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February 15, 2006

DimWittery Alert: We Have Met The Enemy And They Are Morons

In her ongoing quest to marginalize the dimwitted and treat them as Other, this spiritual descendant of the women's KKK (we heart you too, Ms. EhrenReich!) rarely runs short of promising victyms. Today's perusal of the Net yielded a bumper crop:

Frankly, we always rather liked buns...

hotcrossbuns.jpg

The UK’s mania for political correctness has struck again where a school has banned hot cross buns, a traditional sweet pastry associated with Good Friday. A representative of Oaks Primary School in Ipswich, said the buns, which include two strips of decorative icing intersecting in the middle, might offend Jehovah’s Witnesses who attend the school.

Hot cross buns, a spicy currant or raisin studded yeast bun, topped with a "Cross" of lemon-flavored icing, have been a feature of English culture since the Middle Ages.

The Suffolk Evening Star reported that the head teacher of the school, Tina Jackson, asked the supplier to provide the buns without the crosses. “Obviously, the hot cross bun is a celebration of Easter but it is not Easter yet,” she told the paper. Jackson did not say whether she would expel students who chanted the traditional English nursery rhyme, “One a penny; two a penny; hot cross buns.”

The local pastor of the Jehovah’s Witness congregation applauded the school’s decision. “I can understand why the school has done this and I support the decision. Hot cross buns are a pagan symbol of fertility no different to bunnies, eggs and Easter. The Bible states we should not worship things of a pagan origin.”

No information was available about what sort of services the school had been planning to allow students to worship the buns or whether they had been cancelled. Moreover, the school did not say whether the buns would be inspected by the local Muslim of [sic] Catholic authorities for possible accidental appearances of religious figures in the patterns formed by the currants in the buns.

Indeed. Let them eat cake, I say. Asshats.

capt.carp10102090709.exit_exams_lawsuit_carp101 In other news, Nadira Wasi doesn't think the fact that she twice failed California's statewide math exam (which is given to all graduating seniors) should prevent her from receiving a high school diploma:

Gonzalez said the state failed to study alternatives for students who could not pass the test, particularly students who are nonnative speakers of English, as the legislation required when lawmakers approved the exam in 1999. The lawsuit also claims the state is denying some students their fundamental right to an equal education.

...students who fail the exam can take another year of high school, get extra tutoring, enroll in summer school or attend community college until they pass. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger included $40 million for tutorial programs in his budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

If only the state would be reasonable. Why not compromise? Do as Ms. Wasi requests: give her her HS diploma (though she clearly cannot demonstrate competence in one of two core areas required to graduate) thus rendering that document utterly meaningless. That way, she will be able to sue the state of California later for failing to prepare her to compete in the marketplace.

Apparently slavery never happened after all....

City officials in Georgia who want to paint a mural in town celebrating the town's history as a center of cotton-farming are being told they shouldn't because "certain segments of the population" might be offended by that history, reports the Atlanta Constitution.

Sandra Vincent, a first-year city councilman in McDonough, Ga., is worried about a planned mural tentatively titled "When Cotton Was King" that would depict a 1920s scene of blacks and whites coming and going between the town square and a nearby cotton gin.

"My concern is we might erect something that might offend certain segments of the population," said Vincent. "When cotton was king, we were slaves."

I'm so relieved. Think of all the unearned race guilt white oppressors can now shrug off.

I could understand the semantic confusion if it had been goats...

This whole incident defies description, justification, or excuse, whatsoever," Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge Conrad Sindt said during the sentencing hearing Monday.

Haynes was charged after police said he assaulted the sheep in Bedford Township on Jan. 26, 2005

Haynes told Sindt, "I take full responsibility for what I did wrong. I am sorry for what I did. But I am not a child molester and would never touch a child."

Assistant Prosecutor Tamara Towns argued that while the crime was not against a person, Haynes should be ordered to register as a sex offender because it's possible that once out of prison he would prey on children or vulnerable adults.

