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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Judge fancies himself a moovie buff

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Author Topic: Judge fancies himself a moovie buff
scifibum
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I have nothing more to say.
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TommySama
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Heh heh. God Bless America!

YEEEEE--HAWWW!

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munga
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too funny

I wonder if he was set up. Interesting, though.

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Jesse
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Tricky thing is that when you parse it, there isn't actually a claim that there was any sexual activity in the videos.

Wierd, no doubt, but hardly obscene in a legal sense.

Reagan appointee, by the way. A case study in why one shouldn't appoint 35 year old justices to circuit courts - there's no telling what kind of fetishes they'll develop.

[ June 12, 2008, 05:16 AM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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Jesse
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My bet is that Kozinski is pressured to step down, and Bush appoints Judge Marilyn Huff to his seat.

I just want that on the record. I'll explain why I thunked it if it happens.

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jimskater
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Out of curiosity, did the photos appear on Kozinski's website under the general category of "things I like"? That'd just be weird & ick-making. If they appeared under the general category of "cases I'm going to be hearing" it'd be flat out stupid. Either way, he was right to recuse himself--and he's probably going to lose his judgeship over it. Which is fine by me.

[ June 12, 2008, 09:35 AM: Message edited by: jimskater ]

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hobsen
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The judge explained that the photos were posted by one of his sons, and that everyone in the family had believed the site was restricted to family members. His son just likes to share weird images he finds on the Internet, and the judge says he is too busy himself to spend much time there. I suppose the judge could be lying, but the alternative is to suppose not only that the judge is obsessed with odd sexual images but likes to share them with his wife and children. The images - described as a half naked man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal, and a field of women painted to look like cows - really sound more like something which would appeal to a teenager.

[ June 12, 2008, 10:46 AM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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TommySama
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For the record, hobsen, I've never yanked it to girls painted like cows, nor to pictures or videos of... the other one... ewe [Wink]
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Jesse
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Not ewes, Tommy, cows.
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jimskater
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photos of ewes, photos of cows Who cares? They're both eews. [Wink]

OK, so the son has an interest in sharing bizarre images he finds on the internet. Interesting. What kind of parent allows his child to post photos of "a half naked man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal"? Is there any evidence that the judge said to his son "That's not the kind of photo you should have posted. It's in very poor taste." And then, to top it off, lets it sit there until the media get ahold of the image?

At the very least, he's not the type of parent I'd like to see judging whether photos of bestiality constitute obscenity.

[ June 12, 2008, 09:46 PM: Message edited by: jimskater ]

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Rallan
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Personally I don't see the problem. The guy has some images that no court in the land would find obscene. If he were a smoker presiding over a tobacco lawsuit or a gun collector presiding over a second amendment case, nobody'd bat an eyelid.

And personally I think he is the sort of judge who should be deciding waht constitutes bestiality. Not because of this embarassing little scandal, but because he's apparently got a good track record as a staunch advocate of First Amendment rights. America needs some civil libertarians with balls to ditch the legal fiction that is the Miller Test and scrap obscenity laws.

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Jesse
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quote:
"a half naked man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal"?
Which half is naked, and what's the cavorting?

Neither of us has any idea. Maybe it's a guy in a Pan outfit playing the pipes and dancing with a horny billy-goat.

People are making the assumption that there's something sexual to the judge or his kid about a bunch of naked women painted like cows in a field - rather than making the more likely assumption that it's a political commentary by some femminist art photographer.

Someone totally covered in latex body paints is more "dressed" than Brittney Spears ussualy is on-stage.

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jimskater
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Rallan & Jesse,

I concede your points. Perhaps it was the "ick" factor speaking.

I honestly had no real problem with idea of a photo of women painted like cows. It struck me as an interesting, but weird, idea--something like a photo of Demi Moore naked under a painted on suit. But I haven't seen the "cavorting" photo--my reaction to that starts at "ick" and goes down hill from there.

[ June 13, 2008, 09:14 AM: Message edited by: jimskater ]

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Rallan
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I'm guessing the "cavorting" photo is some young idiot out in the sticks doing a silly pose and taking a gross-out photo for him and his buddies to have a chuckle about. The media coverage would probably have had a very different feel if it was a bestiality photo.
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hobsen
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This case seems to have more angles than my cat has hair. The photos were taken from the judge's Web site and sent to various newspapers by one of his personal enemies, a lawyer with whom he has clashed in the past. And the judge's sons are probably not teenagers; at least one is a graduate of UCLA law school who won a celebrated case against Los Angeles which forced the city to change its procedures for issuing traffic tickets.

Moreover the case over which the judge is presiding is a highly political one: the showpiece of a task force created by the Bush administration in answer to appeals from Christian conservatives to crack down on pornography. The defendant is a shock artist: he produces and sells about a thousand videos a month intended to shock viewers. The trouble is that the videos may be material which would usually be judged legally obscene; but the defendant probably is an artist, so the case raises all sorts of Constitutional questions. And there are questions as to how the evidence will be presented to a jury; as the artist remarked, he is not sure he could stand to watch six hours of his works himself. So it may be a bit like asking a jury to judge the tastiness of a brand of pizza by eating 365 of them over the course of a year; pizzas are not intended to be eaten that way, and shock videos are not intended to be viewed for hours at a time. (Personally I should never choose to view them at all; but it seems at least 1000 viewers a month are eager to pay $30 to get one of them.)

