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September 21, 2003

Ohio man released pending appeal in “obscene” journal case
Posted by Teresa at 09:51 PM *

On the parole arguement there a whole other arguement about the nature/dangers of probation.
me I’m deeply ambivilant about it on one hand it does seem to work moderately well (work defined as keeping people out of prison)where prison is crap Utilatarian-benifit-wise. On the other there is an element rethe libedrtarian in me (Note the lower case ‘l’) it doesn’t sit well on my stomach. More or less explicitly we’re taliking about trying to ‘mould charcter’. Which at the very least needs to be limited to those aspects of the perp which violate other people’s real interests (A Forterie NOT including upseting theiir feelings). Have heard a few horror stories 3rd and 4th hand. Maybe its paranoid of me to think that its a 50-50 bet as to wether if I’m unfortionate enuf to get under his tender administrations my PO will demaND I dumpster my SF collection or burn my kinky Magazine collection

Comments on Ohio man released pending appeal in "obscene" journal case:
#1 ::: Tempest ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2003, 10:27 PM:

Wow, Ann even figured out a way to work communism into her piece. That's impressive. My favorite part is this: "If Dalton's journal was intended solely for his own individual pleasure, it's not apparent why it should have any greater constitutional significance than a blow-up doll."

Too true. It's also not apparent why it should be any more illegal than a blow-up doll. And people wonder why I hang my head in shame when I say I'm from Ohio.

#2 ::: Scott Lynch ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2003, 10:40 PM:

That's odd. "Don't these idiots realize that the states can do whatever they want, whenever they want, unless specificially forbidden to do so by the Constitution?" doesn't strike me as a sentiment that a genuine conservative would gleefully express.

Also, according to Coulter, private journals and diaries don't qualify as "protected speech" under the First Amendment, *regardless* of whether or not they contain "obscene" passages. That, too, doesn't strike me as a particularly conservative remark.

I don't mean to shimmy away from your main topic, Teresa. I just wanted to say that Ann Coulter is shithouse nuts. She wants to shoot rational discourse in the head, fuck the corpse, and then stick the liberals with the bill for the funeral.

#3 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2003, 10:58 PM:

That sounds about right.

#4 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 02:26 AM:

Been thinking about this a lot this evening, and I'm wondering -- am I weird in thinking the primary _constitutional_ issue here may be the definition of "unreasonable search and seizure"? It appears from T's links that the parents turned this journal in, but there's still in my mind a question whether it was *reasonable* for the police and courts to act on evidence obtained in this way. Especially when there's no indication that the defendent intended to _act_ on what he was writing.

The question of what constitutes "reasonable search" is obviously a big one -- there are lots of Supreme Court cases dealing with it. Does this fall there as well, or am I just engaging in _pilpul_?

Cheers,
Tom

#5 ::: Simon ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 02:50 AM:

According to the article linked to by the phrase "the case in more detail,"

"Dalton, who was on probation from a 1998 pandering conviction involving pornographic photographs of children, was charged after his probation officer found the journal during a routine search of his home."

If accurate, that answers the question of how the journal was discovered. How the question of unconstitutional search & seizure applies to this is a matter worth considering.

The same article quotes a spokesman from the National Coalition Against Censorship as saying,

"If you're going to use this kind of logic in prosecuting people," he said, "that means that any person who writes something in a fictional manner about breaking the law could be breaking the law."

Crime and mystery writers, line up. So the conversation I'm now waiting for is the one that goes:
A. "That's ridiculous. They'd never arrest mystery writers for this."
B. "Why not? What's the difference?"
A. "Common sense!"
B. "When have overzealous cops & prosecutors ever shown common sense?"

#6 ::: Richard Parker ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 03:32 AM:

Tom,

Disregarding whether it was reasonable for Mr. Dalton to be charged for what he wrote in his journal, it does appear that the search was legal. One of the links mentions that Mr. Dalton was under probation at the time the police acquired his journal. Just like serving time in prison necessarily restricts a convict's rights, a sentence of probation can also include terms that limit a convict's rights. It is not uncommon for one of the conditions of probation to be that the probationer must agree to submit to search without warrant of his person, property, residence, vehicle and personal effects.

