Scorched Earth

He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death. - Thomas Paine

The 21st century American view of sex is warped beyond that of any other historical culture. The official and popular paradigm appears to be based on the belief that sex is such a horrible, monstrous abomination that the mere mention of it to an adult can constitute “violence”, that participating in it for taboo reasons can be a “crime”, and that if a person is exposed to sexual contact, conversation or imagery (observing, creating or modeling for) even one minute before midnight on her 18th birthday she will be instantly and irreversibly ruined beyond any hope of redemption. Unwanted but non-violent sexual contact is portrayed as equivalent to murder or mayhem, and looking at a picture of a nude person younger than the sacred Moment of Shazam is worse than some forms of murder, even if the “victim” is already grown up, dead or unaware the picture exists, or if the models are only pretending to be underage or (in the case of drawings) aren’t even real.

Given this sick, obsessive paranoia over a simple biological function, it’s really not surprising that America has declared total war on it. And I don’t just mean a regular war, either; this is a win-at-any-cost, scorched-earth, throw-babies-to-Moloch, morals-and-honor-be-damned Götterdämmerung. The “authorities” are willing to sacrifice civil rights, legal precedents, our kids’ health and happiness and even decency and common sense to “win” it…and it shows. Its clearest illustration is the “sex offender registry”; those who are condemned to it face ostracism, exile, unemployment, harassment and sometimes risk of assault or murder, usually for the rest of their lives, for horrible “crimes” such as prostitution, getting their girlfriends angry, having sex while teenaged or drunken bladder relief within sight of a cop. No other crime which doesn’t end in corpses earns a lifetime of punishment for a single action, and no other offense of any kind results in such a disproportionate and cruel sentence. But when sex is involved, logic and proportion are disposable, as is the law itself:

…Corey Hipscher…was accused of fondling…[three] young girls…[whom he] had taken…on boat rides [at a Florida water park where he worked], pulling them behind him on a flotation device, the girls and other witnesses testified during trials in August and November 2011. Hipscher’s lawyers argued that the girls misinterpreted innocent contact. [He was tried and acquitted twice]…for those who may not appreciate it, obtaining an acquittal against accusations of this nature are notoriously difficult, as the natural inclination to believe and protect children tends to overcome all other evidence. To prevail twice in such cases is, well, quite extraordinary…[Broward Circuit Judge Martin] Bidwill was unimpressed, finding that Hipscher committed a new crime while on probation for an old one. And while he legally could not impose the life sentence Hipscher would have received had he been convicted of child molestation, Bidwill gave the defendant the stiffest sentence he could…15 years imprisonment, based solely on the same evidence for which had been acquitted…

Hipscher was on probation for a 2002 conviction, having nothing to do with children…[he] was accused of sexual battery on his then-girlfriend [and]…told Bidwill the whole case was a lover’s quarrel, and [that] his girlfriend [had filed] charges against him so she could qualify as a victim for a program that would pay for her relocation to Illinois. Nonetheless, this conviction put him on the sex offender registry, which included a condition that he stay away from children. Worse still, he had two prior “technical” violations, neither involving the commission of a new crime, for which he had served under a year each. But this time…prosecutors turned to the probation violation after losing both criminal cases. “We pursued all avenues to get prison time for this defendant,” said Broward prosecutor Maryanne Braun. ”We absolutely believe those girls who said he molested them, and the court believed them as well.” The only people who didn’t buy guilt were the people sitting on the jury. And who cares what they think where the prosecution and court face a defendant…they’ve decided needs to go down…guilty or innocent, he never had a chance. The only question was how he would be burned, not whether. His fate was sealed.

…When the acquitted defendant gets 15 years for the crime, we lose faith. We lose hope. We see a system that cannot be trusted, a judge and prosecutor who have spit at the jury, telling them they couldn’t care less that he was acquitted…No doubt the prosecution was sure of Hipscher’s guilt, but…there is almost always a cavalier certainty by prosecutors that they somehow know deeper truths than ordinary people. But there is a judge…whose job it is to prevent the system from falling into clutches of the prosecution and being reduced to no more than a tool to convict…

Ernie Allen, the president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), would no doubt cheer Judge Bidwill’s actions, but then he is a moral retard who accepts governmental claims that registration “is not punitive [but] regulatory”, doesn’t care that a third of all who “commit sex offenses” against “children” are “children” themselves, and thinks it’s permissible to defend the system with lies such as

[there is a] high risk of re-offense” (no, there isn’t), “most of the victims of America’s sex offenders are younger than 18 years of age” (no, they aren’t) and “common-sense steps…better protect the public, particularly the children” (no, they don’t)


Allen’s $1.3 million salary and compensation package depends on keeping the hysteria going, so that’s what he’ll try his utmost to do…even if it means lifelong torture for three quarters of a million Americans, of whom 90.3% were not convicted of violent offenses.

Nor are those accused of “offenses” (and their families) the only victims of the panic; as one of my favorite non-whore bloggers (Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids) constantly points out, the restrictions parents place on their children due to hysteria are far more dangerous to their development, self-esteem, happiness and health than the remote possibility of harm from a “predator”. In the above-linked article she quotes a New York Times profile

…of Danah Boyd, an Internet researcher who hops over hysteria… “It’s not that the Internet is doing something bad to these kids…” [one of Boyd’s colleagues said], “…it’s that these bad things are in kids’ lives and the Internet is just a component of that”…This is something I try to remind parents about: The Internet is a lot like the real world. In fact, it IS the real world: It’s where kids hang out…and one of the main reasons they ARE gathering online, rather than at the mall or even — I know this sounds crazy — the PARK, is that:

“Children’s ability to roam has basically been destroyed,” Dr. Boyd said…“Letting your child out to bike around the neighborhood is seen as terrifying now, even though by all measures, life is safer for kids today.” Children naturally congregate on social media sites for the relatively unsupervised conversations, flirtations, immature humor and social exchanges that are the normal stuff of teenage hanging-out, she said.

As for the fear that predators and bullies lurk everywhere on the Web, Boyd says there is no evidence that bullying is more prevalent on line than in the “real world,” nor is there any evidence that it is on the rise in either place! And predators?

“The most deadly misconception about American youth has been the sexual predator panic,” she said. “The model we have of the online sexual predator is this lurking man who reaches out on the Internet and grabs a kid. And there is no data that support that. The vast majority of sex crimes against kids involve someone that kid trusts, and it’s overwhelmingly family members.”

So basically, we have become afraid of our kids hanging out beyond the home, for fear of predators, bullies, sexual situations, etc. Meantime, we are afraid of our kids hanging out inside the home, on line, for fear of predators, bullies, sexual situations, etc. And it’s all part of the same thing: An unrealistically grim perception of anything our kids try to do on their own…

It’s time to stop being afraid of the activity to which every single one of us owes his existence, and to stop fighting a war whose casualties are far greater than any the “threat” itself has ever produced.