They're Just as Porn-Idiotic Across the Pond

If you're ever worried about the United States being the only western democracy with a stick up its ass about porn, fret not, we still have our friends in The Mother Country trying to keep up with us.

The Government is to force users of pornographic sites to identify themselves, in an attempt to keep children from using them.

Companies that run the websites will have to put checks in place to ensure that only adults are viewing them, or face having their sites shut down. Those that don’t comply could have advertising banned or be forced to have their pages unavailable in the country. (source)

Why, you ask?

The Government said that the new effort was part of its plans to keep children safe online.

“Just as we do offline, we want to make sure children are prevented from accessing pornographic content online which should only be viewed by adults,” said internet safety and security minister Baroness Shields.(source)

Ah yes, to keep us safe. You know, from WEB PAGES OF DEATH!!!!

I reject any premise that considers porn to be “unsafe” – that is an idiotic presumption. What is going to happen to a child who sees porn? Do their eyes burst into flames? Do they get leukemia? Do they get hit by a bus? Do magic goblin zombies suck their brains out through their ears?

The correct response to someone who plays the “safety” card when it comes to porn is to push them into some train tracks and say “that’s unsafe, not pictures, you blithering idiot”.

That said, I am a parent, and I understand that parents don’t want their kids to watch porn. You know why I don't want my kids to watch porn? Because I am uptight about talking to them about sex right now. It isn’t their problem, and it isn’t the porn company’s problem. It is my problem. Just because I have a stick up my ass about talking about sex with my kids doesn’t give me the right to jam that stick up the ass of my fellow citizens who might be a little better at parenting than me, does it?

The measure itself is stupid. This Baroness seems to think that by requiring a credit card to access porn sites, it will keep the precious youngsters from watching fuck films. Good luck with that.

When I was a young teenager, I wanted to look at skin mags. I couldn’t buy them because I was under 18. I still got them — quite easily. Do you think there is a 16 year old out there who doesn’t know about prepaid credit cards? Or who can’t find another way to circumvent this? At the very least, even if the UK lost its mind and completely banned porn, there is this place called “the rest of the world,” and they’ll be able to access it. Is the UK really prepared to build an unassailable firewall around its rain-soaked islands in order to ensure that no children get absorbed by the sexual gelatinous cubes of porn movies? (Is there Gelatinous Cube Porn? If it does not exist yet, fix that before we have a Rule 34 violation!)

Every time you hear someone come up with one of these measures, you need to realize that the real mission is to try and ban porn altogether. That comes either from stick-up-their-butt religious zealots or stick-up-their-butt feminists. Nobody else cares enough to try and push through laws about it.

The religious zealots should realize that they’re losing.

When I was a kid, I spanked it to porn. Then, they told me it was time for my Confirmation (I used to be Catholic). Then I thought “if I’m not old enough to legally make a decision about buying magazines with boobs in them, then maybe I’m not old enough to make a decision about my eternal soul.” So I waited until I was 18 to make that decision — figuring that the maturity to look at pictures of boobs was at least equal to the maturity required to made decisions about where my immortal hard drive would be uploaded for all eternity. By the time I was 18, I figured out they were lying about masturbation making me insane and sending me to hell. So, I started questioning everything they told me, and I figured out that their whole religion didn't make any freakin sense.

So, I suppose, thank goodness for the laws “protecting me” from pornography at that age, because they also protected me from throwing in with a bunch of child raping charlatans. (If only Pope Francis were the Bishop of Rome at that time, I might have stuck around for the Liberation Theology).

As far as the regressive-sex-negative-feminist angle goes (as opposed to sex-positive feminists… who can very much live alongside porn), it is equally absurd and relies upon just as pernicious fiction as anything from the religious zealots. This group's objection to porn is based in a few foolish theories. They think that if a guy looks at pictures of boobs, he’s going to think that porn is reality and/or be possessed by the testosterone demon and will go out and rape someone.

That is a gross over-simplification of the theory behind the anti-pornography "civil rights" ordinance in Indianapolis that was struck down in American Booksellers v. Hudnut, 771 F.2d 323 (7th Cir. 1985). MacKinnon and Dworkin decided that their perpetual victim machine required a porn ban. But, you can't ban porn outright with the First Amendment hanging around, so they said that porn made us have bad thoughts, thus anyone who made porn was responsible for those bad thoughts. Constitutional? Not so much.

