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Monday, May 19, 2008

The End of Free Speech

From this morning:

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court upheld criminal penalties Monday for promoting
child pornography.

The court, in a 7-2 decision, brushed aside concerns that the law could
apply to mainstream movies that depict adolescent sex, classic literature or
innocent e-mails that describe pictures of grandchildren.

The ruling upheld part of a 2003 law that also prohibits possession of
child porn. It replaced an earlier law against child pornography that the court
struck down as unconstitutional.

The law sets a five-year mandatory prison term for promoting, or
pandering, child porn. It does not require that someone actually possess child


Let me see if I get this straight. I can be put in jail, not for having a picture that might not be up to "community standards," but for "promoting" or "pandering" "kiddie porn?"

Define promoting.

Yeah, I know...if I stand in the public square and say "Kiddie stuff for sale!," that is promoting. But if I say that I really don't care what you watch in the privacy of your own home, is that promoting on a de facto basis?

Define pandering.

Webster defines as such:

1. To act as a go-between or liaison in sexual intrigues; function as a procurer.
2. To cater to the lower tastes and desires of others or exploit their weaknesses

So I'm in trouble if I get it....or to cater to your lower tastes. Like, say writing fan fiction that places a certain 17-year-old cheerleader in a sexual situation with her 26 year old nemesis/lover, based on two characters of a TV show.

And who will define those to words as relating to, say, you?

Opponents have said the law could apply to movies like "Traffic" or "Titanic"
that depict adolescent sex.

The decision did not throw out that concern, the justices merely said, yeah, you can have kiddie porm, as long as the actors are Daniel Radcliffe amnd Abigail Breslin, and the movie is put out by MGM. Convieneint.

But Justice Antonin Scalia, in his opinion for the court, said the law does
not cover movie sex. There is no "possibility that virtual child pornography or
sex between youthful-looking adult actors might be covered by the term
'simulated sexual intercourse,'" Scalia said.
Likewise, Scalia said, First
Amendment protections do not apply to "offers to provide or requests to obtain
child pornography."

Justice David Souter, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dissented.
Souter said promotion of images that are not real children engaging in
pornography still could be the basis for prosecution under the law. Possession
of those images, on the other hand, may not be prosecuted, Souter said.

"I believe that maintaining the First Amendment protection of expression
we have previously held to cover fake child pornography requires a limit to the
law's criminalization of pandering proposals," Souter said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material
may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Liberty is taken away, not by the audacious, in-your-face move, but by the subtle foot-in-the-door, and the promise that I will go no further. A promise that is, almost always a lie.

What happened today is a prime example.

Forget the outdated, outmoded fear-thought pattern behind this. What the Supreme Court said, in no uncertain terms, is the speech is free, provided said speech is sanctioned by society and does not ruffle any feathers or challenge and any outmoded notions, like, say, the sexuality of humans must start after a certain age.....say 34.

By saying you could not "promote" certain things, but allowing similar things to be promoted, this may open up a Pandora's box where thought, itself, can be legislated. If it has not been already.

This is how the Bush Bench is operating. remember, the law was rightly discarded by the 2003 Supremes, but that was before Cheney and Company started gutting the place and installed their moral minions. Free speech and the rest of the constitution be damned, we will put this country on what we believe is a moral course whether the peons like it or not.

Among a lot of other things I can't say right now, this foot-in-the-door worries me. And because I can't say a lot, it speaks volumes about how much we have already lost.

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