Category ►►► Sex - the Good, the Bad, and the Really Bad
March 9, 2013
Early Warning Censor
Scratch a leftist, find a bluenose censor.
Progressivists love to pose as avant-garde, post-partisan worshippers of free speech; but to the Left, that has always meant only one thing: That everybody has the freedom to espouse leftist positions.
The moment the sinistrosphere captures majority control of any institution, all speech that contradicts the current Party catechism is immediately suppressed, and the speakers assailed as violently as the Left can manage. The Weathermen, the Morituri, ELF, ALF, Greenpeace, Fink Progress, La Raza, the Rainbow Coalition, the CBC, and Eric Holder's Department of Injustice -- none of these is a fluke. To a Progressivist, throttling dissent is just one of those eggs that needs to be broken to make the liberal omlet.
This applies not only to overt speech (always suspect to lefties), but even in the realm of "non-speech" freedom of speech -- everything from dance as speech, to flag-burning, to occupiers, strippers, and every other mechanism of nonverbal communication that leftists normally exalt: The purpose is never to give people of opposing viewpoints any liberty or forum to express their cockamamie opinions; its use is restricted to furthering world socialism.
Nothing could make this clearer than the Left's war on pornography: When Progressivist protesters want to strip naked to demonstrate against fracking, against voter-ID laws, against school choice, and in favor of unfettered abortion right up until a year after the baby is born, that display of naked rage is a sacred right that shall not be infringed. But woe betide models or porn actors who voluntarily choose to display themselves for profit, in print, video, or online; for the Left will clamp down viciously on such unauthorized (and unenlightened) exposure of one's own body.
That is why the Demi Moore vehicle Striptease (1996) was lauded by Hollywood in an overflow of praise, while the superficially similar Showgirls was lambasted, and many associated with it blacklisted and later forced to recant and make public apologies (a favorite punishment imposed by Progressivists; cf. Josef Stalin). Here is the distinction that makes all the difference: Demi Moore's character has lost her daughter in a custody fight following a divorce from her crooked and abusive husband; she's a victim of patriarchy! All the nudity and erotic dance is in service to showing how women are exploited and held down by sexism, racism, and homophobia.
But Elizabeth Berkeley's character in Showgirls (1995) freely chose to be a stripper, then a Vegas showgirl; she is tough, determined, knows what she wants in life, and allows nobody to exploit her. She owns herself and calls all the shots. She is no victim; therefore, nudity and sexual content are anathema when the woman has exercised her freedom of choice voluntarily. She's wandered off the victimhood plantation!
Berkeley has barely worked since then. The writer, Joe Eszterhas, as more or less disappeared from the scene as well. The director of Showgirls, Paul Verhoeven, after being savaged in the industry press for his "sick" and "debasing" movie, eventually tried to expiate his sins by directing -- and deliberately trashing -- Starship Troopers (1997). He turned Robert A. Heinlein's tour de force paean to individual freedom into what the movie's own pitch package described as a "glorious celebration of fascism."
(Verhoeven famously bragged that he hated the Heinlein novel so much, he never got past the second chapter; n.b. fewer than thirty-five pages of the paperback. He inverted everything in the book to make it appear as though it advocaed xenophobic racism and a fascist state -- take that, Heinlein! The attacks on Verhoeven ceased, but his career still seems more or less over.)
Which brings us, by a commodious vicus of recirculation, back to the international Left and its peculiar love-hate relationship with pornography; for yesterday, we learnt that a strong majority of members of the European Parliament (MEPs) plan to vote to ban all forms of pornography in the European Union, whether print, video, film, or even internet sites.
This monumental act of censorship is being pushed because of what the EuroLeft calls "a bid to 'eliminate gender stereotypes' that demean women":
The proposal "calls on the EU and its member states to take concrete action on discrimination against women in advertising... [with] a ban on all forms of pornography in the media".
Kartika Liotard, a Dutch left-wing feminist MEP, is seeking "statutory measures to prevent any form of pornography in the media and in advertising and for a ban on advertising for pornographic products and sex tourism", including measures in the "digital field".
The MEPs are also demanding the establishment of state sex censors with "a mandate to impose effective sanctions on companies and individuals promoting the sexualisation of girls".
This particular vote is non-binding; but it's the first step along the road towards legislating an enforceable ban on anything the EuroLeft deems, in its unbiased and nonpartisan wisdom, to be "pornography," "discrimination against women," or "gender stereotypes."
While many conservatives might wish something could be done about pornography, their desire to censor is inhibited by a respect for freedom of speech, plus the understanding that once the State gains authority to define and ban "pornography," then anything the Left dislikes can be so labeled -- thus banned as well:
- Al Gore might well believe that climate "denialism" is obscene and needs to be expunged from the world.
- Michael Bloomberg would be overjoyed to censor all advertising for (or even mention of) products and services he personally disdains, such as sugary drinks, alcohol, or cigarettes.
- And the scrawny, pasty, lumpy members of the Center for Science in the Public Interest are just itching to be able to ban all fatty cuisines -- Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Jewish, et al -- on the grounds that such foods "discriminate against women," because overweight women are "demeaned" and taunted by sexual predators -- i.e., men.
Once the State says, "Adult women are not mature enough to handle certain kinds of speech, visual depictions, or the very idea of sexual practices other than those authorized by law," it infantilizes the entire female population... which is far more demeaning and discriminatory than pornography itself. The Left may as well pat women on the head and say, "There, there, don't bother your pretty, little head about such awful things."
The mind boggles: I just saw a play titled the Deep Throat Sex Scandal in the dying heart of the crumbling city of lost angels; it humorously recounted the making of the most successful porn movie in history (worldwide take in the hundreds of millions of dollars) and the succession of criminal trials that followed in its wake.
A prosecutor in Memphis, Tennessee filed criminal indictments for obscenity and conspiracy against the producer, director, distributers, and even one of the actors (Harry Reems) in the movie -- which was made entirely in New York City; none of the actors had ever even set foot in Tennessee before being hauled in by indictment or subpoena. The case ultimately went to the Supreme Court, where the prosecutor argued that if you make a movie in New York, and later someone shows that movie in Tennessee, the New York actors can be prosecuted where they never were for something that is not illegal where they actually were.
The Court disagreed.
As I watched the play (it boasted a large amount of full-frontal nudity, which was of course the main reason I bought a ticket), I was thinking that they had it all turned roundabout: They blamed all the porn censorship on rock-ribbed, Bible-thumpin' Baptists and babbittry. But they're behind their times; the New Right supports freedom of speech as against suppression of pornography. It's the New Left that has taken up the silencing man's burden of telling the rest of us what we're allowed to say, allowed to hear, and allowed to think; and it has been the Left for decades.
The ban does not appear to have much to do with ending the demeaning of women; so far as I can tell from the article, the ban would apply equally to lesbian pornography, even that which is completely empowering to women. And it wouldn't apply to Bill Clinton.
But I'm quite certain exceptions would be made for works with "redeeming social purposes," which in practice would mean whenever sex is used to sell leftist propaganda, as in Striptease. Or for that matter, as in Starship Troopers, which includes full-frontal nudity in service of slandering one of America's best Capitalist writers and the most successful advocate of liberty and libertarianism in the holy realm of science fiction.
It's always tempting to censor, control, suppress, silence, and eliminate opposing viewpoints; in our meaner moments, duct-taping their mouths seems so much easier and more satisfying than merely arguing. But to reject the very foundation of Western liberal democracy -- free and open inquiry, freedom of speech, and even freedom to do things that we ourselves may find distasteful and even "demeaning" -- is to fling ourselves from the mild heat of injudicious use of liberty into the roaring hellflames of totalitarianism.
