Tuesday, October 28, 2008

homosexual indoctrination in our nations schools

Now this is truly frightening...Parents, think long and hard about whether the education system is right for your kids.

Nightmare at Franklin
By Tom Mountain - Newton Tab
Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Emer O'Shea knew something was wrong the minute she picked up her daughter from Franklin Elementary School. The third-grader was normally very perky upon seeing her mother and new baby sister, but this time she glanced at her mother without indicating what was wrong, except to say that the school's social worker had visited the class. But Emer soon heard from another parent about what had happened in her daughter's class that day, and she was both stunned and mortified. The next day her young daughter finally opened up with a question that would baffle most parents of an 8-year-old child, "Mommy, is it possible for a man to have an operation to become a woman?"

Transgenders and transvestites. These were the topics that a staff member at Franklin School in West Newton chose to teach to a class of third-grade children. The school's social worker described to the children that some men like to dress up as women, and yes, some men even have operations to change into women.

The opportunity for this "teachable moment" - the kind that Superintendent Jeff Young likes to portray as merely responding to some child's "random questioning"- occurred when the social worker was describing various families outside of the traditional mommy-and-daddy norm and showed the class a picture of a woman with two children, asking what they saw in the picture. A child then raised his hand to tell her (are you sitting sit down for this?) that he thought the picture was of a man who had a sex change operation and was now a woman. Apparently, the child's own father was undergoing such an operation (which he/she has since completed).

The social worker then elaborated on this "teachable moment." But this wasn't just any social worker employed by the Newton Public Schools. This was Laura Perkins, former board member of GLSEN, the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network; or rather, "Laura Perkins, MSW, Franklin School and the Newton Early Childhood Program," according to the GLSEN Boston Conference, where she hosted a seminar in which the "Rationale for integrating GLBT (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender) issues in the early elementary years will be presented" and "classroom lessons demonstrated."

As a result of this particular "classroom lesson," Emer's daughter was petrified. For an 8-year-old accustomed to a child's world of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, the little girl had nightmares, and explained to her mother she was scared that her baby sister could turn into a boy.

So Emer did what any normal responsible parent would do - she demanded an explanation from the principal, Cynthia Marchand. She and several other parents from this class met with the principal who, according to Emer, responded defensively and fully backed her staff member.

Emer then went to Superintendent's Young's office with her concerns. She handed Mr. Young a written description of what happened, whereupon the superintendent promised to respond to her soon. He didn't. So after three weeks, she called to make an appointment. As Emer described it, Mr. Young remarked that the Parental Consent Law didn't apply to this situation because, he claimed, the topic of discussion was not planned for. He concluded that it was really just "a teachable moment."(When I asked the superintendent via e-mail if it is the policy of the Newton schools to teach 8-year-old children about sex change operations, he responded "No").

"Arrogant" is how Emer described the superintendent's demeanor towards her. He declined to shake her hand at the meeting's end, and didn't even bother to acknowledge the baby she was holding.

The superintendent wants us to believe that just because the class was taught by a GLSEN activist who has specialized in "integrating GLBT issues in the elementary years" and even though the principal, social worker and probably half the school knew that there was a child in that very class who just happened to have a father who was undergoing a sex change operation, there is no evidence that this was planned, or rather, set up. So, in Mr. Young's convoluted logic, the state law which mandates that parents must be informed whenever anything of a sexual nature occurs in the classroom did not apply here.

It just happened, you see. A mere coincidence. Just like a few years before when a Burr School first-grade teacher chose to out himself to his first-grade class. This was a hide-from-the-media moment for the superintendent, since it was later revealed in Bay Windows, the Boston gay weekly, that the teacher had discussed this probable scenario with his principal well in advance of his proclamation to his class of 6-year-olds.

Predictably, Emer got nowhere with the school administration. She went through the typical phases that any parent who raises these issues is forced to endure. The stalling, ignoring, belittling. The attempts to isolate her, put her on the defensive, make her feel like the aggressor - the intolerant, unsympathetic, backward parent: common tactics to make parents like Emer go away. After all, Mr. Young and his cohorts now have years of experience dealing with such parents.

But Emer would not go away.

