I'm the first to admit that Phillip Greaves is not the most sympathetic figure in America. Greaves wrote "The Pedophile's Guide," which was originally for sale on Amazon.com before the online retailer bowed to public pressure and pulled the book from its online shelves.
I don't necessarily have a problem with that.
But, I have a big problem with today's developments. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd had Mr. Greaves arrested in Pueblo, Colorado on obscenity charges.
Despite the "real crime" in his jurisdiction, Judd instructed his detectives to request an autographed copy of the book. Mr. Greaves obliged and Judd used that as his justification for having Greaves indicted on obscenity charges in his little caliphate of inbred-methistan.
Greaves told ABC News last month he wasn't trying to promote pedophilia and was not himself a pedophile: "I'm not saying I want them around children, I'm saying if they're there, that's how I want them to [behave]." (source)
The implications of this arrest should outrage you far more than any child molestation incident. That is not to minimize child molestation, nor is it me just trying to be provocative. If a child gets molested, our republic stands. If petty little white-trash sheriffs like Grady Judd can find a book they don't like and have the author hauled off to jail for it, the First Amendment means nothing. Judd's offense is compounded by the fact that Mr. Greaves does not live in Florida and has no connection to Polk County except that he mailed a book there at the express request of a law enforcement officer who was clearly trying to manufacture jurisdiction.
Judd made his disdain for the constitution abundantly clear.
Judd said he was frustrated that Greaves' book was protected under freedom of speech laws, even though it was created "specifically to teach people how to sexually molest and rape children."
"There may be nothing that the other 49 states can do, but there is something that the state of Florida can do ... to make sure we prosecute Philip Greaves for his manifesto," Judd said. (source)
I hope that Mr. Greaves can afford a spirited defense to his extradition. If he winds up having to face these charges in Polk County, I can't imagine his defense lawyers being able to find jurors with the intellect or the ethics to stand up for the First Amendment. Naturally, I would imagine that a conviction will be overturned on appeal - but only after he spends a significant amount of time in jail awaiting that happy day.
And in the meantime, your Constitution will sit in that jail cell with him.
Anyone who is inclined to lack sympathy for Mr. Greaves should set that aside. I don't ask you to care about Mr. Greaves. I ask you to care about your constitution. I ask you to realize what his happening in this case.
This is the same foul pig who locked up Chris Wilson for publishing photos sent to him by U.S. troops in Iraq. This is the same backward jurisdiction where a guy who said "shit" because he was going to jail got 179 days for that transgression. This is where a guy who took photos of consenting adults, at their request, for their own personal use, was pursued relentlessly for obscenity charges. This jurisdiction saw a 15 year old arrested for farting. Another kid was arrested for taking photos of a traffic light. Before all that, when an adult entertainment performer called the cops because she was being stalked, she wound being charged with obscenity.
Just like censorship minded swine from Anthony Comstock to Katherine MacKinnon, Grady Judd is obsessed with the power that comes from wielding the censor's cane.
If we let him get away with it, we all lose something precious.