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Comic book collector given 15 years in prison for owning japanese lolicon manga

U.S. Manga Obscenity Conviction Roils Comics World | Threat Level | Wired.com

For the record, I think this is obscene. No children were harmed in the making of these comics. The courts already overruled laws covering explicit comic depictions of minors engaged in sex acts, but a separate law was passed invoking the always popular, nebulous value of "obscenity."

15 years. Think of all the heinous crimes that carry shorter sentences where actual people have suffered.

What do you think? Should a guy go to prison for 15 years for owning a Japanese comic book when no kids were harmed ever?

In an obscenity first, a U.S. comic book collector has pleaded guilty to importing and possessing Japanese manga books depicting illustrations of child sex abuse and bestiality.

Christopher Handley, described by his lawyer as a “prolific collector” of manga, pleaded guilty last week to mailing obscene matter, and to “possession of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children.” Three other counts were dropped in a plea deal with prosecutors.

The 39-year-old office worker was charged under the 2003 Protect Act, which outlaws cartoons, drawings, sculptures or paintings depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and which lack “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” Handley’s guilty plea makes him the first to be convicted under that law for possessing cartoon art, without any evidence that he also collected or viewed genuine child pornography. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Afghanistan government destroys books it says insult Sunnis

The Associated Press: Afghan gov't destroys books it says insult Sunnis

KABUL (AP) — The Afghan government quietly dumped more than 1,000 Shiite texts and other books from Iran into a river after a local governor complained that their content insulted the country's Sunni majority.

The move appeared to be an attempt by President Hamid Karzai's U.S.-backed government to smooth over a potential thorn in relations between the Muslim sects.

But instead of burying the issue along with the books at the bottom of the Helmand River, the government was facing condemnation Wednesday from Shiite leaders after news leaked a month after the dumping.

"It is a humiliation for all Shiites," said Mohammad Akbari, a prominent Shiite member of parliament. He said a joint commission of Sunni and Shiite leaders should have reviewed any complaints about the books.

May 27, 2009

A 2008 Baton Rouge Daddy-Daughter Purity Ball

2008 Baton Rouge Purity Ball

In Georgia, They Actually Have Racially Segregated Proms

In Georgia, Segregation Endures on Prom Night - NYTimes.com

Racially segregated proms have been held in Montgomery County — where about two-thirds of the population is white — almost every year since its schools were integrated in 1971. Such proms are, by many accounts, longstanding traditions in towns across the rural South, though in recent years a number of communities have successfully pushed for change. When the actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for last year’s first-of-its-kind integrated prom at Charleston High School in Mississippi, his home state, the idea was quickly embraced by students — and rejected by a group of white parents, who held a competing “private” prom. (The effort is the subject of a documentary, “Prom Night in Mississippi,” which will be shown on HBO in July.) The senior proms held by Montgomery County High School students — referred to by many students as “the black-folks prom” and “the white-folks prom” — are organized outside school through student committees with the help of parents. All students are welcome at the black prom, though generally few if any white students show up. The white prom, students say, remains governed by a largely unspoken set of rules about who may come. Black members of the student council say they have asked school administrators about holding a single school-sponsored prom, but that, along with efforts to collaborate with white prom planners, has failed. According to Timothy Wiggs, the outgoing student council president and one of 21 black students graduating this year, “We just never get anywhere with it.” Principal Luke Smith says the school has no plans to sponsor a prom, noting that when it did so in 1995, attendance was poor.

“Most of the students do want to have a prom together,” says Terra Fountain, a white 18-year-old who graduated from Montgomery County High School last year and is now living with her black boyfriend. “But it’s the white parents who say no. … They’re like, if you’re going with the black people, I’m not going to pay for it.”

The whole thing is worth reading.