Friday, April 2, 2010

The Most Insidious Drug

A writer at National Review discusses her conviction that her husband's addiction ruined her family:

Imagine a drug so powerful it can destroy a family simply by distorting a man's perception of his wife. Picture an addiction so lethal it has the potential to render an entire generation incapable of forming lasting marriages and so widespread that it produces more annual revenue - $97 billion worldwide in 2006 - than all of the leading technology companies combined. Consider a narcotic so insidious that it evades serious scientific study and legislative action for decades, thriving instead under the ever-expanding banner of the First Amendment.

According to an online statistics firm, an estimated 40 million people use this drug on a regular basis. It doesn't come in pill form. It can't be smoked, injected, or snorted. And yet neurological data suggest its effects on the brain are strikingly similar to those of synthetic drugs. Indeed, two authorities on the neurochemistry of addiction, Harvey Milkman and Stanley Sunderwirth, claim it is the ability of this drug to influence all three pleasure systems in the brain - arousal, satiation, and fantasy - that makes it "the pi�ce de r�sistance among the addictions."

The drug, of course, is pornography. The writer, a psychologist who wishes to remain anonymous, continues:

According to Dr. Victor Cline, a nationally renowned clinical psychologist who specializes in sexual addiction, pornography addiction is a process that undergoes four phases. First, addiction, resulting from early and repeated exposure accompanied by masturbation. Second, escalation, during which the addict requires more frequent porn exposure to achieve the same "highs" and may learn to prefer porn to sexual intercourse. Third, desensitization, during which the addict views as normal what was once considered repulsive or immoral. And finally, the acting-out phase, during which the addict runs an increased risk of making the leap from screen to real life.

The article is as arresting as it is important. When pornography began to be mass-produced back in the sixties it was common to hear it defended by liberals as a harmless outlet for pent-up urges. Well, we've had the outlet around now for almost fifty years. It has metastasized via the internet and film throughout the culture to the point that it's hard to avoid it, and every study I've read about gives the lie to those who assured us way back then that pornography was no big deal. Like alcohol it's addictive and devastating, not only to the person who consumes it but also to the consumer's family and, in an increasing number of cases, other innocent women and children.

Read the rest of the essay. If you're a young woman dating someone you might want to enquire about his attitudes toward pornography. If you think he might be viewing it, you could be very likely setting yourself up for a lot of heartbreak if you continue in the relationship.


Clerical Error

Jason Mattera is at it again. This time he confronts Virginia Democratic Congressman Jim Moran about the $6.4 billion of stimulus money that went to congressional districts that don't exist. Rep. Moran insists it was just a "clerical error."

Hey, what's a few billion dollars of taxpayer money when you're spending trillions?

I wonder what would have happened had Mr. Moran's aides not been there to keep the two men apart.


Making Us All Equal

Congressman Paul Ryan, the ranking member on the House budget committee, knows the recently passed health care reform bill inside and out. In a recent column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he explains to his Wisconsin constituents the enormous costs that loom ahead:

Premiums in the individual [insurance] market would rise from 10% to 13% for families. Our debt and deficit crisis - driven by $76 trillion in unfunded liabilities [mostly Social Security and Medicare] - would accelerate from the creation of a brand new entitlement and an increase in the federal deficit by $662 billion, when the true costs are factored in. National health expenditures will increase by an additional $222 billion over the next decade, according to the president's own chief actuary, and $2.4 trillion in the decade after the new entitlement is up and running.

The entire architecture of this overhaul is designed, unapologetically, to give the government greater control over what kind of insurance is available, how much health care is enough and which treatments are worth paying for.

The massive expansion of the federal government into the personal health care decisions will drive providers out of business and force employers to dump their workers on to government - controlled exchanges. Because Washington doesn't approve, millions of Wisconsin seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage plans and millions more will lose the consumer - friendly high-deductible health plans they enjoy.

There is another personal cost to this deluge of new government spending and control. Wisconsin remains in dire need of sustained job growth and robust economic recovery. This legislation will hit our economy with $569 billion in tax increases - tax hikes that will hit workers, families and job-creators alike.

Ryan concludes his piece with an important explanation as to why the Democrats were so determined to foist this crushing burden upon us and our children:

The yearlong partisan crusade - right through its ugly conclusion - revealed that this debate was never about policy but rather a paternalistic ideology at odds with our historic commitment to individual liberty, limited government and entrepreneurial dynamism. The proponents of this legislation reject an opportunity society and instead assume you are stuck in your station in life and the role of government is to help you cope with it. Rather than promote equal opportunities for individuals to make the most of their lives, the cradle-to-grave welfare state seeks to equalize the results of people's lives.

Apparently so, but since Congress has exempted some of their own members from the bill they must think that they're more equal than the rest of us. A great way to achieve the equality they wish to impose on us is to return them to private life in November.