Senators And Reps Grandstand Against Online Pornography Which Is Destroying Our Social Fabric

from the other-than-it's-not dept

Ah, pornography. It's so easy for politicians to grandstand against. Senator Orrin Hatch apparently sent a letter, co-signed by 41 other Senators, to Attorney General Eric Holder, urging him to start enforcing US obscenity laws in going after online pornography.
"Adult obscenity is increasingly harmful, addictive and associated with domestic violence, sex trafficking and other crimes," Hatch said. "It harms women, children, families, and communities. Congress has overwhelmingly passed laws to limit the production and distribution of this illegal obscene material. I am deeply concerned that these laws are not being enforced. I am gratified that so many of my colleagues have joined me on this letter to Attorney General Holder, asking him to enforce the anti-obscenity laws that are already on the books."
In the parlance of our times: [citation needed]. Radley Balko goes through the various claims that Hatch makes about online pornography and debunks them all pretty thoroughly:
The rise of the Internet in the mid-1990s made porn increasingly accessible to the point that today, just about everyone can watch people have sex damn-near any time of day, in every conceivable manner, in every possible vareity. If Hatch and his colleagues are right, over the last 15-20 years, we should have seen a massive increase in the social ills listed in Hatch's letter.

And in fact, every single one of these problems are trending in the opposite direction. It isn't even close:

  • Sex crimes against children: Down 53 percent between 1992 and 2006.
  • Abortion: The abortion rate has dropped by about 25 percent since 1993.
  • Teen pregnancy: In 2009, teen pregnancy hit its lowest rate in the 70 years that the federal government has been tracking the statistic.
  • Divorce: The U.S. divorce rate is at its lowest level since 1970.
  • Domestic violence: The rate of reported domestic violence in the U.S. dropped by more than half between 1993 and 2004.
  • Rape: The forcible rape rate in the U.S. has dropped from 41.1 per 100,000 people in 1990 to 28.7 in 2009. That latter figure is also an all-time low.
These numbers are overwhelming. What's more, there are at least a couple of studies suggesting that the widespread availability of pornography is partially responsible for some of these trends, especially the drop in reported rapes.

Is it really so much to ask our politicians to actually back up some of the claims that they make?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    Just because some old geezer feels embarrassed by cock and vag doesn't mean the rest of us are perverted by it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Christopher (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 5:12pm

      Re:

      Hit the nail on the head with that statement. I really think that some of these geezers are so repressed that they have never seen a vagina or cock, even their own, in their lives.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Peter Brenner, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 10:39pm

      Re:

      Let's not even talk about putting the P in the V or B ones L on her T.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Malodorous Intent (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    How do you properly cite money?

    When citing a financial contribution as a reference, should you use the date the deposit was promised, made, or cleared?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Ccomp5950 (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

      Re: How do you properly cite money?

      It depends honestly.

      Cash? The moment it's slid slylying into your pocket.

      Check? 7 days after the check has cleared, the bank should have by then had enough time to make sure it hasn't bounced.

      Cashiers Check? Day after deposit as funds are not made available until next day in most cases.

      Bank Transfer? 2 days after transfered funds are available for withdrawel if within the same country. 2 weeks otherwise.

      Paypal? 60 days after transfered, we wouldn't want disputes now would we?

      Personal Debit Card? Next day if used with PIN, 6 months if through the credit network.

      Business Debit Card? Next day in all cases as funds in most cases can not be disputed except through court.

      Credit Card? 6 months after transaction.

      Source: Congressional Guide for the Acceptance of Lobbying [Pg. 32]. Formally the Congressional Guide for Acceptance of obvious bribes [Pg. 1].

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Ccomp5950 (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

        Re: Re: How do you properly cite money?

        Proper citation would be.

        Porn is bad1.



        1.) See Cashiers Check Deposit #3857 in the amount of 50,000 towards "Effort to re-elect Jim Bob. Funds available 4/12/11

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    el_segfaulto (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Theocracy

    I wonder if the idiots that agree with people like this realize that if they had their way, the United States would be on the path to being an oppressive theocracy every bit as bad as Iran or Saudi Arabia. Personally I don't watch teh pr0n, not because I have a moral objection but because it's next to impossible not to laugh.

