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Old 8th August 2008, 09:57 PM   #1
Alex Libman
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(Split from: Marijuana) Child Pornography

I've never done any illegal drugs and never will, and I occasionally get pissed off at my fellow libertarians for pushing this issue far more than some other issues I consider to be more important, but, yes, I do support full legalization, as well as an end to prosecution of all other victimless crimes, from consensual cannibalism to child porn.


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Old 9th August 2008, 05:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
I've never done any illegal drugs and never will, and I occasionally get pissed off at my fellow libertarians for pushing this issue far more than some other issues I consider to be more important, but, yes, I do support full legalization, as well as an end to prosecution of all other victimless crimes, from consensual cannibalism to child porn.
You don't hear child porn referred to as "victimless" very often these days.
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Old 9th August 2008, 11:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
You don't hear child porn referred to as "victimless" very often these days.
Ya that's what I thought too.. maybe he was thinking in terms of illustrations where it was all drawn as opposed to photographs of real children?

Cause there's definitely a victim in the the latter....
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Old 9th August 2008, 12:00 PM   #4
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The only reason why any child would be victimized into doing child porn is the profit motive, and the only reason why child porn is profitable is because it's illegal.

There are millions of kids out there with PC cams and cell phone cameras out there, and sometimes they choose post pictures of themselves, especially the teenage boys. Millions of images have already floated past your ISP's Usenet server. When someone buys porn they're not paying for access to unique intellectual property, whether they know it or not they're paying for protection from government prosecution.

Human beings become sexually active at puberty, not when government says so. Deal with it.

(I don't want to hijack this thread, if you want to discuss this further start a new thread or PM me a link to an existing one.)

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Old 10th August 2008, 05:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
The only reason why any child would be victimized into doing child porn is the profit motive
I have voted libertarian in the past, but I really have a hard time stomaching the Libertarians who believe everything in the world is ascribable to the profit motive. Some child pornographers create the pornography for their own use. In those cases the child is victimized and there is no profit motive.

Quote:
Human beings become sexually active at puberty, not when government says so. Deal with it.
And a lot of child pornography involves children before they reach puberty.

I have no problem with putting child pornographers in jail. Even Libertarians should understand that harming innocent, non-willing people is a crime.

ETA: in an effort to keep this post relevant to the thread, I see no harm in relaxing marijuana laws.
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Old 11th August 2008, 05:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
...
And a lot of child pornography involves children before they reach puberty...
What he said...
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Old 11th August 2008, 07:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
I have voted libertarian in the past, but I really have a hard time stomaching the Libertarians who believe everything in the world is ascribable to the profit motive.
My opinions here represent the Anarcho-Capitalist philosophy, not the Libertarian Party, which needs to only be a little bit more libertarian than the status quo to fulfill its mission.


Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
Some child pornographers create the pornography for their own use. In those cases the child is victimized and there is no profit motive.
It is up to the victim (i.e. the child OR the parents / guardians) to decide if the crime has taken place, not the government.

In a free market, government would not regulate marriage / Family Law, and people would write marriage contracts instead. Those contracts can be used as an additional measure of protection against crimes against children. Some homeowners' associations, for example, might require that people given permission to buy property in their neighborhood fulfill their moral criteria, including a marriage contract that punishes particular otherwise-victimless immoral behavior. Etc.


Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
And a lot of child pornography involves children before they reach puberty.
Source?

And define "a lot".

I'm sure no study has even been published, but my subjective estimate from Usenet would be that the most common age of "child porn" is 17. Second most common: 16. Then 15, 14, 13, and dropping off substantially after that. A study would also find many times more males than females, demonstrating that the content is driven by the supply and not the demand. (High school aged males are more likely to take risks like posting their naked pictures online than females of that age.)

And that's from more than a decade ago, when I myself was in high school, when Internet access and digital cameras were rare, and thus a bigger market for commercial child porn existed. So the average age of "child porn" has probably increased since then.

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Old 11th August 2008, 05:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
the only reason why child porn is profitable is because it's illegal.
So why is adult porn profitable?
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Old 11th August 2008, 06:04 PM   #9
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Um, am I doing the wrong thing by replying here? I didn't want to hijack this thread. If the mods have the power to clearly split this out to a new thread, that'd be great...


