Monday, July 23, 2007

Dennis Miller was asked the other day about his take on the recent events in Boulder, Colorado, where the high school student body was subjected to a presentation by convicts who were openly advocating irresponsible sexual behavior and illicit drug use. His response was something along the lines of (paraphrased) “I feel like Chuck Heston, where I wake up and the monkey’s on the pony”. I thought it was a brilliant analogy since I often have the same what-the-hell-is-happening-in-this-country feeling. Here is my Charlton Heston, Planet of the Apes, moment for the week:

Charges against a man accused of repeatedly raping and molesting a 7-year-old girl were dismissed last week because the court could not find an interpreter fluent in the suspect's native West African language.

A court-ordered psychiatrist determined that (the accused) Mahamu Kanneh, despite his functional facility with English — he originally spoke with detectives in English, The Post reports - needed to have Vai spoken in order to understand the proceedings against him.
FOX News spoke with a man who claimed to be Kanneh in a five-minute phone conversation on Sunday (after he was released) in English. He said the allegations against him were false and the dismissal of the charges was "a good thing." Asked if the accusations were true, he responded, "I said what I had to say" and hung up.

The Washington Post wrote in its article that in just one night reporters were independently able to identify three Vai translators available to assist in the case.According to witnesses who originally reported the case to authorities, Kanneh allegedly repeatedly raped and sexually molested the girl, a relative. In a statement made by the girl to police, she said she had been told she'd be forced to stay in the apartment unless she had sex with Kanneh.

20 comments:

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

"Boulder, Colorado where the high school student body was subjected to a presentation by convicts.."

Just curious. What is the provenance of the fact that any of the panel members were convicts?

As for Mr. Heston, as you know, he was, and if he retains the mental capacity which I understand he does not, is, a firm advocate on the 2nd Amendmant.

Curiously, your description of your Planet of the Apes moment omitted a critical fact. The charges against the defendant were not dismissed b/c the court could not find an interpreter. The charges were dismissed b/c the judge determined that the state's failure to bring the case to trial after three years was a violation of the defendant's 6th Amendment rights.

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall heve been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assitance of counsel for his defense.

Okay. This crime allegedly occurred in the state of Maryland. Even though the official state sport of Maryland is jousting, I think we can agree that sexual assault on a child is one of the most heinous crimes there is.

So here are the questions that occurred to me and that I submit should have ocurred to you.

1. How was this guy ever able to make bail? The court sets bail but I suspect that if the evidence against him was compelling, no bail would have been set or bail would have been set in an amount that was well beyond his ability to raise.

2. If the evidence against this gut were so compelling that neither you nor I would want him breathing free air, why didn't the state's attorney's office bring this matter to trial sooner?

I mean Fox News and you give the impression that the court and the prosecutor were merely wringing their hands for 3 years and bemoaning their inability to find someone who spoke Vai, whether that was necessary.

Prosecutors are at best zealous advocates of public safety and at worse self aggrandizing pols. No matter where these prosecutors fell along that line, if this were a good case, why wouldn't they have ripped into it?

John Washburn said...

"I suspect that if the evidence against him was compelling, no bail would have been set or bail would have been set in an amount that was well beyond his ability to raise."

You obviously are unaware of today's legal environment and the constant push, especially from the judiciary, to be lenient on child predators. It's the old notion that this is a disease and not a crime. You're question wreaks of naivety.

And the attorneys office wasn't wringing their hands as much as they were sitting on their hands. There was obviously enough evidence to indict this man for child rape, so the question as to why the prosecutor didn't act responsibly is a good one indeed.

Yes, he was released because of lack of speedy trial, but this was because the court was too inept to find the interpreter that some wack psychiatrist deemed was necessary, even though this person knew enough English to speak with police and reporters, and even though those reporters located 3 translators within a day.

This post is not about the Constitution, it's about our criminal justice system and it's complete lack of competence. This should be an outrage for any American citizen, yet you seem to not have a problem with it. Does this not disturb you that an alleged child rapist is roaming free because our courts failed to deliver justice?