I guess bestiality is like drug use. Start with sheep and before you know it you're graduating to kids and then consenting adults. Speaking of which:

This is ridiculous:

The adult-entertainment industry is embroiled in a legal battle with the federal government over new regulations that many online purveyors fear could put them out of business.

At issue are rules established last year requiring any Web site carrying sexually explicit videos or photographs to maintain records proving that the performers are at least 18 years old. The rules apply whether the Web site owner produced the content or merely republished it. And they were made retroactive, so site operators must maintain records for all content filmed or photographed in the past 10 years. First-time violators face prison sentences of up to five years.

The Justice Department issued the regulations after Congress instructed it to update a 1988 child-protection law applying to filmmakers and magazine photographers. The new concern, the government has said in court filings, is the proliferation of Internet sites promoting content featuring "teens" and "young-looking performers."

Critics say the record-keeping rules are overly burdensome and part of a widening assault by the Bush administration against legal forms of sexually explicit material. "This has nothing to do with protecting children," Lawrence G. Walters, a Florida lawyer who represents several porn sites, said of the new regulations. "They're trying to shut down the adult-entertainment industry with overregulation."

This has nothing to do with protecting children? I did a search on naked underage girls (hardly the best search term) and got 2,110,000 results back. And what are the excuses these slimeballs use to avoid complying with laws made to protect children?

- The law violates the First Amendment. Got it. Pedophilia is now speech. It is probably interstate commerce too.
- Porn-site operators complain that compliance with the new record-keeping regulations is difficult because many adult-content producers have no desire to reveal personal information about performers, out of concern for their privacy.

Here again, adults are perfectly happen to see children victimized so long as their privacy is preserved. Where have we heard this before?

- Also, many sites such as video retailers stock libraries going back several years. Tracking down information on such content would be prohibitively expensive if not impossible, especially in the case of production companies no longer in business.

Well, it would seem to me that if you have an extensive inventory of porn that purports to show underage girls and you can't prove they're not in fact underaged, you are selling illegal merchandise. And now you're complaining about the fact that the government wants you to either prove that's not the case or get rid of it? Please.

- a requirement that Web sites list the address where records are kept. For many Web site operators, this is their home. "A lot of people don't feel comfortable saying, 'Guess what, I run adult Web sites,' "

Cry me a river. If you are ashamed to admit what you are doing, then maybe you ought to rethink your line of business. Or you could just keep the records elsewhere. There's a thought.

Posted by Cassandra at February 15, 2006 07:33 AM

Comments

I can think of many things that would be erected that could offend a segment of the population. Such as Penile Unitarianism.

Posted by: Crckt [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2006 11:27 AM

Cass, I had to stop myself from shrieking about this new attack on the free speech of interstate pedophiles. You have made a strong case and I don't think the local knavery is going to disagree with you. While I am surprised that your search term yielded the results it did, for some reason, I had to ask myself what did I expect? How does the counsel KNOW it has nothing to do with protecting children? Is it because nothing was done during the
beginning of the web and they have gotten lax? You bet it does.

I was going to say more, but I started to foam at the mouth. Excellent article.

Posted by: Crckt [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2006 04:29 PM

Cricket,

I hate to even bring this up anymore.

But I'm not going to stop. It's something I feel strongly about.

They're just kids, for God's sake. I don't give a rat's ass what consenting adults do but leave the freaking children alone and don't start crying about your goddamned freedom when people try to enforce the law.

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2006 04:41 PM

In case it wasn't clear, that wasn't aimed at you hon :)

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2006 04:46 PM

I know. I think and believe the same way you do.
That was why I posted about the rule of law versus a parent with a knife looking to neuter someone.
There has to be a standard, clear and enforceable.
I am sick of retreating and while this is not the world's most pleasant subject, it is going to get worse before it gets better and I want to be counted and INFORMED.

