Intolerant Left strikes again: HGTV forced to cancel TV show for hosts’ traditional marriage stand

I am always amazed at the tolerance of the liberal progressive Left. They’re just so very accepting of views in opposition to their own — especially the radical liberal gay Left. It’s funny how the “Coexist” bumper stickers encourage us to accommodate a theocratic-political totalitarian belief system that believes in death as a punishment for homosexuality — yet you don’t hear a peep from those oh-so-tolerant pushing their gay agenda.

And here is another example of their kind benevolence, as reported over at BizPac Review, ” the HGTV network is the latest high-profile company taking a public stand for the progressives’ liberal agenda by punishing those who don’t fall into line. A new show “Flip it Forward,” scheduled to debut in October has been pulled after liberal lobbying group Right Wing Watch put pressure on the network.”

Remember how Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, got fired from his own company because of his support of Proposition 8 in California for traditional marriage back in 2008? Here we go again.

The real estate show, starring twins David and Jason Benham, was promoted as “leveraging their good-natured sibling rivalry to help families find a fixer-upper and transform it into the dream home they never thought they could afford.” When HGTV became aware that the brothers are pro-life and pro-traditional marriage, and have spoken out on the issues, they suddenly lost their entertainment value.

Shortly after the announcement of the show last month, Right Wing Watch began preparing “evidence” of “extremism” based largely on the behavior of the twins’ father, Flip Benham, who was a life-long activist for pro-life causes like Operation Save America and Operation Rescue, according to the group’s research.

Apparently HGTV doesn’t support the Constitutional rights of freedom of speech and expression. We already know the liberal progressive socialists — those really tolerant folks – don’t.

What type of nation are we becoming? I can tell you — one that is fascist and tyrannical, allowing a radical minority to dominate and destroy anyone opposing their agenda. HGTV issued a statement and tweeted Wednesday saying it is “not moving forward” with the series, but neglected to say why.

So, a show designed to help others realize the American dream of owning a home is cancelled because the two brothers believe in traditional marriage?

Well, I believe in traditional marriage. I support civil unions but I believe marriage should be defined as between one man and one woman.

If your “pursuit of happiness” is defined as being with someone of the same sex, fine, — but that doesn’t mean I have to change my principles, values and my “pursuit of happiness” to acquiesce to yours.

This radical gay agenda is destroying lives and businesses. It is the most intolerant movement in America. Funny, it seems they do have something in common with radical Islamists after all.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com. Featured photo courtesy of CNN.

Too Much Gay Everything

I like to think of myself as a tolerant person. I have, however, one prejudice that is based on biology and history.

Michael Sam, the first openly gay professional football prospect, made history when he was filmed by an ESPN crew giving his lover, Vito Cammisano, a long, lugubrious kiss to celebrate being selected in the National Football League draft on May 10th. The sight of two men kissing passionately was not something I and a lot of other folks wanted to see.

A spokesman for GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination, called the kiss “a significant milestone”, describing it as “touching.” No it wasn’t. It was nauseating to any heterosexual having to witness it or explain it to their children.

We need to understand that being gay is not normal. Biologically, species exist because the male and female genders exist for the purpose of procreation and propagation. Historically, gays have been held in disdain in every era of civilization. Today in the Islamic Middle East you can be killed for being gay, but you can also be killed for being Christian. In the West both actions are an abomination.

One gets a variety of estimates regarding how many gays there are in America. To the question, how many gay people are there in the United States, “The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, a sexual orientation law and public policy think tank, estimates that 9 million (about 3.8%) of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (2011). The institute also found that bisexuals make up 1.8% of the population, while 1.7% are gay or lesbian. Transgender adults make up 0.3% of the population.”

Being as generous as one can with such estimates, it still means that 96% of Americans are heterosexual.

In terms of the news generated by gays and their depiction in films and especially these days on television, one might be inclined to think that they were a far greater part of the population, but they are a minority within other minorities. My own guess is that there a large number of gays in the news profession and most certainly in the world of entertainment. And now we are being informed of gays in the world of sports.

I don’t want to hear much about gays for any reason. The kiss was not something I would want young people to see on television or anywhere else. The bigger problem is that our younger generation, progressing through our schools, is being systematically taught to accept homosexuality as just another version of normality.

A group called MassResistance was created in response to an assault on the Massachusetts school curriculum and GLSEN, the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is hard at work in all fifty states! As MassResistance points out, Its agenda is to ensure that “a wide range of psychologically penetrating homosexual and transgender programs (and) activities into the schools,” while “organizing and training teachers to integrate their techniques throughout the curriculum.”

In early April, GLSEN held an all-day conference in Boston with speeches and workshops. It was attended by approximately 325 people, approximately two-third of whom were students. “The GLSEN Conference is run by adults and is meant to train adults. But they go to great lengths to bring in as many students as possible, no matter how young. They come from schools across the state and usual seem part of a ‘gay club’ or affiliated with a homosexual activities on the school’s staff, such as a teacher or guidance counselor.”

The opening session included two keynote speeches, both which were directed at the students. “A general message we got from both speeches,” reported MassResistance, “was there is no sense of truth, or reality, or of right and wrong. Any way you want to express yourself in life is fine.” The problem for gays and lesbians is that they do not have a choice about their sexual orientation, any more than they have a choice over being right or left-handed.

Being a youngster of any age is stressful enough, but being young and gay just adds to the stress and someone should tell them they will live with that for the rest of their lives.

Most certainly parents do not send their children to our public schools to learn about homosexuality, bisexuality, or being transgendered.

What a very large portion of the heterosexual population objects to is the appalling and aggressive effort of the homosexual minority to redefine marriage. Anyone with a handful of functioning brain cells knows that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. Same-sex marriage is an assault on the traditional, historical and global understanding of marriage, the keystone of any society.

It is not something the courts can or should determine. The “equal protection of the law” in the 14th Amendment does not refer to, nor infer the right to marry someone of the same sex. Interpreting it to mean that is a distortion that must intentionally ignore the intent of the Constitution as regards the specific rights it enumerates.

That’s not what’s being taught the current generation in our schools. It’s not mentioned in the countless news stories about “gay marriage” and the many depictions of gays on television sitcoms and other shows.

I don’t want to see another kiss like Sam and his lover shared on television. I don’t care what they do in their private lives, but I want it to remain private.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED STORY: Judicial juggernaut on ‘gay marriage’ continues

A Question for those Who Believe in Homosexual Scouts

Not satisfied with having pressured the Boy Scouts of America into lifting their prohibition against openly homosexual scouts, activists now want homosexual scoutmasters to be allowed as well. Equality, you know, is the order of the day. Yet the truth is that virtually all of you who advocate this social change operate with a certain bias — you just don’t realize it.

Let’s put aside for a moment the issue of homosexuality’s moral status; for argument’s sake, I’ll accept the supposition that homosexuality is the equivalent of heterosexuality. But if this is so and it’s okay for a homosexual man be a troop leader and go on camping trips with 11 and 12-year-old boys, why isn’t it okay to have a heterosexual man be a Girl Scout troop leader and do the same with the girls?

Yes, I know that men are responsible for most sex crimes, but the homosexual man is a man, too. So why the double standard? Homosexuality and heterosexuality are equivalent, right?

It has often been said that fears of homosexual BSA leaders are unwarranted because there’s a difference between homosexuality and pedophilia. But then fears of men as Girl Scout leaders would be unwarranted, too, as there’s also a difference between heterosexuality and pedophilia, correct? After all, homosexuality and heterosexuality are equivalent.

Some activists might also aver that homosexual scout masters are vetted adults who will behave responsibly. But then the same could be said about male Girl Scout leaders, no?

As for the scouts themselves, if it’s okay for a 13-year-old boy with same-sex attraction to sleep in a tent with other 13-year-old boys, why can’t a heterosexual 13-year-old boy go camping with 13-year-old girl scouts? Homosexuality and heterosexuality are equivalent, right?

By the way, the BSA was once sued by a girl who wanted to be a “boy scout,” and there are people who say that separating the sexes in such ways is intolerable inequality. Besides, those on the cutting edge of sexual activism contend that “gender” is a personal choice, anyway, and one feminist professor insists that “gender” (I believe her theory means this to include “sex” also) doesn’t even exist. So allowing what I’ve outlined does seem like an imperative of progressive thought’s latest iteration.

Some activists also say that it’s silly to fear homosexual activity among boy scouts because the kids won’t indulge such things unless they’re inclined to do so in the first place. But the same could be said of teen boys with girl scouts — the girls won’t do anything they’re not inclined to. And homosexuality and heterosexuality are equivalent, right?