#7 ::: Scifantasy ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 04:39 AM:

I doubt that you'll get anyone to show up here and defend the prosecution of thoughtcrime. But that's only because they wouldn't come here at all. They've probably already tried you in absentia and judged you guilty.

Sometimes I wonder about society, and I'm scared. And other times I know for a fact, and I'm even more scared.

#8 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 07:41 AM:

At moments like that, Scifantasy, it's well to remember that they released him on appeal after he pled guilty. Fear beyond cause is one of the bad guys' most effective mechanisms of control.

#9 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 08:46 AM:

It's a deeply disturbing case. It looks like
it could have made sense, but it doesn't,
quite. When I first read about it, Dalton was
described as being probation for another
offense. The articles TNH points to don't even
mention the probation.

It's perfectly legal, and even makes sense,
that the activities of a person on probation
be more restricted than others. But if
someone on probation has a curfew, or isn't
allowed to drink alcohol, the probation officer
usually tells him so up front, rather than just
prosecuting him vigorously under some
apparently-unrelated law after he stumbles over
the restriction.) And when the guy's parents
find his diary and give it to his probation
officer...I don't blame the probation officer
for excess zeal in searching.

Though I think a BETTER probation officer would
not have taken the matter to court. Read it,
sure. Inquire enough to be reasonably certain
it's pure fiction, with no connection to
reality or planning for the future. Maybe add
conditions to the probation about therapy, or
about child-avoidance. Does that require
prosecution? I didn't think so, but I'm far
from expert.

#10 ::: TL Hines ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 09:05 AM:

I think we have to consider extenuating circumstances in this case. Dalton was on probation for a previous "pandering conviction involving pornographic photographs of children." The existence of this journal indicates his proclivities haven't changed.

Would this journal raise my eyebrows if I were Mr. Dalton's Probation Officer? Yes. Would this journal make me want to charge Mr. Dalton with something to get him behind bars if I were the State of Ohio? Well, I'm not the State of Ohio, but I think you see my point. The particular conduct in this instance (journaling private thoughts) didn't create the case; the underlying pattern of behavior--the bigger picture--did.

If a man with no previous child porn convictions had written this journal, I'm sure he wouldn't have generated the attention--or the trial.

#11 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 10:01 AM:

Mr. Hines, we don't jail people for what they think.

We don't yet have the knack of changing people's sexual orientation. I could wish Mr. Dalton had a different one. He may or may not wish the same thing. I've seen no reports that he's ever done anything other than fantasize about it.

There are some very nice people out there whose preferred sexual fantasies would curl your hair. The biggest difference between them and the state of Ohio is that most of them are perfectly capable of distinguishing between sexual fantasies and actions in the real world.

I don't know whether Brian Dalton is clear on that distinction. If he isn't, he needs to learn it. Forbidding him to have the fantasies he does is not going to make them go away. And forbidding him to think about those fantasies in any objective way -- writing them down being a good technique for doing that -- is not going to help him understand that point.

#12 ::: Kellie ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 11:07 AM:

Forbidding him to have the fantasies he does is not going to make them go away. And forbidding him to think about those fantasies in any objective way -- writing them down being a good technique for doing that -- is not going to help him understand that point.

And this is the real issue about this case, if you ask me. The First Amendment thing seems somewhat peripheral. The heart of the matter gets to sexual definitions. And that's an area that society seems to keep floundering on. So we'll keep avoiding the real issue and treading nearer the lines of policing thought until we can get it through our thick skulls that, while we all have sexuality in common, it's not going to be the same.

#13 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 12:09 PM:

Although widely differing in the particulars, this case reminds me slightly of the Mike Diana case, one of the cases that the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has really focused on, which ended with him being sentenced to not pick up a pencil and paper and draw anything that the judge might possibly consider obscene. While I am no fan of Diana's work, I remember how shocked I was when I read that. I draw and write plenty of things that I know people wish I wouldn't. Having to tailor my innermost thoughts or my artistic impulses to somebody else's notion of propriety and obscenity makes me shiver.

