Santorum vs. pornography

Rick Santorum has just lost the porn-lovers’ vote, probably dooming his candidacy:

Rick Santorum has a message for America’s smut merchants: Prepare for battle.

If elected, the GOP presidential candidate writes in a position paper widely circulated this week, he would order his attorney general to “vigorously enforce” existing laws that “prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier.”

“The Obama administration has turned a blind eye to those who wish to preserve our culture from the scourge of pornography and has refused to enforce obscenity laws,” he writes. “While the Obama Department of Justice seems to favor pornographers over children and families, that will change under a Santorum administration.” . . .

To be sure, plenty of Americans agree with Santorum that pornography erodes the country’s moral character, and his contention that “pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships” is shared by many.

Moreover, despite pornography’s ubiquity, there’s no reason US attorneys can’t step up prosecutions of people who flout anti-obscenity laws, especially against domestic purveyors. As recently as 2006 a federal jury found an Arizona company guilty of breaking obscenity laws for distributing hardcore pornography across state lines. The FBI announced 38 child pornography-related guilty verdicts or pleas this month alone.

“In most parts of the country, a lot of pornography on the Internet would plausibly be seen as obscene,” UCLA constitutional law professor Eugene Volokh told the Daily Caller, which publicized the overlooked Santorum position paper this week. “You can’t prosecute them all … but you can find certain types of pornography that are sufficiently unpopular” for easy convictions, he told the conservative news site.

via Rick Santorum vows to end ‘pandemic of pornography.’ Could he prevail? – CSMonitor.com.

Would this be good?  Shouldn’t the government at least enforce existing laws that have passed constitutional muster?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Mike

    It’s easy for a heterosexual male to feel he doesn’t have to worry about the social conservatives. Why should he care if gays can get married, or if women can easily use birth control or abortion? But he should ask himself how he would feel about him having a criminal record indicating that he has downloaded pornography. Imagine a job-questionnaire asking if you have downloaded pornography in the last 12 months. The stakes are potentially higher for him than even women, whom only need fly to another country for their abortion.

  • Mike

    It’s easy for a heterosexual male to feel he doesn’t have to worry about the social conservatives. Why should he care if gays can get married, or if women can easily use birth control or abortion? But he should ask himself how he would feel about him having a criminal record indicating that he has downloaded pornography. Imagine a job-questionnaire asking if you have downloaded pornography in the last 12 months. The stakes are potentially higher for him than even women, whom only need fly to another country for their abortion.

  • SKPeterson

    This must be the social conservative version of the nuclear option. Telling.

  • SKPeterson

    This must be the social conservative version of the nuclear option. Telling.

  • Joe

    “Shouldn’t the government at least enforce existing laws that have passed constitutional muster?”

    Its a matter of resources. There are some many things that are illegal in this country. You have to ask “do we want to prioritize pornography prosecutions over X?” These prosecutions are not cheap and there are only a finite amount of attorneys in the Justice Dept./US Attorneys offices. Every administration sends the US Attorneys a memo outline what they view as priorities and what they want to see prosecuted.

    If a Santorum admin sent a memo saying vigorously prosecute porn, the natural result will be that resources will be diverted from the investigation and prosecution of other crimes.

  • Joe

    “Shouldn’t the government at least enforce existing laws that have passed constitutional muster?”

    Its a matter of resources. There are some many things that are illegal in this country. You have to ask “do we want to prioritize pornography prosecutions over X?” These prosecutions are not cheap and there are only a finite amount of attorneys in the Justice Dept./US Attorneys offices. Every administration sends the US Attorneys a memo outline what they view as priorities and what they want to see prosecuted.

    If a Santorum admin sent a memo saying vigorously prosecute porn, the natural result will be that resources will be diverted from the investigation and prosecution of other crimes.

  • Trey

    It would be wise to enforce the law or else it demonstrates it merely is a paper tiger. The point of law is to curb destructive behavior, which affects not only oneself but one’s neighbor.

    @ Mike. Nice appeal to emotion. Oh those poor men are FORCED to go find porn else where. So men cannot control themselves. This is exactly the point of the law to civilize them.

  • Trey

    It would be wise to enforce the law or else it demonstrates it merely is a paper tiger. The point of law is to curb destructive behavior, which affects not only oneself but one’s neighbor.

    @ Mike. Nice appeal to emotion. Oh those poor men are FORCED to go find porn else where. So men cannot control themselves. This is exactly the point of the law to civilize them.

  • Tom Hering

    Hmm. There’s no mention of pornography being a Satanic attack on America. Does this mean Santorum now recognizes how our other enemies, the world and the flesh, can also be the cause of our nation’s ills? If so, it would indicate some theological growth on his part. Not much, but some.

  • Tom Hering

    Hmm. There’s no mention of pornography being a Satanic attack on America. Does this mean Santorum now recognizes how our other enemies, the world and the flesh, can also be the cause of our nation’s ills? If so, it would indicate some theological growth on his part. Not much, but some.

  • Cincinnatus

    Laws against pornography have in almost all cases been written and enforced at the local level (see Miller v. California: pornography itself is defined by “community standards,” not by a committee in Washington). Why would anyone wish for it to become yet another item on the federal agenda, with all the powers of intrusion that go with that?

    Of course, he’s just pandering. So we needn’t worry.

  • Cincinnatus

    Laws against pornography have in almost all cases been written and enforced at the local level (see Miller v. California: pornography itself is defined by “community standards,” not by a committee in Washington). Why would anyone wish for it to become yet another item on the federal agenda, with all the powers of intrusion that go with that?

    Of course, he’s just pandering. So we needn’t worry.

  • SKPeterson

    Cincinnatus – by your comments, you obviously support prostitution at the local mall and XXX-rated “theaters” across the streets from our schools, with non-stop porn available for download at the public library. Soon you will even oppose a constitutional amendment banning bestiality. Is there no end to your perfidy?

  • SKPeterson

    Cincinnatus – by your comments, you obviously support prostitution at the local mall and XXX-rated “theaters” across the streets from our schools, with non-stop porn available for download at the public library. Soon you will even oppose a constitutional amendment banning bestiality. Is there no end to your perfidy?

  • Cincinnatus

    Ron Paul has seduced and corrupted my soul, just as he will seduce and corrupt souls across America if he receives even one more vote!

  • Cincinnatus

    Ron Paul has seduced and corrupted my soul, just as he will seduce and corrupt souls across America if he receives even one more vote!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @7 Actually Cinci makes the better point that local communities do a better job of making life in community livable. Not too many days ago, some hysterical commenters were ranting about making churches pay property tax. Of course that doesn’t happen because of the natural instinct of NIMBY. Local people will tax themselves for on what they wish for what they wish like schools and fire depts. The federal government will tax us to waste 10 years and $1 trillion trying to subdue and civilize Afghanistan. Likewise, a big government fool like Santorum wants to be the Catholic Obama. I agree with Cinci, the state and local level is a better place for enforcement. They could cooperated with federal law enforcement, but federal laws are more likely to please no one.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @7 Actually Cinci makes the better point that local communities do a better job of making life in community livable. Not too many days ago, some hysterical commenters were ranting about making churches pay property tax. Of course that doesn’t happen because of the natural instinct of NIMBY. Local people will tax themselves for on what they wish for what they wish like schools and fire depts. The federal government will tax us to waste 10 years and $1 trillion trying to subdue and civilize Afghanistan. Likewise, a big government fool like Santorum wants to be the Catholic Obama. I agree with Cinci, the state and local level is a better place for enforcement. They could cooperated with federal law enforcement, but federal laws are more likely to please no one.

  • SKPeterson

    sg – You are wrong! We need more federal government intervention in our lives, not less! We need smaller government, so that we can have a more efficient government to enforce laws in our communities that we are not already enforcing enough. Because they need to have the force of FEDERAL law. Local governments cannot be trusted. You are not thinking of the children.

  • SKPeterson

    sg – You are wrong! We need more federal government intervention in our lives, not less! We need smaller government, so that we can have a more efficient government to enforce laws in our communities that we are not already enforcing enough. Because they need to have the force of FEDERAL law. Local governments cannot be trusted. You are not thinking of the children.

  • #4 Kitty

    So, does the viewing of porn lead to contraceptives? We all know how much harm that causes.

  • #4 Kitty

    So, does the viewing of porn lead to contraceptives? We all know how much harm that causes.

  • kerner

    Normally, I’m a pretty big fan of local enforcement of local laws. But can any of you Ron Paul fans explain how the government of Podunk Falls, West Virginia is going to regulate the distribution of porn on the internet?

    I, too, am disgusted by the expansion of federal government power under the ever expanding umbrella of the “commerse clause”. But isn’t the internet really an institution of true interstate commerse (for porn or otherwise)?

  • kerner

    Normally, I’m a pretty big fan of local enforcement of local laws. But can any of you Ron Paul fans explain how the government of Podunk Falls, West Virginia is going to regulate the distribution of porn on the internet?

    I, too, am disgusted by the expansion of federal government power under the ever expanding umbrella of the “commerse clause”. But isn’t the internet really an institution of true interstate commerse (for porn or otherwise)?

  • kerner

    I mean commerce. Argh.

  • kerner

    I mean commerce. Argh.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I highly doubt Mr. Santorum had the vote of the porn industry to begin with.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I highly doubt Mr. Santorum had the vote of the porn industry to begin with.

  • http://1minutedailyword.com Steve Martin

    What has happened in this country with respect to the size and authority of government, is a form of pornography.

    Didn’t Santorum drop out? I thought I saw something recently where he was telling people to vote for Romney?

    (that’s what I get for staying away from the news)

  • http://1minutedailyword.com Steve Martin

    What has happened in this country with respect to the size and authority of government, is a form of pornography.

    Didn’t Santorum drop out? I thought I saw something recently where he was telling people to vote for Romney?

    (that’s what I get for staying away from the news)

  • Joe

    Kerner – they same way they handle everything else. But you seem to forget that Podunk Falls is part of a state and that state can enforce or help Podunk Falls enforce a pornography law.

    But really, if the question of whether it is feasible at the local level is the divining criteria for whether the feds get to play – help us all from the ever intruding federal gov’t.

  • Joe

    Kerner – they same way they handle everything else. But you seem to forget that Podunk Falls is part of a state and that state can enforce or help Podunk Falls enforce a pornography law.

    But really, if the question of whether it is feasible at the local level is the divining criteria for whether the feds get to play – help us all from the ever intruding federal gov’t.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    Porno is a huge blight on our society. Joe makes a good point about resources. Seems we have bigger fish to boil. Don’t we?

    Santorum believes, teaches and confesses the ability of the law to curb wickedness. This is troubling to those of us who want limited government rather than a police state

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    Porno is a huge blight on our society. Joe makes a good point about resources. Seems we have bigger fish to boil. Don’t we?

    Santorum believes, teaches and confesses the ability of the law to curb wickedness. This is troubling to those of us who want limited government rather than a police state

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Is there a federal law on the books? I honestly don’t know.

    If there is a federal law on the books and it has not been struck down by the courts then it should be enforced. If it is not being enforced then the government is in violation of its vocation and those serving must be reprimanded or replaced with those who will do the work.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Is there a federal law on the books? I honestly don’t know.

    If there is a federal law on the books and it has not been struck down by the courts then it should be enforced. If it is not being enforced then the government is in violation of its vocation and those serving must be reprimanded or replaced with those who will do the work.

  • Joe

    Dr, L.21 – your analysis is a bit off the mark. First, pragmatically, define what it means to enforce a law. For sure, there are pornography prosecutions under the federal laws (making porn accessible to kids and failure too document that all “actors” are over 18 years old). How much enforcement is enough?

    Second, nothing about the vocation of the executive branch requires them to enforce every law the maximum extent possible. In a general sense, the executive branch is co-equal to the legislative branch and has the right to not determine where to devote its resources. Often this is not controversial. It is illegal to do many things. For example, in Wisconsin it is illegal for a restaurant to put margarine on their tables next to the butter – the customer has to ask for it. Please note, I am talking about not enforcing versus acting in direct opposition to an enacted law. The executive could not actively participate in the unfettered placement of margarine on tables.

    In the criminal justice world, this concept is called prosecutorial discretion – it has been a part of our criminal justice system since its inception. The prosecutor always has the final determination of whether or not to charge the person. And, the proper analysis is not limited to “did he do it?” A prosecutor is free to consider many factors – like is this a valuable use of my offices resources when making the decision.