    Senators, please get a life and do something about our trainwreck of an economy or our personal rights (privacy, etc.) being eroded away on a daily basis. Once you have all of that sorted I promise we'll take a deep, hard, penetrating look into pornography.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      hobo, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

      Re: Theocracy

      Come on, be serious. The issue isn't that big.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

      Re: Theocracy

      I wonder if the idiots that agree with people like this realize that if they had their way, the United States would be on the path to being an oppressive theocracy every bit as bad as Iran or Saudi Arabia

      Of course they do, that's what they want. An oppressive theocracy is only bad when it's someone else's oppressive theocracy.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Jeff, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

      Re: Theocracy

      "I wonder if the idiots that agree with people like this realize that if they had their way, the United States would be on the path to being an oppressive theocracy every bit as bad as Iran or Saudi Arabia."

      You mean when the Europeans sailed over on leaky boats in the hopes of escaping oppression and persecution in their homelands and brought their oppressive theocratic ways with them?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Ed C., Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:57pm

        Re: Re: Theocracy

        I'm afraid the irony would be lost on most people in the US today.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Christopher (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 5:15pm

        Re: Re: Theocracy

        Actually, they did bring their oppressive theocratic ways with them (the main reason they were harassed was because they were confronting other people and trying to get them to change to their religion).

        Read up on the Salem Witch Hunts and the Puritans to see that.

        Religion in ANY form is bad news for society, because they are ALL about a group of people who 'know they know better' than you forcing you to adhere to their personal lifestyle and personal choices.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 9:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: Theocracy

          Religion in ANY form is bad news for society, because they are ALL about a group of people who 'know they know better' than you forcing you to adhere to their personal lifestyle and personal choices.

          Considering the way so many religious people have acted I can understand why you would thin that. But please be aware that there *are* religious people who think that forcing a religion on anyone degrades both the religion and the person. It is people who have little faith in the merits of their religion who think that it must be forced onto others.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Brian Schroth (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    "forcible rape"

    As opposed to...friendly rape?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

      Re:

      As opposed to...friendly rape?

      No, as opposed to non-forcible "rape", like if the condom breaks (in Sweden anyway).

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      A Dan (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

      Re:

      As opposed to statutory rape.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

        Re: Re:

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Try again...
          "rape by deception".

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Peter S. Chamberlain (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 7:27pm

          Re: Child Porn, Contact Child Sex Offenses, etc.

          If you believe either the police or federal statistics on crimes in general and sex crimes in particular, you probably are fool enough to believe the official inflation, unemployment, underemployment, and health care numbers, equally fictionalized, too, and I'd like to talk to you about a great deal on a bridge. I have had attorney-client and other privileged and confidential relationships with an awful lot of survivors of such crimes, including an awful lot of incestuous sexual abuse as children, that are not in the statistics because they were discouraged from reporting or the authorities didn't do anything. I was the outcry witness in some of these. Child abuse, school, medical and psychiatric, etc., professionals complained to me about the authorities not dealing with their reports, too, and I saw some of that. I know about some local online child porn my computer expert, now deceased, quickly located after another child abuse expert got a lead on it, which we forwarded ot the authorities, and the federal prosecution and conviction at trial of one local dealer with what the FBI and prosecutor told me was 200 customers plus suppliers. I represented the daughter of one very serious physical sexual abuser of his own daughter whose Air Force base commander was allowed to resign on eve of federal tr4ial for using AF computers to deal child porn. I have taken courses from one national top expert with Air Force etc. as clients who told us about connections, as well as unprosecuted cases. Be very, very careful with any alleged scientific studies and statistics that would happen to be convenient for those who make money off a morally reprehensible activity. Look at what was eventually proven about the so-called science used to support the claim that there was "not a cough in a cartload" of cigarettes.
          By the way, the biggest single cause of decrease in violent crime has not been the legal and criminal justice system but the demographics, the pig having worked its way down through the snake. Many of those people who are inclined to commit violent crimes give that up or cut back on it as they age.
          Since a child cannot consent, child porn is, among other illegal things, stolen goods, and you can never get good title to and possess those legally.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Berenerd (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:57pm

      Re:

      Its not rape if you yell SURPRISE!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      ElRonbo, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 8:58pm

      Re: forcible rape, as opposed to...

      as opposed to rape via drugging, via coercion ("I'll kill your kids"), statutory rape, etc.

