Wright Diversion Works
Main Street Media Ignore Main Event
By Fern H Shubert
As Printed in The County Edge 3-29-08
If you are easily offended, stop reading now. There is no way to discuss NAMBLA or CRR or Planned Parenthood without touching on issues that are offensive.
If you are not familiar with NAMBLA, the North American Man/Boy Love Association, you should be. As they state on their web site (http://www.nambla.org/): “NAMBLA is strongly opposed to age-of-consent laws and all other restrictions which deny men and boys the full enjoyment of their bodies and control over their own lives.”
Parents who want to protect their children from sexual advances by adults are NAMBLA’s enemy. Without public notice, NAMBLA and their allies have been chipping away at parental rights, because parental protection of children interferes with their sexual desires.
The following quote sums up their viewpoint:
"Boy-lovers and the lesbians who have young lovers are not child molesters. The child abusers are priests, teachers, therapists, cops, and parents who force their stale morality onto the young people in their custody. Instead of condemning pedophiles for their involvement with lesbian and gay youth, we should be supporting them."
Shocking? Indeed. Rare? No. The academic world is becoming increasingly brazen in its attempts to legitimize sex between adults and children.” (BreakPoint with Charles Colson 09/24/02 – Excerpt from Commentary #020924)
Similarly, if you are not familiar with CRR, the Center for Reproductive Rights, you should be. They’re allies of NAMBLA in working to erode the ability of parents to protect their children. They believe parents have no right to know if their daughter seeks an abortion, just as parents have no right to be informed if their children seek contraceptives. After all, CRR wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from having sex by denying them the false security of condoms.
Several years ago, a strategy document from CRR ended up in the hands of people who do not support pedophilia. Despite the Center’s attempt to intimidate the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute into silence, they shared the document with others.
Reportedly, the “document is dripping with contempt for democracy and decency” and “Deceit is a core part of their strategy.” As Maggie Gallagher said in her TownHall column (December 25, 2003):
“You doubt me? Read it for yourself: Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., introduced the entire document into the Dec. 8 Congressional Record (which you can access at http://www.c-fam.org/). He called the plan a "Trojan Horse of deceit," demonstrating "how abortion promotion groups are planning to push abortion here and abroad, not by direct argument, but by twisting words and definition." CRR's document itself concedes, "There is a stealth quality to the work" of creating new international legal norms "without a huge amount of scrutiny ..."
“And abortion is just the beginning of CRR's expansive version of "reproductive rights." The CRR's hit list includes schools that do not hand out condoms, and abstinence education programs. They are committed to "staving off efforts to require parental involvement" in abortion. Most hideous of all (and I do not use the word lightly), CRR aims to undo "child abuse reporting requirements" with respect to what it calls "nonabusive" sexual relations with minors. An international right to have sex with young people? No doubt CRR is reacting to the public embarrassment Planned Parenthood faced when journalists discovered that many of its personnel were unwilling to abide by child sex abuse reporting requirements.
“The document notes that such sex rights for minors have "always been one of our priority areas," and that "this is a topic about which we can coordinate efforts with our international program." Downsides include: "We will likely have to confront the politically difficult issue of whether minors have a right to have sex."
“No wonder so many people around the world hate us. No wonder so many Americans have protested the Supreme Court's recent unconstitutional efforts to base its decisions for us Americans in part on "international law and norms" -- laws and norms that are created by the good folks at places like CRR. Coming soon to a school, home and community near you.”
The column was written in 2003, and the issue had already come to a “community near you.” The issue was right on our doorstep, but the mainstream media was not reporting it because their political allies were the people advancing the NAMBLA/CRR agenda.
I still have the 2003 column because in 2003 I was in the North Carolina legislature fighting the effort of CRR and their deceitful allies to replace the North Carolina education curriculum that promoted abstinence with a “comprehensive sexual education curriculum” designed to undermine support for abstinence. The dishonesty of the advocates for “comprehensive sexual education” would have astounded me, had I not read Thomas Sowell’s masterful explanation of elitist arrogance, The Vision of the Anointed, which I recommend highly.
Sowell explains how facts and reason have become irrelevant. Space will not permit a full explanation, but Sowell describes how “the vision prevailing among the intellectual and political elite of our time” is so dominant that discordant evidence is simply “ignored, suppressed or discredited.”
