aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, June 30, 2006
On the day that a judge extended the ruling that puts the new Georgia sex offender law on hold, it’s worth remembering a major article in Counter Punch from this past March, Sexual Fascism in Progressive America: Scapegoats and Shunning, authored by the pseudonymous “Pariah:”
The writer remains anonymous because he writes and is politically active in several completely unrelated social justice movements. He fears that the shunning and marginalization he describes for those who write about this topic could compromise (unfairly) his other work.
I quoted extensively from the article at the time, fearing that in modern freedom loving America it might disappear from the web. It’s still there, complete with this damning passage:
Even before Judith Levine’s Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex was published in 2002, a massive campaign by fundamentalist Christian groups, including Concerned Women for America, attacked the publisher, the University of Minnesota Press. While the book was published, the Press created a new process for reviewing its books before publication. Levine spoke publicly about how she was humiliated time and again in public. She said the manuscript for her book had been turned down by many publishers, treated as if it were “radioactive.” Among other insights, Levine wrote that “obsession with pedophiles stems for the reluctance to confront incest and the rampant sexualization of children” in American culture. “Adults project the eroticized desire outwards, creating a monster to hate, hunt down and destroy.” Of the outcry against her book she added, “What happened to me is a perfect example of the hysteria my book is about.”
After reading that passage I realized that I see no discussion anywhere of appropriate reaction to this society’s mainstream eroticization of youth; no notion of how one handles attraction appropriately. Denial is the order of the day. In this instance, denial is destructive.
I oppose the Georgia law because it gives the illusion of protection when, in fact, it is most likely to catch those least likely to be a real danger. Meanwhile it drains law enforcement resources away from those that are the serious threat and drives those same people further underground and away from treatment.
A municipal court judge from Milledgeville who has been charged with having sex with two teenage girls has resigned from his public positions.
Jon Philip Carr, 53, resigned Monday from his role as municipal court judge in McIntyre and as prosecutor for Milledgeville Municipal Court, officials said. Tuesday, he resigned as municipal court judge in Ivey.
Carr is charged with six counts of child molestation and four counts of statutory rape, Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee said.
Carr’s Milledgeville law office declined to comment on the matter.
The victims, ages 13 and 14, escaped from Project Adventure, a halfway house for troubled youths in Baldwin County, Massee said.
This guy also fits the more typical profile: a respected individual (a judge and prosecutor no less!) known and liked in the community but leading a dark double life. Keeping him from living near a bus stop just doesn’t cut it.
We prefer to characterize these people as sick monsters who should be hung but they are our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends and neighbors. They should pay for their mistakes, certainly, but the punishment should fit the crime and emphasize prevention and rehabilitation rather than retaliation and vengeance.
GA sex offender law on hold
A judge extended the ruling that puts the Georgia sex offender law on hold, but the prospects for a more sane and effective prevention and sentencing policy are not good. The AJC headline, since changed, read Federal Judge sides with sex offenders:
Georgia today appealed a federal judge’s decision to revoke a portion of new Georgia law designed to prevent sex offenders from living near school bus stops.
Attorney General Thurbert Baker filed the appeal with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
The voided legislation, scheduled to go into effect Saturday, would have made it illegal for any person on Georgia’s sex offender registry to live within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper entered a temporary restraining order preventing enforcement of that provision of the new law, meaning registered sex offenders who live near school bus stops can stay in their homes.
The voided provision would have forced many felons to leave their homes or face possible arrest and 10 years or more in prison. [...]
Last week, DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown said all 490 sex offenders in his county would have to move. On Thursday, Brown said Cooper’s order “gives us an opportunity to better research the implications of that particular piece, and I think the judge was wise. And he was wise with a great deal of courage.”
More from me here (it didn’t work in other states, it won’t work here, and they’re not as likely to re-offend as we assume). Here’s the restraining order, the Southern Center for Human Rights (which brought the lawsuit) litigation materials, the Georgia law and the official profile of the judge.
blog comment spam
FINAL UPDATE: Comments are back, the spam is deleted and I will be implementing a new spam prevention plug-in in the next few days. ICDSoft has been absolutely super helpful in working with me to resolve this problem. They truly are the ultimate in web hosting! I’ve still got some real work to do, but they got me through the worst of it.
UPDATE: Still no resolution. My ISP isn’t giving me the resources to delete the comments (I can do it one by one - for hundreds of them). They have shut down all comments to help me out; I am trying to find a way to run the plug in on old posts and get comments open again on new posts. This problem only recently overwhelmed the Movable Type spam filter…
I’m not so happy about Movable Type right now, though it is as much my fault as anything else. The improved Movable Type spam filter had been working ok up until about a week ago. now I’m hit with hundreds of spam comments a day. When I try to declare them “Junk” I get a server 500 error.
Asking my hosting service, ICDSoft, about it, they tell me I’m hitting my memory limit, that they’ve already raised it for me and can’t raise it any higher, and that Movable Type makes unreasonable demands on the server so I should consider WordPress.
Yes, I know about WordPress. And the work it takes to change. In any event I’ve got to get rid of that spam and close down comments on those old messages. That will take a good long time; that’s what I’ll be doing much of today.
No TV: a trend?
Yesterday I said that I’m seeing two trends out there that I hope and expect will continue. In one, people are buying large screen high-definition home theater systems on which they want to display high-end high-quality professional media. In the other, screens are getting smaller and more widely distributed and ubiquitous but with lower resolution. On them it’s anything goes.
Then last night over dinner with two couples here I learned that neither has television at home anymore. One couple cancelled cable, the other cancelled satellite and they don’t bother with over the air. Both have wide-screen high-definition units that they use only for their Netflix DVDs. And both watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report online.
So I’m wondering, we all know people who have dropped their landlines in favor of cell phones, do you think there’s a similar trend developing where people will cancel their television services and replace them with DVDs and web surfing?