Thursday, August 26, 2010

Being a spoon...more about the "terror mosque".

So the chapter of Romans 13 (specifically, verses 1-7) has always been a serious item of contention amongst me and a certain cousin of mine, namely because he wants to be a cop and I generally can't stand the mere thought of them.

It reads as follows:
"1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."

The United States Constitution is, like it or not, the highest law of the land as far as our worldly legal system is concerned. Within the first ten amendments known as the Bill of Rights, we have the Fifth Amendment.

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Pay close attention to the specific clause of "due process of law", and then read the First Amendment. It reads:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Our founding fathers recognized that those who first migrated to America from their native England did so out of a desire to escape religious persecution. Not for a disbelief in Christ, but for failing to believe in Christ as those in government said they should. As such, they installed a freedom of religion as the very first amendment to the United States Constitution.

Now let's revisit the idea of suggesting that "someone" should do "something" to stop the building of a mosque a few blocks away from the former site of the World Trade Center towers. Honestly, what do you think is going to happen, if you can't convince the planners of this mosque to move elsewhere?

Will you sign petitions and forward them to your congressman, in hopes that they will violate the constitution and prohibit the building of a Muslim community center on private property, knowing that doing so violates the commandments of the bible?

Like it or not, we DO live in America. You may disagree with the Muslim religion. You may think it's "insensitive" to build such a thing within a few blocks of "9/11 ground zero"...and three strip joints and a Burger King. You may think that an Islamic community center shouldn't be allowed because that particular religion preaches as much violence as the Old Testament.

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can be lawfully done to stop it, and demanding that something actually be legally done to stop it is in direct conflict with both the United States Constitution and the Judeo-Christian bible.

Welcome to America. Love it, leave it, or attempt to change it through a constitutional amendment.

That being said, please allow me to leave you with another piece of scripture, from Matthews 7, as it also happens to be one of the many passages often quoted by my cousin.

1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

6"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

While some may refer to verse 6, and suggest that the bible commands us not to discuss things with those who are incapable of understanding, I prefer to invoke verses 7-11. Feel free to read them on your own, and come to your own conclusions.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In response to a critic, and a monopoly on Salvation...

Oh, there are just so many things running through my mind right now. Where to start?

First off, let's get something straight right now. Like it or not, you have said that you feel my mother should be executed, regardless of whether you meant it (or even realized it). While true, you did not use those specific words, you most certainly did express this opinion...and have done so numerous times.

You see, I live in a world of "black and white" when it comes to "right and wrong", I do not accept any notion of a grey area. Either it is what it is, or it simply isn't. If action A is tantamount to action B, and action B warrants response C, then committing action A warrants response C.

Numerous times, I have heard you (as well as both of your sons, and even your own mother!) say they are in full support of capital punishment as the natural and justified punishment for the act of murder. Believe it or not, I actually agree with this, albeit only in theory...simply because of the way it's carried out, but that's a different story.

However, where I differ from the four of you would be the notion that a soul can exist within a human body in the absence of the ability of basic cognitive self-awareness. Everyone knows that a human person's life starts out as a fertilized egg, otherwise known as "conception". I hold a seriously different opinion as to what constitutes a "person". A fetus without a mind is, in my not-so-humble opinion, an "incomplete" human being. It has no mind, therefore it has no soul. As such, it is not a person in my eyes.

The act of murder, throughout the course of written history, has consistently been defined as the unjustified killing of a living person (or, "individual"). In fact, until the lobby funded by religious zealots hijacked our state legislature a few years back, an "individual" was defined as a "human person that has been born and has breathed". For more than a hundred years (essentially, since the time of our state's penal code first being written), this was the accepted view...and the people of the State of Texas accepted it not only because it has a longstanding tradition in the English Common Law that our laws are derived from, but also because it is alluded to in the Old Testament of our bibles that much of English Common Law is derived from.

As Christians, you and I both know that there is no sin greater or worse than another before the eyes of God. However, when we blur the lines between the eyes of God and the laws of man, we begin to run into problems. Personally, I feel that abortion is a sin of irresponsibility before God, but does not equate to the crime of murder before the laws of man. You have expressed a drastically different view, when you have expressed the opinion on numerous occasions that a fetus is a "person" and abortion is "murder".