Originally Posted by linusrichard View Post
So why is adult porn profitable?
(1) Because some people are still too stupid to figure out how to download limitless porn online (and even upload their own videos if they so choose). This reason will gradually phase out in the future. With a billion young attractive people out there in the world, there's no reason why the notion of selling mainstream porn won't become as silly as selling air.

(2) Because what you're paying for is protection from the government. If you download a 17-year-old from a legal membership porn site and get caught - it's the Webmasters fault. If you download a 17-year-old from IRC, P2P, or Usenet - hope you don't have AIDS by the time you finally get out of prison, though with the "sex offender" zoning laws you'll never really be free again.

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Old 11th August 2008, 06:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post

It is up to the victim (i.e. the child OR the parents / guardians) to decide if the crime has taken place, not the government.
The absurdity of that position is made clear when one realizes that parents or guardians may be the pornographers.

Quote:
In a free market, government would not regulate marriage / Family Law, and people would write marriage contracts instead. Those contracts can be used as an additional measure of protection against crimes against children. Some homeowners' associations, for example, might require that people given permission to buy property in their neighborhood fulfill their moral criteria, including a marriage contract that punishes particular otherwise-victimless immoral behavior.
I think you are far too quick to include child pornography in the list of "otherwise-victimless immoral behavior."



Quote:
Source?

And define "a lot".



I'm sure no study has even been published, but my subjective estimate from Usenet would be that the most common age of "child porn" is 17. Second most common: 16. Then 15, 14, 13, and dropping off substantially after that. A study would also find many times more males than females, demonstrating that the content is driven by the supply and not the demand. (High school aged males are more likely to take risks like posting their naked pictures online than females of that age.)
I am not sure if I am reading Tables 7 and 8 correctly, but it appears that 95% of federal convictions related to c.p. involved "depiction of minor under age 12." That figure may not fully answer the question because each conviction could involve several children under 12 or several convictions might be related to a single child under 12. Still, I consider the number high enough to not easily dismiss the number of very young victims as negligible.
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Old 11th August 2008, 06:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
I am not sure if I am reading Tables 7 and 8 correctly, but it appears that 95% of federal convictions related to c.p. involved "depiction of minor under age 12." That figure may not fully answer the question because each conviction could involve several children under 12 or several convictions might be related to a single child under 12. Still, I consider the number high enough to not easily dismiss the number of very young victims as negligible.
Since Alex tends to base his posts entirely on his own experience rather than external data, my guess is that his assertion regarding the age of CP victims merely reflects his own AOA.

If you don't know what an AOA is, ask Alex... I'm sure he can tell you.
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Old 11th August 2008, 06:44 PM   #12
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Feds go after the worst ones first, which helps cement public opinion that all people breaking this law are sickos (and people who go after under-12-year-olds probably are). That doesn't mean people haven't had their lives ruined over 17-year-olds. Even ones posing in lingerie, BTW - it's up to the judge to decide what constitutes pornography.

But, like all prohibitions, what makes this most dangerous is that they can be used as an excuse to put someone away on other inspirations. Want to discredit and get rid of an annoying political dissident but don't have a good excuse? Have a young girl chat him up on cam...

And, finally, putting people away for victimless crimes hurts the economy considerably. Instead of having to earn a living doing something useful, the twerp (or just a person who finds youth beautiful) becomes a customer of the prison-industrial complex at tax-victim expense. And how do you calculate the economic side-effect of locking up a "pedophile" like Ben Franklin or a Leonardo da Vinci?

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Old 11th August 2008, 07:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
It is up to the victim (i.e. the child OR the parents / guardians) to decide if the crime has taken place, not the government.
Wrong. A lot of the philosophical literature makes it fairly clear cut that the government can intercede in certain situations.
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Old 11th August 2008, 07:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by technoextreme View Post
Wrong. A lot of the philosophical literature makes it fairly clear cut that the government can intercede in certain situations.
Do you know where I get those works of "philosophical literature" printed on toilet paper (perhaps along with the ones saying that the Aryan race is superior and anything by Karl Marx)? I wouldn't pollute my eyes with them, but I have an orifice in mind that suits them perfectly.

If a legitimate government could exist, its functions would be limited to protecting the rights to life, liberty, and property, the enforcement of contracts, and only a handful of other necessary things - not telling individuals (or their parents) when people can and cannot have sex or even be photographed!

