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Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

Free and Sexy

One of the things that has come out of meeting Doug Casey and participating in several of the Eris Society conferences over the years was getting to meet, in Aspen in 2005, Scott and Cyan Banister. My friend Sean Hastings and his wife Jo introduced us. Fun people.

Last year, Cyan started a new project called Zivity.com which I very highly recommend. It is dedicated to the ideal of feminine beauty. It is based on a very attractive business model.

You can participate by purchasing votes. Ten votes costs $10, I think. Anyway, that was during the beta test mode. When you vote for a photo set, part of the dollar goes to the model featured in the photos. Part of the dollar goes to the photographer. And part of the dollar goes to keep Zivity going.

As you can imagine, this business model has attracted a number of very fine photographers. It has also attracted some truly sexy ladies.

One of my problems with the business model during the beta test period was their use of PayPal. I do not like Paypal for many, many reasons. In my direct experience, they freeze accounts arbitrarily. Several merchants with whom I have worked have been put out of business by Paypal actions. The process for unfreezing accounts can be tedious, in the experience of these associates who have tried. I also think very little of PayPal’s approach to relations with government.

Happily, I can now fund my account directly through the simple task of sending a check along. Sweet. Problem solved.

If you’d like to see some beautiful women free themselves from clothing, give Zivity a look. I think you’ll be glad you did.

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OK, so this is a bit off-topic, but since Paulie graced me with the ability to post here, I figured I might as well use it to promote something good.  And it is good, and free, and once complete, will benefit our movement.  So perhaps it’s not that off-topic after all.

Anyway, George Donnelly and I have started a project to create a set of web-based tools for pro-liberty organizations, with a specific focus on LP state and local affiliates.  It should also be easily portable to the needs of organizations such as pro-liberty PACs, other pro-liberty parties, etc.  This will be based on some existing open source software projects, tie them together neatly (single sign-on via a unified authentication backend and use of the same AAA cookies), create a single frontend for installation and management, and add some additional tools targetted at our specific audience.

What we need specifically are volunteers who can write PHP code, XHTML/Javascript/AJAX/CSS, folks with extensive MySQL development experience, and possibly some additional Perl and Ruby experience.  PHP developers with user interface experience are probably the highest priority, followed by folks who can do front-end user interface coding.  Let me know if you’re interested. If you post here, I’ll reply via email.

You can check out the project over at http://developer.berlios.de/projects/lptools/

Thanks!

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Free Max Hardcore!

200px-maxhardcore

From

http://www.maxhardcoretv.com/FreeMaxHardcore.htm

As you have probably heard by now, the groundbreaking and legendary adult film maker Max Hardcore, was recently found guilty for the production of “Obscenity,” and sentenced to 46 months in federal prison, and fined Eighty-Five Thousand Dollars! Other artists who have been convicted of Obscenity in the past include comedian Lenny Bruce and author James Joyce.

Max Hardcore’s films were found to be illegal because they “violated community standards.” With the assistance of the judge, the prosecutor inflamed the jury as they painting Max Hardcore as a violent predator – even though there was no real violence at all! Thoroughly prejudiced, the jury ignored the fact that Max’s scripted and staged productions involved only willing and well paid participants of legal age. The jury even ignored the glowing praise by one of his so-called victims who starred in three of the five movies on trial.

Take a quick look at history and you will find that most truly great art violates community standards. Max Hardcore was sentenced to prison because he is a creative, brilliant, groundbreaking pornographer. Instead of being tried in Los Angeles, where he lives and works, he was tried in a conservative part of Florida, because some of his internet servers happened to be located there. This sets a very dangerous precedent to all those who have blogs or websites no matter where you live!

Humanity progresses through offensive ideas. Socrates was sentenced to death for corrupting the youth of Athens. Copernicus and Galileo were arrested for proving that Earth was not the center of the universe. Jesus was crucified for teaching a religion of peace and acceptance.

The freedom of speech is the right to pursue and develop ideas, and to share those ideas with the world. It is the right to pursue greatness and truth. It is the right to do art, to do science. It is to express yourself with the help of others, so long as everyone is participating of their own free will.

By jailing a truly groundbreaking artist, the government has not just taken away one man’s freedom. They have taken away the right to pursue new ideas, to challenge and improve the accepted ways of doing things, to seek artistic greatness. And they have taken this right not only from Max Hardcore, but from every one of us.

Sincerely,
Stanton Audemars
Rattled Films

You Can Do Something About this!

