Saturday, September 22, 2007


The city council of San Diego, a body not known for intellectual prowess or moral courage, recently voted 5 to 3 to send a brief to the state Supreme Court in support of gay marriage. Yes, the city that required four objecting firefighters to bottle their consciences and cruise in a Gay Pride parade is now giving the middle finger to the clear majority of municipal voters who seven years ago backed a constitutional amendment that defined marriage in California as a male-female relationship.

There is some symmetry in having the group that created an unsustainable pension scheme endorse a domestic swindle that’s destined to go belly up after its promoters have cashed their lavish retirement checks and gone to their respective rewards.

The odds that the gang that can’t count straight took the time to review the relevant literature on gay marriage before following the winds of political correctness is next to zero. No matter, they wouldn’t have understood it anyway.

For folks who read and count—and who have a moral backbone—a detailed survey of same-sex parenting studies (the most important corollary of same-sex marriage) is contained in Dr. Steven Nock’s affidavit to the attorney general of Canada in 2001. In that analysis Professor Nock shows why “the literature on this topic does not constitute a solid body of scientific evidence” and why none of the articles he was asked to review “was conducted according to generally accepted standards of scientific research.”

Nock’s 80-page document for an Ontario Superior Court observes that almost all relevant studies are pathetically small in size—employing groups of twenty to fifty self-selected individuals. These tiny samples make it difficult to isolate statistically significant differences between groups—a weakness that’s a boon to agenda-driven researchers who zealously seek to find no differences. Moreover, when studies turn up significant but unwanted results (e.g. that the sexual practices of parents impact the sexual practices of their children) these same methodological flaws are employed to explain away the findings.

Most importantly, this literature is totally devoid of longitudinal studies that track large populations over time. Such is the character of the “science” that’s cited to overturn history’s most successful civilizing institution. No wonder sociologist Peter Berger defined his field of study as “an intrinsically debunking discipline that should be congenial to nihilists, cynics, and other fit subjects for police surveillance.”

It takes a willful suspension of disbelief to think that fathers or mothers are optional players in the child-rearing equation—that nature (viewed as sacrosanct when it comes to snail darters and kangaroo rats) is irrelevant when it comes to childrearing.

History makes it clear to honest observers that sexual practice isn’t simply a biological mandate. But our dishonest culture has a way of admitting some facts about ancient Greece (the prevalence of man-boy relationships) while censoring their obvious correlates (i.e. the social, not biological, roots of that practice). Thus, like the pension fund of San Diego, so go the families of California—toward bankruptcy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


9/11 anniversaries always bring to mind a poignant remark in Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”: “‘She would have been a good woman,’ the Misfit said, ‘if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life.’” Even a self-absorbed grandmother, O’Connor observes, looks at things differently when eternity is staring her in the face.

By contrast, memorial services aren’t ideal times for ideologues to insist on keeping the public square as free of religious speech as from tobacco smoke. After all, when humans are quiet and their heads bowed, the tendency is for thoughts to drift toward words (like “God”) that embrace a meaning beyond what can be expressed by chemical reactions that occur during the process of decomposition.

Immediately after 9/11, so it seemed to me, the decades-long war on religion that ACLU-types have waged in this country went dormant. In truth, the war continued—but with somewhat less fanfare. The militantly secular organization founded by Communist- sympathizer, Roger Baldwin, continued to pursue cases that excluded religious expression from that ever-expanding segment of society labeled “governmental”—thus aping the Soviet Constitution of 1947 with its fervent separation of religion and state.

In San Diego the Boy Scouts of America were expelled from Balboa Park because their charter and pledge were too religious. In the process the ACLU pocketed 950,000 taxpayer dollars by utilizing a “fee shifting” rule instituted by Congress to aid poor victims of racial discrimination. That “funding” mechanism is now employed by the far-from-poor ACLU to intimidate municipalities that can’t afford to fight, much less lose, extended legal brawls over crosses, crèches, or invocations.

Other governmental agents simply go with the judicial flow—like the County of Los Angeles when it agreed, under ACLU pressure, to remove a tiny cross from its official seal (whose most prominent figure was the goddess Pomona). This same defensive mentality doubtless informed Poway school officials when they banned Bradley Johnson’s classroom display of possibly offensive “Judeo-Christian” banners like “In God We Trust” and “Endowed By Their Creator.”

Of course, the offensive nature of secular programs in various schools (from parent-circumventing health centers to gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender teach-ins) is never a legal problem. In the wisdom of our courts, one can never be too secular—even if that radical secularity is belied by memorials throughout the district where they deconstruct America’s past. That past, by the way, includes church services that were regularly held in the Capitol building until 1866.

In keeping with ACLU guidelines for government speech, 9/11 commemoration remarks by public officials might, to be safe, follow this religion-free template:

We gather today to remember what happened on September 11, 2001 of the Common Era. On that date the blindly benevolent process of natural selection acted via human agents to kill nearly three-thousand people—thus effecting a slight change in genetic ratios that, in the long run, will establish the viability of surviving species.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


“We are a nation of immigrants.” That statement has become a rhetorical staple in the current debate over immigration. The remark is often used to portray critics of open-border policies as hypocrites—folks who would deny to others the opportunities they themselves were afforded. That argument ignores several points.

First, the vast majority of Americans aren’t themselves immigrants. Rather, they are descendents of individuals who came to this country over a century ago. John Kennedy’s book, A Nation of Immigrants, put the number of those coming to America through the 1950s at 42 million.

Second, those immigrants overwhelmingly came to this country legally and were generally screened rigorously before being allowed to remain in the United States. Ellis Island stands as an historical testament to that process.

Third, prior to 1965, 95% of all immigrants came from European countries to a land to which (by virtue of the ocean they had crossed) they were making an irrevocable commitment. Large German, Jewish, Irish, and Italian communities sprang up in various cities—especially New York. But none of those discrete communities rivaled the larger Anglo-American culture of that metropolis. Indeed, the very fact that immigrants were from so many nations tended to make a lingua franca, English, a commercial and social necessity.

Immigration today is a different affair—with 36 million immigrants currently in the country (including an estimated 12 million illegals) and an annual legal influx exceeding a million persons. About 10 million of these foreign-born individuals are from Mexico—and 7 million from other Latin America countries. These massive numbers foster Hispanic concentrations in Los Angeles that far surpass in scope and influence the old ethnic neighborhoods of New York.

Moreover, Mexicans don’t have an ocean to cross to get back to their native country. What they do have are multi-billion dollar media corporations that link them closely to their culture and to the families to which, reportedly, 64% regularly send money. As Gov. Schwarzenegger indelicately noted, this cultural immersion hinders many of these individuals from developing skills in English.

One must add another factor to these unique qualities of contemporary immigration. Many Mexicans bear an historic grudge against the “Colossus to the North”—a grudge rooted in the belief that the American Southwest was stolen from their native country in 1848. Furthermore, this feeling of historical injustice is often connected with appeals to “racial” solidarity that, as history shows, have huge appeal.

Given the fact that American society no longer encourages assimilation the way it once did, it is likely that animosity will continue to grow between “la raza” and English-speaking, multi-generational Americans. Activist Enrique Morones’ recent denunciation of the proposed statue of Pete Wilson, which is to be placed on private land, provides an example of the language that is becoming common in bi-cultural California. Wilson is called a racist and his statue compared to one of Hitler.

For border-straddlers whose numbers dwarf prior immigrant groups, the urge to pledge allegiance to the U.S. isn’t what it was for Ukrainians in 1900.