Maggie Van Ostrand
Sex Abstinence Studies
you ever wonder why Congress keeps authorizing so many studies and
tests we know nothing about until the results are released? Along
with the expensive taxpayer-funded National Institute on Alcohol Abuse
and Alcoholism's Rand Report which found that alcoholics could drink
in moderation (someone tell that to Uncle Joey who tried it and now
lives on the Bowery), Congress recently authorized yet another dumb
According to this congressionally ordained study, students who took
part in sexual abstinence programs were just as likely to have sex
as those who did not, reported the Associated Press on April 13th.
My mother could've told that to Congress and she would've done it
You may find this hard to believe, but the federal government now
spends about $176 million annually on abstinence-until-marriage education.
If you ask me, they'd accomplish a lot more if they just bought a
bunch of lottery tickets.
Harry Wilson, commissioner of the Family and Youth Services Bureau
at the Administration for Children and Families (huh? Yet another
government branch?) said that the report confirms that these "interventions"
are not like vaccines. Mr. Wilson is not to be confused with William
Smith, vice president for public policy at the Sexuality Information
and Education Council of the United States. And neither Mr. Wilson
nor Mr. Smith should be confused with Ms. Valerie Huber, executive
director of the National Abstinence Education Association. Not that
the government is oversized or anything. Why don't they just hire
a few Desperate Housewives as advisors instead of all these national
organizations which huff and puff till our country falls down? And
what business is it of congress what our kids do?
We have enough trouble keeping congress out of our pockets; we don't
need them in our thongs.
"America," Mark Twain once said, "is a nation without a distinct criminal
class with the possible exception of Congress." He was talking about
the same Congress which spends so much of our money on studies telling
us that drunks can drink and kids shouldn't have sex. Maybe we'd be
better off electing officials who believe drunks can have sex and
kids shouldn't drink.
According to the ezine Capitol Hill Blue which monitors the Beltway
goings-on, "If anything, the Congress of today is even worse than
it was in Twain's time more than a century ago." Back in 1999, Capitol
Hill Blue reported that "The 535 men and women who make up the House
and Senate of the United States include, at best, a collection of
rogues, con artists, scofflaws and bad check artists. At worst, they
comprise, as Twain once observed, a distinct criminal class."
Capitol Hill Blue proceeded to check public records, newspaper archives,
civil court cases, and criminal records of members of Congress from
1992 to 1999.
They ran credit checks on members and applied the financial and criminal
record scoring procedures used by the Department of Defense to determine
eligibility for a Top Secret security clearance. Everything was done
legally through public records.
What emerged from their investigation was a disturbing portrait of
a group of elected officials who routinely avoid payment of debts,
write bad checks, abuse their spouses, assault people and openly violate
Capitol Hill Blue named Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla), whose trail of
bad debts, lies to Congress and misstatements to the Internal Revenue
Service spawned a number of investigations. She is still in Congress.
Also named was Rep. James Moran (D-Va) whose wife charged him with
abuse, and who has assaulted other members of Congress on the floor
of the House. He is still in Congress, too.
The list also included Joe Waldholtz, a con man and husband of former
Rep. Enid Greene Waldholtz (R-UT) who kited more than a million dollars
in bad checks and ended up in prison.
Others, like former Ohio Senator John Glenn, have driven creditors
into bankruptcy because of unpaid debts left over from aborted Presidential
campaigns. Even millionaire Senator Ted Kennedy has left a trail of
unpaid debts from past campaigns. And yet, we're supposed to address
them as "the Honorable" even though members of Congress have gone
to jail for child molestation, fraud and other charges?
Even with credit reports so bad they can't get an American Express
card on their own, at least 71 members of Congress get a government-issued
Amex card without a credit check.
53 have personal and financial problems so serious they would be denied
security clearances by the Department of Defense or the Department
of Energy if they had to apply through normal channels but as members
of Congress they get such clearances simply because they fooled enough
people to get elected.
29 members of current and recent Congresses have been accused of spousal
abuse in either criminal or civil proceedings. 27 have driving while
intoxicated arrests on their driving records. 21 are defendants in
various lawsuits, ranging from bad debts, disputes with business partners
or other civil matters. 19 members of current and recent Congresses
have been accused of writing bad checks, even after the scandal several
years ago, which resulted in closure of the informal House bank that
routinely allowed members to overdraw their accounts without penalty.
14 have drug-related arrests in their background, eight were arrested
for shoplifting, seven for fraud, four for theft, three for assault
and one for criminal trespass.
This coming summer, Congress will consider renewing the block grant
program for sex abstinence education known as Title V. The federal
government has authorized up to $50 million annually for the program.
It remains to be seen if the American people will sit still and watch
more of their hard-earned money go to unnecessary studies like this,
or if we'll do something about it and say "NO!" to our congressmen.
When it comes to our kids, if the government will kindly get it's
big paws out of our pockets, we'll be able to afford the best for
Maggie Van Ostrand
26 , 2007 column