If you express that opinion, as well as the opinion that the death penalty is a just response to a murder, you are by default expressing the opinion that those who have abortions should be put to death for the crime of killing a fetus. It's simple logic. If A = B, and B warrants C, then A also warrants C.

I am, however, not truly offended by your expression of this opinion. What did (and honestly, still does) offend me is the fact that you have acted like you haven't expressed this opinion. It truly feels like you're saying that you don't (or, at least, didn't) feel this way when you said these things. Our family has always prided ourselves in being straight-shooters who tell it like it is, and yet, I personally feel like there's backpedaling when it deals with a discussion amongst a relative when it involves someone close to him. That, honestly, offended me more than the thought of you thinking my mother was worthy of execution...the fact that the rules could be bent if it was someone we knew, because such thinking lends itself to the idea that one person is somehow "more equal" than another.

I do not intend to quit attending a baptist church, as one of the basic tenets of the Baptist church is the "Priesthood of Believers". As Baptists, we are not defined strictly to the dogma of the Southern Baptist Convention, nor are we defined strictly by the opinions and message of our church leadership. We are free to have our own opinions. The church may choose to express their affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention and, by doing so, adopt their official positions...but the individual is still free to worship God as we see proper. However, this does not mean I won't necessarily stop going to a Baptist church, in the event that the particular church preaches a message my conscience does not agree with. There is a reason I won't set foot inside First Baptist of Angleton, TX unless it's for a wedding, funeral, or a special occasion for my grandmother. The moment I hear a pastor calling my mother a murderer, you can bet dollars to donuts that my happy ass is walking out the door.

Moving right along, let's move on to point #2. The notion that you and Habib Q. Muslim somehow don't worship the same God. As much as I'm sure it pains you to read this, you actually do. The three major monotheistic religions are based upon the agreement between God and Abraham...and all three pray to the same One True God.

In Judaism, you have the beginning. Abraham gave rise to the nation of Israel, via his son Isaac. In Christianity, a Jewish carpenter is worshiped as the son of God. In Islam, the bastard son of Abraham was cast out of his father's home, along with his mother, and this gave rise to the Muslim religion.

In reading the Koran, I have come across three basic points.
A) Jesus was a messenger of God, was the only sinless man to have ever lived (not even Muhammad claims this title!), and ascended straight to heaven.
B) Mary is a revered figure, and actually has an entire book in the Koran devoted to her.
C) The One True God of Abraham is to be worshiped.

So yes, "they" worship the same God as you do, "they" simply have a difference of opinion.

Now, on to point three. I must say, what really pissed me off more than anything I've ever heard you or any other member of my family say (and that's saying a lot, considering that a person's opinions honestly don't really bother me that much and never truly have, and we've had some serious disagreements about very fundamental things) is the notion that maybe, if I'm really lucky, I can have the same salvation you have.

Seriously, do your personal opinions give you a greater insight into God? Do I not get to enter the kingdom of Heaven, because I don't hold the same feelings you do? Will God damn me to hell, because I don't stand in condemnation of certain brown people who wear towels on their heads and pray to Him in a different manner and a different language than you and I do? My God did not teach me to hate, stand in judgment of others, or condemn those who don't pray to Him like I do.

I will, until the day I die, defend your right to make such statements. However, I also reserve my right to express my utmost disapproval of what I feel to be extreme intolerance, toward not only myself, but to so many others. Speaking with the most definite seriousness imaginable, I cannot imagine a greater curse upon another human being, than telling a person that he will not enter Heaven because he does not share your opinions. Our opinions vary, and yet, I do not feel it necessary to question your relationship with God. I hold my own opinions based upon my personal life experiences, and where religion is concerned, my own limited understanding of God. No better, and no worse, than you. I will always love you, but I cannot condone such a curse.

Monday, August 23, 2010

About that mosque at "Ground Zero"...

I still find it funny and just a bit ironic, that people all over America happen to be up in arms over the building of an Islamic "community center" a few blocks away from what used to be the twin towers hit by airplanes on 9/11/01 (and WTC 7, which wasn't actually hit by anything at all, yet still managed to be demolished...but that's a different discussion).

What's really ironic that those who are the most angry about the issue are those who love to raise hell at "Tea Party" events, in response to government infringement upon their private property....and yet, they are more than willing to keep in lock-step with the O'Reilly Factor, when the subject of strange brown people with towels on their heads want to worship God in a manner they don't agree with.

