Thursday, February 17, 2011


It’s a crowded day: Up in Boston US Senator Scott Brown is reported to be telling ’60 Minutes’ on Sunday that in his new book (due to be released next Monday) he will reveal that he was ‘sexually assaulted’ as a 10-year old at a Christian summer camp.

This has prompted the standard complementary ‘report’on what victimist advocates think of that (they like it a lot). And ‘Salon’, the online kinda lefty mag has weighed in with a curiously schizoid article.

Brown has recently co-sponsored legislation in regard to sex-offenses here and here.

Meanwhile in the UK, apparently under the prodding of the European Court of Human Rights, the government is most reluctantly now going to give (see here and here) convicted “rapists and pedophiles” (however defined) a formally-established opportunity to petition for removal from the SO Registry.

Each of these links raises some worthwhile points so I am going to go over what strikes me as significant.

The ‘Boston Globe’ has never encountered a victimist or sex-offense initiative it didn’t like. But a couple of things stand out in the review of Brown’s book (the paper got an advance copy).

First, Brown – about 50 now – recounts a life “punctuated by violence” due to abusive step-fathers and extensive shoplifting (which in at least one instance landed him in front of a judge). He also posed nude for ‘Cosmopolitan’ and was also, for a while, a male model (whether that’s polite code for anything else I don’t know and the media should really put out code books now … but then, that would perhaps defeat the purpose of their code-words).* The point that strikes me is that this recounting works against the Conventionally Correct implication that abuse victims were leading perfectly fine and normal lives, were abused (definition uncertain) and suddenly were wrecked for life and became substantially damaged and often failed adults.

That is NOT to imply that a significant abuse experience or – more likely – pattern of abusive experiences at the hands of adults would not create consequences that could derail an otherwise mostly normal development track. But there seems in this case to be more than enough indicators that this kiddo was going to have some ‘issues’ whether sexually abused or not.

But then the ‘abuse’: at age 8 he recalls a 13 year-old neighborhood boy who pulled a knife on him and tried to force him into some kind of sex act out in a field; Brown hit the boy in the face with a rock and ran away. This strikes me as not so much a sex-offense matter as teen bullying, perhaps by a teen with violence issues at least as deep as any sex issues. Which is not to minimize the thing, but I note that if the government is going to start dismantling constitutional firewalls to get at behavior at this level then the Mania is – theoretically at least – committed to a long, extensive, and pervasive ‘war’ indeed. (So eerily similar to the Afghan War now being waged, as I mentioned in a recent Post, until the Afghans accept American-style feminism root and branch.)

The center-piece abuse incident, however, happened at a “Christian” summer camp when Brown was in the 4th-grade and around 10 years old: having gone to the infirmary, and then into the bathroom to take a wiz, he was followed by a counselor – a youngish male – who made a reach for Brown’s phallic area and – according to the article – “fondled” him, although Brown himself says he screamed and ran out and that the ‘act’ was “not consummated”. Which is kind of vague and, at any rate, this is an incident of ‘fondling’ or ‘groping’.

While it is still unacceptable and constitutes a violation, it is food for thought just how much psychic damage is going to be caused by such an experience. Yes, in a sufficiently unstable or fragile youth this could create more than simply pain and actually set in train some notable developmental derangement. That is an ‘evil’ of life that any decent society should be working to address.

However, again, if the government is going to deploy the criminal law – and derange its own constitutional and jurisprudential principles – to stamp this type of thing out, then again the Mania is going to be a long, pervasive, and invasive war indeed.

And you have to ask yourself if the American penchant for resorting to ‘war’ – whether domestically through the criminal law and government invasiveness or internationally through outright military invasion – is really working well for Us.

I haven’t seen the book yet; I think it would be relevant whether Brown – who clearly is ‘together enough’ and ‘strong enough’ to talk about all this in a book and apparently on an already-taped episode of ’60 Minutes’ – actually identifies this counselor (who couldn’t be more than 60 or so at this point). For that matter, has Brown ever brought charges under the Mania relaxation of Statutes of Limitation that have applied for quite some time?