If they paid attention to annoying sexist things like “facts,” they would realize that anyone mature enough to tell that The Terminator is not real is also mature enough to know acting when he sees it in porn. The fact is, porn-tolerance has a positive correlation to a drop in sexual violence. You know when a guy is LEAST likely to rape anyone? Five seconds after he blows a load from whacking it to teletubbies porn or whatever he's into.

Now yes, I will agree that if you watch porn all the time as a kid, it might give you some madcap up ideas about sex. Back in my day, vaginas had this stuff on them we called "pubic hair." I had seen girls' vaginas my whole life, but it was usually while playing my favorite game (then and now) "show me yours, and I'll show you mine." Having only seen the real thing on girls my age (at the time) which was pre-pubescent, I was under the impression that the vaginas I was seeing were "larval stage" vaginas, and once they went through the pupal stage, the vagina healed over and just became this flat thing. It did not occur to me that it was just public pubic hair.

So, if you imagine my poor little mind with that misunderstanding of female anatomy, you can imagine how many other confused ideas were in my head by the time I actually got into my teenage years and got to the real live thing… my head was a mental petri dish of confusion and bizarre ideas.

You know how long my messed up and confused ideas lasted?

For about 5 minutes after I actually got a test drive with a real live girl.

You see, girls will tell you "no, I don't like that" or "yeah, that feels good." If you pay attention, even a little bit, you get to do it again. Just like the monkey getting the grape in the cage.

Now its not all fun and games — you need some ground work to get there. So, here's how you keep porn from being "dangerous."

If you have a boy, you need to make sure that he gets along with and loves his mother. You know why? Because she's a human being, just like that girl he is eventually going to be finger banging in the car. So, if he has developed any kind of healthy relationship with his mother, he will realize that when he finally gets to play with a vagina, he will understand that it is not a disembodied toy … but a rather important part of an actual human being. Thus, he will want that human being to express her preferences, and he'll be a decent guy. If you're a parent, and your son disrespects little girls, you straighten his ass out the first chance you get.

My son tried to kiss a little girl one time, and she didn't want him to. He tried again and she slugged him. He started wailing. Both mothers ran over. Hers ran over to yell at her, and his ran over to comfort him. I said "stay the hell out of it, the sooner he learns this lesson, the better off he and everyone else will be." Lesson learned. Yeah, you gotta teach your son to respect women. If he also (hopefully much later) wants to jerk off to pictures of them, so what? Build that respect in him, as part of making him a "real man," and he can jerk off to anything and watch anything and he's not crossing that line. Fail to teach him that, and he can read nothing but "the selected works of Gloria Steinem," and he'll still likely grow up to be a rapist, abuser, or something less horrifying, but still something you don't want him to be.

There… easy. All the dangers of porn washed away in two paragraphs of instruction. Don't screw it up, Dads.

Last 5 posts by Marc Randazza

Comments

  1. Scott Jacobs says

    By the time I was 18, I figured out they were lying about masturbation making me insane and sending me to hell.

    So it was something else that did it? :-D

  2. WDS says

    @Samuel,

    I needed glasses in the 4th grade, but didn't pump my first one off until the 6th. Dogma or not, I don't think the two are related.

  3. Jimmy says

    Human sexuality is icky and we must protect our childerns. War, famine, gore, pestilence, locusts, MTV's The Real World still OK, though.

  4. John Dougan says

    A fine example of closing the barn doors after all the cows have escaped. We have been running a massive uncontrolled experiment in trivially easy porn access since around 1996. About the worst you can say is it might correlate with SJW-ism and related intolerance.

  5. Ken Mitchell says

    Most people will have sex at some time in their lives; if you're even vaguely fortunate, you'll have sex fairly regularly for 40 years or so, with more than one person, and in a variety of positions.

    The vast majority of people won't be murdered, or blown up, or crash an airplane, or die in any of a thousand other cinematically interesting ways.

    So why are action/adventure/horror movies acceptable, but porn is NOT?

  6. SirWired says

    The advice I would give to any parent dreading "the sex talk" is to buy a copy of the sex manual "Guide to Getting It On" and leave it in a place where your impressionable child will "accidentally" find it.

    The book is cheerfully explicit, (but not porn-y) with ink drawings of the concepts it's trying to illustrate. It includes useful things like pictures of all sorts of penises and vaginas so your kid knows that theirs is "normal". Chapters on birth control, consent, positions, pain, dating, orgasms, homosexuality, anatomy, STD's, oral sex, porn, the whole works, all delivered in a tone that is neither too serious or too patronizing.