In his view, the vision offers “a special state of grace for those who believe in it. . . .those who disagree . . .are seen as being not merely in error, but in sin. . . .One reason for the preservation and insulation of a vision is that it has become inextricably intertwined with the egos of those who believe in it.”
Sowell condensed the ideological campaigns of the elite into 4 steps. First sell the idea that there’s a great danger to everyone in society of which most people are unaware, and second declare the crisis demands immediate action. Then sell the idea of government intervention to implement the preferred solution of the elite, and, finally, dismiss all contrary arguments as “uninformed, irresponsible, or motivated by unworthy purposes.” (Best of all, when the intervention doesn’t work, declare more resources are needed and do more of what failed.)
One of the campaigns he chose to illustrate the irrelevance of facts in public debate when the elite control the reporting was the issue of sex education. He described how in the 1960s, Planned Parenthood and their allies declared there was a crisis that demanded immediate action to deal with the rising tide of teen pregnancies and venereal disease. They pushed sex education into the schools to deal with the crisis, when in fact fertility rates among teenage girls and venereal disease were both declining. There was no crisis.
Of course, to Planned Parenthood, declining rates of unwanted pregnancy could be seen as a crisis, because they make millions of dollars providing abortions. Similarly, companies that make condoms consider abstinence a bad idea because it reduces sales.
The Family Research Council (Tony Perkin’s Washington Update, March 25, 2008), in an article titled “Condom Culture’s Trojan Horse,” explains how the Trojan Company was using the recent CDC study warning that one in four teens are infected with an STD to promote the sale of condoms, when the CDC actually said "The available scientific evidence is not sufficient to recommend condoms as a primary prevention strategy for the prevention of genital HPV prevention."
As I’ve said before, promoting the use of condoms to reduce the risk of STDs or teen pregnancy is like promoting using fewer bullets while playing Russian roulette. Why encourage risky behavior in the first place? Could it be because some people profit from that risky behavior, either financially or politically?
As Perkins notes, “While condoms may reduce the risk of chlamydia, herpes, and other diseases, it cannot eliminate the risk . . .condoms are not even a reliable method for reducing teen pregnancy. About one in every five teens using condoms becomes pregnant within one year, according to the National Survey of Family Growth.”
So what does this have to do with Thomas Wright? Two things.
First, had Wright not opposed the NAMBLA agenda and supported a Republican in 2006, I doubt he would have received the intensive investigation which led to his removal from the legislature, since far greater malfeasance is routinely ignored.
Second, while the media was focused on the House Special Session called to remove Wright, the Rules Review Commission met and approved rules for a “Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative” that put into place precisely the same language that was debated and rejected last year by the House Education Committee.
North Carolina’s legislature made our state’s official policy promoting abstinence until marriage while providing accurate information on sex, including birth control methods. NAMBLA, CRR, Planned Parenthood and their allies don’t like that policy, so they’re changing it by executive branch action, unreported by their friends in the media.
NAMBLA and their allies can’t win a public debate, so they’re working by stealth to accomplish their ends. They made a lot of progress last week in Raleigh
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
For some reason, last week seemed surprisingly upbeat. Even though the line of the song “it can't get no worse” popped up occasionally, as in the Beatles song, the good far outweighed the bad. The information sent my way has been quite useful, and more is always welcome. If you have information you think I’d find helpful, send it to me at Observations@alltel.net. Thanks.
In addition to information, last week I received some wonderful comments from readers. (Who doesn’t like kind words?). Being a writer has been a lot more fun than being a legislator. One of the greatest frustrations of being in the legislature was the failure of the press to tell the public what was actually happening in Raleigh, and now I’m getting the chance to tell the stories the other papers won’t cover. What fun!
Plus, last Saturday I ran into a retired public school teacher who had benefited from the alternative certification legislation I’d worked so hard to pass as a legislator. Not only was he appreciative for what I’d done, he told me of meeting one of his former students earlier in the day who had thanked him for helping her turn her life around, so I know what I did was not just of benefit to him, but also benefited his students.
Most people are completely unaware of the things that government does that affect lives, and that’s a classic example. There was (and still is) a serious shortage of teachers, particularly in the math/science area, yet rather than recruit people with needed skills, government had made it difficult for accomplished individuals to go into teaching.
