You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2013.
At least in theory and in pretty media pronouncements, tech and web giant Google has finally announced a serious commitment to combat child porn on the Web.
The search giant Google has now decided to wipe out child pornography from the Web. It has an elaborate plan to finally eradicate it from internet.
Google has decided to work in association with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to remove photos and videos of child porn on the web. It is a massive step to eradicate the increasing number of child porn pics and video and their misuse on various porn sites and others. A recent survey by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, photo and video of child pornography has been increasing at an alarming rate over the past several years.
Google has officially announced its plan to be a part of the effort to get rid of the growing number of child porn pics and video. Well, the company wants to completely wipe out child porn from the Internet. “Behind these images are real, vulnerable kids who are sexually victimized and victimized further through the distribution of their images,” said Google Giving director Jacquelline Fuller.
Here’s hoping that they will do more than just talk about it. And that, second, nothing can come out of this if all guilty parties are not 1) brought to justice, and 2) convicted as they should. That is where a lot of attention needs to permanently be focused on. I have serious questions about how effective the justice system is in such cases.
An excellent article on Huff Post (of all places), maybe drawing up on key points already pointed out elsewhere. I’ve been following with great interest the Edward Snowden saga and all the issues it raises concerning civil rights, freedom of speech, and technology.
To me, so far, here is the point that Snowden’s saga brings to the forefront:
(The Terror Con – by Robert Scheer)
As The New York Times reported Saturday: “When the United Arab Emirates wanted to create its own version of the National Security Agency, it turned to Booz Allen Hamilton to replicate the world’s largest and most powerful spy agency in the sands of Abu Dhabi. It was a natural choice: The chief architect of Booz Allen’s cyber strategy is Mike McConnell, who once led the NSA and pushed the United States into a new era of big data espionage. It was Mr. McConnell who won the blessing of the American intelligence agencies to bolster the Persian Gulf sheikdom, which helps track the Iranians.”
Tracking the Iranians, you say? But they’re not the enemies who attacked us on 9/11, and indeed they are Shiites, who were implacably hostile to the Sunni fanatics of al-Qaida. The reasoning makes sense only if you follow the money that the UAE can pay. “They are teaching everything,” one Arab official told The New York Times about Booz Allen’s staffers. “Data mining, web surveillance, all sorts of digital intelligence collection.”
How great. Now, it’s not just the government we elect but also those everywhere, even in desert emirates, that can mine our data.
“The NSA data mining,” Keller assures us, “is part of something much larger. On many fronts, we are adjusting to life in a surveillance state, relinquishing bits of privacy in exchange for the promise of other rewards.”
This is the point: ALL or MOST governments, especially the most ruthless ones, will want to spy on everyone, or on anyone they want to target. It takes a lot of naiveness to believe that groups greedy for power or who have power already will only “mine” data (and metadata at that!) and not look at the content, if they have the technology to do both!
And this won’t only be a desire of “governments,” as an organized body of faceless individuals holding the same nationality. There will always be individuals or groups who want this kind of power, independently of the laws or of their government and who will infiltrate the organizations who do the surveillance. And it makes most local or intra-national laws worthless, if groups, individuals, or governments around the globe can breach these laws through technology whenever they please and for any objective they might have.
Lastly, obviously the greatest mistake above is to pretend that the correct verb tense was the one used, the future, and not the somewhat recent past. All of this is already in motion.
Until this last week, it had never really dawned on me how much we were sadly on our way to a 1984 scenario. And how truly awful the world will become when human beings once again show that they will massively use these new technologies for evil and to eliminate freedom, to persecute those who fight against oppression, and to destroy healthy dynamics in societies, instead of its opposite.
I don’t want to veer too much away from the point above, which is so enormous. But… very à propos then that, by coincidence, a new movie on Hannah Arendt has just come out.
And we can once again express our admiration for George Orwell, who once worked as a dishwasher in a hotel. However, as I was just reading this morning, the question remains if it was partially by choice, in order to gather writing material and to more deeply reflect upon social injustice from a real-lived experienced, or by need. Maybe an uncanny mixture of both. Which reminds me that I have never read all or even most of his works. What have I been missing?
In case you missed this, “The Southern Poverty Law Center- SPLC- filed a lawsuit against JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing) in November of 2012, alleging the group is guilty of “consumer fraud” because the therapy is not always successful in changing people’s sexual preferences.”
by Kirsten Andersen – www.lifesitenews.com -June 6, 2013
NEW JERSEY – A renowned psychologist who was a former president of the American Psychological Association (APA) has submitted an affidavit saying that he personally treated over 2,000 homosexuals for various conditions, while his staff counseled thousands more, and he knows of “hundreds” who successfully changed their orientation.
