16
Nov
07

World Have Your Say – Friday

 We’re off air now, but you can podcast the programme here.

morning / evening / afternoon – Peter here with news of todays World Have Your Say on air at the usual time 1800 GMT 🙂Today we have a mixture of stories and talking points – from the high-brow, to the reality of Mother Nature. CAN WE POLICE THOUGHT CRIME ? How far is a civilised country prepared to go, in the name of defending us, the ordinary tax-paying, voting, law-abiding citizen. Can we, or should we, prosecute people for thinking bad thoughts, if we can prove it, even if those bad thought never turn into bad actions. Think about this: if you live in the UK and you have a sharp knife in the kitchen you can in theory be charged with being in possession of an article of terrorism.

That’s an “article of terrorism”.

You’re not going to become a terrorist, you have no interest in terrorism but you could also be charged with “acts preparatory to crime” — ie you were THINKING about it. We also have a little thing here called a “control order”, which can restrict your movements based on the governments belief that you might — MIGHT — want to do something bad. There’s no track record, just a belief.

And it’s not just to do with terrorism either. Look at this article:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-ed-mcclellan10aug10,0,1215336.story?coll=la-home-center

Edited highlights shape up thus: a man talks on the web about his sexual desires and the focus of said desires — children. He doesn’t actually do anything about those desires, but now the local court has issued a restraining order. Nobody was physically hurt, nobody was left emotionally damaged (that we know of) and yet this individual now has his name in court records, and his movements are restricted. Did this man demonstrate intent — and only intent ? Can you be culpable of intent ? Nothing less, nothing more — intent to do something — which you don’t follow through on. Is that enough to police our thoughts, however unpleasant and distasteful they are to everyone else ? Let us know what you think.HUNDREDS DEAD IN BANGLADESH CYCLONEAt least 242 people have been killed after a powerful cyclone battered southern Bangladesh, levelling villages and uprooting trees. Officials have warned that the death toll could rise and that the extent of the damage is still unclear. Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated or sought safe shelter before the storm hit the coast, but some were left behind.

If you’re in the region please contact us and tell us what’s going on ? We can call you back, and we’d value any information — text or e-mail or a call, whatever you can manage.

JAY-Z, THE EUROS AND THE DOLLAR ?

Wads of dollar bills are usually as much a part of rap videos as fast cars, diamond-encrusted jewellery and scantily-clad models. But in an apparent nod to the low value of the dollar, rapper Jay-Z’s new video Blue Magic features another currency. He’s seen cruising the streets of New York in Bentleys and Rolls Royces (scuse me but aren’t they now owned by Germany’s Volkswagen and BMW) with a briefcase of 500 euro notes. Yes, not a greenback in sight. What’s his message ? The dollar has had its day ? The euro is the future ? Is it a wake-up call to America – this time from the street ?

WHICH AGE IS THE RIGHT AGE ?

One idea for next week: at what age do you tell your kids about sex, drink and booze. Is there one age when they’re ready for all that information — how do you do it ? Do you remember what it was like being sat down by a parent for “that chit-chat”. The reason I ask is because a leading doctor is now saying that our young people are binge drinking at younger and younger ages — and kids start drinking now at 11.

That’s drinking – at aged 11 ? !

How does that work ? How do you explain to a child (because that’s what we talking about here) that alco-pops may be very nice, and yes, everyone else might be doing it honey, but a G&T, vodka, beer at 11, is not necessarily good for you, your kidneys or your future. Or Mums bank balance.

Tell us what it’s like where you are ? How do you make sure your children understand the risks ? Do you come over all heavy handed or try the understanding approach — and then lock the bedroom door – from the outside ? There are so many pressures on our children to behave in a certain way, that it can take up so much time – but surely our young people deserve that investment from us, their parents ?

As ever

WORLDHAVEYOURSAY.COM

TEXT: +44 77 86 20 60 80

PHONE: +44 20 70 83 72 72

And please don’t forget – if at any time you’d like to be taken off our e-mail list just let Ros or me know and we’ll set you free from the daily ‘ping’ of a WHYS e-mail 🙂

Ros is back in the WHYS chair on Monday, I’m back at the end of next week – have a good weekend, and enjoy the blog. What do you mean – you’ve never looked at the blog ?

Later, Peter 🙂


66 Responses to “World Have Your Say – Friday”


  1. 1 VictorK
    November 16, 2007 at 13:44

    This is not just a matter of ‘thought crime,’ which is by definition impossible to prevent or punish.

    If a paedophile expresses his lust for children in written or broadcast words, or a muslim his desire to become a martyr by killing as many non-muslims as possible, then the only commonsense response is to act against them. A healthy society does not exist for the sake of the wannabe perverts or mass murderers in its midst, but to ensure the safety and freedom of its loyal, law-abiding citizens. In more rough and ready times anyone expressing a wish to molest children or to kill his fellows would simply have been dragged from his home and lynched – and he’d have deserved it too.

    All societies have enemies, internal as well as external. And all societies are entitled to defend their way of life against those enemies. Full civil/human rights should always be understood as belonging only to those who accept the responsibilities of citizenship, which include law-abidingness and refraining from conduct that would cause alarm to reasonable people or make them fear for their family’s safety.

    One of the few practices of the old Soviet Union that could be profitably adopted in the West was internal exile. Controversies of this kind – what to do when someone expresses an interest in committing a vile act – could be easily resolved if we were to construct a few isolated towns where both aspiring paedophiles and those who had served a sentence for an offence against a child could be forced to live. They could be joined by all the muslims (and their dependants) who are a potential threat to public safety, based on suspicion only, as well as all the problem families that make life impossible for their long-suffering neighbours. And the best thing is that they would all have the neighbours that they deserved and could continue to express whatever views they wanted. Such towns would provide a great incentive to many thousands to conform to the values and practices of the society they live in. At least outwardly; but as long as that were the case who would care what went on in their heads?

  2. 2 John D. Anthony
    November 16, 2007 at 13:57

    What a ridiculous idea! I’d like to take the person who thought of this and tie them to a

    Excuse me, there’s someone at the door….