The Left finds that bargain acceptable. The Right demurs.
May 10, 2012
Huge Hewgitt is spending the three hours of his show today to discuss same-sex marriage (he's agin' it). He would have done so yesterday, because of President Barack "Big Stick" Obama coming out on national TV; but Hewitt was too busy spending the three hours of his show promoting Dennis Prager, who has a new book out.
Not being a religious person or even a believer -- I'm a true agnostic, not an atheist tarted up as an agno -- I get frustrated when the religous argue against same-sex marriage (SSM). I'm frustrated that the argument always begins and ends with "God said so," with only a small forray in the middle towards a non-religious reason, that children are best raised with one male father and one female mother.
Which is certainly true; alas, however, that one secular argument still has a gaping hole: What about same-sex couples who have no intention of having children, which probably encompasses most of them? The government can't mandate traditional marriage on the basis that "God said so;" so if the lone non-religious argument is the welfare of children, then what is the "rational basis" for saying that two guys or two gals who don't want kids cannot marry?
(For that matter, what is the rational basis for denying marital status to a triplet comprising two women and one guy who's had a vasectomy? Or to a gaggle of swingers, male and female, whose only religious impulse is that they all religiously use condoms and the Pill?)
We need a solid and secular rational basis to restrict marriage to the traditional definition. A truly activist court can still ignore the basis and overturn it; but with such a rational basis, the odds are much greater that a supervisory court will overturn the lower court.
With this much buildup, you won't be surprised that I have just such a solid and secular rational basis to propose. Here we go:
Premise 1: The United States (and most of Western civilization) is based upon several premises, one of which is that males and females are of equal value in our societies.
Premise 2: Another traditional American premise is that, unlike, e.g., Afghanistan, we do not live in gender-segregated societies.
Men and women interact with each other all the time, and per above, should be able to do so on a basis of equality. American men are not supposed to treat women as property or prisoners, nor vice versa (though that's rare to the vanishing point, except among feminists).
These conditions may not prevail in every family, but they are organizing principles of American society. They set the standard we should all strive to meet.
Ergo, the rational basis of recognizing only the traditional definition of marriage is that it is the best marital system ever created for promoting gender integration and the full valuation of women in society.
Every other form of marriage either devalues and degrades women, leads to gender segregation, or both -- without exception. So if we want to promote equal value of both genders and a gender-integrated society, we have only one realistic choice: traditional marriage, regardless of the individual's personal sexual preference.
(Do I mean that gay men should nevertheless marry women, and lesbians should marry men? Yes, you betcha! That is exactly what I mean: It's better for society, better for kids (if they have any), and even better for the two individuals in the marriage.)
Why is this so?
- SSM, by its very nature, promotes gender segregation: A man married to another man is not forced into constant contact with a woman he is expected to treat as his equal; the same is true for a marriage of two lesbians, vis-à-vis men.
Most gays and lesbian naturally organize themselves into all-male or all-female groups: A gay man dates other men, hangs out with other men, goes to gay bars full of men, and may only come into even casual contact with women at work... and even that is iffy, since it's easier to avoid someone at work than avoid someone who lives with you.
Men who have no significant contact with female equals (wives, committed girlfriends) tend to be far more violent than men who do; women generally civilize men. Similarly, women who have no significant contact with male equals tend to be unambitious, unsuccessful, poor, and dependent upon welfare; men generally encourage women to become stronger, more confident, and more independent. (If the men in your life don't do that, replace them with men who do!)
Either of these conditions is horrifically destructive of American society. It's entirely rational that states wish to avoid them both.
- Then what about polygamy, polyandry, and group marriage? Don't they force men and women to live together?
Yes they do; but by its nature, polygamy devalues women, because you always have another woman waiting in the wings; you can "freeze out" the uppity wench who dares to think she's an equal. (Observe Moslem and African polygamous societies and how the women are treated.)
And by its nature, polyandry simply hasn't worked in any society in history I've ever heard about: Men are aggressive and jealous, and they will invariably start fighting each other for "bed rights" with the girl.
Finally, group marriage has the problems of both polygamy and polyandry, plus an increasingly attenuated and fragmented sense of being married; when everybody's "married" to everybody else, then nobody's really married to anyone.
So if you believe women and men should have equal value in our society and that they should not segregate themselves by gender, then rationally, you must support only traditional marriage. It is equally true for religious and irreligious, and for families with and without children.
And that forms the rational basis for the laws: to bring the female and male principles, the yin and the yang, together as equals in American society.
If that's not what you want to see in America, then go be a tribal chief in the Congo or a slaver in Sudan. Or join Occupy Wall Street, where rapists and woman abusers are celebrated!
June 8, 2011
Exhibit A in Big Lizards' Degeneration into the Basest of Stereotypes
Power Line's Scott Johnson has aptly diagnosed Anthony Weiner's (D-NY, 100%) real underlying problem:
In the voluminous commentary that I have seen on Weiner's case, I have been struck by the lack of an awareness or description of his problem. His problem is not that he is indiscreet, or rude, or monstrously egotistical, or obnoxious and untruthful, or all of the above. Based on everything we know, I think it is safe to say that Weiner represents a newfangled throwback to an old-fashioned syndrome. He is an exhibitionist using the social media to ply his wares. He gets his thrills from exposing himself to women.
Where Dr. J. and I part company (somewhat) is towards the end of the post, where its author expresses his disgust at the syndrome:
Exhibitionism is a psychiatric disorder. Weiner appears to present a classic case, updated for the digital age.
Technically, I'm sure he is correct; exhibitionism is listed in the DSM-IV (that would be the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version IV, published by the American Psychiatric Association), and I'm sure it's still in the upcoming DSM-5. Where I depart from conventional wisdom, if not reality, is that I see exhibitionism as perfectly normal in half the human race; and when it occurs in the other half, it's a weird version of gender identity disorder.
Don't freak; I'll explain.
Start with the basics. Dennis Prager is fond of saying that women offer sex to gain love, men offer love to gain sex. This may be true at the individual level; but at the species level, a better formulation is that women offer sex to gain security, men offer security to gain sex.
That is, unlike peahens and peacocks, human females entice and incite, while human males respond and pursue. Whatever you think of gender roles in society, the reality is that they exist and have existed as long as Mankind. While individuals vary, that's still the way to bet it.
Boring down still further, a woman's primary mode of attaining security is the display of her body, especially those parts of it associated with sex. Men's primary mode of attaining sex is to demonstrate the willingness and ability to protect a female and her offspring.
In other words, women are natural exhibitionists by evolution.
Theory is verified by everyday experience. Most women at social occasions -- or often even in the workplace or at the gym -- dress to emphasize their breasts and bottom, sometimes even their nether regions. (What does Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson call it, the lady garden?) They wear tight dresses or pants, a décolletage, slimming clothes (I mean women, not the hosts of Top Gear); most women wear makeup (or would, if their culture allowed it) to emphasize or fabricate physical beauty; and they spend far more time on their hair than do men. They select shoes and socks or stockings more by looks than practicality.
When circumstances allow, everything they wear screams "Hey, look me over!" And even when c.'s don't a., such as a school that requires uniforms, they'll often cheat as much as possible -- sneaking some lipstick, wearing the school hat a little differently, or slyly undoing a couple of shirt buttons ("Whoops! How did that happen?").