  • Joe

    Dr, L.21 – your analysis is a bit off the mark. First, pragmatically, define what it means to enforce a law. For sure, there are pornography prosecutions under the federal laws (making porn accessible to kids and failure too document that all “actors” are over 18 years old). How much enforcement is enough?

    Second, nothing about the vocation of the executive branch requires them to enforce every law the maximum extent possible. In a general sense, the executive branch is co-equal to the legislative branch and has the right to not determine where to devote its resources. Often this is not controversial. It is illegal to do many things. For example, in Wisconsin it is illegal for a restaurant to put margarine on their tables next to the butter – the customer has to ask for it. Please note, I am talking about not enforcing versus acting in direct opposition to an enacted law. The executive could not actively participate in the unfettered placement of margarine on tables.

    In the criminal justice world, this concept is called prosecutorial discretion – it has been a part of our criminal justice system since its inception. The prosecutor always has the final determination of whether or not to charge the person. And, the proper analysis is not limited to “did he do it?” A prosecutor is free to consider many factors – like is this a valuable use of my offices resources when making the decision.

  • Steve Billingsley

    This isn’t a direct response to the “federal vs. local” aspect of this debate. Instead it is a link to a very good report to what pornography is all about and how it affects society. Well worth the read.

    http://www.internetsafety101.org/upload/file/Social%20Costs%20of%20Pornography%20Report.pdf

    My preference would be for local communities to do the lion’s share of the work (subsidiarity and federalism I do think are complimentary) – but the ubiquity of the internet does make that incredibly difficult. I don’t think there is an easy answer to this, it is weighing the cost of effective enforcement vs. limited government – I lean toward limited government in most arguments and I suppose I do in this one as well – but to pretend it is a simple and easy choice is a mistake.

  • Steve Billingsley

    This isn’t a direct response to the “federal vs. local” aspect of this debate. Instead it is a link to a very good report to what pornography is all about and how it affects society. Well worth the read.

    http://www.internetsafety101.org/upload/file/Social%20Costs%20of%20Pornography%20Report.pdf

    My preference would be for local communities to do the lion’s share of the work (subsidiarity and federalism I do think are complimentary) – but the ubiquity of the internet does make that incredibly difficult. I don’t think there is an easy answer to this, it is weighing the cost of effective enforcement vs. limited government – I lean toward limited government in most arguments and I suppose I do in this one as well – but to pretend it is a simple and easy choice is a mistake.

  • Steve Billingsley

    The link isn’t working properly. I would try to access it directly through The Witherspoon Institute. Sorry for the bad link.

  • Steve Billingsley

    The link isn’t working properly. I would try to access it directly through The Witherspoon Institute. Sorry for the bad link.

  • DonS

    Porn on the Internet is clearly interstate commerce, and properly within the province of the federal government. Should we spend a lot of federal resources prosecuting porn purveying and possession, at the price of the federal government snooping on our private computers? My vote is no.

    However, I would like it if our government, especially our courts, would acknowledge that the First Amendment was passed to protect political and religious speech, and the free press, not pornography. I’m not saying that pornography isn’t speech, or is not entitled to some protection under the Free Speech clause, but let’s work on getting the government to stop interfering with our right to free political speech, including the right to form associations, including corporations in order to be able to purchase media so that our speech is actually heard. Citizens United was, without a doubt, rightly decided, yet those on the left who vilify that decision will fight for the rights of pornographers to the death.

  • DonS

    Porn on the Internet is clearly interstate commerce, and properly within the province of the federal government. Should we spend a lot of federal resources prosecuting porn purveying and possession, at the price of the federal government snooping on our private computers? My vote is no.

    However, I would like it if our government, especially our courts, would acknowledge that the First Amendment was passed to protect political and religious speech, and the free press, not pornography. I’m not saying that pornography isn’t speech, or is not entitled to some protection under the Free Speech clause, but let’s work on getting the government to stop interfering with our right to free political speech, including the right to form associations, including corporations in order to be able to purchase media so that our speech is actually heard. Citizens United was, without a doubt, rightly decided, yet those on the left who vilify that decision will fight for the rights of pornographers to the death.

  • Jonathan

    I’m with DonS.
    I want a small federal government, yet one not so small that it can’t regulate the sex lives of every one of my neighbors.

  • Jonathan

    I’m with DonS.
    I want a small federal government, yet one not so small that it can’t regulate the sex lives of every one of my neighbors.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#19 You are confusing human practice for their God given vocation. There is a difference. The God given vocation for those who serve in government is the enforcement of law without prejudice. All law breakers must face the weight of the law. If people are unwilling to prosecute according to the law, they should be removed.

    How much enforcement is required? It is nothing less then complete enforcement. By the law of the land if they have reasonable evidence that a crime is committed they should prosecute, not make excuses such as “it would be too expensive.”

    If they are finding laws too expensive enforce, they should probably begin asking have we made laws that really don’t need to be laws.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#19 You are confusing human practice for their God given vocation. There is a difference. The God given vocation for those who serve in government is the enforcement of law without prejudice. All law breakers must face the weight of the law. If people are unwilling to prosecute according to the law, they should be removed.

    How much enforcement is required? It is nothing less then complete enforcement. By the law of the land if they have reasonable evidence that a crime is committed they should prosecute, not make excuses such as “it would be too expensive.”

    If they are finding laws too expensive enforce, they should probably begin asking have we made laws that really don’t need to be laws.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If they are finding laws too expensive enforce, they should probably begin asking have we made laws that really don’t need to be laws.

    Laws against murder are difficult and expensive to enforce. Despite virtually always and in all places severely punished, murders continue. We have not eradicated it with laws and likely never will. We are stuck with diligently enforcing and incarcerating perpetrators. There is no “solution” to end murder per se.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If they are finding laws too expensive enforce, they should probably begin asking have we made laws that really don’t need to be laws.

    Laws against murder are difficult and expensive to enforce. Despite virtually always and in all places severely punished, murders continue. We have not eradicated it with laws and likely never will. We are stuck with diligently enforcing and incarcerating perpetrators. There is no “solution” to end murder per se.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I think Joe @3 makes a great point, but at the end of the day, this is exactly why I can’t support Santorum. Not that he is against porn, but that he tries to solve everything at the federal level. This is foolish. We have a federalist system for a reason. Furthermore, these kinds of moves would set legal precedent that future presidents could use in disastrous ways. For all his socially conservative rhetoric, Santorum can in no reasonable way be considered a conservative.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I think Joe @3 makes a great point, but at the end of the day, this is exactly why I can’t support Santorum. Not that he is against porn, but that he tries to solve everything at the federal level. This is foolish. We have a federalist system for a reason. Furthermore, these kinds of moves would set legal precedent that future presidents could use in disastrous ways. For all his socially conservative rhetoric, Santorum can in no reasonable way be considered a conservative.

  • Steve Billingsley

    @23
    attempted sacracsm – fail…..

  • Steve Billingsley

    @23
    attempted sacracsm – fail…..

  • Steve Billingsley

    make that sarcasm…..

  • Steve Billingsley

    make that sarcasm…..

  • Joe

    @ 24 – “You are confusing human practice for their God given vocation. There is a difference. The God given vocation for those who serve in government is the enforcement of law without prejudice. All law breakers must face the weight of the law. If people are unwilling to prosecute according to the law, they should be removed.”

    I disagree. I am starting from the proposition that our gov’t, with its unique characteristics including co-equal branches of govt’ and prosecutorial discretion, was instituted by God for my good and to keep order. Since this is true, a gov’t official properly acting within this frame work is not sinning against his vocation.

  • Joe

    @ 24 – “You are confusing human practice for their God given vocation. There is a difference. The God given vocation for those who serve in government is the enforcement of law without prejudice. All law breakers must face the weight of the law. If people are unwilling to prosecute according to the law, they should be removed.”

    I disagree. I am starting from the proposition that our gov’t, with its unique characteristics including co-equal branches of govt’ and prosecutorial discretion, was instituted by God for my good and to keep order. Since this is true, a gov’t official properly acting within this frame work is not sinning against his vocation.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DLit2C (@24) said to Joe:

    The God given vocation for those who serve in government is the enforcement of law without prejudice.

    You appear to be confusing “prejudice” and “priority”. Joe isn’t arguing for the former, he’s arguing for the latter. After all, who wants to live in a city where the police department can’t solve a murder spree because their random number generator assigned all the detectives to work on parking enforcement and check-kiting schemes?

    Priority in enforcement is necessary because police departments don’t have an infinite budget or staff (for which I am thankful), and because different crimes have different impacts on society.

    All law breakers must face the weight of the law.

    All of them? Are you being serious? So everyone who goes 1 MPH over the speed limit should face the “weight of the law”? And we should have enough cops to enforce this one particular law?

    How much enforcement is required? It is nothing less then complete enforcement.

    What world do you live in? When has this ever happened? How would this ever be possible?

    If they are finding laws too expensive enforce, they should probably begin asking have we made laws that really don’t need to be laws.

    You are aware that the executive branch doesn’t write the laws, right? It isn’t up to them to decide what the laws are. Which is why they’re forced to prioritize what laws — of the many passed by the legislative branch — they have time to enforce.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DLit2C (@24) said to Joe:

    The God given vocation for those who serve in government is the enforcement of law without prejudice.

    You appear to be confusing “prejudice” and “priority”. Joe isn’t arguing for the former, he’s arguing for the latter. After all, who wants to live in a city where the police department can’t solve a murder spree because their random number generator assigned all the detectives to work on parking enforcement and check-kiting schemes?

    Priority in enforcement is necessary because police departments don’t have an infinite budget or staff (for which I am thankful), and because different crimes have different impacts on society.

    All law breakers must face the weight of the law.

    All of them? Are you being serious? So everyone who goes 1 MPH over the speed limit should face the “weight of the law”? And we should have enough cops to enforce this one particular law?

    How much enforcement is required? It is nothing less then complete enforcement.

    What world do you live in? When has this ever happened? How would this ever be possible?

    If they are finding laws too expensive enforce, they should probably begin asking have we made laws that really don’t need to be laws.

    You are aware that the executive branch doesn’t write the laws, right? It isn’t up to them to decide what the laws are. Which is why they’re forced to prioritize what laws — of the many passed by the legislative branch — they have time to enforce.

  • kerner

    Joe @16:

    Yeah, but even a state has trouble enforcing its laws for internet businesses. When was the last time you paid a state sales tax for something you bought on Amazon? If the pornographers set up a website in say, Nevada, how is some local entity, or even a state, supposed to have jurisdiction over the pornographer, even if a local resident accesses it? How is that going to be different from the customer buying a plane ticket and hiring a legal prostitute in Nevada?

    As to your point about prosecutorial disctretion, you’re right, but I am still generally against having millions of laws all of which are disctretionarily enforced. When you have so many laws that everyone is guilty of something, and it is only a matter of government policy which of us get prosecuted, then we cease to be a government of laws. The power of the government becomes arbitrary and tyranical.

    Of course, this is more than anything the fault of gutless legislatures. They don’t have the courage to modify the laws according to what they actually want enforced, and we end up with laws that are routinely ignored.

    The gambling laws in Wisconsin restrict various forms of gambling to Indian tribes. But anyone who ever visits taverns in northern Wisconsin knows you can find gambling machines there, because it is the only way some of those places can compete with the tribal casinos, and the local sheriff isn’t going to put his constituents out of business. So we have this pretense of regulation where it doesn’t exist.

    I hate to admit it, but the laws against immigrant labor are the same way. It all sounds good in theory, but businesses are going to hire the workers that keep them competitive. The government is simply not going to devote resources to enforcing laws that would make the price of chicken quadruple, or drive the cost of hotels and resorts up so high that the middle class can’t aford to go on vacation, or otherwise deprive the middle class voters of a lot of things we take for granted.

    So, the laws go unenforced, and people lose respect for them.

  • kerner

    Joe @16:

    Yeah, but even a state has trouble enforcing its laws for internet businesses. When was the last time you paid a state sales tax for something you bought on Amazon? If the pornographers set up a website in say, Nevada, how is some local entity, or even a state, supposed to have jurisdiction over the pornographer, even if a local resident accesses it? How is that going to be different from the customer buying a plane ticket and hiring a legal prostitute in Nevada?