Of course, you may have a problem with all this if you understand that there is such thing as temptation and that precautions should be taken to minimize the chances of sexual activity in youth programs. If this is your attitude, though, then it follows that the exact same standards — and prohibitions — that apply to occasions of heterosexual temptation should apply to occasions of homosexual temptation.

Because as we all know, homosexuality and heterosexuality are equivalent.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

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Too Much Gay Everything

Prayer March For Persecuted Christians held in Orlando, FL

On May 17, 2014, 200+ people gathered in Orlando, FL for the Prayer March For Persecuted Christians coordinated by Rev. Bruce Lieske and Alan Kornman. Tom and Carole Hays, Barbara Lieske, Dolores Divine, Judy Finnie, and a team of dedicated volunteers ultimately responsible for making this event a reality.

People of all faiths, races, and denominations joined together to raise awareness of Christian persecution around the world.

An international group of speakers from Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Germany, and Europe tell their personal stories of persecution. Meet many of them as you watch this video.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/oqowThM0r7g[/youtube]

Orlando March against Persecuted Christians  May 17 2014 Orlando

For a larger view click on the poster.

Recent events in Nigeria where 300 Christian girls were kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam, raped, and tortured by the Islamist Jihadi group Boko Haram, caught the attention of the world. 10% of the kidnapped girls who were Muslim were set free by their captors. The fate of the remaining girls is grim.

What Is Christian Persecution

Rev. Bruce Lieske writes, “We believe that the prayer march for persecuted Christians held in Orlando, Florida on May 17, 2014 is the beginning of a North American movement. For too long Christians have been silent about the plight of persecuted Christians around the world. In the past we have heard little about this growing problem. It does not fit the preferred narrative of the secular news media, and for the most part our pulpits are silent. Pastors appear to be intimidated by the lie of “political correctness” or cowed by implied threats from Muslim organizations. Christians are now the most persecuted people group on earth. They suffer imprisonment, beheadings, rape, public torture and kidnappings — often resulting in forced marriages, sex slavery and false conversions to Islam. Their homes, churches and schools are burned, such as happened in Pakistan in 2013 when 200 homes and two churches were burned because of an alleged blasphemy against Muhammad.

Silent no more. Martin Luther King said, “In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” The prayer march in downtown Orlando was attended by 200 people carrying signs which had slogans like “Stop Burning Down Churches in Pakistan” and “Religious Freedom also in Islamic Countries.” Many Christians know the stories about the early Christian martyrs being thrown to the lions in the Roman coliseum, but today over 100,000 Christians are murdered every year for their faith, and pulpits are strangely silent. This silence, stemming from lack of awareness, or fear of criticism and reprisal, is the very intimidation that the enemies of Christ seek to impose. God has not given His Church a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. The movement has begun.

We will be silent no more.

Awareness Across the USA Grows

Marches and Rally’s for persecuted Christian’s were initiated without any coordination in Dallas, TX by Eric Martin and Bill Warner in Nashville, TN. It is our hope that next year on May 17 we will see Marches For Persecuted Christians being organized in cities all across America and Europe.

Church leaders from across Orlando who participated, we thank them for sending the message to Central Florida residents that persecution of any group will not be tolerated.

Sadly, many of the largest Churches and Synagogues in Orlando we contacted were not responsive to this important issue that is gaining national awareness. It is our hope that everyone will reach out to their ecumenical leadership and tell them to support the March in 2015.

If you would like someone to speak at one of your events or talk with your clergy contact PrayerMarch@Yahoo.com

Special thanks to: Sister Hatune Dogan, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Henrik Clausen, Ann Marchini, Ned M and Valerie Price who travelled from out of the country to be at this event.

A lesson for the young: How Demagogues Con People

How do you know you’re being had by a slick politician? Writing in Mein Kampf about how to manipulate people and win power, Adolf Hitler said that since the average person had a very limited memory and a “slowness of understanding,” it was necessary to use only short, catchy slogans and repeat them often. Sound familiar?

Hope and Change!
Forward!
Choice!
Diversity!
Equality!

Of course, this tactic isn’t restricted to any one leader, but is as old as demagoguery itself. Slogans are very effective, which is why they are the heart of advertising: “Coke is it!” “Just Do It” “Mmm mm good”     “They’re G-r-r-r-r-eat!” “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking” (setting things to rhyme or music facilitates memorization; this accounts for the rhythmic meter and repetitive structure in the Iliad and the Odyssey and why the Homeric bards were able to memorize such tomes). Sure, producers could sometimes provide technical explanations for why their products are superior, and often they couldn’t, but it doesn’t matter because they aren’t trying to appeal to the intellect. They want to engage you emotionally.

The reality of emotion’s power is why we have the Jesuit saying, “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man” and the Bible’s counsel, “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” It’s why Boston College education professor William Kilpatrick wrote, quoting Plato on the Greek method for youth formation, that an “imaginative education” providing “examples of nobility and grace” “paves the way” for a “reasoned morality” by creating “an ‘erotic [emotional] attachment’ to virtue” and “making it more likely that the grown child will happily accept the dictates of reason.” Shape a person’s emotions when he is still wet clay and continue the process until he hardens, and he will likely be hardened on either virtue or vice, as the case may be. And, barring some vessel-shattering trauma or conversion, that will be the shape of the man.

Of course, young adults and older ones can be manipulated emotionally, too, especially when the approach appeals to their already hardened moral framework. And one of the most important aspects of self-examination is asking, “How have my emotions been shaped?” Am I embracing my beliefs because they are right or simply because they feel right? Am I, at least on certain issues, a person who cannot be reasoned out of a position because I have not reasoned myself into it, to paraphrase Ben Franklin?

One clue you’ve been manipulated emotionally is simple: Valid arguments are never just one word. Oh, commands can be one word. Emotional triggers can be one word. Demagoguery can be one word. But there is a reason why great philosophers wrote vast works: an explanation of a truth is invariably longer than the expression of the truth. It’s one reason why a catechism is far longer than the Ten Commandments.

I’ve also never seen a valid argument encapsulated in just one slogan or even saying. It’s surely true that “Boys will be boys,” but the psychological explanation of how exactly they act, or why, requires more than four words.

And just imagine that we applied what we accept from politicians to other areas in which we need expertise. Let’s say you went to a doctor and, upon asking for his prescription, he screamed “Health!” Or imagine you booked a lesson with a tennis instructor and his only advice for improvement was “develop skill!” I doubt you’d think the experience was worth the fee.

Now we come to the issues. Your position on, let’s say, marriage, abortion or immigration may or may not be valid, but if one word or slogan is all you have to back it up, you don’t have a valid argument for it. And if that is truly all you have, chances are that you were won over in an invalid manner — through sloganeering. Again, this is true even if the position you arrived at may happen to be valid.

“Equality!” or “Choice!” isn’t an argument; it’s a word. “Marriage equality!” or “Our strength lies in our diversity” isn’t an argument; it’s a slogan. By the way, the same applies to “liberty.” I surely believe man should have appropriate freedoms and that they’re being trampled today, but shouting “liberty!” tells us nothing about what “appropriate” freedoms would be exactly, how this is determined or how they can be secured. Note, this isn’t to say that battle cries aren’t sometimes useful and necessary. But the subject here isn’t rallying the troops but intellectual and moral growth.

Now, when analyzing whether we have arguments or just slogans, there is a trap we can easily fall into: thinking that arguing with others is synonymous with having an argument. Sure, if someone contradicts us on an issue we’re passionate about, we’ll certainly have our retorts. But the question is, if we were simply asked, without being challenged egotistically, to explain the reasoning behind our position, would our response amount to little more than a slogan? Do we instinctively fall back on slogans or reasoned arguments?

Having said all this, the medicine this article administers is insufficient for many of the patients it aims to reach. For it is not a slogan but is appealing to slogan-oriented people; it is the using of an intellectual appeal to address an emotional issue. It was understandable why Debby Boone sang “It can’t be wrong when it feels so right,” for something that appeals to the intellect but cannot touch the heart (either because of its deficiencies or because the heart is hardened to it) can never “feel” as good as what grabs the emotions because the intellect doesn’t “feel” at all. This bane of humanity is what C.S. Lewis spoke of in The Abolition of Man when writing, “Without the aid of trained emotions the intellect is powerless against the animal organism.”

So a better first step would be to help people develop an “erotic attachment” to virtue, “erotic” meaning “passionate” in this sense. But this is very difficult to do with adults in any case, and it’s not the purpose of reasoned commentary.