    John in Salem

  3. 3 steve
    November 16, 2007 at 14:10

    When I was a kid, I’m guessing beginning around 7-8 years old, my parents would bring me to Synagogue for Shabbat services, and they would have little shot glasses of horrible wine, like Manischewitz. I would down like 6 or 7 of them, probably totaling a glass of wine. I would feel buzzed, but then I realized when i hit college and high school, I already knew what drinking was like and didn’t go crazy. My parent sent me to Belgium for 3 weeks when I was 16, and I learned to drink there. Came back to the US stil in high school not wanting to drink. I knew what it was like, so I didn’t go crazy in high school or when I got to university. I knew some people that were brilliant in high school, never touched alcohol, then got to University and became party animals and then failed out. I think the small exposures I had as a kid really benefitted me. I remember my dad would let me have a sip of beer at dinner when I was really young and I would instead of taking a sip, down the entire beer really fast… I still never became a beer chugging champ or even bothered to try. It was just like “it’s no big deal” when I was older and others were drinking to excess all the time, I was simply exposed to it and I think better able to handle it..

  4. 4 Mark
    November 16, 2007 at 15:19

    The issue of legal insanity is constantly one of scrutiny and interest in the American legal system. For someone who has not committed a crime, the test is whether or not they present a danger to themselves or others. This is decided by a court with the advice of psychiatric experts and attorneys. We do not leave potentially suicidal or homicidal people loose in society if they present a clear and present danger but the test is tough. You can’t just throw someone in a psychiatric hospital because they act weirdly. Once pronounced safe, they are often released and judged safe so long as they stay on their medication but this is often unsupervised and failure to continue with medication invariably results in regression to a dangerous state.

    For those who have committed criminal offenses, the question becomes an issue of whether they will go to prison or to a psychiatric hospital. This depends on the definition of legal insanity but usually the test is whether the perpetrator knew that what he was doing was wrong. I’m sure this will continue to get more complicated and the disposition of many cases may change as technology reveals what behavior people have control over and what they don’t. Drug addiction including sale or possession for example is treated as a criminal offense although we recognize addiction itself as medical condition as well. Pedophilia is believed to be a mental disorder but it is so heinous to society because it victimizes the most helpless often scarring them for life that it is treated as a criminal offense. We do not know whether the compulsion to victimize children sexually can ever be cured among pedophiles. Even within the prison system itself, among the hierarchy of criminals, pedophiles are considered the lowest often repeatedly brutalized by other prison inmates. Upon release, many communities require pedophiles to register so that their neighbors can be on guard. This usually turns them into pariahs.

    As for terrorists, I’m sure that the defense of criminal insanity is often used but it rarely if ever is a viable legal defense. The association with al Qaeda for example is reason enough to convict would be terrorists in the US even if a specific crime has not been committed or even planned yet. The associate of a terrorist organization is regarded as a conspirator intent on terrorist acts. I think most Americans agree with regarding this as a danger worthy of criminal conviction including long term, even life long incarceration. Association with non terrorist criminal organizations such as the Mafia in itself has not resulted in convictions I’m aware of.

  5. 5 Xie_Ming
    November 16, 2007 at 15:26

    Those believe in tolerant, liberal principles are relatively few- less than 20% of mankind. When feelings of insecurity are prevalent, that percentage may go down, perhaps to 7%.

    The submissively obedient, aggressive and intolerant authoritarians (see Bob Altemeyer et al.). will say what the group wants and attack those whom the authorities seem willing to let them attack.

    The targets of choice may therefore depend upon where you live.

    If you make, apply or “interpret” the law, there is really no rule of law.

    As to England, are there still “rights of Englishmen” and a common law?

    _______________________________________

    Judaism, Islam, and most Christianity suffer from the vengeful, intolerant and jealous God introduced by Zoroaster. Those who would advocate liberal values and conduct thus have an uphill battle.

    People really imbued with this tradition do not understand what liberalism is.

  6. November 16, 2007 at 15:57

    Morocco is one of the big producers of red wine. But by law Moroccans aren’t allowed to drink it. Anyone caught drunk in the street will be persecuted. Strangely enough, there are pubs in all cities, groceries and supermarkets where all sorts of alcoholic drinks, from beers to whiskies are sold. Still there is another kinds of drink (eau de vie) brewed privately and sold to those who can’t afford the price of whiskey. This kind of privately brewed drink can be a health risk as it is made clandestinely in unhygienic places.

    There are few Moroccan families that have alcohol available at home which children can see adults drink like drinking a glass of water. Up to now, there aren’t yet widespread risks of children tasting alcohols. But in disadvantaged areas, very young children (mainly) who are addicted to glue sniffing.

    Coming to children experiencing alcohol with or without their tutors’ consent, tutors, especially parents should set the example to them by not bringing alcohol in large quantity and displaying it all the time in the kitchen or the living room. Adults shouldn’t drink in front of the children. When the atmosphere gets “merry”, the children become curious to taste that drink.
    Parents should learn to be closer to their children. It’s not enough to provide them with the daily necessities, education and a governess that can make sure all is well. Parents should learn to have moral authority over their children through persuasion and by setting them a good example.

    Another point, today’s children are exposed to many facets of life through the media and the outside now growing more and more complex. Such an exposure is good for them as it will help them to cope with life later. However they need guidance from their parents and teachers on how to avoid falling in great risks with dire consequences. As for drinks, they should know that their body isn’t fully developed to absorb alcohols without effects on their organs. A drunken child becomes irresponsible, careless about his/her studies. They can indulge in behaviours that can get them in trouble with the law. There are cases of children who killed their peers under the influence of drink or drugs. Parents should introduce children to the literature dealing with the negative aspects of drinking at all ages. If possible, they should take them to centres where alcoholics are receiving treatments and the patients should be willing to share their experiences with them as a way to deter them from attempting to touch any sort of drinks. Children should be trained on what is the best for them to eat and drink to keep healthy. They should have activities through which they can spend their energy. It’s actually boredom, curiosity and the desire for adventure that make them fall in this temptation that can end into pathological addiction.

    As the law prohibits selling alcohol to minors, this means children get hold of it through adults who buy it. They get hold of it at home or from an adult. As it is dangerous, it should be kept under lock and key. Putting bottles in the fridge from which children lay hand on food will be a temptation to open a bottle and taste it. There is also the desire of children to imitate adults and to brag among themselves about being defiant and risk taker.