Regardless, this is still America, and we still have certain freedoms. One of them happens to NOT be the right to be "offended" when you find something "insensitive". However, we still have the right to freedom of religion, freedom to own property, et cetera.

While I was born in Texas and baptized in a church belonging to the Southern Baptist Convention, you do not see me raising nine kinds of hell when I hear about a new Baptist Church being built. I don't start protesting when I learned that the church I now attend, which happens to claim being "Baptist-based", says they will be breaking ground on a new Church location so they don't have to worry about renewing the lease on their current space inside a strip mall center. I don't complain, because I go to church to learn about God via the Judeo-Christian bible. The God I choose to worship is a compassionate God, and I have learned this through the reading of my bible.

You see, the only thing my God has ever asked of me is to believe in him, accept him as my God, live my life according to his commandments, and ask his forgiveness when I fail him. Through that, I am granted eternal salvation. Some day I will meet my death and tremble with a fear I have never known before, when I am forced to face the sins of my life, knowing that I knew full-well the difference between right and wrong when I committed those sins. With that being said, God is my judge.

Just the same, God is also the ultimate judge of every man who worships him. You see, my God is the Almighty God of Abraham. He is the same God worshiped by the Jew and the Muslim. Who am I to say that they are wrong, when their holy scriptures say otherwise?

Regardless, let's look back to the building of a mosque a few blocks away from "ground zero", and the fact that there are baptist churches in just about every neighborhood in Brazoria County.

First off, let's not forget that the motivations of "Al Qaeda" were not religious but POLITICAL. Second, let's also remember that the "ground zero mosque" is several blocks away from the location of where the Twin Towers once stood...and in that general area, there are several strip joints and a Burger King. It's not exactly what I'd call "hallowed ground!

Now, let's get back to the fact that this is AMERICA. Last time I checked, the First Amendment doesn't just go away because our country wants to fight an undeclared war on people who pray to God like you do.

Remember when I said that I don't protest Baptist churches being in my near vicinity? You may ask, "why would you be upset about a baptist church being in your neighborhood, if you are a Christian?". Well, I'll tell you.

As of 2000, the Southern Baptist Convention released a resolution declaring death by lethal injection, firing squad, hanging, or any other legalized method of execution in America to be a "legitimate form of punishment". The SBC also declares a fetus to be a human person at the moment of conception, through resolutions dating back to more than six years prior to my birth. If a fetus is considered a "person", and the killing of a "person" is considered murder under Texas law, and the Southern Baptist Convention condones capital punishment, that can only mean one thing.

They support the execution of those who have had abortions.

Considering that my own mother had several abortions between the birth of my younger brother and myself, that makes her a "murderer" in the eyes of the Southern Baptist Convention. Not just a "murderer", but a "serial killer"!

The Southern Baptist Convention wants to kill my mother. I am, believe it or not, deeply offended by this. And yet, I do not stand outside the church I was raised in, holding picket signs because they want to see my own mother strapped to a gurney.

Keep in mind, the planners of the "blocks-away-from-ground-zero mosque" are claiming to promote tolerance amongst various religions, and to steer people away from hatred and violence.

It is sheer ignorance of the utmost kind, to claim that 9/11 had anything to do with "Islamic Extremism", while denying that it was purely politically motivated by a response to our government's foreign policy. It had as much to do with "Islam" as Timothy McVeigh's bombing of the Murrah building had to do with Christianity.

I don't protest about your church wanting to kill my mother. Why do you raise hell about someone wanting to build a church that claims to want to promote tolerance, while saying that Islam is evil, when your own church publicly says they are okay with killing those who go against their religion?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The problem with speaking your mind...

So, today, I was reminded of that one problem which will inevitably occur when a man speaks his mind. He will, naturally, offend someone somewhere...even if it's unintentional.

This happened to me today (again). Those who know me know that I'm not the kind of person to sugar-coat my words, and that I'll simply not say anything if I disagree with someone but think that speaking my mind will offend someone.

Well, the subject matter in question today happens to be the issue of police officers in America, specifically in Texas, and more specifically right here where I live and work. I joked about having a gun in my truck, "because a cop takes up too much space"...not knowing that one of my friend's friends happens to be married to a cop. I feel the way I do about those who wear a badge for several reasons, some personal and some general.