Regardless, those who have ears to hear and eyes to see should take heed. As with the late Christopher Hitchens, whose great reasoning powers became clouded when discussing religion, even the best of us can have areas where we’re governed by that most unwise of helmsmen: passion. And whether individually or as a people, the more powerless we are against the animal organism, the more animalistic we become.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Are “free thinking” Hollywood Liberals turning on the Obama Administration?

Recently Mel Brooks in an interview with Yahoo.com criticized political correctness in Hollywood. On the 40th anniversary of his movie “Blazing Saddles” Brooks said, “They can’t make that movie today because everybody’s so politically correct. You know, the NAACP would stop a great movie that would do such a great service to black people because of the N-word. You’ve got to really examine these things and see what’s right and what’s wrong. Politically correct is absolutely wrong. Because it inhibits the freedom of thought. I’m so lucky that they weren’t so strong then and that the people that let things happen on the screen weren’t so powerful then. I was very lucky.”

1mel2

Photo courtesy of Breitbart.com.

Breitbart’s John Nolte did a column on “Blazing Saddles”, a movie classic. Nolte wrote:

I caught all kinds of entertaining hell (Kos is especially perturbed) for my review of the new 40th Anniversary Bluray of “Blazing Saddles” and for a follow-up piece, both of which stated the obvious: That today’s Left has become a bunch of  insufferable, joy-killing, censorious, fascist Church Ladies who would never allow “Blazing Saddles” to be made today and that they will someday try to have the film banned.

It looks as though Mr. Brooks agrees with my first point. That’s because Mel Brooks is a free-thinking liberal, not a freedom-stifling, controlling, free speech-hating leftist.

The difference between a liberal and a leftist is not the how they vote. Liberals don’t use phrases like “the debate is over,” “the science is settled,” “ban bossy” or “ban anything that might offend anyone who isn’t a white Christian male.” Fascist leftists do.

But things may be changing in Hollywood. The free thinking liberals in Hollywood may be making a comeback.

Sonny Bunch in a Washington Times column writes, “If it’s summer movie season, that means it’s time for me to make some counter intuitive claims about the blockbusters in our midst. Last year, I made the case that Star Trek: Into Darkness was accidentally a pro-drone-strike parable and that Matt Damon’s Elysium was actually an anti-Obamacare warning. Let’s get things going this year by suggesting that Godzilla, which looks like it will open to a big box office debut, is actually a message to humanity to chill out about global warming, everything’s going to be okay.”

Bunch notes, “As the film progresses, the intellectual center of the picture is revealed to be Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe), who takes an almost zen-like approach to the MUTOs [mutants]. He believes that Godzilla, who he has been searching for his entire adult life, is not a threat to humanity but a part of Earth’s natural biosphere. The giant lizard exists to ‘restore balance.’ Serizawa also laments the ‘arrogance of man’ for thinking he can control nature; the good doctor believes that the only way to stop the rampaging MUTOs is to let Godzilla fight them and kill them, to let nature run its course. The leaders of men disagree, opting to try and gather all three of the giant creatures into the same area off America’s west coast, where they will be destroyed by a thermonuclear warhead. This plan backfires, leading to a nuke threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of San Franciscans.”

Others are not so sure that Godzilla is anti-global warming.

In his column “The New ‘Godzilla’ Is Science Fiction — and Climate Fiction“, Scott Blakeman writes:

A genre of film is emerging in the movie industry: climate fiction, or, “cli-fi” for short. It plays on fears and anxieties (and myths, quite frankly) about drastic climate change caused primarily by humans. The “Godzilla” remake that opens in theaters today should give people a sense of what cli-fi is all about: climate change hyperbole designed to make a buck at the box office.

A.O. Scott wrote a review of “Godzilla” for The New York Times explaining that in the film, the “focus of global anxiety has shifted from nuclear annihilation to climate change and related problems.” Scott notes that there’s a certain overtone throughout the movie that “we’ve made a big mess of things with our missiles and our power plants, but Godzilla is nature’s way of restoring balance.”

Great. Cli-fi is a purveyor of climate change propaganda. However, the sweet irony in the cinematic genre of cli-fi is that the name reveals an underlying truth: The sensationalism surrounding climate change is simply fiction.

I recently watched Elysium and took away the impression that it was about the elites (e.g. Congress, unions and those with money) having access to first rate medical care while the masses suffered. There are two ways to view this, one as a populist film, the other as a film against the growing centralization of power over the lives of the masses via government programs like Obamacare.

I guess cinematic beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

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Is All Love ‘Equal’?

The following is adapted from a one-page flier passed out by AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera at an April 14, 2014 protest at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada [see this excellent video commentary by Canadian pundit Brian Lilley]. At the protest, led by Canadian pro-family/pro-life activist Bill Whatcott, both he and LaBarbera were arrested on the charge of “mischief” for not abandoning their peaceful sign protest against homosexuality and abortion. In explaining why the university felt the need to eject Whatcott and the three other protesters, U of R provost and vice-president Thomas Chase said, “The materials were graphic and the materials were disturbing,” he told the Regina Leader-Post. “The materials, we felt, could harm members of this campus community who we have a duty to protect and support.”

hrc-equal-sign-logo-adapted

Is All Love ‘Equal’?

“Love is Love,” same-sex “marriage” advocates are fond of saying. At a recent protest in Weyburan, Saskatchewan, Canada, a pro-“gay” activist said, “It doesn’t matter who you love, it just matters that you love.” The implication is that homosexual sex and relationships are equivalent—morally, practically and health-wise—to natural sex and relationships (i.e., marriage) between a man and a woman. But is that true?

Capacity to Produce Life

Sex between men or between women alone can never produce children.  “Gay parenting” requires a previous heterosexual relationship by one or both of the same-sex partners, or adoption or artificial means to acquire a child.  That child will then intentionally be denied a father or a mother.  In contrast, heterosexuality and natural marriage produce children, families and future generations.

‘HIV Is a Gay Disease’

Homosexual sex between men is the biggest risk factors for HIV/AIDS. A stunning 94-95 percent of all HIV diagnoses in 2011 among boys and young men were linked to homosexual sex, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports.[1] A 2008 CDC study of “gay” men in 21 major cities found that nearly one in five were HIV positive while 44 percent of those did not know it. [2] Facts like these have led some homosexual activists to admit that, “HIV is a gay disease.”[3] Yet students rarely are educated on the heightened health risks associated with homosexual behaviors.

CDC slide demonstrates the strong correlation between

CDC slide demonstrates the strong correlation between “male-to-male sexual contact” and HIV among adolescent boys and young men. To view the full CDC slide presentation, go HERE; to read the related AFTAH article, go HERE. Yellow highlighting did not appear on original CDC slide.

Viral Hepatitis and High-Risk Homosexual Sex

“Among adults, an estimated 10% of new Hepatitis A cases and 20% of new Hepatitis B cases occur in gay or bisexual men,” the CDC reported in October 2013. The disproportionate risk is linked to high-risk sexual behaviors by “men who have sex with men” (MSM). The CDC reports: “Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter—even in microscopic amounts—from an infected person. Among men who have sexual contact with other men, Hepatitis A can be spread through direct anal-oral contact or contact with fingers or objects that have been in or near the anus of an infected person.”[4]

Sex Practices Common Among Homosexual Men Are ‘Highly Efficient Ways of Transmitting Disease,’ Says ‘Gay’ Writer

“Some practices common among gays–especially rimming [mouth-to-anus sex] and anal intercourse–are highly efficient ways of transmitting disease.”–”Gay” writer Jack Hart, Gay Sex: A Manual for Men Who Love Men [5]

CDC-table-Intimate-Partner-VIolence

A 2010 CDC study on “Intimate Partner Violence” among homosexuals and bisexuals found higher rates of “rape, physical violence, and/or stalking” among lesbians and bisexual women compared to heterosexual women–and higher rates of “sexual violence” among homosexual and bisexual men compared to heterosexual men. Go HERE to read CDC report summary.

Domestic Partner Violence Higher for Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals

“Rates of some form of sexual violence were higher among lesbian women, gay men, and bisexual women and men compared to heterosexual women and men,” the CDC reported in 2010.

