29 February 2012
Adam Day, 40, was found guilty of breaking into a terraced house in Sudbury, Suffolk, in October 1992, but has walked out of court a free man
A remorseful burglar who handed himself in after almost 20 years on the run has walked free.
Adam Day, 40, who last night admitted giving himself up had been a massive relief, told Ipswich Crown Court he was a reformed character who now cared for his frail mother.
Day was found guilty of breaking into a terraced house in Sudbury, Suffolk, in October 1992.
Robert Sadd, prosecuting, said Day had been arrested for the burglary, during which a £300 video recorder was stolen, after his fingerprint was found at the scene.
He was bailed and told to return to court for sentencing. But instead panic-stricken Day fled to London where he slept in a camper van and stayed with friends the court heard yesterday.
He then returned to his parents' home in Acton, west London in 1997 after his father had a devastating stroke.
Day has lived there ever since believing he had got away with the crime. When he discovered there was still a warrant out for his arrest he gave himself up.
Judge John Devaux gave him a 12-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months and told him to pay £200 costs for burglary and absconding.
He said: 'It doesn't appear the police tried very hard to find you as during all these years in Suffolk you haven't been arrested and eventually you handed yourself in.'
Day said after the hearing he was hugely relieved his crime had been dealt with at last.
New person: Day told Ipswich Crown Court he was a reformed character who now cared for his frail 83-year-old mother
He added he had turned his life around and was now looking after his 83-year-old mother following his father's death in 2009.
Day said: 'It was a different person who was in court back then.'
He added he is now hoping to start a new college course in April and try to get a job.
Previously, Russians could receive government-funded abortions after the first twelve weeks of pregnancy in cases of rape, when a woman had been deprived of parental rights by a court, imprisonment of the woman, or death or disability of her husband.
The only “social” condition that now remains is rape, according to Russian media sources. Women may also still obtain late-term abortions if they suffer from a life-threatening illness during the pregnancy.
Although the rule applies only to government-provided abortions, it represents another step towards restrictions on abortion that have long been sought by the current government.
In July of last year, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev signed a law requiring all abortion providers to commit 10% of their advertising to increasing awareness about the adverse health risks of abortion, which include cancer, deadly hemorrhages, and sterility. The same law prohibits abortionists from making the claim that abortion is a safe medical procedure.
Since that time, pro-life forces in Russia have pushed for greater restrictions. Legislation has been in process since mid-2011 to prohibit almost all abortions after the first trimester, require a waiting period of one week, and require women over six weeks pregnant to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before aborting.
The proposed law was approved in October of last year by the Duma, Russia’s lower legislative house, but has not passed the Federation Council, which is the upper chamber. The legislation may have been stalled be protests by Russian citizens, many of whom rely on abortion rather than contraception to escape the responsibility of parenthood.
The current government, led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, strongly favors tighter restrictions on abortion to counteract Russia’s demographic crisis, in which the total population has fallen substantially since its peak in 1991. The nation’s high abortion rate is a major variable in that equation.
26 February 2012
From time out of mind, the idea that marriage constitutes the union between one man and one woman has been the unquestioned standard in our civilization. Same-sex marriage has only been on the national radar since 1993, when a Hawaii court ruled that the state had to demonstrate just cause for why marriage ought to be denied to same-sex couples.
That was fewer than 20 years ago, and in that time, support for same-sex marriage has increased at a pace that is nothing short of revolutionary. According the the trajectory of polling, at some point in the next few years, what had been the settled view of the nature of marriage for millennia will have been rejected by a majority of the American people. Whether this is a good or a bad thing, all must agree that it is a revolutionary thing.
This stunning victory has been achieved by mounting an all-out assault on tradition. It wouldn’t have succeeded had the tradition not been hollowed out by the (hetero)sexual revolution, of course, but that’s an argument for another thread. The point is, the marriage innovators assaulted the settled tradition — and have just about won.
But here’s the thing: they won in part by framing their own assault on tradition as self-defense. This is what it means when same-sex marriage advocates talk about attempts by marriage trads to attack their families and their rights. It’s brilliant propaganda, because it paints people who preferred the status quo into culture-war aggressors, rather than those who are actually aggressing against the settled tradition.
The point is not that the pro-SSM folks are wrong, or that they’re right. The point here is that they are by any rational measure the culture-war aggressors, but paint themselves as the victims of a right-wing assault. It’s brilliant propaganda.
Rich Lowry shows again how this thing works, in the case of Obama’s HHS rule. Excerpt:
Three Democratic women senators, Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire), Barbara Boxer (California) and Patty Murray (Washington), wrote in The Wall Street Journal that critics of the mandate “are trying to force their politics on women’s personal health-care decisions.”
How are they proposing to do that exactly? The Catholic bishops are merely fighting to keep institutions affiliated with their church from getting coerced into participating in what they consider a moral wrong.
They are the agents of a status quo that the day before yesterday wasn’t considered objectionable, let alone an assault on women’s health. [Emphasis mine -- RD]
… If the mandate were only about extending contraception coverage, exempting religious institutions would be obvious. But it’s more than that. It is about bringing institutions thought to be retrograde to heel, and discrediting their morality. It is kulturkampf disguised as public health.
Rich is absolutely right. Note well the principles that follow. It will help you make sense of events, especially media coverage of them:
The First Law of the Culture War: Conservatives are always and everywhere the aggressors.