As you read these, please remember that one of my friends that I grew up with happens to be a deputy for the local Sheriff's Office. It was in her bedroom that I sat and watched Full Metal Jacket the night before I shipped off to basic, sipping the beer purchased by her mother at the corner store because I was only 18 years old at the time.

Another good friend of mine also happens to be a deputy, and he's the man who taught me how to shoot. Not just how to take aim and squeeze, but how to really shoot "when it matters". If you've spent more than a week around me, you know how I feel about this, and how grateful I am for this man's instruction. He's been a friend of my family since before I was born, and is one of the few non-relatives in this area that actually knew my mother. Giving a bit of insight into my point of view, he also happened to be the deputy that pulled me out of a holding cell in the Brazoria County Jail to ask how I was doing and if I needed him to call anyone for me, as I was waiting to see a judge after being wrongfully arrested on criminal charges that were later dropped.

I do not automatically have a lack of respect for people that wear a badge, I have an automatic lack of respect for the badge itself due to reasons which will be explained below. My friends run the gamut from preachers to plumbers, convicted dope dealing felons to criminal attorneys who have represented confessed killers, bartenders to missionaries, and yes...even a cop or two. Your chosen profession does not necessarily shape who you are, or determine whether or not I consider you to be a respectable person.

Anyhow, I'm going to state a few things here, and do my best to keep my personal experiences out of it, so that my point of view can be looked at from an objective manner...namely, so that it can't be said that such a point of view is skewed by my personal experiences. That being said, I will list only facts pertaining to police officers, and leave you to form your own opinions after being slightly more educated on the matter.

1) A Law Enforcement Officer's ("LEO") only power is derived from a lawful authority to utilize physical force or threat of physical force, to deprive someone of life, liberty, or property in order to enforce a particular law. Like it or not, there is simply no other power that a police officer possesses, when you get right down to the heart of it. In fact, he is required as a condition of his employment, to use exactly these two methods in order to perform the duties of his job.

2) An LEO's job requirement, as a matter of basic logic, requires him to enforce laws that have criminalized acts which have no actual nameable "victim". While a person may claim that drugs, gambling, prostitution, et cetera are "sinful" or "bad for society", there is simply no natural right for any man to persecute another man for engaging in such acts. Yes, there is a legislated authority for those wearing a state-issued costume and firearm to stop those engaging in such acts, but there is no natural right allowing for the forced compulsion of a man to conform to the moral standards of another, provided that man is not depriving another man of his life, liberty, or property against his will.

3) An LEO's paycheck is derived, much like his powers, from either the use of physical force or the threat of physical force. Granted, he does not go shaking people down for "protection" money like a mobster in order to get paid. Rather, the Law Enforcement Agency (or "LEA") he works for is funded by taxation. Taxation is money taken by force, or threat of force, by those who oppose the payment of taxes for things they do not agree with (obviously, those who agree with taxation pay it voluntarily!). If I work for money, and do not give a cut of this money to the government under their proscribed payment schedule, I will be given one of two punishments (or, potentially, BOTH!) if/when caught by the taxation authorities. Either I will be imprisoned, or I will be told that I must pay the tax I "owe" plus interest penalties. If I refuse to pay taxes, I will be imprisoned. If I resist, I will be forcibly imprisoned. If I resist hard enough, I will be injured or even killed, depending upon the level of resistance I offer.

4) An LEO is not, according to the law, required to enforce the law equally upon all people. The legal concept of "discretion" applies to the majority of the LE professions, including but not limited to police officers, prosecutors, and judges. An LEO may decide to "overlook" a criminal offense, using his "discretion", which is essentially his own personal whims. His "discretion" to act in certain instances is determined by many things, including the actual harm being done to society by a particular act.

Unfortunately, it can also be determined by the LEO's personal prejudices, which are most certainly not limited to the subject's race. They may also include the subject's demeanor, apparent financial status, age, clothing, or even his choice of bumperstickers.

Let's use a few examples, shall we?
A) A 21 year old man gets pulled over for not using a blinker in a dedicated turn lane, 150 yards away from a high school. After he gets pulled over, the officer is looking in his car for items which are in "plain view", and notices a small tablet of a prescription muscle relaxer in the passenger-side floorboard belonging to his wife, who recently underwent surgery. The driver was not under the influence of any intoxicating chemical at the time.