    And finally, there is still the issue of children experiencing drugs or teenage pregnancies. That’s another subject.

  7. 7 Xie_Ming
    November 16, 2007 at 15:59

    From the foregoing posters, it would appear that pedophiles and “terrorists” are the current targets of choice.

    At one time, it was American citizens of Japanese ancestry- they were put in concentration camps and their property sold very cheaply- in California. Their ancestry made them a threat to the United States.

    If one is to abandon all concepts of Constitutional or common law, how about “corruption of the blood”?

    If anyone in your family commits a crime, ALL members of your family are considered potential criminals- to be deported or put in concentration camps.

    Or, “guilt by association”? All people living in your home are to be considered as associated in the criminal act?

    After all, are such acts not legitimate “self-defense” under threat?

  8. November 16, 2007 at 16:05

    Morocco is one of the big producers of red wine. But by law Moroccans aren’t allowed to drink it. Anyone caught drunk in the street will be prosecuted. Strangely enough, there are pubs in all cities, groceries and supermarkets where all sorts of alcoholic drinks, from beers to whiskies are sold. Still there is another kinds of drink (eau de vie) brewed privately and sold to those who can’t afford the price of whisky. This kind of privately brewed drink can be a health risk as it is made clandestinely in unhygienic places.

    There are few Moroccan families that have alcohol available at home which children can see adults drink like drinking a glass of water. Up to now, there aren’t yet widespread risks of children tasting alcohols. But in disadvantaged areas, very young children (mainly) who are addicted to glue sniffing.

    Coming to children experiencing alcohol with or without their tutors’ consent, tutors, especially parents should set the example to them by not bringing alcohol in large quantity and displaying it all the time in the kitchen or the living room. Adults shouldn’t drink in front of the children. When the atmosphere gets “merry”, the children become curious to taste that drink.
    Parents should learn to be closer to their children. It’s not enough to provide them with the daily necessities, education and a governess that can make sure all is well. Parents should learn to have moral authority over their children through persuasion and by setting them a good example.

    Another point, today’s children are exposed to many facets of life through the media and the outside now growing more and more complex. Such an exposure is good for them as it will help them to cope with life later. However they need guidance from their parents and teachers on how to avoid falling in great risks with dire consequences. As for drinks, they should know that their body isn’t fully developed to absorb alcohols without effects on their organs. A drunken child becomes irresponsible, careless about his/her studies. They can indulge in behaviours that can get them in trouble with the law. There are cases of children who killed their peers under the influence of drink or drugs. Parents should introduce children to the literature dealing with the negative aspects of drinking at all ages. If possible, they should take them to centres where alcoholics are receiving treatments and the patients should be willing to share their experiences with them as a way to deter them from attempting to touch any sort of drinks. Children should be trained on what is the best for them to eat and drink to keep healthy. They should have activities through which they can spend their energy. It’s actually boredom, curiosity and the desire for adventure that make them fall in this temptation that can end into pathological addiction.

    As the law prohibits selling alcohol to minors, this means children get hold of it through adults who buy it. They get hold of it at home or from an adult. As it is dangerous, it should be kept under lock and key. Putting bottles in the fridge from which children lay hand on food will be a temptation to open a bottle and taste it. There is also the desire of children to imitate adults and to brag among themselves about being defiant and risk taker.

    And finally, there is still the issue of children experiencing drugs or teenage pregnancies. That’s another subject.

  9. November 16, 2007 at 17:12

    There was a strange incident in Saudi Arabia. See BBC report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7098480.stm
    A woman who was a gang-rape victim was sentenced to 200 lashes and six-months in jail for being with an unrelated male at the time of the crime. Seven men from the majority Sunni community were found guilty of the rape and sentenced to prison terms ranging from just under a year to five years. While a rapist is prosecuted and the victim is compensated, here we have the case of both parties. This is worse than punishing a person simply on intent. At least the would-be victim will be spared being hurt by the aggressor and “disciplined” by the law.

    To make a comparison, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was sentenced to six year imprisonment, of which he served three years for rape, although the victim was with him in his hotel room at 02:00 a.m. So in Saudi Arabia, instead of the young women being fairly treated and receiving counselling, she is thrown in prison as a criminal.

    Concerning the guy who showed his desire to have sex with children, the risk can be in luring them via the chat-room. Today sending an email expressing intent or having a website for such intent is like sending letters to homes as it was the case in old days. People should be careful about what thy say and do on the internet as this new monster has become uncontrollable despite the huge efforts for censorship.

    But intent should an excuse for prosecution as it is the leading way to commit any act. In this case, the person caught is guilty as it is proven. Thoughts are what behind many actions. One can spread them without committing any act, but still that person is guilty. A gang leader can give just instructions without firing a bullet or robbing a bank but as a mastermind he/she should get the same punishment as the perpetrator. Saddam was executed, not because of direct killing of thousands of people but they were carried out under his orders.

    In dictatorships, thoughts are policed. In the former soviet block, people couldn’t voice any criticism of the regime even to their friends. In former East Germany, husbands and wives were spying on each other. Of course we shouldn’t come to the point where the state implant spies in our bedrooms. A large margin of freedom should be left for a normal life. We needn’t live in a Big Brother society where we are watched 24/7.

    As the way we think is essentially the way we behave and as we are members of a society that should stick together, people should learn to have normal and creative thoughts, not to inflict harm but to help for the good of all. Only schizophrenic, lunatic and desperate people who come out with deranged ideas. They should be monitored. Their best place is an asylum or tight security prison.

  10. 10 Julie
    November 16, 2007 at 16:15

    at what age do you tell your kids about sex, drink and booze?

    I don’t think there is one set age. I remember my mom telling me she found me drinking from her glass which had watered down vodka in it when I was three! Needless to say she was horrified. I had communion with wine and had tastes of champagne for New Year’s and all that growing up, and thankfully I haven’t turned into a lush!

    Funny though, I limit my children’s exposure to alcohol. I do still drink on occasion, and keep a bottle or two in the house for company; my children are aware of it, but understand that this is something that adults choose to do. I choose not to drink around them, because I choose not to expose them to adult activities. For me it’s the same as showing violence or sex on TV. It’s not wrong for adults, but inappropriate for children.