At this point, really, as so often happens in this sort of thing, we are left with just a ‘story’.

Oddly, he says that he has never told his mother and that “she will find out for the first time ever when she reads the book”. He hasn’t told her prior to all this publicity? Or – pardon me, but you have to think about these things in a time of premeditated and sustained and professionally-advised Mania – is he setting the stage for a camera-ready scenario where his mother is taped reading the book’s story for the first time and producing a victim-friendly version of a ‘reality-show’? Does this oft-praised ‘family man’ intend for his mother to find out about this episode in the bathroom in a book? Or – more likely – as the media start banging on her front door (as they most likely already have started to do)?

This is the same mother one of whose consorts badly beat Brown as a child, but is also the mother whom he doesn’t blame for staying in an abusive relationship because “she had no profession or identity of her own”. Which, it has to be said, reads directly from the Conventionally Correct Script as to how one should conceive of women who purposely remain in abusive relationships yet are to be considered helpless victims. Without getting into a discussion of the pros and cons of the Script, I can’t help but note that Brown follows it even in terms of wording.

So he was abused but it wasn’t consummated, had a mother whose relationship decisions subjected him to substantial violence but he doesn’t blame her because she was just an example of just what feminism says is wrong with society and culture, and so is simultaneously a victim of male sexual abuse who hasn’t had sex with males and a victim of poor maternal choices who actually supports the feminist agenda. I can’t help thinking of Jesse Jackson, caught on tape some decades ago, telling a group of young drug addicts that he too was once addicted to drugs – although “under a doctor’s care and it never got out of control” (I’m quoting from memory here): which means that Jackson got the creds with his audience for being an addict himself while simultaneously denying each of the symptoms (self-medicated and with no control over usage and intake). It’s amazing what PR advisers can do for you.

Or rather, in this case, a ghost-writer, and the same one who helped Laura Bush to tell her story.

The ‘Globe’ then has an accompanying article that stenos the predictable but rather revealing comments of assorted victim advocates, heads of this and that group, and at least one interested attorney.

Leading off with a general summation, the piece reports that the overall gist was that these types “hope his acknowledgment will prompt elected officials to strengthen laws against predators, and convince more victims to come forward”. Which is OK, but again I note that if ‘predators’ now include 13 year-old neighborhood pals and groping camp counselors, then just how much ‘strengthening’ of the laws is going to be required here? Especially since the Family – with stable parental influence maternal and paternal – is itself under corrosive and sustained attack and it's the parents - especially the father with young males - who teaches the boy-child.

And while I think that it certainly helps a genuine victim to be able to confront his/her own experiences by telling the story, that’s best achieved in a therapeutic setting. Because once the setting becomes either a news-camera or police tape-recorder, then you exponentially and dangerously complicate the whole thing, in ways not necessary to therapeutic efficacy but ways which may well awaken a whole nest of demons not easily controlled by individuals, groups, or governments (among which: status-seeking, greed, revenge, and profit, just to name a few).

Another straw in the wind is that the focus of almost all of the commenters – as is true of Brown’s own material – is ‘child sexual abuse’, although the SO community is aware that while the ‘child’ is pushed forward like the hostage in the escaping-robber scenario or like those adorable baby fur-seals in the old environmentalist ads, the Mania laws somehow are aimed at a much larger and wider bunch of selected targets.

Another group boss singles him out for extending the Statute of Limitations so that an allegator (allegant, I suppose, if you wish) has 27 years after the 16th birthday to take legal action. Just last year Brown cosponsored legislation regarding restricting RSO’s from certain jobs (see below) and just last month cosponsored legislation under the rubric of international child-trafficking (ditto). Several years ago he also “called sexual abuse the number one public safety issue” facing the Commonwealth (of Massachusetts), so you can get a sense of where he’s been heading for a while.

Another group’s boss – her group had given him an award for his efforts – reported that to her the news of his own abuse was “shocking” but, she gushes, this just proves how strong he is. “He’s amazing, he really is”, she confesses, in accents that somehow evoke images labeled ‘McDreamy’.

