Friday, October 2, 2009



It’s reported that the President and a top-level group of civilian and military advisers met for three hours to chart a new course for Afghanistan.

It appears that the new course of six months ago isn’t working; the plan hasn’t worked out as hoped. Options are for even more troops (which I recall hearing in another galaxy long ago and far away) or to just call the whole thing off (which I also recall hearing in that same galaxy and era).

Here’s the key point that the group is asking: “The question is how much danger is there and how many soldiers and dollars should be devoted to minimizing it?”

Well, I wish them all the best – and I hope they produce better results than their predecessors in that long ago era.

I wonder if perhaps legislators and courts in all the States and on Capitol Hill have finally worked up whatever it takes to ask the same kinda basic questions about the sex-offense mania? I mean, except the part about ‘the soldiers’ since – so far – the military has not been called in on the matter.

How much danger is there? From the ‘sex offender as incorrigible monster’, of course, one can expect nothing but eternal threat to the very heart of family and society from the slavering hordes. But from the average sex offender? Has anybody even taken a careful count of just how many sex-offenders are actually of the ‘monster’ sort? I suspect very, very few compared to the 650,000 presently enrolled (does that include the tens of thousands that have fallen through the “patchwork”?) Or what I imagine will be another half-million who may fall into the SORNA web.

And how much can be tolerated in a realistic apportionment of money and law enforcement resources? I mean: if some general or bureaucrat gets up in that Situation Room conference and says something life ‘if even only one al-Quaeda guy remains standing over there, then that’s one too many’ … if that’s going to be the philosophy, then We are in a heepatrubble. Zero tolerance of al-Qaeda types over there works out to eternal war.

The government of today is now trapped by the demonizations of the government of a while back, isn’t it? Having gotten everybody all whipped up, and having gone ‘over there’, and things not having worked out, then how can you pull back and leave all the demons you talked about loose? This, I think, will be this war’s equivalent of LBJ’s ‘domino theory’ and his ‘respect theory’: if we pull out now, then the whole of Indochina will fall, and nobody in the world will respect us anymore. And on that basis, dozens of thousands more US kids and untold numbers of Vietnamese went on dying and dying.

It got its big start with the trumped-up ‘attacks’ in the Gulf of Tonkin (which, decades later, Robert McNamara admitted) – a public-relations project which provided the ‘match’ that lit the fuse of the Vietnam War as We came to know it. It has to be said that Jacob Wetterling and Adam Walsh – the two dead children whose cases became the ‘faces’ of two of the most provocative sex-offense laws – died in completely undetermined circumstances; to this day it is not known if sex had anything to do with their deaths*. Future historians of this era are most certainly going to be shaking their heads at the strangeness of it all.

I sometimes have a dream: that some ‘conferences’ in some closed rooms somewhere figured out that the ‘abducted children’ supporters, and the ‘sex is evil’ supporters, and the ‘men are evil’ supporters should pool their efforts, thus providing the most attractive package to the largest number of legislators: both the Lefty cultural-revolution types and the Rightist law-and-order types, and the Lefties who were looking for some way to seem ‘traditionally’ family-friendly and the Righties who were always looking for more law-and-order (though, it appears, they pray as did the Jewish peasants of old Russia: may the Lord bless and keep the Tsar … far away from us).

So, having figured out their alliance, they then put together a ‘monster’ that would embody the particular nightmare visions of the each of the alliance members: incorrigible, goes after children, can hide in plain sight, is everywhere, is a stranger, is mostly male, and is incorrigible and should be locked away for the rest of his life (which would do nicely for the prison-business). But should – out of Constitutional propriety – be given some ‘scientific treatment’ by ‘experts’ (which would do nicely for the ‘expert’ business).

A stitched-together monster for a stitched together alliance.

The whole thing, it seems to me, mimics the growth-and-development strategies of the military-industrial complex (as it was first called) and the military-industrial-congressional complex (as it is now called).

But it’s built on much shakier ground, and a lot of decent folks from all parts of the spectrum are now beginning to see that things can’t go on like this.

Are there a tiny proportion of individuals who actually fit the constructed-monster image? Yes, I imagine so. Enough to be a threat that has spawned a mania that does so little good yet causes so much damage to the Constitutional ethos and consumes so many resources?

But for the vast majority of those convicted, they are individuals of varying degrees of capacity, few having anything to do with children at all, and incapable of living up to the requirements of their assigned role of ‘monster’ even if they tried. And of the remainder, they are of such a predisposition that they wind up in confinement under State law anyway.

And as I said in a Response to a Comment on the immediately preceding Post: I think that in matters sexual the young are in far more danger of having their lives and futures derailed from being given conflicting guidance at a time in their lives when their biological urges to reproduce are waxing to their strongest level while their prefrontal capacities – for judgment and maturity – are still years away from full capability. To suggest that sex is both ‘liberation’ and that it is evil, and that nobody already in possession of their prefrontal capacities has the right to tell a kid anything … far more young lives stand to be ruined by this than by some stranger-monster materializing from the bushes.

It almost seems as if, from a social-psychological point of view, the whole mania is feeding in part on a widespread societal and adult-parental inability to offer genuinely useful and efficacious guidance to the young about matters sexual; but rather than face that, the adults will go after ‘hordes of monsters’ whose existence they themselves, and those who wish to please them, have created. As if by achieving ‘total security’ from the monsters they have done their duty to the young.

I think the ‘monster’ imagery and the grotesque ‘science’ had to be created and deployed in order to ‘build up the numbers’ and to make it appear as an ‘emergency’ of massive proportions in order to justify to public opinion such a huge – and dangerously novel and intrusive – government program. Not so very different from the Soviets being spun to the American people as seeking world conquest (in the atomic age!) and monstrously competent in pulling off their apocalyptic dreams. And only much later was it revealed how inaccurate it all was – but by then, trillions had been thrown away.

As Ike said in that other galaxy long ago and far away, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."

Foreign wars, I think, are not the only complexes that drain what resources the country has left.


*I hope my inclusion of this simple historical and legal fact is accepted for what it is here, and it implies no disrespect for the loss and pain of these childrens' loved ones.

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