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Old 11th August 2008, 07:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
That doesn't mean people haven't had their lives ruined over 17-year-olds. Even ones posing in lingerie, BTW - it's up to the judge to decide what constitutes pornography.
Name one case of a CP conviction over images of a 17yo in lingerie.

Just one.

In fact, we live in a society where Robert Maplethorpe can publicly exhibit an enormous photograph of a prepubescent girl hiking her skirt.

You're just making stuff up now.
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Old 11th August 2008, 07:15 PM   #16
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What's your AOA, Alex?

I'm just curious, is all.
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Old 11th August 2008, 07:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post

But, like all prohibitions, what makes this most dangerous is that they can be used as an excuse to put someone away on other inspirations. Want to discredit and get rid of an annoying political dissident but don't have a good excuse? Have a young girl chat him up on cam...
Leaving aside the shifting of the goalposts (chatting with a minor is in no way related to taking picture of a nude minor) Can you name a single political dissident in any country in the world that was placed in prison because of communicating with a minor, making a date with a minor, or taking photos of a minor?

Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
And, finally, putting people away for victimless crimes hurts the economy considerably. I
The claim that it is a victimless crime remains more asserted than proved.
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Old 11th August 2008, 07:48 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
Feds go after the worst ones first, which helps cement public opinion that all people breaking this law are sickos...
I don't think the public needs any coaxing into finding people taking illicit photos of girls under 12 needs an government-based incentive to think these people are perverts. And last I checked this was common sense for any law enforcement official. "Lets see; we can put all of our man power and resources into busting up a massive pedophile ring...or we can arrest a 23 year old for nailing a 17 year old. Yeah lets get the 23 year old!" Your argument still doesn't mean that child pornography involving children under 12 is not at an alarmingly high rate.
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Old 11th August 2008, 07:59 PM   #19
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You can't use Google yourself? Fine, just this once... no nudity, no children, no humans, no intent, no victim, no hope.

I didn't even bother reading if those particular cases resulted in convictions or were overturned on appeals - it doesn't matter. What matters is the side-effects of government legislation of morality are both draconian and unpredictable.

And of course there's no way this will prevent anyone who really wants the worst of kiddy porn from getting it - smart thought-criminals don't get caught. Open-source encryption technology makes it possible to hide millions of photos on a $100 external hard drive (that looks like it has something else on it if you don't decrypt it right), and future technologies will likely make it possible to hide that much data in a dental implant that is tracelessly destroyed by flicking one's tongue and swallowing!

What outlawing the child pornography does is create a black market that sucks people in due to the profit motive. (I don't mean for it to sound that the profit motive is bad, it's not, but in this case it'd be driven by government tyranny.) It also gives the government the excuse to end anonymous Internet as we know it!
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Old 11th August 2008, 08:15 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
Doesn't mention a conviction.

Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
"Toy Story porn". In UK. USA has dropped all such cases since statutes were determined unconstitutional.

Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
Note that he was convicted for "digital photographs of real children engaged in sexually explicit acts" as well.

Also, the 2003 law against "Toy Story porn" has since been declared unconstitutional.

Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
A 2 year old story, no conviction mentioned, Canadian.

Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
Actual child porn. You can argue excessive sentence there, or course, but I find it difficult to argue against the verdict.

Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
This is a legitimate problem. In my state, it's called a "Romeo and Juliet" case, and we're grappling with that issue right now. I agree, we need to re-think the law in these cases.

Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
I didn't even bother reading if those particular cases resulted in convictions or were overturned on appeals - it doesn't matter.
Of course it matters.

If you were the one charged, I believe you'd understand that.

Anyone can be charged with anything.

What matters most is what people are convicted for.
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Old 11th August 2008, 08:17 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
What outlawing the child pornography does is create a black market that sucks people in due to the profit motive.
The "we don't want a black market" argument only works for activities which don't, in and of themselves, create harm.

I wouldn't try to play that card for, say, contract killings.

Oh, making hits illegal only creates a black market!

Sexually abusing children should be against the law, period.

Hey, by the way, you never did tell me what your AOA is.

Care to share?
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Old 11th August 2008, 08:24 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
You can't use Google yourself? Fine, just this once...
And which of those cases involve political dissent as the prosecutor's motivation. I will agree that there are some cases where a prosecutor has interpreted the law in an improper manner, but your claim was that the danger of these laws is that political dissenters will be targeted.