“Other advocates said yesterday that they hope the Legislature will go even further in rolling back the statute of limitations and other protections for child predators.” I’ll be dealing with this sort of thought a bit further on, but suffice it to say that Thomas More’s character in Robert Bolt’s 1966 play “A Man for All Seasons” pretty much nailed it: You say you will flatten every tree in the forest of law in order to get at the devil and deny him a place to hide, but when then the devil turns round on you, what protection will you have, the laws being all flat?

You recall that this discussion involving More arose over the use of the government police and judicial power to eradicate those who did not fully support Henry VIII’s divorce in order to marry Anne Boleyn. The ‘devil’ is supposed to be those who were ‘evil’ enough to obstruct the King’s will (in the first clause) but is the King’s sovereign police power itself (in the second clause).

“Hopefully, Senator Brown’s revelation will send a message to the Legislature, which will serve as a wake-up call with regard to the statute of limitations and the need to abolish it.’’ Thus opines the civil action tort attorney who has not only represented hundreds of allegators in the Catholic abuse civil settlements (and made many millions for himself in the process) but who also recently released a list of all the priests on whose behalf, as it were, the Church was willing to pay settlements rather than undertake hundreds of separate defenses in civil trials. To this type of practice, the repeal of Statutes of Limitations will, by the most amazing coincidence, open up huge new vistas of potentially successful settlement-ventures. From a tort attorney’s point of view, it is manna from heaven, as it were.

A co-director of one of the specifically-focused priest-abuse group websites said that “she hopes Brown will be the elected official from the Massachusetts delegation who emerges as a leading voice for victims in Washington”. I find this a curious comment since Brown is a Republican and his election in mostly Democratic Massachusetts (he took Teddy Kennedy’s seat – the same having gone to face his own victim from Chappaquiddick and an unfixable Judge, perhaps waving a Plenary Indulgence and Get-Out-of-Hell-Free card signed by the heads of all extant feminist and victimist groups on the Beltway lobby roster) – most of the victim establishment would presumably be welded to the Democrats.

Does this mean that the Dems are trying to quietly back away from the SO Mania? Or realize that there are actual problems (the economy and the parlous state of American wages and jobs, perhaps the Afghan War) which require more attention?

And this is a Republican male, for heaven’s sake.

But perhaps there is some new thinking – or calculating, more accurately – going on among the cadres and co-directors. If Brown looks like he might actually be a major contender for greater things and higher elected office (than the US Senate … ummm … if you get my drift), then maybe for these certain interest groups a pinch less emphasis on ‘progressive’ and a dash more emphasis on ‘law and order’ might easily change the valence of their potion from Democrat to Republican?

Funny how the political night moves. Or rather, the creatures that are at home in it.

And this would fit in with the curiously schizoid article in Salon.

The writer acknowledges outright that Brown is “ambitious”. And that he “is looking more and more like a man who would like to be President”. Which in the present circumstances introduces the added possibility that this is an opening shot in yet another junior-Senator-to-President story.

But more along those lines, revealingly: that he might be able to wrest the Party from the Tea-Party types. I am not going to get into politics here, but there is a possible political motive here that also involves the SO Mania: if the current Republican establishment is thinking in such an anti-Tea Party mode then they could construct a genuinely marvelous vote-gobbling monster by making a ‘sensitive’ Republican, victim-friendly and thus, in the Republican mode, leaning to law-and-order, which in its essence is what the SO Mania Regime’s legislation and dynamics are all about, for all the roots in radical-feminism and sensitivity and victimism. And – although it is un-Correct to notice it – kinda hunky, which could appeal to additional sub-demographics.

And such a book-about-self gambit as this one of Brown’s could also be a pre-emptive strike in support of a Presidential candidate with a personal history that makes Bill Clinton’s I-smoked-but-didn’t-inhale history look like child’s play. Honest, victimized, vulnerable, shtrawng, and hunky-kewt … a potent vote-monster if some lab were interested in constructing the thing.

Let us pray.

