Sunday, February 27, 2011

The true colors of Ron Paul! They ain't pretty.

This blog has been telling people for years that Ron Paul is NO libertarian—of any kind. He has a few libertarian-leaning positions in some areas. But he is a fucking Right-wing social conservative who believes in big government control in the name of Jesus. He was only marginally libertarian in 1988, when the Libertarian Party nominated him for president, and it has been downhill since then. But the Rondroids won't believe it. This cult of Ron Paul has no ability to think critically.

Ron Paul is a man who voted to reintroduce "sodomy laws" in Washington, D.C., when the city council repealed them. Congress can veto legislation in D.C. or repeal it, if they don't like what the city council does. When the D.C council repealed sodomy laws, which is clearly the libertarian thing to do, the bigoted Religious Right had fits. They want gay people arrested and imprisoned, they want such laws enforced because they are sure that is what Jesus wants. DAMN the constitution, damn the rights of people, they want theocracy.

When theocratically-inclined Republicans introduced legislation to reinstate sodomy as a crime Ron Paul jumped on their bandwagon. Then, when libertarians questioned him, he did the typical double-talk he has used for decades to justify his authoritarianism on social issues. Ronnie Paul lied and said it was absolutely necessary to recriminalize sodomy because the same legislation reduced the penalty for rape.

What Paul never told people was that anti-rape groups wanted the clause, reducing the penalty for rape, put into effect. The penalty was so high that they found juries were reluctant to convict rapists for their crimes. An ultra-high penalty may punish a few rapists more severely but it also means that any slight doubts jurors may have dominate in a very large number of cases and rapists are found "not guilty" because jurors fear imposing such a severe punishment without absolute and total certainty.

Instead of bashing homosexuals in order to protect women from rapists, Congressman Paul, always the lying conservative, was willing to let rapists go free in order to bash gay people. His views on gays were so strident he was willing to help rapists beat the rap.

Now, consider the odious Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA, even by Right-wing constitutionalism is wrong. It is federal legislation over what is historically an area totally under state control: marriage.

The Obama Administration has finally come around to realize that DOMA is wrong and said it would no longer defend DOMA in cases currently going through the court system. Ron Paul is furious. He released his own statement attacking the administration for refusing to defend what is probably an unconstitutional law. See, Ronnie the Righty, would rather ignore the Constitution if it allows him to use his fundamentalist Baptist religion as a guidepost for American law. He is so keen to bash gay people that he will betray his pretense at principles. Ron Paul is one of the biggest frauds to be perpetrated on libertarians in the history of the movement.

Paul claims that DOMA was to stop government "from re-defining marriage and forcing its definition on the States... I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and must be protected." So federal legislation has to be passed to strip gay people of their rights because Ron Paul thinks a dead messiah wants him to impose his theology on others.

The man is a moron and has always been a moron. I mean he really is stupid. Allow me let you in on a little secret. He doesn't write his own material and never has. He has ghostwriters who make him sound intelligent by putting his name on their work. That is why, when he gets in-depth questions he looks like a deer in the headlights and starts stuttering and stammering and talking around the issue. He can't support the claims in his "books" because he didn't write the books and doesn't know or understand what is in them. And yes, I do know who the ghost-writers were in several of the cases.

That is precisely why he got caught publishing racist rants in his silly little newsletter. The shit that was published was done in his name. But he didn't write it, not even the hysterical, lying material on AIDS that was written in the first person. (Yes, he was a major campaigner attacking people with HIV.) When Ronnie the Liar was asked about the racist rants in his publication he said he didn't know who wrote them. Hmm, maybe he should check the auto dial on his phone, he'll still find the author of those rants there. They remain close friends to this day, even if he told the press he can't remember who it was. He wasn't forgetful, just lying.

I don't think Ron is a racist, though I do think he is an anti-gay bigot. It is possible he is a racist but I don't have personal information that would support that conclusion. It's never come out in conversations I've had with him. While Ron said he had no idea that the material was being printed the facts prove he was lying about that as well. The newsletters came out of his Lake Jackson office. His campaign manager was the publisher. His good friends were the editors, one of whom is still alive and still bosom buddies with Ronnie. His wife and daughter were both on the payroll of the publication—though it is possible they never actually did any work for the salary they receives and that this was merely a means to launder funds into Paul's personal accounts. Ron knew who wrote the material. He still does. He knew what the newsletters said all along. He knows who was responsible for the material and he and the culprit, who has associated himself with numerous racists and anti-Semites, are still good friends. In fact, I went to this person's website and ran "Ron Paul" through the search engine for the site. Ron comes up over 13,000 times. They are still in close cahoots. I am waiting for associates of the actual writer to come here and begin attacking us, in defense of Ron, when they are also defending their own organization and fellow neo-confederates.

Paul got caught when the media saw the actual newsletters that he published. And his defense was to openly lie to the media and to the American public. That's Mr. Integrity.

Paul's bigotry goes so far as to demand that judges not rule on the Constitutionality of laws passed by legislatures. He would strip judges of their duty to rule on whether laws violate rights or not. You didn't hear Ron ranting about activist judges when the Second Amendment was upheld by the Supreme Court—as it should have been. He only rants about activist judges when they rule in ways that go against the Religious Right.

Ron has claimed that First Amendment protections don't apply in the States. He has said that the State's can impose Christianity as the state religion because the First Amendment doesn't matter at that level. Yet, apparently he has no such criticism when the Second Amendment is applied to the states. Why? Because he supports imposing Christianity as a state religion and he supports the right to own guns. His constitutional principles are twisted to conform with his personal moral preferences, not with any consistent theory of constitutional law. And given that he's a gun-rights fundamentalist Christian he's happy to contradict himself.

Ron Paul also lied when he said the Obama Administration said they "will abandon the obligation to enforce DOMA." Actually what the administration said was that they would cease to defend DOMA in the courts but that they would still enforce the law while waiting for the outcome in the courts. Mr. Paul is, once again, woefully misinformed. He usually is.

We saw the same befuddled interpretation of the facts when he engaged in gay bashing when seeking the Republican nomination for president last time around. When asked about DADT he said that he then supported DADT because sexual harassment should be stopped. DADT had NOTHING to with sexual harassment or misconduct. Ron clearly had no idea what DADT was about so he said the first thing that came into his head and often the first thing that comes into his head is completely wrong. He eventually did come to vote for repeal, one of his few libertarian votes in the social arena.

Ron presents himself as a Constitutional scholar yet he says absurd things such as the Constitution is "replete with references to God..." Go read the constitution and you will see Ron Paul doesn't know the constitution. Replete means "abundantly filled." But instead of there being an abundance of references to God there are none. Does Ron believe the bullshit he spreads? I suspect so, as I said, he is not a particularly bright man. I'm sorry but I first meet Ron Paul almost 30 years ago and he wasn't bright then. If anything he just appears more confused than he was then.

