Hooray for Porn!
In his letter in the July 17 Bohemian, Nick Stewart cites pornography as a source of violence against women. The last I knew, this popular belief was not supported by the research—quite the contrary.
A subject like pornography attracts lots of crappy, biased research that gets publicized, but when scientists separate out the bogus studies and review the properly designed ones, they find no support for any link between pornography and sex crimes. See the "Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography" (1970) and Dr. Edna Einsiedel's overview of the research (1986). The National Research Council's Panel on Understanding and Preventing Violence (1993) wrote: "Studies of individual sex offenders have found no link between their offenses and their use of pornography; if anything, they do not appear to use pornography as much as the average male." UCLA's Larry Baron (1990) found a positive correlation between sales of sexually explicit material in a community and gender equality.
Worldwide, when pornography is legalized or becomes more available or more explicit, sexual assaults don't increase—in fact, they usually decrease. For instance, Denmark's legalization of hardcore pornography in 1965 was followed by large decreases in all types of sexual assault. So, ironically, restrictions on pornography likely result in more sexual violence, not less.
Marching on Chevron
All across America, people are getting very serious about addressing climate chaos, a disastrous problem we have brought upon ourselves. We are clear about what has caused the problem: predominantly, the burning of fossil fuels.
We are clear about the solutions we must adopt to address the problem and secure a good future. We must rapidly transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. We must leave the dirtiest of fossil fuels in the ground. This is an effort we can make in our personal, political and economic lives.
Next week, there is something you can do to help. On Aug. 3, people will march to the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, demanding the changes we need. This event has incredible potential to bring together thousands on the doorstep of the largest climate polluter in the state, and to build the movement to stop climate chaos. Please join in to help create the biggest rally on the West Coast this year and to make a large impact on our public discourse.
Contact joinsummerheat.org for more information on how to join in.
Where Is Carrillo?
On a day when his fellow supervisors spent 10 minutes chastising his behavior in a public meeting, Efren Carrillo was somewhere, anywhere, we-don't-know-where, in "rehab." Meanwhile, no further facts have come to light that make his attempt to break into a woman's bedroom at 3 in the morning any more explainable, other than the actions of a disturbed individual who is unfit to serve. Why has he issued no further statement about what happened that night?
It's time for Carrillo to either speak up or step down.
Screams for Help
I have a few more questions I'd like to ask George Zimmerman, his supporters and the jury that acquitted him.
First, why would a man carrying a gun need to scream "Help! Help! Somebody please help me!" when being attacked by an unarmed person? Wouldn't the man with a gun just shoot the attacker? Doesn't it make more sense that an unarmed person confronted by a man with a gun would be the one screaming "Help!"?
Second, why is an unarmed person confronted by a man with a gun not allowed to protect himself by any means necessary, while a man with a gun is allowed to shoot and kill an unarmed person whose only crime is trying to protect himself?
Think about it, Zimmerman supporters. Think long and hard.
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