    As to your point about prosecutorial disctretion, you’re right, but I am still generally against having millions of laws all of which are disctretionarily enforced. When you have so many laws that everyone is guilty of something, and it is only a matter of government policy which of us get prosecuted, then we cease to be a government of laws. The power of the government becomes arbitrary and tyranical.

    Of course, this is more than anything the fault of gutless legislatures. They don’t have the courage to modify the laws according to what they actually want enforced, and we end up with laws that are routinely ignored.

    The gambling laws in Wisconsin restrict various forms of gambling to Indian tribes. But anyone who ever visits taverns in northern Wisconsin knows you can find gambling machines there, because it is the only way some of those places can compete with the tribal casinos, and the local sheriff isn’t going to put his constituents out of business. So we have this pretense of regulation where it doesn’t exist.

    I hate to admit it, but the laws against immigrant labor are the same way. It all sounds good in theory, but businesses are going to hire the workers that keep them competitive. The government is simply not going to devote resources to enforcing laws that would make the price of chicken quadruple, or drive the cost of hotels and resorts up so high that the middle class can’t aford to go on vacation, or otherwise deprive the middle class voters of a lot of things we take for granted.

    So, the laws go unenforced, and people lose respect for them.

  • DonS

    John @ 26: This is not really an issue of federalism. IF pornography were to be much more highly regulated than it is today, at the state or local level, that enforcement would be just as intrusive. The only way to prosecute internet porn is to access people’s computers. That cannot be done in a non-invasive way. Moreover, since porn clearly crosses state and national lines, the federalism argument doesn’t work.

    The question is whether ANY government, no matter what the level, should be doing this.

  • DonS

    John @ 26: This is not really an issue of federalism. IF pornography were to be much more highly regulated than it is today, at the state or local level, that enforcement would be just as intrusive. The only way to prosecute internet porn is to access people’s computers. That cannot be done in a non-invasive way. Moreover, since porn clearly crosses state and national lines, the federalism argument doesn’t work.

    The question is whether ANY government, no matter what the level, should be doing this.

  • Joe

    Kerner – As usual we are agreeing more than we are disagreeing. I like that.

    Here is another reason that the feds can’t effectively enforce porn laws. The first prong of the test for whether something is obscene (i.e. not protected by the 1st amendment) or just regular porn (i.e. protected by the 1st amendment) is: “whether ‘the average person, applying contemporary community standards would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest”

    I don’t think we can argue (certainly, the courts have never looked for or declared) that we have a national community standard. The test is designed to applied at the state (or smaller level) of government. And, I really don’t think a state is helpless to enforce a law just because a computer is involved.

  • Joe

    Kerner – As usual we are agreeing more than we are disagreeing. I like that.

    Here is another reason that the feds can’t effectively enforce porn laws. The first prong of the test for whether something is obscene (i.e. not protected by the 1st amendment) or just regular porn (i.e. protected by the 1st amendment) is: “whether ‘the average person, applying contemporary community standards would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest”

    I don’t think we can argue (certainly, the courts have never looked for or declared) that we have a national community standard. The test is designed to applied at the state (or smaller level) of government. And, I really don’t think a state is helpless to enforce a law just because a computer is involved.

  • http://greenearsandsham.wordpress.com Josh Grenier

    As a man who has been addicted to pornography and who has to make intentional efforts to guard myself from it daily. Who has my wife and I pray that my mind everyday would stay out of that gutter, and the temptations whould be defeatable and that my solution and satisfaction would be found only in Christ, I fully agree with Mr. Santorum’s idea. Pornography is more harmful and pervasive than drugs, gambling, alcohol in excess, and many other of this countries ills. I pray this madness would end soon.

  • http://greenearsandsham.wordpress.com Josh Grenier

    As a man who has been addicted to pornography and who has to make intentional efforts to guard myself from it daily. Who has my wife and I pray that my mind everyday would stay out of that gutter, and the temptations whould be defeatable and that my solution and satisfaction would be found only in Christ, I fully agree with Mr. Santorum’s idea. Pornography is more harmful and pervasive than drugs, gambling, alcohol in excess, and many other of this countries ills. I pray this madness would end soon.

  • Michael B.

    In fairness to Santorum, I have to say he is being consistent on the issue of the state interfering in people’s sexual lives. To be fair to Santorum, he is not only targeting women or homosexuals. In this case, it’s heterosexual men who would most be affected.

  • Michael B.

    In fairness to Santorum, I have to say he is being consistent on the issue of the state interfering in people’s sexual lives. To be fair to Santorum, he is not only targeting women or homosexuals. In this case, it’s heterosexual men who would most be affected.

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    Josh (@34), you appear to be saying that federal action is required to protect you from your sinful nature. And that said action would be capable of ending this “madness”.

    Without wanting to minimize your struggle, what makes you think our federal government — or any government, for that matter — is capable of such things?

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    Josh (@34), you appear to be saying that federal action is required to protect you from your sinful nature. And that said action would be capable of ending this “madness”.

    Without wanting to minimize your struggle, what makes you think our federal government — or any government, for that matter — is capable of such things?

  • kerner

    Don S @32:

    Exactly.

  • kerner

    Don S @32:

    Exactly.

  • #4 Kitty

    @Michael B #35
    . In this case, it’s heterosexual men who would most be affected.
    Homosexual men are indifferent to porn?

  • #4 Kitty

    @Michael B #35
    . In this case, it’s heterosexual men who would most be affected.
    Homosexual men are indifferent to porn?

  • kerner

    tODD:

    “Without wanting to minimize your struggle, what makes you think our federal government — or any government, for that matter — is capable of such things?”

    This is a tough question when it comes to pornography. When it was sold in stores or theaters or the like, an undercover cop acted as a customer, bought something, and raided and/or shut down the establishment.

    I really question whether a state or local government can do that with an internet based business. Maybe it can. If a state could somehow prohibit allowing a connection to IP addresses in that state, and then get federal cooperation to prosecute a pornographer on a different jurisdiction, that might be possible. I really don’t want the government to be able to get into personal computers without a warrant. But any website invites hits, so warrant wouldn’t be necessary to visit it.

    Do you, or any of your internet savvy colleagues know whether it is possible for a website in California to block hits from all IP addresses in Alabama? If it is possible, and if Alabama passed a law against disseminating porn over the internet, and if there were some kind of federal cooperation to prosecute the pornographer in California if Alabama IP addresses can still get through, maybe it could be done.

    Which still leaves the question of should it be done. We know where Josh stands. I’m leaning toward agreeing with him.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    “Without wanting to minimize your struggle, what makes you think our federal government — or any government, for that matter — is capable of such things?”

    This is a tough question when it comes to pornography. When it was sold in stores or theaters or the like, an undercover cop acted as a customer, bought something, and raided and/or shut down the establishment.

    I really question whether a state or local government can do that with an internet based business. Maybe it can. If a state could somehow prohibit allowing a connection to IP addresses in that state, and then get federal cooperation to prosecute a pornographer on a different jurisdiction, that might be possible. I really don’t want the government to be able to get into personal computers without a warrant. But any website invites hits, so warrant wouldn’t be necessary to visit it.

    Do you, or any of your internet savvy colleagues know whether it is possible for a website in California to block hits from all IP addresses in Alabama? If it is possible, and if Alabama passed a law against disseminating porn over the internet, and if there were some kind of federal cooperation to prosecute the pornographer in California if Alabama IP addresses can still get through, maybe it could be done.

    Which still leaves the question of should it be done. We know where Josh stands. I’m leaning toward agreeing with him.

  • Cincinnatus

    Honestly, this is a particularly moronic bit of populist pandering by Santorum (I’m too charitable to believe he’s actually stupid enough to believe that the federal government can eradicate pornography). Here are a few reasons the federal government neither can nor should seek to prohibit pornography:

    1) Such policies would authorize the federal government to act as censor. The decision handed down in Miller was designed precisely to avoid this result by appealing to the organic “community standards” referenced several times already. Not only are the standards for what constitutes prurient material different in Mississippi than they may be in Nevada (a similar example is used in the actual case), but, even if they weren’t, why would we wish for the federal government to tell us what constitutes art and what doesn’t? What is morally acceptable media and what isn’t? This is a dangerous precedent to set: dangerous not only to free speech, but to the prerogative of local communities and local citizens. Police powers, including the power to safeguard public morality, are reserved to the states and localities for this very reason.

    2) Prohibiting pornography would work about as well as our earlier attempts to prohibit alcoholic beverages. I.e., not at all. It’s one thing to prohibit pornographic magazines from being sold in local convenience stores. But as others have mentioned, it’s an entirely different thing when the primary medium for the transmission of pornography is the internet. Let’s be frank: we can’t eliminate internet pornography unless we had a massive internet censorship operation like China’s–you know, the communist dictatorship. And even their absurd authoritarian apparatus isn’t able to keep out all the bad stuff. Such an effort would require massive amounts of money and intrusive police agencies to enforce–and ultimately to no avail: not only would be back to Miller’s predicament–i.e., what on the internet actually constitutes pornography?–but there is simply no way to prevent the spread of pornography. Child pornography is highly illegal in the United States. But ask any enforcement expert: it’s easy to get your hands on it undetected if you want it. This is also complicated by the fact that many pornographic websites are hosted on international servers and, as other Supreme Court cases on the topic have noted, it is simply not the government’s job to police what goes on in your “bedroom,” as it were–i.e., the federal government absolutely may not, say, enter your home to search your hard drive or your internet history (cf. the intrinsic problems with warrantless wiretapping). Laws against internet porn would be facially unenforceable. Which leads to my third point…

    3) I am firmly convinced that the only way to reduce our consumption of pornographic material–which is truly epidemic in the modern West–is via a cultural change. The Prohibition analogy works here as well: rampant alcoholism in the American West was reduced not via legal efforts, much less federal legal efforts, but by temperance movements centered around evangelical Christian revivals. Want to make pornography go away (to some extent)? Convince people that it is sinful or harmful or detrimental to their relationships, etc. Laws won’t do it. All due respect to Josh, but the federal government simply does not have the capacity to make it easier for you not to sin. Empowering it to do so would be dangerous, and even if we did cede such enormous power to the federal government, it would be powerless to stem the tide.

    Social conservatives of Santorum’s ilk make the huge mistake of politicizing issues that are fundamentally moral, social, cultural, or religious. Like progressives, they tend to approach the (federal) government as their option of first resort. There is a moral problem that needs to be addressed, you say? Let’s have Congress write a law and form yet another bureaucratic agency. Again, not only is this intrinsically dangerous (loathsome statism, it is), but it’s simply a basically un-Christian approach to the problems of the human condition. Not all of our failings can be addressed adequately–or in this case, at all–by our massive state apparatus.

  • Cincinnatus

    Honestly, this is a particularly moronic bit of populist pandering by Santorum (I’m too charitable to believe he’s actually stupid enough to believe that the federal government can eradicate pornography). Here are a few reasons the federal government neither can nor should seek to prohibit pornography:

    1) Such policies would authorize the federal government to act as censor. The decision handed down in Miller was designed precisely to avoid this result by appealing to the organic “community standards” referenced several times already. Not only are the standards for what constitutes prurient material different in Mississippi than they may be in Nevada (a similar example is used in the actual case), but, even if they weren’t, why would we wish for the federal government to tell us what constitutes art and what doesn’t? What is morally acceptable media and what isn’t? This is a dangerous precedent to set: dangerous not only to free speech, but to the prerogative of local communities and local citizens. Police powers, including the power to safeguard public morality, are reserved to the states and localities for this very reason.

