Dec 082010
 

The United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit has made a decision about the Glenn Marcus case:

For the reasons set forth below, we affirm Marcus’s forced labor conviction and vacate his sex trafficking conviction. The case is remanded to the district court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Most of the decision involves various legal points that I only vaguely follow (the closest I’ve ever had to legal training is watching lots of Law & Order reruns), but I noted that the court says on several occasions that Marcus’ relationship with Jodi “became nonconsensual”, meaning that it was consensual at some point. This means that the court is judging the Marcus-Jodi relationship in terms of the consent or lack thereof between them, rather than looking at the particular activities they performed.

Mar 192010
 

Via Clarisse Thorn’s blog, the murder (manslaughter, according to the courts) of Steven Morris by his submissive’s estranged husband, John R. Moore III.

Thorn’s analysis of this case suggests that this is a variation of the gay panic defense, which would explain why Moore got manslaughter instead of homicide. Thus, when the media and the general public look at this tragic affair, they look for a person with whom to identify. Morris? Nope, he’s an adulterer and a BDSM dominant; doesn’t make a good victim, and he’s dead besides. Laurie, Moore’s wife and Morris’ lover? Nope, she’s an adulterer and a BDSM who met Morris via collarme.com; must be either crazy or a slut, and therefore not a good victim either. That leaves Moore, even though he shot a guy, violating his wife’s protection order in the process. He’ll have to do for the audience’s sympathy. There’s a marked failure of empathy in the coverage, without any quotes from Laurie Morris, who’s been through a horrible experience even before the shooting. (Presumably there’s a reason she had protection order against her husband.)

As a side note, I notice that Moore is a Blackwater defense contractor who had spent time in Afghanistan. This dovetails with the news item that David Grisham, the leader of the Texan Christian organization Repent Amarillo, is an armed security guard at Pantex, a company that works with nuclear material disposals and high explosives. Grisham’s organization drove the Route 66 swinger club (with some BDSM elements) out of business, by noting down license plates in an adjacent parking lot to the club and notifying family members and employers.

These are the men we should fear: not the Islamic terrorist, not the big black guy on the street. Fear the middle class white guy with the military-industrial complex job who keeps his gun and his Bible in the same bedside drawer, who loses it when his control over the world begins to crumble, when anything disrupts his view of how the family should be. Both Moore and Grisham reacted violently to perceived threats against the family and sexual normality. There’s only going to be more of that in the future: more visible gays, poly people, kinky people, trans people. How will men like Moore and Grisham react?

Oct 222008
 

While reading about the Paul “Max Hardcore” Little and Extreme Associates trials, I came across other evidence of just how out of control American prosecution of obscenity is these days.

Strategically, going after Little is a brilliant way to rack up a victory. He’s male, he’s scary, he works in a visual medium (more arresting than print), he specializes in humiliation and other edgy issues, he performs in his own films, and even free speech and sex-positive advocates have a hard time defending him. He’s the stereotypical pornographer, a pre-packaged bogeyman ready to be ritually scapegoated in a purification drama.

Compare Little to Karen Fletcher. She is a 58-year-old agoraphobic woman who lives alone on disability. She was indicted on six charges of distributing obscene materials over the Internet. These were prose stories (no video or images) of children under 10 being molested and killed on a members-only web site. Fletcher plea bargained and got five years of probation and forfeiture of her computer.

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