Again, I see no evidence that when properly applied these laws involve victimless crimes. An adult taking pictures of minors is harmful. Children are not capable of giving informed consent to this type of activity. I'm not talking about a 19 year-old taking photos of his 17-year-old girlfriend; I'm talking about people old enough to be a child's parent taking photos of 16, 15, 14, and younger children. If you can't see that a 33-year-old taking naked photos of a 13-year-old is both sick and harmful, then I am glad you do not work in the Department of Justice.
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Old 11th August 2008, 09:11 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
The "we don't want a black market" argument only works for activities which don't, in and of themselves, create harm. I wouldn't try to play that card for, say, contract killings. Oh, making hits illegal only creates a black market!
Murder is a crime. It violates the principle of self-ownership by depriving someone of property (their life) without their permission. I don't see your point.


Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
Sexually abusing children should be against the law, period.
Of course. When there's a victim. If someone did something bad to me (or any of my hypothetical dependents), I'd certainly initiate legal proceedings! But that's not what we're talking about here.

There are naked pictures of me from when I was 15 probably still floating around some pedo collections somewhere. I took those pictures myself, I traded them online myself, no one paid me, and I never regretted it. Who's the victim? I'm not! In fact, I would consider myself morally victimized by the government if they were used to put someone in jail...


Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
Hey, by the way, you never did tell me what your AOA is.
Why do you expect me to know what you're referring to? The only Wikipedia entry in the "AOA" disambiguation page I can relate to is "Array of Arrays, a common data structure in Perl".
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Old 11th August 2008, 09:27 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
Murder is a crime. It violates the principle of self-ownership by depriving someone of property (their life) without their permission. I don't see your point.




Of course. When there's a victim. If someone did something bad to me (or any of my hypothetical dependents), I'd certainly initiate legal proceedings! But that's not what we're talking about here.

There are naked pictures of me from when I was 15 probably still floating around some pedo collections somewhere. I took those pictures myself, I traded them online myself, no one paid me, and I never regretted it. Who's the victim? I'm not! In fact, I would consider myself morally victimized by the government if they were used to put someone in jail...




Why do you expect me to know what you're referring to? The only Wikipedia entry in the "AOA" disambiguation page I can relate to is "Array of Arrays, a common data structure in Perl".
are you considered dangerous?
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Old 11th August 2008, 09:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
And which of those cases involve political dissent as the prosecutor's motivation.
How would I know?


Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
Children are not capable of giving informed consent
Yes, and if children were materializing from the sky and dropping into international waters, the law would have a very difficult time establishing the chain of custody. I don't want to spoil your innocence by telling you where babies come from, but it's usually pretty easy to tell at least who the mommy is, and family law procedures (or, in a free market, "sex contracts") can usually find the daddy as well.

That's why children's self-ownership rights cannot be recognized in full (i.e. no rights to liberty and property) until they reach the "age of reason" (say 18) or are emancipated by a jury. You're in effect saying that this gap in rights should be filled by the government - effectively giving the government control of all children. I'm saying that this gap should be filled by the parents (or guardians to whom they've transfered this privilege).

It's not my mission in life to debunk your willingness to surrender your rights as a parent (real, potential, or hypothetical) to the government, or any other entity, but it would be tyrannical to use force on people who do not wish to make that mistake.
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Old 11th August 2008, 09:48 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
Murder is a crime. It violates the principle of self-ownership by depriving someone of property (their life) without their permission. I don't see your point.
And child molestation ain't?

I think you don't want to see my point.

Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
Of course. When there's a victim. If someone did something bad to me (or any of my hypothetical dependents), I'd certainly initiate legal proceedings! But that's not what we're talking about here.

There are naked pictures of me from when I was 15 probably still floating around some pedo collections somewhere. I took those pictures myself, I traded them online myself, no one paid me, and I never regretted it. Who's the victim? I'm not! In fact, I would consider myself morally victimized by the government if they were used to put someone in jail...
Yeah, well, not all of those pictures floating around were taken by the subjects. Please don't pretend that they were.

But for what it's worth, I agree with you on one point here.

Suppose you got someone accessing a CP trader board and downloading pix. They're not lining anyone's pockets, they're just taking up bandwidth and getting their perverted jollies.

So I can see giving them a pass and going for the people producing original content, paying for original content, that sort of thing.