By contrast, in most eras and cultures, men tend more towards uniformity of dress, sort of a "one size obscures all." Men with 12% body fat and men with 25% body fat all look pretty much the same in a well-tailored suit. Rather than body display, men compete via the price of the suit itself and the power it represents -- "Check this $2,000 Armani suit; see how rich and powerful I am?" (Again, the usual caveats -- individual variation exists but is negligible.)
While styles change from era to era, the basic behavior is constant: Women exhibit themselves, whether that means wearing tight flapper dresses in the 'twenties, bell-bottoms and peasant blouses in the 'sixties, short-shorts and tube tops in the 'seventies and 'eighties, or provocative tattoos and piercings in the two thousand 'teens. The language varies but the content is the same: "I'm available, and I'm a hotie. See for yourself!"
(Heck, women tend to dress sexy even for other women; though there I think it's more a head-cutting competition than any latent sapphic tendencies: "Give up, girlfriend, I'm hotter than you!")
Go to the beach; what do you see? Generally, gals in skimpy bikinis or lycra one-piece suits... and guys in baggies and t-shirts. Occasionally you notice some guy strutting his stuff in a Speedo; but it's uncommon, and I think most of us find it a little weird. (Picture that video of John Edwards primping and preening during the 2004 presidential campaign; it makes you feel kind of... eew.)
Since girls, especially teens and young adults, tend to wear the bare minimum to avoid actual arrest, I think it safe to say that if the law allowed toplessness on ordinary beaches, an awful lot of girls would go topless. If it allowed complete nudity, a third of the nubile femmes would be starkers. The great majority of women are shameless exhibitionists; the great majority of men are neurotic chest-thumpers, each (of each sex) with varying degrees of success.
So back to the thesis (yes, there is one): What creeps us out about a man "exposing himself to women" -- is that he is usurping the traditionally female role, preening and displaying. As any student of mythology knows, when men become women or women become men, it shakes the earth and stampedes the cattle.
Here's your gedankenexperiment: You're walking in a public park, and you suddenly encounter a good-looking, naked woman. Reaction? You're surprised, of course, but you probably smile and watch her for a while, whether you're an innie or an outie. (Assuming you're not a male with his wife or girlfriend, in which case you abruptly go blind, if you know what's good for you.) You don't call the cops, unless you're a real Miss Grundy of either gender.
Now... you're walking in a public park, and you abruptly encounter a good-looking, naked man. Reaction? After you get over your initial shock, I suspect you beetle out of there -- whether you're hart or hind -- and rat him out to the laws.
Why the difference? Because an unexpectedly naked woman is a siren to men and a curiosity to women; an unexpectedly naked man is an outrage to men -- and a likely sexual predator to women.
It's a superweird version of John Edwards' hair games, a freakshow. But would anybody have given a rip about a video of Kay Bailey Hutchison or Hillary Clinton spraying her hair and touching up her makeup? No, for that is a traditional display mechanism for women. Contrariwise, imagine a female politician chasing her male aides the way Bill Clinton put the make on every woman he met. The brain recoils.
(And yes, I understand the implication of my thesis: I do indeed think that an awful lot of male bodybuilders are, in a psychological sense, girly men. It's the girly-male version of a beauty pageant.)
And that's what really turns our stomachs about Anthony Weiner. Many people secretly admired Clinton for his sexual escapades... because he was such a guy about it, so masculine in his horndogginess, especially considering his favorite -- well, you know what I mean. But no one on God's green earth will admire Anthony Weiner for tweeting his gentleman sausage (Clarkson again). We feel only disgust and apprehension and call it a sick perversion (which you'd never say about a Playboy model stripping for a centerfold). When it's a gent, however loosely defined, it's scary and weird.
So there goes Weiner's career, his community standing, his power and influence, and possibly even his family... all in a flash.
June 6, 2011
Now That Anthony Weiner Has Confessed, Can We Put a Sock on It?
The non-stop coverage, I mean. Or am I the only person in America who is tired of having Weiner shoved down my throat?
All right, already; Weiner's toast. Can't we let the whole sordid thing deflate a bit now?
December 22, 2010
Don't Gasp, Don't Kvell part IIII - Faster Than a Speeding Pullet
As readers well know (and generally lament), I do support the ending of Bill Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that allows gays to serve in the military, so long as they stay in the closet. I believe gays should be allowed to serve openly, but not flauntingly. (Similarly, I believe women should be allowed to serve in any position in the military for which they qualify, including combat.)
But I do not in any way like the way that DADT was repealed. Following the crushing GOP victory in the 2010 midterm elections, it's appalling that the lame-donkey Congress which has just been repudiated has the audacity to vote on major pieces of transformative legislation -- that everybody knows would not pass in the incoming Congress. That's just wrong, and there's no two ways about it.
The previous rants of this ongoing Obamanation are:
- Don't Gasp, Don't Kvell part I - a Reader Shibboleth
- Don't Gasp, Don't Kvell part II - a Modish Proposal
- Don't Gasp, Don't Kvell part III - a Blogger Responds
There's another outrage besides the revolutionary lame-donkey. Back in June 2009, we posted the thoughts of, as I described him, "an upper mid-level commissioned officer who served two tours in Iraq and now commands a training team," and who goes by the name Boss Mongo. Boss Mongo of course completely opposes the repeal of DADT; but I asked him what he would do to minimize the potential damage from the transition that, indeed, is expected to be signed by President Barack H. Obama next week. Here is what Boss Mongo said in that post, Straight Eye for the Queer Guy:
What, I asked him, would you do? He agreed that he would not resign his commission; he's a career guy, and he would stay in the military and obey orders. So with those caveats, here is Boss Mongo's plan -- including how he arrived at it, which is amazing in itself... I think I spawned a series of high-level meetings that may have set-off a policy prairie fire; what power these blog-things have! Here is what we would need to do in order to make such a policy change work, if the government decides to do so:~
Okay, under great protest and not ceding to the premise that the open service of homosexuals would not be prejudicial to good order and discipline, I'll proffer a mitigation strategy for incorporating the policy.
While thinking of the answer, I used the topic, and our e-mail discussions, to conduct a couple round-table discussions with various members of my team and some of my subordinate teams. The demographics of the participants were pretty varied. Tallying it up later, I talked in small groups to: two O4s (one Asian, one Puerto Rican), three O3s (two white, one black), two E8s (both black), five E7s (two black, two white, one hispanic), and one Warrant Officer (hispanic). When I initiated the discussions, the universal first reaction was "Eww."
So it took a while to get the guys to focus on the discussion point; the first X number of minutes were spent getting them off of decrying the policy itself. Most of the senior (ie, ~20 years) guys said that it would be time to drop retirement paperwork (my crew consists of mostly senior guys; my youngest team member is 28 with six years in). Anyway, once we established the constraints of the conversation (and tabled the HIV factor for a later discussion), most of the guys came up with the same concept of response that I had:
- First, tangentially, commissioned officers thought that problems would manifest mostly on the battlefield, NCOs [non-commissioned officers -- the Mgt.] thought that the most serious problems would arise in the barracks environment.
- The service already has a chain training mechanism in place; it is used for annual, biennial, and quarterly training on EO [Equal Opportunity, I presume -- the Mgt.], Family Advocacy, prevention of sexual harassment, suicide prevention, DUI/Drug prevention, etc. This would be the venue for most training. Officers, NCOs, and junior enlisted would probably have different training evolutions, with unit training at the end, conducted by said officers and NCOs.
- The training would have to be tailored to present homosexual service as consistent with the military values -- loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage -- and the military values would have to be the foundation of the training/instruction.
- The service-member support networks, from the Chaplains to the headshrinkers, would have to be a part of it and be consistently available to help members with problems arising from the new strategy.