      Thinking that forcible is the only kind of rape that lets some jerk think it isn't rape when he assaults a women who passed out at a party.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Ah the "traditional" values push.

    We nearly lost all of our support because people figured out if the government had shut down, we still get paid.
    Quick pull out and dust off something useful to distract them!

    Do we have a terrorist we can trot out? No? damn.

    How about that kid we locked up for making us look stupid? Oh we keep him naked and locked up 23 hours a day? Damn.

    I know the root of all evil is porn! Send a letter! Just keep him from looking at my hard drive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    FUDbuster (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

    Radley Balko goes through the various claims that Hatch makes about online pornography and debunks them all pretty thoroughly . . .

    Just because the overall trends show a decline, that does not necessarily mean that the decline is due to internet porn. For all we know, those numbers would have declined more but for internet porn. Without causation, those numbers are meaningless, no?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      pixelpusher220 (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:00pm

      Breitbart - seriously?

      Mike is better than actually linking to Breitbart's trash...or so I thought. sigh

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      A Dan (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

      Re:

      I think we've seen pretty thoroughly, via the mass increase of one and the decrease of the other, that there's no positive correlation. Nobody here is attempting to prove a negative correlation, but there may be hints of one.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Christopher (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 5:19pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually, I would go so far as to say that there is a negative correlation. If a man can use a pornographic magazine to 'let off some steam' when he has a high libido, he is less likely to be tempted to rape a woman who fits into his 'like' category if she turns him down from lack of sexual gratification and a dissociative cognitive moment.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

      Re:

      For all we know, those numbers would have declined more but for internet porn. Without causation, those numbers are meaningless, no?

      A valid point that is often overlooked, so +1 for you.

      However, the goons looking to start throwing people in jail for sending consenting adults pictures of other consenting adults are the one using scare tactics about how the prevalence of porn is making our society so much worse off in all these departments. If, in fact, we are getting better and not worse, what leg do they have to stand on?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

      Re:

      Dead on, FB. All numbers are meaningless. Good call. "LOL"

      Anyway, do you see a corresponding rise due to internet porn that these senators and whoever should be concerned with? Are these sexual crimes increasing because of internet porn or increasing otherwise?

      (The answer is "no." Just helping you out a bit.)

      So, since the numbers aren't shooting up, why are they so concerned? They act like it's an epidemic when all data shows otherwise. They can't even be bothered to find a correlation and instead wave the "moral panic" flag and pretend like they're actually doing something positive.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

        Re: Re:

        Dead on, FB. All numbers are meaningless. Good call. "LOL"

        To be fair, he has a point. If the numbers had been going up, we'd be the first ones here lambasting our idiot congressman with "correlation doesn't equal causation" posts.

        The direction the numbers are traveling don't say anything about the effect porn has on those numbers; they merely mean that the moral panic proposed by our grandstanding congressman is disingenuous unless they change their argument to "These numbers would be free-falling faster if it weren't for porn!" I wouldn't bet on that line of honesty coming from them, however.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

      Re:

      Just because the overall trends show a decline, that does not necessarily mean that the decline is due to internet porn. For all we know, those numbers would have declined more but for internet porn. Without causation, those numbers are meaningless, no?

      Kind of like smoking and lung cancer: Who can *prove* those people wouldn't have gotten lung cancer anyway? Correlation is not causation, right?
      /s

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

        Re: Re:

        Kind of like smoking and lung cancer: Who can *prove* those people wouldn't have gotten lung cancer anyway? Correlation is not causation, right?

