February 19th, 2008


Finally... a study that says something rational about online sexual predators.

Question:  How do adult sexual offenders find their teenage victims over the internet?

Answer: They usually flirt with each other, express mutual sexual curiosity, and, oftentimes, fall in love.

The typical online sexual predator is not someone posing as a teen to lure unsuspecting victims into face-to-face meetings that result in violent rapes, U.S. researchers said on Monday. Rather, they tend to be adults who make their intentions of a sexual encounter quite plain to vulnerable young teens who often believe they are in love with the predator, they said.

And contrary to the concerns of parents and state attorneys general, they found social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace do not appear to expose teens to greater risks. . . . Instead. . . . most cases arise from risky online interactions such as talking online about sex to strangers.

"The great majority of cases we have seen involved young teenagers, mostly 13-, 14-, 15-year-old girls who are targeted by adults on the Internet who are straightforward about being interested in sex" . . . . 
They found Internet offenders pretended to be teenagers in only 5 percent of the crimes studied. They also found nearly 75 percent of victims who met their offenders in person did so on more than one occasion.

Wolak said Internet predators use instant messages, e-mail and chat rooms to meet and develop intimate relationships with their victims. "From the perspective of the victim, these are romances," she said.

Wolak said teens who engaged in risky online behaviors -- having buddy lists that included strangers, discussing sex online with strangers, being rude online -- were much more likely to be targeted.


So, just maybe, these predatory "anti-sexual predator" groups that seek to strongarm internet startups and tell them how they should run their business will change their approach and start calling for parents to take an active role in raising responsible children, right?!

So, what is the correct legal procedure for legislating the behavior of a highly sexual thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen-year-old with raging hormones?

Admittedly, the judgement, maturity, and self-esteem of many young teens is highly questionable... but I also know that many of them know *EXACTLY* what's on their minds and what they want, and that they and their older partners are behaving in a manner that, societally, was commonly accepted several centuries ago, and that, biologically, makes perfect sense... regardless of whether its frowned upon by modern society.

So, who should bear the legal responsibility for walking, talking "attractive nuisances", so to speak?

Obama Cheeseheadslide!

Barack Obama has been declared the winner of Wisconsin! With 83% reporting, he has 58% of the vote, as compared to 41% for Clinton. This kind of high margin should only serve to boost Obama's momentum, as it indicates a general failure of Hillary Clinton's negative ad campaign and attacks to gain serious traction, except amongst those who already support her campaign.

Other tasty cheese nuggets of data available about Wisconsin's exit polls:

-  Only 27% made up their minds within the last seven days.

– Change trumps experience, 52 to 24 percent.

– 27% of the electorate were independents

– Clinton was seen as the most unfair attacker

– Obama (55%) was seen as the candidate most likely to improve relations with the rest of the world.

– Clinton and Obama are seen as equally qualified to be commander in chief (50% and 48%), while Obama draws 60% or more on the questions of who best can unite the country and beat the Republicans.

And yet more squeaky-fresh cheese curds to share!


Women favored Obama 51% to Clinton's 49%.

Families with income under 50,000: Obama 51%, Clinton 49%

Independents: Obama 63%, Clinton 34%

Seniors: Clinton 60%, Obama 39%

Union households: Clinton 50%, Obama 49%

Big student turnouts in Milwaukee... predicted 50% turnout for Dane County, home of Madison, WI, which is great news for Obama.

So, Barack Obama has his 9th straight win, and presumably has a win tonight in Hawaii to look forward to. He appears to have the kind of support from women, lower income voters, and labor that he will need as his campaign moves on to Ohio.