    They are still young yet, and though I do tell them truthfully about adulthood, they still need to be kids.

  11. 11 John D. Anthony
    November 16, 2007 at 16:45

    Seriously, though…
    It’s the ideas we dismiss as absurd that come back to bite us. We live in a world that was inconceivable just a few generations ago and trying to slow or control technological innovation is like trying to stop the tide. The question has always been about balancing security against freedom and it’s not going to get any easier.

  12. 12 Dolapo Aina
    November 16, 2007 at 17:08

    Is this another MINORITY REPORT movie albeit a real life one in the making? Does it mean once I have a negative thought I would be charged or quarantined? Who are those behind this? are they imitating art? What happens if one thinks of the mind of a suicide bomber BUT he/she was to compose a poem about the mind of the bomber would the individual be arrested?
    what about script writers and movie directors who have to brainstorm before wrting good scripts and shooting brilliant moves? would they be arrested? would it be called “acts preparatory to crime” instead of acts preparatory to movie shoot.
    Isnt this another form of paranoia or crime phobia of arent those clamouring for such things not being over cautious and wont such security over cautiousness be manipulated?Thought crime is a farfetched dream which if implemented would serve no one any good
    On a lighter note dont we need some Tom Cruises in here?
    Dolapo Aina,
    Lagos, Nigeria

  13. 13 VictorK
    November 16, 2007 at 17:16

    @ Xie_Ming: yes – all of the actions you’ve noted are perfectly legitimate tools of self-defence, where a country’s national existence is under threat. Here in Britain during WWII elections were suspended and Nazi sympathisers were interned without trial. Some refugees from Germany, because they were German, were held in detention until such time as their credentials as refugees could be established. A society that means to defend itself will take whatever action is necessary to that end: there in no consideration that overrides the preservation of one’s national existence. Even ethical rules may be bent or temporarily abandoned (e.g. the use of torture) in the kind of situation ‘…in which morality submits to the suspension of its own rules in favour of its own principles.’

    It is perfectly justified, in time of war, to target and detain groups who are culturally or ethnically or religiously affiliated with the enemy. In the event of a war between China and the USA I’d hope that the Americans would have the resolve to intern Chinese-Americans, selectively or en masse. Does anyone doubt that the Chinese wouldn’t expel or do the same to any Americans in their country, simply because they were Americans? I don’t think it unfair to say that your enmity towards the US is a function of your ancestry, and that’s why ancestry is a legitimate matter to take into account in situations like this. You don’t like the US because it holds a position – world’s sole superpower – that you’d like to go to your country, which is China (regardless of what your passport may state).

    The enemies of the West seek to exploit the principles and practices of liberal democracy as a means of destroying liberal democracy, which is all that your genuflections in the direction of ‘liberalism’ amount to. We should grant freedom of speech, movement and assembly to those who wish to weaken and destroy us, thus paving the way for Chinese ascendancy (an ascendancy that will have no place for liberal values of any description).

    Aint gonna happen.

    p.s. – while shedding crocodile tears over America’s treatment of Japanese during WWII you might look into Japanese treatement of Chinese over the same period. While I think that something in the region of zero Japanese Americans died in what you laughably call ‘concentration camps,’ millions of Chinese were slaughtered by the Japanese, tens of thousands were raped, and millions more were enslaved as part of the Japanese war effort. But curiously you haven’t a word of criticism for any of this, just your usual America-hating stuff, seasoned with sympathy for paedophiles and muslim terrorists. You’re one mixed up guy.

  14. 14 Dolapo Aina
    November 16, 2007 at 17:19

    Well? what else is to be expected?Hip hop is one major tool that has been exported to the world. And it has a large popularity and following. We shouldnt underrate some of these rappers they are knowledgeable.
    Jay Z’s message is simple. business isnt about sentiments and if the declining fall of the dollar isnt rectified? the answer is rhetoricaal
    But isnt it strange that the message is coming from an unlikely quarter?
    Dolapo Aina,
    Lagos,Nigeria

  15. November 16, 2007 at 17:36

    Criminal thoughts can not be punished, but when these “thoughts” become public knowledge, then they can be addressed. We have “attempted homicide”, “firing a weapon with intent to kill”, “carrying criminal tools”, “attempted burglary, theft, rape, and many other rimes, “conspiracy to commit murder” when trying to find a hit man. Every week on Dateline we can see sexual predators who all claim they have innocent reasons for showing up at the bait house getting arrested for things they wrote on the internet. All of these are crimes of intent only. The key is that they all have to be coupled with some physical manifestation of the intent. even if that is just discussing it out loud. A pedophile that expresses his desires on a public format aught to be at least susceptible to state forced mental assessment.

  16. November 16, 2007 at 17:42

    Too many things in our culture are based on the amount of trips we have made around the sun as opposed to actual displays of maturity. I know 13 yr olds who ride ATV’s and Motocross that I would trust behind the wheel of a automobile more then some 30 year olds. I know way to many people who shouldn’t be drinking at 41 let alone 21. I know people who by 18 years old were already filling in the family duties of a responsible mother or father and had been for 5 years.

    Trips around the sun is no judge of maturity, yet that is what standard we use.

  17. 17 Xie_Ming
    November 16, 2007 at 17:47

    It is very unfortunate that personal attack comes so easily to certain of our posters.

    Is racial characterization and assumption common to most people,

    or only to those of a particular upbringing or subculture?

    This was the post:

    “it would appear that pedophiles and “terrorists” are the current targets of choice.

    At one time, it was American citizens of Japanese ancestry- they were put in concentration camps and their property sold very cheaply- in California. Their ancestry made them a threat to the United States.

    If one is to abandon all concepts of Constitutional or common law, how about “corruption of the blood”?

    If anyone in your family commits a crime, ALL members of your family are considered potential criminals- to be deported or put in concentration camps.

    Or, “guilt by association”? All people living in your home are to be considered as associated in the criminal act?

    After all, are such acts not legitimate “self-defense” under threat?

    One poster said “yes” to all the foregoing and then launched into personal attack. Is this sort of conduct typical of most people or only of those from a particular sub-culture?

    Perhaps the poster identifies with a place where such practices are employed and called “self-defense”?

