Textual Frustrations

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OMFG!

Sent from my iphone:

BION*, Da Vermont House & Senate peeps R wrkng on bils 2 decrim sexting Btween juveniles. Da house wants 2 rquire more education on D dangers of sexting N mke a nu law only 4 minors (ages 13-18), but:

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas says he doesn't want to change Vermont's laws to lessen the potential penalties for teenagers who use their cell phones to send sexually explicit pictures and messages….

Douglas says he would rather leave the law unchanged, and allow the state's prosecutors to decide what, if any, charges to bring in cases of teen sexting.

And Ernie Allen, prez of:

…the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said he sympathized with Vermont officials for not wanting to exact heavy penalties for a teenager's foolishness. But he worries that exempting the behavior could have the unintended consequence of immunizing genuine sexual predators from prosecution.

"Our concern is that decriminalizing sexting is a blanket response that is too broad to a problem that is best handled on a case-by-case basis," Allen said.

Eh Guyz, WTF?! Those R bad ideas. Y? Sez Dahlia Lithwick @Slate:

Last month, three girls….were charged with disseminating child pornography for sexting their boyfriends. The boys who received the images were charged with possession. A teenager in Indiana faces felony obscenity charges for sending a picture of his genitals to female classmates. A 15-year-old girl in Ohio and a 14-year-old girl in Michigan were charged with felonies for sending along nude images of themselves to classmates …If convicted, these young people may have to register as sex offenders, in some cases for a decade or two….

One quick clue that the criminal justice system is probably not the best venue for addressing the sexting crisis? A survey of the charges brought in the cases reflects that-depending on the jurisdiction-prosecutors have charged the senders of smutty photos, the recipients of smutty photos, those who save the smutty photos, and the hapless forwarders of smutty photos with the same crime: child porno

Allen DUZ maks a gud point, tho: mandatory laws R bad. And fed govt laws wud B worse. But most prosecutors don't know WTF they R dealing w/. They R fkn up on case–x–case. They are SLUGs**. Kdz cn B gud W cmputAs bt vry dum bout lyf. They need 2 B protected frm bad litigation more than sexting cuz dat is da least of kdz online worries. Laws protecting kdz need 2 B state-x-state. But Nvr fed. MayB sum dy der won't hav2 B Ny laws.

It's a gud idea bt nt gr8. GTG. TTYL.

*Believe it or not; **Slow learner under guidance

Text translator here. Reason on mandatory sentencing laws here. Senior Editor Radley Balko does a hit & run on sexting arrests here.

NEXT: Obama's Hypocrisy on School Vouchers

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  1. GRR! I HATE TEXTING SHORT HAND. Impossible to read at times and much slower than just typing it out.

  2. Never, ever do that again.

  3. Funny, the Plain English to Lingo screen lists “Fucktards” as translating to “Fucktards”.

    Some things never change, no matter what language you use.

  4. Jeff, if I met you in an alley, I would beat you with a cane.

  5. This will all be fixed when the great Leader Obama appoints a cell phone czar.

  6. u gys r OLD!

  7. What kind of a literalist idiot would decide that anti child pr0n laws applied between children?

    Our government is run by oblivious morons if they have to make a law about this. FFS nillas.

  8. “A teenager in Indiana faces felony obscenity charges for sending a picture of his genitals to female classmates.”

    As well he should.

  9. What dbcooper said.

  10. It HURT to read that

  11. “Our concern is that decriminalizing sexting is a blanket response that is too broad to a problem that is best handled on a case-by-case basis,” Allen said.

    Translation:

    “We like brutal and unjust laws, because that maximizes our power. You never know when you’re going to need to have a brutal and unjust law to use in some situation or other. But don’t worry, you can trust us to hypocritically not actually apply the law in the vast number of cases that would be subject to it by any literal reading.”

  12. Fluffy is correct, and Fonz, I am going to go find Warty and we’re coming to your house to “reward” you for that post. I just changed my views on torture.

    dbcooper is invited too.

  13. What kind of a literalist idiot would decide that anti child pr0n laws applied between children?

    It’s a common practice I analogize to dragging the pivot foot. One foot starts out standing on the justif’n for the law, and the other foot is put down in various related places. But then that foot’s spot becomes the new justif’n, and the original foot gets picked up and place somewhere else unrelated to the original justif’n.

