Saturday, May 16, 2009

Majority Now Pro-Life!!!!

That would be the majority of Americans, 51%, according to a recent Gallup poll. I'm sure you have heard about this already:

The Gallup Poll reported Thursday that 51 percent of Americans now call themselves pro-life rather than pro-choice on the issue of abortion, the first time a majority gave that answer in the 15 years that Gallup has asked the question.

The findings, obtained in an annual survey on values and beliefs conducted May 7-10, marked a significant shift from a year ago. A year ago, 50 percent said they were pro-choice and 44 percent pro-life _ in the new poll, 42 percent said they were pro-choice.

The new survey showed that Americans remained deeply divided on the legality of abortion _ with 23 percent saying it should be illegal in all circumstances, 22 percent saying it should be legal under any circumstances, and 53 percent saying it should be legal only under certain circumstances.

The findings echoed a recent national survey by the Pew Research Center, which reported a sharp decline since last August in those saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases _ from 54 percent to 46 percent.

Polling Report collects polls about abortion. It shows that the latest polls (April and May) have been all over the place.

This most recent Gallup poll demonstrates a flip of the percentages in the pro-choice and pro-life categories from just a year ago. Such a big change would usually have something to do with recent news (and not necessarily part of a long-term trend), but it's hard to see what those news might have been.

A different hypothesis is also possible:

Gallup said its new poll showed an increase in the pro-life position across Christian religious affiliations, including an eight-point gain among Protestants and a seven-point gain among Catholics. It also reported a 10-point shift toward the pro-life category among Republicans but said there was no significant change among Democrats.

"It is possible that, through his abortion policies, Obama has pushed the public's understanding of what it means to be 'pro-choice' slightly to the left, politically," according to the Gallup analysis. "While Democrats may support that, as they generally support everything Obama is doing as president, it may be driving others in the opposite direction."

This could be the explanation, I guess. But let's take a step back and ask what it is exactly that these polls do. First they contact a certain number of people and ask them about their opinions (with questions that are sometimes not very well formulated). THEN they generalize the findings of that sample to all American adults or voters or whatever the group of interest might be.

How did the Gallup poll do that generalization? Did they standardize the various opinions using stated political affiliations? For instance, suppose that Republicans last year were 30%, Independents 30% and Democrats 40% of the electorate (just as an example). Then those might be the weights used to calculate the final 51% finding. I suspect that they did something like this, given that we are told the shift is caused by Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents and that Democrats have not changed their opinions.

Now, I've read that the Republican Party is shrinking towards its base. If this is true and if the poll uses old percentages for each political affiliation we could get these results even without any real change in the American public opinion. I'm not saying that this is what happened. Further research is necessary. But it's worth pointing out.
Addendum 1: Check out the results over time in this Gallup summary. What's very odd about it is where the changes in the most recent polls are: at the extreme tails.

Addendum 2: Gallup really should give more detailed information. I cannot find out if the sample is a simple random one, if they use post-stratification, what the exact percentages for Republicans, Democrats and Independents are, or anything else that would let me test my hypothesis that the results are driven by how the political groups are weighted.

Addendum 3: The most likely hypothesis seems to be a sampling error. The sample has "too many" Republicans and "too few" Democrats, as shown in this post.

Two old friends happen to meet on the street. by Anthony McCarthy

- Oh, hi. It’s been a while,
- Yeah, e-n-t-u-r-y.
- What?
- E-n-t-u-r-y.
- What’s that spell?
- Long time, no c.

They think they’re the height of adolescent sophistication, but I can still make them cringe.

Suggested Summer Reading by Anthony McCarthy

I wish I’d known about Susan Coyne’s beautiful little memoir of the summer she was five-years-old while my nieces were young enough to enjoy it. As it is, they’ll probably have to wait until they’re old enough for adolescent cynicism to dissipate enough for them to appreciate it. And that might take years.

Along with some fine description of the boreal forest of Canada, most of the book is about her friendship with old Mr. Moir who had a cottage next to the one where her family spent the summers. The form of their friendship was two-fold, in her frequent visits to help him in his garden or to do chores and in a series of letters he wrote to her as the fairy princess Nootsie Tah. He ingeniously covered his tracks and made the letters so convincing that even the mockery of her older siblings didn’t shake her belief in their authenticity. She was also lucky enough that her parents and nanny cooperated in the effort. Along the way, Mr. Moir sparked her interest in literature and the theater.