  18. 18 steve
    November 16, 2007 at 18:04

    Xie Ming, you get all upset about a personal attack based upon what you wrote, but what about the constant posts you make on HYS (not WHYS) which are blatantly antisemitic. “The jews this” “the jews that” “the jews have too much power” “the jews control” things like that. I assure you, if I was as powerful and as scheming as you think I am, I surely wouldn’t be on here, i’d probably be out counting my millions. You seem don’t have a problem to defame and insult a group of 13 million people, but seem to raise holy hell at someone attacking you.

  19. 19 Jesse
    November 16, 2007 at 18:04

    I can’t believe you would seriously suggest arresting people for what they think.

    what is this, george orwell’s 1984?

    you should be arrested for just thinking this.

    Jesse in Portland, USA

  20. 20 steve
    November 16, 2007 at 18:13

    Xie Ming, German and Italian americans were also interned in the US. In the UK, the British interned friendly “enemy aliens”, meaning German and Austrians Jews that fled nazi persercution were locked up also, I’m sure that probably makes you happy. For those who don’t know much about this, there is a book by Peter Masters called Striking Back

    http://www.amazon.com/Striking-Back-Jewish-Commandos-Against/dp/0891416293/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1195236708&sr=8-15

    He was interned by the British, but then was given a chance to fight against the Germans, so I’m sure that upset you Xie Ming. Mr. Masters actually lived near me, died recently, and I got a signed copy of the book.

    Of course you’ll ignore that and focus solely on how bad the US is, how the Jews need to not be able to own property or be able to vote, etc… let alone what Japan did in asia in the 1930s and 1940s.

  21. 21 Dolapo
    November 16, 2007 at 18:17

    Well? What else is to be expected?Hip hop is one major tool that has been exported to the world. And it has a large popularity and following. We shouldn’t underrate some of these rappers they are knowledgeable. Jay Z’s message is simple. Business isnt about sentiments and if the declining fall of the dollar isnt rectified? the answer is rhetorical But isn’t it strange that the message is coming from an unlikely quarter?

    Dolapo Aina from Lagos, Nigeria

  22. November 16, 2007 at 18:24

    Max, Singapore
    The key question is – who will police the police?

  23. 23 Andy
    November 16, 2007 at 18:24

    Under common law, in order to have a crime you need two essential elements:

    1) mens rea – the intent to commit the crime – intent can be satisfied through different means, including recklessness – acting with wanton disregard for human life
    2) the actus reus – a voluntary act

    Therefore, you can never prosecute someone for simply having bad thoughts, unless you amend hundreds of years of established common law.

    Andy
    San Diego, USA

  24. 24 Tracy
    November 16, 2007 at 18:27

    I believe the Crime is the DOWNLOADING of the picture itself. You are free to Download anything else you want but when you download such a picture, you become a partner in such act and that is why the law comes after you.

  25. 25 Linda
    November 16, 2007 at 18:34

    Regarding “thought police” and using the pedophile on web as an example. The web site he set up gave instructions on the best places to find children, the best way not to be noticed while observing them and satisfying the need for children – and he was a convicted pedophile. It was more community outrage that got him in trouble than anything else. You need a better example.

    Thought police exist in America. In my area if you do not toe the government line – you learn to be very cautious in what you say to whom. Since you can be arrested and detained without due process (habeus corpus having been done away with), held indefinately and in secret just for having expressed a thought. The New Dark Ages are here.

  26. 26 Greg
    November 16, 2007 at 18:34

    I think we are not responsible for our thoughts only our actions. If he thinks about it it’s not a crime, but if he takes action by downloading or taking pictures he is guilty.
    Regards

    Greg Dunn
    Edmonton in Alberta, Canada

  27. 27 Barry
    November 16, 2007 at 18:35

    The provision of child pornography (end users, sellers and the IPs that enable this should be considered criminals and prosecuted. Sexual pervirsion is neither “art” nor free speech

  28. 28 Ken
    November 16, 2007 at 18:35

    The caller that claims he’s hurting nobody by downloading pictures of children is dead wrong… When you download pictures you provide the demand that drives people to exploit and abuse children… So it is most certainly a not a victimless crime!!! Use your brain!!!

    Ken in Cleveland, USA

  29. 29 SR
    November 16, 2007 at 18:36

    Downloading illegal content promotes and perpetuates the illegal act.

    SR in Oregon, USA

  30. November 16, 2007 at 18:36

    First:

    A child of 6 has more intelligence than half of the people on this program today, because they don’t judge based upon something as foolish as age. True, there is something “off” with sexually explicit imagery involving children.

    However, thought crimes are even dumber in the grand scheme of things. Not 500 years ago, women were being married off at 16-18 years of age, and even 500 to 1000 years before that the moment a human reached puberty they were married and having kids.

    So now, what used to be the standard biological response of sexual desire for a fertile healthy member of the opposite sex for continuation of life, is now sudden a “dirty” and “sick” deed. What a joke.

    As a child I was more aware of what was going on around me, and many of my decisions most adults would say that i could not have “given my consent” solely based upon my age.

    Further still, look at that concept of consent. Giancarlo Williams was convicted of a sex crime in Georgia, for having “consensual oral sex” with a 15 year old. He was 17, but was tried as an adult. I ask, if he can be convicted of a sex crime at 17, for an age difference nobody would ever have blinked at where they both over 18, she should have been convicted too.

    Sometimes these debates are quite…insulting.
    Sean
    Madison, WI

  31. November 16, 2007 at 18:37

    Osborn, Uganda
    Child pon! Stop stop stop taking such pictures otherwise you should face the judiciary.

  32. 32 John D. Anthony
    November 16, 2007 at 18:37

    The most worrisome comments I’ve read here today are those suggesting that thought control is impossible.
    Do they mean impossible like space travel or artificial hearts? Or impossible like cloning, or growing organs from stem cells, or mapping brain function using CAT scans to determine if someone is lying?
    In 56 years I’ve seen enough to convince me that what is impossible today can easily become commonplace tomorrow, and the rate of change is still increasing exponentially.
    We dismiss ideas like this at our own peril.

