Monday, September 28, 1998

Week of 09/28/1998

What IS "It" About?
Whatever the politicians WANT it to be about!
- by David Matthews 2

There’s been a particular mantra being hummed out on a daily basis concerning Bill Clinton’s "improper relationship" with then intern Monica Lewinsky. You’ve probably heard this mantra at least once every other day..

"It’s not about sex."

Conservative talk show hosts recite that mantra on a regular basis.

"It’s not about sex."

You read it in every letter to the newspapers submitted by a conservative citizen.

"It’s not about sex."

Even one of my cousins, a regular reader of my articles, e-mailed me his comments about my take on "L’affair Lewinsky" and reiterated this mantra…

"It’s not about sex."

No matter the topic, no matter the spin, the conservatives have recited this mantra on a regular basis.

"It’s not about sex."


That’s right, I said BULLSHIT!

You know, it takes a lot for me to believe the assertion by liberals that conservatives are just mindless sheep, but this constant reciting of the mantra of "It’s not about sex," makes me sick to my stomach. It’s almost cult-like in how it’s being used.

Let’s be brutally honest here - It IS about sex!

Sex is the selling point for this scandal. It’s Bill Clinton’s Achilles heel. It’s the reason why every air-fluffed ego in the media, every political hack, every moralist with a chip on their shoulder and a book to publish, every talking head yearning for another talk show, and every lawyer who suffered from media exposure withdrawal from the OJ Simpson trial is trying to milk this for all its worth. Sex sells! Sex gets people to look at the story!

Listen folks, do you really think that the public would be this passionate over campaign finance scandals? The notion that Washington is for sale to the highest bidder is old news! What used to be called "bribes" and "political kickbacks" are now called "campaign donations," "soft-money," and "junkets." The motivations are the same, only the names were changed to protect the politicians.

Ditto for the flap over the travel office. Yes, it’s political nepotism and cronyism at work! The only difference was that it was more blatant this time. Did we care? Hell no! It’s Washington at it’s worst, nothing more!

Don’t get me wrong, it still sucks to high heaven, but how many of us cared about those scandals? Not enough to warrant this kind of media attention!

But let’s go with the conservatives on this for a moment and ask then what this whole "L’affair Lewinsky" IS all about if it’s "not about sex."

Unfortunately, you won’t hear a consistent answer on that one. Rather, you get a constantly shifting response.

"It’s not about sex, it’s about lying."

Let’s see.. in 1990, Governor Clinton promised the voters of Arkansas that he wouldn’t run for higher office if he got re-elected. Two years later, he goes back on his word. Was he lying then, or was he suffering from political amnesia? In 1992, he promised American voters that if he was elected president, he’d give working families a tax cut. He hasn’t yet. Matter of fact, he raised taxes and then created even MORE taxes you probably never even noticed yet but you’re paying for! (Check your phone bill lately?) I’d say that’s lying, wouldn’t you? Nothing new, and nothing that has involved sex either!

"It’s not about sex, it’s about lying under oath."

How about this oath: "I, William Jefferson Clinton, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my abilities, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God."

Sound familiar? He put his hand on his family’s bible and swore that oath to the public not just once, but TWICE! And has he fulfilled that oath? Just ask the Cato Institute and you’ll find that the Clinton Administration is by far the most UNCONSTITUTIONAL administration in the history of the nation! So if he could lie about his JOB, why should we trust him in a civil trial?

Okay, how about this one: "It’s not about sex, it’s about morality and values!" It’s the house special for the moralists.

Two words: Dan Burton.

Okay, okay, two more words: Henry Hyde.

Okay, okay, not enough.. two more words: Helen Chenoweth.

Okay, okay, okay, how about these two words: Bob Packwood.

One more? How about this: Dan Quayle. (Oops! Sorry, that’s for "It’s not about sex, it’s about spelling!")

The point of this matter is this, with the sexual inquisition at full steam, a lot of "morality and family values" politicians are having to check their closets for any undeclared skeletons, no matter how old those corpses are. So much for that argument!

Here’s a good one: "It’s not about sex, it’s about sexual harassment."

The possible perjury is based on a sexual harassment case that was thrown out of court, not because Clinton lied, but because the plaintiff did not prove quid pro quo, which is the substance of a sexual harassment charge. But the corollary on that one is:

"It’s not about sex, it’s about a chief executive having sexual contact with an intern in his office!"

Designed, of course, for those office Clinton supporters, and often posed by some Republican suit who is disgusted at the notion that his own freedoms as a man are being neutered thanks to sexual harassment policies. Never mind the fact that there is very little chance that you’d find a chief executive LIVING in his workplace. The White House is not just the president’s office, but it’s also his home for the duration of his tenure in office. Clinton doesn’t have the luxury to take his personal affairs out of the office like most stuffed suits in that position do.