The conclusion of the story, including Nootsie Tah’s deciding to return to her home in Peru, having to end their correspondence, and a young girl growing out of that part of her life, might invoke the cliche “bitter sweet”. But in Coyne’s handling the sadness isn’t bitter at all. It is a lot like watching a child grow up and leaving behind their beloved stuffed toys. Coyne’s luck held in this case. Her parents had the foresight to keep the letters for her and Mr. Moir’s children were able to return what she’d left to the fairy princess.

My mother has been watching a family of five baby chipmunks who live with their mother under her raised garden bed, all week. They’ve been gradually making their way from the protection of the cement blocks that hold the bed, where they can take quick cover. Being what she is, my mother’s worried about them even as she says she knows their safety isn’t in her hands and as she knows some of them almost certainly won’t live to adulthood. And that’s what it’s like to care about children who are not your own. At the end of the book, Coyne’s mother is quoted, “ A ship is safe in harbour but that’s not what a ship is for”. And that’s what our lives are, a ship that should start out in safety but which is not meant to stay there. Like those chipmunks’, our lives are for something else. But the beginning is as much a part of the whole as any other part of it.

Susan Coyne might be most familiar as an actress, particularly in the role of Anna in the great Canadian TV series Slings and Arrows. People who bothered to read the credits would also know that she wrote large parts of the series and was one of the co-creators of the original idea for it. She’s also been engaged in translating Chekhov’s plays for the Soulpepper Theater in Toronto as well as in writing plays. The parts of the book written by her, Mr. Moir’s wonderful letters comprising a large portion of it, are beautifully written in a style that unusually matches great simplicity with emotional engagement. Something that is one of the hardest things to achieve. Having both watched the series and read this book, I am going to be looking for more of her work.

Kingfisher Days by Susan Coyne ISBN-10: 0887547303 ISBN-13: 978-0887547300

I believe the book was also published under the name In The Kingdom of the Fairies.

Friday, May 15, 2009

What is ‘women’s oncology’? (by Suzie)

          A. Is it the treatment of cancers that occur only in women? (Some people may not know that breast cancer can arise in men. Others might cite gynecologic cancers, not thinking of transmen.)
         B. Does “women’s oncology” refer to cancers that occur predominantly in women?
         C. Is it the study and treatment of any woman with cancer? 
         Answers matter in the allocation of resources.
         Last week, I went to a reception for the new Center for Women’s Oncology at a comprehensive cancer center where I get my care. The center combines the clinics for breast and gynecologic cancers.
         I wore a beautiful outfit in deep pink that I had just gotten from Goodwill. What was I thinking? I had worn the wrong gang colors. Because my cancer arose in my "lady parts," people told me that I should have worn teal, the color for ovarian cancer, which seems to have morphed into the color for all gyn cancers.
         The color for my cancer, leiomyosarcoma, is purple, but few people know that because we are the abject. (I’m sorta, kinda referencing Judith Butler.)
         There was live music, gourmet hors d’oeuvres from a catering staff, and an open bar. One doctor joked that patients might not mind the usual wait time if the waiting room could retain the bar.
         Survivors were given a white rose and a tote bag when we left. (In sarcoma, we don’t even get drugs approved for us; we’ve got to use other people’s drugs off-label.)
         At the women’s center, we won’t keep the bar, but there’s no doubt that women whose cancers arose in their reproductive tracts will get an upgrade in amenities by the merger with the breast clinic. Breast cancer patients tend to have the best.
         I understand that many women have worked hard to raise money for breast cancer. In a system that relies heavily on volunteers and donations, however, you can expect that people with rare diseases will get less.
         As an example: I was amazed to hear that some breast-cancer patients get teddy bears after surgery that they can hold to their chests when they cough, sneeze, etc., to minimize the pain. After major abdominal surgery, I was lucky that someone suggested holding a hospital pillow against my body.
        In the new center, plush bathrobes in a light sage, tied with a ribbon, rested on the exam tables. I asked if those were the gifts we could win in the drawing. No, I was told, patients would be wearing them. WHAT?? We don't have to wear stiff paper drapes or white-with-small-flowers-and-washed-a-zillion-times-in-hot-water gowns?
        Combining the breast and gyn clinics can save money in terms of staffing and space. People I trust also say there's a benefit to more doctors and researchers collaborating. (That's why I wish oncologists in gyn and sarcoma would collaborate more. They rarely go to each other’s conferences, for example.)
        There’s a genetic link between some breast and ovarian cancer. For the women with that genetic profile, it makes sense to join forces. But there are other cancers connected by genetics or treatment, e.g., retinoblastoma and soft-tissue sarcomas. I hope all oncologists and support staff understand the various connections.
        Breast cancer has been marketed as the sexy cancer – save the ta-tas!!!! ® – and as the women’s cancer. Not to be outdone, gyn oncologists have the Women’s Cancer Network. Meanwhile, lung cancer kills more women than breast or gyn cancers.
         I wonder how women with other kinds of cancer feel.

