Wednesday 22 June 2011

Loitering With Potential To Commit Thought Crime Now An Offence In New York

Perhaps because New York is such an astoundingly illiberal place these days is the reason that this three week old story didn't attract much worldwide attention. It just doesn't come as much of a surprise anymore.

The police may not be ticketing for smoking in the parks, but they are still ticketing parker visitors for crimes like...eating a doughnut in a playground. Yup, this weekend the police gave two young women in Bed-Stuy summonses for eating doughnuts in a playground while unaccompanied by a minor.

"This cop attempted to be sympathetic. He proceeded to tell us that he was trying to be a gentleman by just giving us summonses instead of taking us in for questioning, because that was what “they” wanted him to do.

Finally, we were given our summonses and were free to go. Because we hadn’t been drinking alcohol or urinating in public, we do not have the option of pleading guilty by mail. Not that I am planning on pleading guilty. But either way, we have to show up in court or a warrant will be issued for our arrest."
It's incredibly sad that the main objection in the linked article is that the police should have just 'moved them on' instead of issuing a ticket. Not that the law itself should quite simply not be in place at all!

There was a time when one of life's pleasures for many was sitting in a sunny park taking in all of the relaxing atmosphere. The open space, breeze, birds, greenery, and yes, the sight and sounds of kids happily playing. Now it is an offence in New York, punishable by a fine and - presumably the next step if one refuses to pay on principle - imprisonment. And don't ever think the same can't happen here, either.

The only 'crime' or misdemeanour committed in this case is to have contravened an ordnance constructed by the state to tackle a problem that simply doesn't exist. Punishing people for sitting watching kids playing is dangerously legitimising 'thought crime' as a concept - the criminalisation of someone having mucky thoughts while in a park.

In this case, however, it goes even further than that. The women in question were punished because there was just the potential for them to have mucky thoughts; that they might commit a thought crime so they must be moved to a place where that temptation doesn't occur.

Because, you see, every adult - male or female - has this uncontrollable urge to fuck an 8 year old if they see them having fun on a climbing frame, don't they?

The only disgusting people I can see in this story are the filthy-minded perverts whose imaginings default to paedophilia over something as innocent as just enjoying a coffee and a doughnut while watching kids play.

And before anyone pulls the puerile "how would you feel if it were your kids" argument. It wouldn't bother me in the slightest if someone watched my two in the park then went home and emptied a box of kleenex at the thought. If for no other reason than I would be none the bloody wiser, as would the little Ps.

If they attempted to abduct them, on the other hand - an occurrence so rare that I'd be just as likely to win the lottery - that's when I'd cut their balls off.



Mark Wadsworth said...

That's a good link, that article.

From memory, in the UK 500 kids a year get killed by cars, 200 kids a year drown in paddling pools. 70 are murdered by a relative/parent and ? are murdered by strange adults. How many is ?, I think somewhere between 0 and 5.

Anonymous said...

It just beggars belief that this is where we are

Ian R Thorpe said...

Things are going from bad to worse in Obamaland. My friends over there tell me the social atmosphere is terrible.

Did anyone else see the article by airhead fashion writer Hadley Freeman on CiF this morning about how New York just HAD to pass the law for same sex marriage.

As they already have same sex civil partnerships and the'liberals' were the ones who screamed loudest and longest about separation of church and state when someone suggested morning prayers in schools, doesn'y the hypocrisy leave you gobsmacked. If an independent church has a congregation that does not support same sex marriage the state must intervene but the rights of churchgoers must never be reespected.

Sir Henry Morgan said...

An average of 3, Mark. It has been a constant figure since the early 1950s

Dick Puddlecote said...

MW: The stats in that link say there's a one in 12 million chance of a child being abducted by a stranger in the US, though I suppose one would have to buy the book to find out where it comes from. We have a child population of around that.

Sir Henry's figure could well be correct. I do know that despite the child population increasing by around 20% IIRC, paedophilia cases have remained constant since the 70s.

Yet talk to any scaremongered parent and mention how we used to walk home on our own without problem, and I guarantee they will reply with something like "but it was much safer then" or "there weren't as many cars in them days" (there are also far fewer child injuries and fatalities attributable to cars nowadays).

Anonymous said...

SF, CA has a similar law that prohibits being in a playground area unless accompanied by children, on top of the general outdoor smoking ban in all parks and on sidewalks anywhere in the city.

Often in huge open expanses of park areas, where a playground happens to be inside the park and visibly way out in the open, with parents and children happily frolicking about, there are green and white signs circling the perimeters reminding people of the law so that nobody comes even close and sits on one of the benches.

I do not know what the penalties are, but since it's a law, then certainly it prescribes a penalty for violation, probably a fine and possibly jail time if anyone suggests to an arresting cop there's no thought crime in process, since that would be construed as obstructing police duties.

The signs have been up in SF playgrounds for so many years now, they are to the point of looking weather worn and faded.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I'm losing all sense of reality. I thought they were in trouble for eating doughnuts in front of children....