  14. Cn we crmnlz wrtng lk ths nstd?

  15. Karma is a bitch. You have a stabbing in the face with a spork coming for writing that in text speak.

    More stupid laws. I’m kind of amazed they didn’t tie it into drugs and/or guns.

    i.e. Sexting while in possession of an illicit drug and firearm comes with a mandatory life of long flogging by midgets.

  16. Shouldn’t the little hooers be charged with manufacturing child pornography?

  17. Ug, I can just picture the scene in 2020. The patient is in a mental institution for life to cure him of his child pornography addiction.

    Doctor: Before you advance in your treatment, you need to reject this delusion you have about teenagers liking sex.

    Patient: Remind me again why I’m being locked up here?

    Doctor: Because you are sick. You committed a sex crime.

    Patient: All I did was take a picture of my junk and e-mail it to my girlfriend.

    Doctor: Yes, but your “girlfriend” was 17 at the time. She was a minor.

    Patient: I was 16 at the time.

  18. Again, it should be reiterated that part of the problem here is that for many people the issue with child pornography is that the pictures are dirty or obscene or “gross”, and not that children were harmed to create the pictures.

    People who puritanically fixate on the object itself as a sort of totem of black magic, instead of worrying about the children who were abused to create the photo or film, are not really capable of seeing that it’s stupid to believe that children who photograph themselves nude are somehow criminally violating themselves.

    This is why many people think it’s possible for cartoons or computer-generated images to be “child pornography”, even though they don’t involve real children: Because it’s “dirty”.

    They are thinking, “You made a dirty picture, so you must be punished!” not “You harmed a child, so you must be punished!” If you’re thinking the former, it makes sense to punish children who photograph themselves. It only doesn’t make sense if you’re thinking the latter. And many people don’t.

  19. Fluffy is correct, and Fonz, I am going to go find Warty and we’re coming to your house to “reward” you for that post. I just changed my views on torture.

    dbcooper is invited too.

    Cool! Can I bring my power tools?

  20. Cool! Can I bring my power tools?

    Sure. I’ll bring the car battery, wet sponges, and jumper cables, and Warty can bring the dental drills and that chair that they used on Bond in Casino Royale.

  21. Police Captain George Seranko described the obscenity of the images: They “weren’t just breasts,” he declared. “They showed female anatomy!”

  22. Nice, I’ll see if I can find some of my old Jamshidi needles too. Got to run with the surgical theme.

  23. Jamshidi needles

    Oh, that’s good. You get to work on him first for that.

  24. Oh, that’s good. You get to work on him first for that.

    Thanks, always knew those large animal studies would pay off for cool points some day. 🙂

  25. OMG! Teenagers think about sex!?! They talk about it and engage in it too!?! When did this start to happen? Some people need to get their lives ruined over this (pretty darned normal) behavior that makes me uncomfortable.

  26. Sexting isn’t illegal. Child porn is. So is sending pictures of your genitalia to underaged people or to people who did not ask to receive them. These are all part of existing law. Nothing new here, except for the outcry from people who believe that 16, 14, 12 and with no limit in sight, even younger people should be able to take photos of their privates and post them to third party service partners who have no obligations to protect such postings without even a nod to existing law. So much knee-jerk reaction, so little thought.

  27. “They are thinking, “You made a dirty picture, so you must be punished!” not “You harmed a child, so you must be punished!” If you’re thinking the former, it makes sense to punish children who photograph themselves. It only doesn’t make sense if you’re thinking the latter. And many people don’t.”

    Well said.

    I heard a prosecutor on NPR defending these laws, and he seemed to say that the laws were needed for cases when teenager one takes a picture of teenager two and without two’s consent (either in the taking or the sending, it went back and forth with him) sends it to other people. Of course he seemed to be considering bringing charges in certain cases that did not fit these facts at all, but those hypos may be a bit more complicated.

  28. I got 3 wrong number texts this weekend, including from some girl that had apparently mistaken my number for that of a prospective sexual partner.

    I regularly get wrong number texts, text spam, texts from people I don’t know and stupid forwards that I do not want from people I do know.

    If some 16 year old bitch sends me nude pics, IIIIIII am a child pornographer?

    How the fuck can a recipient of unsolicited porn be charged with possession? Should Che Calvo’s wife be charged with drugs because she was an unwilling participant in a crime scheme?