“Forty-four percent of lesbian women, 61% of bisexual women, and 35% of heterosexual women experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime…

“Four in 10 gay men (40%), nearly half of bisexual men (47%), and 1 in 5 heterosexual men (21%) have experienced SV [sexual violence] other than rape in their lifetime. This translates into nearly 1.1 million gay men, 903,000 bisexual men, and 21.6 million heterosexual men.” [6]

Anal Cancer

“The incidence of anal cancer in gay men is approximately 80 times that of the general population.” [7]

Syphilis

“In 2012, 75% of the reported primary and secondary syphilis cases were among men who have sex with men (MSM)/” the CDC reported. [8]

Dr. Stephen Goldstone

Anus: ‘Highest Risk Place for STDs,” Says Homosexual Doctor 

“[An] anus is the highest risk place for STDs [sexually transmitted diseases].”–Dr. Stephen Goldstone, The Ins and Outs of Gay Sex: A Medical Handbook for Men [9]

Sources:

1. ”CDC: 94 to 95 Percent of HIV Cases among Boys and Young Men Linked to Homosexual Sex,” AFTAH website, September 11, 2013 [link HERE]; links to CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] presentation, “HIV Surveillance in Adolescents and Young Adults,” National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatisis, STD and & TB Prevention, Div. of HIV/AIDS Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/statistics_surveillance_Adolescents.pdf.

2. CDC Press Release: “1 in 5 men who have sex with men in 21 U.S. cities have HIV; nearly half unaware,” National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention; “The CDC study tested 8,153 MSM in 21 cities participating in the 2008 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS).” [link HERE]

3. Sharon Bernstein, “HIV Ads Embrace, and Stun, Audience,” Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2006: “the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center had embarked on a controversial ad campaign with this stark declaration: ‘HIV is a gay disease,’ with the tag line ‘Own It. End It.’ on billboards and in magazines.” [story link HERE].

4. CDC, “Viral Hepatitis: Information for Gay and Bisexual Men,” October 2013; http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/Populations/PDFs/HepGay-FactSheet.pdf.

5. Jack Hart, Gay Sex: A Manual for Men who Love Men (Revised & Updated, Second edition, October 1998). Published by [now defunct] Alyson Books (Los Angeles, New York), pages 194, 212-213. [AFTAH link HERE] Full quote by Hart, a homosexual, is below:

“Many sexual transmitted diseases (STDs) occur more often among gay men than in the general population. Several factors contribute to this difference: Gay men have the opportunity to engage in sex with more people than do most heterosexual men, and some practices common among gays–especially rimming [oral-anal perversion*] and anal intercourse–are highly efficient ways of transmitting disease….”

6. NISVS: “An Overview of 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation,” The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), 2010: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/cdc_nisvs_victimization_final-a.pdf

7. HIV Essentials 2013 (Sixth Edition), by Paul E. Sax , Calvin J. Cohen, Daniel R. Kuritzkes, (Jones & Bartlett Learning: Burlington, MA, 2013), p. 132. [Amazon book link HERE]

8. CDC, “Syphilis & MSM (Men Who Have Sex With Men) – CDC Fact Sheet; page last updated: January 7, 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/STDFact-MSM-Syphilis.htm

9. Dr. Stephen Goldstone, The Ins and Outs of Gay Sex: A Medical Handbook for Men, (Dell: 1999), p 16; in the passage, Dr. Goldstone, a homosexual and “gay” advocate, is urging condom use. For more quotations by Goldstone, see this AFTAH article. [Amazon book link HERE]

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What Freedom of Speech?

In a telephone conversation recorded on April 9, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, engaged in a heated exchange centered on her friendship with a number of current and former professional basketball stars, including Magic Johnson.

In the recorded conversation, obtained by TMZ Sports, Stiviano, who is half black and half Mexican, apologized for the color of her skin, to which Sterling replied, “That isn’t the issue. You’ve missed this issue… The issue is we don’t have to broadcast everything.”

When Stiviano protested that she’s wasn’t broadcasting anything, Sterling asked, “… And why are you taking pictures with minorities…why?”  He went on to explain that “there’s a culture.  People feel certain things.  Hispanics feel certain things towards blacks.  Blacks feel certain things toward other groups.  It’s been that way historically, and it will always be that way.”

To which Stiviano replied, “I’m a mixed girl, and you’re in love with me.  And I’m black and Mexican, whether you like it or not, whether the world accepts it or not.  And you’re asking me to remove something that’s part of me and in my bloodstream because the world thinks different of me and you’re afraid of what they’re going to think (or) see because of your upbringing?  You want me to have hate towards black people?”

Sterling replied, “Yeah, it bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people.  Do you have to? … I don’t want you to have hate.  That’s what people do, they turn things around.  I want you to love them… privately.  In your whole life, everyday, you can be with them… every single day of your life.”

Puzzled, Stiviano asked, “But not in public?”

Sterling replied, “How about your whole life, everyday, you could do whatever you want.  You can sleep with them, you can bring them in, you can do whatever you want.  The little I ask you is not to promote it on that… and not to bring them to my games.”

When Stiviano suggested that Sterling was being negative, he responded, “There is no negativity.  I love everybody.  I’m just saying, in your lousy f_ _ _ ing Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people…”

The conversation set off a firestorm of controversy in the major media, including the normally level-headed and common sense journalists of Fox News.  What no one seemed to notice in the rush to crucify Sterling was that, although his attitude toward blacks might have been a popular view among Democrats in the mid-19th century, his 1st Amendment free speech rights were being totally trashed for expressing the same views in the early 21st century.

Because the conversation was based on race, the NBA was panicked into taking immediate action.  In a New York press conference on Tuesday, April 29, Commissioner Adam Silver yielded to the law of political correctness and dropped the hammer on Sterling.

In a prepared statement, he said, “The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful.  That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage.  Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multi-cultural, and multi-ethnic league.

“I am personally distraught that the views expressed by Mr. Sterling came from within an institution that has historically taken such a leadership role in matters of race relations and cause former and current players, coaches, fans, and partners of the NBA to question their very association with the league…

Effective immediately, Silver imposed the following punishments on Sterling:

  • He is banned for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA,
  • He is prohibited from attending any NBA games or practices,
  • He is banned from participating in any business or player personnel decisions involving the Clippers,
  • He is barred from attending NBA Board of Governors meetings or any other league activity,
  • He is required to pay a $2.5 million fine.

In addition, Silver announced that he will urge the NBA Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team, and that the $2.5 million fine, the maximum allowed under the NBA constitution, will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and its Players Association.

Although I share none of Mr. Sterling’s feelings toward any group of people based on the color of their skin, I would defend to the death his right to feel as he does and to express those feelings, either publicly or in private conversation.

Yes, the NBA has a set of rules freely agreed to by all of the team owners.  Under those rules, it is within the power of the NBA to ban him for life from any association with the Clippers or any other NBA team; it is within the power of the NBA to ban him from any business or player personnel decisions of the Clippers; it is within the authority of the NBA to bar Sterling from attending and participating in NBA Board of Governors meetings; and it is within the power of the NBA to fine him $2.5 million for bringing discredit upon the NBA.  However, the NBA does not have the power to prohibit his attendance at NBA games.  Just as the league may not dictate what Sterling thinks or says, neither can they prohibit his freedom to buy a ticket to any sporting event of his choosing.

So far as the $2.5 million is concerned, it remains to be seen which organizations are chosen to receive a portion of those funds.  I would suggest that organizations such as the NAACP, Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, and Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/Push organization would fail to qualify under the parameter dictated by Commissioner Silver.  None of those organizations can claim to be free of racial bias; none can lay claim to racial or political tolerance.

The fact is, I feel just as strongly about liberals and Democrats as Mr. Sterling feels about black people… perhaps moreso.  It is through the profound ignorance of Democrats and other “low information” voters that leftist radicals such as Barack Obama ascend to power, so if I had a teenage daughter and I found that she was dating a Democrat… whether an intellectually  committed socialist or a typical non-thinking, low information zombie… I would not be happy.

The damage that Sterling does by voicing his dislike of black people is inconsequential.  The only real harm it does is to tarnish his personal reputation as a highly successful entrepreneur.  But to pull the Democrat lever in election after election, in support of candidates who provide moral and political support for the likes of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, does real harm to the country.

What has been largely overlooked in the Donald Sterling “tempest in a teapot” is the fact that he has every right not to like black people.  Unfortunately, amidst all of the sound and fury, no one has thought to ask exactly what it is that he doesn’t like about them.

In the decades since the New Frontier and the Great Society, a great many minorities have been cynically lured beneath the smothering blanket of the welfare state… and not because liberals and Democrats give a damn about the welfare of black people.  Democrats are interested in black people only to the extent that they pull the Democrat lever on Election Day.  And what better way to keep them pulling the Democrat lever than to offer them an endless variety of “freebies” out of the federal treasury.  Unfortunately, in yielding to the irresistible temptation of the welfare state, most blacks have rejected the limitless opportunities that the capitalist system holds out to those who rely on education, hard work, good behavior, and perseverance.