    2) Prohibiting pornography would work about as well as our earlier attempts to prohibit alcoholic beverages. I.e., not at all. It’s one thing to prohibit pornographic magazines from being sold in local convenience stores. But as others have mentioned, it’s an entirely different thing when the primary medium for the transmission of pornography is the internet. Let’s be frank: we can’t eliminate internet pornography unless we had a massive internet censorship operation like China’s–you know, the communist dictatorship. And even their absurd authoritarian apparatus isn’t able to keep out all the bad stuff. Such an effort would require massive amounts of money and intrusive police agencies to enforce–and ultimately to no avail: not only would be back to Miller’s predicament–i.e., what on the internet actually constitutes pornography?–but there is simply no way to prevent the spread of pornography. Child pornography is highly illegal in the United States. But ask any enforcement expert: it’s easy to get your hands on it undetected if you want it. This is also complicated by the fact that many pornographic websites are hosted on international servers and, as other Supreme Court cases on the topic have noted, it is simply not the government’s job to police what goes on in your “bedroom,” as it were–i.e., the federal government absolutely may not, say, enter your home to search your hard drive or your internet history (cf. the intrinsic problems with warrantless wiretapping). Laws against internet porn would be facially unenforceable. Which leads to my third point…

    3) I am firmly convinced that the only way to reduce our consumption of pornographic material–which is truly epidemic in the modern West–is via a cultural change. The Prohibition analogy works here as well: rampant alcoholism in the American West was reduced not via legal efforts, much less federal legal efforts, but by temperance movements centered around evangelical Christian revivals. Want to make pornography go away (to some extent)? Convince people that it is sinful or harmful or detrimental to their relationships, etc. Laws won’t do it. All due respect to Josh, but the federal government simply does not have the capacity to make it easier for you not to sin. Empowering it to do so would be dangerous, and even if we did cede such enormous power to the federal government, it would be powerless to stem the tide.

    Social conservatives of Santorum’s ilk make the huge mistake of politicizing issues that are fundamentally moral, social, cultural, or religious. Like progressives, they tend to approach the (federal) government as their option of first resort. There is a moral problem that needs to be addressed, you say? Let’s have Congress write a law and form yet another bureaucratic agency. Again, not only is this intrinsically dangerous (loathsome statism, it is), but it’s simply a basically un-Christian approach to the problems of the human condition. Not all of our failings can be addressed adequately–or in this case, at all–by our massive state apparatus.

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus:

    Well, so much for leaning toward Josh. I find myself agreeing with almost everything you just said @40. Yet, I still wonder if there are ways, if not to stop the trade in pornography, to slow it down a little.

    When I was younger, it took some time and effort, and possible exposure, to see pornography. But the internet makes it so effortless to find anthing you want. I have to believe that the effortless availability of porn has contributed to the great increase of the shear volume of it.

    @39 I was groping for some way to accomplish some slowing of the torrent without doing violence to the Constitution. Maybe it’s not possible.

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus:

    Well, so much for leaning toward Josh. I find myself agreeing with almost everything you just said @40. Yet, I still wonder if there are ways, if not to stop the trade in pornography, to slow it down a little.

    When I was younger, it took some time and effort, and possible exposure, to see pornography. But the internet makes it so effortless to find anthing you want. I have to believe that the effortless availability of porn has contributed to the great increase of the shear volume of it.

    @39 I was groping for some way to accomplish some slowing of the torrent without doing violence to the Constitution. Maybe it’s not possible.

  • Michael B.

    @Michael B #35
    “In this case, it’s heterosexual men who would most be affected.
    Homosexual men are indifferent to porn?”

    No. I suspect homosexual men use porn just as much at heterosexual men. But heterosexual men outnumber homosexual men. But yeah, I suppose you’re right — they’d be equally affected. But it’s not like abortion-rights, where men aren’t affected. Here the government is getting involved in what a man does with his own body.

  • Michael B.

    @Michael B #35
    “In this case, it’s heterosexual men who would most be affected.
    Homosexual men are indifferent to porn?”

    No. I suspect homosexual men use porn just as much at heterosexual men. But heterosexual men outnumber homosexual men. But yeah, I suppose you’re right — they’d be equally affected. But it’s not like abortion-rights, where men aren’t affected. Here the government is getting involved in what a man does with his own body.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @tODD, to clarify I do advocate having a very small number of simple laws. Prejudice, priority in the end it plays out the same way. Somebody decides something is worse than another thing.

    The Executive Branch doesn’t make the laws? Wow, I didn’t know that I just slept through my government class in high school. Yes, I did know that however, they are charged with enforcement so please forgive me for expecting them to do their jobs even if it is challenging.

    I realize my position is rather idealistic and I never expect to see it happen.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @tODD, to clarify I do advocate having a very small number of simple laws. Prejudice, priority in the end it plays out the same way. Somebody decides something is worse than another thing.

    The Executive Branch doesn’t make the laws? Wow, I didn’t know that I just slept through my government class in high school. Yes, I did know that however, they are charged with enforcement so please forgive me for expecting them to do their jobs even if it is challenging.

    I realize my position is rather idealistic and I never expect to see it happen.

  • http://greenearsandsham.wordpress.com Josh Grenier

    Dear toDD @36,
    Thanks for the response.
    And to answer it, on the contrary, I don’t, in fact, I don’t think it will do anything for me or any other man who has a problem with this sin. You are right to say the government cannot protect us from what we are at heart, and I fully do not expect them to. I do, however, see absolutely no value in pornography. It is harmful to the men and women in the films and to those who watch the films. It is only full of evil, which is why I expect the government to do something about it. Read Romans 13:1-7. If we changed the conversation to a product on the shelf, say hot dogs, and those hot dogs were hurting people, the people that made them and the people that ate them. They weren’t dying or anything, just getting hurt, but wouldn’t you expect the authorities to shut the place down and throw out the remaining hot dogs? Why do we ban drugs? Why do we not sell cigars to 6 year olds? Why do we ask our government to ban things that harm us, and add nothing beneficial to our lives? I realize that freedom from sin doesn’t come by protection, or absence of the object of sin. But that doesn’t minimize the reason it should be made protected or absent. To put a hard, but well-meaning question back to you, would you want a 12 year old boy on a computer with free access to the internet?

  • http://greenearsandsham.wordpress.com Josh Grenier

    Dear toDD @36,
    Thanks for the response.
    And to answer it, on the contrary, I don’t, in fact, I don’t think it will do anything for me or any other man who has a problem with this sin. You are right to say the government cannot protect us from what we are at heart, and I fully do not expect them to. I do, however, see absolutely no value in pornography. It is harmful to the men and women in the films and to those who watch the films. It is only full of evil, which is why I expect the government to do something about it. Read Romans 13:1-7. If we changed the conversation to a product on the shelf, say hot dogs, and those hot dogs were hurting people, the people that made them and the people that ate them. They weren’t dying or anything, just getting hurt, but wouldn’t you expect the authorities to shut the place down and throw out the remaining hot dogs? Why do we ban drugs? Why do we not sell cigars to 6 year olds? Why do we ask our government to ban things that harm us, and add nothing beneficial to our lives? I realize that freedom from sin doesn’t come by protection, or absence of the object of sin. But that doesn’t minimize the reason it should be made protected or absent. To put a hard, but well-meaning question back to you, would you want a 12 year old boy on a computer with free access to the internet?

  • The Jones

    I’m reading these comments, and you all are crazy.

    It is clearly within bounds of the federal government to prosecute pornography and NOBODY has come out strong and said that prosecuting pornography (something already illegal) is a good idea. Who GIVES a crap if you don’t stop it all? Your solution to not being able to stop it all is to not stop any? Like I said, you people are crazy.

    Cincinnatus @ 40.2: What evidence do you have that prosecuting porn will be like prosecuting alcohol? How do you know it won’t be like prosecuting theft? (which is significantly reduced) How do you know it won’t be like prosecuting internet piracy (which, while still available, is only accessible now to those who really try to get pirated materials. A worthy goal if you apply that fact applied to pornography)

    And Joe @33, are you seriously trying to tell me that ” just regular porn” ( which for some unfathomable reason you think is protected by the 1st amendment) does not “appeal to the prurient interest.” Because if it does appeal to prurient interest, it’s not protected by the 1st amendment. What planet do you live on?

    I’m amazed that I’ve found some of the most animated sophisticated defenses of the porn industry I’ve ever seen on a Lutheran blog. Is anybody going to stand up and call a rat “a rat”?

  • The Jones

    I’m reading these comments, and you all are crazy.

    It is clearly within bounds of the federal government to prosecute pornography and NOBODY has come out strong and said that prosecuting pornography (something already illegal) is a good idea. Who GIVES a crap if you don’t stop it all? Your solution to not being able to stop it all is to not stop any? Like I said, you people are crazy.

    Cincinnatus @ 40.2: What evidence do you have that prosecuting porn will be like prosecuting alcohol? How do you know it won’t be like prosecuting theft? (which is significantly reduced) How do you know it won’t be like prosecuting internet piracy (which, while still available, is only accessible now to those who really try to get pirated materials. A worthy goal if you apply that fact applied to pornography)

    And Joe @33, are you seriously trying to tell me that ” just regular porn” ( which for some unfathomable reason you think is protected by the 1st amendment) does not “appeal to the prurient interest.” Because if it does appeal to prurient interest, it’s not protected by the 1st amendment. What planet do you live on?

    I’m amazed that I’ve found some of the most animated sophisticated defenses of the porn industry I’ve ever seen on a Lutheran blog. Is anybody going to stand up and call a rat “a rat”?

  • http://greenearsandsham.wordpress.com Josh Grenier

    Dear kerner @39,

    I see two answers to this solution. One I’m against and one I’m compelled might work. One is as to truly limit or illiminate pornography altogether. It just won’t happen. It can’t. It’s a bad solution. The other is the government would establish a particlar .something, like .com, but called, let’s say .xxx and then make it be that all adult featured websites could only sign up under that .xxx. Like satellite Tv, you could access it, but you have to pay for it, and no doubt you could have it blocked from your provider.
    Then all computers, phones, ipads and the like could come with an automatic block of all .xxx sites and you could I suppose switch it on if you so desired or got special permission, something like that. In my mind it would work like a pharmacy, you’ve got over the counter, and behind the counter. For over the counter, all can buy, but behind the counter it’s restricted to prescription only. And my hope would be that particular ISP could just block all .xxx. Schools , libraries, churches, and desiring homes could be without internet porn access. Sure they’ll be fraud, they’ll try to cheat, but then we would know what to do with them. Maybe this is far fetched, and utopian thinking, but one can wish.

  • http://greenearsandsham.wordpress.com Josh Grenier

    Dear kerner @39,

    I see two answers to this solution. One I’m against and one I’m compelled might work. One is as to truly limit or illiminate pornography altogether. It just won’t happen. It can’t. It’s a bad solution. The other is the government would establish a particlar .something, like .com, but called, let’s say .xxx and then make it be that all adult featured websites could only sign up under that .xxx. Like satellite Tv, you could access it, but you have to pay for it, and no doubt you could have it blocked from your provider.
    Then all computers, phones, ipads and the like could come with an automatic block of all .xxx sites and you could I suppose switch it on if you so desired or got special permission, something like that. In my mind it would work like a pharmacy, you’ve got over the counter, and behind the counter. For over the counter, all can buy, but behind the counter it’s restricted to prescription only. And my hope would be that particular ISP could just block all .xxx. Schools , libraries, churches, and desiring homes could be without internet porn access. Sure they’ll be fraud, they’ll try to cheat, but then we would know what to do with them. Maybe this is far fetched, and utopian thinking, but one can wish.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@39) asked:

    Do you, or any of your internet savvy colleagues know whether it is possible for a website in California to block hits from all IP addresses in Alabama?

    Is it possible? I suppose, in one way or another. But do not for a moment think that any state-level solution you could propose for blocking obscene websites would be simple or uncomplicated. Or, I’ll go ahead and add, a good idea.

    It would be a massive increase in government power over what you read. It would be clunky. It would almost certainly get non-pornographic websites banned, while still allowing others to function. And it would likely be gamed by anyone with sufficient desire and/or tech know-how. In short, it would be a joke. And, did I mention, a horrible idea?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@39) asked:

    Do you, or any of your internet savvy colleagues know whether it is possible for a website in California to block hits from all IP addresses in Alabama?

    Is it possible? I suppose, in one way or another. But do not for a moment think that any state-level solution you could propose for blocking obscene websites would be simple or uncomplicated. Or, I’ll go ahead and add, a good idea.

    It would be a massive increase in government power over what you read. It would be clunky. It would almost certainly get non-pornographic websites banned, while still allowing others to function. And it would likely be gamed by anyone with sufficient desire and/or tech know-how. In short, it would be a joke. And, did I mention, a horrible idea?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DLit2C (@43) said:

    Prejudice, priority in the end it plays out the same way. Somebody decides something is worse than another thing.