(My own mother complained about the nudity in one of my paintings and called it pornographic despite the fact that there was no evidence of sexual activity, and really not a lot going on besides a naked girl with scaly wings standing around in a cave. But then mothers are like that...sometimes.)

I do agree somewhat that the pattern of past behaviour does justify some reaction from somebody somewhere (perhaps a therapist)--but I'm REALLY NOT sure that the State of Ohio is that somebody or has the right to judge a private journal. In fact, I think that private journals should be regarded as protected free speech. (What crack is Ann Coulter on anyway? The constitution doesn't guarantee only public speech is free.)

#14 ::: Jeff Crook ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 12:35 PM:

I guess I'd better throw away my Fritz Leiber novels.

The Mouser did have a thing for waif-like girls who might or might not meet the current definition of legal age.

#15 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 12:57 PM:

Possibly also related is this story: http://www.msnbc.com/news/958696.asp

Creative Writing?or Criminal Act?
An Oklahoma high-school student says his violent short story was fiction. Local prosecutors called it a felony...

I'd hate to have to answer for the various crimes that various of my characters have committed in various of my novels. Do you have any idea what the penalty for piracy on the high seas is?

#16 ::: TL Hines ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 01:10 PM:

Mr. Hines, we don't jail people for what they think.
I'm not claiming that we do, or that we should. I'm merely suggesting Mr. Dalton's past actions had a bearing on this case. He wasn't brought to trial merely for keeping this journal, but for showing a pattern of behavior. Does that mean the State of Ohio was "right" or "justified" for filing charges? That's a different debate.

I've seen no reports that he's ever done anything other than fantasize about it.
If I understand the case correctly, Mr. Dalton had a previous conviction related to child pornography, although the exact details are somewhat fuzzy.

And forbidding him to think about those fantasies in any objective way -- writing them down being a good technique for doing that -- is not going to help him understand that point.
I agree with this totally. I'm not trying to defend what the State of Ohio has done in this case; I'm merely pointing out some of the gray areas. Indeed, I think we might argue that writing his fantasies may have some therapeutic value, and prevent him from acting them out in person.

#17 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 01:10 PM:

Cripes. Raise your hand if, during high school, you wrote something for your own amusement that could get you busted under that law. I know I did.

Does this bllsht make anyone safer?

#18 ::: Kellie ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 01:22 PM:

Does this bllsht make anyone safer?

No, but I bet it makes a few groups of people feel safer. Until someone comes knocking on their doors to read their private musings, of course.

#19 ::: Adam Rice ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 01:53 PM:

My favorite is Anne's hed, a classic of unintended irony:
"Disgusting Doesn92t Make It 93Speech94
She oughta know.

#20 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 03:32 PM:

Jeff: Forget Fritz Lieber....what's going to happen to my Piers Anthony books. (Many of which have themes regarding underage sex and the nature of consensual relationships--like the Bio of a Space Tyrant series or the end of the Incarnations of Immortality.)

Cripes. Raise your hand if, during high school, you wrote something for your own amusement that could get you busted under that law. I know I did.

Teresa: In high school biology, I drew the ongoing adventures of a little stick person called Suicide Sam, who used to try and kill himself in as many ways as humanly possible. I'm sure I'd so get in trouble for that these days. (Or for carting a fetus around the halls of the school. I bet they won't let me do THAT anymore.)

No, but I bet it makes a few groups of people feel safer. Until someone comes knocking on their doors to read their private musings, of course.

Kellie: Actually I bet those few groups of people just wanted to get their hands on everybody else's fantasies and have a good excuse to have it as their reading material. "What's this? Oh, yes, this. I was reading this piece of obscenity to determine how it's undermining the public's morals. Yeah....that's it."

#21 ::: Jeff Crook ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 04:33 PM:

But I can't forget Fritz Leiber.

Did I ever write anything in high school... hell, I've got stuff out right now that could get me arrested in Ohio, apparently. I've never thought of myself as a Jim Morrison type, but apparently I'm going to have to start paying attention to latest obscenity rulings of the various states before visiting or traveling through them.

That's me, outlaw fantasy writer, with my dusty blue jeans and a laptop slung across my back.

