Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Scoundrels and Cops: Liberty Sides with the Former

Phillip Greaves II got some infamy a few weeks ago when his book advocating pedophilia was "outed" on Amazon, forcing the book giant to take contradictory views in a few short days. First, Amazon defended freedom of speech and then caved on the issue. I said nothing because Amazon has the right to make any decision it wanted there.

But now the real scum of society are getting involved, by that I mean low-life, publicity-seeking, red-neck sheriffs from some backwater county in Florida. The sheriff of Polk County, one Grady Judd, had Greaves arrested on obscenity charges because of the text in the book—there were no photos.

Spitting out some "tabaca," the doughnut muncher said: "You're not going to write a book where you violate the obscenity laws of Florida. Clearly, this violated the obscenity laws."

You might think about this for one second. Mr. Greaves was arrested in Colorado because this descendant of a long line of cousins, thousands of miles away, found the book obscene. No doubt this sheriff finds any book with words of more than three syllables to be obscene.

Sheriff Barney Fife asked Greaves for an autographed copy of the book and offered him $50 for it. This was clearly entrapment. Judd sent a book to this bastion of imbecility and now will face trial in a county that I doubt he has ever visited in his life.

The "book" was only in e-format before and Greaves told the sheriff that he had only one copy in print format and that he couldn't get any more. So clearly Greaves was not intending to distribute copies in Florida, or in this hell hole of a swamp where the Sheriff and his deputies lurk. This was the ONLY copy of the book around.

The book was inscribed, "For all of your encouragement," which shows that the Sheriff intentionally "groomed" Greaves into sending the only copy of the book in existence. And when the controversy erupted about this work, the local Colorado police investigated and did nothing because the book is NOT obscene and Greaves had not broken the law.

Judd said he is a crusader for children—which means he wants massive destruction of the Constitutional rights of adults—that seems to come with the territory. He said he was personally offended that Greaves was allowed to write his "book" and wasn't arrested for it, so he decided to do something about it personally.

Hey folks, do we really want backwater Southern Sheriffs determining the limits of free speech for the entire country?

This has nothing to do with Greaves, or his book. The First Amendment, which applies to the states and has since the 14th amendment, clearly says that there should be "no laws" regulating free speech. This was pure speech, written words alone. That some hick Sheriff got a bug up his ass over it shouldn't give him the right to impose his view of the First Amendment on the entire country. Whether the book is "obscene" is impossible to say as the word has absolutely no rational, objective meaning. Obscenity is anything that offends some tightass somewhere. And, of all the tightasses in the world, the worst are Southern sheriffs with messianic complexes, who think they are out defending morality. They are the tightest asses of the lot.

As Oscar Wilde would say, the real crime of the book was that it was badly written. And excerpts the media mentioned previously, were just that, extremely badly written. But bad writing is not a crime, if it were the authors of most federal legislation would be serving life sentences. It seemed apparent to me that Greaves, by his demeanor in interviews, has limited mental abilities and simply wasn't all there. He couldn't string together a coherent sentence yet write a book that threatened children.

The Constitution of the United States should not be held hostage by Southern swamp rats in a Sheriff's uniform.

The Supreme Court ruled that what makes child pornography illegal, is not the content or the ideas being conveyed, but the use of children to produce the images. But there were no images here, just ink on paper, a combination of letters conveying ideas that the Sheriff, and most of the rest of us, would find problematic. But, even if it conveyed an idea that we all find offensive, it is protected. Rights are not determined by majority support. You do not need community approval before speaking. Rights should never be determined by the most ignorant, bigoted elements of some backwater community, even if the individual in question is wearing a uniform—especially if wearing a uniform. The only legitimate function of a sheriff is to protect rights, not to violate them. And given that Mr. Greaves had never been in Polk County this Sheriff is acting against the Constitution, a document he has sworn to uphold.

You don't have to like Mr. Greaves. You don't have to like the "book" he wrote. He is immaterial. What counts is the First Amendment and individual rights. Trust me, the rights of all of us are in danger when ignorant cretins from some rural southern county can impose their sense of "morality" on the rest of us.

In closing, I give the last words here, to H.L. Mencken: "The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all."

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