    But some things are worse than others! Remember, we’re talking about the temporal sphere here — this is not a question of which acts are more sinful or not. Some temporal consequences are worse — that is, they affect us more — than others. Do you disagree? I mean, do you think murder and breaking the speed limit have the same impact on us all? Because your argument appears blind to the differences between the two.

    Yes, I did know that however, they are charged with enforcement so please forgive me for expecting them to do their jobs even if it is challenging.

    It’s a little bit more than an issue of “challenging”. Do you honestly believe that it’s literally possible for every law to be enforced such that “All law breakers … face the weight of the law” (@24)? Because if so, that goes well beyond “idealistic”, I’m afraid. That’s just nutty-cuckoo. Sorry.

    Again, the legislature could pass a law requiring everyone to chew their food 20 times before swallowing, but that doesn’t, ipso facto, make such a law enforceable. But I guess if they did, you’d still be “expecting them to do their jobs even if it is challenging”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DLit2C (@43) said:

    Prejudice, priority in the end it plays out the same way. Somebody decides something is worse than another thing.

    But some things are worse than others! Remember, we’re talking about the temporal sphere here — this is not a question of which acts are more sinful or not. Some temporal consequences are worse — that is, they affect us more — than others. Do you disagree? I mean, do you think murder and breaking the speed limit have the same impact on us all? Because your argument appears blind to the differences between the two.

    Yes, I did know that however, they are charged with enforcement so please forgive me for expecting them to do their jobs even if it is challenging.

    It’s a little bit more than an issue of “challenging”. Do you honestly believe that it’s literally possible for every law to be enforced such that “All law breakers … face the weight of the law” (@24)? Because if so, that goes well beyond “idealistic”, I’m afraid. That’s just nutty-cuckoo. Sorry.

    Again, the legislature could pass a law requiring everyone to chew their food 20 times before swallowing, but that doesn’t, ipso facto, make such a law enforceable. But I guess if they did, you’d still be “expecting them to do their jobs even if it is challenging”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Josh said (@44):

    [Pornography] is only full of evil, which is why I expect the government to do something about it.

    Okay, but if that’s your rubric, then do you also expect the government to “do something” about Mormonism? Or, heck, any brand of works righteousness? Because they’re likewise “full of evil”. Where, exactly, does the line get drawn — and why?

    Read Romans 13:1-7.

    Done. Now you read Matthew 19:1-9 and tell me why the laws for the nation of Israel — which God Himself wrote — allowed for divorce. What did Jesus say? Now go back to Romans 13. Does it say that the authorities punish everything that God calls “wrong”? Does it even say they are required to?

    If we changed the conversation to a product on the shelf, say hot dogs, and those hot dogs were hurting people, the people that made them and the people that ate them. They weren’t dying or anything, just getting hurt, but wouldn’t you expect the authorities to shut the place down and throw out the remaining hot dogs?

    “Hurting people” isn’t exactly a rigorous test. I could argue that even the best hot dogs are, by their very nature, already hurting people, and that the government should be allowed to shut down any place selling something so full of fat and carcinogens. Is that what you want? Or, again, I would posit that false religions are ultimately more harmful than even hot dogs or pornography, so the government needs to shut them all down. Is that also your argument?

    Why do we ask our government to ban things that harm us, and add nothing beneficial to our lives?

    Well, succinctly, we don’t. But social conservatives often do. Count me out. I personally hate cigars and cigarettes, which are unarguably harmful, but I also think they are enjoyable to some people. And I really don’t want the government making that call.

    I’m fine with the government protecting me from someone else. But you want the government to protect us from ourselves. That’s a fool’s errand, and it’ll only end up with a ludicrously powerful government — which will not be a force for good, much less morality.

    would you want a 12 year old boy on a computer with free access to the internet?

    Well yes, yes I would. And if he’s my son, he will have been trained from quite a young age about the dangers of the Internet. He will also know that I know quite a bit about how to use it, and how to tell how he’s been using it. If anyone’s going to be watching over his shoulder to see if he’s visiting obscene sites, it should be me, not a bureaucrat. Or do you think I’m too incompetent a parent to determine for my own son what is or isn’t obscene?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Josh said (@44):

    [Pornography] is only full of evil, which is why I expect the government to do something about it.

    Okay, but if that’s your rubric, then do you also expect the government to “do something” about Mormonism? Or, heck, any brand of works righteousness? Because they’re likewise “full of evil”. Where, exactly, does the line get drawn — and why?

    Read Romans 13:1-7.

    Done. Now you read Matthew 19:1-9 and tell me why the laws for the nation of Israel — which God Himself wrote — allowed for divorce. What did Jesus say? Now go back to Romans 13. Does it say that the authorities punish everything that God calls “wrong”? Does it even say they are required to?

    If we changed the conversation to a product on the shelf, say hot dogs, and those hot dogs were hurting people, the people that made them and the people that ate them. They weren’t dying or anything, just getting hurt, but wouldn’t you expect the authorities to shut the place down and throw out the remaining hot dogs?

    “Hurting people” isn’t exactly a rigorous test. I could argue that even the best hot dogs are, by their very nature, already hurting people, and that the government should be allowed to shut down any place selling something so full of fat and carcinogens. Is that what you want? Or, again, I would posit that false religions are ultimately more harmful than even hot dogs or pornography, so the government needs to shut them all down. Is that also your argument?

    Why do we ask our government to ban things that harm us, and add nothing beneficial to our lives?

    Well, succinctly, we don’t. But social conservatives often do. Count me out. I personally hate cigars and cigarettes, which are unarguably harmful, but I also think they are enjoyable to some people. And I really don’t want the government making that call.

    I’m fine with the government protecting me from someone else. But you want the government to protect us from ourselves. That’s a fool’s errand, and it’ll only end up with a ludicrously powerful government — which will not be a force for good, much less morality.

    would you want a 12 year old boy on a computer with free access to the internet?

    Well yes, yes I would. And if he’s my son, he will have been trained from quite a young age about the dangers of the Internet. He will also know that I know quite a bit about how to use it, and how to tell how he’s been using it. If anyone’s going to be watching over his shoulder to see if he’s visiting obscene sites, it should be me, not a bureaucrat. Or do you think I’m too incompetent a parent to determine for my own son what is or isn’t obscene?

  • kerner

    tODD:

    Actually, I was thinking of requiring the Porn provider to have a license to operate in each state, and requiring the provider itself to block hits from all IP addresses in any state in which it is not licensed. The justice department of the states in which the Porn provider is NOT licensed could then periodically test whether the Porn provider was blocking hits from that state by simply trying to get on the site from a computer in that state. If the DOJ gets on the unlicensed porn website, the operators get fined…a lot.

    If that is technologically feasible, it would at least deter unlicensed Porn sites from getting violating the standards of each state. At least for those operating in the US. I don’t know how to get at sites operated off shore. But we have international copyright law enforcement, so there might be a way to regulate some of this by treaty.

  • kerner

    tODD:

    Actually, I was thinking of requiring the Porn provider to have a license to operate in each state, and requiring the provider itself to block hits from all IP addresses in any state in which it is not licensed. The justice department of the states in which the Porn provider is NOT licensed could then periodically test whether the Porn provider was blocking hits from that state by simply trying to get on the site from a computer in that state. If the DOJ gets on the unlicensed porn website, the operators get fined…a lot.

    If that is technologically feasible, it would at least deter unlicensed Porn sites from getting violating the standards of each state. At least for those operating in the US. I don’t know how to get at sites operated off shore. But we have international copyright law enforcement, so there might be a way to regulate some of this by treaty.

  • Joe

    The Jones – I live on the part of the planet governed by the 1 st Amendment, which allows people to depict sex in art, movies, books magazines, etc as long as it does not go to far. (If you don’t like that reality then get a constitutional amendment passed or replace the members of the the S. Ct.) The test is obscene v. not obscene. But under the test there is no doubt that some porn passed the test and is allowable. You might not like (I don’t like it) but that is not the point. Is Playboy magazine too far? What about magazines like Maxim (where as far as I know they keep their bits covered but pose like sex crazy tramps)? What about go daddy commercials? Does it have to be visual? What about romance novels with sex scenes?

    Where would you draw the line? And, why? And who do yo suggest draw it? And, why?

    And, once you have drawn that line and (assuming your last comments reflect what your answers will be) which crimes that we now devote resources to investigating and prosecuting would you like to de-emphasize or, in the alternative, how much more in taxes are you willing to pay to fund your program?

    The fact that something is bad does not mean that its the federal gov’t’s job to fix it.

  • Joe

    The Jones – I live on the part of the planet governed by the 1 st Amendment, which allows people to depict sex in art, movies, books magazines, etc as long as it does not go to far. (If you don’t like that reality then get a constitutional amendment passed or replace the members of the the S. Ct.) The test is obscene v. not obscene. But under the test there is no doubt that some porn passed the test and is allowable. You might not like (I don’t like it) but that is not the point. Is Playboy magazine too far? What about magazines like Maxim (where as far as I know they keep their bits covered but pose like sex crazy tramps)? What about go daddy commercials? Does it have to be visual? What about romance novels with sex scenes?

    Where would you draw the line? And, why? And who do yo suggest draw it? And, why?

    And, once you have drawn that line and (assuming your last comments reflect what your answers will be) which crimes that we now devote resources to investigating and prosecuting would you like to de-emphasize or, in the alternative, how much more in taxes are you willing to pay to fund your program?

    The fact that something is bad does not mean that its the federal gov’t’s job to fix it.

  • Random Lutheran

    It seems that nowhere is pornography aimed at women addressed. This is just as problematical as the forms discussed above, but far, far more insidious and accepted. I suspect many men have turned to their favorite forms of pornography because the women in their lives had their expectations (re)shaped by what they themselves had seen and read, making perfectly good men unacceptable to them or worthy of scorn.

  • Random Lutheran

    It seems that nowhere is pornography aimed at women addressed. This is just as problematical as the forms discussed above, but far, far more insidious and accepted. I suspect many men have turned to their favorite forms of pornography because the women in their lives had their expectations (re)shaped by what they themselves had seen and read, making perfectly good men unacceptable to them or worthy of scorn.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @48 It is only cuckoo if you ignore my first sentence. Please don’t rip things out of context.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @48 It is only cuckoo if you ignore my first sentence. Please don’t rip things out of context.

  • http://greenearsandsham.wordpress.com Josh Grenier

    Dear toDD,
    Many of the things you say are true. You got me. You brought up some things I have never quite thought about. The fact is I do believe it’s the job of every “state” to protect it’s citizens and uphold a the basic morality the creator has given all of us. This is why our “state” should be held accountable for slavery, abortion, and going light on hard crimnals, such as rapists and murders. This being said, I personally will never fight with a “state” that upholds basic decency and obscenity laws that are for the good of the people, that do not resrict access to basic rights, and are not in violation of the bible or the responsibilities it gives us as Christians.(i.e. preaching the word, declaring sin to be sin and calling all people everywhere to repent and be forgiven of their sins, and serving and worshiping God and loving and serving our neighbors.) While I get your point, I see literally no harm in the “state” limiting and shrinking obscene and vile products, that can only harm all individuals involoved. You are right to say we can’t ask the “state” to protect of from ourselves. But we can ask the “state” to make it easier to protect ourselves and our children. I am shocked that you would not take advantage of great internet filtering programs that could prevent you son from purposely or accidently seeing something obscene and abhorrent. Would you allow him to have those types of videos on your shelves next to the Toy Story movies? If he is young, would you allow, if allowable, your son to walk into a theater to walk into a slasher nearly NC-17 rated movie at the local theater? Do you have a problem with movie theaters turning young kids away from this sort of film? Do you allow him to listen to every song played on the radio today? Do you have a problem with FCC having radio stations bleep the explicatives before they reach the air?

    The question might be, do we not have the right as parents to be able to protect ourselves and especially our children from dangerous, destructive things out in the world? Teaching morality if fine, but it is also our job also to protect. And I would be happy if any government anywhere made this easier, and not harder. Perhaps, you disagree. But friend, I can say I would love to live in a world that limits my, my children’s, and all children’s possible exposure to pornography. Far fetched? Maybe, but wouldn’t you?