#22 ::: Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 06:16 PM:

One job that British police officers are assigned to is looking at child pornography and hanging out in Internet chat rooms looking for people who are exchanging images of children. Apparently, no officer can be assigned to this job for more than six months, because there is fear that the officers will be "turned": will start to find child pornography normal.

I would imagine that paedophilia is like any other form of sexuality in that it's a sliding scale: some people are overwhelmingly attracted to children and only to children, more have the capacity to be sexually attracted to children, and some could not find children sexually attractive under any circumstances whatsoever. And I also believe that most people who fall into the middle group would never act on whatever feelings they have, and that even in the first group, a paedophile does not necessarily have to be a child molester.(For the purposes of this discussion, I'm defining paedophilia as sexual attraction to children: child molestation as the actual act.)

For police officers falling into the third group, they could presumably look at child pornography for fifteen years and never be "turned". One regrettable fact is, though, that a police officer who falls into the middle group, who ought to be able to go to his superior officer and say "You have to get me off this assignment, I'm having feelings I don't want to have" would never risk doing so, so long as we confuse paedophilia with child molestation. (A police officer who discovered he was an alcoholic could certainly get himself taken off the roster for the job of hanging out in pubs to stop illegal drinking...)

In writing this I may be committing thoughtcrime. But it seems to me that there's a vast difference between rape fantasy and actually being a rapist: and the same difference lies between feeling a sexual attraction to children, and acting on it.

#23 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 08:53 PM:

I'm committing thoughtcrime right now.

#24 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2003, 10:35 PM:

Yes. Certainly. And we'll never know what thoughts Lewis Carroll was staving off when he'd lie awake, insomniac, determinedly thinking about mathematics. What we do know is that he never hurt anyone.

Consider one of the more popular kinks. Rape fantasies of one sort or another are incredibly common, like a verb with thousands of different inflections. I've never seen nor heard nor heard tell of one that could be mistaken for the actual experience. Rape fantasies are about other things, sometimes several other things at once.

Some people's fantasies are physically impossible. Others, if you saw them as a movie, detached from their creators' reactions to them, you'd be hard put to identify as sex at all.

We know that some people are desperately unhappy to have the fantasies and attractions that they do. They'd change them in a minute if they could. Many put a lot of work into believing that they can change them, or have changed them. Some of them may even be right. Someone who's naturally attracted to a broad bisexual spectrum can concentrate on one end of it and determinedly ignore the other end. The possibility's still going to be there, but they can ignore it and have a reasonably sane life. Others, like people who are more or less exclusively gay, have to bend themselves way out of shape.

Then there's all the weirdness around feet. And straight men who like putting on women's clothing. And the thousand thousand games of exchange of power and control. And the people whose wiring connects arousal with being flogged. (None of which, by my reckoning, is over the border into "truly weird." Pure vanilla is rarer than you'd think.) It's hard to say how much of that stuff is learned, how much is negotiable, and how much is set in stone. It appears that some guys who are into feet have been that way since their first sexual stirring, and have consistently been that way ever since.

Some behavior is definitely learned. If it weren't, the Japanese would have more of a thing for Victorian undergarments, westerners would understand what the hell it is with the octopus, and straights would get Judy Garland. It's undeniably true that for centuries, Chinese male sexuality was focused on women's tiny bound feet, and equally undeniable that that is no longer true. During the first half of the twentieth century, perfume (smelled, not worn) was a big turn-on for American men. Some of them still like it, but few of them like it the way they used to. And having a thing for rubber or latex clothing goes back no earlier than the invention of same.

My rough working theory is that style is mutable, content less so. What changes are the ways things are expressed sexually. Fads in being gay come and go. Being gay is pretty much immutable: some people just are.

And then there's paedophilia. The trouble there is that some varieties are unacceptable no matter how they're expressed. Having a thing for teens can be sort of finessed. Having a thing for little kids can't. Paedophilia has the usual range of variability, from "situationally imaginable under severe stress" to "exclusive orientation." A person with an exclusive thing for little kids has no acceptable form of sexual expression except for fantasies and masturbation.