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

With all due respect Mr. Washburn, why don't you take a break from Fox News and spend a little time learning about what what really occurs in the American criminal justice system?

My position does not "wreak" of naivety. The definition of the the word "wreak" is "to inflict vengeance or punishment on a person." The word you meant to employ was "reek" which is defined as: "To smoke, steam, or fume. 2. To be pervaded by something unpleasent. 3. To give off or become permeated with with a strong and unpleasent odor."

I suspect you intended the third meaning, however, it is very bad form for someone who holds themself out as an author to make this mistake.

That said, you need to cite some facts that support your contention that [in] "today's legal environment [there is] a constant push especially from the judiciary, to be lenient on child predators. It's the old notion that this is a disease not a crime."

Unless you are able to support your contention with some factualbasis, it is nothing more than the southern product of a north walking horse.

"This post is not about the Constitution, it's about our criminal justice system and it's complete lack of comptence."

Mr. Washburn. Your post is about the Constitution, whether you recognize it or not. As for me being naive, I would not trade that characteristic for your ignorance if you believe our crimoinal justice system is completely incompetent. It is very competent. It is not infallible.

Let us suppose that the dismissal of the charges against Mahamu Kenneh was actually a miscarriage of justice, by which I mean that the allegations against the defendant were actually true and that a child molester was released on procedural grounds. Even if that were true, your Your pronouncement is stupid in the third sense of that word: "Showing a lack or sense of intelligence."

Okay, let's see here. Thousands of child molesters are sentenced each year. One went free so according to Mr. Washburn, the entire system is broken and incompetent.

Perhaps you should visit rfraley301.blogspot.com and voice your concerns to Roger Fraley and Diomedes, a couple of former prosecutors.

Even better, perhaps you consider your comments more carefully before you post them.

Anonymous said...

John, Be careful with Loop Garoo, he's a practicing attorney, and he
even defends the Golden, Colorado school
officials for inviting some California Dudes w/o Teaching Credentials to lecture High School
kids on the benefits to be gained
from Ecstacy Parties, and Indiscriminate Casual, Same-gender Sex Experimentation.

Caveat! He's quite articulate, a Master of Jurisprudence, and enjoys baiting the unwary Blogger to sharpen his Juris Combat skills. I suspect he'd gladly take either side of any robust morality issue. He loves the challenge.
>>
Loop, you're a rascal, but I like
you, in spite of yourself! reb

www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

John Washburn said...

And our resident English teacher has once again ranted for several paragraphs without addressing the issue at hand, and no comment or opinion on why an indicted child molester is now free because of the court's incompetence. Instead, he adamantly defends the court, which I'm certain wouldn't be the case if his child were the one who was ravaged by this animal. A child molester may have escaped justice, I condemn that, and he calls me "stupid". Thanks for that stroke of brilliance. Next may be stupid-head.

I have cited many of examples of the justice system turning a blind eye from pedophiles, do your own research.

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

Okay.

So I should do my own research to support your positionm regarding "courts'" soft position on pedophiles?

Yet, you have cited many examples.

"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."

John Washburn said...

This does, at times, get tiring. Does anyone else feel like I'm being repetitive? Perhaps if the "kid" would watch Fox News, he would learn a few things:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,280572,00.html

http://www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/articles/2006/03/15/leaders_seek_judges_ouster_over_sex_offenders_sentence/

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=48219

Oh, and look up NAMBLA. Their "right" to have sex with young boys is defended by the ACLU

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

a) As I understand the case, the defendant waived his right to a speedy trial, and

b) having a High School Diploma, then moving on to college courses (in english), he had no real need for an interpreter. It was a slick Defense Ploy that put that predator back on the street.

I've often wondered how that type lawyer ever gets any sound sleep? If he's really good, like Johnny Cochran, I suppose he can justify 'bout anything! I certainly couldn't. Weak stomach!

c) It appears on its face to be just another example of...

Judicial AND Prosecutorial Misconduct! But, what do I know?