    Seriously, get a copy (heck, it's useful even if you don't have kids.) It's written for any age, being neither a dry textbook nor something you'd expect to see in Cosmo.

    It's the exact sort of sex-positive information any parent wants to impart to their child, without the mortification of actually having that conversation.

  7. Eddie P says

    I think you glossed over a few key issues related to how modern society conditions us (I've been with more than a few girls that did not give corrective feedback without a lot of encouragement) but that's neither here nor there compared to my gut reaction:

    I really need there to be an answer than moves us away from the status quo of being able to watch a woman felate a horse with relative ease, while not running headlong into all the very real issues described here.

    I don't know if that's possible. I really hope it is.

  8. SirWired says

    As a side-note, when I talk about that book being explicit, I mean it. It is as explicit as any "tasteful" porn movie. (As in, it's not the least bit shy about showing anything and everything, but isn't degrading or exploitive, or explicit for shock value.)

    Your kids are going to find explicit pictures if they want to see them, so it's probably better to have said images delivered in a healthy, sex-positive, and realistic way. (As in, demonstrating the things that actual couples find fun and healthy, instead of just what looks good for cameras.)

  9. SirWired says

    I think you glossed over a few key issues related to how modern society conditions us (I've been with more than a few girls that did not give corrective feedback without a lot of encouragement) but that's neither here nor there compared to my gut reaction:

    I agree that it's not an outlandish thing to say that porn gives many viewers some wrong ideas about sex. Certainly many of the common positions in porn are used because they make for good camera angles, not because either party particularly enjoys them. The "money shot" is certainly not something must couples enjoy in practice. Most men do not have well-defined abs and an 8+" dick, and most women do not have large breasts at the same time they have a slender waistline, and a near-absence of skin blemishes.

    But most of these issues are self-correcting. A guy that insists on camera-ready positions he's seen in too much porn will quickly figure out that they don't feel very nice to him, and if he continues to insist on them, he's quickly not going to have a girlfriend (dumping is the sort of feedback any girl can provide, no matter how shy!) A boy or girl that rejects every potential partner for not having a porn-star body is not going to get laid very often.

    I'm even willing to concede it is possible that there is more "rough" sex shown in porn vs. women that actually enjoy it, and that some men get the wrong idea and Go Too Far. But I also have a gut feeling that overall, it is a net positive. (Porn can provide a valuable outlet that frees one from the need to try all these things in real life.)

  10. Semper Why says

    Most men do not have well-defined abs and an 8+" dick, and most women do not have large breasts at the same time they have a slender waistline, and a near-absence of skin blemishes.

    You obviously watch better porn than I do. The advent of high definition video brought the phenomenon of ass pimples into disturbing clarity.

  11. SarahW says

    One reason children should not have easy access to pornography is that pornography alters brains developing pathways that can still be kindled to prefer distortion in sexual preference and appetite. It also exploits the peak shift principle (Ramachandran) to artificially heighten stimulation and make normal sexuality seem unsatisfactory by comparison, as one might consider a heroin addict unable to experience ordinary pleasures of life sufficient for existence.

    It affects adults, too, but children are especially impressionable and susceptible.

  12. says

    Today's porn has different effects than what you grew up on. Have you read this page? http://yourbrainonporn.com/research-confirms-sharp-rise-youthful-ed

    That's some high-test bullshit right there. They're just grabbing random studies to try to make their point (several of which actually contradict their point because they clearly didn't read them through). I'll put my trust in people who've actually done thorough meta-studies and shown no harm, thank you.

  13. Solo Atkinson says

    @ SarahW
    One reason children should not have easy access to pornography is that pornography alters brains developing pathways that can still be kindled to prefer distortion in sexual preference and appetite. It also exploits the peak shift principle (Ramachandran) to artificially heighten stimulation and make normal sexuality seem unsatisfactory by comparison, as one might consider a heroin addict unable to experience ordinary pleasures of life sufficient for existence.

    It affects adults, too, but children are especially impressionable and susceptible.

    You've given a good reason why children should not view a lot of porn. Can you argue that they should not see it at all?

  14. Erik says

    "You obviously watch better porn than I do. The advent of high definition video brought the phenomenon of ass pimples into disturbing clarity."

    The expression "eeeew… no 4King way…" has been uttered in our household.

  15. says

    I'm an actual sex therapist & licensed psychotherapist.

