There are so many problems that one has to be careful which to highlight. I have no rubric, no set, standard criteria for what I discuss here at The Couch (um, no kidding...). Mostly, topics here involve what I'm passionate about, or terribly flawed arguments that irritate me, or recipes that I could make over and over again, or bizarre stories from the family archives.
But today, I'm mentioning an actually serious thing. Not just my chicken and dumplings tragedy, not just my terror at a long, endless aisle full of rows and rows of baby bottles. Not that those aren't serious, in their own way, of course.
"With all the horror in the world," you may quote from What About Bob?, "what difference does it make?"
Well, the fact that President Obama appointed a man to help lead Safe Schools who has publicly declared being inspired by a big NAMBLA supporter does make a difference.
Oh. What's NAMBLA?
It...it stands for...it stands for North American Man/Boy Love Association, and no, I'm not making that up, and yes, I wish I was. It's an organization that supports...that supports...
(Eyes shut tight, speaking quickly)
That supports sexual relations between adult men and young boys.
"Wait," you say; "you have my attention now. Could you repeat that?"
(Eyes shut tight, speaking quickly)
The guy Obama appointed to a position of leadership in education has said he's inspired by a famous supporter of NAMBLA. Kevin Jennings is now the Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, in the U.S. Department of Education. On another note, he also failed to report a suspected case of statutory rape when he worked in a local educational system - the case involving an adult male.
I hate bringing up serious things here, Sweetness and Light Central. But it has to be done. I don't care what your political views are, what your ballot said last November, etc. If you want to know what a person believes, don't listen to what they say; watch what they do.
Either A) this is a case of deeply failed vetting - the process by which candidates are screened; B) the appointment was made with little concern about the man's admiration of NAMBLA supporters; C) the guy's views are seen as enlightened and tolerant, and therefore not problematic; or D) the powers that be thought no one would notice.
The gentleman appointed by Mr. Obama is a practicing homosexual. Am I against the employment of practicing homosexuals in political administrations? No. Do I have friends and family affected by homosexuality? Yes. I'm not here today to talk about homosexuality.
I'm here because many people would be concerned that a guy who has a history of activism and extreme educational views** has been placed in a position with a lot of power. What disturbs me most, personally, is that someone with sympathies for an organization associated with what most people still call "pedophilia" now has a national position of power in the educational program "Safe Schools."
It's astounding. Good heavens, it's like...it's like stocking a school system with convicted sex offenders. Not because the gentleman is homosexual; there are many homosexuals that do not support NAMBLA. It's his admiration for a famous NAMBLA supporter that I find astonishing. Further, if I was a convicted sex offender driven from communities by residential laws and living under an overpass (like in Miami), I'd be pretty steamed that I was homeless under a bridge while a guy who actually supported the practice of my crime was appointed to a position of national importance.
Yes, there are a lot of problems in the world. Starving populations, disease, sex trafficking, drug and substance abuse, brutal poverty. Today, I'm mentioning this one, not to start a partisan debate, but to help alert people of all (or no) political persuasions that Something Went Wrong in an important process, and that your feedback to your elected officials is important.
We now return to our regularly scheduled Sweetness and Light.
**This link takes you to an article that references circumstances I deemed Too Explicit for this particular site, because I don't ever want you to associate a gag reflex with reading something on my blog. Well, the cat urine escapade may have already broken that ideal, but you get my drift. You may do your own research from here on out.