Fed up at the lack of response from the school, she raised the issue in front of a large audience of staff and parents at Franklin's curriculum night. "Can we see the social worker's curriculum for this year, as last year there was inappropriate information given to the elementary-age children?" she publicly asked Cynthia Marchand. In other words, could the principal guarantee that staff members would not teach the young children about men having sex change operations? To which the principal responded that she would speak to Emer in private about it (a preferred tactic by Newton administrators). Emer would not back down; after 10 months of being ignored she demanded an answer right then and there. But the principal wouldn't budge.

As Emer described it, afterwards Mrs. Marchand coaxed her into her office, whereupon she loudly chastised Emer for "her inappropriate behavior." She berated Emer because (you'd better sit down again for this) the Franklin School father who had a sex change operation and was now a "woman" had been sitting in the audience with his wife (they're still married) when Emer broached this highly sensitive topic. "Cindy, stop shouting at me!" Emer responded to her child's principal. (My calls to the principal and social worker for comment were not returned, but Mr. Young did respond by e-mail: "No," the social worker and principal would not be suspended or reprimanded, he wrote. He ducked my question as to whether or not he intended to apologize to Mrs. O'Shea, stating that he and other staff had already "spoken with the parent already.")

Emer had enough. She decided to pull her daughter out of the Newton Public Schools and, at great expense, send her to a private school. (Mr. Young again responded "No" when I asked if the school department would be paying for the child's private school tuition). A few days later, she walked into the Franklin office once again, this time with her now fourth-grade daughter and infant baby to inform the principal and secretary that her child would no longer be attending Franklin School. "Good," Mrs. Marchand allegedly responded, in the presence of Emer, the secretary, a teacher and Emer's daughter. The principal then turned and walked away.

Think of that. Think real hard.

Read the entire story here.

Tom Mountain can be reached at tmount117@hotmail.com.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Porn's Degradation of Men

**WARNING** The following blog post is very graphic, so be aware. It is graphic from the article standpoint.

Just how pervasive is porn? Well, just go to your local grocery store and check out the mags as you check out. Or even....go to your local ski slope (coming soon), where you can see the images of Playboy Bunnies on snowboards. It is everywhere and only becoming more invasive.

As the following article lays out, this is the nature of porn. Our brains are interested in what will excite or is unusual, and if we keep seeing the same thing over and over, we become desensitized and bored. Thus pornographers have to make things harder and harder. And because they are always looking for new clientele, they have to infect ordinary entertainment on TV and movies.

With the plethora of images to choose from, this doesn't mean that we are any happier, though. No, only real love between a man and a woman will satisfy. But at least we won't be alone in our misery, because there will be plenty of other addicts on the couch with us.

Porn's Dirty, Dangerous Secret
By Robert Jensen, Last Exit
Posted on October 21, 2008, Printed on October 22, 2008

Ed. Note: AlterNet has run a series of articles on the frequently
ignored role of pornography in contemporary society. At the bottom of
Robert Jensen's article you can find links to more stories addressing
the many questions that pornography poses.

There are a finite number of ways that human bodies can be placed
together sexually, and as one pornography industry veteran lamented to
me at the annual trade show, "they've all been shot." He sighed,
pondering the challenge of creating a sexually explicit film that is
unique, and mused, "After all, how many dicks can you stick in a girl
at one time?"

His question was offered rhetorically, but I asked: How many?

Probably four, he said; simultaneous oral, vaginal, and double-anal
penetration was realistic. Another producer later in the day told me
he had once worked on a film that included a double-anal/double-vag
scene -- a woman being penetrated by four men at once. He said the
director had a special harness made to hold the woman for that scene.
In contemporary mass-marketed heterosexual pornography, it's
unexceptional to see a standard DP (industry slang for "double
penetration," with two men entering a woman vaginally and anally at
the same time) with oral penetration.

Whatever the number, theoretical or routine, the discussion reminds us
that pornography is relentlessly intense, pushing our sexual
boundaries both physically and psychically. And, pornography also is
incredibly repetitive and boring.

Pornographers know all this, of course, and it keeps them on edge.

These days there are about 13,000 pornographic films released each
year, compared with about 600 from Hollywood. Not surprisingly, a
common concern at the Adult Entertainment Expo each time I attended
(in 2005, 2006, and 2008) was that the desperate struggle by directors
to distinguish their films from all the others was leading to a kind
of "sexual gymnastics." Lexington Steele, one of the most successful
contemporary pornography performers and producers, put it bluntly: "A
lot of gonzo is becoming circus acts."