"Using German panel data from 1984 to 2007, we analyze the impact of labor division between husband and wife on the risk of divorce.
Gary Becker’s theory of marriage predicts that specialization in domestic and market work, respectively, reduces the risk of separation. Traditionally, the breadwinner role is assigned to the husband, however, female labor force participation and their wages have risen substantially.
Our results suggest that there are gender-specific differences, e.g. female breadwinner-couples have a substantially higher risk of divorce than male breadwinner-couples.
In contrast, the equal division does not significantly alter the probability of separation."
Source: "Effect of Labor Division between Wife and Husband on the Risk of Divorce: Evidence from German Data" from IZA Discussion Paper No. 4515, October 2009
25 February 2012
Some fathering advocates would say that almost every social ill faced by America's children is related to fatherlessness.
Six are noted here. As supported by the data below, children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems.
Boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens.
- Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In
2002, 7.8% of children in married-couple families were living in poverty,
compared to 38.4% of children in female-householder families.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children's Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March
2002, P20-547, Table C8. Washington, D.C.: GPO 2003.
- In 1996, young children living with unmarried mothers were five times
as likely to be poor and ten times as likely to be extremely poor.
Source: "One in Four: America's Youngest Poor." National Center for children in Poverty. 1996.
- Almost 75% of American children living in single-parent families will
experience poverty before they turn 11 years old. Only 20 percent of
children in two-parent families will do the same.
Source: National Commission on Children. Just the Facts: A Summary of Recent information
on America's Children and their Families. Washington, DC, 1993.
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census.Statistical Abstract of the United States 1994. Washington, DC: GPO 1994.
2. Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, "Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse."
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Survey on Child Health. Washington, DC, 1993.
- Children growing up in single-parent households are at a significantly increased risk for drug abuse as teenagers.
Source: Denton, Rhonda E. and Charlene M. Kampfe. "The relationship Between Family Variables and Adolescent Substance Abuse: A literature Review." Adolescence 114 (1994): 475-495.
- Children who live apart from their fathers are 4.3 times more likely to smoke cigarettes as teenagers than children growing up with their fathers in the home.
Source: Stanton, Warren R., Tian P.S. Oci and Phil A. Silva. "Sociodemographic characteristics of Adolescent Smokers." The International Journal of the Addictions 7 (1994): 913-925.
3. Physical and Emotional Health
- Unmarried mothers are less likely to obtain prenatal care and more likely to have a low birthweight baby. Researchers find that these negative effects persist even when they take into account factors, such as parental education, that often distinguish single-parent from two-parent families.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Report to Congress on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing. Hyattsville, MD (Sept. 1995): 12.
- A study on nearly 6,000 children found that children from single parent homes had more physical and mental health problems than children who lived with two married parents. Additionally, boys in single parent homes were found to have more illnesses than girls in single parent homes.
Source: Hong, Gong-Soog and Shelly L. White-Means."Do Working Mothers Have Healthy Children?" Journal of Family and Economic Issues 14 (Summer 1993): 163-186.
- Children in single-parent families are two to three times as likely as children in two-parent families to have emotional and behavioral problems.
Source: Stanton, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics."National Health Interview Survey." Hyattsville, MD, 1988.
Source: Zill, Nicholas and Carol Schoenborn. Child Developmental, Learning and Emotional Problems: Health of Our Nation's Children. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Advance Data 1990. Washington, DC: GPO, 16 Nov. 1990.
- Three out of four teenage suicides occur in households where a parent has been absent.
Source: Elshtain, Jean Bethke."Family Matters: The Plight of America's Children." The Christian Century (July 1993): 14-21.
4. Educational Achievement
- In studies involving over 25,000 children using nationally representative data sets, children who lived with only one parent had lower grade point averages, lower college aspirations, poor attendance records, and higher drop out rates than students who lived with both parents.
Source: McLanahan, Sara and Gary Sandefur. Growing up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994.
- Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Survey on Child Health. Washington, DC; GPO, 1993.
Source: McLanahan, Sara and Gary Sandefur. Growing up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994.
- After taking into account race, socioeconomic status, sex, age, and ability, high school students from single-parent households were 1.7 times more likely to drop out than were their corresponding counterparts living with both biological parents.
Source: McNeal, Ralph B. Jr."Extracurricular Activities and High School Dropouts." Sociology of Education 68(1995): 62-81.
- School children from divorced families are absent more, and more anxious, hostile, and withdrawn, and are less popular with their peers than those from intact families.
Source: One-Parent Families and Their Children: The School's Most Significant Minority. The Consortium for the Study of School Needs of Children from One-Parent Families. National Association of elementary School Principals and the Institute for Development of Educational Activities, a division of the Charles f. Kettering Foundation. Arlington, VA 1980.
- Children in single parent families are more likely to be in trouble with the law than their peers who grow up with two parents.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey. Hyattsville, MD, 1988.
- In a study using a national probability sample of 1,636 young men and women, it was found that older boys and girls from female headed households are more likely to commit criminal acts than their peers who lived with two parents.
Source: Heimer, Karen. "Gender, Interaction, and Delinquency: Testing a Theory of Differential Social Control." Social Psychology Quarterly 59 (1996): 39-61.
Source: Ryan, Gail et al."Trendis in a National Sample of Sexually Abusive Youths." Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry 35 (January 1996): 17-25.