I'm just a gruff old self-employed businessman, property manager, and
as a young guy drove a cab, tended bar, and had some Ice Cream Concessions here and there. I should learn to defer to wiser heads!

Counselor, yer turn. reb

www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

reb,

Briefly.

a. According to a Washington Post article I read, Kanneh did waive his right to a speedy trial. His atty argued that the waiver was only good until his next scheduled court appearence. I always thought that the right once waived was waived for good but I am not expert in criminal procedure. The MD appelate courts will sort it out. Maybe the judge was correct as a matter of law.

b. I wonder how you and Mr. Washburn gnash your teeth and rend your clothes and cry: "It was a slick defense ploy that put that predator back on the street."

I am not even going to give you the "innocnet until proven guilty" speech. I merely point out that he was already on the street, having made bail. I continue to think the evidence against him was not that compelling if he made bail. If there were a lot of physical eveidence bail would have been denied or set so high he could not have made it.

In the criminal system, the defense atty is charged w/ zealously representing his client w/in the bounds of the law. The prosecutor is charged w/ doing justice which is why the DA may not w/hold exculpatory evidence. This is one way in which Mike Nifong fell from grace.

You have to trust the system. It's not perfect, but it works better than any in the world.

The poet Archilochus advised his friend Glaukos: "Keep a mercenary for a friend to stand by in battle." This is why you should never retain an atty who advertises himself as a "Christian lawyer."


c. Judicial and/or prosecutorial ineptitude, not misconduct. The DA in the Duke lacrosse case--that was prosecutorial misconduct.

All for now. Spanking Mr. Washburn on the ACLU and NAMBLA will have to wait, but it will happen.

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

Dear Mr. Washburn,

No, I don't think I would learn too much from Fox News, not in the way of facts; but perhaps in the manner of truthiness.

Hear and attend oh Best Beloved while I tell you the tale of the ASCLU of which you appear to be completely ignorant.

B/f we begin, I will ask whether you believe in the First Amendment. If not, you need read no further. But if you do, please continue.

This is a portion of a statement issued by the American Civil Liberties Union on August 31, 2000:

"In the United States Supreme Court over the past few years, the ACLU has taken the side of a fundamentalist Christian Church, a Santerian church, and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. In celebrated cases, the ACLU has stood up for everyone from Oliver North to the National Socialist Party. In spite of that, the ACLU has never advocated Christianity, ritual animal sacrifice, trading arms for hostages, or genocide. In representing NAMBLA today, our Massachusetts affiliate does not advocate sexual relationships between adults and children.

What the ACLU does advoctate is robust freedom of speech for everyone. The lawsuit involved here, were it to succeed, would strike at the heart of freedom of speech. The case is based on a shocking murder. But the lawsuit says the crime is the responsibility not of those who committed the murder, but of someone who posted vile material on the internet. The pricipal is as simple as it is central to freedom of speech: those who do wrong are responsible for what they do; those who speak about it are not.

It is easy to defend speech when the message is something many people at least find reasonable. But the defense of freedom of speech is most critical when the message is one most people find repulsive. That was true when the Nazis marched in Skokie. It remains true today."

So where is the defense to the "right" to have sex w/ children?

Welcome to school, Mr. Washburn. I may make you one of my projects. I care very little about your political beliefs. I care very much about the publication of inaccuracies.

See you around.

John Washburn said...

There is no defending the ACLU, they want unabated moral relativism which seems to be okay with you. NAMBLA is a group of men that likes to have sex with young boys. If that's OK, then why doesn't the ACLU come to the aid of the Catholic church? They defend NAMBLA, an organization that belongs in prison, and you support them for it. I don't need schooling to see that.

I condemn the incompetent court that fails to bring an accused child rapist to trial, you call me stupid. I condemn the West Hollywood City Council for accusing the President of high crimes and misdemeanors without evidence, you are outraged at my misuse of homonyms. I condemn the ACLU for defending child rapists, and you spin a poetic prose about how wonderful they are and how much they truly love the Constitution. If that's so, then why do they adamantly argue for "separation of church and state"?