"Gonzo" is the pornographic genre that rejects plot, character, or
dialogue, offering straightforward explicit sex. Gonzo films are
distinguished from "features," which to some degree mimic the
structure of a traditional Hollywood film. According to the top trade
magazine: "Gonzo, non-feature fare is the overwhelmingly dominant porn
genre since it's less expensive to produce than plot-oriented
features, but just as importantly, is the fare of choice for the solo
stroking consumer who merely wants to cut to the chase, get off on the
good stuff, then, if they really wanna catch some acting, plot and
dialog, pop in the latest Netflix disc." ["The Directors," Adult Video
News, August 2005, p. 54.]

In that description is considerable insight into why pornography (1)
has always been boring and (2) will continue to become more brutal.

The industry works from the assumption that the men who consume the
vast majority of commercial heterosexual pornography are not really
human beings with hearts, minds and souls. In the porn world, a man is
a kind of sexual robot in search of nothing more than the stimulation
of pleasure circuits. In that world, the goal is to reduce human
sexuality to the production of an erection and orgasm as quickly as
possible -- get it up and get it off, efficiently. Pornography assumes
not that a man has a penis but that a man is nothing more than a penis.

The pornographer faces one serious obstacle in all this: Men are human
beings. No matter how emotionally deformed by the toxic conception of
masculinity that is dominant in a patriarchal culture such as the
United States, we are human beings with hearts, minds and souls.

No matter how much men try to cut themselves off from the emotional
component of sex, that component never withers completely, and therein
lies the potential problem for pornographers. When all emotion is
drained from sex it becomes repetitive and uninteresting -- in a word,
boring, even to men who are watching solely to facilitate
masturbation. Because the novelty of seeing sex on the screen
eventually wears off, pornographers who want to expand (or even just
maintain) market share and profit need to give their products an
emotional edge of some kind.

But pornography doesn't draw on the emotions most commonly connected
with sex -- love and affection -- because men typically consume
pornography specifically to avoid love and affection. So, the
pornographers offer men sexual gymnastics and circus acts that are
saturated with cruelty toward women; they sexualize the degradation of
women. While most of us would agree those are negative emotions, they
are powerful emotions. And in a patriarchal society in which men are
conditioned to see themselves as dominant over women, such cruelty and
degradation fit easily into men's notions about sex and gender.

When I offer this critique to men who are avid consumers of
pornography, they often tell me that I'm wrong, that they watch gonzo
and don't see the kind of cruelty and degradation that I am
describing. They tell me that that there's no cruelty in a woman is
being penetrated in aggressive fashion by three men who call her a
whore throughout the sex. They tell me that when five men thrust into
a woman's mouth to the point she gags, slap a woman in the face with
their penises, and ejaculate into her mouth and demand that she
swallow it all, there's no degradation.

In some sense, they are telling the truth -- they aren't seeing the
cruelty and degradation because they are too caught up in the sexual
arousal, and in such a state their critical faculties are derailed.
They don't see it because they are men in a patriarchal culture
focused on their own pleasure. To see the woman as a person deserving
of respect -- to see her as fully human -- would interfere with
getting it up and getting it off.

When I was a young adult who used pornography, I didn't see it either,
because I had a stake in not seeing it. That's why after an orgasm I
would quickly leave the theater or adult bookstore. That dates me, I
know; my pornography use came before the VCR brought pornographic
films into the home. But the pattern endures; many men I talk to today
tell me that after masturbating they quickly take out the DVD or shut
off the computer to avoid really seeing what is taking place on the
screen. To slightly revise a cultural clich, when the little head's
work is done, the big head re-engages. When the sexual experience is
over, men can think, and when men can see the reality of pornography's
contempt for women most don't want to watch.

These are general observations, an attempt to identify patterns in
pornography. But the world is, of course, complex. There is
considerable individual variation in the human species; not all men
watch pornography for the same reason or have the same experience. And
among those 13,000 films each year, there is variety. But there is a
pattern to men's consumption of pornography and the industry's
strategy to keep men consuming:

* Heterosexual men tend to consume pornography to achieve sexual
satisfaction without the complications of dealing with a real woman. *
Pornographers deliver graphic sexually explicit material that does the
job, but to do so they must continuously increase the cruelty and
degradation to maintain profits.