- A study in the state of Washington using statewide data found an increased likelihood that children born out-of-wedlock would become a juvenile offender. Compared to their peers born to married parents, children born out-of-wedlock were:
- 1.7 times more likely to become an offender and 2.1 times more likely to become a chronic offender if male.
- 1.8 times more likely to become an offender and 2.8 times more likely to become a chronic offender if female.
- 10 times more likely to become a chronic juvenile offender if male and born to an unmarried teen mother.
Source: Conseur, Amy et al. "Maternal and Perinatal Risk Factors for Later Delinquency." Pediatrics 99 (1997): 785-790.
6. Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy
- Adolescent females between the ages of 15 and 19 years reared in homes without fathers are significantly more likely to engage in premarital sex than adolescent females reared in homes with both a mother and a father.
Source: Billy, John O. G., Karin L. Brewster and William R. Grady. "Contextual Effects on the Sexual Behavior of Adolescent Women." Journal of Marriage and Family 56 (1994): 381-404.
- A survey of 720 teenage girls found:
- 97% of the girls said that having parents they could talk to could help reduce teen pregnancy.
- 93% said having loving parents reduced the risk.
- 76% said that their fathers were very or somewhat influential on their decision to have sex.
Source: Clements, Mark. Parade. February 2, 1997.
- Children in single parent families are more likely to get pregnant as teenagers than their peers who grow up with two parents.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey. Hyattsville, MD 1988.
- A white teenage girl from an advantaged background is five times more likely to become a teen mother if she grows up in a single-mother household than if she grows up in a household with both biological parents.
Source: Whitehead, Barbara Dafoe. "Facing the Challenges of Fragmented Families." The Philanthropy Roundtable 9.1 (1995): 21.
24 February 2012
22 February 2012
The word “macroevolution” Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2000 00:35:45 -0600
Do you answer questions over the net? If you do, can you tell me when, where and who came up with the word "microevolution?" I consider myself a Scientific Creationist and have taught many Sunday School classes on it. I also write letters to the editor on the subject. I just got a reply from a person that threw me. He said microevolution is a word made up by creationists and it is to be ignored. The word macroevolution covers all "science" concerning evolution according to him. Thank You, Jim
We do answer questions, when time permits.
It took us a while to track down the source of the words “microevolution” and "macroevolution", but we finally found it. According to an evolutionist’s web page, 1
The terms macroevolution and microevolution were first coined in 1927 by the Russian entomologist Iurii Filipchenko (or Philipchenko, depending on the transliteration), in his German-language work Variabilität und Variation, which was the first attempt to reconcile Mendelian genetics and evolution.
That same web page goes on to explain …
In evolutionary biology today, macroevolution is used to refer to any evolutionary change at or above the level of species. It means the splitting of a species into two (speciation, or cladogenesis, from the Greek meaning "the origin of a branch") or the change of a species over time into another (anagenesis, not nowadays generally used). Any changes that occur at higher levels, such as the evolution of new families, phyla or genera, is also therefore macroevolution, but the term is not restricted to the origin of those higher taxa.
Microevolution refers to any evolutionary change below the level of species, and refers to changes in the frequency within a population or a species of its alleles (alternative genes) and their effects on the form, or phenotype, of organisms that make up that population or species.
The history of the concept of macroevolution
In the "modern synthesis" of neo-Darwinism, which developed in the period from 1930 to 1950 with the reconciliation of evolution by natural selection and modern genetics, macroevolution is thought to be the combined effects of microevolutionary processes. In theories proposing "orthogenetic evolution" (literally, straight line evolution), macroevolution is thought to be of a different caliber and process than microevolution. Nobody has been able to make a good case for orthogenesis since the 1950s, especially since the uncovering of molecular genetics between 1952 and the late 1960s.
Antievolutionists argue that there has been no proof of macroevolutionary processes. However, synthesists claim that the same processes that cause within-species changes of the frequencies of alleles can be extrapolated to between species changes, so this argument fails unless some mechanism for preventing microevolution causing macroevolution is discovered. Since every step of the process has been demonstrated in genetics and the rest of biology, the argument against macroevolution fails.
There is no difference between micro- and macroevolution except that genes between species usually diverge, while genes within species usually combine. The same processes that cause within-species evolution are responsible for above-species evolution, except that the processes that cause speciation include things that cannot happen to lesser groups, such as the evolution of different sexual apparatus (because, by definition, once organisms cannot interbreed, they are different species).
Apparently the person who told Jim that the term “microevolution” was made up by creationists is wrong. It is a term that is used in evolutionary biology by evolutionary biologists.
Creationists do like to make the distinction between microevolution and macroevolution because the term “evolution” is too vague. It can mean anything from “change over time”, to the alleged process that converts molecules to man.
A newspaper gets old and yellow. Since it changes, one could say it "evolves". But it isn't very useful to call that process "evolution" because the process that causes a newspaper to get yellow has nothing to do with the creation of new species, which is what most people think of when you use the word "evolution.".
People who use the term "microevolution" use it to describe a process that has been observed many times in nature--specifically, a small, limited change in species over an observable period of time. They use the term "macroevolution" to describe the idea that species can change into entirely different species, given enough time.
Since these are two entirely different processes, there are two different terms for them. The only reason we can imagine that one would want to use the one term for two different things is to cause confusion intentionally.