How about this one: "It’s not about sex, it’s about a man being involved with a woman half his age!"

Oh, yes, the AGE factor! Perfect for turning off the "soccer mom" voters who reach for their Clairol hair coloring and still fantasize about Bill Clinton. Yeah, like AGE has a factor in all this. Funny, we never asked about the ages of all the women in Ted Kennedy’s life. Or the age of guys in involved in Barney Frank’s little scandal a decade ago. By the way, we seem to forget Kathleen Wiley - the Democratic supporter who allegedly got groped by Clinton while asking for a job. She wasn’t some young intern, was she? No, she wasn’t.

Folks, age is NOT a factor here.

How about this one: "It’s not about sex, it’s about the American system of justice!"

Or better yet.. here’s it’s ugly cousin: "It’s not about sex, it’s about upholding the Constitution!"

Waive the flag boys! Them patriotic HE-ROWS of JUST-US are in Congress!

Yes, the same institutions behind making Ted Kennedy pay for Chapaquiddik and OJ Simpson pay for Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman are here to make Bill Clinton pay for our disgust of this scandal!

Okay, okay, at least that response is a bit closer to the truth than the others, but it’s still off the mark. Upholding the law or upholding the Constitution are part of Bill Clinton’s job description, or at least they’re supposed to be. And Congress is doing their job by the impeachment inquiries. So this is really a non-issue.

Finally we get to: "It’s not about sex, it’s about obstruction of justice and abuse of power."

You know, if the conservatives and moralists had stuck to this statement, we’d all have no problem with the issue. Obstruction of justice and abuse of power are very serious and credible charges to levy against Clinton.

Okay, so we’ve got obstruction of justice and abuse of power.. in what regard?

Well, according to the Starr Report, the obstruction of justice and abuse of power was in regards to an affair with an intern that Clinton said he never had.

Hmm.. that brought us back to SEX, didn’t it? Every bit of the Starr Report dealt with Clinton’s sexual encounters and his attempts to conceal them from the public.

You know, it seems that ever answer that followed "It’s not about sex" had one common thread - that they didn’t want it to BE about sex.

And perhaps that is where the truth lies. The people who say "It’s not about sex" wish it WASN’T about sex.

Why? Perhaps it’s because they’re uncomfortable with the subject. Or perhaps they can’t discuss it because to do so would make them appear to be hypocritical or prudish on the subject.

Or just perhaps they’d rather want to take down a sitting president for something that was perceived as a serious threat to the nation, but can’t with the information at hand. Think about it. What sort of credible danger exists in the nation to know that the President is a tomcat in heat? None whatsoever. It’s simply a measure of how easily we’ve been conned by a master politician.

So for all those people who beat their chests and proudly proclaim this whole "L’affair Lewinsky" is "not about sex," just take a step back from the impeachment morass and think for a minute about what it really is all about. You might be surprised.

Monday, September 21, 1998

Week of 09/21/1998

Understanding Clintonspeak
If Only Orwell Were Alive Today..
- by David Matthews 2

In 1948, George Orwell wrote the classic "1984" - a depressing tale about a futuristic society run by committees, governed by "Big Brother," and always a part of a war that only existed in the media. I seriously recommend this book for anyone who has questions about the way we are being governed today, be they liberal, conservative, or libertarian. (I would include the moralists, theocrats, and authoritarians, but they’d only write off the book as being strictly amateur.)

One of the key elements in Orwell’s story is the use of "doublespeak." That’s the use of words that are completely opposite to their intent, such as "slavery is freedom" or "wrong is right." No doubt, if Orwell were alive today, he’d get a kick out of knowing that our politicians are now masters of doublespeak. So much, in fact, that the only way the American public knows when a politician is lying is when he’s opening his mouth.

But when it comes to the masters of doublespeak, or as I refer to as speaking in 100% pure methane, there is none better than "Der Spinmeister," President Bill Clinton. Matter of fact, if Orwell were alive today, he’d probably write a sequel called "1996" and pattern his Big Brother after Clinton and his Big Babysitter policies.

With that in mind, let’s go over some of President Clinton’s brand of 100% pure methane - what he said versus what he means. Bear in mind that these quotes are not in order, and given the nature of the politician in question, it’s almost impossible for anyone to really know what Clinton means by what he says. But you can get a hint of it my measuring what he says with what his administration does.

When Bill Clinton Said..

What Bill Clinton Really Meant Was..