He would do his Ron Paul "shuffle." He is a good politician, in the sense he knows how to lie to the constituents and keep both conservatives and libertarians happy. He votes with the conservatives and sounds like a libertarian. That's all it takes. Dance with the Right while sounding libertarian seems to give conservatives what they want and give libertarians worthless rhetoric.

The one thing Ron Paul wants from libertarians are campaign contributions. But he is not one of us. He is a paleo-conservative. He is not a libertarian. He has never been a libertarian. He is libertarian on some issues, but then even Obama is libertarian on some issues: DOMA being one of them. The one thing Ronnie wants from libertarians is their money, not their principles.

Paul says he will stand with the state's and defend their "right" not to respect the rights of same-sex couples. There is no such right. State's don't have rights but people do. State's have powers. And the powers of the State should never allow the State to disrespect the rights of people. Individual rights precede, and are superior to, government powers. That is libertarian. The pablum that Ronnie is dishing out is pure Right-wing conservatism, not libertarianism.

I don't even want to go in the truly insane views the man has about secret conspiracies. But to say the least, he is bonkers. The man is a crank and has always been a crank. He doesn't deserve libertarian support and never really has, though, as I said, he was once more libertarian than he is today. Ron Paul is a hypocritical, lying politician. He is not the messiah. He is not the knight in shining armor. I know other paleo-conservatives, particularly those associated with the man who DID write the racist diatribes, will be furious for me saying this.

But Ron Paul is NOT now, nor has he ever been a libertarian. He was close at one point, but he is a paranoid, right-wing loon with Christianist tendencies who is a social conservative and wants government to impose Christian morality, especially at the state level. But libertarians are so desperate for a messiah that they turn a blind eye to this idiot.

But I don't expect any of this dent the Rondroids. They are a cult more than anything I've seen in a long time, outside real cults. They will continue to make excuses for the man and pretend he is their knight. Ron Paul does a lot of harm to the libertarian brand and shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. When he got caught with the racist material he claimed he couldn't be a racist since he's a libertarian. He was never a libertarian and his defense only associated the racist articles with libertarianism, which only hurts libertarians. Fuck Ron Paul, and I don't mean in the nice way.

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Napolatino Slaps Down the Moronic Huckabee

Notice that Huckabee's arguments have zilch to do with the case he is trying to make. Huckabee is a real fascist, and I mean a fascist. He is big government all around.

Huckabee's logic is circular. Marriage doesn't apply to gay people because gay people can't get married. And, by the way, we have a "dad deficit." Somehow the alleged instability of straight couples is the reason that gay couples should not marry.

Huckabee is absolutely the worst of the worst. Notice that he is arguing for centralized control of marriage, against even a federalist approach to the topic, and for state intrusion into the contractual nature of marriage.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Crappy Network News: CNN

Long ago I realized that CNN was a crappy outlet for objective reports. I remember how they reported on incidents in Africa, which I knew quite a bit about, and they skewed the reporting quite openly. The reporter in question gave an interview in which she said she intentionally doesn't like to give reports that made the government look bad and that she instead, prefers the "new news" which was reports that made the government in question look good.

I've been in a hotel on trip for a couple of days and turn on the news to get some vague idea of what is going on, details I find elsewhere, but at least the main reports I can get. And since the time of day when I watch varies I turn on CNN, realizing I will get pathetic reporting from their news anchors.

Yesterday they had a report on the budget crisis in Wisconsin and showed the state workers on the floor of the state legislature disrupting and screaming. They then had a reporter lying through her eye-teeth by claiming that higher wages for bureaucrats means higher wages for all Americans. She also invented a claim that the average salary of Americans has declined as the percentage of union members in the workforce has declined. She actually said that wages are down in absolute terms without taking inflation into account. She claimed the average salary is now just $34,000 per year gross, down 10% from a decade ago. The last figure I saw was for 2005 and it said the average was $42,028. Remember this is average.

Then today they had a Lisa Desjardins on who was reporting on the federal budget and negotiations in DC to trim tiny, tiny amounts from the budget—about 1% in total—which the media calls "massive" cuts. Desjardins was saying that without the budget passing the government closes down. Well, that is never quite true, unfortunately. But we know what she means. Then she said something astounding in reference to government workers having an unpaid vacation. "All my friends and neighbors ask me, 'Am I going to have a job?'" I was rather astounded.

I know hundreds of people and I don't know anyone who works for the federal government and know one person who works for a state agency. I would never say that "all" my friends and neighbors are government employees. What kind of universe does she live in when everyone, or even most people, that she knows are government employees?

That report was then followed by a report, again, on the Wisconsin budget issues. This was a series of talking heads, about half a dozen of them. Every single one was a trade unionist predicting the end of the world, except for two minor Hollywood actors who predicted apocalypse if government employees are not allowed to hold taxpayers hostage. So, in two days they had two reports on the same issue. Both reports presented only one side of the debate. Yesterday they did it using bogus statistics and today it was by only have representatives of the trade unions on the screen.

This is what CNN calls objective reporting.

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H. Kenneth Ranftle died of lung cancer in 2008. His will stipulated that the bulk of his estate would go to his partner of 25 years, J. Craig Leiby. For two years the estate has been in legal limbo because a brother, Richard, contested the will on the basis that Ranftle and Leiby are NOT allowed to marry in New York and therefore the will was void in recognizing Leiby as the surviving spouse.

The greedy brother argued that since the couple couldn't marry under New York law that he, not Leiby, was the closest surviving relative.

What clearly saved Leiby and allowed his partner's wishes to be done was that the couple had traveled to Canada and married there. And New York state, where the couple lived, respects valid marriages from other jurisdictions.

Of course, if the couple could have married in New York the issue would never have arisen. It would be a rare thing for a brother to challenge his sibling's will leaving his estate to his wife of 25 years.

But, because the couple couldn' t marry in New York the surviving partner had to spend two years in court.

A couple of bits of recent news regarding the battle for marriage equality. First, Illinois took a giant step in the right direction and recently passed civil union options for same-sex couples. Hawaii recently passed civil unions as well. By the way previously Hawaii considered gay marriage equality and it was there that the Mormon cult first tried their stealth anti-gay campaign and won. This isn't good for them.

Maryland is now on the verge of marriage equality. The Maryland state senate passed marriage for gay couples. This was the one house of the legislature where it was in doubt. The House has begun debate with Republicans united in defense of bigotry. One Republican got up to argue by praying. Perhaps he would cast curses and spells as well.

The member of God's Own Party (GOP) who chanted to his imaginary friend said that Republicans would raise millions of dollars to make sure that another effort is done to prevent life-long, loving couples from marrying each other. If you ever wonder why I never intend to vote Republican just watch the bigots in the party at work. The Republican Party is the organized political face of hatred: hatred of gays and immigrants both.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

MYOB isn't always the best policy.