In the process, liberals and Democrats have created a highly unflattering stereotype of black people in the minds of many whites.  Is it that stereotype that motivates Sterling’s attitude toward blacks?  Surely he has an answer to the question, but has anyone thought to ask him?  Certainly, if someone were to ask me what it is that I have against liberals and Democrats, I could speak for hours on the subject… then I’d have to rest for a few minutes before speaking for several more hours.

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[youtube]http://youtu.be/AlfFhqvW5h8[/youtube]

Pop Quiz: Which of these does the Left think is an agent of “white privilege”?

During his White Islamophobia workshop at the White Privilege Conference, Amer Ahmed personally attacks Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer for their work fighting back against the radical Jihad movement in America.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/6sWu68OVeQU[/youtube]

Transcript of the above video, from Progressives Today:

We have these peddlers. These Islamophobes who make it their career now peddling hate. We have Robert Spencer… and he’s with Pamela Geller who gets access to media. It’s interesting because Muslim people are a group of people you can vilify and there isn’t an outrage. She put up these posters in subways and things like that, that say, “In the war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.

Here is my response:

Long before the international media and Michelle Obama woke up to the evil of Boko Haram, the only people calling attention to their evil and violent actions were those of us who were accused of being “racist” for opposing jihad terror and Islamic supremacism. The ridiculousness of equating resistance to jihad terror with white privilege was epitomized recently by Hamas-linked CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white man, lecturing Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a black Somali ex-Muslim, about her “Islamophobia.” Who was the bearer of “white privilege” in that exchange? And in general, who speaks for the black and brown victims of jihad terror? Only the people who are being charged with “white privilege.” This shows the absurdity of the entire Leftist perspective on jihad terror.

And here is Pamela Geller’s:

It is absurd to mention me and my work in the context of “white privilege,” and shows how deeply dishonest the entire “Islamophobia” initiative really is. Is it “white privilege” to speak out in defense of the victims of Boko Haram’s jihad in Nigeria? The world knows about the abducted schoolgirls, but for years I was one of the very few people who were chronicling their numerous atrocities, and defending their victims. Is it “white privilege” to stand up for the victims of the Westgate Mall jihad massacre in Nairobi? Or the Mumbai jihad massacre in India? Or the thousands of victims of the jihad in Thailand?

This is a ridiculous attempt to perpetuate the myth that opposing jihad terror is “racist.” What race is jihad terror? What race is hijacking planes and flying them into buildings? What race is abducting schoolgirls? By condemning opposition to jihad as “white privilege,” the people at the white privilege conference were aiding and abetting murder and oppression.

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Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything by George C. Leef

Our Legal System Poses a Grave Threat to Our Liberty.

In the gigantic theater that is American politics, one of the favorite roles for politicians to play is that of the tough guy who is determined to “crack down” on something or other. Such actions are predictably cheered by whatever voting groups the politician wants to curry favor with. An often-heard campaign line is, “Vote for me and I’ll push legislation to make it a crime to. . . .” We already have an enormous criminal code, but adding one more thing to it serves to show the voters that the pol really means business.

Like most features of our politics this mania for the criminalization of behavior is harmful. As is usual with government, the unseen problems dwarf the seen benefits. The more we criminalize conduct that voters dislike, the more we put people who never intended any wrongdoing into the quicksand of criminal prosecution. With legions of prosecutors who are more interested in making names for themselves than in doing justice, Americans are living in an increasingly dangerous country.

That’s the point of Go Directly to Jail, edited by lawyer and Cato Institute writer Gene Healy. “At one time,” he writes, “the common law doctrines of mens rea (“guilty mind”) and actus reus (“guilty act”) cabined the reach of criminal sanctions, but those protections have eroded dramatically over the past 50 years. Today it’s possible to send a person to prison without showing criminal intent or even a culpable act. . . .”

Consider this case. Edward Hanousek worked for a railroad in Alaska. One day, a backhoe operator working under his supervision accidentally ruptured an oil pipeline while removing some boulders from the tracks. Hanousek, who wasn’t even at the site of the accident, was nevertheless prosecuted for having violated the Clean Water Act, which makes it a crime if a “negligent failure to supervise” leads to any discharge that might pollute water. Hanousek was convicted for someone else’s accident. His case was appealed to the Supreme Court, which declined to review this legal abomination. Americans must now worry about criminal prosecution for all sorts of conduct that a few decades ago hardly anyone would have thought should be illegal.

The book has six chapters by different authors. Erik Luna’s “Overextending the Criminal Law” explores the unfortunate tendency for politicians to use criminal sanctions as an all-purpose tool of social control. It’s impossible to disagree with Luna’s assessment that “When the criminal sanction is used for conduct that is widely viewed as harmless . . . the moral force of the penal code is diminished, possibly to the point of near irrelevance. . . .”

In the second essay, “The New Criminal Classes: Legal Sanctions and Business Managers,” James V. DeLong observes that the spread of criminalization means that nearly anyone can fall victim to prosecution for some regulatory crime, and often the defendant finds that the law accords him a lower degree of protection for his rights than do old-fashioned criminals who rob and murder. The Fourth and Fifth Amendments have been subverted in the crusade to send people like Ed Hanousek to jail.

Legal scholar Timothy Lynch, in “Polluting Our Principles: Environmental Protection and the Bill of Rights,” shows that the incentives for environmental regulators to produce “results” (that is, convictions to prove how dedicated they are to safeguarding the environment) lead to terrible travesties of justice. The vagueness of many environmental regulations gives the enforcers almost unfettered discretion to prosecute business people. Lynch notes that individuals accused of environmental crimes are often subjected to procedures that the courts would not tolerate for normal criminal defendants. He calls it the “environmental exception to the Bill of Rights.”

Galen Institute president Grace-Marie Turner discusses criminalization in medical care, specifically, the dangerous trend toward criminal prosecution in the futile crusade against Medicare and Medicaid fraud. An especially frightening feature of the law here is that the enforcers get to keep a percentage of the fines they impose.

Editor Healy contributes a chapter on the rampant federalization of crime. To provide just one example, President Bush’s Project Safe Neighborhoods has led to a surge in federal prosecutions for illegal firearms possession. Healy writes that this law “violates the Tenth Amendment, clogs the federal courts, encourages a mindless zero tolerance policy and opens the door for every special interest group in Washington to politicize criminal justice policy.”

The book’s final chapter, again by Erik Luna, examines the nation’s sorry experience with federal sentencing guidelines, which he argues “saps moral judgment from the process of punishment.”

The U.S. is off track in many, many ways. Go Directly to Jail leaves no doubt that our legal system is careening out of control and poses a grave threat to our liberty.

ABOUT GEORGE C. LEEF

George Leef is the former book review editor of The Freeman. He is director of research at the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

4 Things You Should Know About Mass Incarceration by Daniel J. D’Amico

It’s now common knowledge: The United States is the world’s leading nation when it comes to imprisonment. With an estimated 1,570,400 inmates by the end of 2012—and an incarceration rate of 716 prisoners per 100,000 citizens—the United States holds more human beings inside cages, on net and per capita, than any other country around the globe (and throughout history). In general, we build more prisons, we spend more money on prisons, we employ more prison workers, and we utilize imprisonment for a wider variety of behaviors than anyone else.

Nations like China and Russia likely use more corporal punishment and execute more people. Removing that context from their incarceration rates might make them look less punitive than they really are. Still, it is revealing that only totalitarian regimes, past and present, are serious contenders with the “land of the free” when it comes to the business of incarceration.

Today’s total American prison population exceeds the estimated amount of citizens detained within the Gulag system under the former Soviet Union. If we include those sentenced but not yet incarcerated, as well as those released upon probation and parole, there are more young black men embroiled in the American criminal justice system than were estimated to be enslaved in America circa 1850. These statistics are not to say that the United States is totalitarian, or based on chattel labor. Instead, these numbers emphasize that, insofar as despotism requires enforcement, our own government is more than capable of imposing serious and pervasive social control.

The terms “mass imprisonment” and “mass incarceration” typically refer to the uniquely modern characteristics of the contemporary prison system, including its rapid growth and racial disparities. The United States is the archetypical case. While the recent media attention given to mass imprisonment is a step in the right direction, facets of mass incarceration still remain relatively misunderstood and unrecognized.

Here are four things those interested in free market economics and the classical liberal tradition should keep in mind when thinking critically about modern global prison trends.

