January 4, 2011

A View From Riverside Drive, Commentary by Ed Hynes, January 2011

Hackers knock PornHarms.com off YouTube  

The measure of our success is the virulence of the opposition.  So said a businessman whose company was so successful that the opposition tried in state after state to put it out of business through discriminatory legislation.  The opposition had failed in the marketplace, and so it tried sleight of hand at the state capitols, failing there, too, for the most part.

Now we’re seeing an even worse form of virulence in the marketplace for illegal hardcore pornography.

Federal and state laws ban the distribution of obscene material, but Big Porn claims a free speech right to do it anyway.  At the same time, Big Porn is also quick to do all it can to squelch the speech of anyone daring to call them on their lie.

Case in point: Morality in Media’s PornHarms project (http://pornharms.com), a new website that declares onsite that it is “dedicated to providing the most accurate peer-reviewed research on the harm from pornography along with relevant news and opinion.”

PornHarms.com sticks in the craw of the criminal entrepreneurs who make hardcore pornography readily available on the Internet, in the video shops of many communities, and in the pay-per-view systems of major cable TV operators and hotel chains that are indifferent to the harms of obscenity and the laws that ban its distribution.  These operators and hotels rely on the Justice Department’s record of non-enforcement.  That could change.

Big Porn, or friends of Big Porn, struck back against PornHarms by hacking into the site, loading it with the very stuff PornHarms is fighting.

As a result, PornHarms was kicked off its spot on YouTube on December 7.  You Tube, apparently unaware of the foul play, put the case this way:  “PornHarms has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of our Community Guidelines.”

The guidelines include a ban on “pornography or sexually explicit content.”  How ironic.  How ludicrous.

In a report posted to PornHarms.com, Dawn Dettling, a “Dedicated Volunteer,” writes,

“. . . our efforts are worrying them. . . . We’ve made some waves and now lawmakers and prosecutors are listening and starting to act . . . Now we’ve started a grassroots movement, gaining more than 55,000 supporters in just a few months, even with our limited resources.  We have many expert researchers, professionals and groups on our side, working with us, helping to prove the devastating effects pornography has on individuals, families and society. . . .  [W]e are regularly meeting with Congressmen and Senators now who have pledged their support and help.”

Ms. Dettling describes what the hackers did:

”They hacked into our personal email account and sent pornography to everyone on our contact lists. They hacked into our YouTube channel and removed all of our videos, uploading pornography and pro-porn videos instead. . . .  They flooded our Facebook page and upcoming event page with links to pornography, pro-porn comments and highly abusive attacks on our supporters. They even took the time to personally message many of our Facebook supporters to send them links to pornography and accuse their spouses of hard-core porn use or child porn crimes.”

Talk about virulence.

Relativism rises up in defense of the abhorrent

The AntiPorn Activist Network of New Haven is asking for help to get a particularly objectionable music CD –  “Die!” by Ron Raphael Braunstein (“Necro” to his fans) – removed from the Newbury Comics chain of stores in New England.  APAN explains their upsetment by sending us the lyrics.  The song begins this way: “Women need to be loved, injected with needles and drugs subjected to torture and kidnapped they need to succumb it’s proven. . .”

There’s more, and it gets worse.

APAN suggests e-mailing and calling as follows:

Mike Dreese, CEO, MikeDreese@newburycomics.com

Duncan Browne, COO DuncanBrowne@newburycomics.com

To call either man use (617) 562-1019

Worth a shot, but don’t expect too much.  Mr. Browne has already told APAN that he will continue to sell Necro CDs because “We have always presented the voices of thousands of artists of all ilks and persuasions. . . freedom of expression is a core value at Newbury Comics.  We find very little to have ‘No redeeming social value.’  It all depends on your point of view.”

It all depends on your point of view if there are no standards.

But if there are no standards, how do we know it depends on your point of view?  How do we know anything?

Relativism.  A useless theory except when the facts are not convenient.

Deseret Media launch program for wives of porn ‘consumers’

The Mormon Church’s Deseret Media Companies announced September 19 the launch of “an initiative to educate, direct and unite women whose husbands have a problem with pornography.”

The initiative is called “Out in the Light: women uniting against pornography.” ­

Deseret News, KSL-TV, KSL Newsradio, Deseret Digital and Deseret Book “will combine resources to shed light on this problem that is impacting families.