One of the problems with platitudes about life is that life is more complex than they allow. Consider one that is popular with libertarian types: MYOB or Mind Your Own Business.

It’s not a bad rule if it is properly understood. But often I think it is misunderstood. There are most certainly times when you should NOT mind your own business.

Think about the obvious ones: you see an adult physically assaulting a child. Clearly you don’t want to mind your own business. You need to do something to stop the assault on the child. You have to judge how you do that, but minding your business would be monstrous under these circumstances. Perhaps you merely wish to call the police. Or, perhaps, you feel you have to intervene immediately.

Similarly there are times you ought not intervene.

One of the more interesting television shows is the reality show What Would You Do? It is interesting because the show sets up moral dilemmas for unsuspecting members of the public and then watches how they react.

Often people are heroes who make a stand for what is right. Too often there are just nasty, unpleasant people who turn a blind eye. Worse, some condone the cruelties they witness.

Often the show sets up scenarios where the moral imperative is to intervene. For instance, a teenage boy is seen screaming at his girlfriend in public, she is crying and he is threatening to hit her if she doesn’t obey him. People do step in. Sometimes they watch for a second, some just immediately call the police. But others immediately intervene.

I faced this dilemma once while in New York City. I was at NYU for a seminar and had taken a lunch break and was walking through Washington Square with its famed arch. A boy of about 13 was practicing tennis against the arch. His father was standing there pouring out the most abusive, screaming, tirades I had ever heard directed at a child. The whole reason was that the boy wasn’t perfect with his tennis strokes.

I first heard the shouting from a distance and looked around to see what was happening. I could see the boy cowering from this bully of a father, trying to make him happy. But this jerk kept screaming at the frightened boy. People were close to them. Some were only a few yards away. They all tried to pretend that nothing was happening. Maybe they thought they were minding their own business.

I was furious and when I get furious I rush in first, think later. I came barreling down on this bully and unleashed an equally vituperative volley of verbal assaults on him. As I got closer and closer he started backing away—typically cowardly of bullies like him. I truly felt like slapping this asshole across the face with a 2 x 4. The poor boy was terrified and like so many abused kids starting apologizing for his father and telling me that he, the boy, was the one at fault.

The poor kid wanted to blame himself for the monster that he witnessed in his father. I turned to the boy and said: “Don’t ever say that. It’s not your fault. It’s his fault!” I pointed at the trembling bully when I said it. People in the park watched the whole incident.

I walk away and not two minutes later I heard this jerk of a father starting over again. I turned back; ready to pounce on the jerk. Then I saw a man who had previous witnessed my altercation with the man heading it that direction. He immediately started telling off the father. He acted because my actions gave him moral permission to do so.

But in an episode of What Would You Do? the situation was turned around, sort of. When shouldn’t you intervene?

In this case they had a woman in a wheelchair with a physical handicap. An actress would play a customer who wouldn’t leave the woman alone, always wanting to “help” her. She was insisting on helping even when the woman was telling her to please stop. They then showed how other shoppers responded to this “well-intentioned” woman who wouldn’t mind her own business. The woman in the wheelchair neither needed, nor wanted the help being offered.

There is a lesson in that as well. Yes, we ought intervene when someone is being attacked by others. But, when they are doing fine on their own, and they don’t want you help then MYOB is quite appropriate.

This is what government can’t understand. They seem unable to make that sort of distinction. This is why government is such a pathetic problem-solver, often doing more harm than the problem it attempts to solve.

They see a girl being raped and they intervene. But they define her voluntary relationship with her boyfriend as rape and intervene even when she begs them not to do so. Politicians see individuals who exploited children to make pornography and ban it. But then they equally punish teens who take nude photos of themselves and punish them like rapists.

The obvious difference is helping people against their will. Government has trouble operating with moral nuances. It kills flies with sledgehammers. Now, there may be times to swing a sledgehammer at a problem, but often there are times when that is not wise. Government views life as black and white, not the multiple shades of gray that actually exist. So it is constantly swinging a sledgehammer that does far more harm than good.

Consider the young boy in Colorado with anger issues. His therapist told the boy to draw a picture expressing his anger, to release the anger. The boy got pissed at his teacher—given the state of government schools that is often a justified emotion. He few a picture of a stick figure with a gun and wrote: “teacher must die.” Remember, there was NO indication that he would, or even could do anything to carry this out. He finished the drawing, felt better and was throwing it away.

The teacher took the drawing from him. She talked to the parents and the therapist even confirmed the situation. Everyone was fine, and then the police stuck their nose into things. The child was then arrested and jailed while the parents scrambled to get him out. Police in particular seem to find it difficult to make moral judgments. They rush in, fists flying, when often a simple word or two would solve the problem. Now that government schools are acting more like cops than educators they are adopting the same “zero tolerance” mentality that infects the police.

Take the situation of another student, 15 year-old Nick Stuban. Stuban was suspended for buying one capsule of a synthetic compound that supposedly mimics pot. The product was legal, by the way. No laws were broken.

School officials had heard rumors of illegal drugs and investigated, not finding those they did discover that Stuban had purchased this legal substance and then questioned him, and had him sign a statement, without his parent’s present. This, by the way, is one of the most evil and dangerous features of government schools. The schools act as if they are police officers, but without any of the legal restraints that cops would have. They are doing a policing end-run around the Constitution. All employees at government schools are government employees or agents of the government. But the courts pretend they are not.

A teacher takes a cell phone from a 17-year-old girl and searches it without a warrant or probably cause. The courts say the teacher doesn’t need them. Teacher discovers a photo of the girl topless and shrieks “child porn” and calls in the police officer that is now often routinely stationed in schools to arrest children. The police officer looks at the photo and arrests the girl as a child pornographer and her life is ruined, as she is place on a sex offender list for the rest of her earthly existence.

Stuban was active in Boy Scouts, active on the football team, but these activities took place on campus. With a signed “confession” the school instantly suspended for 10 days and said they would suspend him completely. The appeal process took weeks. The 10 days turned into 20 days. Nick felt increasingly isolated from his friends.

The “zero tolerance” sledgehammer convinced many of Nick’s peers that something far worse had to have happened, otherwise the school wouldn’t act this way—a naïve view of government education. The education bureaucrats who have the kids and parents by the throat say they are merely “helping” the kids. An attorney who has worked with such cases said that the people being “helped” “feel very often that they are in the middle of criminal prosecution.”

The pressure built up for Nick. His mother was on a ventilator suffering from ALS. She struggled to stay alive telling her family she did it because she wanted to live long enough to see Nick graduate high school. The school bureaucrats and their sledgehammer made it appear that Nick would never graduate. Nick’s father, Steve, was confused. The school said they had no idea what the substance was that they were prosecuting Nick over. Steve said, “You have an infraction, you don’t know what the substance is and you arbitrarily apply the harshest standard to it.” Yes, that is the government sledgehammer.

