Sunday, July 31, 2005
Note: I am aware this post will be controversial. It is an honest attempt to answer a question posed by a visitor in a way that applies my previous writings. Comments, as always, are welcome. For the record, I agree with Senator Santorum's view on pedophilia.
My criticism of harsher anti-pedophile laws has drawn an interesting response (formatting mine):
You left an email from my blog, with a link to here, but no email address to respond to you, so I'm posting here. You say that the increased penalties will lead to MORE murders of children. Ok, fine if that is your opinion, but what I'd like to ask is what you propose should be done?
I, as a parent, am outraged that pedophiles are so prevalent in our society. I have been extremely lucky in that my kids are nearly grown and, so far, have not been molested. Someday I may be fortunate enough to have grandchildren and I want them to be safe.
Obviously the laws we have now are not working. Instead of being a naysayer and telling us what we have in mind won't work, why not put your logic to better use and propose something that will.
Thanks for listening.
I'm purposely not posting my email address or blog because I don't usually like to get into political discussions.
The commentator said "...as a parent" and "... my kids..." so I will assume that the commentator is wondering how society can help parents protect their children from pedophiles. I'm assuming the commentator is a mother, so I will refer to the commentator as "she" or "her" (if the commentator is a father, I apologize). And we both agree that the laws are not working.
From her comment and my short description, we know the outline of the conflict
Proganonist's preferred battlespace: The government and laws.
What are the strong points of the adversaries?
Parents: Super-motivated to keep their children away from pedophiles
Pedophiles: Super-motivated to sexually interact with children
The pedophile's sexual motivation is his schwerpunkt, his "center of gravity." Our laws are designed to subdue him at this strong point - to crush him in decisive battle.
It has not been working. His motivation exceeds the ability of the law to stop him. We cannot subdue him. The parent/pedophile war looks like an eternal struggle, with neither side able to concede. Both appear to be driven by biological urges deep enough to drown any compromise.
Several sayings can help us here
"If what you are doing is not working, stop doing it."
"An unchangeable fact is not an enemy. It is weapon."
"Just act recklessly and it will be all right."
The first reminds us that our goal is victory, not struggle. "Doing something" is not wise when that something is not working. It is more important to win that steadfastly keep to our old tactics.
The second reminds us that we should use every tool available -- including the enemy himself. If possible we should use thing that makes the enemy "invincible" against him.
The third reminds us when time is not on your side, "slow-and-steady" approaches are guaranteed to fail. Because we are substantially failing in our current strategy, every day we do not change is a day of failure.
So we need a new approach that uses the enemy's strength against him daringly.
To refresh, the strength of the pedophiles is their very strong motivation. Significantly increasing the cost does not significantly decrease consumption. (This also means that significantly decreasing the cost will not significantly decrease consumption.) As long as the pedophilia is able to pay, he will.
One approach would be to vaporize the planet in a hail of H-Bombs, except the cost of this is too high for the parents.
This option isn't as crazy as it seems. The parents are trying to protect their children, so if we could have a solution we knew work that would cause the death of millions of parents, it is likely the parents would accept it. That is how much they love their children. They are prepared to pay a very high price to ensure that their children are not used by pedophiles.
In the words of one parent:
I, as a parent, am outraged that pedophiles are so prevalent in our society. I have been extremely lucky in that my kids are nearly grown and, so far, have not been molested. Someday I may be fortunate enough to have grandchildren and I want [my grandchildren] to be safe.
We know that "subduing" pedophiles will not work, because they are too motivated. The only other path to victory is "subversion" -- to turn them so they help us. We need to rearrange the minds of pedophiles, so they desire to help parents.
Now how can we rearrange the minds of people who want to sexually used children in a way that is acceptable to people whose primary concern is protecting their children?
What could pedophiles possible want that would make them allies of the parents who are frightened of them?
What tool can we use to subvert pedophiles, to turn them?
Someone else's kids.
If we look at the problem as a diagram, we certainly see the logic of it, whether most parents care (which they do):
Recent evidence of an astonishly organized ring in France
The 45 victims, many the children and grandchildren of adults who stood trial for attacking them, ranged from a baby of six months to 14-year-olds. They suffered more than 100 separate sexual assaults.
suggests it it somewhere in between. The percentage could be vanishingly small. If say 2% of adult males are pedophiles (about the same percentage of adult males who are homosexualists) the remainder of all parents less those parents who are opposed to pedophiles would only have to be one in fifty. Throw in states that have more children than capital, and the threshold could be easily met.
This is a fact that cannot be changed. And a fact that cannot be changed is a weapon.
Parents, through the government and laws, could use this weapon to protect their children from pedophiles. The strength of pedophiles, their high level of motivation, can now be used with this weapon, other people's kids, to help the parents protect their children.
We could daringly build an extensive system of monitoring and reporting if we subverted pedophiles in this way. Parents could know more about pedophiles -- very high levels of disclosure could be required to participate in the managed market -- and have their children much safer from them -- their is an alternate, lawful supply -- if they would simply take up the weapon.