- Orders would go out giving the officer and NCO corps instructions on how the chain of command wanted adverse or serious incidents handled.
- One thing we all agreed on was that a significant chunk of time and effort would have to be expended on retention, keeping good service members in who are determined to vote with their feet -- or rather, their discharge paperwork -- because of the policy.
That's about it. Everything after that would be adapting to the situations arising and always being ready to call an audible when things go awry, and they will.
This is the sort of thing I was trying to get at in another, more recent post here on Big Lizards, Don't Gasp, Don't Kvell part II - a Modish Proposal (linked up top); that was the post in which I proposed a small-scale dry run of repealing DADT. What I had in mind was to give training officers an opportunity to test the Boss Mongo training plan, see where it worked well and where it fell down, then implement the former and restructure the latter.
But in the pell-mell rush to jam through Congress the instant repeal of DADT, I cannot imagine that the Obamunists have the slightest interest in a "go-slow" approach that would give us the time to work the kinks (sorry!) out of the system. Rather, I agree with Paul Mirengoff at Power Line: Obama will shove this revolutionary transformation (which underlying policy I support) down the tracks like a runaway freight train, and any testing policy that tries to slow it down will be squashed flatter than today's GDP growth (which unseemly haste I abhor).
After all, the policy must actually be a done deal before January 3rd; else the incoming House of Representatives might refuse to appropriate or authorize the funds to implement it.
This is exactly what I was afraid would happen: Because conservatives made it clear that they would never, ever, ever vote to repeal DADT, no matter when or how, the "progressivists" rightly concluded that they have only this one brief window, which, if not seized upon, slams shut in just under a fortnight... so the Left must move the policy faster than a cannon-fired chicken. Full scream ahead, and damn the training!
Well, never let it be said that Congress failed to disappoint.
July 12, 2010
Starting Gun for "Polanski Peel-Out Pool"
Updated and bumped (is that "bumpdated?"); see below.
Reuters announces that Roman Polanski was released into house arrest yesterday, December 4th, 2009.
The clock is now ticking...
We'll see who called it closest anent jumping bail.
The current pool positions stand as follows:
- Release day: Captain Ned *
- December 6th: GW
- December 7th: Sachi *
- December 10th: Mr. Michael
- December 12th: Resolute
- December 16th: Dafydd
- December 25th: Freetime
- January 1st: Ken Hahn
- January 2nd*: Chris Hunt *
* I would say Captain Ned is already out, but we'll be generous and give him through December 5th, since Polanski might have been returned to Gstaad late in the day. We'll do the same for the two people (Chris Hunt and Sachi) who selected a relative number of days after release that (upon release) turned out to be identical to absolute dates selected by another commenter: The former each get moved one day forward.
Tick tick tick tick tick --
UPDATE July 12th, 2010: We were all wrong, and evidently Roman Polanski knew more than we knew; he appears to have known that he would simply be set free by the Swiss authorities... ergo, he did not have to jump bail:
Roman Polanski was declared a free man on Monday after Switzerland rejected a U.S. request to extradite him to be sentenced for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl.
(Where "having sex" has that special definition that applies only to celebrity leftists: Drugging a thirteen year old girl, then orally, vaginally, and anally raping her by force and violence.)
Although Chris Hunt was closest to winning (having selected the latest date), nobody wins the prize. The pool, recall, specified the number of days before Polanski "splits down the Alps -- on the French side." Although the option of "Never" was available for picking (I even noted that availability), nobody picked it, not even Chris Hunt. Ergo, nobody wins.
And all of us lose, of course; as once again, the rich and infamous brutal felon laughs at American justice. And once again, Hollywood cheers... since the other members of "the Industry" all expect to receive the same courtesy the next time they, themselves feel like raping an adolescent.
April 28, 2010
Irony of Ironies: Boy Sprouts May Be Sued to Death - for Homosexual Molestation!
First, the Left filed hundreds of lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America demanding that they be forced to allow gay scouts and gay scoutmasters into the organization. That tactic failed when the Supreme Court found that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was a private, religious organization, and that it had a First-Amendment, free-association right to set standards of morality for membership.
But now the BSA must defend many lawsuits filed by former scouts who allege they were molested by gay scoutmasters.
At least now we know why the Boy Scouts have steadfastly refused to relax their standards. As I have argued before, sending a pack of barely pubescent boys into the woods, in charge of a man who finds young boys sexually attractive, is a prescription for disaster -- whether or not the scoutmaster does anything: All it would take to cost the Scouts millions in damages is for a troubled lad to falsely claim an openly gay scoutmaster molested him; most jurors would be far more inclined to believe that accusation than if all evidence showed that the scoutmaster was strictly heterosexual.
I certainly will not second-guess the facts of the present case, in which a jury has ordered the Scouts to pay $18.5 million; I have no reason not to believe the jury's decision that the victim was indeed molested, and that the Scouts knew that scoutmaster had a history of molesting boys. But doesn't this underscore the urgency of keeping openly gay boys and men out of the Boy Scouts in the first place?
- Most worrisome is the destruction a real molester can inflict, both to the victim and to the BSA itself, its reputation and its finances.
But think of the harm a Boy Scout can cause via a false accusation against an openly gay scoutmaster.
Whether due to emotional problems, revenge for some real or imagined insult, fear of exposure after he himself makes unwanted advances to the scoutmaster and is rejected, or if he makes the charge for purely mercenary reasons -- either the lure of "jackpot justice" or if he is bribed by those who hate the Boy Scouts -- such an accusation, false though it be, can devastate the organization. Enough of them can destroy the organization utterly, a potential with which a large number of utterly ruthless enemies of the Boy Scouts must be well aware.
Even without molestation, boys just going through puberty may have an exaggerated fear of molestation or ogling; what an adult should be able to handle might still traumatize a teen.
An embarassed boy may be terrified that the scoutmaster might see him undressing or in the shower; he might be afraid to ask questions about his bodily changes; knowing that the scoutmaster in general finds boys or yound men physically attractive, the boy might well not want to be seen with the scoutmaster, worried that others will draw the wrong conclusion. As mentoring is a primary function of the Boy Scouts, an openly gay scoutmaster or an openly gay scout cannot help but cause problems.
I had a friend in junior high (now called middle school, for those readers just recently graduated from junior high); call him M. M. was rather high strung as it was; then one day he found, stuffed in his school locker, several pages of gay porn pictures. I thought it was kind of funny (no, I didn't put it there); but M. actually broke down sobbing, right in front of other schoolboys. Imagine how that affected his subsequent career at that school...!
Simply put, it's not something that young boys should have to confront if they don't seek it out, and certainly not while bonding nonsexually with other boys on scouting trips.
I detour now to contrast openly gay scoutmasters or scouts in the Boy Scouts to openly gay soldiers in military service, thus responding before the point is even raised. The most important distinction is of course age: There's a vast difference between an eighteen year old military recruit and an eleven year old Boy Scout. The former is expected to be able to handle sexual subjects -- as well as, you know, killing people -- without hysteria; the latter may have no personal experience with sexuality whatsoever... and may be very, very vulnerable.
Also, by the time a person is old enough to be in the military, he almost always knows his sexual preference; he is much closer to being fully formed as a sexual being. But a pubescent or even pre-pubescent boy may still be confused or uncertain about his sexual identity and not prepared to confront the subject in such a visceral or tactile way. He just wants to hike and earn merit badges, not wonder whether he really has the hots for his scoutmaster or tentmate or just likes and admires him a lot.
