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Re: Morton Berger and cruel and unusual punishment

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  • thekoba@aztecfreenet.org
    ... Dear Eric, Yes, that is very true. Leave aside the question of whether the parents were responsible for her murder; even if they had nothing to do with
    Message 1 of 3 , May 18, 2003
      >Exactly! And indeed draconian punishments are imposed
      >for harmless acts while harmful ones go unpunished.
      >Leave aside the millions who have little or no medical
      >care, who have little or no parental guidance because
      >their parents work for a living, and all the other
      >directly capitalist-related issues.
      >There are significant perversions that are not even
      >regarded as abuse. For example in connection with the
      >Jon Benet Ramsay murder, it came out that there are
      >perhaps thousands of parents turning toddlers and
      >young girls into beauty queens, some going so far as
      >to have their teeth pulled in order to make them more

      Dear Eric,

      Yes, that is very true. Leave aside the question
      of whether the parents were responsible for her
      murder; even if they had nothing to do with it, what
      they did to their daughter when she was alive was
      appalling, yet, regretably, perfectly legal. As
      much as we, in the West, abhor such customs as (former)
      Chinese foot-binding, or female circumcision of some
      Muslim countries, can we honestly say that these
      "beauty pagents" are any more enlightened?

      >Or on a non-sexual topic, I had a workmate once who
      >insisted that his son would go out for football in
      >highschool, because he, the father, had done so and
      >was a football nut. He said it made no difference
      >whether his son was inclined to go out for football;
      >he would compell him to do so regardless of his son's
      >own desires. And many adults try to live their
      >childhood fantasies vicariously through their
      >children. I can't say how much physical abuse this
      >entails, but it is certainly harmful, in my opinion.

      Oh, I can imagine where that could get sexual, on a
      psychological level anyway. I dare say if that young
      man resisted, his sexual orientation might be questioned.

      Another form of child abuse that is fully sanctioned by
      law is the religious indoctrination of children and
      forcible participation in religious ceremonies. I
      personally had to endure that. Some misguided people,
      even among those calling themselves secular humanists
      and human rights activists, have criticized the old
      Soviet Union as "suppressing" religion, because its
      law forbade religious instruction to young people, but
      that was one of its better laws. I do not accept the
      doctrine that children are the property and chattels of
      their parents.

      >I hadn't heard of the case of the man sent to jail for
      >writing a story about sexual abuse. That is genuinely
      >outrageous. Obviously you can't start convicting
      >people for such things and claim there is any freedom
      >of expression left. These weren't even for
      >publication. Another example of rampant political
      >And a life sentence for possession of pictures is also
      >an outrage, even if he knowingly paid for them. I
      >don't know the exact nature of what the pictures
      >showed, but whatever it was, clearly the people who
      >made the pictures are the real source of the problem,
      >if indeed there is a problem.
      >According to reports I've read, there is more rape of
      >men in the US (because of prison rape) than there is
      >of women. And here they are sending people into those
      >homosexual rape dungeons because they were found in
      >possession of pictures! There's something very wrong

      I'm afraid Mr. Berger's fate may be particularly
      horrible, as those who are in for "dangerous crimes
      against children", as his ownership of photographs
      is officially classified under Arizona law, tend to
      be singled-out for such mistreatment.

      It is odd that in former times, those who were
      convicted of another sexual offense, known in our
      statutes as "the infamous crime against nature"
      (consentual homosexual conduct), would be sent to
      prison for up to twenty years. The authorities
      figured you could "cure" a homosexual by sending him
      to prison! Go figure!

      >I guess some of the far rightists might defend such
      >draconian measures against those who offend "Christian
      >morality", and many of the left would jump on any
      >politically correct bandwagon that happens to be
      >passing by. But we really need to avoid such genuine
      >perversions if we are going to keep society sane.

      Restore society to sanity might be a better phrase.


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