And you propose to "school me". No thanks. I'm well aware of the philosophical teachings of the Kool Aid cult, I just choose not to drink the damn stuff.

And I'm growing very weary of you continually twisting my words into something I never said. You truly must be a lawyer!

"It was a slick defense ploy that put that predator back on the street."

This was never my contention. I wonder if you even read the post? You wanted this to be a Constitutional issue, and yet I never disagreed with the Judge's decision to release the man. Nor did I blame the defense. In fact, I never even mentioned the defense. I took issue with 1) the fact that the court couldn't recognize that this man was fluent in English, and 2) the fact that the court failed to provide a translator. They failed in their duty to the people of Maryland and the people of America. And your response to this is to say oh well, there probably wasn't much evidence against him. And you say I need schooling.

Stunning.

Nice try, but you will not snare me in your lawyerly web of poop.

Welcome to reality, my friend. It's much different than the realm of fantasy you and your progressive cohorts dwell in.

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

Loop Garoosum,

Your quote, "If this were a good case, why wouldn't the prosecution
rip into it? Well, that's a valid
question, and I suppose the answer
is hidden in the hearts of those
that legally represent the people in weak-willed states that are light on sick perverts that commit heinous sex crimes on defenseless babies.

Bill O'Reilly garners a lot of friction from states that resist
enacting Jessica's Law! Ask yourself why The Factor is top-rated. Why do Golden, Colorado critics so vigorously ridicule his Tv Show without ever having tuning in; do they
clandestinely watch, but fear to admit it? Such is the poisonous atmosphere rendered by ugly partisan bias!
>>
Is it true that Hillary Clinton now
wishes to drop the Liberal Tag, in
favor of "Progressive"? Is there an astute, left-of-center attorney out there that can enlighten this frayed old codger on the 'true' difference? Come on, Loop, you have more answers than most. Or, is
she just playin' with Obama's Noggin, after the "Bush/Cheney Lite" remark? reb

www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

reb,

It's Boulder not Golden. The University of Colorado is in Boulder; Colorado School of Mines and Coors are in Golden.

As for Colorado O'Reilly critics, most have tunesd in at least once and found him not to their taste. It is a matter of taste afetr all, but I will admit that when anyone iopines as mucgh as Bill O'Reilly does, it is relatively easy to find instances in which he gets it wrong.

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Jessica's Law apply to convicted sex offenders. Kanneh was charged w/ a sex crime but I haven't read that he was previously convicted of one.

So far as this case is concerned, the only explanation for the how the case was handled will be revealed by the evidence. I suspect there is no physical evidence. Physical evidence is the strongest evidence in a criminal case. If there were physical eveidence, Kanneh would be behind bars. I suspect, that the complaint is founded on affidavits. Someone said Kanneh committed these heinous acts.

I am sure that you will agree that bail should not be denied merely on someone's say so.

I say, let's see what we can discover about the facts before reaching a judgment.

Why is the "Factor" top rated? Please understand that the following answer is pure opinion on my part w/ no research behind it.

The "Factor" is successful b/c there is a significant number of people in this country who like having their buttons pushed. Bill O'Reilly is a master of this, and for that I tip my hat to him. Let me also say, I don't think it's bad to like having your buttons pushed--so long as you understand that is what's happening.

Rush Limbaugh, who does not command your respect as much as Bill O'Reilly does, is also very successful. On the other hand, the Air America crew flies so low as to escape the radar.

So I am going to go out on a limb here and generalize. People on the more conservative end of the political scale like having their buttons pushed more than on the more liberal end.

I do not know why this is, but it seems to be so.

So far as Hillary is concerned, you now I am not a great fan of her's, but the change to "Progressive" from "Liberal" is politically astute inasmuch as the "L" word over the course of the last quarter century has become poisonous from a political standpoint.

Look at the hate in the way the bloggers on some of your links refer to liberals. Though he's not one of your links, let us not forget "Godhatesliberals".

Okay on to Mr. Washburn who is beginning to remind of a lyric by Delbert McClinton: "The more your lips keep moving; the more you keep losing ground."