  33. 33 Mark
    November 16, 2007 at 18:39

    The Constitution of the United States is not a suicide pact. When the existance of the Republic is threatened, Constitutional guarantees can be suspended by whatever nature, to whatever degree, and for whatever duration the government deems necessary to protect the survival of the nation. In a conflict between the survival of the American Republic and the continuous enforcement of the Constitution, protecting the Republic will win out every time. If the Republic is destroyed, there will no longer be a Constitution to enforce. President Lincoln suspended the Writ of Habaes Corpus during the Civil War. That’s just how it is. Anyone feeling threatened by such possibilities who has not committed a crime and wanted by the police is free to leave, America’s exit door is always unlocked.

  34. November 16, 2007 at 18:39

    Oren, Liberia
    Ponography is a crime whether doing the act or having the photograph is a serious crime.

  35. November 16, 2007 at 18:42

    Ooh.

    Anyone using children in a pornographic event…eh.

    What about smaller framed girls, who are 18, but can dress up to look like a 13 year old. Should now we punish people for downloading or making such porn that “suggests” a pedophilia style act when it isn’t.

    Sean

  36. November 16, 2007 at 18:42

    David
    In a very short time, what is happening in Bangladesh will be repeated in coastal lands all over the planet. Bangladesh will be better prepared by their experience than the rest of us. Let s learn from them.

  37. November 16, 2007 at 18:43

    PETER, UGANDA
    THOUGHTS CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHED. BUT ACTIONS AND WORDS SHOULD BE, INCLUDING DELIBERATELY DOWNLOADED CHILD PORN. WE MUST PROTECT CHILDREN.

  38. November 16, 2007 at 18:44

    Justin, USA
    In a PC game, secondlife, players create 3d avatars of whatever they like. Sex is common. Would simulated images of the same sort be criminal?

  39. 39 Tracy
    November 16, 2007 at 18:44

    If your next door neighbour threatens to kill you, how do you handle that since he did not actually act on it YET. Should we then wait for the man to actually carry out the ACTION before we can get the law in to PROTECT you from him ACTING on this intention??

  40. November 16, 2007 at 18:44

    If you punish someone for a singular crime as opposed to an act that involves another than that person is much more likely to do worse later. Look at the one, Carr, who came out screaming about killing the Ramsey girl. And right here in the county of Sonoma where I live they brought him in, extradited, from Thailand. But this dysfunctional justice system, that’s more concerned with lesser criminals that occupy the jails and pay the taxes, lost all the evidence against him of being in possession of juvenile pornographic material. So as far as I’m concerned that guy has crossed the line and should be prosecuted. He has stated an intent that’s further than just having pornography, he has stated an intent to commit murder, even though it hasn’t been proven. This guy should at least be locked up somewhere instead of roaming free.

  41. November 16, 2007 at 18:44

    Besides the free expression issue there is another reason why the ban on child porn is causing problems. The ban on child porn has lead to criminals specializing in making child porn and selling pictures for a profit in the internet. By legalizing child porn and letting people make child porn using purely digital means instead of abusing children, the criminals will lose their market.

  42. 42 Steve
    November 16, 2007 at 18:47

    I’m kind of shocked, but I’m finding myself disagreeing with the caller who doesn’t think there’s a problem with stopping people just for thoughts. What’s to stop from extending things? You know, arrest people who wear pro marijuana shirts since they probably smoke pot, right? I realize pedophelia is far worse than drug use, but he mentioned there must be a line, so why not extend it to every area?

    Steve
    USA

  43. November 16, 2007 at 18:48

    David, Uganda
    if we are to police human thought let us not only do it on child porn but on everything.That makes everybody a criminal.

  44. 44 Greg
    November 16, 2007 at 18:48

    What about people that are thinking and also planning to invade places, like Iran?

  45. 45 Raam
    November 16, 2007 at 18:50

    I belive that we have to police our thoughts. to “Sean” come on we should stop refering to the History. We have evolved for our pasts. Its sick to see kids in these video’s for them its just a play untill they realise that what they are actually doing…

    and yes downloading these kind of pics should be punishable. its a simple demand and supply logic…if there are people out there to see it then there are people to post it…

  46. 46 Ron
    November 16, 2007 at 18:51

    I’ll be brief. When an individual downloads an illegal picture, they have comitted a crime. This is not a victimless crime: by downloading such filth, the user has created DEMAND for it. Where there is demand there will arise SUPPLY. By contributing to this evil, a downloader is culpable for his part in it, whatever that may amount to. The question of whether a minor can consent to participate in such a thing is not a question at all. It is a firmly established legal principle that a minor can not enter into a contract of any kind. For Gore Vidal to argue otherwise is quite odd.

    My two cents …

    Ron
    Portland, Oregon

  47. 47 Tracy
    November 16, 2007 at 18:52

    What people would that be?? @Greg

  48. November 16, 2007 at 18:53

    If, as Tracy says, the crime is downloading then where is the proof? Most people aren’t actually downloading it anyway, they’re stealing it. So how do the 2 crimes merge. Personally I don’t look for nor have I seen minor pornography but – I would guess that more often than not they’re selling this stuff. So that is the crime, selling, buying, stealing.

    You have to put this crime in context somehow.

  49. 49 Vijay
    November 16, 2007 at 18:54

    The euro is a smug pensioners currency the US dollar is a spendthrift teenagers currency.

  50. 50 Linda
    November 16, 2007 at 18:58

    Sean – please note that when girls got married off so young they didn’t have a choice, and 16 was considered “old Maid” age since average lifespan was 25 to 30. You needed to have as many babies as possible to help on the farm. Times have changed and so has average lifespan.

    As far as stopping someone before they commit a crime – tricky and should be focused on violence against another individual. Ask any woman with an abusive husband who has threatened to kill her what the police will do. Average response is nothing until he actually kills or attempts to kill her. But past history and actions has to be taken into account. If a person has shown a tendency to violence, their threats should be taken seriously.

    Regarding drinking age. Most of those I know that were allowed a “SIP” of alcohol at an early age (10 years or so) don’t have the massive desire to get drunk when they come of age. As long as alcohol advertising persists to show you’ll have women crawling all over you, friends and the only way to “party” – alcohol will be an issue. There is nothing sexy about alcohol breath.