“In addition to the series of articles that will run in this week’s Deseret News, a new website ­ www.outinthelight.com ­ and reports on KSL-TV and KSLNewsradio will tell the stories of the silent victims of pornography: the wives of consumers.”

The announcement said the problem is “no surprise, considering the breadth and reach of pornography.”

Minnesota County adopts ‘clean hotel’ policy

In Minnesota, the Winona County Commissioners have adopted a travel policy that bars county employees from staying at hotels that offer pay-per-view pornography.  The Commissioners also asked that the Association of Minnesota Counties adopt a similar policy.

The policy was approved September 7.  The Winona Daily News reported the next day, “Commissioners and community advocates said the move could help reduce sexual and domestic violence, which studies have linked to pornography.”

The story mentioned that Minnesota spent $8 billion on sexual violence issues in 2005, eight times as much as it spent on drunk driving.

Nevertheless, comments published in the paper showed some readers were skeptical of the policy.  One wrote: “Ridiculous. I didn’t realize there were actually hotels where this [pay-per-view porn] isn’t an option anymore. Seems they have all gotten on that wagon as another way to make $$$. Seriously Winona County. This is too much.”

This smarter-than-everyone writer ought to check out Citizens for Community Values in Cincinnati, which maintains a directory of “clean hotels” in the United States.  Two of them are right in Winona.  The directory can be found at www.cleanhotels.com.

‘Capable kids’ can foil abductors  

The Washington Post reported September 5 that “capable kids are their own best defense” against abduction by strangers, according to a study by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that looked at 4,200 abduction attempts that failed.

NCMEC’s Ernie Allen explained that children who escaped did so by “recognizing a bad situation and either getting away from it, avoiding it, or screaming and kicking to draw attention.”

“The goal here is not to frighten, but to encourage parents to sit down with their kids, talk to them about their safety, and practice these things,” he said. “Our overall premise is, kids protect themselves with their heads, and if they are prepared and alert, and if they know what to do and how to respond, they are at far less risk.”

The study analyzed attempted abductions in the five years from February 2005 to March 2010.  The study found that 38% of cases occur while a child is walking alone to or from school, riding the school bus or riding a bicycle; 37% occur between 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM on weekdays; 43% involve children between the ages of 10 and 14; 68% involve a would-be abductor driving a vehicle, and 72% of victims are female.

It’s great that so many kids successfully thwart abductions, but a responsible society ought to be doing all it can to reduce the threat of abductions.  Not all abductions are sexual in nature, but many are; and addiction to hardcore adult pornography is often a contributing factor in abductions.  But despite all the evidence of a link between the proliferation of adult pornography and sexual exploitation of children, the U.S. Justice Department refuses to enforce federal obscenity laws against commercial distributors of hardcore adult pornography.

Take the family pledge for clean and safe media

Marriage and family therapist Jill C. Manning, PhD, has created a “family media pledge” that you may want to post in your home, near the TV or a computer.  It commits the family “to making clean and safe media choices in order to keep our home a happy and healthy place to be.”  A beautifully designed pledge card in English or Spanish is available free from Dr. Manning.  Here’s how to reach her:

Jill C. Manning, Ph.D., LMFT
P.O. Box 6351
Broomfield, CO 80021
www.drjillcmanning.com

This is the pledge:

OUR CLEAN & SAFE MEDIA PLEDGE

As a family, we commit to making clean and safe media choices in order to keep our home a happy and healthy place to be.

WE WILL DO THIS BY

1. Selecting books, Web sites, music, magazines, activities, and/or movies that are in harmony with our family values.

2. Being kind to ourselves and to others by not posting or forwarding any­thing that could cause hurt, embarrassment, or offense. If we receive a text or e-mail that makes us feel uncomfortable, sad, or scared, we will tell a parent right away.

3.  Showing respect for our body and others’ bodies by not looking at or posting nude or immodest images. If we accidentally come across some­thing inappropriate, we will tell a parent right away.

4. Protecting identifying information by not posting phone numbers, addresses, or personal information in places where they can be seen by strangers. If we are unsure, we will ask a parent before posting personal information.

5. Never meeting up with someone we have met online unless a parent knows exactly where we are and someone accompanies us.

6. Limiting our media use when it is late at night or we are home alone.

Signatures

Date: Author: Edward Hynes   01/04/2011

Further Reading