Monday, December 15, 2008

An obscene waste of taxpyayer money.

Two bureaucrats from the federal government recently wasted thousands and thousands of your tax money. The two useless agents were Matthew Friedrich and Sharon Potter. These bureaucrats spent your money in order to prosecute Loren Adams of Indianapolis for selling adult video tapes.

These government hired-guns said the tapes are obscene. Now obscenity is a meaningless term lacking any objective definition. As such the stupidity of obscenity laws is there is no way for an individual to know whether or not any particular item is obscene or not. The definition is so slippery that the courts have merely ruled that obscenity is whatever the "local community" finds obscene. No one knows what is obscene until AFTER they have been convicted of the crime.

As a prime example of non-objective law this means that two-bit bureaucrats like Friedrich and Potter have power they shouldn't have. When law can't be defined that means the state is not constrained by the law. It is the sort of law that Goering and Himmler would have loved.

What these bureaucrats did was have the man from Indiana brought to the backwaters of West Virginia and tried there. In the civilized world it would have been harder to convict him so they imported him to state run by fundamentalist nutters. Because there is no objective definition and vague "community standards" apply all the government thugs have to do is shop around for an area dominated by Neanderthals in order to convict. The only way a seller of such material can avoid prosecution is by refusing to sell to fake customers set up by the government in areas where such Neanderthals dominate. So apparently the seller must know the "community standards" of every community in the country.

Not only is there no definition of what "obscenity" is, there is also no definition of what a "community" is. It could be a specific city or a specific county or a specific state. In reality it only means a specific jury. And juries are now selectively chosen in order to manipulate the legal system. And juries are not instructed that, in America's legal tradition, they can refuse to convict if the law itself is a bad law. In fact, many judges will intentionally tell the juries the contrary.

Now, the feds will waste hundreds of thousands more in order to incarcerate the man for about the next three years.

It may well be that Mr. Adams was selling tapes that disgust most of us. But his films did not violate the rights of anyone. The individuals in the films were voluntary participants and there is no indication that Mr. Adams forced anyone to watch what he was selling. People had to make an effort to get the videos and they paid for them.

The real obscenity here is that so much government power was used to attack and deny a man his First Amendment rights. The courts have ruled that "obscenity" is an exception to the First Amendment. But I challenge anyone to find the clause in the Constitution which said that the rights delineated as belonging to the individuals have exceptions.

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