We can find a parallel for this in the Bible. King Saul had an enemy.
A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels ; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
An enemy that looked invincible
Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us." Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other." On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
and a method of fighting that could not work
Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
David found new weapons
"I cannot go in these," he said to Saul, "because I am not used to them." So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
and won in a new way
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
Other people's kids is the sling. The pedophile's own motivation is the stone. And the children of concerned parents are children of Israel.
David recognized that an "honorable" way of fighting -- with sword and shield -- would lead to a dishonorable defeat and grave danger for sons of Abraham and the daughters of Sarah. So David found a new way.
Will parents? Or do they not care for their own children more than strangers?
Saturday, July 30, 2005
"States opt for lifetime GPS tags on molesters," by David Lieb, Associated Press, 30 July 2005, http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0730tracking30.html.
It's not just the State of Minnesota anymore...
Florida, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma passed laws this year requiring lifetime electronic monitoring for some sex offenders, even if their sentences would normally have expired. Similar bills have been proposed in Congress and other states, including Alabama and North Dakota.
A new Oklahoma law also requires habitual sex offenders to wear GPS monitoring devices for the rest of their lives. Ohio's budget funds lifetime GPS monitoring only for people classified as sexually violent predators.
Ideas this crazy have to be caused by hysterical cable news outlets...
Spurred by headlines of released sex offenders accused of murder, some states are mandating use of the Global Positioning System for tracking. Many lawmakers see electronic monitoring as a natural evolution of statutes that already require sex offenders to register their addresses with authorities.
A basic thought for my legislator friends in Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Alabama, and North Dakota:
The harsher you make a sentence, the more the criminal will try to avoid being caught
And what is the easiest, most obvious way for a pedophile to avoid being caught?
Kill the witness
In other words, if you want to minimize the number of victims like Jessica Lunsford...
After a registered sex offender was charged in March with killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, Florida legislators mandated tougher prison sentences for people who commit sex offenses against children and required lifetime GPS monitoring after serving time.
encouraging murder isn't the wisest option. And lifetime sentences really, really discourage criminals from getting caught.
Around the blogosphere: PC540 talks sense, and Outside Report examines the issue in depth. Forbush calls some form of pedocide moderate. A wife and mother is heartbreakingly misguided. A compulsive hooker of the yarn variety notes Lunsford-family branding. Chatguard reports just the facts. Pace Forbush, Keith notes that there is muderous monsters deserve death. Omahastar suggests eternal damnation for a lesser offensive.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Netwar v. Net-Centric War, on America's streets:
A man who grabbed a 14-year-old girl's arm to chastise her after she walked in front of his car, causing him to swerve to avoid hitting her, must register as a "sex offender," the Appellate Court of Illinois has ruled.
Fitzroy Barnaby, a 28-year-old Evanston, Illinois, man was prosecuted for attempted kidnapping and child abduction charges following a November 2002 incident in which he nearly hit the teen with his vehicle.
The girl testified Barnaby yelled, "Come here, little girl," when he jumped out of his car and grabbed her arm. She broke away and called authorities. Barnaby says he was merely trying to lecture her for her carelessness.
The trial jury accepted Barnaby's version of the story, but found him guilty of unlawful restraint of a minor – a sex offense under Illinois law. As a convicted sex offender, Barnaby is required to be listed on the state's sex offender registry and must keep authorities informed of his place of residency. He also isn't allowed to live near schools or parks. The Illinois Sex Offender Information website, operated by the Illinois State Police, lists those in the registry, along with their photographs and home addresses.
Trial Judge Patrick Morse ordered registration reluctantly, acknowledging it was "more likely than not" Barnaby only intended to chastise the girl. "I don't really see the purpose of registration in this case. I really don't," Morse said. "But I feel that I am constrained by the statute."
There are two main approaches to security in the world: "netstruggle" and "network-centric struggle." Both rely on networks, both are built on the works of the late Colonel John Boyd, and both are summed up by Sun Microsystems' tagline "The Network is the Computer."
In netwar, in netpolitics, in netfaith, super-empowered individuals use social, economic, physical, and technological networks to come together and act as a group. Especially when these are combined into a tight human-internet, these nets are very powerful. In Iraq, Islamist terrorists use netwar to deny freedom to their fellows and kill Soldiers. In America, Christian Republicans use netpolitics to elect friendly politicians and steer the judicial branch of government. Netstruggle is summed up by America's motto, E Pluribus Unum -- Out of Many, One.
In network-centric war, politics, and faith, super-empowered leaders use technological networks to order subordinates around efficiently. Especially when the technological network is fast, secure, and everywhere, network-centric strivers can be very powerful. In Iraq, the American military removed Saddam from power in three weeks. Network-centric struggle is summed up by one word: faster.
But if a problem cannot be solved quickly, network-centric solutions are foolish. NCW was great for destroying Iraq in three weeks, but is unable to restore it in three years.
Network-centric solutions win wars, but not peaces.
When we give distant courts the ability to put someone's name on a magic list, we are doing network-centric policing. We are super-empowering judges and juries to disempower individuals.