Max Hardcore was never a rich man, but has financed this case up to this point, and spent nearly all his money. To carry it onward to the appeals process, Max now needs the help of all people who know the importance of Freedom of Speech, and the Sanctity of one’s own home.

Now is the time to show you mean business, and contribute whatever you can, be it $20, $100, $1,000, or more, every dollar counts! Max has set up a fund so he can mount a robust appeal, and get this case thrown out, for so many good reasons, that it shows the conservative elements of the Justice Department that people aren’t going to stand for being treated like unpatriotic citizens anymore! Here’s what you can do:

Contribute by Check or Money Order:

Make checks Payable, and Send them to:
Sirkin, Pinales & Schwartz, LLP
Attorneys at Law
920 Fourth & Race Tower
105 West 4th Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2726
(Memo Note on check that it’s for the Max Hardcore Defense Fund)

Contribute using a Credit or Debit Card! Call them at: 513 721-4876

(Say you want to contribute to the Max Hardcore Defense Fund)

True, not everyone is fond of Max.

According to wikipedia,

Max Hardcore (born Paul F. Little on August 10, 1956 in Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.A.) is a controversial male porn star and producer whose films usually feature him engaging in a variety of sexual acts with young women who dress and act like prepubescent girls.

Prosecutions

Although Hardcore often depicts his actresses as young and sometimes beneath the age of consent, they are not actually under 18. In his film Max Extreme 4, an actress over the age of 18 was portraying a character who states that she is 12 years old.

Based on these movies, the city of Los Angeles in 1998 charged him with child pornography and distribution of obscenity. The fact that the actress was over the age of 18 was not disputed; they brought charges based solely on the fact that the actress was portraying a character who was under eighteen years of age.

Just before the case was brought to trial in 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the statute prohibiting adults from portraying children in films and books was unconstitutional (See Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition). Based on this ruling, the child pornography charges against Hardcore were dismissed. The misdemeanor charge of distribution of obscenity was retained, but the jury failed to reach a verdict. An additional obscenity charge was subsequently levied against him by L.A., again resulting in a hung jury. Hardcore commented that “it was a frivolous waste of public resources.”

On October 5, 2005, the offices of Max World Entertainment were raided by the FBI. Five video titles and the office’s computer servers were seized, ostensibly for research toward a federal obscenity indictment or a charge related to the 2257 record-keeping law. In response to this action, Hardcore released the following statement: “Once again, the government is wasting tax dollars and otherwise invaluable law enforcement resources to try to force a minority view of morality on all of America. Five of my movies have been targeted by the Federal Prude Patrol. There is no indication of any crime to be alleged except obscenity. If indicted, I will fight to protect my liberty, as well as the liberty of consenting adults to watch other adults engage in lawful, consensual, pleasurable sexual action. Shame on the Bush Department of Justice. I am proud of the movies I make and proud of those who buy and sell those movies.”

In 2007 Max Hardcore was indicted by the United States Department of Justice Obscenity Prosecution Task Force on 10 counts of federal obscenity charges in Tampa, Florida and was found guilty on all charges in June 2008. He has been sentenced to 46 months in prison. Also on October 3 2008 the official Max Hardcore domain was forfeited, making the current official website http://www.MaxHardcoreTV.com.

Glenn Greenwald writes in Salon,

So, to recap, in the Land of the Free: if you’re an adult who produces a film using other consenting adults, for the entertainment of still other consenting adults, which merely depicts fictional acts of humiliation and degradation, the DOJ will prosecute you and send you to prison for years. The claim that no real pain was inflicted will be rejected; mere humiliation is enough to make you a criminal. But if government officials actually subject helpless detainees in their custody to extreme mental abuse, degradation, humiliation and even mock executions long considered “torture” in the entire civilized world, the DOJ will argue that they have acted with perfect legality and, just to be sure, Congress will hand them retroactive immunity for their conduct. That’s how we prioritize criminality and arrange our value system.

this site suggests that some of Max’s scenes really were rape. However, if that is the case, why were no charges of rape ever filed, with the evidence being so easily available?

max-girl

Susannah Breslin writes,

In Max Hardcore movies–“Anal Agony,” “Hardcore Schoolgirls,” “Max! Don’t Fuck Up My Mommy!”–women are verbally and physically degraded in an unprecedented myriad of ways. They are choked, slapped, throat-fucked, penetrated with fists, given enemas, pile-driven, urinated upon, vomited upon, and in some instances instructed to drink from glasses the money shots that have been delivered into their rectums. Most of the time, Little as Hardcore is the perpetrator of these acts. Not infrequently, his scenes are fraught with pedophilia themes, beginning when he stumbles upon his subjects in playgrounds, where they sit alone, in pigtails, talking baby-talk, and sucking on lollipops. Mostly, the sex scenes end with his latest costar a mess and Hardcore triumphant. Even for the most jaded porn watcher, Little’s ouevre is over the top. Watching Little’s work is less like watching a porn movie than it is akin to witnessing a vivisection. On the screen, Hardcore bends over the female bodies before him, sometimes with speculum in hand, as if attempting to get at something within her at which he can never quite get, and so to which he is doomed to return, his methods more and more hardcore.