  • http://greenearsandsham.wordpress.com Josh Grenier

    Dear toDD,
    Many of the things you say are true. You got me. You brought up some things I have never quite thought about. The fact is I do believe it’s the job of every “state” to protect it’s citizens and uphold a the basic morality the creator has given all of us. This is why our “state” should be held accountable for slavery, abortion, and going light on hard crimnals, such as rapists and murders. This being said, I personally will never fight with a “state” that upholds basic decency and obscenity laws that are for the good of the people, that do not resrict access to basic rights, and are not in violation of the bible or the responsibilities it gives us as Christians.(i.e. preaching the word, declaring sin to be sin and calling all people everywhere to repent and be forgiven of their sins, and serving and worshiping God and loving and serving our neighbors.) While I get your point, I see literally no harm in the “state” limiting and shrinking obscene and vile products, that can only harm all individuals involoved. You are right to say we can’t ask the “state” to protect of from ourselves. But we can ask the “state” to make it easier to protect ourselves and our children. I am shocked that you would not take advantage of great internet filtering programs that could prevent you son from purposely or accidently seeing something obscene and abhorrent. Would you allow him to have those types of videos on your shelves next to the Toy Story movies? If he is young, would you allow, if allowable, your son to walk into a theater to walk into a slasher nearly NC-17 rated movie at the local theater? Do you have a problem with movie theaters turning young kids away from this sort of film? Do you allow him to listen to every song played on the radio today? Do you have a problem with FCC having radio stations bleep the explicatives before they reach the air?

    The question might be, do we not have the right as parents to be able to protect ourselves and especially our children from dangerous, destructive things out in the world? Teaching morality if fine, but it is also our job also to protect. And I would be happy if any government anywhere made this easier, and not harder. Perhaps, you disagree. But friend, I can say I would love to live in a world that limits my, my children’s, and all children’s possible exposure to pornography. Far fetched? Maybe, but wouldn’t you?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Josh (@53), we may just be going around and around here, but I’ll try this reply, anyhow:

    The fact is I do believe it’s the job of every “state” to protect it’s citizens and uphold a the basic morality the creator has given all of us.

    I agree that the state should “protect” its citizens … but only from other people. I do not want the state to “protect” me from myself, because this allows the state to make decisions for me, and the state is not exactly likely to agree with me on what I things I need to be protected from for my own sake. For instance, do I need to be protected from what I might choose to read? Or how I worship?

    And the “basic morality” God gave us is this: to love your neighbor as yourself. Are you sure you want the state “upholding” or enforcing all that that entails? Man, I don’t. I don’t want to get a fine or spend time in jail because I failed to love my neighbor as myself — even though I fully concede that’s a sin.

    I’m pretty certain you don’t want the government to enforce the whole of morality. Just a few bits and pieces. So ask yourself (or tell me): why are you focusing on those bits and pieces, and not the rest of it? What is your rule?

    This being said, I personally will never fight with a “state” that upholds basic decency and obscenity laws that are for the good of the people, that do not resrict access to basic rights…

    But here’s the problem. By empowering the state to make decisions for us, you will restrict access to basic rights. Or, at the very least, you will make that possible.
    Can you really not see how a powerful state (such as you seem to favor) will ultimately be at odds with freedom of religion? The world — both past and present — is chock full of examples. It is, frankly, naive to expect that a powerful government is going to uphold and enforce laws that you always agree with.

    While I get your point, I see literally no harm in the “state” limiting and shrinking obscene and vile products

    But who gets to decide what gets banned? You seem to keep assuming that it’s you or someone like you. What reason do you have to believe that the government shares your particular point of view? Does it currently?

    But we can ask the “state” to make it easier to protect ourselves and our children.

    Again, it is fine to ask and expect the state to protect your children … from others. But if you want the state to protect your children from themselves, you have abdicated your responsibility as a parent. You’ve made the state responsible for raising your child, to some degree. And if the state is doing a better job of protecting your child from harmful content than you are as a parent, what does that say?

    I am shocked that you would not take advantage of great internet filtering programs that could prevent you son from purposely or accidently seeing something obscene and abhorrent.

    Well, I didn’t say that. I had a different understanding of what you meant by “free access to the Internet”. My kids are too young to really use the Internet right now. But I still think it would be naive of me to only rely on technological solutions like that. Parenting issues aren’t resolved with software. And those software solution have their own issues — as would any government solution.

    If he is young, would you allow, if allowable, your son to walk into a theater to walk into a slasher nearly NC-17 rated movie at the local theater?

    But here’s the thing: that’s my decision as a parent, isn’t it? Whether to allow my son to do that or not. Why should the government get to have a say in the matter?

    Do you allow him to listen to every song played on the radio today?

    Well yes, but the only radio station we listen to is classical (though he did once listen to a drinking song that was part of an opera). But I also play him MP3s of music that I’m quite certain some people would disapprove of. And isn’t it nice that I, as his parent, can make that choice for my son? It’s my decision, not the government’s.

    I would love to live in a world that limits my, my children’s, and all children’s possible exposure to pornography.

    Do you want to live in a world that limits your and your children’s exposure to Ezekiel 23? Because it’s not hard to imagine a powerful government banning that passage in an effort to limit “possible exposure to pornography”.

    Is that a choice you want some bureaucrats somewhere making?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Josh (@53), we may just be going around and around here, but I’ll try this reply, anyhow:

    The fact is I do believe it’s the job of every “state” to protect it’s citizens and uphold a the basic morality the creator has given all of us.

    I agree that the state should “protect” its citizens … but only from other people. I do not want the state to “protect” me from myself, because this allows the state to make decisions for me, and the state is not exactly likely to agree with me on what I things I need to be protected from for my own sake. For instance, do I need to be protected from what I might choose to read? Or how I worship?

    And the “basic morality” God gave us is this: to love your neighbor as yourself. Are you sure you want the state “upholding” or enforcing all that that entails? Man, I don’t. I don’t want to get a fine or spend time in jail because I failed to love my neighbor as myself — even though I fully concede that’s a sin.

    I’m pretty certain you don’t want the government to enforce the whole of morality. Just a few bits and pieces. So ask yourself (or tell me): why are you focusing on those bits and pieces, and not the rest of it? What is your rule?

    This being said, I personally will never fight with a “state” that upholds basic decency and obscenity laws that are for the good of the people, that do not resrict access to basic rights…

    But here’s the problem. By empowering the state to make decisions for us, you will restrict access to basic rights. Or, at the very least, you will make that possible.
    Can you really not see how a powerful state (such as you seem to favor) will ultimately be at odds with freedom of religion? The world — both past and present — is chock full of examples. It is, frankly, naive to expect that a powerful government is going to uphold and enforce laws that you always agree with.

    While I get your point, I see literally no harm in the “state” limiting and shrinking obscene and vile products

    But who gets to decide what gets banned? You seem to keep assuming that it’s you or someone like you. What reason do you have to believe that the government shares your particular point of view? Does it currently?

    But we can ask the “state” to make it easier to protect ourselves and our children.

    Again, it is fine to ask and expect the state to protect your children … from others. But if you want the state to protect your children from themselves, you have abdicated your responsibility as a parent. You’ve made the state responsible for raising your child, to some degree. And if the state is doing a better job of protecting your child from harmful content than you are as a parent, what does that say?

    I am shocked that you would not take advantage of great internet filtering programs that could prevent you son from purposely or accidently seeing something obscene and abhorrent.

    Well, I didn’t say that. I had a different understanding of what you meant by “free access to the Internet”. My kids are too young to really use the Internet right now. But I still think it would be naive of me to only rely on technological solutions like that. Parenting issues aren’t resolved with software. And those software solution have their own issues — as would any government solution.

    If he is young, would you allow, if allowable, your son to walk into a theater to walk into a slasher nearly NC-17 rated movie at the local theater?

    But here’s the thing: that’s my decision as a parent, isn’t it? Whether to allow my son to do that or not. Why should the government get to have a say in the matter?

    Do you allow him to listen to every song played on the radio today?

    Well yes, but the only radio station we listen to is classical (though he did once listen to a drinking song that was part of an opera). But I also play him MP3s of music that I’m quite certain some people would disapprove of. And isn’t it nice that I, as his parent, can make that choice for my son? It’s my decision, not the government’s.

    I would love to live in a world that limits my, my children’s, and all children’s possible exposure to pornography.

    Do you want to live in a world that limits your and your children’s exposure to Ezekiel 23? Because it’s not hard to imagine a powerful government banning that passage in an effort to limit “possible exposure to pornography”.

    Is that a choice you want some bureaucrats somewhere making?

  • The Jones

    Joe,

    I also live in the part of the globe governed by the 1st Amdendment. But the 1st amendment does not and never has protected pornography. Just because the 1st amendment doesn’t protect it, that doesn’t mean it is automatically banned, either. It just means it’s not protected. You seem to be making the point that pornography IS protected. Which leads to the next point. You asked…

    “Where would you draw the line? And, why? And who do yo suggest draw it? And, why? “

    Because the first amendment does not protect pornography, it is up to individual jurisdictions to decide, through representation and the legislative process, what is allowable and what is not. Should Playboy be allowed? No. Despite rumored existence of “excellent” articles in Playboy, not even playboy presents itself as anything more than a celebration of purient interests. Maxim and Romance novels? I have no idea what is in these things, so I’m not one to make the call. Legislatures who write the laws can do (and have already done) that. Go-Daddy commercials? Legislation can (and already does) give guidelines on what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. This is nothing new.

    Where do we allocate resources to stop these crimes? I don’t know. That’s up to Attourneys General, DAs, and Sherriffs to decide. I’m not expert. But since they already do it with everything from mob and gang violence to financial crimes, this is nothing to become nihilistic over.

    How much more in taxes am I willing to pay to fund my program? My program? You mean the criminal justice system? As much money as it takes. Why don’t you see the enforcement of law as worth your tax dollars?

  • The Jones

    Joe,

    I also live in the part of the globe governed by the 1st Amdendment. But the 1st amendment does not and never has protected pornography. Just because the 1st amendment doesn’t protect it, that doesn’t mean it is automatically banned, either. It just means it’s not protected. You seem to be making the point that pornography IS protected. Which leads to the next point. You asked…

    “Where would you draw the line? And, why? And who do yo suggest draw it? And, why? “

    Because the first amendment does not protect pornography, it is up to individual jurisdictions to decide, through representation and the legislative process, what is allowable and what is not. Should Playboy be allowed? No. Despite rumored existence of “excellent” articles in Playboy, not even playboy presents itself as anything more than a celebration of purient interests. Maxim and Romance novels? I have no idea what is in these things, so I’m not one to make the call. Legislatures who write the laws can do (and have already done) that. Go-Daddy commercials? Legislation can (and already does) give guidelines on what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. This is nothing new.

    Where do we allocate resources to stop these crimes? I don’t know. That’s up to Attourneys General, DAs, and Sherriffs to decide. I’m not expert. But since they already do it with everything from mob and gang violence to financial crimes, this is nothing to become nihilistic over.

    How much more in taxes am I willing to pay to fund my program? My program? You mean the criminal justice system? As much money as it takes. Why don’t you see the enforcement of law as worth your tax dollars?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Jones (@56) said:

    How much more in taxes am I willing to pay to fund my program? My program? You mean the criminal justice system? As much money as it takes.

    Ha. That I’d like to see.

    Why don’t you ask some people in law enforcement if they need more money. And, since you’re so committed to giving them “as much money as it takes”, I assume you’ll be happy signing over your entire salary on your tax return this year. You know, to keep us all safe.

    Do it for the kids.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Jones (@56) said:

    How much more in taxes am I willing to pay to fund my program? My program? You mean the criminal justice system? As much money as it takes.

    Ha. That I’d like to see.

    Why don’t you ask some people in law enforcement if they need more money. And, since you’re so committed to giving them “as much money as it takes”, I assume you’ll be happy signing over your entire salary on your tax return this year. You know, to keep us all safe.

    Do it for the kids.

  • Cincinnatus

    The Jones,

    Your comments in this thread have been uncharacteristically but uniformly unthoughtful. What they lack in plausibility they make up for in enthusiasm, so I’ve elected not to weigh in until this point.