Friday critter blogging (by Suzie)

These are sea lions, shot by my friend Mary when we went to San Francisco in 2004. Some of you Northerners are ready to bask in the sun, I'm sure. Meanwhile, the rainy season has started where I live. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Prehistoric Man And Other He-Stories

The prehistoric man was a pretty good seamstress.

I should flesh out this post a little. It has to do with the use of "man" to refer to both human beings and to biological males. "Man embraces the woman", goes the old saying about why everybody knows that "man" means both men and women and that "he" stands for both sexes. Except when it does not. This particular article tells us:

"The mission also found caves used by prehistoric man," he said.

"The most important item is an awl made of animal bone and granite, which shows that prehistoric man devised many ways to sew leather," Khaled Saad, who headed the mission, was quoted as saying.

When Saad says "prehistoric man devised many ways to sew leather," do you visualize a hairy cave-woman inventing those ways or not?

A commenter and reader of this blog, kg, notes that Sam Harris does something very odd in his book The End Of Faith in this regard. First he applies the generic "he" in the book to refer to human beings. But then, on page 60, he writes this:

Imagine that you are having dinner in a restaurant with several old friends. You leave the table briefly to use the restroom, and upon your return you hear one of your friends whisper, "Just be quiet. He can't know about any of this."

What are you to make of this statement? Everything turns on whether you believe that you are the "he" in question. If you are a woman, and therefore excluded by this choice of pronoun, you would probably feel nothing but curiosity.

On re-reading Harris I noticed that on the very next page (61) to the above example Harris writes:

Of course, even the change of a single word can mean the difference between complaisance and death-defying feats: if your child comes to you in the middle of the night saying, "Daddy, there's an elephant in the hall," you might escort him back to bed toting an imaginary gun; if he had said, "Daddy, there's a man in the hall,: you would probably be inclined to carry a real one.

Note the mental agility that female readers of this book must possess: First you are allowed to notice that the pronoun "he" might not refer to you. But then only a page later you are expected to assume that your child is a boy and that you are a daddy.

The Pink Memory Hole

Orwell's dystopic book 1984 had a memory hole in each office. Changed opinions were sent down it, never to be remembered again. That he put one of those into his book is because the public memory indeed seems to have a built-in memory hole, one which distorts events of the past, sometimes before our own internal memories have had time to falsify them to match.

Recent headlines concerning what Nancy Pelosi knew about torture smell to me a little bit like memory holes. It's not the question of Pelosi's knowledge that has gone down the memory hole, of course, but the central point that torture was something the Bush administration decided to allow and that it was the Bush administration which was in power a few months ago. Pelosi should tell us what she knew and why she acted or didn't act. But focusing on her is akin to focusing on the morals of an eyewitness to a murder while ignoring the murderer.

This process of forgetting is incredibly quick and probably almost totally unintentional. Which makes it most interesting to ask what bits of the history of feminism go down the memory hole. Some of that disappearing must also be unintentional. Some is perfectly intentional. People want to rewrite history all the time, and winners always get the upper hand in that.

I remember reading a book a long time ago about the endeavors of a woman in the 1940s to record the feminism of the early 1900s. She had to climb into dusty attics in university libraries to retrieve the material she needed, and her days were soundless and solitary. To then open one of those books which discussed the suffragettes! The noise and the quarrels and the emotions and the intensity! The facts! And all slumbering in a dusty attic.

Something like that is taking place again. So much of feminist writing I read is ahistorical, based on apparently no knowledge of the arc of feminist history, reinventing the female wheel of life over and over. Are we losing anything by this approach?