Nicholas Cummings filed the affidavit in support of a motion by JONAH before the New Jersey Superior Court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) accusing the group of “fraud” for offering reparative therapy services.
JONAH is a Jewish organization that offers assistance to men and women seeking to resolve their sexual conflicts, focusing specifically on unwanted same-sex attractions.
Concerning the allegation that JONAH is guilty of “consumer fraud” because the therapy is not always successful in changing people’s sexual preferences, the main problem with this accusation is that no therapy is ever claimed to be always successful by anyone. There are no guarantees in therapy. I didn’t go through the whole JONAH site, but I didn’t see any claim that they are always successful in changing people’s sexual preferences anywhere on the pages I looked at.
Using the SPLC’s logic, there is also no marriage counseling that is always successful, so should we abolish marriage counseling as well? Should we sue for consumer fraud every marriage counselor who fails to save a marriage?
How about therapy for depression, anorexia, pedophilia, gambling addiction, etc.? Every time a therapy doesn’t work, do we sue the therapist?
No one can ever claim that any type of therapy will work. The SPLC’s overall claim is ridiculous.
“The lawsuit describes how the underlying premise of conversion therapy – that a person can “convert” to heterosexuality – has no basis in scientific fact. “
That is certainly wrong, since many people claim to have changed or resolved their problems with homosexuality (see a related discussion on the topic of homosexuality etiology in one of my “pages,” especially the studies from Lisa Diamond about women changing their sexual orientation). If the SPLC is basing their suit on this claim, they are going to lose.
“It is the longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences that homosexuality is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation.”
Actually normalizing homosexuality was done because most of these psychological associations became scientifically corrupt and decided to run away from their utter failure to investigate and treat homosexuality. They are in no position to determine what is normal, nor why.
“Customers of JONAH’s services typically pay a minimum of $100 for weekly individual counseling sessions and another $60 for group therapy sessions.”
It’s what many therapists charge elsewhere for other types of therapy.
“The lawsuit describes sessions that involved clients undressing in front of a mirror and even a group session where young men were instructed to remove their clothing and stand naked in a circle with the counselor, Downing, who was also undressed. Another session involved a subject
attempting to wrest away two oranges, which were used to represent testicles, from another individual.”
Anything that involves undressing or any kind of touching, I am seriously against. You can certainly bring on a law suit about that. But that is one therapist doing one thing – and it has no bearing on what other therapists investigating the etiology of homosexuality do.
It’s like trying to abolish all surgery because one doctor did one specific type of malpractice in one surgical intervention.
It will be very interesting to see how this law suit progresses.
“Sadly, there is no accountability for those who practice conversion therapy,” said Michael Ferguson, a conversion therapy survivor and plaintiff in the lawsuit.
What the SPLC and Ferguson conveniently do not mention is that, sadly, there is no accountability for a lot of professionals who practice any kind of therapy. That is one of the biggest problems that we have with the therapy profession today and always. And vulnerable people are always at risk. This problem is not at all limited to any kind of therapy related to homosexuality.
Even if the people at JONAH, or some of the people there, are not qualified to do acceptable kinds of therapies related to homosexuality, this will not invalidate what others who do.
The law firms of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP and Lite DePalma Greenberg LLC are serving as the SPLC’s co-counsel on the case. The SPLC has previously filed complaints against conversion therapists with the American Psychiatric Association and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
The SPLC claims:
People who have undergone conversion therapy have reported increased anxiety, depression, and in some cases, suicidal ideation.
Newsflash: People who have undergone all kinds of therapies can report these problems. And in fact, people who have serious psychological problems, including in the area of homosexuality and who never do any therapy, can also report these problems, exactly because they never take responsibility for their psychological problems and only enhance them by believing that every form of sexual dysfunction and perversion is normal.
In fact, I would not be surprised if the majority of violent homosexuals are those who think homosexuality is normal, as compared to the homosexuals who have tried to resolve their homosexuality problems. This would make for an interesting study.
Lastly, I didn’t put a link to Selmys’ article in my “Not Born LGBT” page, because I don’t like her ideological agenda on homosexuality, but she is yet another vocal testimony of someone who claims to have changed.
“I was certain that I was a lesbian”
I fell into the former category: earlier in my life, I was certain that I was a lesbian. I was secretly involved in a lesbian relationship for years, and my attempts to date boys on the side ranged from dismal to disastrous. I found physical intimacy with men uncomfortable at best. When I became a Catholic, I still believed that homosexuality was immutable, and I did not believe in “praying away the gay”. It came as something of a surprise, therefore, when I found myself falling in love, and being physically attracted towards a man.