    Healthy people who watch porn suffer no consequences. Unhealthy who watch porn feel lonely. Sick people who watch porn are sick. Fortunately, there are very few of them. Restricting porn to prevent sick people from doing sick things is like restricting ice cream because a few people are lactose intolerant.

    Of course most porn consumers know that porn is a fantasy. Nobody expects their girlfriend to blow the pizza delivery guy instead of paying him. Sick people with poor reality testing are going to do sick things whether they watch porn or not. There was plenty of rape 100 years ago before Playboy and the internet.

    Guys who would rather masturbate to porn instead of have sex with their wives don't have a porn problem, they have a marital problem. Most couples with marital problems would much rather fight about porn than talk about sex or their marriage.

    "Porn addiction"? Neuroscientists deny their own studies show it–only people who treat "porn addiction" claim the studies show it exists.

    For more, see:
    http://www.sexualintelligence.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/your-husband-watches-porn-now-what
    http://www.sexualintelligence.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/no-mabel-you-dont-have-to-compete-with-porn-actresses
    http://www.sexualintelligence.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/want-to-watch-a-lot-of-porn-and-have-good-sex

  16. Erik says

    So many comments in and nobody has made the obvious libertarian snark about Mr. Randazza wanting a progressive society where leaders have all sorts of societal control buttons and knobs at their disposal to play with and yet he hopes they'll only stick to the ones he approves of. Well, good luck with that and all… despite the extensive history of progressives being ruthlessly puritanical when given half a chance (muh prohibition, sexual orientation tolerance in Communist regimes, heck, even the definition of "rape" in Sweden these days, etc). They'll give the zombie-god-on-a-stick crowd a run for their money every time.

  17. Erik says

    @Doc – Nail: hit on head.

    I see the same thing with drugs, drinking (but I repeat myself), gambling, and just about every other vice you can name. People who are reasonably healthy can enjoy these things in moderation. People who are in a state where they feel the need to have some externality to boost them to a "normal" level of contentment are far more prone to becoming reliant on whatever they've found to float their boat.

    But if you get away from blaming the vice, then you have all of the difficult and untidy necessity of examining what caused a person to be so down in the first place – bad parenting, crazy school environments, ridiculous religions, etc. (these are my favorites, there is probably a good list of others)… nope, much more easy to blame cocaine and strippers and casinos and whatnot.

  18. Jahi Rosen says

    TO HAL 1000 – RE: http://yourbrainonporn.com/research-confirms-sharp-rise-youthful-ed"

    HAL "That's some high-test bullshit right there. They're just grabbing random studies to try to make their point (several of which actually contradict their point because they clearly didn't read them through). I'll put my trust in people who've actually done thorough meta-studies and shown no harm, thank you."

    I'm calling bullshit. All the studies are right there including several meta-studies. Since the advent of internet porn, ED rates in men under 40 have risen from about 2% in the early 90's to 27-33% in the last few years. This is irrefutable. So if the article can claim that porn use has cause a decline in rape in the last 20 years, one must also accept that porn use has caused an increase in youthful ED.

    The following page contains articles and videos by about 60 experts (urology professors, urologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, sexologists, MDs) who have successfully treated porn-induced ED and porn-induced loss of sexual desire, The first 10 in the list are studies that have correlated porn use with ED, low libido, less brain activation to sexual images, anorgasmia, delayed ejaculation, and less sexual desire – http://yourbrainonporn.com/porn-induced-ed-media

    The following page lists all the neuroscincee-based studies published on porn users (23 so far). In addition to finding the same brain changes as seen in drug addicts, several studies correlated porn use with sexual problems and less sexual arousal –
    http://pornstudycritiques.com/current-list-of-brain-studies-on-porn-users/

    Also see this new review of the literature – Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update – http://www.mdpi.com/2076-328X/5/3/388/htm

  19. Echo says

    "as opposed to sex-positive feminists… who can very much live alongside porn"

    No, only the non-problematic kind. They like the other stuff, but it forces them to atone by ceremonially sacrificing the occasional James Deen.

  20. Dwight says

    They're Just as Porn-Idiotic Across the Pond

    There was any anyone doubting England's history of propensity for sexual repression? *cough*

    But an FYI this is at least partially imported idiocy. Baroness Shields is an American who received her degrees from Pennsylvania State University and George Washington University (no, neither of those are located in the UK ;) ).

  21. says

    (Is there Gelatinous Cube Porn? If it does not exist yet, fix that before we have a Rule 34 violation!)

    Rule 35: If no porn is found at the moment, it will be made.