  29. Jeff, you have a serious beating coming, for this post.

  30. I now have a headache. Thanks, Jeff.

    These damn kids today.

  31. I see that the position of resident contrarian troll, vacated some time back by Dan T, has finally been filled. Welcome aboard, Jimbo.

  32. wow – that sucked. hard. what fluffy said.

  33. James Butler | April 20, 2009, 7:10pm | #

    Sexting isn’t illegal. Child porn is. So is sending pictures of your genitalia to underaged people or to people who did not ask to receive them. These are all part of existing law. Nothing new here, except for the outcry from people who believe that 16, 14, 12 and with no limit in sight, even younger people should be able to take photos of their privates and post them to third party service partners who have no obligations to protect such postings without even a nod to existing law. So much knee-jerk reaction, so little thought.

    By that logic, we should arrest minors that suffer from statutory rape. A law made to protect minors should not be used to put those minors in jail.

  34. I nominate fluffy for state prosecutor, because of his level headed views on child porn.

  35. Just for that, Winkler, I’m gonna e-mail you a picture of my junk then call five-0 on ya ass.

  36. “By that logic, we should arrest minors that suffer from statutory rape. A law made to protect minors should not be used to put those minors in jail.”

    Not so fast, citizen! I’m not sure, but I think some statutory rape laws can apply to the older kid when two older kids have sex. And the prosecutor I heard speak on this said they need the texting laws to apply to kids for the same reason, to prosecute a kid who texts another kids image without the later kids effective (?) consent…

    My hunch btw was correct:
    http://www.cga.ct.gov/2003/olrdata/jud/rpt/2003-R-0376.htm

  37. That should read “when two kids” not “two older kids”

  38. Even worse than the “texting” shorthand (I have never seen anyone actually text like that) is the use of the term “sexting.”

  39. This post makes me think of a few years back when some right-wing Christian types decided they would… um… youthify (?) the Bible by making a text-message version. So, you know, kids could spread the good news to their sinner friends through cell phones.

    Because apparently nothing leads to conversions like getting a message that says:

    “4 God so luvd the wrld he gv Hs only bgttn Sn that whoev blvd in Hm might hv 3ternl Lf zomg.”

  40. I think we have something potentially worse than the war on drugs here, from the standpoint of enabling selective prosecution. Dirty cop wants you out of the way because you’re writing about corruption in their department, they send you a picture of an underage girl, and bust you if they find the phone in your possession when they kick your door in for a “papers, please” raid.

    Sooner or later, juries are going to quit sending people up the river for simple possession of marijuana. Sounds like this is what the JBTs have waiting in the wintgs.

    -jcr

  41. Jonas,

    See here.

    -jcr

  42. MNG | April 20, 2009, 10:07pm | #

    “By that logic, we should arrest minors that suffer from statutory rape. A law made to protect minors should not be used to put those minors in jail.”

    Not so fast, citizen! I’m not sure, but I think some statutory rape laws can apply to the older kid when two older kids have sex. And the prosecutor I heard speak on this said they need the texting laws to apply to kids for the same reason, to prosecute a kid who texts another kids image without the later kids effective (?) consent…

    My hunch btw was correct:
    http://www.cga.ct.gov/2003/olrdata/jud/rpt/2003-R-0376.htm

    Granted, the age gap as well as the absolute ages are relevant in statutory rape laws. So, if you want to argue that, say, a 17 year old can be prosecuted for sending a picture of himself to a 5 year old I can see the logic in that. I haven’t formed a definite opinion about what to do in that case, because I just didn’t consider a situation like that until you brought it up. My general priniciple is that the same policies regarding ages for statutory rape laws would lead to a more rational approach to child porn.

  43. [pouts]

    Epi left me out of the party.

  44. Epi left me out of the party.

    I don’t think they want the Fonz to *enjoy* the torture.

  45. jtuf
    Don’t get me wrong, the very prosecutor who brought up this point was, iirc, working on charging two 14 year olds who had sent their boyfriends naughty images (oh yeah, he wanted to charge the boyfriends too!). His justification seemed to be that he would use the law to make these kids take texting seriously, that they did not know the harm that could happen to them when they start sending such images out in the world and so he had, uh, to harm them to let them know….