The ACLU takes cases involving the Bill of Rights.

So here is my question to you Mr. Washburn. Do you support the Bill of Rights. Yes or No. No moral relatism there.

I will continue to accuse you of failing to think critically. Read the facts of the NAMBLA case.
As for the ACLU defending Catholic Church, there is no First Amendmment issue involved in alleged sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

So an organization that protects peoples rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America belongs in prison? Think about it Mr. Washburn. Perhaps you are guilty or moral absolutism. Just like the mullahs.

You may condemn whoever you like. But when you fail to grasp the facts; when you ignore the evidence; and particularly when you get the facts wrong, as you appear to do frequently, why then, it is school time.

"The Kool Aid Cult." Who are they? I thought that was Jim Jones' Church. So enlighten me Mr. Washburn. What is "the Kool Aid Cult." I checked my wallet and did not find a card identifying me as a member.

As for the "slick ploy" reference, inasmuch as that was reb's comment, my response was to him, which you would have understood had you read his comment and mine.

"Welcome to reality." I seem to recall a children's book called "The Velveteen Rabbit," in which the protagonist asks, "What is real?" I also seem to recall a comment by a GOP operative early on in the Bush administration. The guy said something to the effect of "We will amke our own reality." I will have the quote for you later.

Initially, I suspect the empirical world in which we dwell is actually much the same.

But we can work on your style. "My lawyerly web of poop."

I don't twist your words Mr. Washburn. I merely read them. I read what you write. And I will tell when you when you are correct as when you state that the president may only be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, although you haven't been correct most of the time.

Tell me Washburn, do you denigrate all lawyers, or was that comment just aimed at me?

My original resonse to your last comment re your July 20th post was lost so I recreated it yesterday. It had to do w/ facts. You know, the ones you tend not to discover; the ones you distort; and the ones you ignore.

Cheers.

John Washburn said...

"I wonder how you and Mr. Washburn gnash your teeth and rend your clothes and cry: "It was a slick defense ploy that put that predator back on the street"

Yes, it's obvious that I didn't read your quote. How on earth could I think that the above was directed at me?

"It had to do w/ facts. You know, the ones you tend not to discover; the ones you distort; and the ones you ignore"

"...you fail to grasp the facts; when you ignore the evidence; and particularly when you get the facts wrong, as you appear to do frequently..."

I am beginning to see a pattern here, and it is one common to the Left (as I've said before). I have an objection to the idea of the ACLU defending NAMBLA, namely because the latter advocates child molestation. Yes, that disturbs me. Yes, I feel the ACLU is wrong. You obviously have no defense for what they're doing. You are unable to rationalize their actions. You mention the Bill of Rights, but I don't recall raping children to be part of the Bill of Rights.

So, instead, you decide to repeat the same theme - that I am misinformed, perhaps uneducated, and certainly unenlightened. Meanwhile, you have the facts straight and take pity on ignorant peasants like myself. Again, this is not uncommon. Lost in the pitying is the argument at hand, which is the fact that the ACLU advocates for a group that advocates for child rape; not to mention the fact that they impose "separation of church and state" on others with no Constitutional basis to their argument.

Sorry, but I will not fall for it. Not on my own site. Call me what you want, make your claims about my lack of information, but I feel you should address the issue at hand and explain why NAMBLA is okay and why they deserve to be defended. It shouldn't be too easy if I'm so unenlightened. My readers aren't the typical Communist News Network clones who will believe anything they read. They will expect a little more. So just telling them that I am uninformed won't be enough. You gotta do better than that.

So far your arguments have been pallid. Assuming that there was no evidence against the accused child rapist while giving no opinion on the obvious incompetence of the court is just one example. Trying to turn that issue into a Constitutional issue is another. Can't you do better? Can't you make an argument other than "you don't have all the facts"?

John Washburn said...

And for the "moral absolutism"...What are morals if they are not absolute? Doesn't the idea of 'absolute' encompass the definition of morals? If your morals are not absolute, then you essentially have no morals. I say child rape and man-boy love is wrong. It is absolutely wrong, without exception. If you want to compare me to a Mullah because of that, well then go ahead. Calling me a Mullah will not change my position that child rape is absolutely wrong.