Years ago, that gentleman had approached me to vent, as he put it, because he had been teaching, was well received by his students, and enjoyed the work, but he was being required to spend so much time taking courses about things he already knew that he was planning to quit teaching. When I pointed out the legislation that made it possible for him to continue doing what he loved without wasting so much time and money on worthless courses covering things he already knew, he was amazed.
The law was simple. It required people with expertise in needed fields to pass the same tests required of education majors on the same time table in order to be certified to teach, and it put in additional oversight to weed out those not skilled at teaching. It made a lot of sense, but it interfered with a cash cow for the university system, because it made skills, rather than paying for courses, the key factor in certification.
That was one of many fights I won in Raleigh that went pretty much unreported, because if the public knew too much, it would be hard to label honest people ineffective to get rid of them. And the labeling done in Raleigh is as honest as Jim Black, done by the same crowd that supported Black until the courts pried him out of the legislature.
Blogs bring improvement
While it is true, on the minus side, that one party rule is still alive and well in Raleigh and few seem willing to take on the press or the leadership of either party to demand more openness, I’m seeing openness creeping in through the internet. I’m learning more reading blogs, including reporter blogs, than makes it into papers.
Jack Betts had a great blog last week talking about the poor handling of the complaint I filed against Pryor Gibson. (March 12, 2008 post at http://jackbetts.blogspot.com/) He actually agreed with me that the complaint was poorly handled by the Legislative Ethics Committee. (Betts is still under the misimpression that the issue was a questionable call over whether the bill was controversial rather than the clear fact that Gibson claimed he had cleared the bill with other legislators when he had not, but that’s understandable considering Glazier’s mischaracterization of the complaint.)
Betts quoted Representative John Blust, who said “It seems to me that filing a false certification with the House clerk has to be an ethics violation of some sort and perhaps a new complainant - maybe one of the Union County residents affected by the Gibson bill will file a new complaint with just the House Ethics Committee. I feel this must be dealt with if the House is to have any credibility.” . . . The Gibson matter is a clear-cut example of why the State Ethics Commission should have jurisdiction over complaints against legislators, at least through the stage of recommending a punishment, and why the process should be totally open. The entire reform community has been unanimous, I believe, in backing these changes.”
Betts closed by saying, “I think he's right about this. While legislators may have been motivated by a concern that there would be bogus ethics complaints filed and there's no reason to make those public, the risk is that the legislature will be seen as ignoring complaints with merit to them, or worse, covering up for cronies. There's a lot to be said for allowing the public to see what's going on, and to make up their own minds.”
Best of all, a comment posted in response to Betts and Blust shows at least some people got the point I’ve been trying to make it my comments about Thomas Wright: “I don't think the Republicans want Wright treated as Gibson was. They want Gibson treated as Wright was.” Precisely! The point is not to ignore wrongdoing, but to hold everyone to the same high standard that the public has a right to expect.
Since this column will be in print before the Thursday hearing, my comments on the hearing itself will have to keep ‘til next week. But I can already see the press focusing on Wright to the exclusion of other stories that deserve attention.
I just received copies of three complaints and a press release stating “House Speaker Joe Hackney, House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman, and the Chairman of the (so-called) Ethics Committee, Rick Glazier are apparently all in violation of the law.” I was told the complaints were filed yesterday with the State Board of Elections by Raymond Spencer, a Marine Corps veteran, and sent, along with the press release, to the major media outlets in the state. Strangely, I haven’t seen or heard anything about them or even found any mention of them on the Internet, and I wonder when they will be reported.
Spencer said “It is essential and fair that all three recuse themselves from any participation in the upcoming special session called for by the Governor at the request of these three Representatives. It is particularly outrageous that the ethics committee chairman, Rick Glazier himself omitted over $40,000 given to his campaign just before a highly contested election and he of all people was selected as chairman by Speaker Hackney. Hugh Holliman has been marshalling votes to expel Tom Wright knowing full well that Holliman’s own campaign reports reveal a corporate donation of $1,000 which is a misdemeanor.”
In addition to receiving the documents about some of Wright’s accusers, I received a lengthy document reporting an even more offensive matter. The past actions of Wright’s accusers either did or did not happen, but there is an action planned for the very time of Wright’s hearing that is of such significance to some that the hearing could actually be seen as a smoke screen.