Gonzo producers test the limits with new practices that eroticize
men's domination of women. Less intense forms of those sexual
practices migrate into the tamer feature pornography, and from there
in muted form into mainstream pop culture. Pornography gets more
openly misogynist, and pop culture becomes more pornographic -- many
Hollywood movies and cable TV shows today look much like soft-core
pornography of a few decades ago, and the common objectification of
women in advertising has become more overtly sexualized.

Where will all this lead? How far will pornographers go to ensure
their profits, especially as the proliferation of free pornography on
the internet adds a new competition? How much eroticized misogyny will
the culture be willing to tolerate?

When I ask that question of pornography producers, most say they don't
know. An industry leader such as Lexington Steele acknowledged he has
no crystal ball: "Gonzo really always pushes the envelope. The thing
about it is, there's only but so many holes, only but so many
different types of penetration that can be executed upon a woman. So
it's really hard to say what's next within gonzo."

What's next? What comes after DPs and double anals? What is beyond a
"10 Man Cum Slam" and "50 Guy Cream Pie"? I can't claim to know
either. But after 20 years of researching the pornography industry as
a scholar and critiquing it as part of the feminist anti-pornography
movement, I know that we should be concerned. We should be afraid that
there may be no limit on men's cruelty toward women. In a patriarchal
society driven by the predatory values of capitalism, we should be
very afraid.

For further reading:

Strange Bedfellows: Can Feminism and Porn Coexist?

By Nikko Snyder, Bitch Magazine

Is Pornography Really Harmful?

Michael Bader, AlterNet

Art and Porn: An Interview with Editor Dian Hanson

By Liz Langley, AlterNet

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at
Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center.
His latest book, All My Bones Shake: Radical Politics in the Prophetic
Voice, will be published in 2009 by Soft Skull Press. He also is the
author of Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity (South
End Press, 2007). His articles can be found online at http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/index.htm


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ready for a Schism? It's Coming

