August 01, 2003

FISKING JOSH MARSHALL

It does my heart good to see this. Many months ago, I was one of the first to catch on to Joshua Micah Marshall's dark side, which is about as well hidden as Chancellor Palpatine's penchant for mischief in Attack of the Clones. Or only slightly better hidden than Darth Vader's taste for violence in Star Wars. Point is, under the cover of being a "serious" and "credible" liberal journalist, Marshall is in fact a partisan hack who writes in breathless tones whether he actually has anything interesting to say or not. It's nice to see that others more popular than I have caught on.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:46 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I'M WITH JEB

The Bush administration shouldn't send back those Cuban refugees who tried to cross the sea to freedom in a truck. They'll end up on Castro's gulags. Jeb Bush is criticizing brother George W. on the issue, and he's right. The double-minded policy of keeping refugees who actually make it to US soil while sending back any we catch at sea making the trip makes no sense. Which is none too surprising, given its provenance:

Under the policy adopted by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the 1990s, Cubans who reach U.S. soil are automatically allowed to stay; those caught at sea are sent home. (my emphasis)

Whose administration could've been responsible that asinine policy? Sounds like a back-handed way to appease the Castro-coddlers in the Democrat party to me. GW should change it.

MORE: The more I think about this, the madder it makes me. These poor guys not only deserve some style points for the attempt, they deserve freedom. Their escape from a Communist sinkhole was quite courageous, and the mere accident of being spotted before making landfall will get them sent back to that Communist sinkhole. There, they'll face long prison sentences. The only thing the Bush administration wants from Castro for returning them is an assurance that he won't have them killed when they return. Sorry, not good enough.

These guys are brave. We are the home of the brave. They belong with us.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:47 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

LILEKS ON LIBERTARIANISM

The Bleat is always a must-read. You just never know how James Lileks is going to turn the most mundane thing into a work of wit and art. But he does, time and again, usually working a salient bit of bite into the mix. Today's is a case in point:

Criminey: a please-leave-Saddam-alone guy who hoovers urls to lament the end of Saddam? A whois search led to an Oslo based web developer with a fallow site . . . which linked to his personal site, which has a nice warm fuzzy quote:

An' it harm none / do as you wish

Where had I read that? Right: Crowley. The Beast! It’s a line oft quoted by Wiccans, but I remember it from reading Crowley’s “Diary of a Drug Fiend” back in college. “As it harms none, do as thou wilt” was the AC’s version. Makes the Beast sound like the original libertarian. Unfortunately, what does not harm anyone now may harm lots in the future. I mean, it’s not going to harm my family if I jam a spike in my arm and shoot myself full of heroin tonight - as long as I don’t overdose and keep to my room, no one’s troubled in the least. But at some point this expression of personal desire that does no one any harm suddenly ends up harming lots of people. You can’t judge these acts in isolation.

Leave aside for a moment the mind-numbing idiocy of a "harm no one, do your own thing" type supporting, of all people, Saddam Hussein. If anyone anywhere ever didn't live by a do your own thing credo it was Saddam. Oh, he may have done his own thing, but the harm it caused to others never came into Saddam's calculations. His late sons obviously never cared about the harm they caused. But like I said, put that aside for a moment. It's the other part--Lileks' riff on Alistair Crowley--that's the meat. Oh, and leave aside the libertarians' unfortunate tendency to unknowingly ape the founder of the church of Satan for a moment. Focus on Lileks' argument that you can't judge actions in isolation.

He is exactly right on this, and not just on the subject of drugs and such. Libertarians often fall into the trap of failing to look past their own noses to see the dangers a given action or proposal may pose. Libertarians tend to think that if something won't directly harm them, in the near term, then it won't create more general havoc down the road. But as Lileks says, you can't judge things in isolation. Society doesn't work in isolation--changes made on a seemingly micro scale that shift existing paradigms can and often do have macro effects eventually.

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July 31, 2003

READY TO TALK, ARE YA?

The North Koreans have finally scrapped their insistence that standoff talks be bilateral, or at most include China as a host. Now, they say bring all the neighbors--Japan, Russia and even South Korea are now invited.

