Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Viewing Child Porn Online ‘Legal’ in New York - Temporarily at Least

Attempts, throughout history, to legislate morality have failed abysmally.  You cannot legislate morality.  Period.

New York provides us with the most recent example of this objective truth, where legislation, as written by man, is just not nuanced enough, in a story titled Viewing child porn on the Web ‘legal’ in New York, state appeals court finds, where the following can be read.

Viewing child pornography online isn’t a crime, the New York Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in the case of a college professor whose work computer was found to have stored more than a hundred illegal images in its Web cache…

The decision rests on whether accessing and viewing something on the Internet is the same as possessing it, and whether possessing it means you had to procure it. In essence, the court said no to the first question and yes to the second.

“Merely viewing Web images of child pornography does not, absent other proof, constitute either possession or procurement within the meaning of our Penal Law,” Senior Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick wrote for a majority of four of the six judges.

“Rather, some affirmative act is required (printing, saving, downloading, etc.) to show that defendant in fact exercised dominion and control over the images that were on his screen,” Ciparick wrote. “To hold otherwise, would extend the reach of (state law) to conduct — viewing — that our Legislature has not deemed criminal.”

Posted by John Venlet on 05/09 at 06:51 PM
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Income Inequality - You’ll Feel Right as Rain in 12 Years

I’m natuarally skeptical of statistical studies, especially sociological statistical studies, and the most recent one to which I must express my skepticism towards deals with income inequality.

The study, undertaken by one Hui Zheng, an assistant professor of sociology at of Ohio State University, alleges that, “clearly,” higher levels of income inequality lead to more deaths over a period of years, leading Zheng to proclaim that income inequality is a “public health concern,” and I should not have to tell you how quickly such a study will be latched onto by the societal tinkerers, i.e. your friendly neighborhood congressmen and senators, as justification for putting forth some new fangled income redistribution scheme(s).

But, if you’re inclined to accept the validity of such a study, and are concerned for your mortality because your income is not equal to some other individual’s income, never fear, income inequality’s influence on your chance of dying fade after 12 years.

Income Inequality Leads to More U.S. Deaths

Linked via Fred Lapides.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/09 at 03:29 PM
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Daring to Talk About Freedom?

...It is not true that people want to be free.  They want all the advantages of independence without the duties or difficulties of freedom.

Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity, 1986, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, pg. 167

Tyrants are not to be feared today, but our own frantic need of security is.  Freedom inevitably means insecurity and responsibility.  But we moderns seek above all to be responsible for nothing.  Yet we want an air of freedom, an appearance of liberty.  We want to vote.  We want a party system.  We want to travel.  We want to choose doctors and schools.  In relation to such trivialities we dare to talk of freedom.

Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity, 1986, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, pg. 169

Posted by John Venlet on 05/09 at 01:28 PM
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The Texaco Bomber Story

As The Silicon Graybeard states, the Texaco Bomber story is Just A Cool Story, with B17s, cash, whiskey, and good ol’ boys.  I had not heard it before.

More here.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/09 at 09:25 AM
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