And for the Kool Aid...You are right about the Jim Jones reference. Jones' cult committed mass suicide by drinking Kool Aid for one odd reason or another, but mainly because when they gripped their cup of Kool Aid, no one handed it back and said "No thanks. I don't want to drink poison."

The metaphor applies to many in today's political environment. Let's take the current discussion on the ACLU. The issues of NAMBLA, 'separation of church & state', defending the Nazis, etc, are all issues of controversy. And as they fill your Dixie cup to the rim, you may think that NAMBLA and the Nazis are wrong in what they do. But, just as those thoughts arise, they hand the cup over with a transparent smile and say, "It's okay, it's the Bill of Rights....mmmmmmm...it's yummy!"

And what do you do? You say "I love the Bill of Rights" and lap it up drop for drop until that cup's empty, without question. After all, far be it anyone to question the Bill of Rights.

Then, when it's my turn and I refuse to drink, you pivot to me and say, "What...you got a problem with the Bill of Rights?" Then a hush comes over the crowd and everyone stares at me like I'm some kind of Communist or something.

No, I love the Bill of Rights, I love the Constitution, I love America. I do, however, have a problem drinking poison. I don't like it, and no matter what you TELL me is in that cup, it doesn't change the fact that it's still poison. If you want to drink, go ahead. But not me.

And so it goes with the ACLU. Child rapists and Nazis are poison, no matter how much Bill-of-Rights flavor you mix with them. That's what the ACLU is all about. The poison they push is moral relativism, which tastes awful, so they flavor it up with the Bill of Rights in order to get people to drink it down. Of course, if we all drink the poison of moral relativism, we will all eventually die.

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

Mr. Washburn,

Please direct me to your position of the separation of church and state as I suspect it is one that you have expressed previously. If you wish to state it again then I will read it.

Reduced to it esentials, your position on free speech is: "It's OK so long as the subject matter of the speech isn't offensive."

Neither the ACLU not YT advocates adult men having sex w/ boys. Last time I checked, no one in the ACLU nor YT were card carrying neo Nazis.

Obviously you do not agree w/ Voltaire or the lines attributed to him. The problem w/ drawing a line and saying: "This speech is so offensive that it should be probibited" is that once the line is drawn, it can be redrawn, and redrawn again and again.

Who decides right and wrong? Last time I checked it is illegal for an adult to have sexual relations w/ a child below the age of consent b/c a child cannot give such consent as a matter of law. But should talking about that sexual relationship be illegal? Let's change the sexes: What about men having sexual relationship w/ underage girls? It is just as illegal. Should it be illegal to write about such relationships? Should it be unlawful to possess such writings? If so, you have just atempted to ban "Lolita" and "Gravity's Rainbow' among others.

So my next question is: Do you believe that certain books should be banned. By banned I do not mean "not taught in HS." I mean illegal to possess.

I am also curious to know your position on the Genarlow Wilson case.

Meanwhile, moral absolutism is not the same as moral. The noun here is "absolutism" not "moral(s)" "Absolutism," in the sense that I used it, means an absolute doctrine, pricipal, or standard. And whereas I try and lead a moral life, there is a problem w/ moral absolutism when two differing doctrines of moral absolutism collide.

Can Christians coexist w/ Muslims or Muslim w/ Jews if any adherent takes takes the position: "I know the way and all other ways are false?"

It is easy to be against men having sex w/ boys but that is not the issue. See no one is asking you to drink the Kool Aid. But it seems as if your position is: "Not only am I not going to drink the Kool Aid, but it should be unlawful to even talk about the Kool Aid."

B/c as we know, if we don't talk about it, it really doesn't exist, does it? Wait a minute. How can we teach our children what ius poison unless we talk about it?

No one is pushing "moral relativism" and if I were to call you the opposite of the categories you have flung at me, I would say, "Oh he's just playing the moral relativism card."