But my impression is that this is exactly what law enforcement, locally and internationally, is doing.


Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
Why do you expect me to know what you're referring to? The only Wikipedia entry in the "AOA" disambiguation page I can relate to is "Array of Arrays, a common data structure in Perl".
Why do I suspect that you're not in full disclosure mode?
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Old 11th August 2008, 10:48 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
And child molestation ain't?
It is if there is a victim. (Just as killing someone with their clearly expressed, written, notarized permission shouldn't be a crime.)

If the kid complains, there's a victim. If the parent initiates legal proceedings, there is a victim. If a kid sues his/her parents 20 years later, there is a victim. But if there isn't there isn't.


Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
Yeah, well, not all of those pictures floating around were taken by the subjects.
Yeah, and won't it be nice if "bad" child porn (that involved victimization) didn't exist. There's already more "good" (victimization-free) kiddy porn out there than anyone could view in a lifetime. But how do you expect the viewer to know if it's consensual or not by just looking at the picture? And isn't the picture merely evidence of a crime, not the crime itself? Does viewing a murder video make you a murderer?


Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
So I can see giving them a pass and going for the people producing original content, paying for original content, that sort of thing. But my impression is that this is exactly what law enforcement, locally and internationally, is doing.
Your naive blind faith in the justice system does not redeem the harm it is causing.


Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
Why do I suspect that you're not in full disclosure mode?


^^^ If you don't believe my writing, then please, please believe this emotion. Aww, look at its cute innocent face... Would this confused little feller lie? I understand you might not trust the ordinary blue guy hiding under three question marks, and this guy -- -- he just looks fishy, but the one I've used... it transcends capacity for deceit!

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Old 11th August 2008, 11:31 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
It is if there is a victim. (Just as killing someone with their clearly expressed, written, notarized permission shouldn't be a crime.)

If the kid complains, there's a victim. If the parent initiates legal proceedings, there is a victim. If a kid sues his/her parents 20 years later, there is a victim. But if there isn't there isn't.
So if a kid is forced by an uncle into, say, having sex with a sibling, then threatened with beatings and having his activities with the sibling revealed to his parents unless he shuts up and... well, you get the picture.....

The world is a real nasty place, inhabited by people who do a lot worse than take naughty photos of themselves for their girlfriends.

You're trying to tell me there's no crime, no victim, unless the kid complains or sues, or unless an adult -- who may be the molester -- complains or sues.

That's a load of baloney, to put in nicely.

You're living in dreamland.
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Old 11th August 2008, 11:34 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
There's already more "good" (victimization-free) kiddy porn out there than anyone could view in a lifetime.
I don't know what universe you commute to from here where there's such a thing as "good" kiddy porn.

And I don't even want to know how you happen to have an estimate of the volume of it which may be available.
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Old 11th August 2008, 11:38 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
Your naive blind faith in the justice system does not redeem the harm it is causing.
It has nothing to do with naive faith. It has to do with allocation of resources.

Sure, you get odd cases, even bizarre cases, but you get that for any crime.

For the most part, I think the priorities are pretty good in this area for most of the country.

Bottom line: Nobody has to indulge in this stuff, and as long as we avoid unjust Romeo and Juliet laws and restrict prohibition to images of real kids (to avoid, say, putting a high-schooler in jail for raunchy doodles) then there's no infringement of any legitimate rights.

The state has a real interest in protecting children, and that's the basis of current jurisprudence.
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Old 12th August 2008, 12:05 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
So if a kid is forced by an uncle into, say, having sex with a sibling, then threatened with beatings and having his activities with the sibling revealed to his parents unless he shuts up and... well, you get the picture.....
And how would this uncle expect to get away with it in the long term, after the kid grows up?


Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
The world is a real nasty place, inhabited by people who do a lot worse than take naughty photos of themselves for their girlfriends.
Of course. The world can be a very nasty place with bad people holding power - no matter if it's power over a child or an adult or millions of people. Which is precisely why monopoly of power should be avoided at all costs, and why I am an Anarcho-Capitalist. There are many better ways to balance the power within a family than giving the government the power to regulate it at will!


Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
I don't know what universe you commute to from here where there's such a thing as "good" kiddy porn.
So Generalissimo el Piggy says the pictures I took of myself when I was "under-age" are bad? Bad for whom?