    But your last comment, where you profess your willingness to give the criminal justice system “whatever it takes” to fund the entirety of our legal code, is simply absurd. Have you even paused to attempt to fathom how much money and manpower (and thus intrusiveness) would be required to enforce even one common element in our criminal codes? Let’s just take grafitti as an example. Can you imagine how many specially dedicated police officers it would take to enforce anti-vandalism laws effectively in even one city? What about our laws against “illegal” downloading? What about our drug war? We’ve poured enough resources into that debacle to bankrupt Bill Gates himself–to no avail (and I’m setting aside the issue of whether those efforts have actually been counterproductive)! Or take more innocuous civil laws: what would it take to enforce our speed limits on all roads at all times? Such prospects boggle the imagination!

    No one is arguing that we shouldn’t enforce valid laws, but prioritization is essential and inescapable. Any law requires staggering resources to enforce effectively. As I noted earlier, it would be virtually impossible to enforce anti-internet-porn laws at all, much less effectually. The resources needed by that program alone would be nearly infinite.

    Sorry: I’d rather that parents or “addicts” just solve the problem themselves: consult a priest, start a Bible study, install a web filter, something. Porn isn’t going away until the market for it goes away. Like I said, the problem is cultural. Believing that an omnicompetent law enforcement agency could help even a little bit is delusional.

  • Cincinnatus

    The Jones,

    Your comments in this thread have been uncharacteristically but uniformly unthoughtful. What they lack in plausibility they make up for in enthusiasm, so I’ve elected not to weigh in until this point.

    But your last comment, where you profess your willingness to give the criminal justice system “whatever it takes” to fund the entirety of our legal code, is simply absurd. Have you even paused to attempt to fathom how much money and manpower (and thus intrusiveness) would be required to enforce even one common element in our criminal codes? Let’s just take grafitti as an example. Can you imagine how many specially dedicated police officers it would take to enforce anti-vandalism laws effectively in even one city? What about our laws against “illegal” downloading? What about our drug war? We’ve poured enough resources into that debacle to bankrupt Bill Gates himself–to no avail (and I’m setting aside the issue of whether those efforts have actually been counterproductive)! Or take more innocuous civil laws: what would it take to enforce our speed limits on all roads at all times? Such prospects boggle the imagination!

    No one is arguing that we shouldn’t enforce valid laws, but prioritization is essential and inescapable. Any law requires staggering resources to enforce effectively. As I noted earlier, it would be virtually impossible to enforce anti-internet-porn laws at all, much less effectually. The resources needed by that program alone would be nearly infinite.

    Sorry: I’d rather that parents or “addicts” just solve the problem themselves: consult a priest, start a Bible study, install a web filter, something. Porn isn’t going away until the market for it goes away. Like I said, the problem is cultural. Believing that an omnicompetent law enforcement agency could help even a little bit is delusional.

  • The Jones

    Cinncinatus and tODD,

    To respond to your responses to me, I’ll quote myself and pick apart my quote which you seem to find so absurd.

    How much more in taxes am I willing to pay to fund my program? My program? You mean the criminal justice system? As much money as it takes.

    Why is it crazy to fund the criminal justice system? That’s what I’m saying. We already fund the criminal justice system. It’s one of the most basic functions of government.

    I seem to be getting attacked for upholding an infinite prosecution of pornography bordering on preemption of pornography resulting in the complete elimination of pornography from the internet and society. When have I EVER said anything close to that? Do you find it somewhere in this particular quote here? I don’t. What I’m saying is that “my program” (which everyone seems to be painting as Big Brother) is just the regular criminal justice system. How much tax money are we supposed to give the criminal justice system? Well, since it’s a basic function of government, you give it as much as takes to run the criminal justice system.

    I want pornography to be treated the same way that we treat prostitution, theft, murder, domestic assault, burglary, car-jacking, internet entertainment piracy, and high-seas piracy. All of these things (like pornography) are detrimental to society, all are not protected by the Constitution (like pornography), all have a market that can never completely be eliminated (like pornography), and all of them are prosecuted vigorously by the criminal justice system, even creating new laws when the old ones prove ineffective (unlike pornography).

    What’s the matter with prosecuting pornography as much as we do these other crimes? You may say there are blurry lines with pornography, but there are also blurry lines with domestic assault. The only reasons I’ve seen for why we should prosecute porn are 1. the first amendment (which is bogus) and 2. it’s impossible to stop (which is irrelevant).

    tODD brought up a wonderful quote: “Porn isn’t going away until the market for it goes away.” EXACTLY. Except all the arguments here seem to think that to do that, you don’t go after the supply, you don’t go after the advertising, you don’t go after the modes of distributing product, and instead, you just try and make people not want it in the midst of being bombarded by it.

    That’s just dumb. Pornography is destructive to society and totally unprotected by the Constitution. The Porn market needs to be assaulted by our criminal justice system, and you don’t do it by only attacking the demand side of the market by changing people’s attitudes. You also do it by going after the supply that breaks the law, objectifies women, destroys families and churches, and excites the base appetites of our nature. Go ahead and try and think of constitutional or “it’s hopeless” excuses not to prosecute pornography.

    Your apathy towards evil is astounding. Let addicts “solve the problem themselves: consult a priest, start a Bible study, install a web filter, something.” That’s like solving a widespread problem of serial rape by giving women running shoes and a baseball bat.

  • The Jones

    Cinncinatus and tODD,

    To respond to your responses to me, I’ll quote myself and pick apart my quote which you seem to find so absurd.

    How much more in taxes am I willing to pay to fund my program? My program? You mean the criminal justice system? As much money as it takes.

    Why is it crazy to fund the criminal justice system? That’s what I’m saying. We already fund the criminal justice system. It’s one of the most basic functions of government.

    I seem to be getting attacked for upholding an infinite prosecution of pornography bordering on preemption of pornography resulting in the complete elimination of pornography from the internet and society. When have I EVER said anything close to that? Do you find it somewhere in this particular quote here? I don’t. What I’m saying is that “my program” (which everyone seems to be painting as Big Brother) is just the regular criminal justice system. How much tax money are we supposed to give the criminal justice system? Well, since it’s a basic function of government, you give it as much as takes to run the criminal justice system.

    I want pornography to be treated the same way that we treat prostitution, theft, murder, domestic assault, burglary, car-jacking, internet entertainment piracy, and high-seas piracy. All of these things (like pornography) are detrimental to society, all are not protected by the Constitution (like pornography), all have a market that can never completely be eliminated (like pornography), and all of them are prosecuted vigorously by the criminal justice system, even creating new laws when the old ones prove ineffective (unlike pornography).

    What’s the matter with prosecuting pornography as much as we do these other crimes? You may say there are blurry lines with pornography, but there are also blurry lines with domestic assault. The only reasons I’ve seen for why we should prosecute porn are 1. the first amendment (which is bogus) and 2. it’s impossible to stop (which is irrelevant).

    tODD brought up a wonderful quote: “Porn isn’t going away until the market for it goes away.” EXACTLY. Except all the arguments here seem to think that to do that, you don’t go after the supply, you don’t go after the advertising, you don’t go after the modes of distributing product, and instead, you just try and make people not want it in the midst of being bombarded by it.

    That’s just dumb. Pornography is destructive to society and totally unprotected by the Constitution. The Porn market needs to be assaulted by our criminal justice system, and you don’t do it by only attacking the demand side of the market by changing people’s attitudes. You also do it by going after the supply that breaks the law, objectifies women, destroys families and churches, and excites the base appetites of our nature. Go ahead and try and think of constitutional or “it’s hopeless” excuses not to prosecute pornography.

    Your apathy towards evil is astounding. Let addicts “solve the problem themselves: consult a priest, start a Bible study, install a web filter, something.” That’s like solving a widespread problem of serial rape by giving women running shoes and a baseball bat.

  • kerner

    Hey, I know mt questions are not nearly as much fun as standing on high principles, but rather than argue for all or nothing, I’m still groping for some way to regulate porn such that the avalanche of porn slows down somewhat.

    Frankly, I’m looking for something similar to what has been done to regulate abortion. Various states have come up with regulatory requirements that make asbortions more difficult and expensive to get, and the providers can be punished for not complying with the rules, not for providing abortions per se. The practical result has been that there are fewer abortions and certainly fewer abortion providers, especially in those parts of the country that are the most heavily regulated. By increasing the amount of time and effort necessary to provide a single abortion, the providers’ operating costs have increased and their profit margins declined (and their customer base that can afford the more expensive product has shrunk) such that they have ceased to operate in some areas. This result may change because the Obama administration is trying to provide abortions at tax payer expense, but that’s another topic.

    I still think there is a way to come up with a set of rules or licensing requirements or SOMETHING, that would decrease the volume of porn. For crying out loud, just try yahoo searching a name that turns out to be similar to a porn star’s, and see the wide array of free samples that come up. If we can just create some system that requires pornographers to require customers to have to intentionally click a couple of times and identify themselves as adults and pay something to see the really dirty stuff, the extra effort and money required would deter a lot of casual or conscience stricken viewers to check it out less often. I know the really determined or amoral would still find it, but I’m not trying to stifle the First Amendment anyway. I’m just trying to figure out a way for this country, i.e. the government, to inject enough deterence into the system to give struggling porn addicts and parents a little relief. Is this really so impossible?

  • kerner

    Hey, I know mt questions are not nearly as much fun as standing on high principles, but rather than argue for all or nothing, I’m still groping for some way to regulate porn such that the avalanche of porn slows down somewhat.

    Frankly, I’m looking for something similar to what has been done to regulate abortion. Various states have come up with regulatory requirements that make asbortions more difficult and expensive to get, and the providers can be punished for not complying with the rules, not for providing abortions per se. The practical result has been that there are fewer abortions and certainly fewer abortion providers, especially in those parts of the country that are the most heavily regulated. By increasing the amount of time and effort necessary to provide a single abortion, the providers’ operating costs have increased and their profit margins declined (and their customer base that can afford the more expensive product has shrunk) such that they have ceased to operate in some areas. This result may change because the Obama administration is trying to provide abortions at tax payer expense, but that’s another topic.

    I still think there is a way to come up with a set of rules or licensing requirements or SOMETHING, that would decrease the volume of porn. For crying out loud, just try yahoo searching a name that turns out to be similar to a porn star’s, and see the wide array of free samples that come up. If we can just create some system that requires pornographers to require customers to have to intentionally click a couple of times and identify themselves as adults and pay something to see the really dirty stuff, the extra effort and money required would deter a lot of casual or conscience stricken viewers to check it out less often. I know the really determined or amoral would still find it, but I’m not trying to stifle the First Amendment anyway. I’m just trying to figure out a way for this country, i.e. the government, to inject enough deterence into the system to give struggling porn addicts and parents a little relief. Is this really so impossible?

  • Cincinnatus

    The Jones,

    You’re making a category mistake. Porn isn’t victimizing people in the same way that serial rapists do. Porn is something I choose to access and view. I don’t have to go on the internet. And if I do, I don’t have to linger on inappropriate websites (or I don’t have to surf without a filter, etc.; and effective filters exist: it was essentially impossible to access inappropriate material at my last place of employment). The federal government doesn’t regulate pornography rigidly for the same reason the FCC doesn’t police cable television as opposed to broadcast television: the argument goes that piping cable television into my home is a personal choice: I pay for it, I am responsible for what I view, and I could elect to do otherwise. Broadcast television is viewed as something of a public good. The internet isn’t–or at least shouldn’t be.

    Do I agree that porn is a problem in our society? Absolutely. But not everyone does. Everyone agrees that serial rape is a problem, and that concrete enforcement efforts are well within the scope and responsibility of civil government. But pornography? Here’s the question, The Jones. It’s one thing to bloviate about the extensive powers of the federal government, the evils of pornography, and my alleged moral callousness. But, to repeat kerner’s question, what exactly could the government do to outlaw/minimize internet pornography that would not also be a massive violation of basic constitutional rights? I can’t think of a way, and I don’t think I’m merely suffering from a failure of imagination here. On this very blog, we’ve already had extensive discussions concluding that the most recent such effort, the “.xxx” domain, is fruitless as far as that goes. In short, pornography transcends the scope and capacities of government, even if you don’t agree with my argument in the previous paragraph. Good luck.

    For social conservatives like Santorum, the federal government becomes a hammer and every moral and social problem is a nail (just as it is for progressives and other statists). They’re the ones lacking imagination. I shouldn’t be subject to accusations of moral flippancy, a lax attitude toward pornography, or cavalier libertarianism simply because I don’t believe that the problem of pornography cannot be effectively tackled by governmental instruments.