Finally, I passionately believe that one of our fundamental rights is to defend the society in which we live; it's an extension of the fundamental and universal right of self-defense. Contrariwise, nobody has a constitutional "right" to be a member of the Boy Scouts of America; it's a private club, like a bowling league or a synagogue.
The BSA is among other things a religious organization; and as such, it promotes a moral code that is necessarily "divisive" and "exclusionary": It divides the population into those fit to join and those unfit to join, and excludes the latter. Among other things, you cannot profess disbelief in God and still join the Scouts; but of course, Wiccans, Druids, worshippers of Crom, and even atheist agitators are legally allowed to join the service. Recruiters are forbidden by law from discriminating on the basis of religion.
Thus I demonstrate no contradiction or hypocrisy in supporting the full integration of openly gay servicemen while simultaneously opposing the same integration among the Boy Scouts and similar youth organizations. In fact, I'm hopping mad that the Girl Scouts appear to have caved completely on this subject... though of course, it's nowhere near as bad for a lesbian scoutmaster (scoutmistress?) to lead girls into the woods than for a gay male scoutmaster to lead boys into the woods. (If you can't see why, ask in comments.)
Thus my defense of the policy; now my fear about the legal strategy itself. Anent the lawsuit in question and the $18 million verdict it spawned...
I have no information about the provenance of this suit, but here is my worry: The Left, having been thwarted by the federal courts (which finally held that the BSA is a private organization, so can exclude gays and atheists without violating anyone's civil liberties), might now take a different tack -- and use accusations of gay molestation to sue the Boy Scouts out of existence.
Of course, this would send a message precisely the opposite of what the Left's first line of lawsuits sent; but if our national socialist movement had the chance to destroy one of its most hated enemies, the Boy Sprouts, would the Left really care how it did so? It may already be sponsoring, or even inventing out of whole cloth, such lawsuits; just as I'm sure many of the similar molestation suits against the Catholic Church were discovered and promoted, if not actually fabricated, by leftists more interested in destroying the Church than obtaining "justice" for the (real or fake) molestation victims.
What a sick irony that would be. I certainly hope the Scouts can weather this storm; what a dreary world would be revealed by the BSA's obliteration.
Cross-posted on Hot Air's rogues' gallery...
June 25, 2009
"Argue" Post: Gays Serving Openly in the Military
Feel free to present any argument pro or con in the comments section. All normal commenting rules still apply, so remain civil. Unlike normal comments on normal posts, I'll respond to arguments here (not every line in every comment, but those that raise a new argument or counterargument).
Have at ye!
April 9, 2008
I stole this from Rich "Mullings" Galen. God only knows why he missed the obvious question here:
Actual caption: Models present creations of Top & Bottoms by Phuket Mermaids during Bangkok International Fashion Week March 23, 2008.
Wait. "Phuket Mermaids?" Do you take me for a fool?
(Don't answer that question!)
Mullings is a three-times weekly "cybernet column" written by Rich Galen, a political heavy hitter who was last seen as the PR guy for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign, and (earlier) for the Coalition Provisional Authority. (And long before that, for Vice President Dan Quayle and Shrieker of the House Newt Gingrich). I believe his son, "the lad," was at one time on President Bush's staff.
If you don't already subscribe to Mulllings, you've a treat in store.
You see Rich now and again on the various argue-shows, like Hannity & Colmes. I befriended the poor, befuddled man and gave him aid and comfort. When Sachi and I were last in Washington D.C., he took us to lunch. Rich was very friendly and jovial, unlike Paul Mirengoff (who also gave us lunch): Paul spent the entire prandial meeting scowling at me as if he'd seen me somewhere before -- and was more than half convinced it was on bulletin board at the Post Office. (I kept trying to adjust my tie to a more convincing angle... which was odd, as I was, of course, not wearing one.)
Strangely, Galen gave no sign of having noticed the name of the bikini company. But that may have been due to the Mullings Director of Standards and Practices (his wife) breathing down his neck.
February 25, 2008
Routing the Boy Sprouts
For some reason, Michael Medved was going on about the ultimatum by the City of Brotheley Love to rout the Cradle of Liberty Council of the Boy Scouts of America... unless they relent and start welcoming openly gay scouts and scoutmasters. If they don't, they'll have to start paying a rent of $200,000 a year on a property they have occupied for over eighty years. Since they can't afford that rent, they will be evicted.
I say "for some reason" because this isn't a new story; the actual vote in the Philadelphia City Council (16 to 1) was taken in 2007, and the Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece about it on February 16th this year (may require paid subscription). So far as I know, the only thing that happened today was that the WSJ published some letters to the editor about that opinion piece.
Neither hither nor yon. Medved took it upon himself to defend the Scouts, which meant defending their "morally clean" policy -- which the BSA has interpreted, and not without good reason (it is a religious organization with strong Christian roots), as meaning no openly gay scouts or troop leaders. Alas, Medved had one of those rare days (this is irony, in case you missed it) when he was unable to articulate an effective defense of a conservative principle. In particular, one gay caller -- yes, I know he was gay because he affected the Standard American Gay Accent... and if you don't know what I mean, you must live in a small town -- tore Medved a new, ah, I mean to say, ripped him up one side and down the other shoe.
So Medved just fumfahed around and shouted about the Bible; the caller filibustered while the host burned.
All right. So let's examine the question that Michael Medved could not effectively answer: Why, apart from Judeo-Christian religion, shouldn't the Boy Scouts have openly gay scoutmasters and members?
First, let me answer a related question that sometimes crops up (from the truly extreme haters of the Boy Sprouts): Why don't the Boy Scouts allow girls to join?
I think we all know the reason why: S-E-double-X. Scouting is about male bonding, about boys getting together to hike, to work on projects, to engage in acts of service to humanity... all in an atmosphere where they don't have to think about love, dating, or sex. Is there anybody -- outside of a meeting of the ACLU -- who isn't aware that when you have a bunch of boys together, the dynamic is completely different from when you have a mixed group of boys and girls?
Since the vast majority (about 98%) of boys are heterosexual, when they are around girls, they experience certain feelings and biological urges. Boys in Scouting are at precisely the age where such feelings begin, rage out of control, and only after several years become familiar, normal, and controllable.
I'm about to get really, really explicit; if that bothers you, cover your eyes while you read the next few paragraphs.
Those of you who don't happen to be male may be unaware of this; but for most boys, when they first become pubescent (or even slightly before), they are unable to control their erections; it just rises and won't fall. Girls, did you ever wonder why so often in junior high (middle school), boys would walk around with a really distressed, embarassed look on their faces -- and their notebooks pressed tightly against their laps? Well, now you know.
The erection can be caused by almost anything related to females: A girl wearing a halter top or miniskirt (in my day), or even by the rear end of a cute female teacher, jiggling while she writes on the blackboard. Or by a sexual daydream sparked by some cute female fellow student across the room... the one you'd never dare talk to because you know she would laugh in your face. (Yes, even popular kids have those same anxieties.)
It's honestly a relief for 13, 14, and 15 year old boys to get away from girls, so that they're not constantly worried about embarassing or humiliating themselves, flushing deep red, being convinced that the girl they're working on a project with has suddenly read their minds about what they fantasized about her last night. I'm convinced that's a major draw of the Boy Scouts, though I never had an opportunity to be a member: When boys are out hiking and horsing around, telling stupid guy-jokes, comparing LSD experiences, and laughing at the sartorial taste of the science teacher, they have an incredible sense of freedom, relief, and camaraderie.