1. Private prisons did not cause mass imprisonment.

Private prisons are derided for profiting off of high crime and for creating corporate incentives to foster tough punishment policies. These statements are both true and disconcerting. But private prisons don’t, by themselves, explain the origins, extent, or long-term effects of America’s mass incarceration.

For starters, there just aren’t that many private prisons as a proportion of the American total. Of the over 1.5 million inmates recorded in 2012, only 128,300 (approximately 8 percent) were held in private facilities, 96,800 of them federally as opposed to state-contracted facilities. Several other nations with significantly lower total incarceration rates utilize private contractors at higher percentages: for example, England and Wales 14 percent, Scotland at 17 percent, and Australia at 19 percent.

Private prisons do stand out, though, because the most pronounced area of prison growth has occurred at the federal level—which is where most of the privatization is concentrated.

At both the state and federal levels private prisons represent a sort of budgetary coping mechanism. With high rates of sentenced inmates, but thin budgets incapable of supporting new prisons or their labor forces, states turn to contractors as cost-saving alternatives without significant quality degradations. “Private” (read: state-contracted) prisons tend to hold specialized populations such as juvenile offenders, aging inmates with more extensive medical needs, illegal immigrants, and organized crime leaders because these groups have unique logistical needs that regular facilities can’t always accommodate. When objectively compared on a variety of performance margins, there’s almost no quality difference between public and private prisons. What matters is the quality of monitoring, accountability, and liability processes. For private firms, running afoul of those constraints often means losing contracts to alternative agencies. For public workers placed by appointment and sometimes election, though, necessary feedback can be vague and ineffective.

While for-profit prison models do appear conspicuous for creating incentives to lobby for tougher penalty regimes, the incentives that public employees face throughout the criminal justice system are not systematically different. There’s no group larger, more concentrated, or more vested in tougher penalties than the employees of service industries surrounding publicly financed and managed criminal justice institutions and penitentiaries.

2. Marijuana legalization is not a panacea.

Drug sentencing has accounted for about a third of the new American prison growth since the late 1970s. Marijuana charges produced a significant proportion of those sentences. But it does not follow that marijuana legalization or clemency would alleviate the problems associated with mass imprisonment. First, even if nonviolent marijuana violators were released, America would still be a world leader in incarceration rates and expenditures. Second, simply put, people adapt.

Marijuana legalization, without broader judicial, legislative, and or penal reform, may create new opportunities for drug production, consumption, and enforcement, thus shaping outcomes in unforeseeable ways. From the perspective of drug sellers and users, the risks of arrest and incarceration are obviously costs; but complying with formal regulations and licensure under a more legalized regime may also be costly. Higher costs means less of a behavior and visa versa. But the relevant question is whether a new, legalized regime would be perceived as a higher or lower cost for buyers and sellers than status quo prohibition. It’s difficult to predict the outcome with precision. But such a regime would differ structurally from the current one. It wouldn’t simply cut marijuana arrests out of the total number.

Take medical marijuana. People with ailments that marijuana can alleviate will benefit from a regime that allows for prescriptions rather than across-the-board prohibition. But a decriminalization regime for just marijuana will shift supply and demand in other markets. For example, current users who are underage under the new regime may end up facing more difficulty accessing weed relative to the status quo. That could lead to decreased consumption, or it could lead them to substitute other drugs. Similarly, current black-market sellers will likely face lower prices and smaller profit streams for producing and selling pot with competition from legal sellers, making other drug markets more appealing. Just as pot becomes harder for some people to get, other drugs—such as prescription painkillers or mood-altering drugs (such as Xanax)—could become more readily available.

This last point seems also bolstered by the fact that a new network of legal and regulated marijuana sellers will represent a newly concentrated and vested interest group in favor of suppressing the illegal production and distribution of marijuana. I doubt current illegal pot growers and sellers will be the same individuals awarded the privilege of growing and selling weed under legalization. If legitimate production is to be regulated, regulation will require enforcement. It could be the case that enforcement costs and complexity will grow amid marginal decriminalization.

Last, targeted legalization to individual substances without matching fiscal, legislative, and or penal constraints may simply free up enforcement resources for tougher enforcement of the remaining prohibitions. The potheads freed from prison might simply be replaced by more junkies and cokeheads and their suppliers. Hence the associated inefficiencies and social consequences of prohibition in those drug markets will likely grow, adapt, and tend toward unique and unforeseeable equilibriums.

Prohibition against the pot trade is riddled with bad incentives and inefficiency and should be addressed as such; but many of the most challenging aspects of the criminal justice system—especially mass imprisonment—seem to transcend the relatively smaller issue of illegal weed. Simply legalizing marijuana does not untangle the myriad, complex incentives that allowed for prohibitions initially or the ballooning of the War on Drugs. This tangle of incentives explains the lag between policy reform and the advent of significant public approval for legalization and decriminalization. As long as those incentives and opportunities persist, we should expect political entrepreneurs to manipulate policies and resources for private gain.

3. The problems of prison growth transcend drug prohibition.

Again, at first glance much of America’s prison growth appears to have come in lockstep with the War on Drugs. But other trends suggest drug prohibition is neither the only, nor the essential, cause of mass imprisonment. Repealing prohibition across substance types would eliminate many of the adaptive problems at play with piecemeal legalization, but that doesn’t have enough public-opinion support to make it politically viable. After all, drug prohibition came into being in part because enough of the public wanted it.

Assuming political opinion away for the moment, drug legalization still does not fully resolve the challenges of mass imprisonment. After releasing all nonviolent drug offenders, the United States would retain an extremely large and expensive prison-industrial complex, a bloated and inefficient criminal justice system, and a political process that systematically leverages the tendencies of a largely vengeful public. Instead, some theory and evidence suggests that both drug prohibition and prison growth are likely similar symptoms of broader trends surrounding governments’ power to administer violence and regulate social behaviors.

Everyone around the world criminalizes drugs. Only the United States literally fights a war on drugs, and fights it at the federal level both financially and managerially. The production, distribution, and usage of the standard list of illegal drugs (marijuana, heroine, cocaine, methamphetamines) is generally illegal everywhere on Earth (save for Portugal and Amsterdam). What sets the United States’ relationship with drugs and drug enforcement apart, however, is how we organize our legal and enforcement processes surrounding prohibition.

Crime has been a relatively local issue in most nations throughout time. Neighborhoods, counties, and other smaller jurisdictions generally finance and manage police forces, criminal court systems, and even prison construction and operation. In the United States, the war on drugs is one of several federally managed criminal enforcement strategies, along with immigration controls, homeland security, and tax enforcement. The federal government incarcerates more inmates in federal facilities than does any individual state, and its activities represent one of the largest sectors of prison expansions in recent decades. Second, if one looks at which states are most plagued by mass incarceration, it is easy to notice they are most often border states like Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and California. Those states must enforce their own laws as well as federal sanctions pertaining to drug importation and immigration.

In short, imprisonment patterns and trends lag behind policy and strategic changes. At the same time, central financing and management of the criminal justice system produces harsher prohibition regimes and sets the trend for drug policy.

4. Mass imprisonment transcends the American experience.

Contemporary prison growth has been a relatively global phenomenon. From 1997 through 2007, prison populations grew in 68 percent of nations researched around the world. Developed, Western nations have led this growth in incarceration rate. So what does this mean?

Maybe there’s something about American society that just requires more prisons. Or, given similarities in crime trends across countries, maybe the United States is simply overpaying somehow.

Or maybe the United States isn’t all that unique, considering just the countries that have experienced a proportionally similar increase in prison populations. Maybe this group of countries shares a characteristic feature that relates to imprisonment.

Recent scholarship on crime, punishment, and mass incarceration has converged upon a mild conclusion familiar to modern macroeconomists: Institutions matter. Nations with similar institutions tend to foster similar cultures, similar criminal justice regimes, and similarly sized prison populations. But the question remains: What particular institutional arrangements have contributed to the prison status quo and associated problems? And how can they be reformed?

Conclusions

Mass incarceration is not an isolated social problem to be understood devoid of context. The fiscal and quantitative trends surrounding mass imprisonment are paralleled by similar growth trends in drug enforcement, the length and complexity of the criminal code, military interventionism abroad, the adoption of militarized police equipment and tactics domestically, the governmental gathering and storage of information about citizens without warrant or consent, and several other similar trends.

The financing and administration of violent power, measured by all of these trends, has pointed to increased governmental authority. This was true throughout the twentieth century, and became especially true in recent decades. Since the beginning of the 21st century, such centralization has been mirrored throughout the size and scope of government. Hence measured estimates of economic freedom have sharply declined in recent years, particularly in America.