Score one for the Bushies on this. Domestic opposition said "Sell out! Give Kim what he wants!" The South Koreans said "Stop being such a ninny and just make nice! Stop being such a problem!" But Bush said no. If we get out of the NoKo nuke crisis without a war, it will be because he stood firm and kept things clear and unambiguous.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:22 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

A GAY MARRIAGE CHALLENGE

As usual in any social issues debate, the debate over gay marriage has put opponents on the defensive and in the position of having to offer up a raft of reasons for our opposition. We toss up the slippery slope, the traditional definition, the state's interest in preserving that traditional definition, our skepticism that gay marriage will have the "civilizing" influence that proponents claim, and so forth. But what rarely happens is that proponents actually have to give a rational explanation for why they don't think the worst fears of opponents will come true. Proponents aren't often required to justify why they think allowing gay marriage will be worth the effort. Opponents say that gay marriage will end up destroying marriage, and all proponents seem to feel obligated to offer up is "no it won't" and then then run some new line of attack.

That's backwards. It ain't right. Opponents of gay marriage are defending something that's been around for millenia. Proponents should, at a minimum, offer up some rational reasons beyond "because it's not fair!" to explain why they favor doing somethat that could, potentially, create so many unintended and unforeseen consequences. It is proponents of gay marriage who should have to offer detailed, evidence-based explanations for why marriage should be altered. And citing fairness isn't good enough--there are all sorts of things about life that aren't fair, but we don't go toying with the foundations of society to change them. For the most part, we live with them, adjust to them, learn from them and go on.

So I'm issuing a modest challenge to the four or five of you who actually care about this blog's take on gay marriage: Explain based on real evidence why gay marriage will not at a minimum alter overall marriage beyond recognition, and at a maximum destroy it outright. Explain, again based on evidence, why gay marriage will foster monogamy among gays, especially males. Simply asserting that it will isn't good enough. Data, please. Females, having never been subject to the (especially young) male libido may have a tough time with this one, but give it a shot. Explain, based on evidence, why you support gay marriage but don't, say, support polyamorous marriage. And explain, based on evidence, why you believe that gays will stop agitating for some new special consideration once they have marriage in hand. I don't believe they will, and I believe history proves me right--once an advocacy group tastes success on an issue, it quickly seeks ways to build on that success by attacking new issues, even though the new issues may be unrelated to their original purpose for organizing. Prove me wrong about that. Mothers Against Drunk Driving should probably enter into your thinking on this.

What gay marriage proponents would have us opponents and fence-sitters believe is that gay marriage will either have no ill effects on society as a whole, or that its ill effects will be minimal enough to justify legalizing it. I want to know why you proponents believe the way you do. I'm geniunely curious, because from where I stand we've had seemingly unrelated things like the welfare state end up impacting marriage a great deal. The tax code affects marriage, as does economics generally. The legal code regarding divorce impacts the durability of marriage. The dimunition of traditional religious morality has impacted marriage. Why won't gay marriage impact straight marriage in adverse, unintended ways? The relatively small number of gays versus straights won't wash here--there are very few hard core environmentalists, yet their thinking has had a huge impact on our politics. Likewise, there are lots of evangelical Christians, enough to constitute a true mainstream identity, yet to hear the way lots of liberals and libertarians talk about us you'd think that we're so far out of the mainstream that our opinions are automatically invalid. Again, see Andrew Sullivan's writings on this point if you don't believe me.

I really want to know the evidence base behind gay marriage support. I've seen enough pro-gay dogma to suspect that an awful lot of proponents haven't really thought through the matter fully, and aren't working from much evidence beyond their own gut instincts. Prove me wrong. If you do, I'll admit it. Really.

So take those opinions and flesh 'em out with facts. Use my comments section on this post, or write your own post and let me know about it. I promise to a) be fair to whatever your say [if I say anything], and b) link it if it's somewhere other than my comments section.

I will, by the way, take silence to mean that gay marriage proponents are simply running away from having to back up their opinions with something other than louder opinions. It could also mean that no one's reading me anymore, but we won't go there....

MORE: Just so we're clear on where I stand, I oppose gay marriage. I oppose it for the following reasons:

1. Marriage is the cornerstone of an orderly society. Tinkering with it in ways that will redefine it is probably a bad idea.

2. Gay marriage will definitely redefine the most ancient meaning of marriage as understood in a Western context--one man and one woman leaving their parents to create a new home on their own (new home not meaning new house, obviously, but a home distinct from either of their parents' authority--and yes, having a parent live with married children for health reasons is perfectly okay. Hopefully we're clear on this--if not, I'll be happy to clarify.)