A disciplinary hearing was held and school bureaucrats warned the family against bringing an attorney by the bureaucrats. They foolishly listened. Steve says the hearing turned accusatory and vicious. Sandy Stuban started crying in her wheelchair. Nick started crying. The school officials, no doubt, were proud of their sledgehammer.

Two more weeks dragged on before the bureaucrats told the family anything. Nick would be assigned to another school, where he couldn’t be with any of his friends. The bureaucrats thought they were being lenient. Steve told Nick, “There’s no way to win.” Depressed the teen actually did turn to drugs, something that wasn’t the case before. He was trying to find a way to ease the depression and pain he was suffering. The boy texted a friend that he wanted to take his life. The family took him to a psychiatric hospital where he diagnosed as clinically depressed. They treated him and advised counseling, which Nick started.

Nick took his own life, describing how much pain he was in and how unfair life was. Nick didn’t understand. Life is neither fair nor unfair, it merely is. People are fair, or unfair. In this case the government officials who pretend to be educators were the ones who were unfair. They used the sledgehammer.

They were morally and intellectually incapable of telling when help is needed and when it is intrusive. But that is how government is.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

God acts, man acts.




Monday, February 21, 2011

The odd loophole in anti-discrimination laws.

Before I get into the main point I want to take a detour and make it clear that I do not believe anti-discrimination laws should exist for private organizations or businesses. If I want to keep my workplace a hospitable place by banning fundamentalist Republicans, it ought to be right. Just as workers should have the right to refuse to work for me, I should have the right to refuse to hire them. Just as they can refuse for any damn reason that strikes their fancy, I too should have the right to refuse to hire them for whatever whim comes to mind, rational or irrational. But, none of this applies to any government agency or any private organization or business that receives taxpayer funds for services offered to the government, or on behalf of the government.

Like it or not, that's my conclusion. But it isn't the main point. The main point is the oddity of the laws on discrimination.

What brought this to mind was a straight man who went to the absurd Creationist Museum, which certainly is no museum by any means. According WAVE television a straight man went to a dinner at the museum, with tickets he paid for, and was refused admission because the museum believed him to be "flamboyantly gay." A local gay rights group said of this, that the actions were completely legal because there are NO laws forbidding discrimination on the basis of perceived sexual orientation.

To make it worse, the cheap fundamentalists who run the loony bin museum won't refund the ticket costs even though they were the ones who refused to fulfill the contract that is implied with the purchase of a ticket. At the very least they ought to refund the tickets, otherwise they are just thieves. But I don't put much stock in the morality of fundamentalists. I know them too well.

But this is what got me thinking: if the law does forbid discrimination on the basis of perceived sexual orientation does that pretty much eviscerate all anti-disrimination laws? Take your typical, closet Klanner for instance, lamenting the loss of white America, reading his Bible—literally of course—and whining about Mexicans. He manages an apartment building for someone and a black man wants to rent a flat. He, as a good Christian warrior for white America, refuses the man. Questioned later he simply says: "But I didn't care that he was black, honestly. I thought he was a fag." So, he admits to discrimination but not on the basis of a protected status.

Don't want Catholics, and don't want to violate the law saying you can't discriminate on the basis of religion, just pretend you thought they were gay. Don't like women in the workplace, claim you thought the applicant was a lesbian. Express really strong anti-gay views and bigotry and it would give substance to your claim. And for lots of bigots, they wouldn't have to pretend. Bigots in one category tend to be bigots in multiple categories.

I guess one could close that loophole but until every imaginable category of humanity is covered there will always be loopholes.

I prefer to get rid of the laws and trust the public. For the most part the public will get it right, admittedly the American South is likely to be the exception. Centuries of in-breeding and hours or reading the Bible will do that to people.

Consider how the public will act in the more civilized parts of the country. A restaurant refuses to serve black patrons and this becomes known. I suspect a very loud, very obvious picket-line, low sales and a bad knock in the pocketbook.

I remember, in my misspent youth, when Anita Bryant was on the rampage scapegoating gay people for every social ill. No doubt they were also responsible for her divorce and drug addiction as well. Anita came to Chicago to perform at the large Shriner auditorium, Medina Temple. Anita was the hot ticket in the Bible-belt with her campaigns against sinners, well not all sinners, just gay ones. So when she ventured into the civilized North she was not quite as welcomed as she was on the Sawdust Trail.

Several thousand unhappy victims of bigotry and loads of decent people who hate prejudice showed up and started picketing the auditorium. Chicago's finest forced all picketers to the opposite side of the street where the sidewalks for the entire four block radius around the Temple were packed with protesters. Now and then a car would pull up and let someone out, who ran into the Temple to hear Anita sing. But the vast auditorium was pretty much empty. If memory serves me right there were about 50 people inside an auditorium that would hold thousands. It was a flop for Anita, sort of like her marriage and her ministry—disaster that befell her before she could blame it on gay marriage.

On the other hand, very few people would argue that a gym for women has to admit men and let them share the facilities, including the showers. Similarly, a gay nudist resort is not going to find itself surrounded by heterosexuals with their children, picketing, demanding to get in. But a local grocery store that said it didn't want to hire Christians would probably feel the brunt of public opinion. On a whole I think public reaction would take more of this.

And, before someone hollers about the Deep South and Jim Crow, I see that as an exception. Let me explain why. The above scenarios are assumed to take place in a culture where property rights are respected, and when they aren't the police will protect the property, as well as the rights of the protesters.

In the South that was not the case. In reality a business in the South that integrated could easily find itself facing the violence of the Klan while the police, often members of the Klan, would look the other way. In the South bigotry was forced on unwilling participants by a coalition of bigots which included cops, politicians and the local rednecks. They would use violence to prevent peaceful cooperation between the races. Standing up to Jim Crow in the South put one's life in danger and no government agency in those states would defend the victims of the Klan, and the other racist groups that permeated Southern culture.

But, in a society where the police will protect the rights of all people then boycotts are the proper way to bring bigots to their knees. And it is the most effective one as well.

In the few cases where it doesn't work, there are still benefits. Concentrating all the bigots and assholes in one business makes all the other workplaces nice places to be. If one grocery store hires the bigots and caters to bigots, and there are enough of these people think of all the other decent people who won't have to have anything to do with these folks. If there are racists working there then there will be fewer racists working elsewhere, making those work places nicer places to be.

Of course, the bigoted business would have higher search costs for employees as they have to exclude a huge number of possible employees from consideration. They give their non-bigoted rivals a competitive edge. Bigotry tends not to be financially feasible except under fleeting and rare circumstances, when a market is free and the police just. This is why all the bigots in history had to rig markets and use government force to impose bigotry on the populace. Without that force the natural tendency is to make the most profitable exchange, regardless of the inconsequential characteristics that rile up the bigots.