Anonymous said...

That too, another crime, eating doughnuts in front of children. What were those two thinking!

Dick Puddlecote said...

Lleweton: Good point. Perhaps that's the real in health-obsessed Bloomberg's New York.

JuliaM said...

Except you wouldn't need to 'cut their balls off'. These were two women.

And female paedos are far, far rarer than the males (and they aren't common, despite lurid 'Daily Mail' headlines), so why was idiot cop even thinking this?

Anonymous said...

"Sitting on a park bench
Eyeing little girls with bad intent"

That Ian Anderson had better not travel to the US. He'll be locked up for inciting kiddy-fiddling.


FFS, and to think I actually considered going to live in the US.

Anonymous said...

I think that we should sit back and simply be amused at the antics of the Yanks - think of prohibition. The sillier they get, the better, and the sooner they get sillier, the better. The reservoir incident is a case in point. We really do need some Yankee state to empty a reservoir because a fag end was found in it - and then empty it again the next day - and the day after. They need to be seen to becoming stupider and stupider. Eventually, the more intelligent yanks will wake up - but do not expect it soon!

Anonymous said...

Don't we have similar on our books here, and for a long time. I'm sure 'Loitering with intent' has been around for a while. Not very often used as I'm sure it's difficult to prove but there nonetheless.

You'd have to be a zealot to use it, anyway, and no doubt would limit your promotion prospects.

Anonymous said...

America! Land of the free!

Good job the cops weren't around when Washington was wandering in the orchard with his little chopper in his hand.

It will take a long time, but eventually the people will revolt.

It always happens that the disparity between the ruling elite and the proles gets too vast to sustain.

So a Lord texting on his mobile whilst killing a serf with his car gets a week in the open holiday camp - err, sorry - nick, then goes straight back to Lording with no stigma attached. A prole standing somewhere that the State disallows gets a fine and a criminal record.

It's quite a big gap in social justice, but not yet big enough.

Of course, when all the poverty resulting from Labour, climate change and Green policies comes home to roost, the proles won't be too bothered about maintaining their station life anyway...

I am Stan said...

"Sitting on a park bench
Eyeing little girls with bad intent"

"Snot running down his nose, greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes, ohh aqualung" hehe great song!

Hi Henry, Mr P, as a grown man I`m now very reluctant to communicate or even look at anyone who looks under 21 including relatives and friends offspring, my squeeze thought I was being foolish but I explained to her how easy it is now to be branded for life as a you know what by parents, the state, youngsters themselves or onlookers, over time she has come to agree with me, its just not worth the risk.

Starship Fighter said...

I am close to weeping with despair at this sort of nonsense. It seems like it must be some sort of plan to maintain a distance between all adults and children with the exception of immediate family, and keep both groups in a heightened state of fear and suspicion of the other. If my daughter fell and was crying in a playground I would like to think that the nearest adult would comfort her - as I would like to think I would do to any child I encountered in a similar state. Thoughts of her being scooped up and carried away to a dingy transit van with tinted windows would - and indeed should - be the furthest thing from responsible adult's thoughts, and yet it seems more and more likely that this is the default attitude that THEY would have us resort to.
Can we turn every adult into a potential kiddie fiddler? YES WE CAN!

Anonymous said...

An element of this culture is the cult-like process which ends in recovered ‘memory’ of historic sexual abuse, often during therapy or hypnosis or through the influence of self-help books. Thousands of innocent families have been destroyed here in the UK, in America and in many other places across the world. For more information see the British False Memory Society site .

Paul said...

llewton: I can see a huge potential there for the abusers to claim that the memories are false when they are genuine, but deeply buried. You often get that in child abuse cases in that the memories are so deeply hidden away so that the victimised person can protect themselves.

It's an area that needs to be dealt with very carefully for obvious reasons. At the end of the day, if there's no proof it's down to speculation.

Anonymous said...

False memory syndrome is bad enough, but there are theories even worse that have been abused by so called experts. Take a look at this case.

Anonymous said...

Paul, your point is put very reasonably but may I suggest you take a look at the website of the British False Memory Society and maybe check on the membership of its very distinguished Scientific and Advisory Board. You may also care to look at the landmark Brandon report, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in April 1998 which includes the statement: 'The problem following most forms of trauma is an inability to forget, rather than a complete expulsion from awareness, and amnesia for violent events is rare.' On the subject of proof, of course it is very difficult to prove a negative: to prove innocence, but there have been cases where people have been clearly exonerated and other cases where the accuser has retracted the allegation and reconciliation has followed.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, thank you for the link above. I have not read through all of it yet but I think that it reflects a change of emphasis on the issue of burden of proof in this area in recent years, where an accused person has, in effect, to prove his innocence, rather than the prosecution prove his guilt. A very good example is included in the April, 2011 issue of the BFMS Newsletter, which can be read on the Society's website, on page 10, under the heading: "Let Go? Never!'