And that Brown felt that being fondled, groped, grabbed – or not – was at the time “very traumatic”. Which I accept, after making the standard subtractions: that the term, which comes from surgical usage (traumatic amputation, traumatic fracture … that sort of thing) where you really are confronted with the indisputable objective catastrophic evidence of ‘trauma’, was shrewdly adopted by psychological types (the repressed-memory vaudevillians, you recall, have re-titled themselves ‘traumatology experts’ to keep up with the times and to keep a step ahead of Nemesis). So now it’s not only that the word applies to the mostly invisible realm of emotions (rather than the palpable realm of blood, guts, skin and bones); it’s also that in this invisible realm it’s not the doctor who gets to say what is and isn’t traumatic – but rather it’s the self-declared traumatized person him/herself.

So, really, who knows any longer what is and isn’t trauma? You have to take the claimant-individual’s word for it, much like ‘spectral evidence’ in the old witch trials. You can’t see it, nobody else can see it, but it must be accepted as true and cannot – effectively – be questioned.

But this is Salon, after all, and the New Left is what it is. Apparently (the link is in the article) the CBS website is already logging a lot of comments about Brown being a wuss for whining in public (the possibility that this is a calculated gambit for political-positioning seems to have escaped a lot of folks). This, the Salon writer sniffs, simply proves that the Internet has given a whole bunch of un-Correct yahoos a chance for a week of “victim blaming”. Mais oui.

“For all the attention childhood sexual abuse has received in the last few years -- tragically, because it's such a common experience -- the stigma of it remains.” Again I say that if it is “such a common experience” then the criminal law is no way to deal with it. There’s a reason why no State Police agency in the country actually WANTS its troopers to stop every speeder on the roads. But then too, if it is so common, how can it be so traumatizing, at least from the point of view of stigmatization ... ? It would be common knowledge among kids and this would especially be true nowadays (again, the SO Mania and its cadres continue to run many of the same game-plays as almost quarter-of-a-century ago, but they no longer make sense in the now-changed societal context: kids, however accurately or inaccurately, expect just about all adults to be potential gropers and grabbers and I can’t even imagine how pediatricians and clergy go about working with them now).

But the Cadre Talking Points have an answer to that: “It's a particularly taboo subject for men, thanks to the ease with which ignorant, petty minds leap from child abuse to ‘Dude, that’s so gay’.” But then, these generations of kids (and now 20-somethings) aren’t really uptight about orientation like kids and youth were 50, 40, or 25 years ago.

Worse – funny how the politically-Correct night moves – she now has to somehow blame the public for being duped by decades of Correct (but now suddenly no longer useful) propaganda: “And, unfortunately, plenty of people can't wrap their heads around the idea of a victim who isn't a tragic mess curled up on a shrink's couch. If you're not crying and broken and damaged-looking enough it didn’t happen. They put qualifiers on abuse, deciding that if it wasn't ‘consummated’ or it was just some ‘groping’ it wasn't bad enough to qualify as important.”

But this image was precisely what Americans were bombarded with for quite a while in order to lubricate the emergency** that putatively required the SO Mania Regime in the first place. So if you actually bought into all the agitprop imagery, you must now – necessarily and for the good of the Cause – be derided as an uninformed and unthinking lump who – wait for it! – just doesn’t get it. (And you thought that buying into all that propaganda precisely proved that you DID!) Take consolation: you may be a broken egg, but you were broken in the cause of the Revolution!

Just last month, Brown cosponsored S.185, a Bill to stop international sex-trafficking by erecting a consortium of countries whose governments will sign on to do what it takes. Let me say right off that I am not in support of sex-trafficking.

But the Bill lets a cat or two out of the general SO Mania bag.

In Sec. 3 (5) “Minor” is defined as anyone “who has not attained the age of 18 years”. You can, in this country, sign up as a military recruit (a rather adult matter) while still being a ‘child’ for purposes of the SO Mania Regime. And with the one exception of this definition line, the Bill’s text refers to “children”.