Maybe some violent pedophile (though most pedophiles are not violent) who was just about to rape some kid came across them and said, ew, what an ugly 15-year-old, I'm never having sex with anyone under 40 again!


Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
And I don't even want to know how you happen to have an estimate of the volume of it which may be available.
Based on personal experience I think more than 1% of kids would trade their pics / videos online some time between ages of 12 and 18, but if it's 1% then after just one generation it's roughly 3 million teenage content-posters in America alone. If it takes an average of two minutes for a viewer "appreciate" the average content production of one teen, then it would take 11.4079553 years of non-stop viewing to deal with just this country in just one generation. (At 5MB per 2 minutes of content that's 200 days of non-stop downloading over FiOS, but I'm sure typical home transfer rates would only increase over time.)

In other words, no matter how conservative you make the numbers, there is a huge oversupply of kiddy-porn.


Originally Posted by Piggy View Post
The state has a real interest in protecting children [...]
State? State who? If you mean the government, sure - anything to appeal to the masses. And it also has a real interest in killing old people after they stop producing, which I'm sure it would if it could get away with it. And thanks to apologists like you, maybe someday it will...

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Old 13th August 2008, 04:35 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post

In a free market, government would not regulate marriage / Family Law, and people would write marriage contracts instead. Those contracts can be used as an additional measure of protection against crimes against children. Some homeowners' associations, for example, might require that people given permission to buy property in their neighborhood fulfill their moral criteria, including a marriage contract that punishes particular otherwise-victimless immoral behavior. Etc.

I'm intrigued by this proposal. Are you suggesting that if Joe wants to marry Jane, they'd sit down and write up a legally binding list of do's and don'ts for their marriage (i.e., no pimping our kids out to pedophiles)? And then if there's a conflict, it's settled by whom? Wouldn't enforcement of those contracts be a government regulation or are you talking some sort of informal enforcement, like arbitration or taking it up with a council of elders? I'm a little confused.
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Old 13th August 2008, 05:01 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
And how would this uncle expect to get away with it in the long term, after the kid grows up?
So you're saying we should only punish torturing and raping children, photographing the torture and rape, distributing the pictures of torture and rape of a child to the world, after the child hits 18? And only then assuming he can overcome the psychological trauma enough to actually report the guy?
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Old 13th August 2008, 05:18 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
I've never done any illegal drugs and never will, and I occasionally get pissed off at my fellow libertarians for pushing this issue far more than some other issues I consider to be more important, but, yes, I do support full legalization, as well as an end to prosecution of all other victimless crimes, from consensual cannibalism to child porn.

CP isn't victimless. My first cousin was molested by her father and when she grew up she was unable to have sexual relationship with her husbands and of course she was divorced three different times. Despite years of therapy she was never able to enjoy sex with a man because it reminded her of what her father had done to her. As far as I can tell her father never actually raped her but whatever it was that he did it ruined her for life. I hate CP and it was difficult for me to click on this thread. It isn't victimless.
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Old 13th August 2008, 05:27 PM   #35
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Big thanks to Prewitt81 for splitting this - I knew it was getting out of hand, but I wanted to reply and starting a new thread would leave things topsy-turvy.

(So I guess everyone's OK with the other "victimless crime" example I brought up in passing, "consensual cannibalism"? ... j/k)


Originally Posted by PitPat View Post
I'm intrigued by this proposal. Are you suggesting that if Joe wants to marry Jane, they'd sit down and write up a legally binding list of do's and don'ts for their marriage (i.e., no pimping our kids out to pedophiles)? And then if there's a conflict, it's settled by whom? Wouldn't enforcement of those contracts be a government regulation or are you talking some sort of informal enforcement, like arbitration or taking it up with a council of elders? I'm a little confused.
You got the right idea. Since I'm not pushing any one particular vision but a range of semi-related ideas, from moderate Minarchy to radical Anarcho-Capitalism, there is more than one answer to the question of who would enforce the contract.

This is currently done by the government court system, and Minarchists / Objectivists / Constitutionalists (i.e. Ron Paul supporters) tend to agree that it's a core legitimate function of government. Some libertarians would like to take it one step further and instead of having a court system subsidized by taxation to have optional "contract insurance fees" instead. Those fees would fund all functions of legitimate government during peacetime: law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The next step on the ladder of Anarcho-Capitalist philosophy is decentralization: instead of having one court system to arbitrate and enforce laws, the signers of the contract choose which of the multiple competing organizations they would like to deal with. Thus independent NGO's can in time replace all functions of the government. Some left-leaning AnCaps believe that in the future not-for-profit NGO's will gain a competitive advantage and displace for-profit ones, same as how open-source software is gradually displacing closed-source products in some market segments, but only time will tell for sure.