Mix in a few 13, 14, and 15 year old girls, and the boys would be hiking on egg shells: Anything they said or did would have to be planned and carefully considered, and would carry the threat of imminent death by embarassment. Besides, it's hard to hike with your backpack turned around and pressed tightly against your lap.
Then, of course, there is the very real threat of actual sexual activity. I will here offer a very rare personal revelation, a confession, if you will. Hang on, this may be shocking:
Back when I was 13, 14, and 15 years old, I would have jumped at the chance to have sex with a girl. Almost any girl. Even more shocking, women I have talked to (when they were adults) frequently admit that when they were that age, they were also very attracted to boys and might well have acted on that attraction, if the boy pushed a little... and were they given the opportunity.
One critical function of society is to give young teens no such opportunities.
Besides the emotional problems that often afflict sexually active young teens, there is the danger of pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. And for whatever adults were responsible for the welfare of those kids, there are obvious liability issues.
Thus, for all those reasons, the Boy Scouts do not admit girls; the Girl Scouts do not admit boys; and both organizations for the most part segregate the sexes. I'm sure there are some functions both boys and girls attend, but most activities, meetings, and functions are monogendered.
But what does that have to do with gay Scouts? Before answering, let's ask the next seemingly irrelevant question: Why don't the Boy Scouts have Scoutmistresses along with the Scoutmasters?
Forget the obvious answers. I know Scouts sometimes go skinnydipping in wilderness lakes; but they could wear swimsuits. And the Scoutmistress could avoid entering the shower facilities when any boy was present. Consider only the problems that cannot easily be prevented.
First, having a woman leading boys to a remote, private, or sequestered area brings up all the problems associated with having girls among the campers. Second, she may be tempted to mother the boys -- or the boys may perceive her as mothering them -- when what they really need is fathering. Boy Scouts need to be led by men for the same reason that boys growing up need fathers: Because in general, only a good, strong, decent man can teach young boys how to grow into good, strong, decent men. (Just as girls need a strong, loving, nurturing mother to grow up to be strong, loving, nurturing women. That's why children ideally need a male father and a female mother... but that's a whole 'nother post.)
Finally, there is one other issue that needs to be addressed, and it's disturbing: There are ephebophilic women who are attracted to teenaged boys; and there certainly are teenaged boys who are attracted to older women. It's not difficult to imagine terrible sexual problems arising -- whether real or imagined -- when young, teenaged boys are led on hikes or retreats by a reasonably young woman.
To name just a few:
- Boys trying to "sneak a peek" at the Scoutmistress while she showers or goes to the bathroom;
- A boy being traumatized when the Scoutmistress accidentally walks into the shower facilities, not realizing he hasn't finished;
- Boys sexualizing the Scoutmistress while talking to each other (or holding certain secret kinds of "contests"), thus losing respect for her as a leader;
- Actual sexual contact between one of the boys and the Scoutmistress;
- And yes, even forcible rape.
Looming over all of this, from the perspective of the BSA as an organization, is again the issue of legal liability: Can you imagine the lawsuit that would result if a 15 year old Boy Scout and his 32 year old Scoutmistress were caught in a compromising position? The troop would certainly be sued out of existence; the Boy Scouts of America could follow, depending on how big the judgment was and whether the troop or council had been forced by the organization to accept that woman as a Scoutmistress.
So with that background, let's turn -- at last! -- to the real question: What about gay Scoutmasters and Boy Scouts?
Gay men and boys
First, everything said above about female Boy Scouts (except pregnancy) and about Scoutmistresses applies to gay Scoutmasters. Yeah, everything... and more:
Scouts would always be wondering if the Scoutmaster were "checking them out." If he entered the shower area while they were using it, it would make virtually all of them extremely sexually uncomfortable... probably worse than if the Scoutmistress did.
It's terribly unfair for gays and liberals to retort that the boys should "just get over it." They're at a very vulnerable period of change in their own lives, becoming sexual beings. It's incredibly cruel to make them confront being in intimate circumstances with open homosexuals at the same time.
If the gay Scoutmaster is magnetic and charismatic (as many heterosexual Scoutmasters are), the boys might mistake admiration for sexual attraction, knowing the sexual preference of the Scoutmaster (projection); they might become terrified that they were "secretly gay," even if they, themselves, didn't realize it until just now.
Sound crazy? Kids of this age have all sorts of terrors, and this is a very common one: "What if it turns out I'm really gay?"
- Anytime the Scoutmaster privately counsels a boy (which is one of their jobs, I believe), no matter how innocuous, questions will arise in the mind of the individual Scout, his friends, and his parents. If a Scout is himself gay, and he spends any time with the gay Scoutmaster, you can magnify those questions a hundredfold.
- And what should the Scoutmaster do if one boy wants to ask a lot of questions about homosexuality? Especially if the boy thinks he might be gay himself. Should he answer, and open up a whole new Pandora's Box of threats and liabilities? Or should he reject the kid, possibly driving him into depression or self-loathing?
- Even when there is no personal contact, having an openly gay Scoutmaster raises the specter of sex in a situation that should be completely asexual.
Allowing openly gay boys to become Boy Scouts would open the same barrel of worms as allowing gay Scoutmasters: Among other issues, how could sexual situations and discussions be avoided among young teens -- if one of their number says he is attracted to others? Unlike in the military, we're not talking about adults; we're dealing with adolescents who are none too certain about their own sexuality.
And of course, assaults would occur; and on the other side, some gay Scouts would insist that every slight or disciplinary action was motivated by "homophobia." It would be just as much of a nightmare as the openly gay Scoutmaster.
Finally... what happens if, heaven forbid, a Scout returns from a multi-day hike and accuses the gay Scoutmaster of having sexually assaulted him? The legal jeopardy for the BSA would be off the scales.
If the Scoutmaster were heterosexual, he could more easily defend himself from the charge; but a gay Scoutmaster would start out with two strikes against him, in the jury's mind. At the very least, one strong defense -- "of course I didn't have sexual contact with him because I'm not attracted to males!" -- would be out the window.
There are plenty of gentlemen on the left who have the intense, messianic desire to sue the Boy Scouts out of existence -- just as there are those (many of the same people, in fact) whose greatest dream is the sue the Catholic Church out of existence; and the way the latter picked, and which almost succeeded (and still might), was to sue on behalf of "children who were molested by priests."
It made no difference that by "priests," they meant openly gay priests; by "molested," they meant, in 95% of cases, gay priests engaged in consentual sex with their supposed victims; and by "children," they meant, in the vast majority of cases, a male parishoner aged from 16 years old -- to 25 years old.
I'm sure I'll get attacked for this... but having sex with older teens and young-looking young adults is normal gay sexual behavior for a huge chunk of the gay community: Gays who hunger for twinks are a much bigger percentage of all gay males than men who hunger for Lolitas are a percentage of all straight males.
For obvious reasons, this applies very strongly to accepting gay Scoutmasters: It the BSA were insane enough to allow this, then it is inevitable that [openly gay] Scoutmasters would be sued for molesting [having consentual sexual contact with] Boy-Scout children [of 16 and 17 years old].
If the gay Scoutmaster actually did, in fact, have sexual contact, the legal damages would threaten to bankrupt the entire organization; but at least everyone but the most extreme could agree that he was a criminal.
However, if the gay Scoutmaster were likely innocent, it could be worse. Those who supported gays in scouting would fell compelled to champion the cause of the accused, while those who opposed the policy would seize upon the accusation to show that even a false charge damages the BSA.