B) An adult male and his adult girlfriend are on a very public, yet otherwise very vacant, beach at 10:30PM on a Tuesday evening in January after celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary at a local seafood restaurant. One thing leads to another, and there are "adult activities" occurring that involve a topless wife and a husband with his fly unzipped. A local patrol officer driving up and down the beach stops to investigate, after seeing this one single car parked on his beat.

C) A small group of well-to-do friends gathers in someone's garage, for a game of quarter-ante poker over a few beers. All five men are well-to-do professionals, homeowners, and otherwise upstanding members of the community. The man hosting this garage poker party took contributions for beer and other refreshments, and those contributions exceeded the costs of those refreshments by four dollars and seventy three cents...but the remainder of the donations was not redistributed amongst the players, because none were concerned about less than a dollar going to "the house". A call to the police station is made when the drinking goes on and the game gets a bit too rowdy, and a policeman is sent to investigate. Upon speaking to the poker-players, he gets the skinny upon the arrangement about everyone chipping in $15 for beer and hotwings every Tuesday evening, and further investigation leads to the officer learning that the homeowner is guilty of "promoting gambling" because he didn't spend the entire $75 on refreshments.

Now, let's look at the possible outcomes of these events, and they may vary depending upon what particular municipality you live in. In every circumstance, NOT A SINGLE NONCONSENSUAL PERSON was "harmed" by any of the actions perpetrated, but all three were violations of the law. In every single instance, the officer could very easily determine that the actor was not engaging in a harmful act, and simply disregard the act. However, depending upon the whims of the officer, the actor could also potentially be in a very bad legal position. Here are the possible outcomes...

A) The person could be charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance in a "Drug-Free Zone", which could not only result in a dope conviction, but also an "enhancement charge" for being within a thousand feet of a school that will potentially double the monetary fine and add an additional five years to the sentence. In addition to this, he would be branded as a "felon", prohibited from ever voting or purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer, or even owning a firearm until five years after the date of final discharge from incarceration or community supervision.

B) Both the husband and wife could be charged with "indecent exposure"...even though the only person seeing them happened to be a random beat cop that pulled up stealthily with his headlights off, on a deserted beach. If either of them had ever had a past conviction under the same statute (say, for instance, he was seen urinating on the side of a highway 30 miles from the nearest town, or she was arrested for baring her breasts at Mardi Gras, and either of them had plead no contest to the charge so he/she could avoid the time and monetary expenses of a jury trial), they would be required to become REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS...even though the officer intentionally turned his lights off to avoid detection by the couple in the car, and there was no one else present on the beach at the time.

C) The owner of the home could be charged with "promotion of gambling", as well as a third party who may have purchased the refreshments, merely because they didn't spend the entirety of the money given for refreshments and did not equally redistribute the leftovers.

Each of these occurrences are but random possibilities, but they remain possible as long as we have such a thing as "officer discretion". Again, the discretion of the officer is essentially left to his personal whims. He may decide to pursue charges based upon his personal prejudices, his past dealings with the actors, et cetera. I personally do not feel that such power should be left in the hands of a man merely because he completed a six-month course at a local community college. Honestly, I don't think that power should be left in the hands of ANYONE, when the actors have harmed absolutely no one.

Remember, these are extreme (and yet, very possible) repercussions of "officer discretion".

4) An LEO has absolutely ZERO right to tell another man how to live his life, if in doing so, the actor does not harm another without consent. An LEO may have "legal authority" to do so, but he has no natural "right" to do so. "Authority" is a concept based upon force, whereas "right" is a concept based upon a natural assumption of Free Will granted by our birthright as members of the human race.

5) An LEO is not required, under force or threat of force, to live by the same set of laws as everyone else. The courts have ruled, in the case of Garrity, that an officer cannot be held criminally liable for admission of crimes made to investigating officers, if he is threatened with termination for not cooperating in the investigation of said alleged crimes. The Garrity case involves a "ticket-fixing" scheme, in which officers where threatened with termination of employment for failure to cooperate with an investigation into the corrupt and illegal acts. Under the 5th Amendment, a person is not legally required to answer questions from a police investigator, if his answers are criminally incriminating. If you do cooperate with any investigation involving crimes committed on duty, any evidence you provide cannot be used against you in a criminal proceeding, provided certain criteria are met.