Think of traditional marriage as a contract between two individuals, but the government imposes limits on what agreements people can make. There's currently a big fuss over the issue of gay marriage, and after that's settled issues of polygamy and so on will come up. In a free market, any group of people can make any contract, though of course most people would still use this legal institution in ways similar to traditional family. Most people will not want to be terribly creative in their marriage contracts (or "Family Constitutions", as some may call it), so several popular templates will emerge.

Various religious denominations will probably have certain templates that they recommend for the members of their community. Catholics, for example, might express contractual understanding that contraception and abortion are undesirable and set various clauses on what's to happen if one of the parties breaks this agreement. Mormon fundamentalists that want to practice Polygyny will have clauses dealing with the rights and responsibilities of existing wives if a husband decides to add one more, etc. But most people's contracts will pledge sexual and romantic exclusivity, mutual financial obligations, etc - basically the same things that Family Law currently deals with but flexible and voluntary.

The same social pressures that exist now would still exist, but they would be easier to escape. Both social liberals (i.e. homosexual interest groups, pro-choice groups, etc) and social conservatives (i.e. moral enforcers, pro-family groups, pro-lifers, etc) would find it impossible to irradiate the other using the force of government, and would have to tolerate each-other at a distance. There would be some things they would be able to do, however, not to have to tolerate each-other up close. Various localities will come to be associated with particular cultural values, and attract more and more people who share those values to move there. People who can't stand living next door to a gay couple, or gay couples who can't stand living next door to right-wing bigots, will be able to consider moving to a neighborhood where local property rights are used to uphold a particular cultural standard (i.e. neighborhood association only allowing people with family contracts passing a certain certification to buy property there).

That is how you legislate morality beyond the basics of life, liberty, and property - not through government force.

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Old 13th August 2008, 05:31 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
And how would this uncle expect to get away with it in the long term, after the kid grows up?
Maybe in your anarcho-capitalist dreamland people act rationally, therefore no one would abuse a child like that because they reason that they can't get away with it.

In the real world, this kind of thing happens.
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Old 13th August 2008, 05:35 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post

<snip>

If someone did something bad to me (or any of my hypothetical dependents), I'd certainly initiate legal proceedings!

<snip>
"Legal Proceedings"? And who gets to decide what the laws are? And who runs the courts? And who pays for the courts? You?

ETA: I see you have attempted to explain this but you have not thought it through.
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Old 13th August 2008, 05:37 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
State? State who? If you mean the government, sure - anything to appeal to the masses. And it also has a real interest in killing old people after they stop producing, which I'm sure it would if it could get away with it. And thanks to apologists like you, maybe someday it will...
There's a book I highly recommend you read. It's called "Constitutional Interpretation: Cases, Essays, Materials", by Chase and Ducat.

Maybe you'll learn there what a legitimate state interest is.

The plain fact of the matter is that a centralized government, at the state or federal level, is the best way we have to establish and enforce rules of conduct which are beneficial to everyone.

It doesn't always work, sometimes it's actually counterproductive, but on the whole our system has functioned pretty darn well, and continues to improve.

The state interest here is in protecting children who otherwise would be left to the whims of abusive parents.

This is a well established principle of law in the United States.

"Killing old people" is not, and there is no way that anyone is going to establish "killing old people" as a valid state interest on the basis of the fact that protecting children is a valid state interest.
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Old 13th August 2008, 05:41 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
There are many better ways to balance the power within a family than giving the government the power to regulate it at will!
The government cannot, in fact, regulate the balance of power within a family at will.

What the government can -- and should -- do is to step in to protect children who are being physically and sexually abused by scumbag parents.

In the United States, children are not property. You can't simply do anything to them you want.

For that matter, you can't even do anything you want to your animals, and they are property.

This is a good thing because allowing torture and abuse of children and animals has a negative impact on society, and is simply repugnant to the vast majority of citizens.
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Old 13th August 2008, 05:43 PM   #40
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