Some people who have seriously unacceptable sexual impulses have opted for chemical castration. That's their choice, and we can't take it from them, but we can't make it for them, either.

I don't know the exact nature and nuances of Mr. Dalton's psyche, where he falls in the overall scheme of things. What I do know is that nothing short of murdering or mutilating him is going to forestall whatever sexual impulses he has. I don't doubt that most people would find a detailed recounting of his fantasies frightening and repellent. That's not the point. The real question is whether he can be trusted to behave himself in a safe and civilized fashion.

But then, that's the same rule that all of us live under: Not what's in our heads, but what we do about it.

#25 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 01:39 AM:

I thought I was a man of the world, but I gotta ask: "what the hell it is with the octopus"?

Generally speaking, that is.

#26 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 02:27 AM:

I'm not going to explain it. I'm not sure I could if I tried. Go to Google and search on hentai plus tentacle. You're sure to find something.

#27 ::: Sue Mason ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 08:19 AM:

What I love about the octopus thing, is that it predates all the tentacle anime and manga by centuries.

Sue (who has slash on her hard drive which would send the thought police and/or her mother into connuptions).

#28 ::: Kellie ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 10:36 AM:

Picus wrote: Actually I bet those few groups of people just wanted to get their hands on everybody else's fantasies and have a good excuse to have it as their reading material. "What's this? Oh, yes, this. I was reading this piece of obscenity to determine how it's undermining the public's orals. Yeah....that's it."

Wow, I wouldn't think "they" could think so fast on their feet. Maybe they have a manual or guidebook somewhere. The Handbook for Denying, Ignoring, and Hiding the Parts of Your Humanity that a Select Few Find Offensive or something.

Teresa wrote: But then, that's the same rule that all of us live under: Not what's in our heads, but what we do about it.

You know, I'm beginning to think I prefer the Privacy Police to the Thought Police. At least the former are just trying to get into my bedroom, not my head. Wait, strike that. The Privacy Police are only trying to get into my bedroom because they know it's easier than trying to get into my head. And once they get into my bedroom, they'll likely morph into the Thought Police. Can we press a "reset" button on our government?

#29 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 10:44 AM:

Kellie, I think Piscus meant that humorously.

#30 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 10:48 AM:

I do find it a bit odd that the fact that this man was on parole doesn't play a part in the proceedings. (which is to say, he was in prison in all but location - he can't vote, can't leave the state without permission, and is, as noted earlier, subject to arbitrary search)

In fact, I could easily see keeping a journal such as this a parole violation - I wouldn't like it necessarily, but somewhat arbitrary parole restrictions (e.g. "no computer access for you") are routine. Also, it is certainly legally acceptable to use a journal such as this to prevent someone from being granted parole. (e.g. if it had been found in his prison cell, bringing it up at the next parole board meeting would certainly be appropriate)

But no one's talking like that. No one (prosecutors included) is making the restricted-rights-of-prisoners argument. And this, really, is the problem. Both sides are arguing that the case has nothing to do with this man's past convictions or his parole status. Why there should now be any argument - why the prosecutors should even bother to file the motions at this point - is beyond me. My prediction? The USSC will deny cert. by same-day return mail. Were the prosecution arguing parole violation, that would be a different matter.

Now, how long do you think it will take for the Ohio legislature to draft a law making it an additional crime to write naughty stories while on parole for a kiddie porn conviction? (actions which are crimes only when done by certain classes of parolees are not without precedent; consider the owning of a firearm) Such a law might actually pass constitutional muster and, perhaps more importantly, I doubt that the ACLU would spend nearly as much time and effort fighting it.

#31 ::: Kellie ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 11:01 AM:

Teresa, I hope he was, because I laughed at the comment. I meant my comment to him humorously as well. I should've slipped in an "/drywit" as my brand of sarcasm has been misunderstood already this week. Either that or I'm just missing my mark. Maybe I should spend an evening watching Looney Tunes to reconnect? :)

#32 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 11:22 AM:

Kellie and Teresa: Piscus did in fact mean that humourously. :)

Although it has been my experience that a lot of outrage often is intended disguising one's own prurient interests--sometimes I see these people outraged over this or that "offense" to public decency and I hear echoes of "methinks the lady doth protest too much."