"I feel your pain." "You don’t know what pain is yet. Just wait until I take your pain and impose a new level of government bureaucracy and tax you up the butt for it! Then you’ll know what pain really is!"
"We need a Patient’s Bill Of Rights" "I really need to find a new way to get my wife’s health care plan into action, so if I try to pretend it’s some patriotic necessity, you’ll be foolish enough to get Congress to pass it."
"Yes, I tried marijuana, but I didn’t inhale, and I didn’t like it." "I stuck around in a room full of potheads, the stink made me sick to my stomach. I tried what I thought was a lit joint, until someone pointed out to me that I was trying to take a hit off the incense. Boy, did I look like an idiot!"
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.." "I did not have sex with that woman sitting just two rows from the front.. and what did you say your name was.. Lewinsky? Boy does that sound familiar… Are you related to Monica?"
"I’ve said to myself and to the nation that I’m sorry.." "I’m sorry I got caught in the most embarrassing lie of my life, but if I apologize enough times, I’m sure you’ll forget about all the other lies I’ve told."
"It’s time for me to do the job that the American people elected me for." "Once I figure out what my job is, I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, it’s time for me to do another fundraiser for the Democratic party!"
"We need to build the bridge to the 21st century." "I need you to keep thinking about the 21st century while I start turning this country into 1984."
"Our marriage has had some difficulties.." "Just because I’m married doesn’t mean I’m out of the dating pool!"
"We need an Electronic Bill Of Rights.." "I really need to regulate the Internet, and to Hell with the REAL Bill of Rights!"
"Working parents need help to make ends meet.." "If you think we’re going to fix the tax code and do it right, you’ve got another thing coming!"
"I know in my campaign for president I promised the American families relief in the form of tax cuts…" "Do the math.. tax cut means less tax money for me to play with. That means I can’t spend that money on my pet programs. So I have to decide between fulfilling my campaign promise and fulfilling the promises I made to my new friends in Washington. Sorry, but you lose!"
"We must do everything possible to curb teen smoking." "Cigarettes that is.. we’ll leave cigars alone for now.."
"I believe I still have the moral leadership necessary to continue as president.." "Compared to the piousness and hypocrisy of the folks who would try to impeach me, I’m a paragon of virtue!"
"I, William Jefferson Clinton, do so solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States of America, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God!" "I promise you that when I leave office, I’ll be in all the history books for one reason or the other. As for the Constitution.. well, I’ll just treat it as everyone else in Washington has treated it - to be void where prohibited by law. And may God help you all when I’m through!"

Do you have any more instances of Clintonspeak? Let me know! I’ll post any new instances you send me!

Monday, September 14, 1998

Week of 09/14/1998

Target: Sex In Society - Part 3
Sex, Politics, and Hypocrisy
- by David Matthews 2

There it is, boys and girls, live and on the Internet!

You too can hear the tawdry details of Bill Clinton’s sex life, complete with detailed descriptions of where and what he did with former intern Monica Lewinsky, in the privacy of your own home computer!

No 900 number to call!

No credit card information to give out!

No adult verification passwords needed.

No, this one is FREE, FREE, FREE!

And you won’t have to worry a thing about the government trying to shut this one down, because this is coming from the Republican members of the House of Representatives! Yes, the Conservative Backlash Coalition, inheritors of the Salem Witch Hunts, the McCarthy Red Hunts, and the original anti-sex crusades, has gone hardcore!

Okay, enough hype. The Kenneth Starr report on President Clinton is out, and this is apparently now time for confessions from both sides of the dysfunctionally elite. As Bill Clinton tries to find another million ways to say he’s sorry to as many people as possible, conservative Republicans are now airing their own dirty laundry.

Representative Dan Burton, the first one to publicly call Clinton a "scumbag," had to publicly admit he isn’t the pillar of morality he claims to be. Yes, Burton had his own affair in the 1980’s, and has a child to back it up. Yes Dan, Clinton is a "scumbag," but at least he didn’t burden that other woman with an illegitimate child.

And hidden amidst the release of the Starr Report was the admittance that another conservative member of Congress by the name of Helen Chenoweth had a skeleton of her own in the form of a brief dalliance with an unnamed married man, who was also a conservative member of Congress. Chenoweth’s campaign for re-election has been to bash her Democratic opponent through his party’s connection to Clinton. Miss Pot, meet Mister Kettle!

What’s going on, you ask?

In short, a political purging of the worst kind.

In previous discussions on this topic, we’ve seen how our dysfunctional view of sex in society has been not only rewarded, but has also led to even greater societal problems. Now we will start to see how this dysfunction escalates even further.