3. Gay marriage is highly unlikely to create more monogamy among male homosexuals, therefore one of the stated reasons for legalizing gay marriage doesn't hold up. On the contrary, gay marriage is likely to lead to less monogamy and more divorce and ever more permutations of the family until both it and marriage become meaningless concepts. The threat of AIDS doesn't seem to bolster gay monogamy--why will marriage?

4. Gay marriage is about more than just "dignity" and "fairness." It is about many other things, from economic benefits and legal status to being an angle of attack against institutions that gays and many radicals have long held in contempt--the family, faith, society. Ulterior motives account for much, if not most, of the back-channel support for gay marriage and much of the overt support as well.

5. By introducing gay marriage through judicial fiat, which is the path gay marriage proponents have taken, other permutations of marriage are likely to follow. Equal protection--the Constitutional standard that will likely allow gay marriage--is a very blunt weapon. Its use will lead to more support for polyamorous marriage, further eroding the stability of the family and diluting the meaning of marriage.

That's my back of the envelope take. I'm sure there are a couple other points that I could state, and I'll probably think of them next time I'm in my car or otherwise confined to a non-computer space. Such is life--it's so unfair sometimes.

MORE: I haven't had the time to digest it yet, but Conservative Crust has posted a rejoinder to this challenge. What I've read of it so far looks well constructed and very thoughtful.

Like I said above, if you comment on the challenge on your own blog, send me the link and I'll put it up here. Pro or con, indifferent or foaming at the mouth. I'm not promising an Instalance--heck, my link may actually reduce your traffic for all I know--but at least some eyes that might not otherwise see your post will have the chance to find their way to it.

Posted by B. Preston at 02:48 PM | Comments (49) | TrackBack

ONE OF THE BEST ARGUMENTS FOR HOME SCHOOLING I'VE EVER SEEN

A bunch of guilty white liberals blame 9-11 on America's "racism," pledging in an invitation-only event to begin a campaign to end racism by 2006. Who gets invited? Who doesn't? Why? And why that date? What's so special about 2006? Three years, and these folks say they'll make us all shiny happy people. I can't wait. Whatever. The coalition backing this, um, effort is none too surprising:

A coalition that includes Waukesha School District and Waukesha's YWCA (remember when that used to stand for Young Women's Christian Association?) "and many other groups will spend three years encouraging interaction and understanding between white people and minorities," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported today.

So...a public school district has signed on to the notion 9-11 was all our fault. Your tax dollars to teach your kids that the murder of 3,000 of your innocent countrymen was your fault. Thanks for clearing that up, Waukesha! With stellar moral clarity like that, why would anyone want to teach their little rugrats at home?

Posted by B. Preston at 10:25 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

MORE BAD NEWS FOR THE DEMS

Contrary to their fondest wishes, the economy is starting to grow like a weed.

Oh, and Iraq may have an elected government within a year.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:34 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

BLOGGERS PICK THE GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIMES

RWN's John Hawkins polled a bunch of us bloggers on our picks for best movies of all time. Here are the results. It's funny--looking at the list, most of my picks didn't make it and Citizen Kane, which is year in and year out most real critics' pick for the Best. Movie. Ever. is just #6. Yet, I like the list. I wish I'd thought of some of the other folks' picks myself. But seriously, North by Northwest instead of Rear Window? And no Psycho? The humanity!

Posted by B. Preston at 09:02 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 30, 2003

TEXAS DEMS RUN AGAIN

You just can't keep these people in Austin. Last time several of Texas' Democrat state house members ran to Oklahoma to avoid passing a redistricting plan--this time a bunch of senators have run to New Mexico to avoid the same thing. Sam Houston, Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie must be turning over in their graves.

Here is the history behind all these manuevers. Basically, when democracy hands the Democrats something they don't like, they thwart democracy.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

CBS COLLUDES WITH LIBERAL THINK TANK TO "REPORT" "NEWS"

RatherBiased.com has the details.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CREEPING CALVINISM, BATMAN!

I have a new post up at the Department of Theology, University of Blogistan. It's about an apparent shift in Catholicism toward its arch-nemesis doctrine, Calvinism.

NOTE: If you follow the link in that post to the article that inspired it, scroll down to the section headed "A Matter or Taste," you'll find a nice dissection of Andrew Sullivan's "we're all sodomites" argument.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

IS AIDS ON THE REBOUND?

