- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 25, 2002

'Children are sexual,' says author

A few facts about the "credible" sources you quote in your attack on everyone who says as do most people in the world that children are sexual ("Promoting pedophilia," Culture, et cetera, April 19).

Dr. Joyanna Silberg is a member of a small and discredited group of psychologists whose practice is based around "multiple personality syndrome" and "recovered memories" of sexual abuse (in which abuse is purported to have happened for years, but the patient somehow forgot). The head of her clinic in Baltimore claimed at one point that half to two-thirds of its clients were victims of satanic ritual abuse. The FBI, after five years of investigation, concluded there was no corroborative evidence of satanic ritual abuse anywhere. It was a myth which destroyed hundreds of families.

Judith Reisman has been a laughingstock of real sex research since 1985, when she finished a "study" of "child pornography" in mainstream soft-core men's magazines that was so bizarre that even her funders at the Justice Department declined to publish it. Since then, she has masqueraded as an academic to try to bring down the entire edifice of sexual-behavior research by demonizing one of its founders, Alfred Kinsey.

These people want us and especially children to know nothing about sexuality. They have persuaded Congress to promote the disastrous abstinence-only "education," which teaches that the only acceptable, safe sex is between married heterosexuals.

Ninety percent of Americans have sex before marriage. Abstinence-only programs forbid instruction on safe sex, something almost all American parents want their children to learn. Abstinence-only students have sexual intercourse anyway without condoms.

To defend their fantasy of children as being nonsexual, these people are willing to expose them to AIDS. These self-styled child protectors are putting our children's lives at risk.


JUDITH LEVINE

Brooklyn, N.Y.


Judith Levine is author of Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex.

Court ends government-sponsored housing chaos

In his April 19 Commentary column, "Culture problems at Justice," Paul Craig Roberts criticizes the U.S. Supreme Court for its "no tolerance" policy toward residents of public housing, labeling the decision "the punishment of innocents." But this federal drug law is, by its definition, protective of the most vulnerable in our communities.

The Supreme Court's affirmation of the "one strike, you're out" law upholds that a public housing agency may evict a resident if that resident, a household member or a household guest engages in drug-related criminal activity.

The "one strike, you're out" policy enables cities to stabilize neighborhoods that for years were bastions of criminal enterprise. Contrary to the assumption of many, most of this criminal activity victimized the elderly, children and law-abiding families living in subsidized housing. Some residents, certainly, engaged in these excesses, but most did not.

Until the one-strike law was enacted, thugs had free reign over street corners, front stoops and even playgrounds. As a result, grandmothers and children slept on the floor or in the bathtub for fear of nightfall, when the bullets would fly. Families were losing their children to gangs, drugs, prostitution and sometimes even death. All the while, government-sponsored chaos flourished out of sight of most of us.

While critics of the Supreme Court's decision argue that "one strike, you're out" is unjust to evicted residents, what is just for their elderly neighbors or the children who live on their block? Public housing agencies have not just the legal right, but indeed the obligation to evict whenever community rules are not being followed, lease agreements are being ignored or the law is being broken.

Government-funded housing programs exist because of the largess of taxpayers. When society provides for the needy, a tacit covenant is established that says the assistance cannot be wasted or taken for granted. If individuals cannot abide by the law, community rules and lease agreements, there are thousands of families in every major city on waiting lists who would like to be given the chance.

You may choose to break the law, but the public shouldn't then be obligated to pay your rent. Too many law-abiding families are in real need.


RENEE LEWIS GLOVER

AtlantaRenee Lewis Glover is executive director of the Atlanta Housing Authority and an appointee to the Millennial Housing Commission, which is charged with making legislative and policy recommendations to Congress.

Martinis more harmful than marijuana

In his April 24 letter to the editor, "Terror is no excuse to toke," Robert Knight rails against pot smoking "[i]n the interests of preserving liberty."

Apparently, "liberty" in Mr. Knight's mind means big government controlling what citizens ingest and the continuation of punitive drug policies that have given the "land of the free" the dubious distinction of having the highest incarceration rate in the world. The drawbacks to drug use that Mr. Knight describes are far more relevant to alcohol than pot.

I personally know alcoholics who have turned their lives around by putting down the bottle and picking up the marijuana pipe. Granted, they still may have a substance-abuse problem, but at least they can get out of bed in the morning without a hangover and lead productive lives. Nor do they run the risk of drinking themselves to death. It is not possible to consume enough marijuana to die from an overdose.

Given that there always will be a small segment of the population with a predisposition toward drug use, it only makes sense for the least harmful recreational drug to be made available. If Mr. Knight doesn't like marijuana, he shouldn't smoke it. The millions of Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis do so with good reason. The plant is a healthy alternative to alcohol.

In the interests of preserving liberty (and tax dollars), the war on some drugs has got to end.


ROBERT SHARPE

Washington

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