    So, ok, I guess I can see some instances in which an underage sexter is bad person, but that still does not make me feel at ease with the idea of giving most prosecutors yet another tool to abuse…

  46. Plainly, these kids are sluts, whores, and pimps. They must absoliutely be punished, and severely! A little American moral justice will make them the decent, upright, permanently branded sex offenders that we surely want all our children to be…

  47. Nothing new here, except for the outcry from people who believe that 16, 14, 12 and with no limit in sight, even younger people should be able to take photos of their privates and post them to third party service partners who have no obligations to protect such postings without even a nod to existing law. So much knee-jerk reaction, so little thought.

    See? Butler is an example of exactly what I was talking about.

    The picture is the problem to him. Its being. So if I’m 14 and take a picture of MY OWN DICK, I’m a child pornographer, because I brought that picture into existence.

    It just doesn’t matter to him that all the justifications for prosecuting child pornographers disappear if it’s MY OWN DICK that I’m photographing.

    The people talking about statutory rape aren’t taking the analogy far enough. Charging me with producing child pornography because I photograph MY OWN DICK is like charging me with child molestation because when I was 13 I jerked off. It’s exactly the same absurd logic: There’s a minor child involved, and a hand touched the minor child’s genitalia – so it must be child molestation!

    Talk about a lack of thought.

  48. MY OWN DICK

    Just thought y’all would want to see that one more time.

    Also, I can’t read this post, and I am a teenager (only for another month, though).

  49. @ Spoonman:

    Apt analogy. Here’s hoping the common-sense-o-meter kicks in real soon.

    A forlorn hope, I know…

  50. Charging me with producing child pornography because I photograph MY OWN DICK is like charging me with child molestation because when I was 13 I jerked off.

    Actually, the theory is that if you send an image of your own dick to anyone else, they will become so inflamed with lust that they will go out and rape a kid.

    This doesn’t seem absurd to legislators and prosecutors for some reason. Perhaps they could use a thorough program of psychotherapy.

    -jcr

  51. R C Dean | April 20, 2009, 5:27pm |

    ditto

  52. Fluffy, I’m not sure you are reading correctly. Might want to remove the rose-colored glasses before you address any topic with a legal foundation.

    See, in the world today, there are “laws” against some stuff because at some point, enough people in certain positions crafted them and moved them into practice, as our society is all set up to do.

    I don’t believe I expressed one iota of an opinion regarding whether it was the behavior or the product of the behavior that the “laws” of this country are intended to control.

    I simply pointed out that “sexting” is NOT illegal and that “child porn” IS illegal.

    Now if that gets in the way of some tot taking a picture of her vagina and sending it via cell phone to her under-aged boy toy and his buddies, then that’s a damn shame, and I figure the tot’s parents should have done a better job of educating her as to the nature of the “legal system” that this country operates under.

    But that’s not “sexting”, is it?

    If the aforementioned tot sends a message describing her vagina and how ready it is for her under-aged boy toy to penetrate, or whatever “sexting” might be comprised of, then, again, aw shucks. Bummer, tot-dude. Time to learn a little bit about the “laws” that govern the country you live in.

    From my cloudy berth in dreamland, far, far from Libertopia, I observe a world where sexual predators have kids. (I know, shocking, huh?) I also observe a world where the peddling of child porn is a huge, profitable business, unconcerned with the welfare of those it exploits. (Another shocker, eh?)

    I’m stunned to be able to imagine adults in this same world who would exert their power over their children, or those of their friends, and cause those children to take photos of and graphically describe their own sex organs, only to have those photos and texts “accidentally” find their way on to child porn distribution networks, where they will live for near eternity being passed from sicko hand to sicko hand.

    Yeah, child porn “laws” are ridiculous when the perpetrator is a child, aren’t they? The CONDITIONS under which the porn was produced is all that matters:

    If the kid takes the picture of their own genitals, then it’s perfectly cool for them to distribute it to anyone and everyone they please, right? Because they are real smart kids, right? Heck, ALL kids should be able to send pictures of their naked selves to their friends whenever they please, right? Down to the age of 1 or 2 or as soon as they can grasp a camera and release the shutter, right?

    Why stop at cell phones? Let’s get some real nice high-res photos using professional gear and then maybe the kid could put together a little magazine with their similarly-inclined semi-nude friends and hand out a few copies around school. Why not? There’s nothing in any of the pro-“sexting” arguments here that makes a case against that scenario.

