April 07, 2004

War on Pr0n In this field office in Washington, 32 prosecutors, investigators and a handful of FBI agents are spending millions of dollars to bring anti-obscenity cases to courthouses across the country for the first time in 10 years. Nothing is off limits, they warn, even soft-core cable programs such as HBO's long-running Real Sex or the adult movies widely offered in guestrooms of major hotel chains. (via slashdot)

Alright. This bugs me beyond reason (I'm not American). What will it take for these people to learn the difference between protesting materials they personally deem offensive and (ab)using state powers to censor them?

  • "Everyone's concerned," Flynt said in an interview. "We deal in plain old vanilla sex. Nothing really outrageous. But who knows, they may want a big target like myself." I can't find the link, because Gannett papers tend to take their online stories down after a week, but Larry Flynt's $5 million Hudson River mansion is up for sale because he didn't keep up with payments. Ashcroft doesn't even need to bother with taking Flynt down, internet pr0n is doing it for him. Anyhow, Ashcroft is certifiably insane. This stuff makes me sick. Any lawyers on MoFi wanna weigh in on the ramifications of a potential Ashcroftian victory over pr0nographers?
  • WTF!!!! Don't they have better things to do with their time? Aren't there actual criminals out there that need to be like, you know, arrested or something? I swear I'm going to get a major ulcer if I read much more about anything that Ashcroft is involved with. Assholes.
  • Ashcroft = the new McCarthy.
  • Darshon: The problem with Ashcroft and people like him is that they're more interested in the hereafter than the here and now. If you are raped and murdered that's no biggy in the worldview of someone who's main concern is eternal life. Ashcroft probably considers this kind of work a damn sight more importantly than temporal crime like muggings and rapes. This is stuff that can, in his worldview, darken the soul; it's the difference been salvation and damnation; between eternal life and eternal hellfire. In a similar vein, you do know that "Kill them all, God will know his own" originated with a Bishop, right? He was quite serious.
  • Welcome to Gilead. Here's your handmaid.
  • "...a religious man who does not drink alcohol or caffeine, smoke, gamble or dance..." John Ashcroft = Reverend Shaw Moore
  • Don't you see, this is a tactic to defeat the terrorists. Once we get rid of the fallen women we can then move on to getting rid of homosexuals, thus giving the terrorists no reason to attack us and paving the way for the second coming of our Lord and Savior. It will also jumpstart our economy by lifting the curse of heaven from our depraved land. Hallelujah! Please send your donations to 1-800-GOD'S-USA.
  • Ashcroft doesn't deal with rapes and murders, that's the local cops' job. Not that I disagree with your point. In any event, has anyone considered the possibility that (a) Ashcroft is not a total wingnut, but an experienced, savvy politician, who (b) says and does wingnut things *because* it gets his philosophical opponents' panties in a wedge which (c) amuses him and (d) helps keep the spotlight and outrage off his boss? Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, said the Great and Powerful Oz. He nearly said as much in an interview for GQ last year. You might not agree with him, and you might (as I do) see this (rather candyassed, imo, in light of its prevalance on the net) attack on pr0n as an exercise in futility, but I would venture caution as to dubbing him a psycho. He was an Senator for several years, is politically savvy, is not stupid, and has lots of friends and connections in Washington. Yes, he lost an election to a dead man - a well-loved centrist governor who died with his son in a tragic accident mere weeks before the election, whose bereaved widow was generally acknowledged to be the appointee if he won. But remember, he won several elections before that. [good profile here] More importantly though, he is a deeply religious man, with all that entails. Honestly, I'm surprised that he hadn't done this sooner. Keep in mind though, that the fact he is attacking pornography does not mean that he will eliminate pornographjy. It has been tried before, and Persian Kitty yet stands astride the 'net. Call me an optimist, but I don't think Spectravision is going to be removed from hotel television systems anytime soon. Now, if only Ashcroft would lobby for movie-title-free billing receipts...
  • should we try and prosecute ashcroft on obscenity charges? i mean, every time he does a press conference on TV, all i see is one giant dick.
  • /tips frogs $5
  • A high school in my hometown was notorious for teaching students that dancing led to pregnancy, Dr. Moxie. If a student was ever caught dancing, in or out of school, they'd be suspended. I once got a friend put in detention for an afternoon (she got caught watching me tap-dance in a public place).
