Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tommclaughlin@fairpoint.net

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stop The Agenda - Vote Yes on Question 1


Item one on the homosexual agenda is: “There is no homosexual agenda and anyone who says so is homophobic.”

A coalition of two dozen homosexual activist groups met in Kansas City in 1960 calling themselves the North American Conference of Homophile Organizations. According to a favorable, left/liberal history of “Gay Liberation” at Religioustolerance.org:

A radical faction surfaced [and] called for a change in tactics. Item 4 of their manifesto stated: Our enemies, an implacable, repressive governmental system; much of organized religion, business and medicine, will not be moved by appeasement or appeals to reason and justice, but only by power and force. . . . The homosexual agenda emerged at this point.

Item two on the agenda was to decriminalize homosexual acts in liberal states, then set up bacchanalian “bath houses” in which homosexuals “celebrated” their sexuality with orgies of anonymous sex. Soon, the “bath houses” in New York City and San Francisco would incubate and spread a horrible new disease initially called GRID, or “Gay-Related Immunodeficiency Disease.” More about that later.

Item 3 was to bully the American Psychiatric Association (APA) into declassifying homosexuality as a mental disorder in the “Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM). This they accomplished by breaking into the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC to disrupt the 1973 APA Convention. Homosexuals in drag shouted down speakers, stormed the dais, seized the microphone, and the APA folded. The decision was based on intimidation, not science. That’s how homosexual activists operate when they’re not playing the victim role.

Item 4 was to persuade America that people who still considered homosexuality disordered or perverted were themselves disordered. They invented the clinical-sounding term “homophobia” and propagated it everywhere, calling anyone who criticized homosexuality “homophobic.”

When GRID surfaced in the early eighties, it looked like their agenda would go off the rails. Hence Item 5: Revert to victim mode. Pressure the Centers for Disease Control to change the name of this terrible new disease from GRID to AIDS, scare the hell out of heterosexuals by telling them they’re going to die next, and blame President Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush for spreading AIDS. More than a quarter-century later, the bath houses are still open, homosexuals still comprise the majority of AIDS cases in America, and they control billions in government AIDS spending. The agenda stayed on track and picked up steam.

Item 6 was to establish homosexuals as a protected class by passing “Gay Rights” statutes. Activists stayed in victim mode and jumped on the civil rights bandwagon. With this came a subtle change in nomenclature: Substituting “sexual orientation” for “sexual preference,” they would persuade America that homosexuality is biological and not a choice. Homosexuality is just like race, they claimed. That there’s no science to support this is irrelevant. Most Americans believe it, and, in politics, perception is reality.

The notion that people are born homosexual and cannot change had become the keystone of the homosexual agenda. Remove it, and everything collapses.

It may be that some have an inherent proclivity for homosexuality. Evidence exists, however, that many - male and female - become homosexual after being being molested in childhood. Due to enormous pressure by activists, virtually all research funds granted for decades look for a biological origin and ignore other possible causes. Evidence that homosexuality could be caused by environmental factors is scoffed at, and activists make sure nobody gets money to study it.

As long as Americans believe homosexuality is innate, they’re sympathetic to the homosexual agenda. They’ll allow activists and their propaganda into schools and other venues, figuring that if their children weren’t born homosexual, there’s no chance they’ll be influenced to become so. If, however, parents were to suspect otherwise - that their children might be changed by homosexual propaganda - those doors would surely slam shut.

That people can change their sexual preference is poisonous to the agenda and Dr. Robert Spitzer, Chief of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, has earned the wrath of activists by claiming it. Ironically, as a young psychiatrist Spitzer was instrumental in persuading the 1973 APA Convention to drop homosexuality from the DSM, and thus became the darling of radicals. At the 2001 APA Convention, however, he said: “Like most psychiatrists, I thought that homosexual behavior could be resisted, but sexual orientation could not be changed. I now believe that's untrue--some people can and do change,” and he published a study supporting his belief.