In many ways, our dysfunctional perspectives of sex in society has led us to this scandal. Remember that our intellectual minds have long since forged ideals that are incompatible with the real world we all have to live in. That combined with our intellectual disdain for all things primal has forged unrealistic expectations in other people, including and especially the people we elect to public office.

Jimmy Carter’s pre-presidential interview for Playboy Magazine in 1976 struck a cord with many of the dysfunctionally elite, not just because of the publication, but also because what was being said. Here was an affirmed Baptists who would inhabit the White House in less than a year admitting he was a human being with - *GASP* - very human feelings and desires! Oh the humanity!

This ran contrary to any other president in recent history. President Nixon did everything in his power to suppress and otherwise outlaw any reference to sex, even though his own Presidential Committee on Pornography said that that kind of action from government was CAUSING the ills of society, not the curing them. President Reagan had his own committee stacked to the hilt with the most pious of anti-sex crusaders who gave his administration the green light to do what Nixon’s refused to.

Because of this intellectual purging of all things primal, we have led ourselves to envision our politicians as these perfect icons of humanity. You hear the moralists amongst us railing on and on about electing men and women with higher standards than the average citizen. You hear about words like "moral authority" and "moral leadership" being bandied about like they were the lifeblood of our elected officials.

The belief that our elected officials are somehow more than human goes back to the old days when nobility was considered the providence granted personally by God. Indeed, in the case of Great Britain, the crown was not only the government leader, but the leader of the Church of England as well. This was called the "Divine Right of Kings."

We have, in effect, deified our politicians. We have placed them on pedestals and treated them as gods.

So horrible it is, then, to see a politician knocked off that pedestal. To be revealed that indeed they are not gods, but mortal men and women. No better than the rest of us.

But believe it or not, that IS the way it must be. We don’t need politicians claiming themselves to be leaders by God. A government forged from the people cannot make the claim that all men are created equal when they believe that they themselves are somehow better than anyone else.

And that brings us back to Clinton. One of the key elements that got him elected back in 1992 was that he appeared to be just as human as anyone else. He didn’t appear to be your average politically-correct Stepford Pod Person. He showed up at talk shows playing the saxophone with the band. He admitted he had some troubles in his marriage, even though he never publicly admitted to having an affair with Gennifer Flowers. And even though this author had his suspicions of the dubiousness of the governor of Arkansas, Clinton certainly convinced enough people to put him in the Oval Office.

In many ways, this sad situation of questioning the sexual peccadilloes of our politicians could have been a non-issue. If we didn’t give credence to our dysfunctional elite, letting them set the standards for the rest of us, our elected officials could admit to being human beings instead of pseudo-gods. If Clinton defied the will of the moralists and admitted he had affairs, the whole issue of catching him in a lie would be moot.

Unfortunately, our intellectually-dominant members of society refuse to admit their dysfunction, and like alcoholics in denial, they’ll continue to tighten the noose even further until something breaks. Instead of making sexuality a non-issue, it will be an ever-present issue both in the November election, and almost certainly into the 2000 campaign.

If we as a society are to ever purge ourselves of this dysfunction, we need to fight back against the moralists and the dysfunctionally elite. Stop letting other people tell you how to live your life. Recognize that your life is governed by both your intellectual aspirations and primal needs and deal with them.

In the end, this obsession with other people’s sexual escapades will hopefully prove to be the downfall of the moralists. Don’t get caught up in their witch hunt!

Monday, September 7, 1998

Week of 09/07/1998

Guilt By Inactivity?
How Blame Assessment Is Destroying Personal Responsibility
- by David Matthews 2

In the 1950’s a young woman by the name of Kitty Genovese was brutally attacked outside a New York apartment building. Her attacker mercilessly slashed and stabbed her while she was screaming for help from any of the tenants. Although it was the middle of the summer, many tenants who were present closed their windows, turned up their televisions and radios, or simply ignored the screams from the fatally wounded woman. Amongst the whole building, not one call to the police was made even to complain about the noise.

Fast forward forty years. It’s May 25, 1997. A seven year old girl in a Nevada casino was taken into a bathroom stall and was sexually assaulted before being strangled. 18-year Jeremy Strohmeyer was charged with the girl’s death. But what has gotten the ire of this country is the suspect’s friend, David Cash, who supposedly saw him take the girl into restroom without even raising his voice, nor did he report his friend’s actions to the police when the man allegedly confessed to killing her. His crime? Doing nothing at all.

Well now the blame assessors are running rampant on whom should be blamed for a seven year old girl being assaulted and killed. Blaming Strohmeyer is almost a given, even though his defense attorney is claiming her client was on drugs, was adopted when he was 18 months old, and was otherwise incapable to determine right from wrong.