Daniel: I think you are right in that IF it was a parole violation that nobody is really focusing on that. Nothing about the terms of his parole have come up, which would lead me to believe that the chances are good that no such limitations were placed on his parole. Instead they are approaching it as thought crime, and trying to say that writing down scenarios such as this constitutes child pornography.

Random aside to Kellie: PiscusFiche is a member of the XX chromosomal sorority. :) Not a he. (It's kinda funny though, cuz I do get that a lot--recently the Live Journal Gender Tool said that my writing style was 56% masculine.)

#33 ::: Kellie ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 11:33 AM:

Picus, I think that's the fifth time I've made that mistake this month. You'd think I'd learn something from all those gaffes by now....

#34 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2003, 04:18 PM:

I mean this humorously. I wish to stress this point. So humorously, in fact, that I won't even say what it is. I shall trust that when you read that I intend it humorously, you'll simply laugh heartily, and I can leave it at that.

#35 ::: DM SHERWOOD ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2003, 06:20 AM:

James D Macdonald
re Piracy
Tecnically they can still hang you for that in the UK

#36 ::: DM SHERWOOD ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2003, 06:37 AM:

There's a lot of magical thinking going on re child molesting(apologies for the casual insult to Pagans).
What we need is a lot of Cold facts spec. does letting paedophiles indulge in fantasys swap pornagrphic drawings of kiddies (a)inflame them & lead to actuality (b) bleed off sexual energy and sublime the urge (c) neither just lead to masterbation and a bit more fun in their lives.
Prima facie and basing it on my own fantasys (which , he defensively stated, are stricly conventional in this context)I'd say the overwhelming liklyhood is (c) but what we need is hard data from people who've worked with these folk. -it won't be easy to get good quality info "If the Rising of the Sun Tommorrow should become the subject of Political Debate. It would at once become dubious" Samual Johnson
It should be too obvious to need saying that the 'Ugh' factor is irelevant Civil rights hacve nothing to do with wanting to have these guys over for for a few brews and to chill out watching the last episode of BUFFY.

#37 ::: DM SHERWOOD ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2003, 07:41 AM:

On the parole arguement there a whole other arguement about the nature/dangers of probation.
me I'm deeply ambivilant about it on one hand it does seem to work moderately well (work defined as keeping people out of prison)where prison is crap Utilatarian-benifit-wise. On the other there is an element rethe libedrtarian in me (Note the lower case 'l') it doesn't sit well on my stomach. More or less explicitly we're taliking about trying to 'mould charcter'. Which at the very least needs to be limited to those aspects of the perp which violate other people's real interests (A Forterie NOT including upseting theiir feelings). Have heard a few horror stories 3rd and 4th hand. Maybe its paranoid of me to think that its a 50-50 bet as to wether if I'm unfortionate enuf to get under his tender administrations my PO will demaND I dumpster my SF collection or burn my kinky Magazine collection

#38 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2003, 10:09 AM:

The argument against photographic "kiddie porn" is that, of necessity, a real live kiddie or two was harmed in its making.

#39 ::: Dylan O'Donnell ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2003, 11:18 AM:

DM Sherwood: England and Wales's death penalty for piracy on the high seas (and for treason) was abolished by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. (It had been abolished in Scottish law much earlier.)

#40 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2003, 01:04 PM:

Kip: I laughed.

#41 ::: Kellie ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2003, 03:12 PM:

Picus: But did you laugh heartily?

#42 ::: Rivka Wald ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2003, 05:21 PM:

A comment seems to have replaced your main post.

#43 ::: Dave Kuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: September 25, 2003, 12:21 PM:

If they read my book, Will Fight Evil For Food, just released by Double Dragon Publishing in Ohio, I may be in serious trouble with the thought police.

Oh, what the heck, I still had fun writing it! ;)

#44 ::: DM SHERWOOD ::: (view all by) ::: September 26, 2003, 07:21 AM:

To: Dylan O'Donnell
re Piracy on the High Seas
Ooops Pardon
Mike

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