“It's snake oil, it's not science,” said David Elliot, homosexual activist with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force - as if activists like him ever paid attention to science.

Item 7 was to sue for homosexual “marriage” in Massachusetts, claiming marriage laws “discriminated” against homosexuals based on the above-mentioned “Gay Rights” statutes. The liberal Massachusetts Supreme Court ordered its legislature to pass homosexual “marriage,” and then blocked a people’s referendum to repeal it.

Voters in California, however, were able to reverse what their liberal court and legislature did and they repealed homosexual “marriage.” Next Tuesday, Maine voters will have the same opportunity.

Stop the homosexual agenda. Do it for the children.

Vote Yes on Question 1.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nobel Numbskulls



Two of our best presidents, Lincoln and Jackson, never went to college. Another great one, Harry Truman, attended only very briefly. Some of the most knowledgeable people I’ve met have no formal education beyond high school. I’ve known several from whom I learned more than I did from most of my professors. Excavators, loggers and well-drillers taught me more than my Earth Science courses did, and what I liked most was their lack of pomposity. Knowledge wasn’t something they used to impress others. It was for understanding, and they were willing to share it freely hoping to get more in return. Knowledge was its own reward.

There was a time college degrees impressed me, but that dissipated steadily during years spent on campus with people holding advanced degrees in what are aptly named the “soft sciences.” Fifty or sixty years ago, a Liberal Arts degree from an American college or university was good evidence that the person holding it had at least a basic understanding of philosophy, history, mathematics, literature, science, the arts, and was capable of rational thought, but that hasn’t been true for a while now.

The best illustration I can offer is from a project called “A Private Universe,” first published in 1987. Twenty-three randomly-selected graduates and faculty at a Harvard commencement were asked to explain what caused earth’s changing seasons, and only two could answer correctly. The rest confidently explained that as the earth gets closer to the sun in its orbit we get warmer weather, and as the earth gets farther away from the sun, we get colder weather. I was shocked when I first watched the clip. They didn’t realize their understanding is negated by the obvious fact that, while our northern hemisphere is experiencing winter, it’s summer in the southern hemisphere, so distance from the sun would be irrelevant. Twenty-one of twenty-three? Faculty as well as students? At our most prestigious university?

Scariest was how confident they were in their dubious understanding of climate. Now consider how impressed American voters are when a candidate has a degree from Harvard. Consider also that former vice president, Harvard man, and almost-president, Al Gore has convinced hundreds of millions that “our planet has a fever.” He further insists on restructuring our whole economy to reverse global warming. President Obama, another Harvard man, promises us that he will cut human-generated carbon emissions or our coastal cities will be flooded by melting ice caps - even if it means raising fuel costs for an average family by more than $1700 annually. All this while our economy is in deep recession.

Again, two Harvard-educated intellectuals are ignorant what should be obvious to any truly-knowledgeable, thinking person with only a cursory understanding of history: The earth has experienced at least four ice ages over hundreds of millions of years during which the Harvard campus was covered by glaciers a mile thick or more. Many times, those glaciers melted - because of what? Global warming. And what is the earliest evidence of human-generated carbon emissions beyond scattered camp fires? A few centuries? A few millennia at most? Those periods of acute global warming could not possibly have been caused by human-induced carbon emissions. It’s the height of hubris to think humans can reverse global warming in the 21st century - if indeed it’s occurring at all, which seems unlikely. As I write, it’s mid-October in New England and I’m watching the Patriots play the Tennessee Titans in a snowstorm. Sunday River Ski Area just opened for business twenty miles north of where I sit.

For this, Gore gets a Nobel Peace Prize and an Oscar? And what did Obama get the Peace Prize for? I give up.

I can only watch as these two Nobel laureate, intellectual, Harvard graduates lead half the world in a mass, global-warming psychosis reminiscent of Chicken Little and Turkey Lurkey. A quote from the late William F. Buckley is worth repeating: “I would rather be governed by the first 2000 names in the Boston phone book than by the 2000 members of the faculty of Harvard University.”