    The Rules already account for that, Marc. And don't worry, it does exist. Now please excuse me while I go down a fifth of Scotch to re-suppress the memories of that one really weird D&D session in college.

  22. A.Nagy says

    If people think porn is bad, wait until VR sex stuff starts taking off. Then you can even be a part of Gelatinous Cube e-sex rather than just watching/reading it.

  23. Murphy says

    I have a feeling VR will take a while longer to become popular. Especially for porn.

    It's well suited for some types of gaming but video game porn is rare-ish and mostly awful.

    When the tech has moved on a few generations and photo-realistic real-time jiggle-physics and the VR headsets themselves have improved a bit more I can see it eventually taking off.

  24. Anon for good reason says

    Is there Gelatinous Cube Porn? If it does not exist yet, fix that before we have a Rule 34 violation!

    *shifty-eyed look* 4chan, /h/. Ask for "goo girls".

    Don't ask how I know this.

  25. Richard Smart says

    This:
    ' I said "stay the hell out of it, the sooner he learns this lesson, the better off he and everyone else will be." '
    – was wisdom.

    That said, on careful consideration I'm prepared to believe porn is harmful in the long term. Short term though, I'd also accept your point that someone is least likely to rape "five seconds after he blows a load from whacking it", courtesy porn or otherwise. On the whole I'd agree freedom to use porn should win. Frankly I'll pass. Of course, I'm old, but I passed when a teenager too.

    But it's all a storm in a coffee cup (albeit American Baroness sized). When your local sheriff brings up your sexting teenage daughter on a felony charge of (as a juvenile) of creating and possessing porn (being a photo of herself, naked, on her cell phone), and another charge (as an adult) distributing that porn (to her bff), then you as a nation are poorly placed to worry about britannic wowsers getting their knickers in a twist over people without knickers. Even if the teen in question is allowed to plead to a lesser misdemeanour involving loss of cell phone, monitoring, etc.

  26. Dwight says

    But it's all a storm in a coffee cup (albeit American Baroness sized). [/"the country live in does stupid, prude stuff so STFU", that ignores this is acknowledge, snipped]

    My opinion is that it is more than a tempest in a tepid suspension tumbler when talk turns to erecting international Internet walls, a requirement of a functional attempt at implementation, on some arbitrary "pr0n" basis. Or on any basis for that matter.

  27. Derrill says

    You've got your own tablet now, and while I have the technical expertise to do so, I can't be arsed to police what you view online. I'm going to tell you just this once: there's stuff out there which will leave you confused, or even upset. So tread carefully, and come talk to me when you want. I have no problem talking about it, and will answer any questions you have.

    What can I say, I'm weird like that.

  28. Richard Smart says

    Dear Dwight,
    It's hard to discern the argument you made but STFU is a fairly negative sort of acronym so I'm going to assume that your post above was a criticism.

    Just to be clear about one small point: I am not British, I cannot say I have never been British, but none of my ancestors for the last five generations were British, I do not live in Britain, and last I heard the 1962 Nationality act barred me from living in Britain, never mind subsequent developments.

    The existence of prudes in Britain is well-documented and not newsworthy. That they should attempt to erect international internet walls, while regrettable, is in my opinion not a priority compared to the way the US has become a nation not of men but of laws.

    By that I mean there is an irreducible conflict between crime control and due process – too many laws making too many criminals, so as a practical matter the US makes the laws' application uncertain – otherwise they would have to lock up the entire citizenry.

    The example given of a sexting teen was intended to remind you that with plea bargaining, innocent men and women are being criminalized because the consequences of trial on even the most ridiculous charges are too awful to contemplate. It was not intended to draw invidious comparisons between the United States and the United Kingdom, any more than Mr Randazza's original article. I have no brief for either nation, and have nothing to do with either.

    To give one further example: Mr Randazza was right to suggest that masturbation to porn is better than leaving potential sex criminals no outlet for their urges. But the flip side of that particular coin is that a person with demonstrably no interest in porn can have that used against him in court – a prosecutor can adduce it as evidence that "These conditions could create abnormal sexual behaviour."

    If you think I am joking, I assure you I am not: Canadian teacher Neil Bantleman has just been sentenced to 10 years in an Indonesian jail on precisely that evidence by the Supreme Court, overturning acquittal by the High Court. The US Ambassador was understandably disappointed by the decision (I'm not sure why he's involved).