The document was sent out by Joel Raupe, who works with the House Republican caucus, and begins as follows: “Thursday, March 20 – at the very hour the North Carolina House gathers to debate the "qualifications" of Thomas Wright, the N.C. Rules Review Commission will hold a meeting where the commissioners may feel required to approve new rules passed by the Public Health Commission, making "Comprehensive Sexual Education" the expected standard for one small program and putting into precedent language that couldn't make it through the legislature. The trouble is no one knows what "Comprehensive Sexual Education" means.”
The full text of the document is available at http://joelraupe.com/RRC20080320PHC.aspx
The subject is complex, but there are three key points that need to be made:
The timing of the Rules Review meeting, along with the subject, shows how the big money players, who see the will of the people as irrelevant to their money making schemes, ignore the legislature or use it to hide their real agenda.
There’s big money in abortions, and abstinence is bad for the abortion business.
As I said about Jim Black, “The press has hyperventilated about a handful of improperly handled campaign contributions to the point of boredom. Why? Why the focus on . . . minor misdeeds to the exclusion of much bigger scandals?
Well, there you have the answer. The purpose is to divert attention from the bigger scandals.”
The Rules Review hearing is part of a mighty big scandal. More later.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
The County Edge, March 7, 2008
Some days you have to laugh to keep from crying. I’ve finally found out why the Legislative Ethics Committee dismissed my complaint against Pryor Gibson. They do not believe telling a lie is unethical. It is just a procedural matter.
In 2006, Pryor Gibson wanted to introduce a bill that was not eligible for consideration unless he signed a document verifying that his bill had the unanimous support of the other representatives from the area affected by the bill. They did not support the bill. Gibson lied in writing and said they did in order to get a bill passed that could not have been introduced if he told the truth.
The bill was not an insignificant matter. It moved the date of the vote on the Monroe food tax from the general election in 2006 when Gibson was running for re-election to the lower turnout municipal election in 2007. It also granted ETJ to two towns, Wingate and Marshville, that had not even made a public request for it. The bill gave town officials the authority to decide the zoning for people who lived in the county and could not vote for or against them. It affected the property rights of hundreds of people.
When I challenged Gibson’s lie by filing a complaint, the Legislative Ethics Committee dismissed the complaint, saying “the complaint alleged conduct, that even if true, would not constitute an ethics violation, or alleged conduct, that even if true, would not be within the jurisdiction of the Committee.”
It was my understanding that since the fraud was committed in 2006, the committee dismissed the complaint because it did not believe it should go into events that happened before 2007 when the current law became effective. If they truly believed actions prior to 2007 were a closed book, so be it.
But if that was the standard, how could they ask the House to hold hearings designed to lead to the expulsion of Thomas Wright based on even older events? Mr. Wright and I were hardly friends . . . he was a friend of Jim Black and I was the only member of the 2001 House who never voted for Black . . .plus he was a Democrat and I’m a Republican, but the way he was being treated just didn’t make sense.
In my experience, far greater misdeeds than any alleged against Wright were normally ignored. While I did not see his treatment as racially motivated . . .after all, misuse of non-profits by several other black legislators didn’t result in expulsion attempts. . . the fact that my complaint against Gibson was dismissed because the event was pre-2007 while events even older were being used to justify Wright’s House ethics hearing just didn’t seem right.
I approached Wright’s attorney, Irv Joyner, at Wright’s court hearing last Thursday with some hesitation. I had no desire to be seen as defending illegal behavior and some reluctance to even be involved in something with so much negative press, but the double standard being applied in the legislature offended me. In addition to giving Joyner a copy of the dismissal of the complaint I filed against Gibson, I informed him of the November 2002 Carolina Journal article outlining several other ethical issues concerning Gibson.
If the committee didn’t have jurisdiction to deal with my complaint against Gibson, I didn’t understand how they could be dealing with far older issues with respect to Wright.
Moreover, the Carolina Journal article stated that Gibson had a non-profit that seemed far more dubious than Wright’s, but to the best of my knowledge, no one ever followed up on the questions raised by the Carolina Journal. Why the double standard?