A highly-educated, intellectual, British leader is evidently caught in their hysteria. The BBC quotes UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown: “The costs of failing to tackle [global warming in the next 50 days] would be greater than the impact of both world wars and the Great Depression combined.”

That bad, huh Gordon? You remind me of what your late countryman, George Orwell, said about people like you and our two intellectual American leaders: “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.”

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Picturing Things

A photographer has pictures of everything and everyone but himself, and I’m no exception. My image in newspapers or online is usually a school picture, and people often comment that I look too serious. I don’t like posing and I guess it shows. For decades it’s been the same scenario: The photographer from Life Touch, or wherever, has to say something genuinely funny or a smile won’t rise. Most often, they send a young woman who asks me to take the pen out of my pocket and remove the glasses hanging around my neck. “I like to leave them there,” I say.

“Okay,” she’ll say, perplexed. “Now smile!”

“You have to say something funny,” I’ll respond, and she usually can’t come up with anything. Last month, the woman closed her eyes and seemed to be trying hard to think of something funny. That amused me and I grinned. As a student or teacher, I’ve had my picture taken this way about forty-five times. My first-grade school picture was on our refrigerator for a while last summer with those of my children and grandchildren after my wife dug it out for comparison.

Group shots are worst. Leaning in close and holding a fake smile makes my cheek muscles cramp. I feel foolish trying to keep a goofy smile on my face while somebody fumbles with a camera, so I just don’t do it anymore. I never ask others to pose either because I don’t want to put them through the ordeal. Besides, candid shots are much better. With an 18-270 mm zoom on my Nikon D-60, good portraits are possible when people don’t know I’m capturing their image. I get them as they are, not as they may wish to appear.
My camera is always with me, but I forgot it recently while rushing out to church. We visited my new granddaughter on the way home and it bothered me awfully that I couldn’t take pictures of her. Then at Fryeburg Fair last week, the auto-focus on my zoom lens stopped functioning while I was shooting faces in the crowd. I had to send it out for repair and I miss it every day it’s not available to me. I’ve enjoyed photography for almost forty years, but I’m liking it more lately than I ever have. That’s good because it’s an indication of my attitude toward my world these days: I’m noticing what is around me and savoring it.

If I see something while driving, I’ll pull over and even back up to get a picture. When she’s with me my wife tries to be patient, but she gets annoyed if we’re running late and that can diminish the creative mood. As a columnist, I like to write about whatever I want any given week. As a photographer, I’m the same way. Whatever catches my eye is what I shoot. When writing, I feel like I’m putting out. While shooting pictures, I feel like I’m taking in.

We have thousands of shots with children, grandchildren, other people and much else over the past thirty-eight years since my wife gave me a 35mm Minolta SRT-101 for Christmas. I still have that camera, but seldom use it since I bought myself a good digital SLR last year. Now I’m taking a thousand shots a month and they’re clogging my computer and I have to invest in a second portable hard drive to store them. Every day I see beauty in nature and in people, and try to capture it. What I get is never as good as what my eye sees, but sometimes I can carry a little sunshine home in my jar, so to speak. It might be a scene, a flower, a tree, a face, a shadow, a bog, a rock formation, an old building, an integration of color - it could be most anything. Others may not see what I see and that’s fine. I’ll show them if they ask, or give away images upon request, but my pictures are for me.

That’s what I came to this month after a friend suggested I enter some in a contest. I considered it, and even pondered which shots might be suitable, but couldn’t decide because I like them all. Then I asked myself why I should submit and I couldn’t come up with a good enough answer. It’s immaterial whether others think my pictures are good. That’s not why I take them.

My pictures are for me.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Going Rogue?


As we watch his administration unravel, it’s becoming apparent to the whole world that Barack Obama wasn’t prepared to become President of the United States. Many of us knew that and said so months before the election. During the campaign, however, the mainstream media covered up his glaring lack of experience, but they focused like a laser on Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s. Why?