        Actually, that's true in the absence of any statistical wrangling that accounts for all the other potential differences.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, that's true in the absence of any statistical wrangling that accounts for all the other potential differences.

          Which are unknown, thus no one can prove that smoking causes lung cancer.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Chris in Utah (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            yet gives my wife a 150$ bill a month.

            Thankfully a pipe is only 12oz of tobacco 30$

            Ya wonder what they tax more? The actual pack.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:53pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Which are unknown, thus no one can prove that smoking causes lung cancer.

            There are always some unknowns, which is why we have a margin of error, but for smoking it's quite easy to see, after accounting for a variety of other factors, that the link is extremely strong between smoking and various forms of cancer. Here, they haven't even attempted to account for anything. It's just one graph going down, and another graph going up. Do you honestly believe that to be any kind of standard of proof for anything? I hope not.

            Show me a thorough study done on the relationship between porn and violence and it will be much more believable. (Not that such a study would change my mind either way. I happen to believe in free speech, even when its effects are unpleasant.)

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              Christopher (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 5:21pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Actually, no, it isn't. I know some people who have smoked packs a day and not gotten lung cancer. I also know some people who only smoked 1 cigarette a week or less who got lung cancer.

              There seems to be NO correlation between lung cancer and smoking, and more a connection between lung cancer and a family history of cancer.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                icon
                Niall (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 7:19am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The statistics of lung cancer correlation with smoking rely on much more than a few more anecdotal cases. Of course, you can smoke and remain healthy. It's just that for every person who manages that, many many more die early, of lung cancer particularly. It's quite telling that when you look at it the other way, 80% of lung cancer sufferers are or were smokers, which shows a definite correlation.

                To put it another way: Anyone could know a 'pal' who managed to run blindfold across a busy freeway/motorway and survive (and let's leave out gridlock times and the middle of the night :). But if 100 people did that, how many wouldn't get hit by a car? If I roll a stone down a hill, it's pretty certain that it will reach the bottom. The statistical variable is exactly where it will end up. Smoking is like a huge gully that channels most of the stones into the same area (i.e. lung cancer, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, etc.).

                This is especially true with a family environment where there may be a related genetic resistance to lung cancer, but that's only true for that family. Frequently, you will find that if someone in a family is susceptible to cancer (or at least certain types), then so are others likely (although not automatically) to be susceptible. This is why you are often asked by doctors or health insurers what illnesses other related family members have. The reverse can also be true.

                All of this is why they do massive studies involving tens or hundreds of thousands of people, and why they compare smokers/ex-smokers with never-smokers. The large numbers give the true chances that you don't see when looking at just a few people.

                It can also depend on the way you smoke, and a number of other factors, all of which have to be allowed for. Remember, smokers are way more likely to get any of a number of diseases - for most of those who die early, if one disease hadn't got them, another would. I've worked with smokers who suffered COPD, cancer and smoking-related diabetes all together.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Actually, lung disease is caused by a yet unknown virus. That same virus also causes people to want to smoke. So smoking is just a symptom, not a cause. See how that works?

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          David, Oct 15th, 2013 @ 8:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It is ovious not a straigh a topic. If u r serious u got to d root

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Rich, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

      Re:

      You have it backwards. He wasn't saying that the decline is due to Internet porn. What he was that the very fact that there is a decline debunks the assertion that Internet porn was causing an increase.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        FUDbuster (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 8:35pm

        Re: Re:

        You have it backwards. He wasn't saying that the decline is due to Internet porn. What he was that the very fact that there is a decline debunks the assertion that Internet porn was causing an increase.

        Not necessarily, and that's just my point. For all we know, there are other factors that account for the decline, and the reality is that internet porn actually works against that decline. Internet porn is just one of many factors. You can have an increase in the ills associated with internet porn, but have a decline overall, once you figure in the other factors. Without more information, those numbers are meaningless... and quite misleading.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 3:17pm

      Re:

      Just because the overall trends show a decline, that does not necessarily mean that the decline is due to internet porn.