Possibly. Internet hookups are on the rise among gays, leading to near anonymous encounters and inevitably to the spread of STDs including AIDS. That bisexual men are participating opens up the possibility of an uptick in AIDS among heterosexuals too.

Just read the story--then think about the likelihood that marriage will positively effect gay male behavior. The possibility that encounters can give you a lethal disease hasn't created monogamy--why would a ceremony and a piece of paper be more effective?

Posted by B. Preston at 10:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I'M HONORED

If blogger Mark Byron takes the blogosphere to the presidency, I could join him--I've received a cabinet nomination from himto head up Homeland Security. Thanks Mark. Meanness pays.

The first thing I'd do is change the #$% name of the department. We need to call it the Department of Defense, and the current DoD would be renamed either Department of Offense (since it does its fighting on foreign soil) or the good old fashioned Department of War (since that's what it actually wages on our enemies).

But hey, I'm honored. I'd like to thank my Mom and Dad, and my wife and son for putting up with blogging, and Chris for adding some grist to the JYB mill, and all the little people. Oh, I am one of the little people. Well then I'd like to thank all the little people besides me.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

FRENCH SYNAGOGUE ATTACKED

It's apparently the first synagogue trashing since the end of the Iraq war.

Prayer books were found thrown onto the floor, the Torah scrolls -- sacred to Jews -- opened, and cash stolen after the break-in last Friday night at the synagogue, its administrator Jean-Claude Myara said.

Written on an outside wall was ''juif-mort'' (Jew-death).

The article's most interesting line:

Officials had expected more tensions between Jews and Muslim youths, but said Paris's criticism of the U.S.-led war apparently defused some of it.

The French government consciously sought to appease an unruly mob by dissing its longest standing friend who has save them--twice. And it obviously didn't even work.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

INSIDE JOB NETS 3 MILLION FOR TERRORISTS

The Iraqi resistance seems to have gotten a cash infusion. Armed robbers stole $3 million from the Iraqi embassy in Moscow.

"Between 1:30 and 2 a.m., three masked thieves broke through the backdoor of the embassy," Rajab said."They knew the accountant was guarding the embassy. They broke the door, threatened him with a gun and a knife, punched him, hit his head and stomach and forced him to open the safe in the accountant's room."

[Embassy official M. A.] Rajab said about $3 million and smaller amounts in rubles and euros were in the safe, which the thieves swept clean. No record of the serial numbers of the bills was kept.

After recovering from the shock of the attack, the accountant telephoned other embassy employees, he said. They notified the guard at the front gate, who was unaware that anything out of the ordinary had happened, and called the police.

A police spokeswoman said the embassy call came in at about 6 a.m.

Robbery by 2 am, call the cops at 6? That leaves four hours for a clean getaway, plus time to deal with any evidence left on the scene. The robbers knew what they were doing:

He suggested that the robbers were familiar with the embassy layout, its lowered security measures and the large amount of cash that had been brought in.

"We don't usually keep that much money around," he said. "My personal view is that the thieves are familiar with the building." He said he suspected that some former visitors to the embassy carried out the robbery. "The people who work here are trustworthy. We cannot accuse anybody, it's not fair," he said.

It's not the first time Iraqi embassies have been the scene strange events.

This story is also one more indication that we're killing terrorists of all stripes in the pocketbook.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

AL QAEDA MAY BE PLANNING MORE HIJACKINGS

According to a Transportation Safety Administration memo sent to airports July 26th, al Qaeda may be sending out five-man teams to attempt to hijack planes on the East Coast or in Europe or Australia. Knowing that they won't be able to smuggle any kind of blade onto an aircraft, the hijackers will instead try to use everyday items that have been modified into weapons. They're apparently getting very James Bondish on us, outfitting cameras and the like with secret weapon components.

This story is profoundly good news. It indicates that al Qaeda is undergoing a dual collapse--its money and brainpower have been drained away.

First, the money. The memo indicates that the hijackers need not have been trained to actually fly the planes they take over. It took sizable funds to get the 9-11 hijackers into the country and then house and feed them for the duration of their expensive training. The tactic worked quite well, as we all now know. The fact that al Qaeda is now designing attacks that include hijackings but not flight training indicates that they simply don't have access to the funding necessary to make it possible. Their funds have to some extent been effectively cut off, or the network they once used to move funds around has been choked off. Stories that potential bombers have been arrested in bank robberies, which they are apparently using as al Qaeda fund raisers, reinforces the point that we're winning the financial component of the "new kind of war" we're in.