This differs from those of us in the "real world". For instance, if I am being investigated for stealing from my employer, or offering free goods and services in exchange for sexual favors at the expense of my employer, I may be terminated from my employment AND prosecuted for criminal acts, REGARDLESS of whether I cooperate with a police investigation, as both acts are simultaneously criminal AND grounds for lawful termination of employment. However, if I were a policeman being investigated for stealing cocaine from the evidence locker or ignoring traffic violations in exchange for sexual favors in the backseat of my patrol car, I have the option of accepting termination for admitting to these acts, and invoking my Garrity privileges to avoid criminal prosecution based upon any statements I may make to an investigating officer if my job is threatened for non-cooperation.

Keep in mind, these are just basic generalized facts regarding the institution of Law Enforcement in America, and more specifically the particular area of Texas that I happen to live in. These issues do not even begin to delve into the deep-seated disregard for "mundanes" that we citizens happen to see on a daily basis at the hands of LEOs.


With that being said, I cannot respect the action of becoming an LEO in Texas. I respect the person as an individual, giving him/her at least a modicum of basic human respect (and will likely provide much more respect, provided you have proven yourself worthy), but I do not respect the person's chosen livelihood. To become an LEO in the Great State of Texas, you must assume a legal authority to assert your will upon others using either physical violence or the threat of physical violence, while simultaneously asserting a legally-authorized privilege of immunity from the same laws we live in.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Honestly, what is worse?

When you think of what is more "morally destructive", would it be a photo of a severed left arm left from the blast of a bomb in a mideast warzone, or would it be a pornographic photo of interracial midgets engaged in a threesome that included some garden-fresh produce?

I'm asking, because I think it's an important question. I'll explain why I think so in a bit, but first, I'll go off into a slight tangent about the history of the internets. Circa 1985, the "internet" as the public now knows it, was set loose upon the world. Approximately two minutes later, the first pornographic website appeared on the internet. Today, roughly 1/3 of all internet web pages are pornographic in nature. Everyone and their uncle knows where to look for free porn on the internet.

Now, with that being said, I shall direct your attention to a particular website known as You can click the link all you want, but it won't take you to the website.

You see, this particular website (run by Polk County, Florida resident Christopher Wilson) was overrun by the Polk County Sheriff's Office in 2006 after Mr. Wilson was charged with over 300 misdemeanor counts and one felony count of Florida state "obscenity" law violations. The website's servers were not actually based in Florida, but in the Netherlands, where many such websites are based to get around certain legal restrictions in the "Land of Free Speech" known as America.

NTFU.Com was quite original with the manner in which it operated. It boasted itself on being an "all-amateur" pornography website, and offered a 90-day subscription to its photo galleries upon either the payment of ten US dollars or the uploading of one amateur nude photograph.

Somewhere along the way, a US serviceman overseas got word to Mr. Wilson that it was rather difficult to provide secure payment via credit card from Iraq, as well as being EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to upload amateur pornographic material from a warzone where the government doesn't allow women to participate in combat. Mr. Wilson decided a change was in order, and waived the requirement for payment consisting of nude girlfriend photos or money, in lieu of morbid photos of mangled war casualties.

Typically, internet porn entrepreneurs go untouched in this nation, even when their wares violate existing "obscenity" statutes. That is, until they manage to piss off someone in a position of power. When this occurs, the hand of (in)justice strikes quickly and mightily.

If you happen to be Christopher Wilson, and you've pissed off the Pentagon, you'll be facing more than 300 misdemeanor counts and maybe even a felony charge.

Regardless, I must ask you, what is worse? Is it staring at some chick taking it up the tailpipe while her boyfriend snaps photos, or is it looking at the mangled face of an Iraqi child whose body has been strewn across the street in seventeen different directions because a 40mm grenade detonated against a wall directly behind him?

As I type this, HBO is airing an episode of a "Reality TV" show centered around a whorehouse in Nevada where lonely truckers, virgin geeks, and random old horndogs go to score hookers and booze. The gas station around the corner sells low-budget porn movies from a display next to the beer trough and the beef jerky display. I can find pornography in any flavor I might want, and it's all just a few clicks away...

But God help you, if you decide to trade access to pornographic photos in exchange for uploading images of dead bodies caused by US-made and US-deployed bombs on the other side of the world, because someone might think that gallery of Asian anal midget porn is obscene!