Various research and theories regarding the causes of crime and punishment imply that they’re predominantly shaped by unplanned and complex social factors. Adam Smith and other early writers in the classical liberal tradition believed simple prosperity was the factor most responsible for maintaining low crime rates. Broken-window theories and eyes-on-the-street models suggest these early liberals were correct. When streets are clean, well lit, and filled with commercial and civic activity, there is little opportunity for crime to occur and strong incentives for citizens to participate in the justice process. Steven Levitt infamously demonstrated a statistical correlation between abortion policies and lower violent crime rates. John Lott and Bruce Benson tend to emphasize private activity, like growing gun ownership and increased investment in the security industry.

All imply similarly that punishment policies are probably very difficult to plan strategically, effectively, or optimally. Again, such pervasive trends in the growth of government are not unique to the American context. So changes in particular policies and/or changes in partisan power are likely limited in their abilities to bring full or effective reform. For example, a candidate taking office who is opposed to marijuana prohibition is not likely to change the very real and vested incentives that have allowed the War on Drugs to escalate as it has. Mass imprisonment seems more an endemic feature of how governmental institutions are arranged and have changed throughout the modern era. To promote reform and social change regarding imprisonment will first require a sound and thorough understanding of how institutions, individual behaviors, and social processes relate.

ABOUT DANIEL J. D’AMICO

Daniel J. D’Amico is William Barnett Professor of Free Enterprise Studies and an Associate Professor of Economics at Loyola University. He writes about the intersection of Austrian Economics, Public Choice Theory and New Institutional Economics, as well as current trends in incarceration.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Common Core Assignment is Virulent anti-Semitic Propaganda

Photo: While on an inspection tour of the newly liberated Ohrdruf concentration camp, General Dwight Eisenhower and a party of high ranking U.S. Army officers, including Generals Bradley, Patton, and Eddy, view the charred remains of prisoners that were burned upon a section of railroad track during the evacuation of the camp. Also pictured is Jules Grad (third from the left taking notes), correspondent for the “Stars and Stripes” U.S. Army newspaper.

In April of 2014, two thousand eighth graders in a California Common Core school system were given an 18-page group project assignment requiring them to “read and discuss multiple, credible articles” on the issue of whether or not the Holocaust “was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth.”   The project, consuming seven full days of class time, included a multi-page required-reading “credible source” article from a website containing hundreds of pages of anti-Semitic propaganda, that begins with the declaration, “Within five minutes, any intelligent, open-minded person can be convinced that the Holocaust gassings of World War II are a profitable hoax.”

Ohrdruf_Eisenhower_04650The “credible” article, which the thousands of students were mandated to read, next cites the findings of Fred A. Leuchter, described in the article as America’s leading specialist on execution equipment, finding no evidence of homicidal gas chambers in Auschwitz and other death camps.  In fact, Mr. Leuchter, named “Mr. Death” in a documentary film about his life, had no formal training or education in methods of execution.  He claimed that he was asked by the defense team in a foreign Holocaust denial trial to take residue samples from gas chambers and that he found no evidence of the gassings.

Eerily, Mr. Death spent his honeymoon in Auschwitz; yet he is the scholarly, scientific source of “credible” evidence presented to a captive audience of students required, in order to pass a course, to read an article that touts a man who proudly honeymooned at the Auschwitz Hotel, which had served as the German officers’ quarters during the Holocaust.

In order to testify in favor of a Holocaust denier, Mr. Leuchter surreptitiously sneaked into crematoria in various death camps and illegally chiseled chunks of their walls as “samples” for chemical testing, using his bride as his “look-out.”  Needless to say, she divorced this man, who testified in a courtroom on Hitler’s birthday that the Holocaust gassings were a hoax, based upon his report which was later translated into dozens of languages and featured in a special edition of the Aryan Nations Newsletter.

As a popular speaker at Neo-Nazi rallies, Mr. Leuchter denied the mass gas murders of Jews, saying:

It’s a tough job to execute several hundred people at once ….  I think it would be easier to shoot them or hang them ….  Why didn’t they just shoot them [the Jews]?  Bullets would have been cheaper than doing this.

The Rialto group project’s “credible article” citing Mr. Leuchter’s scientific evidence of the Holocaust as a hoax also purveys every conceivable anti-Semitic claim – that the “Diary of Anne Frank is a hoax” and that Israel receives $35 billion per year from the United States, such that “every family in America could afford a brand new Mercedes Benz” were it not for “the irrepressible Zionist influence and control of our country.”

Mohammad Z Islam

Mohammad Z. Islam, Superintendent Rialto School District

While the Rialto School District, with a city population that is 68% Hispanic and 16% Black, admitted under pressure that the assignment was “a mistake,” the evidence shows that the group project had been reviewed at multiple levels for at least many months and distributed to middle schools in February, when teachers were asked for comments prior to compelling students to read the insidious hate materials against Jews.  Importantly, according to the Superintendent, Mohammad Z. Islam, who initially defended the lengthy and weighty Common Core group project, there were never any complaints received from parents, teachers, or administrators about the project, until it was widely exposed by the media.  Thus, the virulent anti-Semitic theme of and materials included in the project were not “a mistake” until the public outcry forced an apology under duress. [You may reach Superintendent Islam at mislam@rialto.k12.ca.us]

Since when is it educationally sound or morally decent to subject captive students to hate propaganda, repeatedly described by their school as “credible”?  As an educator for 36 years, with a doctorate in education and child psychology, I consider the assignment to be abusive to students and a gross violation of their inherent right to receive school materials that uplift their minds rather than thrust them into the depths of delusional hatred.

The actual question before the thousands of students infected with the pernicious materials they were required to read should be simply, “Is this assignment a hoax?”  Assuredly, of the 2,000 children directly affected by the forced reading of hate literature and thousands more indirectly impacted, many have been irreparably poisoned against Jews.  Forced resignations of the Superintendent and other defenders of the project should follow from the forced readings.  The core of the project within Common Core should be thoroughly cleansed from the curriculum, although the young affected minds can never be cleansed of the filthy, fallacious thoughts planted in them by well-educated educators.

What is the cost of a hoax?  This hoax has cost human minds.  Sadly, the mind damage was done before the hoax was exposed, and the great-grandchildren of the Greatest Generation are left to question not only the Holocaust but also the enormous loss of American lives and limbs in defeating “a hoax.”

Did our veterans fight for “a hoax”?  That part of the curriculum materials was “mistakenly” omitted – the testimonies, written records, films, and photographs of death camp liberators and Holocaust Survivors, the real eyewitnesses to history’s most hideous acts of human inhumanity.

RELATED STORY: Less than half under age 35 are aware of Holocaust: International Poll

Iraqi Jewish Archive Stay Extended

Jewish Immigrants from Iraq leaving Lod Airport in 1951

When we interviewed Dr. Harold Rhode, the savior of the Iraqi Jewish archives, he told the story of how he had found them in the water-logged basement of the late Saddam Hussein Mukhabarat in Baghdad in 2003 and arranged for recovery and restoration by the National Archives and Records Agency (NARA) in Washington, DC. In July 2003, the Coalition Provisional Authority reached an agreement under international law with the Iraq interim government for return of the restored Jewish archives. We noted:

1815 copy of mystical Zohar source Drew Angere for New York Times

1815 copy of mystical Zohar. Source: Drew Angere for New York Times

An agreement that is controversial as Rhode and others contend that the Hussein’s Mukhabarat stole the property from the Jewish community and that it rightfully should be returned to the Babylonian Jewish Heritage Center in Israel. The Iraqi government contends that the archives may contain important historical information of the origins of the country.

A report by JNS,org today brought a reprieve by the government of Iraq for exhibit of these Iraqi Jewish archives,  “Iraqi Jewish Archive’s U.S. exhibition extended”.

The JNS.org article cited an exchange of letters by the Iraq Ambassador in Washington saying:

Iraqi Ambassador to the U.S. Lukman Faily said in a statement Wednesday that Iraq “has authorized me to extend the period which the exhibit may remain in the United States.” The exhibit “has led to an increase of understanding between Iraq and United States and a greater recognition of the diverse heritage of Iraq,” he said.

“We look forward to completing the technical aspects of this extension with the Government of the United States within the coming days. Items which were among the material brought to the United States that are not part of the exhibit will return to Iraq in the very near future, as originally agreed,” said Faily.