I later learned that Wright had supported the Republican NC Senate candidate from Wilmington in 2006 rather than the Democrat, and suddenly the reason for the double standard seemed very obvious. The Democratic leadership of the House and Senate, plus the Governor, needed someone to toss to the wolves to divert the public from the bribery and gerrymandering that kept them in power, the sale of DOT board seats, the mental health malfeasance, and a litany of other misdeeds.
By going after Wright, the leaders could sell the public on how serious they are about ethics without actually doing anything to reform the system. At the same time, they could show other legislators how dangerous it would be to cross the party big wigs. A twofer!
In 1998, my opponent used last minute ads that misrepresented my vote against the 1997 budget in order to defeat me. He and Speaker Black later used what happened to me to threaten other legislators; vote as you’re told on the budget or we’ll do to you what we did to Shubert. In my case, the threat lost a lot of steam when I returned to the legislature in 2000, but I see some of the same motivation behind the hearings now being held.
Note, I see nothing wrong with a criminal prosecution of criminal misdeeds. I think we need a lot more legislative attention to ethics; but to hold hearings on Wright while ignoring far greater ethical lapses by other legislators is just plain wrong.
Speaking of wrong, according to an article in The Charlotte Observer (March 4, 2008), committee chairman Rick Glazier “said that Gibson's and Wright's cases are so different that any comparison is profoundly absurd. One involves legislative procedure, he said, and the other involves allegations of fraud and corruption.”
What is fraud? According to Wikipedia, “In the broadest sense, a fraud is a deception made for personal gain.” A lie in writing is certainly a deception, and there is no doubt that Gibson lied in writing for his personal benefit, to gain a political advantage he could not otherwise obtain. I didn’t just accuse Gibson of breaking a rule; I provided the evidence to prove he committed fraud on the people of North Carolina.
Mr. Gibson has tried to trick the House before to get a bill passed that would not pass without deception, but I exposed the trick in time and the bill was voted down. This time, the lie was told in a printed document, and even though it was exposed before the bill passed, the leaders of the legislature made the conscious decision to support Gibson’s dishonesty.
Gibson tells people he withdrew the bill when he learned the legislators he said supported it did not, but that’s another deception. Ask Gibson how the contents of the bill became law if he dropped the issue when he learned of their objection?
Gibson’s case involves the corruption not only of Gibson but of the leaders of the House and Senate. The fraud Gibson committed was embraced by the very people who are now eagerly condemning Wright for deceit.
I regret that Wright’s attorneys suggested Mr. Glazier is racially biased; I do not believe he is. But I understand why they came to that conclusion. Anyone unfamiliar with the history of the legislature, who is familiar with North Carolina history, would easily see racism in the totally disparate treatment of Gibson and Wright.
People unfamiliar with the legislature would find it hard to believe that telling a lie to deceive the legislature into acting in a way it would not if it knew the truth is a mere procedural matter.
To people not tainted by “legislative ethics,” telling a lie to the legislature to subvert our very government is a far more significant ethical transgression than anything of which Representative Wright stands accused.
The explanation of the dismissal of the complaint against Gibson makes the phrase “legislative ethics” an oxymoron.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
During Monday's legislative hearing of alleged misconduct by Rep. Thomas Wright, his lawyer, Doug Harris, claimed that Wright's treatment was very different than that of a white colleague, Rep. Pryor Gibson, D-Anson. Gibson faced an ethics complaint last year based on a claim by former state Sen. Fern Shubert that Gibson lied bysaying that he had his colleague's support for a local bill. The complaint was ultimately dismissed. Harris, though, cited the complaint and Shubert's response, saying that she was "disgusted by the treatment of Representative Wright."
Perhaps "disgusted" is a bit much. Contacted at her home, Shubert said she does believe that there is disparate treatment of Wright, but doesn't condone anything that he is alleged to have done.
"When the sharks are going after the minnows, I think we would want to focus on the sharks," she said. Shubert pointed out that there was never even a public airing of her complaint. Gibson, though, said there was no comparison between her allegations, based on procedural rules in the House, and those faced by Wright.
"Ms. Shubert has a history of distorting facts to further her personal and political ambition," Gibson said. He added that she is suffering over "her cauldron of polluted poison." (THE INSIDER, 3/04/08)