      I'm confused. Where did anyone make a positive assertion that the decline was due to internet porn?

      No one did. Balko mentioned, in passing, that there have been some studies that have suggested that, and he linked to them.

      But that is not the crux, nor the point, of the article. The article merely points out that if this was such a big problem, then at least we should likely see some correlation between internet growth and the growth of the ills that Hatch and the others claim are worsened by this.

      For all we know, those numbers would have declined more but for internet porn. Without causation, those numbers are meaningless, no?

      Hmm. That's a separate issue. And you do know that correlation is not "meaningless." It doesn't mean causation, but correlation is still a useful attribute to understand. But, again, mo one was making a causal argument here (other than Hatch).

      Honestly, if you're going to set yourself up as a FUD Buster, it helps not to be wrong about almost everything.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        FUDbuster (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 6:34pm

        Re: Re:

        But that is not the crux, nor the point, of the article. The article merely points out that if this was such a big problem, then at least we should likely see some correlation between internet growth and the growth of the ills that Hatch and the others claim are worsened by this.

        And perhaps there has been a growth of ills attributable to internet porn. That's my point. Without more information, those numbers you quoted are meaningless and there's no reason to even post them.

        Hmm. That's a separate issue. And you do know that correlation is not "meaningless." It doesn't mean causation, but correlation is still a useful attribute to understand. But, again, mo one was making a causal argument here (other than Hatch).

        Again, we don't even know if there is correlation, since you're looking at the total numbers with no mention of which portions thereof are attributable to internet porn. The numbers are meaningless. That you proffered them is puzzling.

        Honestly, if you're going to set yourself up as a FUD Buster, it helps not to be wrong about almost everything.

        I'm just trying to add something of value to the conversation. I don't see how that makes me "wrong."

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Richard (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 3:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Without more information, those numbers you quoted are meaningless and there's no reason to even post them.

          They are not meaningless - that is a classic logical fallacy.

          They "need to be interpreted cautiously" but that is very different from "meaningless".

          They definitely throw doubt on assertions that the internet has increased problems in this area.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 5:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Because your missing the point of the argument, Balko is only stating that what Hatch said was mostly incorrect. You're just focusing on one piece of information he provided.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        The eejit (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 12:17am

        Re: Re:

        Hey, at least the Buster's being civil. He's arguing from a statistical perspective. Let me put it this way - nearly all statistics are flawed, either in methodology or in execution.

        Consider this as an example: if rapes are on the increase, and consumption of porn is on the decrease, then are all sexual offences (aside from me, of course) on the decrease? Methinks there's not enough information there. But that exact argument has been used before. "Rape rates are down, but sex crimes are up! MORAL OUTRAGE!"

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 5:59pm

      Re:

      Causation need not be proven. If the 'honorable' Senators claims were true, all of these numbers would have increased. The mere fact that they did not increase proves the Senator's claim false.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Richard (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 2:16am

      Re:

      For all we know, those numbers would have declined more but for internet porn. Without causation, those numbers are meaningless, no?

      Just make sure you remember that argument when is doesn't support your point....

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Insider, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 7:15am

      Re:

      Your point is very valid, but you should prioritize a little better where you aim your criticism, and note that the senator DID NOT PROVIDE ANY DATA at all. At least the arguments you are commenting on, did supply you with some data you can corroborate or debunk.

      Don't fall into the argument of "This Universal Health care is Wrong!"
      IT may be, but it is better than having none like we did for the last 250 years!!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Blaine, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:09pm

    It takes being joined by 41 senators for him to be 'gratified'?

    Maybe he has consumed so much free porn that can can no longer reach a point of self gratification?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:30pm

    Word on the skreet is that Orrin is mad because Sue Johanson stood him up....but going after pern is just vindictive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:32pm

    My first thought was this strip

    http://xkcd.com/603/

    Idiocracy covers this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:32pm

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the low divorce rate had more to do with the recession than with pornography. At least, I remember reading things that correlated the two.