Mr. Washburn, when it comes to free speech, you cannot legislate morality. Please don't react and take that statement to mean that a state cannot and should not legislate against adults having sex w/ children, although I am happy that in my state, b/c the laws were written by better legislators than one apparently finds in GA, Genarlow Wilson would not have committed a crime.

As for the ACLU, it is easy to rationalize what they do. They protect the Bill of Rights against people like you. Here's a suggestion. Sit doen and watch that classic chick flick "The American President." If you don't want to watch the whole thing, FF until Michael Douglas' last speech about 10 minutes from the end.

If however, you are unable to differentiate between the freedom of speech and drinking poison, I suspect that failure may be beyond my poor powers to correct.

John Washburn said...

I think my point was missed. You still act as though I have a problem with free speech. Of course I support free speech, even when it is offensive. Such is the case with Rosie O'Donnell and Cindy Sheehan. They have the right to say what they say, so be it.

I do have a problem with harmful speech, which is NOT protected by the Constitution, and allowing an entire "association" to openly discuss sexual acts with young boys is harmful. Are you fully prepared to tell me that NONE of these men take the words of that organization literally? That none of them ACT out what they discuss? That they don't encourage sex with children? Come on, counselor, you know better. Hence, the Kool Aid reference.

Openly discussing and encouraging sex with children amounts to yelling fire in a theater, it is harmful and should not be defended. Same goes with the Nazis, a group that openly advocates hate and acts of violence against those of "lesser" geneology. Their speech - and that of NAMBLA - transcends offensive and is harmful. That's what I oppose, and telling me they're defending the Bill of Rights doesn't change it.

As far as Wilson, he had sex with a minor and therefore is guilty of rape.

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

Mr. Washburn,

I am curious on a number of issues, such as the location of your prior comments on the separation of church and state; your position of whether any books should be banned outright, by which I mean possession of such a book is unlawful; and whether you see the world is black and white as it seems you do to me.

Genarlow Wilson, a 17 year old GA HS student and as I recall a star on the football and track teams and an honor roll student w/ no prior run ins w/ the law, had consensual oral sex w/ a 15 year old girl for which he was convicted of saggrtavated child molestation and sentenced to prison for 10 years. The age of consent in GA is 16.

In the jurisdiction in which I reside, the pertinent definitions of sexual assault are if the victim is less than 15 years of age; and the actor is at least 4 years older and not the spouse of the victim. Or if the victim is 15-17 years old and the actor is at least 10 years older and not the spouse of the victim.

So Genarlow Wilson is in prison for 10 years for an act which is not even a crime in the state in which I reside.

Your comment: "As far as Wilson [is concerned], he had sex with a minor and therefore is guilty of rape."

I cannot agree that openly discussing and encouraging sex w/ children, as odious as that is to me, amounts to falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater.

That example, by the way, was coined by J. Oliver Wendell Holmes who wrote for the majority in the case of Schenck v United States. The defendant was convicted of distributing fliers opposing the draft during WW I.

J. Holmes wrote: "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic...The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent."

The Schenck teat was later modified in Brandenburg v. Ohio and was refined to determining whether the speech woulkd provoke an imminent lawless action.

Hence on-line chat rooms in which adults attempt to solicit sex from children may be lawfully subject to being banned while the possessing a copy of "Lolita" or even generally advocating the health benefits of adult males having sex w/ boys may not.

As I asked earlier, how do you draw the line? Not how do you draw the line for yourself, but how is the line drawn for the everyone?

It is easy to be against men having sex w/ boys; it is easy to be against Nazis. It is easy b/c most everyone would agree that the behavior advocted by NAMBLA or Nazis is either unlawful or hateful. But once you ban speech that does not provoke imminent lawless action you have taken the first step toward censorship and that is an evil far more pernicous that that espoused by the the tortured minority who advocate sex w/ children or who would derogate an individual b/c of race or creed.

John Washburn said...

Yes, the world is black and white, living in grey is dangerous for society if order is desired.