  • Cincinnatus

    The Jones,

    You’re making a category mistake. Porn isn’t victimizing people in the same way that serial rapists do. Porn is something I choose to access and view. I don’t have to go on the internet. And if I do, I don’t have to linger on inappropriate websites (or I don’t have to surf without a filter, etc.; and effective filters exist: it was essentially impossible to access inappropriate material at my last place of employment). The federal government doesn’t regulate pornography rigidly for the same reason the FCC doesn’t police cable television as opposed to broadcast television: the argument goes that piping cable television into my home is a personal choice: I pay for it, I am responsible for what I view, and I could elect to do otherwise. Broadcast television is viewed as something of a public good. The internet isn’t–or at least shouldn’t be.

    Do I agree that porn is a problem in our society? Absolutely. But not everyone does. Everyone agrees that serial rape is a problem, and that concrete enforcement efforts are well within the scope and responsibility of civil government. But pornography? Here’s the question, The Jones. It’s one thing to bloviate about the extensive powers of the federal government, the evils of pornography, and my alleged moral callousness. But, to repeat kerner’s question, what exactly could the government do to outlaw/minimize internet pornography that would not also be a massive violation of basic constitutional rights? I can’t think of a way, and I don’t think I’m merely suffering from a failure of imagination here. On this very blog, we’ve already had extensive discussions concluding that the most recent such effort, the “.xxx” domain, is fruitless as far as that goes. In short, pornography transcends the scope and capacities of government, even if you don’t agree with my argument in the previous paragraph. Good luck.

    For social conservatives like Santorum, the federal government becomes a hammer and every moral and social problem is a nail (just as it is for progressives and other statists). They’re the ones lacking imagination. I shouldn’t be subject to accusations of moral flippancy, a lax attitude toward pornography, or cavalier libertarianism simply because I don’t believe that the problem of pornography cannot be effectively tackled by governmental instruments.

  • Michael B.

    “For social conservatives like Santorum, the federal government becomes a hammer and every moral and social problem is a nail ”

    It’s interesting how many pro-life men think that it’s okay to oppose abortion at the federal level but not pornography.

  • Michael B.

    “For social conservatives like Santorum, the federal government becomes a hammer and every moral and social problem is a nail ”

    It’s interesting how many pro-life men think that it’s okay to oppose abortion at the federal level but not pornography.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “many pro-life men think that it’s okay to oppose abortion at the federal level”

    I think you have that backwards. Plenty of folks were and are willing to deal with abortion at the state level. It is the Roe decision that prohibits states from criminalizing abortion. In fact states can’t even burden the decision. Compare that to Europe where the restrictions are pretty tight.
    http://secularright.org/SR/wordpress/2009/10/07/its-better-in-europe-again/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “many pro-life men think that it’s okay to oppose abortion at the federal level”

    I think you have that backwards. Plenty of folks were and are willing to deal with abortion at the state level. It is the Roe decision that prohibits states from criminalizing abortion. In fact states can’t even burden the decision. Compare that to Europe where the restrictions are pretty tight.
    http://secularright.org/SR/wordpress/2009/10/07/its-better-in-europe-again/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But, to repeat kerner’s question, what exactly could the government do to outlaw/minimize internet pornography that would not also be a massive violation of basic constitutional rights? I can’t think of a way, and I don’t think I’m merely suffering from a failure of imagination here.”

    Well, the government, state or local preferably, could require that new computers sold or delivered to their zip codes have porn blocking technology integrated into their software packages. That would help protect the young and those not able to disable it, which is really most of the public. It would not be perfect, but it wouldn’t be massively intrusive. Heck DVDs come with region codes. You can get around them but it takes concerted effort that most peoplejust aren’t going to do.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_region_code

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But, to repeat kerner’s question, what exactly could the government do to outlaw/minimize internet pornography that would not also be a massive violation of basic constitutional rights? I can’t think of a way, and I don’t think I’m merely suffering from a failure of imagination here.”

    Well, the government, state or local preferably, could require that new computers sold or delivered to their zip codes have porn blocking technology integrated into their software packages. That would help protect the young and those not able to disable it, which is really most of the public. It would not be perfect, but it wouldn’t be massively intrusive. Heck DVDs come with region codes. You can get around them but it takes concerted effort that most peoplejust aren’t going to do.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_region_code

  • http://greenearsandsham.wordpress.com Josh Grenier

    Dear toDD,
    Sorry about the misunderstanding about the “free access.” I should have made it clearer. I should have made a lot of what I’ve said clearer. I wish I had thought more about my own remarks, and made them clearer and more precise. You remarks have made me ponder. I do think that, as you said, we are going in circles, and I think we have a different philosophy of what governments are for. I could easily say, in a way, we are both right. But I would also like to make one more assertion. Let’s say your son or daughter is 8 years old. You all, as a family, are going to the beach for some fun in the sun. As you lie there, a man and a woman who are fully nude walk right in front of you. You shield your own eyes, but your children are out of reach. The nudists finally leave, and just when you thought nothing else could happen, you see 2 more nude people, not up wondering around, but are having full on sex, and all in full exposure to everyone there. Someone is on the phone with the police, and they are on their way. The police cover both of the offending couples, and arrest them for indecent exposure and lewd acts in public (or something like that). Should the police have done this? Should the person even have reported it? Should we just let the nudists flood the non-nudist beaches and just hope we can explain away what we and our children have seen, or just hope that we can we have time to shield the eyes of our children? Maybe we should just stop visiting any beaches.
    I hope, by making up this exaggerated story, I have made plain my points. Point 1: You seem to assert that I am asking the government (i.e. the police) to protect me from myself. I’m not. Point 2: These indecency-obscenity laws are already in place. Is it lunacy that we should ask our government (the police) to enforce them? Point 3: You assert I’m saying I get to dictate what gets put into law. Well, point of fact, I am. I am, you are, and every citizen is “the people” of the government for the people by the people. We all have a responsibility to, in our case, chose representatives who will uphold the law and present new laws to adapt to the changes in the culture. What I’m saying is if the citizens of this country we are allowed to prohibit the production and sale of hardcore pornography (the likes of which rape is depicted, girls are made to look prepubescent or at least teen-age (and sometimes are), violence is used heavily and pain is inflicted, animals are sometimes used and abused, and human depravity is put on full display all to give the viewer more pleasure), that you toDD, and some other’s that have been commenting would vote “nay”? Am I also to assume, you would vote for gay marriage? And the sale of liquor, cigarettes, and illegal drugs would be open to all people of all ages to partake of legally if you had your way? Should we have absolutely no government instilled rules that help protect us and our families from our natural sinful desires, just because we want the freedom to do them all? Does anyone else see the problem I’m hopefully addressing? Boy, if I not right on any of this, somebody please shoot me.

  • http://greenearsandsham.wordpress.com Josh Grenier

    Dear toDD,
    Sorry about the misunderstanding about the “free access.” I should have made it clearer. I should have made a lot of what I’ve said clearer. I wish I had thought more about my own remarks, and made them clearer and more precise. You remarks have made me ponder. I do think that, as you said, we are going in circles, and I think we have a different philosophy of what governments are for. I could easily say, in a way, we are both right. But I would also like to make one more assertion. Let’s say your son or daughter is 8 years old. You all, as a family, are going to the beach for some fun in the sun. As you lie there, a man and a woman who are fully nude walk right in front of you. You shield your own eyes, but your children are out of reach. The nudists finally leave, and just when you thought nothing else could happen, you see 2 more nude people, not up wondering around, but are having full on sex, and all in full exposure to everyone there. Someone is on the phone with the police, and they are on their way. The police cover both of the offending couples, and arrest them for indecent exposure and lewd acts in public (or something like that). Should the police have done this? Should the person even have reported it? Should we just let the nudists flood the non-nudist beaches and just hope we can explain away what we and our children have seen, or just hope that we can we have time to shield the eyes of our children? Maybe we should just stop visiting any beaches.
    I hope, by making up this exaggerated story, I have made plain my points. Point 1: You seem to assert that I am asking the government (i.e. the police) to protect me from myself. I’m not. Point 2: These indecency-obscenity laws are already in place. Is it lunacy that we should ask our government (the police) to enforce them? Point 3: You assert I’m saying I get to dictate what gets put into law. Well, point of fact, I am. I am, you are, and every citizen is “the people” of the government for the people by the people. We all have a responsibility to, in our case, chose representatives who will uphold the law and present new laws to adapt to the changes in the culture. What I’m saying is if the citizens of this country we are allowed to prohibit the production and sale of hardcore pornography (the likes of which rape is depicted, girls are made to look prepubescent or at least teen-age (and sometimes are), violence is used heavily and pain is inflicted, animals are sometimes used and abused, and human depravity is put on full display all to give the viewer more pleasure), that you toDD, and some other’s that have been commenting would vote “nay”? Am I also to assume, you would vote for gay marriage? And the sale of liquor, cigarettes, and illegal drugs would be open to all people of all ages to partake of legally if you had your way? Should we have absolutely no government instilled rules that help protect us and our families from our natural sinful desires, just because we want the freedom to do them all? Does anyone else see the problem I’m hopefully addressing? Boy, if I not right on any of this, somebody please shoot me.

  • The Jones

    tODD @61,

    Here’s the question, The Jones. It’s one thing to bloviate about the extensive powers of the federal government, the evils of pornography, and my alleged moral callousness. But, to repeat kerner’s question, what exactly could the government do to outlaw/minimize internet pornography that would not also be a massive violation of basic constitutional rights?

    My idea: The justice department goes to a porn site, gets “evidence” (porn), proves that existing law was violated in court, and puts real people (porn distributors) in jail for illegal activity. Keep in mind, it is already illegal to distribute pornography across most all interstate channels.

    If there is ambiguity in the law regarding internet porn distribution over interstate lines, then the congress passes a law to make what is already illegal in real life also illegal in digital realm in the same way. Then repeat the process above.

    It is no violation of1st amendment rights (because porn is not protected by the 1st amendment). It is only an old law updated to meet the demands of new circumstances. Then, producers of pornography would not be very bold in the distribution of their material since they could go to jail for doing it. That way, if people want to stay away from pornography despite temptation, they can actually do so instead of being bombarded with it through spam, highly advertised sites, and easy access. TA-DAH! The volume of porn significantly goes down.

    That’s my plan. Why is it unconstitutional?

  • The Jones

    tODD @61,

    Here’s the question, The Jones. It’s one thing to bloviate about the extensive powers of the federal government, the evils of pornography, and my alleged moral callousness. But, to repeat kerner’s question, what exactly could the government do to outlaw/minimize internet pornography that would not also be a massive violation of basic constitutional rights?

    My idea: The justice department goes to a porn site, gets “evidence” (porn), proves that existing law was violated in court, and puts real people (porn distributors) in jail for illegal activity. Keep in mind, it is already illegal to distribute pornography across most all interstate channels.

    If there is ambiguity in the law regarding internet porn distribution over interstate lines, then the congress passes a law to make what is already illegal in real life also illegal in digital realm in the same way. Then repeat the process above.

    It is no violation of1st amendment rights (because porn is not protected by the 1st amendment). It is only an old law updated to meet the demands of new circumstances. Then, producers of pornography would not be very bold in the distribution of their material since they could go to jail for doing it. That way, if people want to stay away from pornography despite temptation, they can actually do so instead of being bombarded with it through spam, highly advertised sites, and easy access. TA-DAH! The volume of porn significantly goes down.

    That’s my plan. Why is it unconstitutional?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Jones (@66), that’s the second time you’ve labeled Cincinnatus’ comments as being mine. Are you doing that on purpose?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Jones (@66), that’s the second time you’ve labeled Cincinnatus’ comments as being mine. Are you doing that on purpose?

  • The Jones

    tODD,

    My apologies. No, it is not on purpose. It is purely out of the habit of seeing your name so much in the comments. Sometimes I just get lost in the feed.

  • The Jones

    tODD,

    My apologies. No, it is not on purpose. It is purely out of the habit of seeing your name so much in the comments. Sometimes I just get lost in the feed.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Jones (@68), no worries. I just couldn’t tell what the point would have been. But no matter.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The Jones (@68), no worries. I just couldn’t tell what the point would have been. But no matter.

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