    Don't know about the rest.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Marc, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:40pm

    No. No. No. It's Gay Marriage that's making people divorce and live in sin (Is that so that they are free to marry Gay people? *DO* tell).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      James Carmichael, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

      Re:

      I wasn't gay before, but last week I touched a gay guy in the street so I caught his gay. I also watched porn on the intranet and now I have an irresistible urge to start a prostitution ring. GOD HELP US ALL!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Cdaragorn (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    While I agree with you on most issues, I think you're way out in left field when it comes to this one.

    First, those numbers don't debunk anything. They certainly provide an interesting piece of information to look at and hypothesize over, but they don't show WHY those trends are happening.

    Second, pornography is a proven ill. It's incredibly addictive and harmful, both proven facts: http://www.loveinaction.org/pornography

    Third, how can anyone think for a second that treating women (sorry, but that seems to be the most common form of it out there) and/or men as base objects good for nothing but self gratification and in any sick way imaginable is NOT harmful to the way a person views those around them I will never understand.

    I do agree that it is not always responsible for the crimes quoted, but it IS a degrading and harmful thing that should be avoided.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Ron Rezendes (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

      Re:

      So says you.

      If you're against smoking - don't smoke.
      If you're against abortion - don't have one.
      If you're against pornography - don't view it.
      If you're against gay marriage - don't marry someone of the same sex as you.

      But PLEASE - stay out of my life and my choices, I stayed out of yours!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Cdaragorn (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

        Re: Re:

        That's funny, I've tried rereading my post a few times. Please enlighten me as to where I attacked your freedom to view it if you choose?

        I'll defend your freedom to live your life as you like anytime you want, whether I agree with what you're doing or not. My statement only pointed to the fact of how harmful this choice is, not to your right to do it anyway.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Jim O (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 4:34pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So you think the attorney general should start enforcing pornography laws?

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Ron Rezendes (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 5:15pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          My post was a direct reply to your last line:
          "I do agree that it is not always responsible for the crimes quoted, but it IS a degrading and harmful thing that should be avoided."

          Now the government has even LESS business in controlling what I do and don't do, so long as I bring no harm to others.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Ed C., Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

      Re:

      An action that might harm only oneself is one thing, but unless the actions due to an addiction cause harm to others (ie drugs, alcohol, smoking), then I see little reason to jail people for it.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Chris in Utah (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 3:19pm

      Re:

      Making profit is not a crime. That includes the fruits of ones own body. Your spin is that its "treating them" Like they didn't have a choice in the matter.

      Define entertainment and define self-gratification.

      As for not understanding I get that. It's called cognitive dissonance. Do not know how to deal with an issue unless made aware of it.

      No harm when its there choice. No harm when we watch. No harm in a axiom world view that sex is a fundamental need, not a want. Should be [fill in blank] avoided is a moral argument. On top of there being no harm the industry it provides is a boon not a detriment to society.

      Now all those can be said conclusively but I have a pretty good idea (that can change given new input) that the average person deprived of a fundamental thing can and will seek it elsewhere. Hopefully without violence.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 4:12pm

      Re:

      Seriously, that link was supposed to contain proof of porn being harmful and addictive? If so, you don't have a very high standard for proof. The linked article contained opinion, nothing more.

      Hatch is just looking to drive his personal moral agenda down people's throats and making up facts as he does it because he knows there's no factual basis for banning porn. It's the typically repressed 'sex is bad' religious conservative argument. I wouldn't use these stats to say that porn availability caused the drop in sex-related crime, but my personal opinion is that it's the abandonment of sexual repression that did it. Funny how repression is the cause of all these problems, not the cure...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 4:48pm

      Re:

      You make it sound like they were unaware they were creating media that would then be used by many people to "enjoy" themselves. This does not make them less human, they are not being forced to do this work. Pretty girls do not start stripping because of internet porn, they strip because they know beauty fades and they can make enough to pay for college in a short period. (well they could before the world went to hell in a handbasket)

      While many people when caught by the wife want to claim sexual addiction or the porn made them do it, news flash - humans like sex. Despite what they want to teach in high schools, and churches to make you ashamed of your body, it is natural to want to see other humans naked.