David Cash is now being treated as an accomplice, simply because he neither helped nor hindered the suspect. Why didn’t he say anything? Why didn’t he tell the police that his friend had just assaulted and killed a little girl? Why didn’t he stop Strohmeyer when he supposedly saw him struggling with the little girl?

Good questions. I’m sure he was probably asking himself those very questions over and over again.

Truth be told, I’m sure what David Cash did or did not do that night will eventually haunt him for the rest of his life. And if not, our obsessive social busybodies will see to it that he be reminded of it at every turn.

You know, our moralists and social crusaders would have us believe that this situation is just a sad testimonial to the shocking "immorality" of our younger generation. That when faced with a clear situation of evil, this new breed of citizens will simply do nothing. The "Bevis And Butt-Head" Generation. The "Slacker" Generation.

Unfortunately, our so-called "moral champions" are far from such. This is the same generation that used to turn their radios and TV sets up when the couple next door were having a fight, or when their kids were getting "unruly," or when a young woman like Kitty Genoveese was getting attacked. Mister Pot, meet Mister Kettle!

But the blame game doesn’t end with Jeremy Strohmeyer and David Cash. No, the blame game continues.

Well, the first question is "Where are the parents?" Or in this case, where was the father? Well, Daddy was gambling in the casino. Absurd, yes, but bear in mind that it was 4am when this supposedly took place. Where would YOU think a seven-year old girl would be at that time? Sleeping, of course!

The next target of the blame game would have to be the casino staff. After all, what was a seven-year old girl doing up and about on the casino floor at that time of the night? High-tech equipment is employed to spot the most complex of numbers players and the employees who might skim every three chips off thirty, but nothing is mentioned about a little girl who is wandering the floor at four in the morning.

And since we’re talking about a casino, you KNOW the next target will be the gambling business itself. After all, where would the girl’s father be if he wasn’t gambling? With his daughter, of course! But, no, the evil obsessive, compulsive, manipulative, irresponsible (not to mention fiscally successful) gambling industry will be getting their share of accusations in the blame game.

The editorial staff at USA Today would go so far as to have all of the classmates of Strohmeyer and Cash who heard about the ghastly act be responsible for the murder as well. Why? Because they HEARD about the murder and didn’t do anything! Yeah, right, I can just picture how one of their supposedly "moral" students would report something like that to the police. "Uh, well, I don’t know, officer. You see, I really didn’t SEE or HEAR the act taking place. But my brother’s girlfriend’s best friend who knew some guy who was dating this girl in school said she heard that this guy killed that girl. You should, like, arrest him or something."

While we’re at it, why not blame the whole university where Strohmeyer and Cash went to? After all, they helped facilitate this apparent "immoral" streak. Or perhaps their parents? They raised the kids that would be so "immoral." Their friends? After all, we know what the power of peer pressure does to kids. Their neighbors? Sure, why not? After all, what were their neighbors doing in the past that might have contributed to this tragedy? These examples are about as absurd a notion as blaming classmates for not "doing" anything.

Listen folks, the blame game in this matter has got to stop and stop right now. Let’s have the legal system do its job concerning Jeremy Strohmeyer. That’s what the system is there for.

As for David Cash, the worst thing that will result of his activity is that now there will be a rash of "do something" laws that will treat potential witnesses as criminals if they don’t "do the right thing." While these seem good esthetically, our politicians will once again be committing an even worse offense by legislating morality.

Suppose a crime was committed, but you were so horrified by the incident that you blocked it out of your memory? In the eyes of the "do something" law, that’s no excuse. You were there. You were a witness. If you didn’t act right then and there, you’d be guilty of a crime. How about if the suspect threatens you into silence? Well under the letter of a "do something" law, you’d still be guilty. How about if you saw something that might have contributed to the crime, but you didn’t think it was important to warrant reporting? Angry guy at the bar, fuming about his wife, next day she’s dead, and the police want to know why you didn’t report that you saw the guy pissed off about his wife so they could prevent him from killing her. Sounds absurd? Well that’s precisely how a "do something" law would be used.

For what David Cash saw or didn’t see, there is already a recourse for action in the form of civil court. Negligence to report a crime may not be a criminal act, but it can warrant serious fiscal punishment in civil court.

Look folks, the last time we tried to legislate morality on a major scale was Prohibition, and guess where it led us? It made criminals rich, it made otherwise law-abiding citizens into hardened criminals, and it encouraged even more abuse of alcohol than ever before. This happens every single time we try to legislate personal moral decisions. You can’t make a person "do the right thing" through force of law. That comes through personal and moral decisions.