  51. November 16, 2007 at 19:00

    Mwiza, Zambia
    The writing is on the wall. The $ is going down. Goodbye USA, hello Europe.

  52. 52 John D. Anthony
    November 16, 2007 at 19:00

    Stopping child porn is an uphill battle against biology. For the last half million years or so males have been hard-wired to see 13 year old females as prime breeding stock, and we ain’t gonna change that by decree.

  53. November 16, 2007 at 19:05

    When an individual downloads an illegal picture, they have comitted a crime. This is not a victimless crime: by downloading such filth, the user has created DEMAND for it. Where there is demand there will arise SUPPLY.

    Only if you pay for the downloads. In the US someone was convicted to 200 years in jail even though he did not pay for the downloads.

  54. November 16, 2007 at 19:06

    It’s simple: Freedom isn’t Free and it sure as hell isn’t SAFE.

    If you want safety, stay inside and lock all your doors and do nothing, and even then you might get hit by an asteroid. LIfe is not safe. I want freedom, and that includes the freedom to be randomly gunned down in the street because someone was doing a civilly inappropriate act.

    Benjamin Franklin said, Those who would chose safety over liberty are not deserving of either. We have grown into the future thinking we can “make” things safer. Well, we can’t. Human Nature defies all other concepts, and no System on the planet, no government, religion, or community out-reach program will ever force or cause people to stop being people.

    We need a fundamental paradigm shift in the nature of our species to achieve the supposed “purity of thought and deed” this debate suggests.

    Sean

  55. 55 Linda
    November 16, 2007 at 19:17

    John – your attitude toward women disturbs me. I will fight to the limits for your right to say it – but it still bothers me. I didn’t think anyone in these times referred to females as “breeding stock”! Such attitudes – in my perspective of reality – explain why women have to struggle so to be equals to men……. but I digress.

    Steve – I actually agree with you. I’ll take my chances against violence to keep my freedom to speak, voice my opinion, and ability to travel. Who hasn’t at some point looked in anger at another and thought about getting rid of them? Few will act on it though. Policing thoughts won’t work – and I want my freedoms back.

  56. 56 Linda
    November 16, 2007 at 19:21

    Oops – Sorry Sean, misread your name, and it’s you I agree with. >.<

  57. 57 John D. Anthony
    November 16, 2007 at 19:44

    Linda –
    I appreciate your repugnance at the term “breeding stock”. It’s not an attitude on my part (you can ask my wife); It comes from studying an anthropology that tells us we have only recently (in historical terms) climbed out of the mud and put on clothes. I’m sorry if it offends but the reality remains – we cannot legislate evolution. Men are required to suppress an instinct for the sake of creating a civilized society and it’s not helpful to label it a “deviant tendency”.

    And I would also add that current trends in American culture are not making it any easier, what with 7 and 8 year olds being encouraged to dress “sexy”.

  58. 58 Xie_Ming
    November 16, 2007 at 21:10

    It is very unfortunate that personal attack comes so easily to certain of our posters.

    Is racial characterization and assumption common to most people,
    or only to those of a particular upbringing or subculture?

    This was the post:

    “it would appear that pedophiles and “terrorists” are the current targets of choice.

    At one time, it was American citizens of Japanese ancestry- they were put in concentration camps and their property sold very cheaply- in California. Their ancestry made them a threat to the United States.

    If one is to abandon all concepts of Constitutional or common law, how about “corruption of the blood”?

    If anyone in your family commits a crime, ALL members of your family are considered potential criminals- to be deported or put in concentration camps.

    Or, “guilt by association”? All people living in your home are to be considered as associated in the criminal act?

    After all, are such acts not legitimate “self-defense” under threat?

    One poster said “yes” to all the foregoing and then launched into personal attack. Is this sort of conduct typical of most people or only of those from a particular sub-culture?

    Perhaps the poster identifies with a place where such practices are employed and called “self-defense”?
    _______________________________________

    We earlier looked at the behaviour of the 80% of mankind who are obedient authoritarians, aggressive only to those authority considers unpopular, and otherwise conformist.

    The influence of of Zoroaster on Judaism, Islam and many Christians results in an intolerant, jealous and vengeful God for unfortunate millions.

    Perhaps, considering three of our posters here, we may question whether another vector exists:
    that of sociopathy. If one considers his group to be under threat of extermination, therefore all actions against the “other” (any who expose or oppose) are claimed to be justified in ”
    self-defense”.

    Any real or imagined criticism of one’s group is therefore evidence of a threat justifying assassination.

    If anyone is curious, we can discuss examples of this among members of such a subulture in the United States.

  59. 59 Bozo
    November 16, 2007 at 22:15

    Thought police is the most ridiculous concept ever dreamed up by someone who is too lazy to recognise the fact that the causes of crime are multifaceted and amenable only to societal adjustment by effective processes and not the musing of plods.

  60. 60 Mark
    November 16, 2007 at 22:26

    Xie_Ming
    You seem to have a persecution complex. You feel persecuted by others but you would persecute others yourself. Do you feel justified in this? Are the Jews really out to get you….or is it just your imagination. Maybe it’s not, maybe they reallly are. I’ll call up my friends in the Mossad and see if they have you on their list yet.

  61. 61 Xie_Ming
    November 17, 2007 at 07:23

    Should expressed thoughts be the subject of police action?

    That is the topic of this thread. Consider the following. It is not just the fantasy of one unfortunate, but is touted in Israel as the “Sampson Option”:

    “Mark November 15, 2007 at 5:02 pm
    ..
    You might consider that were Israel actually destroyed, it is not likely any of the rest of us would survive either. With at least 400 nuclear weapons, probably many of them thermonuclear weapons, Israel has many options for bringing all human life on earth to an end, yours and mine as well. For example, just detonating one of them inside the reactor building of a nuclear power plant would put enough radioactive uranium in the stratosphere to be lethal to anyone on the surface of the earth within a matter of a few years. There are many other ways such as detonating a few in the major oil fields of the middle east creating vast firestorms which could never be extinguished. Imagine a hundred years of global warming in six months..”
    ___________________________________

    To the rallying cry of “never again”, the Sampson Option suggests that, should the USA not come to the aid of Israel when needed, then the whole world of the “other”- (Galut) will be destroyed through the use of Israel’s nuclear weapons.