About all I can conclude is that Judge Kozinski seems to love a battle, and he is more than capable of representing his own interests in this matter. He may well succeed in proving this is a smear campaign, and possibly a crime as an attempt to change the verdict in a criminal trial. In any case, regardless of the legal outcome, it seems unlikely either the judge's critics or his defenders will be persuaded of its justice. This whole incident seems a skirmish in the culture wars, featuring the most extreme positions on either side.

[ June 13, 2008, 01:15 PM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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scifibum
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For the curious, not easily offended, and bored. Most assuredly not safe for work:

What stuff was on the website anyway

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jimskater
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Linkie no workie

(Thank Ghu)

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Rallan
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Ah the obcenity taskforce. America's taxpayers should write a thankyou note to Gonzales for that excellent decision on how best to waste their money.

Fighting crime? Tracking down drug barons? Protecting you from terrorists? Nah, let's get a bunch of FBI agents working full time on the vitally important job of trying to find pornography producers and distributors who've sold the right sort of porn (as nasty as possible) in the right sort of area (as bible belt as possible) to make easy obscenity convictions possible.

Porn producers who coerce the actors or pay the crew less than minimum wage or hire underage actors? Distributors who are cheating the IRS or selling to minors? Nah, let's have those FBI agents pick cases based entirely on the likelihood of making an obscenity conviction stick.

You could run the most ethical porn business in town. You could run a co-operative where the cast and crew share in both the creative process and the profits, staffed entirely by a team of willing libertine idealists who enjoy what they do and care passionately about making sure that the process of creating porn is more than simply a transaction of cash for services. But if your porn features kinky sex acts that little old ladies who organise church bake sales in Alabama have never even heard of, you're far more likely to get a visit from the FBI obscenity taskforce than some skeezy fly-by-night operator who pays his crew under the table and is so lax about background checks that he once accidentally let a sixteen year old appear in one of his films.

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flydye45
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"And personally I think he is the sort of judge who should be deciding waht constitutes bestiality. Not because of this embarassing little scandal, but because he's apparently got a good track record as a staunch advocate of First Amendment rights. America needs some civil libertarians with balls to ditch the legal fiction that is the Miller Test and scrap obscenity laws."

What exactly are you smoking in Oz? A judge is not NOT supposed to have his thumb on the scale. Motions from the plaintiffs and the defendents need to be viewed with equal legal scrutiny. What you seem to be saying is "I hate obscenity laws and having a fellow who will automatically find against them is a good thing irrelevant of what his personal viewing habits involve."

That is a fixed system, which is why he needs to recuse himself. He needs to be seen as above reproach, not (to mix a metaphor) as a rampant spliff addict making a decision on drug legalization. Now I seriously doubt that he's totally bent, or that a person COULD make a decision objectively irrelevant. But why have to ask the question? Having a rampant church lady who marched against porn for decades would be just as egregious a miscarriage of justice.

[ June 15, 2008, 08:20 AM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Obscenity laws prohibit free expression based on content.

That's a no-no, fly. It's not one of those rules that tolerate exceptions. You can either say **** in a crowded fire or not.

I know I would.

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Jesse
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"Having a rampant church lady who marched against porn for decades would be just as egregious a miscarriage of justice."

Scalia still has a job [Wink]

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flydye45
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This brings up an anecdote.

I was walking by a Victoria Secret's shop. As a member of the military (because hormone on legs was already taken by Slick Willy), I've had my share of porn use and abuse. So puritanical impulses have been leavened with a fair dose of hypocrisy.

That said, the VS display was...intense. And the thought that passed through my head was "The guys who swear that over sexualization of society is harmless damned well better be right or we'l be reaping the whirlwind in a few years..."

Rallan wasn't interested in justice; he's interested in winning irrelevant of the legal facts. The fact that he can't envision that society might have compelling interest to keep porn from kids, or that something might cross a line speaks more to his imagination then anything. When he admits to showing his seven year old kids scatological gay dildo porn, I'll believe him in his principles.

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Rallan
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Way to make a big Rallan-shaped strawman flydye. Pornography can be (and in the real world, actually is) kept away from minors without the need for obscenity laws. There are laws regulating who can sell pornography. There are laws prohibiting the sale of pornography to minors. There are even laws keeping pornography out of public broadcasts.

Obscenity's got nothing to do with that, and exists solely to punish people for creating something at all if it offends polite society, regardless of how it was made or who gets to see it. Obscenity law basically boils down to the assumption that if something doesn't pass the Miller Test, then that something should not exist and should not be distributed to anyone at all, including consenting adults who can legally perform the acts depicted in the obscene material.

In short, it's crap. And it's also a drastic reinterpretation of the First Amendment that makes crap up out of whole cloth. Last time I checked, the First Amendment didn't protect the right to free speech as long as it doesn't upset the pastor's wife. And while an argument can be made for ignoring free speech in favour of public safety (like the yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre example), there is no sound, logical argument that can be made to show that obscene material needs to be banned because of a pressing safety concern. The US legal system has created an environment where first amendment protections can be revoked based on something as vague as "community standards of decency" (which, as the federal obscenity taskforce exploits to its advantage, can vary widely across the nation and are by no means a uniform or well-defined standard), as determined by judges whose definition of obscenity is (literally in some cases) "I know it when I see it". Obscenity laws remain on the books not because they're in line with the first amendment, but because the courts have invented the spurious argument that when it comes to graphic depictions of kinky sex, society needs to be protected from itself.

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