The legal brawl would tear scouting apart: There are some crimes so heinous, not even innocence is a defense. Civil war would erupt within the ranks of the BSA, and those who oppose having gay Scoutmasters would end up seceding from the BSA, leaving the cherished name Boy Scouts of America as the property of those for whom social acceptance of gays is the most important issue in life. The Boy Scouts of America would have been conquered and colonized by GLAAD, Lamda, and the Man-Boy Love Association.
Just as the Civil Rights Congress became nothing but a Communist front, the BSA after that split would become nothing but a gay front group, agitating for everything from same-sex marriage to the right to create and distribute gay teenaged porn. That is the way of the Left; that is how they fight... and that is often how they win.
So why didn't these dire results come to pass when the Girl Scouts declared absolute neutrality on sexual preference?
- Like it or not, society simply doesn't take lesbianism as seriously as it takes male homosexuality... and it never has. Thus, the social and legal problems that result are not as destructive to the organization as a whole.
- Many local Girl Scout councils ally with Planned Parenthood and other feminist organizations, causing the Left to consider all Girl Scouts to be potential allies;
- Finally, because Girl Scouts of the USA has never been woven as deeply into the fabric of America as has the Boy Scouts of America... so it's simply not as much of a target of the anti-American Left as is the male counterpart.
You have to understand: Most of the problems that would result from the BSA deciding to accept openly gay Scoutmasters stem not from the Scoutmasters themselves, or even from the Boy Scouts, but from the desperate quest on the part of leftists to destroy the organization. And those destructive activists are perfectly willing to play on the fear many Americans have of gays "corrupting" kids, if such fear will help destroy the Boy Scouts.
The Boy Scouts cannot even consider allowing openly gay men to serve as Scoutmasters, because it would open a security breach a mile wide, through which the forces of destruction would pour in a never-ending stream. Just ask the Catholic Church: Aside from a tiny handful of actual child molesters (like Father John Geoghan in Boston or Father Brendan Smyth in Ireland), the Church "sex scandals" by and large comprised gay priests having consentual sex with teenaged boys and young men... many over the age of consent. It was the greatest crisis of the Church in modern times.
And that is exactly what would happen in the BSA: A certain number of gay men would become Scoutmasters just for the sexual opportunities... and those men would strew legal apocalypse in their wake.
So that is my answer to Mr. Medved's agitated, filibustering caller: The Boy Scouts cannot allow openly gay men to serve as Scoutmasters or openly gay boys to join the Boy Scouts because, in the end, it would either destroy the organization -- or at the least, put it through a crisis very much akin to the one the Church suffered some years ago (and which reverberates to this day).
It's too bad that gay men cannot contribute by being Scoutmasters, but they can find other ways to support Scouting, if they want. And it's too bad that gay kids can only participate by not talking about their sexual preferences; but since Scouting isn't about sex anyway, Scouts shouldn't talk about sexuality, even if they're heterosexual. There is no inquisition; the BSA doesn't launch an intensive background investigation and dating history before accepting a kid into the Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts.
So just don't talk about it. Again unlike the military, joining the BSA is a privilege, not a right and not a duty. Abide by the private religious organization's rules... or go somewhere else.
And state and local governments should simply stop trying to dictate suicide to the Boy Scouts, and focus instead on how Scouting can truly help millions of kids across the country. Diversity means diversity of thought, not just race and gender; so why not show some tolerance for those who believe in traditional morality?
The motto of the Philadelphia City Council, and all the Philadelphia City Councils across the nation, should simply be -- live and let camp.
October 18, 2006
Quick, Somebody Find Mike Rogers a Map
Evidently, some Democratic dirty-tricks specialist -- and isn't there an extraordinary history of such people in the Democratic Party? -- named Mike Rogers has supposedly "outed" Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID, 96%) as "gay."
Craig denies it, as does his (heterosexual) family. Now, like Dean Barnett, I am completely indifferent to the truth or falsity of the charge (though unlike Dean, I very much oppose same-sex marriage). But as I read this on Hugh Hewitt, I was completely flummoxed: I didn't recall Craig being in any electoral danger, since his name hadn't appeared on any of the lists of senators who were in trouble. In fact, I couldn't find any polls about him at all.
But then I turned to Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball site and found out why: I discovered that Larry Craig isn't even running for reelection this year! He's not up until 2008, having been reelected in 2002.
What buffoonery the Democratic Party has embraced. For God's sake, if Democrats are going to sink to such despicable tactics as pointing and shouting "faggot!" at random Republicans, assuming that mindless Christian voters will recoil in horror from the unclean -- then wouldn't simple sanity suggest that such sleazy, homophobic attacks should be limited to people who are actually running for office that year?
Or does Rogers fantasize that if he calls Idaho's Larry Craig a homosexual, enraged voters 2,000 miles away will pull the lever for James Webb in Virginia?
As Jerry Pournelle likes to say, ye flipping gods.
October 8, 2006
L.A. Times Foleygate Bombshell: Mark Foley Was Gay! UPDATED
UPDATE: See below.
In a stunning new revelation that may put the nail in the GOP coffin, ensuring without doubt that the Democrats take not only the House but the Senate, the Los Angeles Times reveals that a former page now charges that he and former Rep. Mark Foley did have sex: when the former page was 21 years old. After he had been out of the pages program for several years. In fact, after he had graduated from college:
A former House page says he had sex with then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) after receiving explicit e-mails in which the congressman described assessing the sexual orientation and physical attributes of underage pages but waiting until later to make direct advances.
The former page, who agreed to discuss his relationship with Foley with the Los Angeles Times on the condition that he not be identified, said his electronic correspondence with Foley began after he finished the respected Capitol Hill page program for high school juniors. His sexual encounter was in the fall of 2000, he said. At the time, he was 21 and a graduate of a rural Northeastern college.
This absolute shocker finally answers the most politically urgent question that hangs over the heads of the Republicans running for reelection, and answers it in a way that will shock and stun most voters: it appears that Mark Foley was indeed gay.
After the religious-right voters pick themselves up off the floor, they will surely rush to the polls -- probably before they even open -- and vote for the Democrats, who are the only party promising intense investigations of all suspected gays in Congress to see whether any of them has actually had sex with an adult member of the same gender. Finding such, the Democrats have promised to expel any such members (along with expelling any suspected heterosexual members who have ever had sex with someone other than the spouse, even if they were not married at the time).
Seriously, can somebody please explain to me how the L.A. Times advances the "Foleygate" narrative to tell us that Mark Foley, a now openly gay man, had sex with another gay man who was five years over the age of consent, a college grad, and long out of the pages program at the time? In fact, he was out of the pages program before Foley even sent him dirty Instant Messages... which were obviously not unwanted by the ex-page, since he chose (as an adult, not under Foley's supervision) to act upon them!
More stunning revelations from the Times that surely will carry this scandal forward another week:
Yet the former page's exchanges with Foley offer a glimpse of possible predatory behavior by the congressman as he assessed male teenagers assigned as House errand-runners.
In the messages, Maf54 described how years earlier, he had looked to see whether the former page had an erection in his tight white pants while the then-teenager was working near the congressman.
Good heavens! So Foley has now admitted that he looked at pages? Sure, he said nothing at the time, when the victim of his looking behavior was still an underaged page; but Foley was thinking about things -- which the Times describes as "possible predatory behavior." Good heavens.
The young man said that while serving as a page, he and his fellow pages gossiped frequently about Foley's overly friendly behavior but did not complain about him to program supervisors or other members of Congress. They nicknamed him "Triple F," for "Florida Fag Foley." One evening, four of the boys made an unannounced visit to Foley's home.
"We knocked on his door and he let us in. Nothing happened, but he was very friendly," the former page said.