    Two millenia ago, Jews who did not participate in the anti-Roman underground were targeted and murdered by the Sicarri terrorists. Eventually, these were trapped at Masada. Their leaders forced a mass suicide similar to that at Jonestown. In America today, perhaps more than in Israel, Masada and the Sicarri are celebrated.

    In Israel, there is also a triumphalist “End of Days” fantasy. More immediate than the Armageddon and Rapture envisioned by fundamentalists in the Unired States, this will be the Kingdom of God on Earth- but only for the faithful.

    When the millenia-old psychology of victimhood and the killing of the threatening “other” in “self-defense” finds expression among the mentally susceptible, the resultant fanaticism is predictable.

    It is unfortunate these people exercise such influence on the US Congress and lead the NeoCons.

  62. November 17, 2007 at 12:39

    Matthew Parris picks up the discussion for the Times in an article they called “Think no evil? Are you serious?”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/matthew_parris/article2886371.ece

    .

  63. 63 Mark
    November 17, 2007 at 13:36

    Xie_Ming
    The great African American baseball player Satchel Paige said; “Don’t look back: you don’t know what’s gaining on you.” So is it better to know or not to know, that is the question. Xie_Ming, they’re EVERYWHERE and they control EVERYTHING. If they want to find out about you, they will. They have spies in EVERY country. Have you ever considered that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em? Do you think they’d have you? Surely in the end they will….one way or another. So what’s the best way out?

  64. 64 Xie_Ming
    November 17, 2007 at 18:38

    One poster was concerned about the relation between an intent and an act. Two of the most notorious Israeli terrorists may illustrate the problem. (Each of them came to Israel from Brooklyn in the USA.)

    Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the American Jewish Defense League and the Israel Kach Party, was known as a terrorist both to the FBI and to the Israeli authorities. Despite his activities, he was not prosecuted in the USA. The successor party in Israel, Kahane Chai, was recognized as a terrorist organization. Police would have no need to be told about Kahane.

    “Baruch” Goldstein came from a family in Brooklyn that was hostile to the “other”. He claimed that the only two religious authorities he recognized were Kahane and Maimonides. As a major in the Israeli Army Medical Corps, he refused to treat gentiles (Yediot Ahronot Mar. 1, 1994). He also went about making speeches concerning Israel’s “demographic problem”, the fact that Arab citizens of Israel were breeding faster than Israelis. Thus, the fecundity of Arab women was an existential threat to Israel, and in self-defense, something had to be done.

    On Purim in 1994, Goldstein entered a mosque and shot the worshippers in their backs, killing 29 and wounding 125. How many clips did that take? He was in uniform and was not considered insane. It was “self-defense” of Israel.

    Subsequently, a massive funeral was held for Goldstein in Jerusalem a great tomb has been erected for him and he is considered a saint and a holy martyr (Yediot Ahronot).

    The Halakha tradition has it that gentiles have no souls are thus animals. Those found within greater Israel must be killed or be “daily humiliated” servants. Kach and Kahane Chai also supported Goldstein’s slaughter. For a legalistic discussion of this, see http://www.torah.org/learning/issues/goldstein.html

    How is this possible? Fundamentalists of all faiths can do such things. They may be in the grip of an ideology, but they are not insane. Must government spy on religious groups?

  65. 65 Mark
    November 17, 2007 at 20:44

    Xie_Ming
    It was Steve, not me who blew your cover. (I’ll bet he’s one of “THEM.”) I thought you were probably somewhere safe in the middle of China, he was the one who spilled the beans about you being around Vancouver. Funny how on an unmoderated message board, people are given enough rope to hang themselves. (Psst, it could be one of their traps.) A handful of cartoons in a Danish newspaper started riots all over the Islamic world and look how people got killed as a result (and how Arabs stopped buying Danish cheese and milk.) Who knows how people will react to what you say and do in public when they hear about it. For every 999,999 normal people like you and me who shrug off anything said on the internet, there’s always one nut out there with an axe to grind. I’m sure you’re smart enough not to have used your real name. But they do have their spies out everywhere and they have ways of finding out what they want to know. For all you know, they run BBC and your ISP. I’ll bet Canada is rife with them. Are you scared? I’m trying to lay low staying on their good side….SHALOM…YA’ALL. SHOUT OUT TO ALL YOU FOLKS IN THE SYNAGOGUES. Why not be cool for awhile, chill out, play it smart like me. Maybe they’ll forget about you….Um….AN EARLY HAPPY CHANOOKA OR WHATEVER YOU CALL IT.

  66. 66 Xie_Ming
    November 18, 2007 at 13:53

    The need to preserve public safety in the face of terrorists poses problems even for those nations with a tradition of tolerance and constitutional law. In this thread, we have queried the need to forestall criminal acts and how to measure intent.

    In today’s world, fundamentalism is a cause for unease. If fact, any individual who claims to know and act on the instructions of God must become suspect, for he will soon announce that “God’s law trumps man’s law”- of course, he knows God’s will.

    We have seen how “Baruch” Goldstein became upset over the threat to the existence of Israel posed by the fecundity of Arabs and then entered a mosque, machine-gunning more than 150 of them. This was not the will of a lone individual.

    There was massive support among Israeli fundamentalists and fulsome praise for him from rabbis. He is celebrated as a “holy martyr” and even a “saint”. Unfortunately, in a state of mostly secular people, the Orthodox and other fundamentalists exercise great control over the government. These cite the Halacha and claim that gentiles found within an undefined Greater Israel are to be killed.

    Meir Kahane was the terrorist religious leader whom Goldstein took as a mentor. Kahane had also immigrated from Brooklyn and had founded the very terrorist Jewish Defense League there.

    In 2001, the JDL leaders Irving Rubin and Earl Krugel were jailed by the FBI for conspiracy to bomb a California mosque and to blow up the office of a United States Congressman. Both died in prison.

    Acts of murder, bombing, assault and conspiracy were claimed as “self-defense” even within the USA. Kahane is revered by many today. Many of his writings and speeches are far more racist and violent than anything Hitler uttered. Kahane and his followers today believe that they are doing God’s will.

    Are we, in prudence, to assume that any fundamentalist claiming to be doing “God’s will” is suspect?


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