The inconsistent use of the term “evolution” reminds us of this exchange between Alice and Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carol’s story, Through the Looking Glass.
“..There’s glory for you!”
“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’” Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t--until I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knockdown argument for you!’”
“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knockdown argument,’” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean-neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
The question is, we say, whether evolutionists can make the word “evolution” mean so many different things.
Evolutionists, like the one whose web page we quoted, would like you to believe that there isn’t any fundamental difference between microevolution and macroevolution. They claim it is merely a matter of degree. They say that given enough microevolution, you get macroevolution.
The fallacy of the argument lies in the assertion that “the same processes that cause within-species changes of the frequencies of alleles can be extrapolated to between species changes, so this argument fails unless some mechanism for preventing microevolution causing macroevolution is discovered.” They are different processes, one can’t be extrapolated to the other, and there is a mechanism that prevents microevolution from causing macroevolution. Let us explain it very carefully.
For simplicity, we (and many evolutionists, too) talk about “the gene for blue eyes” and “the gene for brown eyes.” In most cases, there usually isn’t a one-to-one correspondence between single genes and visible characteristics. Visible traits are usually caused by a combination of genes. Individuals who have undesirable combinations of genes typically die before they reach sexual maturity, thereby reducing the abundance of those genes. But the genes still exist in the population, and may resurface if environmental conditions make them beneficial again.
So, the “processes that cause within-species changes of the frequencies of alleles” are natural selection and, to some extent, dumb luck. (Some evolutionists say that luck is more important than natural selection, but let’s not go there.) The important point is that these are processes that vary the abundance of existing genetic information by causing some genes to become very rare, or disappear entirely. This makes other, existing genes more plentiful (relatively speaking) in the population.
For a dinosaur to turn into a bird, you need to give it new genetic information that tells the body how to grow feathers. There is no known process that creates genetic information.
Information can get lost through random processes. (If you don’t believe me, rub a floppy disk with a strong magnet in a random pattern.) Information cannot be created by a random process. (If you want to convince me, rub a blank floppy disk with a strong magnet in a random pattern, and send me the resulting randomly-generated text file that explains how it can happen.)
The genetic information in a horse is greater than the genetic information in a bacteria. For a bacteria to evolve into a horse, genetic information had to be added. A horse’s genetic code is not simply a rearrangement of the genetic information already in a bacteria.
Evolutionists believe that genetic information somehow accumulates slowly over millions of years. But speed isn’t really the issue. Genetic information does not naturally increase at any rate at all. It does, however, get lost over time through the processes of mutation and extinction. We can’t clone any dinosaurs in the lab today because that genetic information has been lost.
Finally, we want to draw your attention to something the evolutionist said on his web page. According to him, “Nobody has been able to make a good case for orthogenesis [literally, straight line evolution] since the 1950s, especially since the uncovering of molecular genetics between 1952 and the late 1960s.”
21 February 2012
20 February 2012
The news that Jorg Haider - the Austrian fascist leader - spent his final few hours in a gay bar with a hot blond has shocked some people. It hasn't shocked me. This is a taboo topic for a gay left-wing man like me to touch, but there has always been a weird, disproportionate overlap between homosexuality and fascism. Take a deep breath; here goes.
Some 10,000 gay people were slaughtered in the Nazi death-camps. Many more were humiliated, jailed, deported, ethnically cleansed, or castrated. One gay survivor of the camps, LD Classen von Neudegg, has written about his experiences. A snapshot: "Three men had tried to escape one night. They were captured, and when they returned they had the word 'homo' scrawled across their clothing. They were placed on a block and whipped. Then they were forced to beat a drum and cheer, 'Hurrah! We're back! Hurrah!' Then they were hanged." This is one of the milder events documented in his book.
So the idea of a gay fascist seems ridiculous. Yet when the British National Party - our own home-grown Holocaust-denying bigots - announced it was fielding an openly gay candidate in the European elections this June, dedicated followers of fascism didn't blink. The twisted truth is that gay men have been at the heart of every major fascist movement that ever was - including the gay-gassing, homo-cidal Third Reich. With the exception of Jean-Marie Le Pen, all the most high-profile fascists in Europe in the past thirty years have been gay. It's time to admit something. Fascism isn't something that happens out there, a nasty habit acquired by the straight boys. It is - in part, at least - a gay thing, and it's time for non-fascist gay people to wake up and face the marching music.
Just look at our own continent over the past decade. Dutch fascist Pim Fortuyn ran on blatantly racist anti-immigrant platform, describing Islam as "a cancer" and "the biggest threat to Western civilisation today." Yet with two little fluffy dogs and a Mamma complex, he was openly, flamboyantly gay. When accused by a political opponent of hating Arabs, he replied, "How can I hate Arabs? I sucked one off last night."
Jorg Haider blasted Austria's cosy post-Nazi politics to rubble in 2000 when his neo-fascist 'Freedom Party' won a quarter of the vote and joined the country's government as a coalition partner. Several facts always cropped up in the international press coverage: his square jaw, his muscled torso, his SS-supporting father, his rabid anti-Semitism, his hatred of immigrants, his description of Auschwitz and Dachau as "punishment centres". A few newspapers mentioned that he is always surrounded by fit, fanatical young men. A handful went further and pointed out that several of these young men are openly gay. Then one left-wing German paper broke the story everybody else was hinting at. They alleged Haider is gay.