You want to end pedophile attacks on your children? Move society to netpolicing -- give every man a gun, and make it clear that "honor killings" will not be prosecuted. Super-empower individuals.
You are ok with Barnaby's fate? Stick to network-centric policing.
Update 27 October 2005: Courtesty Mark at Zen Pundit, Jeff at Caerdroia seems to agree:
The practical result of this is that, at least in the US, the State can fail utterly at some task without leading to dissolution — even at the task of defense against enemies, foreign or domestic. Let us say, for example, that the police make a total mess of fighting against a domestic 4GW threat. While it's possible the government could turn to death squads, it is unlikely (again, at least in the US). What is far more likely is that the armed citizens would organize themselves into a group and go solve the problem. There is a name for this: a Committee of Vigilance. Perhaps better known as vigilantes. While not the best solution — such groups tend to get out of hand — it is certainly better than giving up to death or at least chaos.
It goes without saying that such a strategy works best in a culture with strong horizontal controls
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
"Minnesota court takes dim view of encryption," by Declan McCullagh, CNET News.com, 24 May 2005, http://news.com.com/Minnesota+court+takes+dim+view+of+encryption/2100-1030_3-5718978.html (from Slashot).
Minnesota, South Dakota's neighbor to the east, is regionally known for quirkiness. Swedish-style leftism, prairie populism, and Great Lakes industry trade makes the state, which means Sky-Reflecting Water in Sioux, a mirror into the least practical fads of the moment. I early blogged of the Minnesota Legislature encouraging pedophiles to kill their victims. Now, a common privacy tool is evidence of criminal intent
A Minnesota appeals court has ruled that the presence of encryption software on a computer may be viewed as evidence of criminal intent.
Ari David Levie, who was convicted of taking illegal photographs of a nude 9-year-old girl, argued on appeal that the PGP encryption utility on his computer was irrelevant and should not have been admitted as evidence during his trial. PGP stands for Pretty Good Privacy and is sold by PGP Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif.
But the Minnesota appeals court ruled 3-0 that the trial judge was correct to let that information be used when handing down a guilty verdict.
"We find that evidence of appellant's Internet use and the existence of an encryption program on his computer was at least somewhat relevant to the state's case against him," Judge R.A. Randall wrote in an opinion dated May 3.
Randall favorably cited testimony given by retired police officer Brooke Schaub, who prepared a computer forensics report--called an EnCase Report--for the prosecution. Schaub testified that PGP "can basically encrypt any file" and "other than the National Security Agency," nobody could break it.
Shaub either perjured himself or is dangerously ignorant for his position.
So do you have criminal intent? Yes, if you use a Mac
The court didn't say that police had unearthed any encrypted files or how it would view the use of standard software like [Apple Macintosh] OS X's FileVault. Rather, Levie's conviction was based on the in-person testimony of the girl who said she was paid to pose nude, coupled with the history of searches for "Lolitas" in Levie's Web browser
Other programs that use encryption are some file compressors, the web browser you are reading this page with, some media players -- basically, anything involving credit cards, online business, or electronic personal security. As dahnmich writes, under a rule that 'personal security equals criminal intent,' even possession a gun would be evidence of criminal intent.
Friday, April 29, 2005
"House passes sex offender penalties," by Don Davis, The Forum, 29 April 2005, http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=90202§ion=News.
No comment on the law itself. Just a post on Minnesota's soon-to-be-bloody encounter with the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Pedophiles should be castrated, the Minnesota House decided Thursday.
Representatives also voted to place labels identifying sex offenders on their driver's licenses and vehicle license plates and to send the worst sex offenders to prison for life.
The House bill doubles most sex offender sentences. Those who do not get mandatory life sentences would be released only when a new parole board feels they no longer present a threat to society.
Sex offenders would be sentenced to life if they commit the crime with torture, with kidnapping with a victim younger than 13 or older than 70 or with more than one victim.
It will lead to less sexually abused children. This law will lead to more murdered children. It is up to Minnesotans whether that is a good deal or not.
If the Minnesota House gets it way, the punishment for sexual abuse will in many cases be greater than the punishment for murder. (There is no chemical castration for murderers, in spite of the fact that testosterone is postively correlated to violence.) This both strongly discourages pedophilia while strongly encouraging pedophiles to murder their victims. (Dead boys cannot testify.) Additionally, it will decreasing reporting of family members, as the law would cause much more family trauma than already exists.
If Tradesports had a "young children raped and murdered" futures market for Minnesota, I'd buy as many shares as I could and become a rich man. And if they had a "young children raped" in Minnesota futures market, I'd sell that short. But pedophilia seems to be a compulsion, so I wouldn't short by as much.
Again, no comment on the law itself. The legislators clearly aren't thinking it out, but the law's wisdom is independent from theirs.
Personal note: In my small town where I grew up, we later discovered that my doctor was a pedophile. This issue involves real problems which should have real solutions. Few are offering any.
Update: Riehl World ponders a similar proposal in New Jersey.