They arrived at Foley's house... they went inside... Foley was "very friendly"... and then -- brace yourselves -- "nothing happened!"
I don't see how Speaker Denny Hastert (R-IL, 100%) survives this jaw-dropping accusation.
Of course, after the ex-page's experience of this "possible predatory behavior," his life was destroyed:
"It most saddens me because of the damage it could do to the program," the young man said of the page system. "It was the most spectacular year of my life. I would love to do it all over again."
Again, what is the point of this lurid, astonishingly explicit account of gay courting and sexual behavior? The only reason I can think that the Los Angeles Times would even bother printing this is one that is so bizarre and disreputable, I hesitate to suggest it even about the Times. (Maybe I should have left this to Patterico to comment on, the Times being his bailiwick.)
But the only motive I can come up with is that the paper is trying to tap into -- and attach to the GOP -- the "ick" factor most heterosexuals have when they think about gay sex. Could this very liberal newspaper actually be trying to peel away conservative votes by associated the Republican Party with normal gay sexual behavior?
I wonder why we haven't heard much (anything at all, as far as I know) about this "scandal" from Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA, 100%), or any other openly gay member of Congress. Perhaps it's time they make a noise: if the Democrats are going to "go after" the GOP by whipping up a general anti-gay frenzy, then "outing" several more gay Republicans, hoping a wave of homophobia hurts Republicans one month from today... then are Democratic gays really comfortable with that line of attack?
Which wins: Barney Frank's sexuality -- or his partisanship?
UPDATE: Patterico suggests that the L.A. Times might be trying to aid the eventual prosecution of Mark Foley under the law he himself pushed through Congress that criminalizes using the Internet to arrange sexual trysts with minors. But I don't think it's relevant: there is no example of any sexually explicit IM sent to someone who was then a minor that makes any attempt to arrange a meeting.
Were I a judge, I'd need more than that to admit this as evidence. I would have to see something obvious and proximate... if Congress were trying to criminalize mere "hot talk" on the internet between and adult and a minor, they should have said so explicitly.
If someone is merely striking up a friendship -- or even engaging in dirty talk -- with a minor, hoping that maybe sometime in the future they could get together when the minor turned 18, that shouldn't be covered by the law: the law clearly intended to stop predators from using the Internet to lure minors into illegal sexual activity.
A pathetic dweeb who more or less impatiently waits until some guy (or girl) he knows turns 18, so he can then legally hit on him (her), may be a sleazeball; but he should not be prosecuted for that.
I can make a good case for prosecuting Foley for sexual harassment of a minor, but not the Internet law above. And if that is the case, the L.A. Times story still has no relevance whatsoever.
October 5, 2006
Democrats: Discount Every Vote
Former Rep. Mark Foley resigned. I know, this isn't news; he did it many days ago. But evidently, it's news to Democrats... who are now demanding that voters not be told that Foley is no longer the candidate, and that Joe Negron is running instead:
Rules prohibit taking Foley's name off the ballot so close to the November 7 election. So the Republicans' replacement nominee, Joe Negron, asked election supervisors to post signs at the polls telling voters that ballots cast for Foley will actually go to Negron.
Democrats cried foul, contending that such a notice is tantamount to posting a partisan political advertisement inside voting stations, which is not allowed.
"What they're attempting to do is electioneering communications, which is illegal because you can't do that within 100 feet of a polling place," said Florida Democratic Party spokesman Mark Bubriski.
How is it conceivably "electioneering" to post a sign that simply says one guy is out and another is running in his place? It's not like this has never come up before in Florida:
The suggested language has been used in other such cases, and reads:
"Due to a withdrawal of a candidate after the Primary Election which resulted in the substitution of a new candidate by the respective party: In the race for Representative In Congress, District 16, any vote cast for Mark Foley (REP) shall be counted as a vote for Joe Negron (REP)."
That isn't electioneering; that's simply letting voters know that they're not actually voting for a sexual pervert. But evidently, that is exactly what the Democrats don't want: they don't want voters to know.
It was the Democrats themselves (the George Soros-funded group CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) who sat on the IMs until after the deadline had passed to replace Foley's name on the ballot. And now, they hope that at least some voters mistakenly believe that voting for Foley means that Foley himself will return to the House of Representatives.
This is the same party that, after forcing Tom DeLay out of the House by a bogus indictment, subsequently sued in court to prevent the Republicans from being able to replace him with another candidate on the ballot. And then, when the GOP quickly rallied behind a single write-in candidate, Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, they fought even harder (unsuccessfully, this time) to prevent signs being put up telling voters that votes for DeLay would be counted for Sekula-Gibbs instead.
Couple this with the Democrats' attempts in the 2000 election to disenfranchise not only a couple of thousand military personnel, but also 25,000 absentee voters in Florida's Martin and Seminole Counties, and a very, very disturbing picture emerges:
It is quite clear that the inaptly named Democratic Party is in fact overtly hostile to democracy in all its forms. They cannot stand democracy, because they cannot control it; too often, the people thwart the aristocratic vision of the Antidemocratic Party by rudely electing Republicans!
In the minds of "Democrats," this is an outrage that must cease immediately. Hence, they're constantly in the state and federal courts, trying to sue their way into the statehouse, the federal House, and the White House.
Sadly, this has become such a "dog bites man" story that nobody seems to care much anymore.
The Foley Bergere
Most of us have been arguing in a vacuum. We -- or at least I -- have been accepting the charactization of the Mark Foley e-mails as "creepy," "sick," and so forth ever since this mini-scandal began.
Yesterday, Michael Medved actually read them over the air; and I was shocked at how innocuous they really were. (I got them from stopsexpredators.blogspot.com, but I'm not going to link it. Go through Wonkette and find it yourself... I don't want to give them any link traffic.)
I don't know what you think you've read, but having now read them all, I have to say that they're even less suggestive than they were described. Reading through them, my response was not that this was the writing of a "sexual predator;" it was more like a little kid trying to buy a friend by offering his football.
Just so we're on the same page, here they are. When you read them, try to forget that you have read the IMs (which are very explicit, and which I'm not going to post here); when Rep. Reynolds, et al (not including Speaker Denny Hastert, who never saw them at all) read them, there were no accompanying text messages... he had to make his decision solely on the basis of these (the typos and other mistakes are in the original):
Glad your home safe and sound...we don't go back into session until Sept 5...si it's a nice long break...I am back in Florida now...its nice here...been raining today...it shounds like you will have some fun over the next few weeks...how old are you now?
I just emailed will...hes such a nice guy...acts much older than his age...and hes in really great shape...i am just finished fiding my bike on a 25 mile journey now heading to the gym...whats school like for you this year?
I am in North Carolina...and it was 100in New Orleans...wow that's really hot...well do you miss DC...its raining here but 68 degrees so who can argue..did you have fun at your conference...what do you want for your birthday coming up...what stuff do you like to do
How are you weathering the hurricane...are you safe...send me a pic of you as well...
(There was one more I heard about; but it just said something like "is this the right email," nothing substantive.)
And that's it. That is all that the GOP leadership had in 2005 when they made the decision to brief Hastert's staff (but not Hastert himself until later) and to counsel Foley rather than open an entire investigation over this garbage.
To me, this is more "pathetic" than "stalker." I would have thought, "I know DC isn't a friendly place -- if you want a friend in DC, buy a dog -- but couldn't this guy strike up a friendship with anyone?"
There is nothing in any of this, in and of itself, that would spell "sexual predator," unless one were predisposed to think that all gay males were incipient twink-hunters.
I'm not, so I wouldn't. But your mileage may vary.
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