On the subject of the brain drain, it seems apparent that in returning to hijackings al Qaeda is trying to go back to a tactic that once worked spectacularly for it. This reveals that at its top levels there isn't much in the way of current creative thinking going on. Al Qaeda's past attacks showed creativity with each new murderous stunt--a truck bomb in the WTC basement in 1993, planned multiple airline bombings in Operation Bojinka (which was foiled), multiple car bombs outside American embassies in Africa, a boat bomb used against the USS Cole, and then the 9-11 hijackings. Since that attack, al Qaeda has made noise about hitting us in new and more destructive ways that would devastate us and collapse our economy. Hijackings won't do that. They'll just make us even madder, and we'll be that much more determined to stop terrorism by killing the terrorists. For every one of us they kill, we will become more angry and determined to rip them up root and branch.

We're winning. That's the bottom line of the TSA's warning memo. Al Qaeda can't fund the large scale attacks that it desires and can't afford to buy bigger weapons to use against us. It's leadership isn't as lethally creative today as it once was. Our leadership is as creative as ever, and learns new ways to smash the enemy with each battle. We're winning, and al Qaeda is only trying to recapture its old and rapidly fading glory days.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 29, 2003

IF SADDAM SAYS THEY'RE DEAD...

...then they must be dead. Saddam released a new tape today mourning the loss of Uday and Qusai (incidentally, Qusai translated into Japanese means "Stinky"). It's sure to top the charts with a bullet. The witless, throneless, homeless former dictator also promised to lose the war. Check it out:

"They all died martyrs in the name of Jihad," the voice said, adding that every fighter for Jihad, which means holy war, would desire to die in the same way as his sons. (my emphasis)

Surrounded by the US Army without hope of escape, shot, bombed, with missiles sticking out their arse, sweaty, stinky and finally so riddled with bullets that morticians had to reconstruct them with a kit. That's how the jihadis want to die, huh? We're more than happy to oblige. Step right up.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

BOB HOPE, 1903-2003

Just take a look at those dates in the title. America's only been around for two and a third centuries, and Bob Hope lived through one of those centuries in its entirety. And he didn't just live through it; in many ways he embodied it. Bob Hope--the name suggests ordinary optimism of the kind that can get your through the bloodiest century on record. Bob Hope experienced first hand hot and cold wars with Adolf Hitler and Tojo and Mussolini, then Kim Il-Sung and Mao Zedong and Josef Stalin, then Ho Chi Min and Muammar Gadafi and Saddam Hussein (twice). Heck, he lived through the war with the Kaiser and was around when Wilhelm put Lenin in charge of Russia. And he was around to see Lenin's statues ripped down, too.

Wherever Hope decided to ply his talents, he succeeded and transformed the trade. We have Jerry Seinfeld and George Carlin--all stand-ups and their various permutations (even Carrot Top, unfortunately)--thanks to the pioneering work of Bob Hope.

When I was a child I remember seeing Hope on television. It was some troop benefit or other, and I remember saying to my parents how amazing it would be to see him in person. Bob Hope, to my child's eyes, was simply the biggest thing in the world. I had no idea who was president, not much idea what was going on in the world, but I knew who Bob Hope was. My parents replied that I had seen him when I was two or three. He had done a show at the old Cotton Bowl in Dallas; my Dad got tickets through the city fire department where he worked, and we all went to see Bob Hope live. I don't remember a bit of what he said or what went on. But all these years later, I remember that I once shared the same space with Bob Hope. Good enough.

Today we give our celebrities too much influence. Johnny Depp and Alec Baldwin use their fame to get rich and spit on the country that makes it possible. I think, though, that we give the famous so much credence because a great entertainer came before them who used his fame so responsibly. His whole generation did actually--Jimmy Stewart left Hollywood to fly combat missions--but Hope led the way. Whatever the cause or whatever the conflict and whoever the menace, Bob Hope always leveraged his fame to bolster America's morale. He was quick to give his time and treasure to see that the troops in harm's way had a reason to laugh, a starlet to ogle, and something to keep them going through the dark days of war. He often put on shows so close to the front lines that his act was punctuated by gunfire, and he was quick to turn that into a joke too.