Consensual sex is rather loosely defined in the Wilson case. First, can a 15 year old consent to sex and allow it to be videotaped? Second, can a 17 year old consent to sex if she is intoxicated, which I understood to be the case here? Third, can she consent to a proverbial "gang bang", which is what Wilson and his friends did to her while she was intoxicated? Wilson is not the victim here, let's not forget that. This was hardly a case of high school sweethearts going too far in the back of daddy's chevy.

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/062407/opinion_20070624035.shtml

Burning books? Like "The Anarchists Cookbook" (I'm sure you've heard of this)? Absolutely some books should be banned if they pose a definite threat of harm. A book that instructs the reader on manufacturing bombs is dangerous and should be banned (and the "Anarchists Cookbook" may be illegal, I don't know). Likewise, a book or website that instructs members on how to lure or coax minors into sex is also dangerous and should also be banned. You may call this censorship, that's fine. I call it applying reason.

And the ACLU is supportive of the notion of "separation of church and state". If you would like specific examples, then I'd be glad to provide them.

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

Dear Mr. Washburn,

As is typical, you have expressed your opinion w/o the benefit of answering any of the questions that I posed.

I was under the impression that previously in this blog, you had presented your position of the separation of church and state. I am sorry if I misunderstood. My request was that you provide a reference to your own position as I think I can find that of the ACLU.

Let us examine the questions you have raised. Can a 15 year old consent to sex and allow it to be videotaped? I think the question is: can a 15 year old consent to sex? The fact that it was videotaped is irrelevant except that the videotape was evidence.

Either a 15 year old can consent or he/she cannot consent. But when a 16 year old girl in Atlanta has consensual oral sex w/ her 15 and 1//2 year old BF, I think there is a better solution than writing a statute that renders this act "aggravated child molestation." I prefer the statutes of my home state for this reason.

A person cannot consent to sex if that person is intoxicated whether the person be 17 or 77. B/c you are familiar w/ the facts of the case. then you also know that although charged w/ that crime, Genarlow Wilson was exonorated.

I haven't read "The Anarchist Cookbook" although I know where I can purchase a copy. For those readers who are not familar w/ the book, it is the most notorious "How to" manual on the market. Written by William Powell, first published in 1971, it is now in its 29th printing and is available on-line curtesy of a group using the alias of the Jolly Roger. the book contains directions on how to manufacture explosives, weapons, drugs, and rudimentary electronic hacking devices.

See? This raises a troublesome question. I will look at the book when next I am at the store where I know it can be purchased and determine whether it gives directions on how to accomplish anything that is not illegal.

But, I am also reminded of what the former mayor of NYC, Jimmy Walker, who said regarding one banned novel, words to the effect that no woman was ever seduced by a book.

So the issue raised by banning
The Anarchisty Cookbook" is whether the prohibition of that book renders us safer. I take the position that anyone who wants to build a bomb a la Timothy McVeigh will not be deterred b/c he cannot find "The Anarchist Cookbook" at his local Barnes & Noble. After all, the book is available on-line.

Okay so now let us discuss the imaginary pamphlet titled: "How to Lure Underaged Boys into the Pedophile's Lair."

Again. it is important to distinguish between any description of "how to" and an attempt at the illegal act itself.

The question you have dodged, again, is who decides and how are such decisons made?

You call it applying "reason."

Please give a short primer on how to codify the application of such "reason." J. Potter Stewart, for whom my cousin clerked, once wrote: " I shall not today attempt further define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced [hard core pornography]... but I know it when I see it."

So what is your solution? "I know it when I see it?"

God forbid that one day the Thought Police shut down this blog b/c they knew when they saw it. But, in for a penny, in for a pound.

Oh yeah. If you do not believe in the separation of church and state, then I think you are truly unAmerican.

See Mr. Washburn, whereas I do not question your personal morals, the world is not black and white as Judy Garland playing Dorothy discovered when she landed in Oz. Although, even in Oz, black and white exist. Living in grey and all the other other colors of the rainbow is only dangerous for absolutists. Like Nazis, Communists, and other ideologues.

Cheers,