I wonder. On the one hand life today is not the exact copy of life a hundred years ago, and the immediacy of our current concerns may be conveyed better with that approach. On the other hand, I tire of the waste that ahistoricity produces, tire of the need to have to go through the same material in a slightly different form, tire of the renewed search for solutions which have already been proposed.

Then there is the lateral memory hole. Information coming from countries outside the United States is very often never even entered into the process which could make it remembered. Aspects of gender relations which are specifically American are deemed universal and written up in that format. This is not something unique to American feminism: Almost all aspects of public debate here do that kind of forgetting. That this ultimately means less information is ignored.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tremble Before Me!

So I was on the road most of the day today, including New York City rush-hour traffic and suddenly I do not love humans very much. Then I came home to only dial-up for fuck's sake. And the milk had gone sour and I still can't find the dead mouse in the wall. It is there, somewhere, or perhaps the fridge finally needs thorough cleaning. What do you think? Don't say anything.

Then I read some of the posts (I mistyped that first as boasts) on a new duh-feminism website (or so it seems to me right now), and came across a post about how very unnecessary the old-style-feminism has become:

The same woman at the Times who snagged me in the elevator that day had done the same thing on an earlier occasion, to ask about a semi-spurious trend story published in the paper that day. It described Yale students and recent graduates (I'm one) who were planning to "opt out" for a year or two or five when they spawned. She was aghast to hear that I didn't have strong feelings either way, and warned me against dropping out of the workforce. God help my shallow self, as I stood there looking at her rumpled suit and dated hair and frown lines, I was overwhelmed with pity. Perhaps watching me breeze into the life she had so laboriously carved out for herself—or worse, stray from the hard line in a way that she and other feminists couldn't allow themselves to—felt to her like a bitter betrayal.

But it felt great to me.

So it's all settled then? Glad to hear that, though perhaps feminism is a little bit more than about the personalities of individual women or the nastiness of two of them, don't you think? And ageism isn't that pretty, either. But whatever. Duh.

Now this is fun. I think that I'm going to start writing posts like that, too. It's easy, takes no research and I'm sure I can think of something outrageous. For instance, I used to bite my toe nails when I was a tiny goddess. Then I'd spit them out all over the living-room rug. There is no need for nail clippers in my world.

Speaking of my world, I received some mail for my bullying piece. May I gently point out to all the nasties out there that I'm not the same as 'all feminists', that what I say is not the dogma of the feminist movement (as you can see from the above quote, duh) and that, indeed, I have no official standing among the stern sturm-troops of professional enforcers of feminist discipline. I am me. Is that so hard to comprehend? And isn't that ultimately what the feminist movement is trying to hammer into the thick skulls of nasties everywhere? That women are every bit as much individuals as men and deserve to be treated as such?

Finally, I don't like to argue with very stupid people. It's a waste of time and I don't get paid for the teaching. If you want to debate feminism, first at least read about it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hate crimes & gender (by Suzie)

          The House has passed the Matthew Shepard Act, which “would expand the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.” It awaits Senate approval.
          The attention over this bill has centered on hate crimes against gay or transgendered people. I’m thankful to LGBT groups for pushing its passage. But I’m concerned when these groups and others disappear male violence against women as women.
          Check out the information from the Human Rights Campaign. It doesn’t feel compelled to discuss violence against women, unless they are lesbian, bi or trans. It focuses on its particular issues. In contrast, a feminist organization like NOW could not limit itself to gender without being criticized.
         An NYT editorial endorsing the Matthew Shepard Act talks about protecting the rights of minority groups, but women aren’t a minority. The editorial says African-Americans suffer the most from hate crimes. Actually, women of all races suffer the most, but many states don’t include gender and thus, we aren’t counted.
          Even when people are on our side, even when they have done important work that will benefit us, we cannot allow them to define terms in ways that marginalize us.
          I’ve written about this before.

Today's Silly Joke

Here it is:

A dyslexic walked into a bra.

I'm currently on the road and forgot to pack my muse, assuming that I could have found him. He's mostly carousing these days, getting new tattoos and trying to find someone else to be a muse to. Honest.

We should return to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Bully Boys Gals

The New York Times tells us that women are horrible bullies towards other women:

YELLING, scheming and sabotaging: all are tell-tale signs that a bully is at work, laying traps for employees at every pass.

During this downturn, as stress levels rise, workplace researchers say, bullies are likely to sharpen their elbows and ratchet up their attacks.