Rumours of an Indian waiter with "intimate details" of Haider's body broke into the press. The Freedom Party's general manager Gerald Miscka quickly quit, amid accusations that he was Haider's lover. Haider's close gay friend Walter Kohler - who has been photographed showing off a holstered pistol while Haider chuckled - declared his opposition to outing politicians. Haider - who was married and has two children - kept quiet while his functionaries denied the rumours. The revelation that he died after leaving a gay bar suggests these rumours were true.
On and on it goes. If you inter-railed across Europe, only stopping with gay fascists, there aren't many sights you'd miss. France's leading post-war fascist was Edouard Pfieffer, who was not batting for the straight side. Germany's leading neo-Nazi all through the eighties was called Michael Kuhnen; he died of AIDS in 1991 a few years after coming out. Martin Lee, author of a study of European fascism, explains, "For Kuhnen, there was something supermacho about being a Nazi, as well as being a homosexual, both of which enforced his sense of living on the edge, of belonging to an elite that was destined to make an impact. He told a West German journalist that homosexuals were 'especially well-suited for our task, because they do not want ties to wife, children and family.'"
And it wouldn't be long before your whistlestop tour arrived in Britain. At first glance, our Nazis seem militantly straight. They have tried to disrupt gay parades, describe gay people as "evil", and BNP leader Nick Griffin reacted charmingly to the bombing of the Admiral Duncan pub in 1999 with a column saying, "The TV footage of gay demonstrators [outside the scene of carnage] flaunting their perversion in front of the world's journalists showed just why so many ordinary people find these creatures repulsive."
But scratch to homophobic surface and there's a spandex swastika underneath. In 1999, Martin Webster, a former National Front organiser and head honcho in the British fascist movement, wrote a four-page pamphlet detailing his 'affair' with Nick Griffin. "Griffin sought out intimate relations with me," openly-gay Webster explained, "in the late 1970s. He was twenty years younger than me." Ray Hill, who infiltrated the British fascist movement for twelve years to gather information for anti-fascist groups, says it's all too plausible. Homosexuality is "extremely prevalent" in the upper echelons of the British far right, and at one stage in the 1980s nearly half of the movement's organisers were gay, he claims.
Gerry Gable, editor of the anti-fascist magazine 'Searchlight', explains, "I have looked at Britain's Nazi groups for decades and this homophobic hypocrisy has been there all the time. I cannot think of any organisation on the extreme right that hasn't attacked people on the grounds of their sexual preference and at the same time contained many gay officers and activists."
Griffins' alleged gay affair would stand in a long British fascist tradition. The leader of the skinhead movement all through the 1970s was a crazed, muscled thug called Nicky Crane. He was the icon of a reactionary backlash against immigrants, feminism and the 'hippy' lifetsyle of the 1960s. His movement's emphasis on conformity to a shaven, dehumanised norm resembled classical fascist movements; Crane soon became a campaigner and leading figure in the National Front. Oh, and he was gay. Before he died of AIDS in the mid-1980s, Crane came out and admitted he had starred in many gay porn videos. Just before he died in 1986, he was allowed to steward a Gay Pride march in London, even though he still said he was "proud to be a fascist."
The rubber-soled friction between gay fascists and progressive British gay people sparked into anger in 1985 when the Gay Skinhead Movement organised a disco at London's Gay Centre. Several lesbians in particular objected to the "invasion" of the centre. They felt that the cult of "real men" and hypermasculine thugs was stirring up the most base feelings "in the very place, the gay movement, where you would least expect them."
And this Gaystapo has an icon to revere, an alternative Fuhrer to worship: the lost gay fascist leader Ernst Rohm. Along with Adolf Hitler, Rohm was the founding father of Nazism. Born to conservative Bavarian civil servants in 1887, Ernst Rohm's life began - in his view - in the "heroic" trenches of the First World War. Like so many of the generation who formed the Nazi Party, he was nurtured by and obsessed with the homoerotic myth of the trenches - heroic, beautiful boys prepared to die for their brothers and their country.
He emerged from the war with a bullet-scarred face and a reverence for war. As he put it in his autobiography, "Since I am an immature and wicked man, war and unrest appeal to me more than the good bourgeois order." After being disbanded, he tried half-heartedly to get a foothold in civilian life, but he saw it as alien, bourgeois, boring. He had no political beliefs, only prejudices - particularly hatred of Jews. Historian Joachim Fest describes Rohm's generation of alienated, demobbed young men humiliated by defeat as "agents of a permanent revolution without any revolutionary idea of the future, only a wish to eternalize the values of the trenches."
It was Rohm who first spotted the potential of a soap-box ranter called Adolf Hitler. He saw him as the demagogue he needed to mobilize support for his plan to overthrow democracy and establish a "soldier's state" where the army ruled untrammelled. He introduced the young fascist to local politicians and military leaders; they knew him for many years as "Rohm's boy." Gay historian Frank Rector notes, "Hitler was, to a substantial extent, Rohm's protégé." Rohm integrated Hitler into his underground movement to overthrow the Weimar Republic.