She continues,

Because if you’re going to talk about how far we’ve come when it comes to porn, if you’re going to posit Paul “Max Hardcore” Little as the latest victim of the Bush administration, if you’re going to lament one more strike against your First Amendment rights, you should bear witness as to what a porn star drenched in vomit looks like.

Fair enough. I’ve watched dozens and maybe even hundreds of Max’s films, going back over a decade. I’ve certainly watched hundreds that have been inspired by his work. Unless and until there is evidence of actual rape proven in a court of law, I tend to agree with Greenwald as reported in his exchange with Breslin:

I really don’t care what consenting adults do with one another in order to entertain themselves or please themselves sexually–I’m not a busy body trying to sit in judgment of what other adults choose to do with themselves, especially in their sex lives. Not even the Government claimed that these films involved minors or non-consent, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s nobody’s business what they do, and whatever they do isn’t going to change my mind in the slightest.

Breslin reports,

In 2005, the Bush administration launched its so-called “War on Porn,” forming the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, a Department of Justice outfit dedicated to pursuing obscenity prosecutions, and the FBI began recruiting for a “porn squad,” otherwise known as the Adult Obscenity Squad, focused on “manufacturers and purveyors” of pornography.

She also finds irony in the following:

Little’s defense, Greenwald points out, is the same defense the Bush administration has used to defend interrogation techniques used on detainees: “because the acts in question didn’t involve the infliction of severe pain, they weren’t illegal.” In the case of Little’s videos, he asserts, “There was no suggestion that any serious violence was ever inflicted or that the adult actors in the film were anything other than completely consensual.” In conclusion, he proclaims: “So, to recap, in the Land of the Free: if you’re an adult who produces a film using other consenting adults, for the entertainment of still other consenting adults, which merely depicts fictional acts of humiliation and degradation, the DOJ will prosecute you and send you to prison for years.

What’s ironic about that? The Bush gang tortured people who did not consent. Max either tortured women who did consent – not a crime, and not even wrong – or he tortured women who did not consent. In which case, the Bush gang should have charged him with rape. They did not. Is it because they did not have a case? If they did have a case, why didn’t they charge him?

And why is the same bunch who makes excuses for non-concensual torture so willing to go after concensual torture – because they wish to monopolize the act, or keep it out of sight and out of mind?

Where is all of this leading?

Delaware Libertarian offers a clue:

From News.com.au:

THE Federal Government is planning to make internet censorship compulsory for all Australians and could ban controversial websites on euthanasia or anorexia.

Australia’s level of net censorship will put it in the same league as countries including China, Cuba, Iran and North Korea, and the Government will not let users opt out of the proposed national internet filter when it is introduced.

Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy Minister Stephen Conroy admitted the Federal Government’s $44.2 million internet censorship plan would now include two tiers – one level of mandatory filtering for all Australians and an optional level that will provide a “clean feed”, censoring adult material.

Despite planning to hold “live trials” before the end of the year, Senator Conroy said it was not known what content the mandatory filter would bar, with euthanasia or pro-anorexia sites on the chopping block.

“We are talking about mandatory blocking, where possible, of illegal material,” he told a Senate Estimates Committee.

Previously the net nanny proposal was going to allow Australians who wanted uncensored access to the web the option to contact their internet service provider and be excluded from the service.

So… Australia is going to have mandatory, state-instituted internet filtering, which is basically designed to eliminate anything the Australian government decides would be bad for its citizens to see, a list which apparently includes at this point any website discussing anorexia or euthanasia.

But, as my non-Libertarian friends never tire of telling me: there is no such thing as a slippery slope. There is no such thing as a slippery slope. Thereisnosuchthingasaslipperyslope.

As Majikthise points out,

However, the CIA interrogators who videotaped the torture and degradation of non-consenting prisoners are still free.

The same Justice Department that defended the legality of “enhanced interrogation” methods has named mainstream adult pornography a top enforcement priority.