In Sec. 6 (d) (1), discussing the programs that participating countries must adopt, the Bill spells it out: they have to undertake “evaluations of legal standards and practices and recommendations for improvements that will increase the likelihood of successful prosecutions”. The American SO community knows this high-sounding and abstract code for the treacherous swamp it really is: undermine any constitutional or jurisprudential principles that obstruct the untrammeled power of the government to successfully prosecute. This objective, of course, is utterly antithetical to the core thrust of Western law since at least Magna Carta; and you can go further back if you assume that the Church’s canon-law, itself built on Roman law, stood as an ‘international’ model of putting limits on local sovereignties that sought to gather unlimited and un-boundaried power to themselves.

In Sec. 6 (d) (4) there is the simple and bald statement “Creation of victim-friendly courts”. Not, say, Truth-friendly courts ... no, this isn’t about truth or Truth; it’s about politics and the ‘victims’ (through their advocates) want to run things. Truth, as it was in the days of any and all of the historic tyrannies, can go take a hike. Or better, languish downstairs in some cell with the rest of the ‘obstructionists’.

This Bill, which died in the last Session, has been read twice and referred to the Foreign Relations committee. Since it calls for voluntary participation by other countries, at least it doesn’t authorize military invasion.

In December, Brown cosponsored S.4029, the “Preventing Sex Offenders Access to Children in Our Communities Act of 2010”. This Bill is sponsored by Charles Schumer (D-NY), last seen trying to wangle millions in pork and NCIC-access authority to the Megan’s Law advocacy group so that it can continue to hunt for sex-offenders even if the police won’t or can’t expend the resources.

The Bill seeks to amend the master SORNA (Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act) “to prohibit registered sex offenders from (1) accepting a position of employment, including a volunteer position, which by the inherent nature of the position places such sex offender in direct and substantial contact with minors or (2) obtaining a permit or permission to carry out an activity or performance that would present direct and substantial contact with minors.”

The prohibited activities seem too vague to survive judicial scrutiny, but it is certainly a text that your office can fax to this particular ‘base’ to show that you’re right in there takin’ a bite outta sex.

I also note that the Bill continues to rely on the thoroughly-disproven and thus now lunatic presumption that any RSO or SO is a threat to children.

But there’s more: “Authorizes the Attorney General to award grants and enter into contracts with public agencies or nonprofit private organizations to establish a community accessible sex offender tips and support program to provide for anonymous or confidential tips regarding sex offenders who are not complying with registration or other applicable requirements”. This, by amazing coincidence, sounds just like Schumer’s and King’s (R-NY)(in the House) gambit to get pork for the Megan’s Law bunch that are looking to spackle up the police and run the hotlines where anybody can anonymously call in and ‘report on’ somebody. As the money runs out and the danger is that the entire Mania will fail to maintain sufficient ‘airspeed’ such that folks will no longer simply accept it uncritically, then it will be necessary to get reliable cadres into ‘official’ or apparently-official positions so they can somehow harness what power the government has left to keep up the numbers.

But there is some possibility that this type of thing on the legislative level merely represents a cynical pandering in that the sponsoring pols don’t actually expect anything to pass, but merely that they can go to gatherings of this ‘demographic’ and proudly show copies of what they have ‘Introduced’, avoid the rubber chicken dinner, and get on to the next stop.

Lastly, per decision of the British Supreme Court, the UK now has to allow convicted rapists and pedophiles (however defined) the right to appeal their Registration on the Violent and Sex Offender Register. (Yes, the UK has already gone there and blended the two.) The decision stemmed from a pair of cases, one of which was an 11 year-old convicted in 2005 of raping a 6 year-old and who, his attorney submitted, should not have to be forced to be on the Register for the rest of his life and should have the right to appeal “as he matures”.

The Home Secretary, one Theresa May, is greatly unhappy. Although such persons must wait 15 years after release from prison, and can only then appeal once every 5 years thereafter if denied, and though it is the police – not a court – that will make the decision ... she is not pleased. And in her grief, lets a few cats out of the bag.

May told the House of Commons that "the government is disappointed and appalled by this ruling - it places the rights of sex offenders above the right of the public to be protected from the risk of re-offending”.