    Obviously, whether or not Bantleman is actually guilty of raping boys, to rely on the converse of Randazza's point is silly. But a so-called sexologist (Dr Naek L. Tobing) did:
    "[he] gave evidence to the Jakarta District Court last year that Bantleman only had sex with his wife once a week, when the "norm" was every day or two to three times a week".

    That is almost as silly as making a felon of a sexting juvenile girl, and much more worthy of attention than silly British laws which haven't a prayer of actually being enforced.

  29. Dwight says

    >> It's hard to discern the argument you made but STFU is a fairly negative sort of acronym…

    Yeah, my apologies. It was poorly phrased. My editor has been sacked and replaced! Does this rephrase to help?

    [/snipped "the country you live in does stupid, prude stuff to so STFU" argument, that ignores this was already acknowledged by Marc]

    Yes it is a negative sort of acronym which in my opinion made it a great selection for use in a paraphrase of the rest of your post.

    That they should attempt to erect international internet walls, while regrettable, is in my opinion not a priority compared to the way the US has become a nation not of men but of laws.

    By that I mean there is an irreducible conflict between crime control and due process – too many laws making too many criminals, so as a practical matter the US makes the laws' application uncertain – otherwise they would have to lock up the entire citizenry.

    But underneath that's the same topic as Marc is talking about here. It is creating an illegality of pr0n. Though not blanket prohibition it does create regulation that in turn will have penalties attached and even sets the stage for criminal activity for minors.

    Maybe you don't see it as a priority because you do not live in the UK? It is happening somewhere else so who cares? But my world happens to be bigger than that. Not that I actually live in the UK or even am likely to visit there. But humans do and I have empathy for and care about humans. There's even a little bit of self interest, if that's the angle what turns you crank, as it would be great to NOT have such attitudes build too much momentum in the not-so-distant UK to have it come crashing down upon these shores and pile on top of issues you mention.

    Or if you might some day hop on a plane to the UK and get caught up Neil Bantleman-style, particularly if you have a curious/horny prodigy accompanying you.

    Truthfully I'm not sure what is going on with your posts. Rereading them now you seem all over the map? Is this a single action item fallacy (not sure of the correct terminology, maybe someone can help) where the template is something like "you have no business complaining about the poor service at Denny's when there are children starving in Africa". Obviously a twist on the overseas angle here, but you follow? Dismissing discussion of something by tangentially leaping to something else that [you feel] is a higher priority.

    On the Internet this might also be referred to as a thread hijack.

  30. Richard Smart says

    Dear Dwight,
    I've no idea what a "single action item fallacy" might be, but "Dismissing discussion of something by tangentially leaping to something else" sounds like what I would call a 'straw man' argument.

    Attempting to be concise here, in my view imposing a credit card filing before allowing porn to be viewed is annoying but comparatively harmless. Suppose I were indeed to hop on a plane to the UK with a "curious/horny prodigy". Since my progeny are curious, occasionally horny, and absolutely prodigious, that's a real possibility. However they are also adults so can use their own credit cards, duh.

    Will Shields' law 'set the stage for criminal activity for minors?' Perhaps it will cause children to use details of their parents' credit cards, but that is not illegal. In particular, it is not theft (the owner is not permanently deprived of the card). It is not use of a document for pecuniary advantage (there's no suggestion money will change hands). It might possibly be conversion, or fraudulent use of a document, but I doubt it, and good luck getting a parent to file a complaint against their child for that.

    Otherwise Shields' shield matters little. The other arguments I've heard against it are frankly a reach. Her opponents worry that this will 'normalise' online ID checks, for example. Frankly no UK government needs an excuse to do that, other things are already pushing in that direction, and the great unwashed will wriggle their way around such things the way they always have. If it actually becomes oppressive, the silly buggers trying it on will be out of office, as Thatcher discovered with her 'community charge' (a poll tax). And as to the effect of the law 'crashing down on these [US?] shores', I'd suggest the United States is quite capable of looking after itself.

    To reiterate: You are welcome to take time out to fear having your credit card details misused, or the silliness of an (American) Baroness in HM governent. But I'd say you should be concerned with far worse things happening closer to home. My point was emphatically not to refute the position Mr Randazza's screed takes – that the UK can be quite as censorious as the US. So not a straw man.

    As it happens, I agree, so accusing me of such a thing wounds me terribly – though not as much as seeming to be "all over the map." If I explained at length that I was not born in the UK nor subject to its jurisdiction, it was to address your implication that I was.

  31. Niall says

    Marc,

    Thank you for a wonderful example of one of my two favouritest typos. "Public hair", indeed.