  • You know why Baptists don't have sex standing up? Someone might think they're dancing. Thanks folks, I'll be here all week.
  • oh cmon!
  • babywannasofa, that is one of the saddest anti-dance stories I have heard. If tap dancing in public is a detention worthy offence than I shudder to think what might happen if DDR comes to town, though it might just have already.
  • Did Bigger, Longer, and Uncut teach us nothing?! The whole "Boobies are bad but graphic violence is ok!" paradigm in this country is starting to wear me down.
  • the fact he is attacking pornography does not mean that he will eliminate pornographjy I agree, as I must. Otherwise thw world would be to bleak a place for me. Ashcroft does seem to have political savvy and powerful friends aplenty, though that just makes him an *effective* psycho in my eyes.
  • See what that psycho made me do? thw = the, to = too. I blame all my typos on the Bush administration.
  • In an alternate universe, Mel Gibson has just released "The Passion of the Christ" where Jesus' last 16 hours are filled with hard-core graphic sex. He ascends to heaven after receiving the last blows. The movie is tops at the box office and crowds leave the theatre happy. to Kimberly's point that is. kenshin they don't care about that either.
  • In petebest's alternate universe, instead of sending troops to Irak, the United States sends an army of lap-dancers and prostitutes. Ron Jeremy would be commander in general during the invasion. Come to think about it, it may have worked.
  • And who here wouldn't rather live in petebest's universe?
  • Operation Desert Straddle
  • Objective: To find and neutralize Weapons of Ass Destruction.
  • Parachuting pole dancers. It'd be brilliant.
  • I blogged about this yesterday. I found an interesting article about Ashcroft barring a gay rights event that was organized by Justice Department employees.
    But conservative groups opposed to gay rights rallied to Mr. Ashcroft's defense, over a matter that has renewed questions concerning his stand on homosexuality. Sandy Rios, president of a conservative Christian group, Concerned Women for America, said that "homosexuality is immoral" and that she was grateful that Mr. Ashcroft had taken such a "courageous step to stand against the pressure of the politically correct elite."
    From the Vanity Fair article.
    Some 15 years ago, Missouri state senator Harry Wiggins, a Democrat and the spokesman for a bipartisan group trying to get funding restored for a Kansas City home for AIDS patients, met with Ashcroft in the governor's mansion. The Good Samaritan home, as it was then called, had received a $900,000 state grant, but, says Wiggins, "Governor Ashcroft vetoed it. I think twice." Wiggins tried to explain the home's purpose. "This is a place they go, Governor, but they don't come back," he began. "Many of them, their families have rejected them." "I understand. You got my attention," Ashcroft said with interest. "This is the place where it is cheapest for me to send them to die." "Governor, these are human beings who have to have a place to live," protested Wiggins, "or they'll live in boxes under bridges." Wiggins remembers Ashcroft's reply: "Well, they're there because of their own misconduct, and it wasn't very reputable misconduct, either." Wiggins was puzzled. "When does misconduct become reputable? When disreputable?" "That's beside the point," snapped Ashcroft.
  • Arghh! As much as I dislike commenting on political threads (except for making Ron Jeremy jokes), I have to say I wanna kick Ashcroft in the nuts with all my heart.
  • Yes, that's the kind of comments I dislike to do.
  • Fes; Bush, I could believe it of. I can see his whole religous conversion being a load of bunk. Hell, in some ways, I'd be happier if it was, since it would just leave me thinking the US is currently run by an extremely venal, self interested man. You can reason with that flavour of evil, just like you could reason with Thatcher or Andropov. I suspect he really does believe he speaks with God, and that scares me as much as Regan did. Pretty much everything I've ever seen about Ashcroft, though, suggests that he really does indeed believe in a very Puritan, Pauline version of Christianity. A few hundred years ago in England and he would have been smashing up great artworks of England because he thought they were idolatary. A few more and he'd have been burning the books of the Mayans as heresy. Back a little further and he'd be one of the Romans destorying the treasures of antiquity as Pagan. That's the impression I'm firmly left with.
  • No matter when or where you put a guy like that, he would still be 100% pure unadulterated asshole. There's a very special spot in Hell for people like him.
  • No matter when or where you put a guy like that, he would still be 100% pure unadulterated asshole. There's a very special spot in Hell for people like him. My fear is that there's a special spot in Heaven for people like him.
  • Volokh has some predictions.