This is treacherous ground. The SO Mania scheme has always been to get the government – and, worse, the Citizenry – to accept that the common identity of Citizen should be overridden by the distinction between sex-offenders and a putatively ‘decent and good’ public. It’s a sort of Identity Politics, except with the valence reversed from positive to negative.

Worse, this distinction implies that the rights of Citizen are not primary, and opens the awful door behind which lies the ominous and ancient terror that anybody, any Citizen or group of Citizens, can suddenly become a declared ‘enemy’. Martin Niemoller’s rueful observation about life in Nazi Germany comes to mind: he let ‘them’ ‘come for’ this group and that group that was suddenly declared to be bad and evil and he did not ‘speak up’, until suddenly ‘they’ came for him and “there was nobody left to speak up”. You can, if your cardiologist permits, permit yourself a few minutes’ contemplation of the nation that took the point against Nazism adopting that monstrosity’s legal praxis decades later (just as over here you can do the same as the country that stood against the Soviet tyranny caved into Marxist-Leninist thought and practice while the corpse of the USSR was still warm).

It also continues the discredited presumption that most SO types have high re-offense rates (which is only conceivable if you believe that all men are sex-crazed and all sex is some form of rape).

The Brits, though, only allow the police to look at the Register. Although it also now has some modified version of a Megan’s Law policy whereby parents can also go to the police and make a “discrete check” if they have a reason.

Most other European nations, the article notes, “have chosen not to compile national sex offender registers, citing potential infringements on civil liberties” – perhaps governments and countries that either recall Nazi occupation or more recent Soviet occupation. Scotland, distinct from England and Wales, requires judges rather than police to hear appeals.

There is a dual complexity that also arises in regard to the courts. Some are angry that the judiciary is interfering in legislation passed by Parliament. In the US, the separation-of- powers and checks-and-balances traditions support judicial-review of legislation; while none of that proved effective in the formation of the SO Mania Regime (quite the opposite) it is only the courts, in the person of this or that judge or banc of judges, who have made any official remonstrance against the workings of the Regime at all.

No pol has come forward, nor do I expect that Mr. Brown is going to be doing so.

There is also the complication that the European Court of Human Rights – sitting in judgment over laws of member States – arouses in Brits the sense that foreigners, and foreign judges at that, are telling them how to run their country.

But when something has clearly gone wrong – and a country is violating even its own most fundamental principles – then it’s not a bad thing that some official body somewhere has the authority to point out the problem. (You may recall a discussion of the European Court and the British tradition in the recent Post about the Julian Assange matter.)


*Curiously, nothing interfered with his admission to law school or admission to the Bar, nor – more curiously – with his acceptance in the military legal corps, the JAGs. I have often noted the ominous similarities between SO Mania law and the working dynamics of military-justice (not to be mistaken for the assorted bits of Constitutional furniture artfully placed on the stage). His Wiki entry notes shrewdly that he served “as a defense counsel”, apparently in an effort to distance himself from the vital, sharp-end of the job: prosecution in that rigged system. I can only think of the former SS officer recognized by a former subordinate in Billy Wilder’s 1961 classic Cold-War Berlin comedy “One, Two, Three”: said the former officer, now cornered, “Eet izz true eye vass in ze SS, baht eye vass only a pastry chef!” Ja!

**In his recent book “The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America” the British politician Daniel Hannan observes acutely that “most disastrous policies have been introduced in times of emergency”. I agree. Stovepiping – that by-passing of any potential objectors who have actual knowledge about something you have already made up your mind to do – wasn’t invented by Bush and Cheney in order to make sure they’d get no opposition to the invasion of Iraq. Propagandistic manipulators of Left and Right have for a century realized that you want to establish a quick and unobstructed flow from Public Emotion (either actually whipped-up to frenzy or made to appear numerous) up to the government authority. Then the government authority can either be cowed or – if it simply needs an excuse to be ‘responsive’ – can claim public support for whatever it has made up its mind to do. Adept deployment of one or another element of this game-play has been a hallmark, I’m going to say, of the SO Mania Era.

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