Following the close of the exhibit in early January 2014, of the archives at the NARA Lawrence F. O’Brien gallery in Washington, DC, it was sent to New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage for an exhibit.

The JNS.org  report noted the comments of representatives of both the Orthodox Union and the American Jewish Committee regarding the ultimate status of the Iraqi Jewish Archives:

The Orthodox Union (OU) welcomed Faily’s announcement of the exhibit’s extension, but said its work on the issue of the archive’s final destination isn’t done.

“The historical and religious value of the Iraqi Jewish Archive materials compel us to ensure that the archive should remain in the United States where it will be easily accessible to all, particularly the Iraqi Jewish community now living in diaspora around the world,” said Nathan Diament, OU’s executive director for public policy. “We will continue to advocate for an appropriate long-term solution for these materials.”

Rabbi Andrew Baker, the American Jewish Committee’s director of international Jewish affairs, said, “Extending the exhibit’s schedule and making it available to other American communities will benefit all who have interest in the history of Iraq’s Jews.”

Dr. Rhode in our NER interview expressed his views as to the ultimate disposition of these restored archives:

The American government considered the archives as property which belonged to Iraq and therefore the International law it has to be returned. However, this was really property stolen by the previous Iraqi governments from the Jews who fled the country, mostly in 1950-51.

The problem is most of this is private property. These were holy books that belonged to individuals. They never belonged to the Iraqi government. When, for example, Iraqi Jews had a Torah made, if you moved to another synagogue, the Torah moved with you. In 1950/51 when most of the Jews left they were not allowed to take this material with them. They were only allowed to take basically a suitcase of clothes, if that, and so the Jews were forced against their wishes to leave the material behind.

If this is private property it belongs to the Jews.  If it can’t be identified then it becomes the property of the exiled Iraqi Jewish community. 85% of the exiled Iraqi Jews and their descendants live in Israel.  As exiled Jews from the Muslim world they property was expropriated.  They have no access to their material.

We had suggested that the Iraqi Jewish Archives should instead be transferred to the Babylonian Jewish Heritage Museum in Israel to be placed on permanent exhibit there.  A significant portion of Iraqi Jews had settled in Israel after their expulsion from Iran in the early 1950’s.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

An Open Letter to the Anti-Defamation League

Robert Tanen, Associate Regional Director
Anti-Defamation League, Florida

Dear Mr. Tanen:

adl director with imam

Robert Tanen (right) with Imam

Your alert about the peril of the Nazis on April 20 was brought to my attention in good time, but I was so busy alerting friends about the Muslims that I forgot. As it turned out, I was more correct than you, which is a shame, since you’re an associate regional director of the ADL, Florida, and one would expect that you would be far more informed than I.

I’ve been busy reading about all the Muslim activity against Jewish kids throughout the country, particularly on the west coast, but also in your state. (Do you know about Florida Atlantic University – FAU?) Jewish students are in danger at most colleges and universities these days, from Muslims and sympathizers, and I find the lack of reference to be unnerving.

I’m reminded of an outreach event I attended at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in my state, Ohio, where one of the two guest speakers was an imam – and not just “any imam,” but the director of ISNA – that’s the Islamic Society of North America. In case, you haven’t heard, ISNA is the largest Muslim organization in the US (and Canada), and it has been around since 1963. The attacks against the Jewish kids are perpetrated by the Muslim Student Association, which is under the ISNA umbrella. ISNA was one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terrorist-financing case, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood with ties to the terrorist Islamic Association of Palestine and Hamas. In fact, Sami Al-Arian, an assistant professor at University of South Florida, who was called a “master manipulator” by a federal judge, pleaded guilty to one count of “Conspiracy to make or receive contribution of funds, goods or services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Specially Designated Terrorist.” (I believe he served no time but agreed to being deported.)

ISNA and this Imam, Mohamed Magid, have been providing the US Bureau of Prisons with extreme orthodox Wahhabist clerics who promote their radical political, ideological, and theological agenda; and he provides as much as 79 percent of the imam clerics for North American mosques. Aren’t you wondering why the Maltz Museum hosted this fiasco? I did.

Everything this imam said was a lie, but Islam (not Nazism) is at war with the Jews, Christians, and all non-believers of Islam, and Islamists far outnumber the Nazis. I knew to expect his rhetoric, lies and propaganda, because these are Islam’s weapons of war, at least for now. However, there’s plenty of proof that once the Muslims hit a certain percentage of the population, then they can start their riots, threats, rapes, and all-out bloodshed. The evidence is obvious in France, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Nigeria, and … Actually, proof abounds that Islam is at war with five religions in about 40 countries.

What really bothered me most, Mr. Tanen, was the rabbi, Robert Nosanchuk of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple. He must be getting his information from your sources. No matter what the imam said, the rabbi sat there, quietly. It appeared that he agreed that Islam and Judaism have the same God. He also sat quietly while the Imam said that Sharia law (the harshest legal system on the planet – that controls everyone’s life, torture and death) is like Kashruth – an extremely compassionate method of preparing animals for food. Jews don’t even slaughter animals the way Muslims slaughter their own citizens – their own children, in fact!

And anyone with half a brain should know that the Qur’an demands Muslims not befriend Jews or Christians, except as a method of conquest, and the rabbi just sat there, both of them discussing their 10-year-friendship. Of all the social justice issues that interest him, not once did the rabbi mention the situation of Jewish students. His compassion also didn’t reach out to women, as this was just shortly after Ayaan Hirsi Alli was disinvited from Brandeis University. I raised this question during the Q and A, and was dismissed – the rabbi looked completely in the dark. In fact, they both had a very practiced method of ignoring questions they didn’t want to answer, or they answered in such a convoluted way, that baffled everyone and foiled challenge. Believe it or not, there was a charge for this mess; I’d rather the money had been directed to victims of Islamic programming and terrorism.

Are you and Nosanchuk naive? Hoodwinked by the dishonesty in the media? I even suggest that the rabbi is at war with the Jewish people – since he does nothing of value for our people. The temple over which he presides is Reform… so he may well be affiliated with J Street. J for Jihad, I figure.

What is the ADL doing these days? Is this organization protecting anyone at all? Are you contacting the learning institutions to advise them of Islam, or remaining focused on Nazism? Have you tried speaking out against the Common Core books that are so Islamized and sexualized that our kids don’t have a chance of getting a decent education? I have reviewed several current history textbooks and they are so distorted and whitewashed, that this generation will be the least intellectually capable of dealing with the subversive threat to our country, coming from the Muslim Brotherhood, its American Islamic supporters, and the Bill Gates Progressives. But they’ll be very non-thinking, compliant workers for an increasingly tyrannical regime.

I’d welcome your comments, Mr. Tanen, if indeed the ADL is doing something of value for our people.

Department of State Must Demand Release of Sudanese Christian Woman and Her American Citizen Child

The Center for Security Policy strongly urges the Department of State to demand that the government of Sudan immediately release Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a 27-year old Sudanese Christian woman married to a naturalized American citizen and their 20-month old American citizen child from prison, where she and the toddler are being held after she was sentenced to flogging and death on charges of “apostasy” and “adultery” under Sudan’s Islamic legal code.

Ibrahim is the daughter of a Sudanese Muslim father and an Ethiopian Christian mother who was raised by her mother as an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian from the age of 6, when her father abandoned the family. She is a graduate of the School of Medicine in Khartoum and married her naturalized American citizen husband, Daniel Wani, in 2011. Their toddler child, Martin, is an American citizen, but is being held in jail together with his mother, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child. Ibrahim’s husband is accused of proselytizing Ibrahim to abandon Islam and she herself was arrested on 17 February 2014 for alleged “apostasy” and “adultery,” as under shariah her marriage to a Christian is considered null and void.

Despite severe psychological pressure to recant her Christian faith, Ibrahim remains steadfast in refusing to do so, even under threat of a death sentence (the prescribed penalty for ‘forsaking Islam’ under Sudan’s Penal Code, which conforms to Islamic Law). Today, 15 May 2014, Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa pronounced her sentence: to be lashed 100 times for adultery and then hanged.

The Center for Security Policy finds such penalties for the so-called hadd offenses under shariah abhorrent and in violation of all civilized concepts of human rights. That American citizens are being subjected to such treatment requires an urgent response from Secretary of State John Kerry. We therefore urge Secretary Kerry to demand the immediate release of Meriam and Martin and then expedite them and Ibrahim’s naturalized American citizen husband Daniel to safety and the protection of their religious freedom, in the U.S.

ABOUT THE CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY

The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public. For more information visit www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of © Amnesty International.

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