There will never be another Bob Hope. America was better off because he was one of us.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 28, 2003

CHARLES TAYLOR'S PR MAN

Rev. Pat Robertson isn't the only preacher with dubious ties to Liberian strongman Charles Taylor. Rev. Jesse Jackson, who never met a dictator he didn't like, likes Charles Taylor. So much, in fact, he freelanced the Clinton administration's spurious attempts to mainstream the bloodsoaked thug.

After meeting with Taylor in Liberia, Jackson returned home to sell the bloody ruler as "a modern democratic leader," using a "reconciliation conference" at his Operation PUSH headquarters in Chicago to drum up American support for Taylor.

Jackson's presentation included a big-screen video puff piece on the Liberian leader. As it played, Jackson reprised his riff from the 2000 Democratic convention, proclaiming, "It's morning time in Liberia."

Try mourning time in Liberia, Reverend.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

DON'T ASK, SO WE HAVE NOTHING TO TELL

Lots of people bang on the Bush administration for the persistent laxity of immigration law enforcement, and justifiably so. But major cities and jurisdictions across the country (several in Maryland, undoubtedly), have set up their services so that they won't find out if recipients are in the country illegally, no matter what the federal government does. They're called sanctuary cities, and New York city is the largest one in the country. The city where citizens can't smoke without running afoul of Nanny Bloomberg offers your tax dollars to people who have broken the law to get there. And Nanny Bloomberg seems to be doing everything he can to keep it that way.

Prior to 9-11, our immigration policy and the sanctuary cities were an effect of irresponsible political race mongering. Now, they're no less than criminal negligence that may get people killed. Most of the 9-11 hijackers were in the country illegally, probably living in areas where they knew enforcement was most lax. We haven't learned our lesson yet.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

LIBERTINISM AND TEEN SEX

The debate to redefine marriage is about to get in full swing. Libertarians have aligned with gay rights advocates who say that allowing gay marriage won't have the negative consequences that traditionalists predict.

That being the case it's worth looking at how libertarianism, or more properly its cousin libertinism, has affected sexual mores generally. Libertines and libertarians applaud the sexual revolution, many even going as far as approving or finding no qualms with the increased sexual activity of unmarried teenagers in the past several decades. In the teen population, a libertarian view of sex is having devastating consequences:

Imagine a high school football stadium filled with teenagers. Then start counting. One in five of the cheering kids have herpes. Herpes has no cure. Every third girl has the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV causes 99.7% of cervical cancer cases that kills over 5000 women each year. One out of ten has chlamydia. Even if we pulled out the healthy kids, the stadium would remain nearly full.

Consider these statistics:

Almost half of all students in grades nine through twelve have had sex.
Half of all girls are likely to be infected with an STD during their first sexual experience.
Nearly one in four sexually active teens have an STD.
Teens will contract nearly one in four of the 15 million new cases of STDs this year.
Teens make up 10% of the population, but they contract up to 25% of all STDs.
Herpes (specifically herpes simplex type 2 or "genital herpes") has skyrocketed 500% among white teenagers in the last 20 years.
One in five children above age twelve tests positive for herpes type 2.
One in ten teenage girls has Chlamydia; half of all new Chlamydia cases each year are diagnosed in girls 15 to 19 years old.

It gets worse. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported in a February 2002 editorial that the number of people with asymptomatic STDs (diseases with no outward symptoms like lesions or warts) probably exceeds those whose diseases are diagnosed. This means that the epidemic may be twice as large as we think.

That's all according to a new book by Dr. Meg Meeker, Epidemic:
How Teen Sex is Killing our Kids
. Before we follow the libertarians and gay activists off the cliff to redefine traditional marriage, which is the very bedrock on which our culture is built, we should look at the track record their attitudes have created elsewhere. The gay population has been decimated by AIDS, which was exacerbated by extremely lax to nonexistent sexual mores. Only a disproportionate spending effort to create and develop effective drugs has kept AIDS from destroying the gay community altogether. If Dr. Meeker is correct, our teens are being similarly crushed by the spread of STDs and pregnancy, both consequences of destigmatizing unmarried sexual activity. The libertine track record isn't pretty. Why should we expect things to work out better for marriage? Libertarians, why will things turn out differently this time around?

Posted by B. Preston at 04:18 PM | Comments (23) | TrackBack