Rohm's blatant, out homosexuality seems bizarre now, given the gay genocide that was to follow. He talked openly about his fondness for gay bars and Turkish baths, and was known for his virility. He believed that gay people were superior to straights, and saw homosexuality as a key principle of his proposed Brave New Fascist Order. As historian Louis Snyder explains, Rohm "projected a social order in which homosexuality would be regarded as a human behaviour pattern of high repute... He flaunted his homosexuality in public and insisted his cronies do the same. He believed straight people weren't as adept at bullying and aggression as homosexuals, so homosexuality was given a high premium in the SA." They promoted an aggressive, hypermasculine form of homosexuality, condemning "hysterical women of both sexes", in reference to feminine gay men.
This belief in the superiority of homosexuality had a strong German tradition that grew up at the turn of the twentieth century around Adolf Brand, publisher of the country's first gay magazine. You could call it 'Queer as Volk': they preached that gay men were the foundation of all nation-states and represented an elite, warrior caste that should rule. They venerated the ancient warrior cults of Sparta, Thebes and Athens.
Rohm often referred to the ancient Greek tradition of sending gay solider couples into battle, because they were believed to be the most ferocious fighters. The famous pass of Thermopylae, for example was held by 300 soldiers - who consisted of 150 gay couples. In its early years, the SA - Hitler and Rohm's underground army - was seen as predominantly gay. Rohm assigned prominent posts to his lovers, making Edmund Heines his deputy and Karl Ernst the SA commander in Berlin. The organisation would sometimes meet in gay bars. The gay art historian Christian Isermayer said in an interview, "I got to know people in the SA. They used to throw riotous parties even in 1933... I once attended one. It was quite well-behaved but thoroughly gay. But then, in those days, the SA was ultra-gay."
On June 30th 1934, Rohm was awoken in a Berlin hotel by Hitler himself. He sprang to his feet and saluted, calling, "Heil Mein Fuhrer!" Hitler said simply, "You are under arrest," and with that he left the room, giving orders for Rohm to be taken to Standelheim prison. He was shot that night. Rohm was the most high-profile kill in the massacre known as 'the Night of the Long Knives'.
Rohm had been suspected by Hitler of disloyalty, but his murder began a massive crackdown on gay people. Heinrich Himmler, head of the Gestapo, described homosexuality as "a symptom of degeneracy that could destroy our race. We must return to the guiding Nordic principle: extermination of degenerates."
German historian Lothar Machtan argues that Hitler had Rohm - and almost all of the large number of gay figures within the SA - killed to silence speculation about his own homosexual experiences. His 'evidence' for Hitler being gay is shaky and has been questioned by many historians, although some of his findings are at least suggestive. A close friend of Hitler's during his teenager years, August Kubizek, alleged a "romantic" affair between them. Hans Mend, a despatch rider who served alongside Hitler in the First World War, claimed to have seen Hitler having sex with a man. Hitler was certainly very close to several gay men, and never seems to have had a normal sexual relationship with a woman, not even his wife, Eva Braun.
Rudolph Diels, the founder of the Gestapo, recorded some of Hitler's private thoughts on homosexuality. "It had destroyed ancient Greece, he said. Once rife, it extended its contagious effects like an ineluctable law of nature to the best and most manly of characters, eliminating from the breeding pool the very men the Volk most needs." This idea - that homosexuality is 'contagious' and, implicitly, tempting - is revealing.
Rohm is venerated on the Homo-Nazi sites that have bred on the internet like germs in a wound. They have names like Gays Against Semitism (with the charming acronym GAS), and the Aryan Resistance Corps (ARC). Their Rohmite philosophy is simple: while white men are superior to other races, gay men are "the masters of the Master Race". They alone are endowed with the "capacity for pure male bonding" and the "superior intellect" that is needed for "a fascist revolution." The ARC even organises holiday "get-togethers" for its members where "you can relax amongst the company of our fellow white brothers."
So it's fairly easy to establish that gay people are not inoculated from fascism. They have often been at its heart. This begs the bigger question: why? How did gay people - so often victims of oppression and hate - become integral to the most hateful and evil political movement of all? Is it just an extreme form of self-harm, the political equivalent to the gay kids who slash their own arms to ribbons out of self-hate?
Gay pornographer and film-maker Bruce LaBruce has one explanation. He claims that "all gay porn today is implictly fascist. Fascism is in our bones, because it's all about glorifying white male supremacy and fetishizing domination, cruelty, power and monstrous authority figures." He has tried to explore the relationship between homosexuality and fascism in his movies, beginning with 'No Skin Off My Ass' in 1991. In his disturbing 1999 film "Skin Flick', a bourgeois gay couple - one black, one white - are sexually terrorised by a gang of gay skinheads who beat off to 'Mein Kampf' and beat up 'femmes'. He implies that bourgeois gay norms quickly break down to reveal a fascist lurking underneath; the movie ends with the black character being raped in front of his half-aroused white lover, as the racist gang chant, "Fuck the monkey."
I decided to track down some gay fascists and ask them directly. Wyatt Powers, director of the ARC, says, "I always knew in my heart racist and gay were both morally right. I don't see any conflict between them. It's only the Jew-owned gay press that tries to convince us that racialism is the same thing as homophobia. You can be an extreme nationalist and gay without any contradiction at all."