Palin had been a mayor and governor - of a small city and a small state, yes - but she was a successful executive in both capacities. Barack Obama had been a “community organizer,” whatever that is, and a senator. Unlike executives, senators don’t do things. They discuss things. What do community organizers do? We could look to the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) for clues. Obama worked with them for decades.

We heard much about Obama’s Ivy League education at Columbia and Harvard because our media elite were impressed by that. Ordinary Americans aren’t. They adhere more to what William F. Buckley said about Ivy Leaguers: “I would rather be governed by the first 2000 names in the Boston phone book than by the 2000 members of the faculty of Harvard University.” The state of our union after the first nine months of the Obama Administration only lends credence to Buckley’s assessment. It’s been a disaster and getting worse. Obama’s poll numbers are plummeting faster than those of any other president in history as Americans realize how the mainstream media have sold them a pig in a poke in the totally unvetted chief executive. The media elite anointed Obama as their candidate, and when Palin’s emergence threatened their anointed one, they had to take her down.

According to a recent Sacred Heart University poll, nearly 90% of Americans believe the mainstream media got Obama elected and 70% believe they’re actively promoting his presidency. Nearly half “have permanently stopped watching a news media organization, print or electronic, because of perceived bias.” Liberal, big-city broadsheets all over the country are hemorrhaging readers. Some are being sold and others have filed for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Americans are turning to other sources for news and political analysis.

Despite the media airing of every aspect of Sarah Palin’s life, despite the ridicule elitists have continuously heaped upon her over the past year, Americans like Sarah Palin. A surprise pick for McCain’s vice presidential running mate, she electrified voters with her convention speech, so Democrats - but especially their mainstream media minions - went after her relentlessly. In the face of this onslaught, the inept McCain campaign did just about everything wrong. While you’d never see Obama go on Fox News Sunday, for example, the McCain campaign set up interviews with liberal alphabet networks anxious to slice her up. In spite of all that, and because of it as well, Americans like her and identify with her.

It’s not all good for Palin though. Several women whose opinions I listen to with respect have doubts about Palin’s political ambitions, given that she has young children - one with a severe handicap. They like her positions on the issues of the day, but question her judgement in her seeming quest for national office in 2012 given her family obligations.

Palin’s book won’t be out until November 17th, but it’s already number one on Amazon, having sold a million and a half copies. Called Going Rogue, it would seem to be an account of her frustration over how certain key McCain aids seemed to sabotage her. It was bad enough being hounded by the other side, but her own as well? That would have been too much for anyone new to the national political spotlight, but this woman from Alaska has taken all the best shots either side can deliver, but - not only is she still in the ring - she’s still throwing punches. When David Letterman chased some cheap sexual laughs at her daughter’s expense, Palin went after him. Letterman offered a semi-apology, but continued trying to squeeze out chuckles from his liberal-elite friends with whom it’s the height of fashion to ridicule her. Since then, Letterman’s own indescretions have people calling for his dismissal. He had President Obama on his show two weeks ago, but Obama's ratings are nose-diving while Palin’s are climbing.

It was Palin Obama referred to in his desperate speech before a joint session of Congress last month, trying to salvage his doomed health-care “reform” bill. He claimed her “death-panel” comments were lies. The president had sent Rahm Emanuel’s brother Ezekiel after her on that point, but he couldn’t take her down. Liberal Democrats vehemently denied anything like “death panels” were in the bill, while they quietly removed them. All Palin did was send a message on Twitter to send Obama and his party minions scrambling.

Quite possibly, Sarah Palin is reading the political landscape more accurately than Democrats, mainstream media pundits, and Republicans as well. The title choice of her new book may portend more than any of them are considering at present. Could she be considering a third-party run?

Whatever else Sarah Palin may be, she’s certainly interesting. I’m keeping an eye on her.

Labels: , , ,