To a very large degree bigotry in the marketplace is pretty much like that other bugaboo—monopoly. When it exists naturally, that is without state support or law enforcing it, it tends to be fleeing and rare. The presence of either opens up too many profit opportunities to non-bigoted entrepreneurs. This is precisely the reason that, even during the deepest years of anti-gay oppression there were always private businesses and clubs that would cater to the social outcasts. This is the reason that today, when the vast number of government bodies refuse to recognize gay relationships, that most of the largest corporations in America do recognize them, and there is widespread acceptance in the private sector. Bigotry doesn't flourish well in the private sector or in depoliticized markets. It takes the raw, rabid hand of government force to make sure bigotry gets it way.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Weep with Joy for Right Being Done

From around the world people have been protesting to the Belgian government in the case of Samuel Ghilain. Samuel's father is Laurent Ghilain and the boy was conceived with a surrogate on behalf of Laurent and his husband, Peter Meurrens. That was two years ago.

Since then the Belgian government has refused to grant Samuel a passport which prevented him from going home with his fathers.

A campaign of protests began in earnest about a week ago. On Tuesday a judge ruled in favor of the boy but the Belgian government said it would appeal and would not issue the passport. Only a few hours ago it capitulated and said it would issue the passport.

There is more information on the blog of our friends at the Moorfield Storey Institute who have been working on this case very strongly for a couple of weeks now. Congratulations to Peter, Laurent and Samuel.


Fidelity to principle is not necessarily laudable.

I will give Joel Northrup a smidgen of respect for sticking to his principles—but a very small smidgen at most.

Joel is a "home schooled" Christian, and a fundamentalist Pentecostal. His father is a minister. He is a 16-year-old wrestler in Iowa who was in the state tournament and forfeited his match because his opponent was female. He said it was a "matter of faith" for him and that it was not "appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner." His father says it is immoral to "touch" in a "familiar way" which presumable includes wrestling.

Now, lots of people said they respected him. I have only a small amount of respect. Fidelity to a bad idea is not something I applaud. Fidelity, in and of itself, is of little importance to me. The question for me always concerns itself with what it is that someone is being faithful to.

Pol Pot had some very faithful followers but I would NOT applaud them for being faithful to the idea of harming others. Don't get me wrong, I'm not equating Northrup to Pol Pot by any means. I'm just illustrating the point that being true to one's principles are only meritorious if the principles themselves are good ones.

Northrup's principles are not necessarily ones I share. And they illustrate deeper beliefs that I do think are actually harmful and the cause of a great deal of human misery. But, in the surface beliefs he is stating, I find them rather inconsequential. Yes, as I said, there are deeper principles that are problematic but I can't assume that this boy understands that, or is clearly making that connection.

But here is what I do appreciate this example of fundamentalist fidelity. In this case, being true to his principles hurts no one but Northrup.

I don't mind when people are faithful to their principles when they, and they alone pay the price.

What bothers me about fundamentalism, a faith I know well after having escaped their clutches many years ago, after tw0 and half years of seminary, is that too often they wish to have others pay the price for their religion.

When a fundamentalist refuses to attend an "immoral Hollywood movie" they are only impacting their own life. When they wish to impose censorship, in order to prevent others from watching movies, they are hurting others.

A fundamentalists who marries according to his religion, may or may not be hurting him self, but they alone pay the price of their decision. When they wish to ban gay people from marrying they are harming others.

Unfortunately, most fundamentalists are of the view that, given the power to do so, they will impose their beliefs on others. And by "impose" I mean the word literally. I don't just mean dressing badly and going door-to-door trying to convert others. That is their right. I don't mean preaching their antiquated gospel and their primitive, superstitious view of the world. That too is their right.

My resentment for their agenda begins when they attempt to gain political power in order to force others to live by their standards.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Every Decent Belgian Should be Ashamed

Just a few hours ago I reported that a judge in Belgium ruled that Laurent Ghilain is legall the father of the child known as Samuel. The fact of this was never in question, but the Belgium goverment refused to recognize the paternity because the mother was a surrogate and thus refused to give little Samuel a passport. Since the surrogacy took place in Ukraine, without a passport allowing him to enter Belgium the child was sentenced to life in an orphanage. This, in spite of his father, and his father's spouse, Peter, having a home waiting for their son. The monsters in the Belgium government said they had no "regulations" that covered the situation so they damned this little boy to a loveless existence due to their own shortcomings.

Well a judge yesterday recognize the "lineage" that Samuel is the son of Laurent and said the child could come home to his fathers. Laurent's partern, Samuel's other father, Peter Meurren emailed me about two hours ago: "We're back to zero, the ministry doesn't agree with the judge's decision... :-("

But the utter indency of bureaucracy had to once again show its inhumane and ugly face. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has appealed the case saying they do not wish to give the child a passport. For what reason! Is it still the pathetic excuse that they don't have any guidelines to make such decisions because no asswad sat down and wrote rules that these brainless pieces of shit could understand? How can it be? The court issued a ruling which gave even the dumbest of these morons some guidelines. But they plow ahead with their determined effort to damn this baby to a life where no one loves him!

This is one of the most heartless, cruel sides of bureaucracy that I have ever seen. They are harming a baby. What sort of souless monsters run the Belgian government?

Please protest this measure. Write the Belgian authorities. For information on that go to an English Facebook page here. I am sorry to say the gay media has yet to catch on to this story. It needs to be publicized and people need to start working on taking the Belgian government before the European Court of Human Rights. Belgium needs to be shamed before the world.

Now maybe these assholes hate children, or maybe they hate gay people. But ever decent Belgian should be ashamed to be associated with what their government is doing.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

And now, for a change: just some good news.

Almost two weeks ago we reported the sad case of Laurent Ghilain and Peter Meurrens, a Belgian couple that were caught in a bureaucratic nightmare. They wanted a child in their family and decided to use a surrogate in the Ukraine with Laurent as the donor. Their son Samuel was born two years ago but they have not been able to bring him home because the Beligian government has refused to issue a passport for the child. Even though the boy has a home waiting for him he has been stuck in a Ukrainian orphanage. The bureaucrats claim they have no regulations for this situation so they can't do anything because they don't know what to do. (A Facebook page for this case is here.)

Today Laurent sent out a notice:
The Belgian judge said YES, we just got the decision. The judge recognizes, after 2 years of waiting, the "lineage" (bond between father and son). Prosecutors still have 1.5 months as from 28/02 to appeal. We will demand a Belgian passport for Samuel at the Ministries of Foreign Affairs this week, and we cross our fingers that the response is immediate and that we do not hear of an appeal. If all goes well, it should go fast... let's hope."
This is damn good news and I'm thrilled for little Samuel and his fathers. Given the nature of bureaucrats, they aren't human, I still worry that more heartache will come to this family before final victory. But I believe they will eventually win, but they need the loving support of everyone.