One comment board on a gay racist website goes even further into racist lunacy. One gay man from Ohio says, "Even if you are gay and white, or retarded and white, YOU ARE WHITE, BOTTOM LINE! Instead of letting the white race go extinct because of worthless races such as the Africans or Mexicans popping out literally millions of babies a day, we have to fight this fucked up shit they are doing. They are raping our country." It's true that racism and homophobia do not necessarily overlap - but as Rabbi Bernard Melchman explains, "Homophobia and anti-Semitism are so often part of the same disease." Racists are usually homophobic. Even after reading all their web rantings, I didn't feel any closer to understanding why so many gay men ally themselves with people who will almost always turn on them in the end, just as the Nazis did.
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has a sensitive and intriguing explanation. "There are many reasons for this kind of thing," he says. "Some of them are in denial. They are going for hyper-masculinity, the most extreme possible way of being a man. It's a way of ostentatiously rejecting the perceived effeminacy of the homosexual 'Other'. These troubled men have a simple belief in their minds: 'Straight men are tough. Queers are weak. Therefore if I'm tough I can't be queer.' It's a desperate way of proving their manhood."
'Searchlight' magazine - the bible of the British anti-fascist movement, with moles in every major far-right organisation - offers an alternative explanation. "Generally condemned by a society that continues to be largely hostile to gays, some men may find refuge and a new power status in the far right," one of their writers has explained. "Through adherence to the politics espoused by fascist groups, a new identity emerges - one where they aren't outcasts, because they are White Men, superior to everyone else. They render the gay part of their identity invisible - or reject the socially less acceptable parts, like being feminine - while vaunting what they see as superior."
But there's another important question: will fascist movements inevitably turn on gay people? In the case of the Nazis, it seems to have been fairly arbitrary; Hitler's main reason for killing Rohm was unrelated to his sexuality. From my perspective as a progressive-minded leftie, all fascism is evil; but should all gay people see it as inimical to their interests? Is it possible to have a gay fascist who wasn't acting against his own interests? Fascism is often defined as "a political ideology advocating hierarchical government that systematically denies equality to certain groups." It's true that this hierarchy could benefit gay people at the expense of, say, black people. But given the prevalence of homophobia, isn't that - even for people who don't see fascism as inherently evil - a terrible risk to take? Won't a culture that turns viciously on one minority get around to gay people in the end? This seems, ultimately, to be the lesson of Ernst Rohm's pitiful, squalid little life.
The growing awareness of the role gay men play in fascist movements has been abused by some homophobes. In an especially nutty work of revisionist history called 'The Pink Swastika', the 'historian' Scott Lively tries to blame gay people for the entire Holocaust, and describes the murder of gay men in the camps as merely "gay-on-gay violence." A typical website commenting on the book claims absurdly, "The Pink Swastika shows that there was far more brutality, rape, torture and murder committed against innocent people by Nazi homosexuals than there even was against homosexuals themselves."
Yet we can't allow these madmen to prevent a period of serious self-reflection from the gay movement. If Bruce LaBruce is right, many of the mainstream elements of gay culture - body worship, the lauding of the strong, a fetish for authority figures and cruelty - provide a swamp in which the fascist virus can thrive. Do some gay people really still need to learn that fascists will not bring on a Fabulous Solution for gay people, but a Final Solution for us all?
19 February 2012
Sana Khan (Pakistan)
When a Pakistani woman came to her doctor again, the doctor said, "It's miraculous. I had run ultrasound tests on her many times. The fetus had been dead with no pulse. I don't know how on earth he could come to life."
In November 6, 2011, the mother didn't feel any movement of her baby in her womb. She had ultrasound tests. The result showed that the fetus died and she had to have immediate surgery. But she attended Lahore Divine Healing Crusade held in Pakistan on November 9 without receiving the surgery.
Speaker Pastor Taesik Gil, who came from Daejeon Manmin Church, South Korea, prayed for the sick on the stage with the handkerchief on which Dr. Jaerock Lee had prayed (Acts 19:11-12). She received the prayer with earnest heart with her hands on her abdomen. She felt hot and cool at the same time. Then, she came to feel her baby's movement again!
On the next day, November 10, the ultrasound retest results indicated normality in her baby's heartbeat and on November 11, she delivered her healthy baby. Hallelujah!
She now has been increasing her faith by listening to Dr. Lee's sermons through Isaac TV (President: Pastor Anwal Pazal).
The church’s allies—evangelical Christians, Tea Partiers, and other non-Catholic conservatives—are motivated by a conviction that, theology aside, the Obamacare edict forcing the church to pay for procedures it finds morally objectionable is an unconstitutional trespass on the free exercise of religion.
But what is it that motivates those on the left? Why do they care so deeply about the kind of insurance coverage Catholic employers provide? It’s not as if NARAL and Planned Parenthood devotees are heavily represented in the workforce of Catholic institutions. And you don’t see petitions from leftwing pressure groups calling on the church to provide better dental and vision coverage, or mental health benefits.
Which would, as a pragmatic matter, be much more helpful for more of the workforce than the contraceptive mandate. No, for the left, the fight isn’t about social justice or the proper scope of the state. It’s about the contraceptives. It’s about sex.
18 February 2012
17 February 2012
The most recent report in the Gallup poll "Wellbeing" series finds that highly religious individuals have the highest level of wellbeing, even after numerous demographic and geographic variables were controlled.
During the survey, researchers took into account the age, gender, socio-economic status, and where the respondent lived.
They also factored in the variables of marital status and whether or not the individual had children.
In light of these controlled variables, highly religious people scored the highest wellbeing index score of 69.2, while moderately religious people scored a 63.7 and nonreligious people scored a 65.3. Nonreligious people fell in the middle of the wellbeing range.