Bisexuality would not seem to account for the change. I have not experienced on-going, relatively equal attraction for both sexes. There has been a substantial, noticeable, and decisive swing in the attractions themselves. I would now find the prospect of sexual involvement with a woman just as uncomfortable and sexually unappealing as I once found the idea of intimacy with men.
I’ve updated my page on Not Born LGBT
From the sociological and psychological side, here’s two articles to note:
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Lisa M. Diamond
Nearly 80 young sexual-minority women, identified as lesbian, bisexual, or unlabeled, have been assessed five times over a 10-year period, beginning in late adolescence and following through to early adulthood.
By T5, 60% OF T1 LESBIANS HAD HAD SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A MAN, and 30% HAD BEEN ROMANTICALLY INVOLVED WITH A MAN. Many of these women resolved the resulting contradiction between their lesbian identity and their other-sex attractions/behavior by SWITCHING to unlabeled or bisexual identities
What We Got Wrong About Sexual Identity Development: Unexpected Findings From a Longitudinal Study of Young Women – Diamond (2005).pdf:
There is this – p. 14:
Compared with respondents who identified as lesbian or bisexual at T4, the unlabeled women reported significantly greater absolute gaps between their percentage of physical versus emotional same-sex attractions.
This finding demonstrates that the overall fit between a woman’s physical and emotional feelings for women and men is a key piece of evidence she might use to assess her sexual identity. As one woman said, quite straightforwardly, during her second interview,
Sometimes I worry that I will never settle down with anyone, because the way I feel about guys is mainly sexual, and the way I feel about women is mainly emotional. So I’m always going between the two, and I don’t know what to call that, you know?
Yet traditional sexual identity models make no accommodation for this sort of quandary. According to the traditional paradigm, women claiming discrepancies between their emotional and physical attractions are either confused heterosexuals or repressed lesbians.
This example also blows a hole the size of a crater in the simplistic way that “born this way” proponents think about “sexual orientation.” First because this example stresses what I have pointed out previously. The concept of “sexual orientation” is a fraud, since the human mind in respect to sexuality and relationships is extremely complex and can never be reduced to “sexual attraction” only – especially not of the benign kind, and which is what much of the research focuses on, ignoring how perverted and perverse so much of sexual attraction is in a highly dysfunctional society as ours. There is no such thing as an independent, isolated part of the brain that will have any kind of sexual attraction that is unrelated to anything else that happens in the brain, or to that person’s entire psychology; or unrelated to their their entire personal history and their development history, their cultural and ideological conditioning, etc. Claiming that sexual attraction happens out of the blue in the brain and then determines every other aspect of the social and psychological functioning of a human being is simply absurd.
It is not sexual attraction that determines the rest of a person’s psychology. It is exactly the opposite: a person’s entire psychological/emotional/cultural/ideological structure will determine specifically what kinds of sexual attractions are produced in their mind. This model explains and fits every type of attraction produced, from the healthiest to the most deformed, dysfunctional, and perverted. Therefore the term “sexual attraction” is highly inadequate, since “attraction” implies something mostly benign.
For example, how do the “born this way” folks explain why a man would want to see a woman have sex with an animal if he is not into bestiality himself? Do they claim there is a genetic determination for a man feeling sexual “attraction” to watching a woman have sex with an animal? Do they claim it’s epigenetics? Should we do twin studies? The level of irrationality that is involved in these “biologically determined” theories about “sexual orientation” is just mind boggling. And this is especially true concerning any concept of “homosexual sexual orientation.”
On a side note, this example also underscores what a fallacy it is to claim that gender is irrelevant or interchangeable.
Do not confuse the term “(homo)sexuality” with “(homo) sexual orientation. They are not the same.
Homosexuality is about sexual attitudes, values, attractions, repulsions, concepts and interpretations about sexuality, power and domination or subjection dynamics relating to the sexual other, affection or objectification of the sexual other, admiration or disrespect related to the sexual object,conscious and unconscious feelings related to self or other which shapes or deforms relation and sexual feelings towards other, obsessions and distortions, projections, fantasies, dysfunctions, traumas, impacts from social conditioning, problems with masculinity or femininity,
problems with personal history and fundamental caretakers, etc. that will result in the sexualization of someone of the same sex and a hindering of the normal sexualization of someone of the opposite sex.
Society needs to be concerned about homosexuality, not homosexual orientation. Homosexual attraction or desire is only a mere product of a myriad configurations of these aforementioned dysfunctional psycho-social dynamics.