More Justice, Well a Little Bit

Kelley Williams-Bolar is a mother who lied, and I applaud her for doing so. Kelly is a 40-year-old mother of two who is working on a teaching certificate and works with special needs kids at a local school. She lives in a housing project and the local government school is a pretty awful place to send children. Kelley's father lives in a a different school district and she registered her children in that school district using her father's address. Kelley would drive her daughters to a school bus stop, and after school they would walk to their grandfather's, who would watch them until Kelley got off work and could pick them up. For this "crime" she and her father were arrested.

When those damned bureaucrats (yet again) learned of this they demanded Kelley pay them $30,000 for tuition fees. When she was unable and unwilling to do so they put her on trial and she was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison, reduced to 10 days, two years on probation and 80 of community service.

After hundreds of thousands of protests were lodged, the Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, has asked the Ohio Parole Board to consider a pardon. Of course, that is a rather cowardly way for Kasich to deal with the situation since he could issue a pardon on his own. But he'd rather have a bureaucratic stamp of approval on it first. Kasich said: "Many people have shared their thoughts with me in letters, e-mail and phone calls and I appreciate their outreach." (Anyone want to bet he doesn't appreciate their outreach and finds this whole thing a headache?

The teacher's unions don't like cases like this as they don't want any attention drawn to the sorry state of public education, unless, of course, it is to find a reason to increase their salaries again. And the sad reality is that the public school system is now run for the benefit of the teacher's unions and not the students.

The best solution to the inequality situation is allowing parents to send their children to any school they wish, with the funding following the student. Yes, that would defund some schools—the shitty ones, who either have to get their act together or go under. But the unions want to protect those schools and those teachers at the expense of the children.

And, of course, Egypt

There is really good news in Egypt as well. As you no doubt know the entire Middle East is in turmoil after the Tunisian people successfully rid themselves of their dictatorial government. Then Egypt erupted in similar protests with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets in amazingly peaceful demonstrations—in spite of violence being used by the government and their thugs. I was absolutely convinced these would succeed and that Mubarak would be ousted. It took a few days more than I thought it would, but he resigned.

The most recent marches in Egypt, however, were quite interesting. It was the police marching, telling the public they are sorry about how they treated them. I guess they realized that things have changed and they better apologize if they want to have employment, and with Mubarak out of power they aren't working for him anymore. Now, if we can just get the TSA employees to walk off their jobs and apologize to the American people for their groping, fondling, intrusive photos, abrupt and rude manners and flagrant disregard for the humanity of their victims.

More good news out of the Middle East is that the protests are spreading from one Arab dictatorship to another. Contrary to the hysteria pushed by the war lobby and Israeli lobby, a very large percentage of people in Muslim nations actually do want modern government that is democratic and, at the very least, respects a greater amount of individual rights than currently is the case. These sentiments are held down by an alliance between the dictatorial government and the radical Islamists—which in Iran is the same group.

Now hundreds of thousands of people are protesting, yet again, in Iran. The Islamist theocracy there has never been popular. It was put into power as the only real opposition to the tyrannical rule of the US-backed Shah of Iran. Had the US not backed the Shah I doubt that the Ayatollah's would have come to power and the modern Islamists political movement would be much less than what it is today. Truly, US foreign policy has created, as Jonathan Kwitny put it, "Endless Enemies."

Iran has always been one of the most Western Muslim nations in terms of culture. And with most the population being young people, who are not enamored with the moralistic rule of Iran's version of the Republican Party. There has been widespread hatred in Iran for their godly rulers. The one thing that would unify the people behind their government would be US intervention there. That is not likely so there is a chance that this time the people will topple the religious regime that is holding them down.

In many ways American ideals—even those now discarded by our own politicians—and culture still inspire those who seek freedom in other nations. Unfortunately our foreign policy has continually botched up our natural appeal by linking us to oppressive regimes. The US continually backed Mubarak as it backed the Shah of Iran, pushing the oppressed people into the arms of the very groups we say we are working against. American interventionist policy is the biggest boost the Islamic radicals have had. I do think the true sentiments of a large percentage of the Muslim world is what we are seeing in these protests. We could quite possibly be in the first stages of multiple revolutions across the Islamic world that will push them toward modern, liberal values.

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Replying to the Rabbi: Misdefining atheism.

Rabbi Adam Jacobs, at Huffington Post, has written an “open letter to the atheist community.” Strictly speaking there is no atheist community. A community is based on share values and beliefs. Atheism is not a belief; it is the absence of a belief. As such, atheism espouses nothing. The non-existence of a belief is not a unifying factor. I have no values in common with someone else merely because we are both atheists.

This is not to say that atheists don’t hold beliefs, they do: many beliefs in fact.

But the lack of a belief neither binds people together nor inspires them to action. You may act on the basis of something you do believe, but not on the basis of something you don’t believe.

Quickly the good Rabbi wants to find a way to pretend that atheists don’t actually exist. He does this by misdefining atheism. He isn’t the first to pull this exact same trick, nor will he be the last. It is actually a very unoriginal argument. Though it does raise a question about the sanity of writing an open letter to people who don’t exist. But then they pray to a god who isn’t there.

He says, “there really are no true atheists” because “in order to claim with certainty that there is no God you would have to have knowledge of the totality of the universe—seen and unseen—and I don’t think any of you guys are ready to make that claim.”

Note several problems with this argument. First, he completely reverses the burden of proof. He demands that atheists prove there is no God, and since they can’t see the entire universe, they can’t do that, therefore atheists don’t exist. But the burden of proof is not on the atheist.

I can’t say that Jacobs doesn’t molest girl scouts because to do so would require that I have knowledge of every second of his life, and perhaps as good measure, knowledge of the life of every girl scout as well. Therefore, there can be no person in the world who can honestly believe the Rabbi isn’t molesting girl scouts. Clearly this logic is fallacious, so too it is when the Rabbi uses it.

The burden of proof rests with the one making the assertion. It is not the atheist who is called on to prove that no god exists anywhere. It is the theist who must show proof that a god exists somewhere.

For the same reason it is not up to the Rabbi to prove he doesn’t molest girl scouts, but up to his accuser to prove that he does.

Rabbi Jacobs also misdefines atheism. All one need do is look at the word itself. In this case it is two words a-theist. The “a” comes from Greek and means “without” and theist comes from “theos” which means a god. The word means “without god” or without a belief in a god.

This word describes a person who does not hold a belief in a god. Now there are similar beliefs that we don’t speak of. Many people lack a belief in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus or the Loch Ness monster. They are not called upon to prove that no such entity exists. There is no community of people who disbelieve in these fantasies. And no one demands that they show every inch of the universe in order to prove that neither the bunny, Santa or Lochie actually exist, perhaps hidden behind some remote planet.