WARNING! U.S. Catholic Church To Suffer Major Schism
(California Daily Catholic) - Among self-described Catholics, Obama leads by 49.5 percent to 44.3 percent, Stephanie DeVries, Zogby assistant director of communications, told CNA in a Monday e-mail...
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: You heard it here first on 'The Catholic Knight.' The U.S. Catholic Church has a MAJOR problem, that is about to effect it in ways not seen since the days of the Protestant Reformation nearly five-hundred years ago. Current trends indicate that the U.S. Catholic Church will suffer a major schism within the next decade over social and political issues. It will be an extremely large schism and may actually rival that of the 16th century.
The problem centers around the failure of the U.S. Catholic clergy to effectively teach the moral and social doctrine of the Church to the laity. The above poll by Zogby is a reflection of this. As it stands today, a majority of U.S. Catholic voters are about to throw their support behind the most extreme pro-abortion candidate in U.S. political history. This is after the U.S. Catholic bishops have had over 2 years to get the message out since the Vatican clarified these issues in the political realm. Based on the Zogby poll, it would appear that the percentage of U.S. Catholic voters adhering to Church social teaching has actually gone down over the last 4 years since the 2004 presidential election. The U.S. Catholic bishops have decided to address these issues in their next conference to be held just after the presidential election. On the table for discussion is the issue of automatic excommunication for Catholic politicians who support abortion. Should the bishops actually vote to take this position, it may be too little too late. Had they wanted to prevent the coming schism, they should have done this at least four to eight years ago.
It's called "Cafeteria Catholicism, " and it expresses the desire of many North American Catholics to practice Catholicism on their own terms, rather than the terms set down by the religion itself. "Cafeteria Catholics" like to practice the external appearances of Catholicism; such as attending mass, receiving communion, and praying the rosary. However, when it comes to the moral and social teachings of the Church, these Catholics take a "salad bar" approach, picking and choosing which social teachings they prefer to adhere to, and rejecting those they find inconvenient. "Cafeteria Catholics" can be found on both the Left and the Right side of the political spectrum, each "picking and choosing" different aspects of Church social doctrine to support and reject. However, it is the "Cafeteria Catholics" on the Left that are a growing problem in the U.S. Catholic Church. This group tends to accept the Church's social teaching to prevent poverty and oppose war, but reject the Church's social teachings on the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death, and the protection of traditional marriage between a man and a women. The Church has responded to this problem by pointing out a "hierarchy of truths" regarding the Church's social doctrine, emphasizing that protection of human life and marriage from legalized assault is far more important than the other issues of Catholic social doctrine. (Translation: the issues of abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, gay-marriage and gay civil-unions, outweigh other issues of Catholic social justice.) Some U.S. Catholic bishops have been very diligent in getting this message out, as have some priests who assist them. However, there is a fairly large number of bishops and priests who have been "less than enthusiastic" about relating this message to the laity in a strong and concise way. The problem is not recent. It goes back literally decades. As a result, a growing number of "Cafeteria Catholics" on the Left have completely and utterly rejected the Church's social doctrine on human life and gay-marriage. That number would appear to be growing, as is evidenced by the number of Catholics supporting Barack Obama for president - the most radically pro-abortion presidential candidate in U.S. history.
For the most part, Left wing Cafeteria Catholics live in stealth within the Church pews, but their dissatisfaction with the Church hierarchy, particularly as it relates to the Church's social teaching, is growing. These people are Left wing Liberals (or "Progressives" ) before they are Catholics. They may not understand themselves that way, but that is exactly how they behave. They expect the Catholic Church to be accepting of their progressive beliefs, if not affirm them entirely. For now these people look to Left-wing Catholic politicians as their guide and inspiration.
However, that may soon change. A growing number of U.S. priests are starting to take a militant stand against their bishops and the Vatican, urging the Church to take a more lenient stand on artificial birth-control, abortion, gay-marriage and women-priests. So far their rebellion has been met with discipline and excommunication from the presiding bishops in the diocese they occur. The only question now is how long can this go on? There is a real and present danger that a small group (perhaps just 2 or 3) U.S. Catholic bishops will eventually side with their rebel priests against the Vatican. When that happens, the Vatican will surely respond with excommunications, resulting in the refusal of these bishops to leave their office. Once that happens, the schism is underway. If the majority of U.S. Catholics were practicing in accord with the Vatican, such episcopal rebellion wouldn't amount to much more than a minor scandal. But because at least half (or more) of all U.S. Catholics actually adhere to a value system more in line with popular American culture, than the official teachings of the Church, it is likely that a good number of Catholic Americans will side with bishops who oppose the Vatican. The resulting rupture could split the U.S. Catholic Church right down the middle. Progressively inclined bishops may align themselves with the value system espoused by similar church bodies - such as the Episcopal Church U.S.A., resulting in a "coalition" (if you will) of progressive Catholics and Protestants against the Vatican and orthodox Catholic bishops. The fallout from such a schism would be the most catastrophic wound the Church has suffered since Martin Luther nailed his '95 Thesis' on the door of Wittenberg Chapel.
Again, all of this comes back to a general failure of the U.S. Catholic clergy to strongly teach and enforce Catholic social morality. It is also the result of the U.S. Church tolerating "Cafeteria Catholics" who continue to call themselves "Catholic" when their beliefs and actions clearly indicate they no longer accept the Church's value system. These Cafeteria Catholics now believe their progressive values are a "right" within the Church, and nobody (not even a pope or bishop) has the authority to deny them the sacraments because of it. This has been going on for nearly a whole generation within the U.S. Catholic Church, and because of it, American Catholicism is ripe for schism on a major scale.
Can the crisis be averted? Yes. It is possible. But in order to do it, the U.S. Catholic bishops have about 10 to 20 years of catching up to do, and they'll have to do it fast. They're going to have to enforce an absolute moral standard within the U.S. Catholic Church immediately, resulting in automatic excommunications and strong public rebukes of the progressive value system currently tearing the U.S. Catholic Church apart. Rescuing souls from this value system should always be a priority, but not at the expense of allowing it's adherents to lead more Catholics astray because of it. In other words, it's time to cut out the cancer quickly, before it metastasizes. At best the U.S. bishops could hope to rescue a few souls from the progressive value system, while driving most of it's proponents out of the Church before they have a chance to win over some of their own bishops. The result of such actions will cause the U.S. Catholic Church to lose some members, but sadly, this is necessary to preserve the structural integrity of the U.S. Catholic Church. Failure to act soon may result in the U.S. Catholic Church following in the way of the Episcopal Church U.S.A., which is currently splintering into multiple factions over the issue of women-priests, gay-marriage and homosexual bishops. The events in the Episcopal Church are significant, but not wide felt, because at most the population of the U.S. Episcopal Church tops at 2.5 million members. If (or when) a similar schism occurs in the U.S. Catholic Church, with a population of over 65 million members, it's going to have more widely felt effects. The U.S. Catholic bishops must act quickly, before it's too late. Time is not on their side.