Posted by: Crckt [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2006 05:48 PM

I was pretty sure you'd understand, but since I was being so crabby I had to make certain.

Thanks.

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2006 05:53 PM

Two possible takes on the mural:

- Less interesting: in the 1920s, when Cotton Was King, nobody was a slave. So, who are you kidding?

- More interesting: in the 1920s, when Cotton Was King, everyone was a slave equally. Or, more accurately, a colonial: the entire economy of the South was a classic colonial agriculural monoculture, with the banks in New York serving in the role of the colonial government. The destruction of the South's industrial segment of the cotton economy was complete during the Civil War, so that profits from the economy drifted north to where the mills were; and the loan rates from bankers to sharecropper and poor farmer were such that eventually everyone either lost his farm or became a tenet on land he used to own.

It's a plain fact that the boll wevil of the late 1920s was the worst thing that ever happened to the Southern economy since the Civil War; and yet, that the destruction of the cotton economy was the only thing that permitted the end to the extreme poverty that characterized the South from 1865-1940.

So -- yes, sort of, we were slaves. All of us alike. Race, though, had little to do with it.

Posted by: Grim [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 15, 2006 06:32 PM

"I can think of many things that would be erected..."
Posted by: Crckt at February 15, 2006 11:27 AM

"I hate to even bring this up..."
Posted by: Cassandra at February 15, 2006 04:41 PM

I love it when you girls talk dirty.

Posted by: camojack [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 16, 2006 12:31 AM

In the words of the great Harris Telemacher, this is precisely the kind of issue that makes me feel... morally erect.

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 16, 2006 01:02 AM

If it is advertised as child porn, fine. Assume truth in advertising and prosecute away.

But you don't really (I mean REALLY) think this law is about protecting children, do you? It is about shutting down "legitimate" adult porn through nearly impossible to comply with regulation.

It is the same thing we do with "consumer protection" laws. Want to protect your industry. Come up with new licensing requirements and regulation, but always grandfather in those already in business. That way you increase the barriers to entry and claim to be looking out for the public. Yet, it is really limiting competition through regulation.

I'm not crying myself to sleep tonight over this industry. But if we are going after the real, adult porn industry, let's be honest about it.

Posted by: KJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 03:22 PM

Well, I guess I have a question for you: how *do* you go about protecting children?

Give up?

That seems to be the consensus. Because if anyone tries to touch the child porn industry (but it affects, in any way, the porn industry as if you could separate the two) the answer is always the same.

And it's the one you just gave.

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 03:35 PM

And yes, I guess I do.

I think I am not going to say anything else because I am about to get very angry.

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 03:40 PM

Gee, I thought I said prosectue the child porn industry. Which shouldn't be that hard, I wouldn't think. Locate the people in the video, get their age at the time of production, prosecute those selling it. If they advertise it as a criminal product, put the burden on them to prove they are using false advertising.

I guess I said something else.

Posted by: KJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 04:21 PM

Perhaps you can explain precisely how law enforcement is supposed to do this when no one is required to keep those kinds of records?

People can (and do) make these movies in their own homes and the seller can just say "How do I know where it was made? Don't ask me - I'm just providing a service."

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 04:29 PM

Or, as I said, we could pass this law about documentation, and apply it even if every person in the video has C-section scars and gray hair, and still claim that we are only doing to protect the children and not really doing an end around to affect the "legal" porn.

That is not "giving up." It is admitting to what you are doing.

Just admit it. It's OK. We can have that debate. The law is probably constitutional thanks to the children argument.

I just hate politicians who use children as cover for the regulation of adult behavior. Sure, this law might help a few child porn prosecutions that would have been successful anyway. But the real goal is to shut down huge numbers of "legit" porn. I use "legit" in quotes for a reason. The whole industry is dirty and sleezy and wrong - adult or not.

I just want them to admit what they are trying to do and quit hiding behind convenient political cover.

As for this law -- if applied prospectively, there is no problem with its consitutionality.