An atheist may assert that there is no god, but many don’t. Most, including the most prominent atheists around, have been quite clear that they lack a belief in a god, not that they “know” there is no god. Richard Dawkins refers to a teapot flying around the sun as an analogy. He says he thinks it higher unlikely that there is such a thing, but he can’t say so with absolute certainty. He hasn’t been there. In other words he is not an atheist in the way that Rabbi Jacobs defines them. Few atheists are.

Jacobs also says all atheists are really agnostics. If an agnostic lacks a belief in a god he is an atheist. If he holds a belief in a god, he is a theist. Agnostics say they don’t KNOW if there is god, which is not the same as saying whether they BELIEVE there is one.

An agnostic may say he thinks there is a god but he can’t prove it. He may also say he thinks one probably doesn’t exist but he can’t prove it. He is separating his knowledge from his belief. An atheist is someone who is lacks a belief in a god but he is making no assertion about his knowledge by that statement.

The Rabbi says that atheists don’t say they are agnostics because it “sounds wishy-washy and degrades your ability to take a firm stand against deism.” This merely continues his confusion about atheism and his misdefinition of it.

Rabbi Jacobs does make a rather shameful claim, in my opinion, one spread by some evangelical con men. He argues that the libertarian philosopher, Sir Antony Flew, changed from being an atheist to a theist late in life. Now Mr. Flew and I travelled in similar circles and knew many of the same people and worked with the same organizations. Before his alleged conversion it was widely known that Sir Antony was becoming senile, and losing his ability to think. BTW: It is Antony, not Anthony as the Rabbi spells it. You would think that if you are going to invoke a man in his senility you would at least find out how to spell his name.

A book was published with Flew’s name on it entitled There is a God. Oddly when a reporter interviewed Flew and asked him about the authors cited in the book, Flew said he didn’t know them or their work. It seems the main author, perhaps only author, was a fundamentalist Christian. One reviewer noted that:

Oddly, Flew seems to have turned into an American as well as a believer. His intellectual autobiography is written in the language of an Englishman of his generation and class; yet when he starts to lay out his case for God, he uses Americanisms like “beverages,” “vacation” and “candy.” It is possible that Flew decided to make some passages easier on the ears of American readers or that an editor has made trivial emendations for him. But it is striking how much of Flew’s method of argument, too, has changed from that in his earlier works, and how similar it now is to the abysmal intellectual standards displayed in Varghese’s appendix. In fact, Flew told The New York Times Magazine last month that the book “is really Roy’s doing.

The same reviewer wonders if “Flew has lost the desire to reason effectively or whether he no longer cares what is published in his name.” Sadly it wasn't the desire to reason he lost, but the ability. Mutual friends who visited Flew reported a man who was often befuddled and confused. That a fundamentalist type took advantage of that is shameful. Using it as argumentation is doubly shameful.

Bu,t the Rabbi’s point is that there are intelligent people who believe in a god, and this is to counter the argument supposedly made by atheists that brilliant people don’t believe in a god.

First, I have never heard an atheist argue that atheism is true because brilliant people are atheists. Brilliant people are not infallible. It is the argumentation that is important, not the arguer. So, even if a befuddled Sir Antony change what was left of his mind before his death, it proves nothing. The Rabbi has offered up a straw man argument. He thinks there is some sort of tie and crows “you will quote your expert and I will quote mine. …At the end of the day, it’s always going to be a draw…” But, that only happens if you ignore entirely the quality of the argument and rely ONLY on the authority of the man.

There were many brilliant men who worked in German universities, who endorsed the National Socialist platform and endorsed Jew-hating. There were many equally brilliant individuals who were aghast at the anti-Semitism and bigotry, and openly opposed it. Would Rabbi Jacobs accept that “at the end of the day, it’s always going to be a draw?” NO! If he had any intelligence at all, and he clearly does as it takes some intelligence to forge arguments that sound good but are fallacious, he would respond to that example by saying the quality of the arguments must be investigated, not just who is saying them.

Anti-Jewish rants are not more logical because the man who utters them has a high IQ, or is an expert in chemistry. Facts, logic and the quality of argumentation are far, far more important. But the Rabbi wishes to have a “draw,” so he pretends the arguments themselves are irrelevant. This is precisely why he raised the false claim that some number of atheists, presumably enough to mention, think atheism is correct because brilliant men endorse it.

He next asks and then answers the question as to why atheists bother to challenge religion. His answer is: religion does bad things. Most atheists don’t spend much time on the topic, though a few do. Certainly the typical atheist spends less time trying convert people than the typical Baptist. Jacobs next says that secularists like “Hitler, Mao Stalin, and Pol Pot” also did bad things. Thus assuming another tie.

Hitler was a Roman Catholic who regularly invoked his belief in God and Jesus Christ, so why would the Rabbi simply invent that he was a “secularist?” As for the Communists he mentioned, go back to what I said at the beginning. Atheism does not inspire action, as it is the absence of a belief. People will act on a belief they do hold, not on one they don’t hold. What inspired Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao? Communism. They were not acting as atheists, they were acting as Communists. They also lacked a belief in Santa but no one would seriously argue that their lack of a belief in Santa made them commit genocide.

Hitler’s National Socialism and anti-Semitism inspired his genocide. Marx, and their own views on communism inspired the others. They didn’t act based on what they didn’t believe, but on what they did believe.

Finally Rabbi Jacobs appeals to the Right-wing Christian author, Paul Johnson. Jacobs says his Jewish faith, according to Johnson, brought all sorts of important values to the West. While a bit of self-congratulatory, it isn’t exactly humble, or exactly correct. I would argue that many of the concepts that Johnson ascribes to the Jewish religion were not really in the Jewish religion until long after the West adopted them, and that the West received many of these ideals from the Greeks instead.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Secret Sex Offender Lists: Is Your Kid on It?

James is a single man who just never found a woman he wanted to marry. But he did decide to adopt. A few years ago he was introduced to a boy who have been horrible abused his whole life.

The boy was twelve at the time. His history showed that from the ages of 4 to 9 his mother was a drug addict and his stepfather beat him and abused him sexually. When it was discovered what was being done to the boy he was sent to live his biological father. Watching television one day the then 10-year-old touched his younger stepbrother. When his father learned of these he beat the boy and sent him to hospital because of the injuries. The father was charged with a crime and was trying to defend himself—could it be he made up an excuse he hoped they would swallow?

What no one knew is that based on the father's claim, used to justify the beating, the 10-year-old boy was put on a secret, non-public government database as a sex offender. He was never charged with a crime. He never appeared in court. He never had a chance to defend himself. He was never convicted of anything. He was 10-years-old.

Neither the young boy, nor the adopting father, knew this list existed, let alone knew that the boy was on it.

The father had been approved to adopt two children. And he wanted a brother for his son. So he began the process of adoption over again only to be told he could not adopt as his son was a sex offender. A social worker wrote that they had "reason to believe" the boy, when 10-years-old, had touched another child. "Reason to believe," is not evidence. It is not judicially determined. There is no trial, or courtroom, or rules of evidence, or judge, or defending attorney, or right to defend one's self. All there is is one petty bureaucrat making a decision entirely without any protections for the accused. In this case the accused didn't even know he was being accused.

