine's flack jacket. It was only
after the Marine was evacuated that I had time to ponder the engineer's greater
stupidity -- placing a large seam right up the center of the torso of the
"protected" individual. (I issued orders later that day to my platoon that we
would no longer use the zippers in our flack jackets.)
Today, 38 years later, thanks to Nat's great reporting, we learn that
"seams" in body armor are still, too often, the location of the fatal wounds!!
The entire disastrous story of inferior body armor is due to the simple
fact that when it comes to America's Grunts, no one in position of authority
cares. Forget the media events and the crocodile tears at Arlington National
Cemetery or the amputee wards at Bethesda and Walter Reed.
If any reader is a resident of the 12th Congressional District of
Pennsylvania, you might want to read the following quote from your
representative's web page:
"Congressman Murtha is so well-respected for his first-hand
knowledge of military and defense issues that he has been a trusted
adviser to presidents of both parties on military and defense issues and is one
of the most effective advocates for the national defense in the country. He
is ranking member and former chairman of the Defense Appropriations
Subcommittee, a Vietnam combat veteran and a retired Marine Corps colonel with 37 years of
service, a rare combination of experience that enables him
to understand defense and military operations from every
perspective." (Emphasis added.)
And, If you get the chance, ask Jack Murtha to explain why his beloved Marines are dying today due to inferior body armor after he
has spent nearly 32 years as a powerful congressman with real authority over the
very defense budgets responsible for fielding the best-available protection for
SFTT President Roger Charles is an Annapolis graduate,
a retired USMC Lt. Col. who commanded an infantry platoon in I Corps during the
Vietnam War, is the winner of the prestigious Peabody Award for news coverage,
and was a protégée's of the late Col. David H. Hackworth. Rog can be contacted
at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please send comments to DWFeedback@yahoo.com
Also read USA Today's editorial: http://usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2006-01-12-our-view_x.htm
Side note: After some Congressional grilling...the cumination of two years of bitching and moaning by parents of soldiers in Iraq, the Army is sheepishly, like the kid caught with hand-in-cookie-jar-trying-to-make-it-right, is sening more armor plates:
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/13603617.htm However, many solidiers hve had to BUY WITH THIER OWN OUT-OF-POCKET MONEY armor which is quite superior to that which the Army suggests, that being Dragon Skin by Pinnacle. HOWEVER, if for some reason you die with that Dragon Skin on, your family may not get death benefits:
So we leave our troops in harms way, with no protection. These guys have to buy THIER OWN protection, And if they do die, thier grieving families get no benefits.
So again, who supports the troops?
Let's see......2004, Kerry had the election won as lat as that Friday......that Friday who shows up with a video tape...next Tuesday, just enough lemmings get our boy Bushie in....
Fast forward to now.....the entire Empire is falling apart...everyone's indicted, discredited, or both. The can't even use 2257 to stop porn. And the only thing lower than Bush's numbers are the ratings for PAX-TV (or is it "I??").
Guess who shows up right on time.....?
Let's just say if San Francisco goes off the map before the elections, you know why.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
[Enfield dominatrix Michelle Silva´s business was busted, her gear confiscated. What was her crime? Police appear to believe it could have e been ¨prostitution.¨ But experts say that could be hard to prove. ]
by Meir Rinde - December 29, 2005
Silva has described a police raid on her home last month as an attack on her free speech. Enfield dominatrix Michelle Silva has described a police raid on her home last month as an attack on her free speech rights and a scare tactic by a town straining for a justification to shut her down. But initially no one knew for sure why the police searched her home on Nov. 16 and seized her computers and bondage furniture, since the search warrant remained sealed. Now the seal has expired, and the warrant is very clear: it states that the "promotion of prostitution" constitutes the bulk of the charges Silva could face.
Silva, 33, operates an S&M website, www.EmpressM.net, that offers bondage photos and videos that she argues she has the legal right to distribute. But the warrant barely mentions the videos; rather, it is Silva's other business as a dominatrix who invites customers to visit -- and pay hundreds of dollars for services -- that drew attention from police.
The investigation was prompted by an anonymous e-mail police received in January. "I thought you would like to know that you have an S&M prostitution house in your town," the e-mail said, according to the warrant. When Enfield Det. William Cooper looked at Silva's website, he found pictures of "'EmpressM' with nude males, 'slaves' in obvious states of sexual arousal," the warrant said. S&M practitioners, or sadomasochists, derive sexual pleasure from inflicting pain on others or themselves.