      I am reminded of the story of the naked man who was having coffee early one morning in his home. He was careless and had a window uncovered. A woman walking her child to school flipped out, covered he childs eyes, called the cops and reported him as a pervert. After they trashed him in the media, they got to court and figured out - oh hey he was in his own home, was not focused on he was naked and hadn't veiled every window, and the mother who was so worried her child was scared for life... was terrified because her SON had seen a penis. The naked man came out of court and was apologetic, he was unaware he was observable and had he known he would have thrown on a robe and apologized to the women. We wonder why society is messed up when a boy seeing another penis (something he has himself) is something that needs a court case.

      A majority of porn is viewed because of the repressive views some groups insist we all follow. There are adults who are unaware there is any position but missionary with the lights off. So they watch a little porn, get some ideas, try something new. There is no harm. The harm comes from the worrying stress of being judged by those who have nothing better to do than to make sure they can try to control your life. Eww you watch porn, how many good upstanding preachers have gone down in sex scandals? Not porns fault, their fault.

      But as with anything there are those who take it to an extreme.

      I read a quote on my interwebs travels I feel sums this up.

      Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.
      * Unknown, but often attributed to Mark Twain

      Because some people try to blame the porn for actions they undertake forcing another to have sex unwillingly, this does not mean it actually is the porns fault. But it serves an agenda in this country of anything some people do not like, is the root of all evil.

      Maybe the senator would be better served getting people riled up about the clusterfuck we are all living because they owed the bankers a bailout, or maybe suggesting earmarks should be shot down, or maybe congress should take a freaking paycut like all of the other government workers, or maybe we could have our rights to not be spied on and fondled restored. But instead we have national vanillia and chocolate cupcake days. We have meaningless letters wasting the AGs time going through the motions to keep the fine upstanding moral base appeased (I wonder what we could find in unannounced searches of their sock drawers)... we have an election coming.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      NaMeD oNE, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 7:03pm

      Re:

      nice jesus link... I'm sure everyone's opinion is changed now.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Richard (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 2:34am

      Re:

      second, pornography is a proven ill. It's incredibly addictive and harmful, both proven facts:

      Only if you ignore the Gospel and the history of the Church.

      There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. (Mark 7:15)

      The fact is that by removing pornography you are removing temptation - but removing temptation is not the point resisting temptation is the point.

      For Christians to attempt to insulate themselves from these things by banning them (and getting a lot of bad press for doing it) is unproductive for us and counterproductive in terms of our image in the secular world.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Insider, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      Harmful and degrading?
      Are you aware that the majority of the porn produced in the US is done by professionals and consenting adults?
      I have no doubt that back in the 50's and 60's there may be nubile young starlets tricked into a life of misery and debasing, but the industry IN THE US (other countries may be different) is very clean, and professional, and people are there on their own volition. I know hundreds of hard-working grunts who would gladly trade jobs with porn stars even if it meant keeping the same low salary they currently have.

      And second, you seem to be buying into this demonizing attitude that settles for hiding the real problem with the immediate cause.
      EXPLANATION: MOST people don't do drugs because they are loosers. THOSE WHO do drugs AND escalate their drug use, AND WIND UP GETTING IN TROUBLE start because something is lacking in their lives, and they haven't been given another coping mechanism.
      The same thing happens with sexual frustration and sexual misbehavior. IT IS NOT BECAUSE OF PORN. It is something either inherent on the person, or has a root in their early formation, but attacking the expression is not eradicating the illness.

      No more than attacking glue, just because some kids are misusing it.

      WE SHOULD ALL BOTHER FINDING THE CAUSES OF THE MALADIES, and not revert to our puritanical old ways of blaming the devil for everything wrong.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    DCX2, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:57pm

    Paul F. Little

    There's a man who is in prison right now, serving time for the production and distribution of movies with consenting adults. They got him by having a Federal investigator order one of his movies while in Tampa, so that they could use Tampa's obscenity laws and community standards to charge him with a Federal crime. Jurisdiction shopping at its finest.