    In fact, there’s not a pro-“sexting” argument in this discussion that accounts for any type of abuse, or makes any distinction between a 14-year old and someone even younger (or older) engaging in the behavior under discussion.

    Why is it so hard to agree that adults are allowed to do some things that children simply are not allowed to do, for their developmental benefit and for the benefit of the national community?

    “Sexting” is one of those things.

    John C. Randolph … you’re just being silly.

  53. Here’s what I hope happens:

    Some kid who takes a picture of THEIR OWN DICK gets caught up in the absurd system of prosecution James Butler supports and is forced to register as a sex predator.

    His life ruined, the kid turns to a life of REAL crime, like committing armed robbery. One day, he happens along James Butler, and in the course of trying to rob him, shoots his fucking head off, and leaves him to die in an alley somewhere.

    That would be totally sweet.

    Why is it so hard to agree that adults are allowed to do some things that children simply are not allowed to do, for their developmental benefit and for the benefit of the national community?

    Absolutely no “developmental benefit” of mine would have been served if I had been arrested for taking a photo of MY OWN DICK when I was 13. And “the national community” means absolutely nothing here – the only question, and I mean the ONLY question, is whether it would have been individually just TO ME if someone had arrested me for taking a picture of MY OWN DICK when I was 13.

    The first, and best, test of any law is for me to imagine if it would be just for that law to be applied TO ME. This law fails that test, and no further analysis is really required.

    You can imagine scenarios where a loophole refraining from prosecuting children who photograph themselves might lead to children being forced to photograph themselves by adults. Too bad your imagination is too stilted to imagine how ABSOLUTELY FUCKING EASY it would be to simply make an adult extorting or inciting such photography, or selling the output from such photography, into its own crime. Voila. Problem solved.

  54. Why stop at cell phones? Let’s get some real nice high-res photos using professional gear and then maybe the kid could put together a little magazine with their similarly-inclined semi-nude friends and hand out a few copies around school. Why not? There’s nothing in any of the pro-“sexting” arguments here that makes a case against that scenario.

    If the state wants to create a category of contraband, they better have a damn good fucking reason for it.

    In the case of child pornography, that case has historically been that it’s impossible to produce without the adults doing the photography effectively molesting the children depicted in the photography. And the adults who “make a market” for child pornography are effectively conspiring with the producers to commit these acts, in the same way that if I offered 10 grand for a picture of some enemy of mine dead, and someone went out and killed him to take the photo and earn the money, I would effectively have conspired to commit murder.

    These justifications utterly disappear if a minor photographs himself. They’re just utterly absent. You can’t exploit yourself. You can’t molest yourself. It’s impossible. And in the absence of actual exploitation or molestation, the state has no interest here that justifies the creation of a category of contraband. None. No matter how gross it is, and no matter how many “icky hands” get on the photos if they somehow slip out into the public domain.

    If a bunch of minors were stupid enough to do what you describe above, it would be a disciplinary matter for their parents and for their school. It would be a fucked-up situation. But what it should not be is a crime that would effectively require everyone involved to be made permanently part of the criminal justice system.

  55. LMFAO, Fluffy! You’re a piece of work, I’ll give you that. Not much for substance, are you? LOL!

    I will always treasure this bit of pure Libertarianism that you have thoughtfully provided:

    The first, and best, test of any law is for me to imagine if it would be just for that law to be applied TO ME. This law fails that test, and no further analysis is really required.

    Oh man! You SLAY me! You got chutzpa, dude, if not critical reasoning skills.

    These justifications utterly disappear if a minor photographs himself.

    In your own little world, aren’t you? Oblivious to the facts surrounding child porn and how it is produced. “Hey, man, I just told her how to turn on the camera. It wasn’t ME, man. SHE took all the pictures.” Think it doesn’t happen? If not, you’re wrong.

    Aside from all of that, try to get a grip on your ad hominem attacks.

  56. A survey of the charges brought in the cases reflects that-depending on the jurisdiction-prosecutors have charged the senders of smutty photos, the recipients of smutty photos, those who save the smutty photos
    http://www.mirei.com

  57. Hmm, they release the information…good. Michelle puts it on her website, giving them MORE publicity….bad. Stupid woman kills herself…….we must find someone to blame. The liberal mantra. Its never “my” fault. There’s always someone else to blame. Ignorant.
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