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In this essay, LP radical and LPNY state chair Eric Sundwall advocates that radical libertarians avoid the BTP and stay in the LP. It is entitled Party Like It’s 1973, an apparent ironic reference to Party like it’s 1773 by BTP interim chair Jim Davidson.

I was somewhat intrigued when popular Libertarian blogger Tom Knapp started the Boston Tea Party soon after the 2006 Portland massacre. An online political party that hearkened to the radical sensibility with a savvy for the political seemed an interesting notion without any real threat to LP work and activities. A place where members could vent and fume within their own diaries and entries and perhaps still effect meaningful activism within the libertarian community in general. Fine. Sometimes a great notion . . .

The current self-flagellation from its members and current standard bearers for office is a greater reflection of petty narcissistic traits and ambitions that one finds within splinters of a small movement, than any real grassroots or political effort. To be sure, most of the current brouhaha is based on the success of reform elements within the LP and the eventual nomination of Bob Barr. But there has also been a disproportionate coverage of their activities within the small third party blogosphere and even some mention in the higher echelons of typical political coverage. I’m beginning to think about getting sixteen of my buddies together to form the American Anarchist Party so as not to be left out. At least there would be no compromise on real principles.

In my estimation the BTP became untenable, less credible and utterly ridiculous when the New York affiliate formed without my knowledge or possible input. I expressed my discontent about this to founder Tom Knapp and got a reply that membership wasn’t tracked on geographical basis and thus any notification about formation of an affiliate wouldn’t be forthcoming to members unless they kept abreast of the website and those postings. At the time I thought I had kept a current feed from BTP in my aggregator (Bloglines) and it was only another entry at the time that serendipitously showed up that brought me back to the site for a quick re-reference. It was at that time that I became knowledgeable of the NY affiliate startup.

Of course the elements forming that start up were no more radical in spirit than in truth ambitious for titles and accolades. In fact some of the players were in dispute with the LPNY about one of their affiliates and a factional shoot off from it in another arena wasn’t all that surprising. Having also expressed some insider concern to Knapp about this, he just shrugged it off and said something about long ropes and the like.

In the course of 2007 one saw a gradual decline of the website and eventually spam took it over and the case for neglect made itself very obvious if one visited the site. Again Knapp was shrugging it off as not his baby anymore since the formation of a national committee and control being handed over to the new principles. Any other misgivings about Knapp and his organizational abilities were already being sent to me through my association of other notable activists and to some extent LNC connections. After he was almost completely rejected for the Platform Committee in Pittsburgh that summer I figured any possible radical ally in this figure was improbable. At the time he was flailing for Kubby as the official or non-official this or that and it was obvious where his pre-occupation was at. Once he started running Ron Paul up the racist flagpole based on a Suicide Girls post, I was done. After the Sean Haugh attack after Vegas, I was disgusted, despite reassurances from Angela Keaton and Paulie that he wasn’t the drama queen I might have marked him as.

Enter the Independent Political Report. They started covering the mini-convention of the BTP in Denver and it seems like new life was born from it. Apparently that long rope came back to bite BTP and Knapp put the kibosh on any usurpation of his baby. Utilizing an administrative override on the former national vice-chair and asserting a violation of by-laws and original intent, he summarily dismissed the usurpers and rallied his original cabal and pressed ahead with their own convention online. I’m sure if I’m wrong about this and on any radar as such, I’ll be corrected on a dozen counts by TK or the like.

But my general point is this. The BTP is an operational and philosophical mess. Great, a one line platform states that they want to reduce government on all counts. So what?! While it’s not the contorted twistings of the Reformista’s tired ruminations and redefinitions, its just annoying at this point. When some kiddie script hacker represents some percentage of the actual vote of their convention and all former users are told to sign up again because their database got trashed, you don’t have to wonder. You just don’t take it seriously. Radicals ought to stay in the LP and exert what influence they can in a franchise which has stood the test of time for at least thirty years. Getting all huffy over one candidate in an impossible race to win is not the solution. There is plenty of room for spirited protest candidacies and meaningful activism.

So don’t get your panties in a wad because Brian Holtz won the platform or that Bob Barr said something about Fannie Mae on TV. Easy ballot access in Colorado and Louisiana may get you on the ballot there and might put you on a temporary pedestal amongst chortling colleagues, but seriously, get a life (or a sound card). Do what you can, where you can. Stop fantasizing about a greater liberty movement or party. Stay real. Stay radical. Stay LP.

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