    Sounds like Hatch et al. need to learn that "profane and disgusting != obscene". As far as I'm concerned, obscenity requires a lack of consent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Christopher (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 5:24pm

      Re: Paul F. Little

      Personally, I am of the opinion that obscenity is in the eye of the beholder, and that the beholder needs to just realize that they have no right to force their personal likes and dislikes on other people and just not look at the thing in question!

      That goes for a lot of laws like the statutory rape, child sexual abuse, etc. laws.
      If they can prove that a child was physically forced into sex? Arrest the bastard who did that!

      Otherwise? Leave the people in question alone.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    but... but... Pornograpy

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Old Fool (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

    Porn, Love or Hate it, its part of our lives.

    I rarely watch porn, its too corny.

    The only time I really want to see a naked woman is alone in the same room as me.
    But I don't give a crap if others want to watch it and I certainly don't feel my social fabric being destroyed by it.

    If anything it is greater and more draconian censorship destroying the choices I have within my social fabric.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Tom Landry (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

    Yes, please, lets go back to the days of sneaking into an adult bookstore while avoiding eye contact with everyone there including the cashier, taking the booty home and hiding it like a guilty teenager.

    Orrin Hatch is an asshole of the first order. You just know guys like him are the ones jacking to stuff like tubgirl......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

    Legalize/decriminalize prostitution and I'd be willing to bet crime rates would drop further. Marijuana, too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

    I love how it's always these old men who can't get it up anymore who try to ban porn.

    Also, if obscene = "whatever offends me or grosses me out," can we ban senile old politicians, because they offend me and gross me out?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 4:06pm

    All those statistics went down in the United States because they stopped putting lead in the gasoline back in the 70s.

    Well, it didn't hurt . . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 5:02pm

    He is from the Mormon state of Utah where polygamy is the official state pass time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    abc gum, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 5:32pm

    Isn't Hatch the esteemed senator who wanted the capability to blow up any computer suspected of copyright infringement?

    Yup ... that's the one
    http://money.cnn.com/2003/06/19/commentary/wastler/wastler/

    Isn't this domestic terrorism?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 5:53pm

    Yes it's too much to ask Mike. That would require our politicians to make sense of their actions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Samael Wolf, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 10:01pm

    Hatch(ling)

    Hes only angry because all the puds he sees makes his look like a 5 year olds ,,,

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    green2, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 10:26am

    I know it is not good manner to advertise myself without approval on this site, but I am desperated and even if you don't like what I say, please read and give me help. I made my mind to sell my virginity. If you have little time to read my story, please visit my blog(http://virgingreen.wordpress.com) or email(green2345@live.com) me. If you are interested in taking my virginity, you are giving me hope and helping me. I even didn't know that I became the one who leaves comment like this on where I used to enjoy reading articles. Please only send me email if you are interested. Don't send me with disrespect words. I am sorry if you dont feel uncomfortable about this but at least hope you could understand how I am desperate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 10:55am

      Re:

      I made my mind to sell my virginity

      If you want to sell your virginity, try getting married to someone with money.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Abram Antler, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 6:40pm

    Senator Orrin Hatch is a moron!!!!

    Senator Hatch is perhaps the biggest case-in-point that a sure-fire way to prove that you are stupid beyond measure is to open your mouth, something he has done time and time again.

    For one thing, people view pornography in private, usually not wanting to get caught by anyone. If they want to spend money on it, let them! It's their money. Anything you do in private is your business! It's not the government's business.

    Next, what "harms women, children, families, and communities" even more than obscenities, especially those viewed in the privacy of your own home because the law permits it, is the ECONOMY IN AMERICA!!! That is the issue that this cretin should be focused on, especially with a 1.5 trillion deficit.

    If you ask me, I only consider his birth and election to the U.S. senate a major accident!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This