It's probably no surprise that most of these bullies are men, as a survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute, an advocacy group, makes clear. But a good 40 percent of bullies are women. And at least the male bullies take an egalitarian approach, mowing down men and women pretty much in equal measure. The women appear to prefer their own kind, choosing other women as targets more than 70 percent of the time.

In the name of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, what is going on here?

Just the mention of women treating other women badly on the job seemingly shakes the women's movement to its core. It is what Peggy Klaus, an executive coach in Berkeley, Calif., has called "the pink elephant" in the room. How can women break through the glass ceiling if they are ducking verbal blows from other women in cubicles, hallways and conference rooms?

How indeed!!! Note that the article isn't too bad in the middle, but returns to this lunacy in its conclusions:

"The time has come," she said, "for us to really deal with this relationship that women have to women, because it truly is preventing us from being as successful in the workplace as we want to be and should be.

"We've got enough obstacles; we don't need to pile on any more."

This piece sounds to me like yet another in that long series the Times has: What Is Wrong With Working Women? These stories always create or magnify a problem and then offer anecdotal evidence on how awful the problem is.

To get to that point, the present article quickly slides by the facts: Men are more often bullies than women and if you work a little on those percentages you will find that male-on-female (heh) bullying is a larger percentage than female-on-female bullying. But never mind, we shall write about the latter! Yes.

Then we are going to pretend that all working women know the names of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem and we are also going to pretend that these feminists believed in some universal sisterhood, easily shared by all women in a society which is still based on patriarchy.

See how it works? Now we have a problem of evil women keeping other women down. To the extent this happens, might it have something to do with the musical chairs that many firms still play with women? If only a few promotion slots are available for women, and if women know this to be the case, well, they are going to compete against other women, right?

The conclusion of the article tells us that this is a problem women should fix, what with all the other problems women have to cope with (such as guys bullying them more). Those other problems or their solutions are not, however, written up in the New York Times. It's much safer to focus on what is wrong with women themselves.

Does that remind you of something? If female bullies mainly attack other women because women are seen as easier targets, could it be that the same motivation underlies articles like this one? Attacking the Big Boys With The Moneybags is scary, as those moneybags make excellent defensive weapons.
A Post-Script: Women do bully, of course. It would be odd to assume that they don't. But an article like this one takes out one slice (female-on-female bullying) from the bully-pie and focuses on it while completely ignoring the majority of bullying relationships. Does that treatment provide extra clarity and better solutions? I very much doubt that.

Manna From Heaven?

That phrase occurred to me when reading this piece about a plan to trim two trillion dollars from the costs of U.S. health care, purely by voluntary cost cutting measures:

President Obama will announce today that the health care industry will try to cut $2 trillion in expenses over the next decade to slow the rising cost of medical care, two White House officials familiar with the plan said.

If successful, the cuts could help reduce costs for families and provide money for an expansion of health care coverage backed by Obama and some Democrats in Congress, said the officials, who briefed reporters but refused to be identified ahead of Obama's announcement.

"If these savings are truly achieved, this may be the most significant development on the path to health care reform," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, which advocates for expanded health care coverage. "It would cut health costs for families and businesses, and it would enable adequate subsidies to be offered so that everyone has access to quality affordable health care."

Six medical trade groups, including the American Medical Association and America's Health Insurance Plans, which represents health insurance companies, have agreed to the cost-cutting, which could save the average family of four $2,500 in 2015, according to the sources. Health care costs would continue to rise, just not as quickly.

Are you salivating for more? I was, because I'm wired that way. But, alas, we are never told what these miraculous cost-saving acts might be. That's something for the future, I guess.

Neither are we told why those extra costs weren't already cut. After all, the market competition conservatives so worship should have forced them to be cut. So what's going on? Hmm. Note that the six medical trade groups could also be called monopolies if one wanted to be rude.

In any case, it's highly unlikely that those cuts wouldn't have any effect on the quality of care or its accessibility, and then we'll have an argument over that, too.

If that sounds grumpy it's because I don't believe that manna will suddenly fall from the sky. Cost containment is necessary, but so is learning exactly how it's supposed to come about.

To Bite The Helping Hand?

General Motors contemplates just that:

The U.S. government is pouring billions into General Motors in hopes of reviving the domestic economy, but when the automaker completes its restructuring plan, many of the company's new jobs will be filled by workers overseas.