"It is clear that B&D (bondage and discipline) practitioners can receive sexual gratification for a fee as a fully developed rate structure exists," Cooper wrote in the warrant.
When told last week by the Advocate about the potential prostitution charges, Silva responded with a puzzled e-mail. "So who were they looking for? And still no charges É", she wrote. "Did they make this up? I need to call my attorney."
In earlier postings on an online forum for people who run pornographic websites, she appeared unaware that she might be charged with providing sex for money. "No one was charged with prostitution nor was it ever referred to by the cops, that is not why they raided my home business," she wrote after the raid.
The search and seizure of Silva's property prompted a vigorous discussion on the forum, called "Greenguy and Jim's Ultimate Adult Webmaster Board." When the warrant was still sealed, other posters on the forum looked at some of Silva's websites, which included EmpressM.net, Northeastgoddess.com, and Fortressofpain.com. The web posters read descriptions of the services she provided at rates ranging from $300 per session to $1,000 for an overnight stay, and came to a similar conclusions as the one that police may have come to.
"Gonna be hard to fight the prostition (sic) rap when you accept donations or tips for sexual services, whether it involves intercourse or not," one poster wrote.
The questions of what constitutes prostitution and sex could end up determining Silva's fate. State law defines prostitution as engaging in "sexual conduct with another person in exchange for a fee." But the phrase "sexual conduct" is pretty vague, said Todd Fernow, a law professor and director of the Criminal Law Clinic at the University of Connecticut.
Fernow said a Connecticut judge tried to define sexual conduct in a 1980 case involving an alleged prostitute charged with soliciting a New Haven police officer. The defendant claimed the phrase was unconstitutionally vague, an argument the judge rejected. But borrowing from Webster's Second New World Dictionary, the judge defined sexual conduct as involving "sex, the sexes, the organs of sex and their functions, or the instincts, drives, behavior, etc. associated with sex." That's still pretty vague, and it's the dictionary, not the law.
State laws defining abuse, assault and other sexual crimes are much more graphically descriptive. One section of the criminal code states, "'Sexual intercourse' means vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, fellatio or cunnilingus between persons regardless of sex. É Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse or fellatio and does not require emission of semen. Penetration may be committed by an object manipulated by the actor into the genital or anal opening of the victim's body."
Again, that definition of sex applies to assaults, not to prostitution. Indeed, the criminal code also offers a definition of sadomasochistic abuse: "flagellation or torture by or upon a person clad in undergarments, a mask or bizarre costume, or the condition of being fettered, bound or otherwise physically restrained on the part of one so clothed."
But consensual sadomasochism isn't mentioned in the law, and is apparently legal. It's certainly practiced widely in Connecticut, by amateurs and by professionals who charge for their services. Whether it is considered "sex" or not still remains a matter of opinion.
The relationship between consensual sadomasochism, often called BDSM, and sex is a vexed one. In an article on BDSM published in the Hartford Advocate earlier this year, some practitioners were at pains to explain that at its core, flogging, binding, wax play, role-playing, humiliation, and the whole range of BDSM activities are intended to create intimate connections between the participants, and not necessarily sexual ones ("Slaves and Masters," July 21). At the same time, they admitted that BDSM sometimes involved sex.
"I have an opinion that's not popular among a lot of BDSMers," Dr. Gloria Brame said in an interview last week. Brame, an Athens, Georgia, clinical sexologist, is an S&M advocate and author of the book A Different Kind of Loving . "I say it's sex, and the hell with it. I say nobody is going to pay to go somewhere if they're not going to get turned on. They're paying to get turned on."
Brame said in an ideal world, consenting adults could have sex or perform BDSM or engage in whatever combination they like, without having to worry about police raids. But she also said that someone who has a business like Silva's has to be aware that things get tricky when the clothes come off, and it's smart to check everything with your lawyer, well before the cops come knocking.
[polybi's take: As we grouse about Tribe taking away our dirty pictures to keep Toyota happy, We can't forget the real villians here, the perverted Xians who have made it thier business to turn us all over to thier idea of what Christ is, whether we want to or not. This IS a holy war, and thier idea of victory is all of us capitualating as neuters, bonded in manufactured shame, wearing our own mental burkahs, and screaming Praise God at the top of our lungs, while we hand over our rights, our sexuality, ourselves to these bastards with a pink bow on top. The only way this can be stopped is if we stopped them ourselves. This year, opportunities abound. Take advantage of them.]