Researchers conducted 676,000 telephone interviews from Jan. 2010 to Dec. 2011, phoning all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C.
Each participant was asked two questions, the answers to which pooled them into one of three groups: highly religious people, moderately religious people, and nonreligious people.
Highly religious people, which comprised 41 percent of the adult population, were defined as those who said "religion is an important part of daily life and church/synagogue/mosque attendance occurs at least every week or almost every week."
Moderately religious people made up 28.3 percent of those questioned, and 30.7 percent said they were non-religious.
The study is one part in a multiple part series which compares the total wellbeing of religious and nonreligious people in America.
The study did not identify a precise reason why highly religious people exhibit the highest level of wellbeing. It suggests that perhaps the social networking which accompanies a religious congregation, the amount of time spent meditating, faith in a higher power, and the religious mechanisms for dealing with worry and loss can all reduce stress and promote happiness.
It also suggests that perhaps the conclusion is reversed, and individuals with a higher wellbeing seek religious institutions.
"It is possible that Americans who have higher wellbeing are more likely to choose to be religious than those with lower wellbeing, or that some third variable could be driving certain segments of the U.S. population to be more religious and to have higher wellbeing," the report stated.
Gallup research will continue its survey series, studying further factors that indicate a relationship between wellbeing and religion.
15 February 2012
Obama has done what the Pope cannot, he has united Catholics. Most Catholics think Obama stinks as president. 59 percent of Catholics don’t approve of his job performance. Yup, the same Catholics who are responsible for Obama, now disapprove.
In what is the first major public measurement of the Catholic backlash Obama faces, a new Rasmussen poll finds 59 percent of Catholics don’t approve of his job performance. That poor standing with one of the major electoral constituencies that Obama needs this November may make it more difficult for him to win a second term.It seems Obama is a uniter not a divider after all.
“Catholics strongly disapprove of the job President Obama is doing as the debate continues over his administration’s new policy forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception they morally oppose,” notes pollster Scott Rasmussen in the new survey. “While the president’s overall job approval ratings have improved over the past couple of months, they have remained steady among Catholics.”
The new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 59% of likely Catholic voters nationwide at least somewhat disapprove of the president’s job performance, while 40% at least somewhat approve. But the passion’s on the side of those who don’t like the job he’s doing: 44% Strongly Disapprove versus 19% who Strongly Approve.
According to the survey, 54 percent of Catholics voted for Obama in November 2008. However, Republican hopeful Mitt Romney currently leads the president among Catholic voters by a 52% to 35% margin. Among all voters, however, President Obama leads Romney and all Republican hopefuls.
14 February 2012
Rep. Dan Lipinski, a Catholic Democrat from Illinois, has come out against the so-called Obama "compromise."
This is good news because like it or not we needed some cover on this. Because as left leaning as some of the bishops are, they, as a group, are often slammed as right wing nutjobs. Our talking heads can point to Lipinski as proof that this isn't just a right wing witch hunt.
Lipinski nails it with his statement:
"I am enormously disappointed by today's announcement. All the facts indicate that the 'new' mandate is the same as the 'old' mandate. New words, same policy.Lipinski, you might remember, voted against Obamacare.
"Our understanding of the new policy is now limited to a Fact Sheet put out by the White House. This document says 'Religious organizations will not have to provide contraceptive coverage or refer their employees to organizations that provide contraception.'
But the health care law says that all employers must provide health insurance for their employees or pay a penalty. And according to the White House these same insurance plans that employers must provide 'will be required to provide contraception coverage to these women free of charge.' So religious organizations have to provide health care coverage from insurance companies that are required to provide abortion drugs, sterilization, and contraception. What changed? This is the same policy.
"We need a rule that protects religious liberty by allowing employers to provide health insurance coverage that does not include abortion drugs and other services that violate their conscience and religious doctrine. Instead we got a so-called compromise that is no compromise at all and provides no options for those with profound religious and moral objections to providing these services.
To say that the insurer and not the employer is required to provide the coverage is a fiction. There is no accommodation for religious liberty. The rule remains coercive and still violates the long-standing tradition of protection for conscience rights in federal law."
I'm glad to see this. We need all the voices we can in this country speaking out for religious liberty. And make no mistake about it, I'm sure Lipinski's hearing it from his party right now.
Pennsylvania Democrat Senator Bob Casey laughably released a statement Friday saying he was thinking about it. I'm thinking he's running a poll to see what is expedient for him right now.
13 February 2012
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, initially said he would study President Obama's newest variation of the requirement. That didn't last long. Now, it's no sale unless the mandate is lifted from any person of faith who objects to facilitating contraception coverage for employees.
The bishops' position is essentially unchanged from what they said in August through their general counsel Anthony Picarello when they blasted the requirement that private insurance plans cover contraception, calling the mandate "unprecedented in federal law and more radical than any state contraceptive mandate."
They criticized the narrow "religious employer" exception to the mandate, explaining that it provides "no protection at all for individuals or insurers with a moral or religious objection to contraceptives or sterilization," instead covering only "a very small subset of religious employers."
The bishops called the plan "nationwide government coercion of religious people and groups to sell, broker or purchase 'services' to which they have a moral or religious objection." They said the plan represents "an unprecedented attack on religious liberty."