According to an outline the company has been sharing privately with Washington legislators, the number of cars that GM sells in the United States and builds in Mexico, China and South Korea will roughly double.

The proportion of GM cars sold domestically and manufactured in those low-wage countries will rise from 15 percent to 23 percent over the next five years, according to the figures contained in a 12-page presentation offered to lawmakers in response to their questions about overseas production.

As a result, the long-simmering argument over U.S. manufacturers expanding production overseas -- normally arising between unions and private companies -- is about to engage the Obama administration.

Essentially in control of the company, the president's autos task force faces an awkward choice: It can either require General Motors to keep more jobs at home, potentially raising labor costs at a company already beset with financial woes, or it can risk political fury by allowing the automaker to expand operations at lower-cost manufacturing locations.

Robert Reich points out that this example should make us do some serious thinking about the value of bailing out American companies if they then take their production (and often even their profits) abroad, leaving American workers worse off and the government with less tax revenues.

On the other hand:

Analysts who study the auto companies and their global operation warn against allowing political passions to obstruct GM's efficiency.

"If we start making political decisions with the auto industry, we're going to be in tremendous trouble," said Michael Robinet, vice president of global vehicle forecasts at CSM Worldwide.

Hmm. But this means that the auto industry shouldn't be bailed out in the first place.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

War against women (by Suzie)

        In a newspaper opinion piece, Casey Gwinn enumerates the mass killings of 60+ people in the United States since March, "with men responsible for all the deaths and nearly all the cases involving men with a history of violence against women." (Two were in my area.) He continues:
We all must redouble our efforts to raise awareness and call for more resources in the war against women and children. We must call it what it is. It is not violence against women. It is most often violence by men against women.
          This pertains to our recent discussion of what to call "domestic violence," and I was happy to see it in a newspaper whose op-ed page tends to be conservative.

The Quality Of The Opposition by Anthony McCarthy

Note: I’ve never been in a position to post an actual leak before, but I’ve been able to confirm that this was an e-mail sent to members of the Maine State Legislature in opposition to the gay marriage bill. I have removed the name of the sender, other than that, it is exactly as it came in the e-mail. I’m not making this up. A.M.

When I Was A Child

I believe most men in this State, would have to agree, young boys are vile little creatures. When I was a child I did certain things I would not do today. They were shall we say childhood indiscretions of a sexual nature. These indiscretions took place from my earliest memory, which I grew out of by my mid teens, and if not for that present culture I may have grown out of them even sooner. I remember being curious of both sexes particularly girls. I remember us boys measuring ourselves against each other. Also friendly sword fights were known to break out amongst us, and I will leave that up to you to figure out. There were many other things to numerous to mention, and gory details will serve no purpose, but I grew out of these things quite naturally, and to my knowledge so did all the other boys and girls whom I am linked to by childhood indiscretion. Apostle Paul said, when he was a child he ".understood as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things." 1 Corinthians 13:11

If Senator Damon's bill (LD 1020) passes it will make it nearly impossible, particularly for boys, to reach normal sexual maturation. Why? Answer, because they will have in essence, adult homosexuals standing over them sayings to every young boy "O! you thought this, you said that, you did this, op! you see you're a homosexual." No! No! No! They are not homosexuals they are normal boys. With this type of peer pressure we will not see males reaching emotional or physiological sexual maturity until some of them reach forty years old, or even older.

Molestation defined: to interfere with. I call Damon's bill Child Molestation, because it will interfere with their normal development by creating an environment where children will be made to feel guilt when comparing their actions to those of adults, and no child should have to feel guilt for what adults do, but more than that, this bill will retard children's normal development just so homosexuals can increase there numbers. Therefore, Damon's bill goes way beyond even child abuse; this is cruelty to children, with slavish overtones.

No legislator, if they were to be honest, can deny that most childhood sexual indiscretions would naturally disappear and others could be reformed through proper parental or religious instruction, unless this process is interrupted by some form of coercion-LD 1020 is that coercion. The biggest stumbling block being presented to children through this bill is, was I born this way, and the answer is yes, but adult homosexuals do not want them to grow out of it. This bill will hinder and may ultimately eliminate both natural and instructional growth. I would not want to be a child today and have to sift through the issues of sexuality fostered by adult homosexuals. This is Child Molestation and it will ruin the next generation of young people. There is no way Child Molestation will ever become permanent Maine Law.