Since adoption the boy has grown into a 15-year-old young man. He is described as "an affable teenager who has achieved academic success and adores karate and art. The father and son are active in their church and in the Boy Scouts."

James has been trying to appeal the accusations made against his son but is running into the typical, uncaring bureaucratic red tape that makes life a living hell for anyone caught up in the "child protective services" net.

"He appealed to the protective services department, but it ruled that the findings against his son would stand. He asked for a hearing from the State Office of Administrative Hearings, which issues decisions on appeals of agency findings, and said he was told that he should expect to wait two years to have his case evaluated."

He even had the boy go through a professional psychological evaluation which said there was very little chance he would sexually abuse anyone. But James was told his license allowing him to adopt was revoked and he that his son would never be allowed to have a brother.

What irks me most is the bullshit the social workers involved in the case are saying. According to them they protecting "innocent" children from getting adopted into a home with a sex offender—this in spite of the fact, already noted, that the boy was never charged with any crime. He was a victim.

But there are two potent myths that are floating around regarding this matter. One is that a child who has been "sexually abused" will grow up to be a sex offender. This is a lie. While this lie has been repeated and is now seen as common wisdom there is no real evidence to back this up. This myth started because of studies of children who were beaten, or suffered violent abuse at home. There was a correlation showing that kids who were beaten by their parents tended to become adults who beat their children. The study was not about sex, but about violence. But since the word "abuse" is used in both cases it was quite easy to find multiple quotes saying children "who were abused as children grow up to be abusers."

The second myth is that kids, or adults for that matter, who sexually "offend" (widely defined these days to include peeing on the side of the road, streaking, of having sex with someone you own age, etc) are mostly incapable of avoiding reoffending. For people who are actually convicted of a real offense, the re-offending rate is one of the lowest of all people convicted of crimes.

There is a related myth, though not one as important: it is the idea that sexual interest by children is a sign they are being abused. Kids are naturally curious and while they may not know that what they are expressing is "sexual" they still have a natural curiosity about the bodies of others. In addition, contrary to wide-spread perceptions they do feel a sexual attraction to others, even if it is not driven by adolescent hormones. A very high percentage of children play doctor at one time or another, but under current US law they are all sex offenders.

The Handbook of Human Sexuality notes:
Many children "experiment" with one another sexually. Approximately half of the mothers in the Sears study (1957) reported some activity that could be identified as sex play. Some play was between brothers and sisters, some with neighbor children, some with children of the same sex, and some with the opposite sex.
The expert authors of this work warn against saying "that a preadolescent or adolescent is 'molesting' a younger child is neither a fair nor precise definition in many cases."

But, if these truths came out the justification for this sex offender lists would vanish. What we are doing to kids today is astoundingly barbaric. This boy should not have been put on a sex offender list, even a secret one hidden from public view. He and his father have now been punished, by limiting the right to adopt, because some bureaucrat thought it "reasonable" to conclude the boy was a risk as a sex offender. It is not reasonable to conclude that at all. And it is unjust to do that, in a setting with legal ramifications, such as this one, without any sort of open hearing with rules of evidence and a defense.

This list, being kept by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is used by various government agencies for different purposes. If the young boy later wished to work as a teacher, even if his record was spotless, without even a hint of scandal, hiring schools would run his name through the data base and would turn him down for a position. He may never even know why he is being turned down.

I can easily see these lists being used to investigate alleged sex crimes so that the boy later finds himself frequently questioned by the police. Given that various government agents have access to the files it would be easy for the boy's status to become public which often leads to harassment, and in some cases into physical assault or murder. In addition, every time politicians want to appear tough on crime, for their own political ends, they change the laws and make them even worse. It could well be that this secret list would one day be put on the Internet as are other sex offender lists. And while the other lists now routinely list crimes as "sex offenses" which clearly are not, such a teenagers who take erotic photos of themselves, this list is even more vague.

Other sex offender lists, as horrific and unjustified as they may be, at least wait until someone is convicted of a crime, even if the law itself is ludicrous. But this list requires no conviction, only a faceless bureaucrat who thinks their conclusion is "reasonable." With the other sex offender lists one has a chance, even when being railroaded, to offer up some sort of a defense, to demand evidence and to be heard with an impartial judge or jury. The secret list gives no such protections.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Luckiest boy in the world: Happy Birthday

A birthday he will never forget.

Gary Johnson, CPAC, conservatives and Ron Paul

Gary Johnson is the only politician who I could support. He's far better than paleoconservative Ron Paul.

Speaking of Ron, I find it hilarious that YAF (which should stand for Youth Against Freedom, but supposedly means Young Americans for Freedom) has said they are throwing Ron Paul off their advisory board. Advisory boards actually never advise, they are for show and usually used by the organization as a fund raising tool to give them legitimacy.

YAF is upset because of one of the issues where Ron Paul is correct, his support for the Old Right position of non-interventionism. YAF tries to paint Paul as some sort of Lefty for this position. In truth however, the bipartisan foreign policy that now has the US stationing troops around the world is Woodrow Wilison's policy and FDR's policy. It is an imperialistic policy that came from the political Left. Though some lefties, like William Jennings Bryan, were clear exceptions.

What is particularly hilarious is that the clowns at YAF claimed to be the oldest "conservative/libertarian" organization around. There is no such creature as a conservative/libertarian. Conservatives are not libertarians and real libertarians are not conservatives. Gary Johnson is no conservative, he is a libertarian. Ron Paul, however, is not a libertarian but a conservative albeit one with some libertarian tendencies, but more paleoconservative than anything else.

I have watched the debate about the CPAC conference for conservatives in DC with some amusement. The presence of a gay conservative group at the CPAC has the theocratic Right foaming at the mouth. Moralistic assholes kept popping up and announcing that they would not attend because, shock, horror, there were "homosexuals" in the crowd.

These people react to gays the same way that Nazis react to Jews, or the Klan does when a black man walks down the street. It is pathetic.

But CPAC has always attracted a younger crowd and they are less concerned about being warriors for Christ, so they aren't quite so willing to host a Holy Inquisition and burn a few heretics on top of the faggots used to light the fire. (Yes, that is the origin of that insulting word, it was the kindling used to burn people at the stake in the name of a loving god.) So, the CPAC attendees aren't so interested in the verbal gay bashing that Christians do so well and so endlessly.

To me the debate that ought to be held is why are libertarians at CPAC, not why are conservatives there. Let's face it people: the modern conservative is not a libertarian. He is even less libertarian than the Old Right conservatives, who still failed at being libertarian. Conservatives are bad on almost everything, when it comes to their political view points.

Libertarians are quite a different species entirely. And the less time libertarians spend with conservatives the better.

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