But if you want a law, fine:

A: If you sell porn as "underaged" your advertisment will be presumed truthful. You will be prosecuted. If your defense is it isn't with underaged people, then the defendant must prove that everyone is of age.

B: If you are going to sell porn tapes, you have to put at the beginning or end the proof of age of the participants and the location of the documents. You can rely on the producer's copies so long as the film indicates who and where the custodian is. If you sell this stuff, then you must either have copies of the documents or, at your own risk, rely on the veracity of the documents as represented by the producer. If the producer's documents can't be located, the seller must produce them or face prosecution.

Apply the law prospectively. Retroactive regulations are BS, regardless of the industry.

But like I said -- the lawmakers know that the proposed law will have little effect on child porn. It is aimed at the other porn. If for no other reason than child porn is already illegal. It is like saying gun registration prevents criminals from getting guns.

Posted by: KJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 04:45 PM

...and having been in court and faced a skeptical judge or two, how long would it be until that kind of blanket enforcement got thrown out KJ? You know as well as I do that if that sort of thing is abused, judges will overturn it in a heartbeat. They overturn legitimate law enforcement measures all the time on the basis that they are "unduly punitive". My son's department won't even chase criminals anymore because they are so whipped by the court system and the trial lawyers.

They managed to pull over a guy who was guilty of serial homicides and another (in the same car) who had massive amounts of crack cocaine on him, but only because the officer in question disregarded a departmental policy not to pursue. Now you tell me the public is being well protected by this kind of nonsense.

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 04:54 PM

Apples.

Oranges.

Besides, Cass, I thought the issue was the true motivation behind the law. You think it is about children. I think it is really about adults. The merits of the law -- could care less.

This is like the internet wine sales. "For the children" they said.

"For the distributor monopolies" I said.

Posted by: KJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 04:58 PM

Whereas I couldn't care less about the motivation of the people who wrote it.

I only care about whether it helps the intended victims: children. I guess to me, it seems kind of irrelevant to worry about what someone "meant" in writing a law, if it either discourages or makes it easier to track down the kind of creeps who make money from sexually abusing little kids.

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 05:31 PM

Well, that's fine, but you gave the law makers a free pass on that point.

But let's look at this. The law will likely make selling video much more costly, and maybe cost prohibitive. So either the costs of "legit" porn goes up, or it goes underground to avoid the law because the profit between complying and selling on the black market make it worth it (see drugs).

Or they are crying wolf.

So is the "legit" porn industry just acceptable collateral damage?

If it is, fine. Say so.

If it isn't, then say they are crying wolf, or say that you going after their product, too.


We could stop child porn by outlawing home video cameras too. That is obviously costly and unfair to society. In other words, it would work but we deem the costs too high, even though it would save at least child from explotation.

And isn't the cost benefit analysis the issue.

Which calls back to the original question. Is that acceptable collateral damage?

Posted by: KJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 20, 2006 06:08 PM

BTW, Ashcroft called. He wants to know if you can provide birth certificates for the pandas you have on your website's recent caption contest winners.

:)

Posted by: KJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 21, 2006 12:35 PM

Two words:

Start.

Running.

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 21, 2006 12:49 PM

You know, KJ, if the so called gun laws were enforced, no criminals would have guns, right?
I get scared when a sheriff's deputy tells me to carry in my own neighborhood cause the courts
are not about putting away the perps that stalk and prey on children, regardless of if they sell drugs, sexually abuse them for their sick pleasure and/or profit. There are six registered sex offenders living within one mile of my house. One I am iffy on since he was 'caught' with his 16 year old girlfriend when he was 17.

What rights are the courts protecting? You raise a point about this being about the 'adult' porn industry. How so? I thought porn was 'free speech.' So, if it free speech, how can this be about that? Please, I am asking a legitimate question here and trying to understand the connection and the logic.

Posted by: Crckt [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 21, 2006 03:21 PM

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