Commentaries - March 2010

Doug Glanville

Shadowing the season

Here is a video recording of my interview with baseball player/writer Doug Glanville. And here is a downloadable audio mp3 version.

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Anticommunists go after gays in government, 1950

Homosexuals in government, 1950
Congressional Record, volume 96, part 4, 81st Congress 2nd Session
March 29 -- April 24, 1950

ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

Mr. MILLER of Nebraska. Mr. Chairman, I realize that I am discussing a very delicate subject I cannot lay the bones bare like I could before medical colleagues. I would like to strip the fetid, stinking flesh off of this skeleton of homosexuality and tell my colleagues of the House some of the facts of nature. I cannot expose all the putrid facts as it would offend the sensibilities of some of you. It will be necessary to skirt some of the edges, and I use certain Latin terms to describe some of these individuals. Make no mistake several thousand, according to police records, are now employed by the Federal Government.

I offer this amendment to the Vorys amendment in good faith. Recently the spotlight of publicity has been focused not only upon the State Department but upon the Department of Commerce because of homosexuals being employed in these and other departments of Government. Recently Mr. Peurifoy, of the State Department, said he had allowed 91 individuals in the State Department to resign because they were homosexuals. Now they are like birds of a feather, they flock together. Where did they go?

You must know what a homosexual is. It is amazing that in the Capital City of Washington we are plagued with such a large group of those individuals. Washington attracts many lovely folks. The sex crimes in the city are many.

In the Eightieth Congress I was the author of the sex pervert bill that passed this Congress and is now a law in the District of Columbia. It can confine some of these people in St. Elizabeths Hospital for treatment. They are the sex perverts. Some of them are more to be pitied than condemned, because in many it is a pathological condition, very much like the kleptomaniac who must go out and steal, he has that urge; or like the pyromaniac, who goes to bed and wakes up in the middle of the night with an urge to go out and set a fire. He does that. Some of these homosexuals are in that class. Remember there were 91 of them dismissed in the State Department. That is a small percentage of those employed in Government. We learned 2 years ago that there were around 4,000 homosexuals in the District. The Police Department the other day said there were between five and six thousand in Washington who are active and that 75 percent were in Government employment. There are places in Washington where they gather for the purpose of sex orgies, where they worship at the cesspool and flesh pots of iniquity. There is a restaurant downtown where you will find male prostitutes. They solicit business for other male customers. They are pimps and undesirable characters. You will find odd words in the vocabulary of the homosexual. There are many types such as the necrophalia, fettichism, pygmalionism, fellatios, cunnilinguist, sodomatic, pederasty, saphism, sadism, and masochist. Indeed, there are many methods of practices among the homosexuals. You will find those people using the words as, "He is a fish. He is a bull-dicker. He is mamma and he is papa, and punk, and pimp." Yes; in one of our prominent restaurants rug parties and sex orgies go on. Some of those people have been in the State Department, and I understand some of them are now in the other departments. The 91 who were permitted to resign have gone some place, and, like birds of a feather, they flock together. Those people like to be known to each other. They have signs used on streetcars and in public places to call attention to others of like mind. Their rug and fairy parties are elaborate.

So I offer this amendment, and when the time comes for voting upon it, I hope that no one will object. I sometimes wonder how many of these homosexuals have had a part in shaping our foreign policy. How many have been in sensitive positions and subject to blackmail. It is a known fact that homosexuality goes back to the Orientals, lone before the time of Confucius; that the Russians are strong believers in homosexuality, and that those same people are able to get into the State Department and get somebody in their embrace, and once they are in their embrace, fearing blackmail, will make them go to any extent. Perhaps if all the facts were known these same homosexuals have been used by the Communists.

I realize that there is some physical danger to anyone exposing all of the details and nastiness of homosexuality, because some of these people are dangerous. They will go to any limit. These homosexuals have strong emotions. They are not to be trusted and when blackmail threatens they are a dangerous group.

The Army at one time gave these individuals a dishonorable discharge and later changed the type of discharge. They are not knowingly kept in Army service. They should not be employed in Government. I trust both sides of the aisle will support the amendment.

Page 5401-5402

Photo: George A. Dondero

Mr. DONDERO. Was there any evidence or testimony before the gentleman's committee with respect to the number of people who were separated from the service in the Department of State who had later acquired positions in other departments of Government? I refer to those whose employment was considered a security risk. Was anything said before your committee on that subject?

Mr. CLEVENGER. I will say to the gentleman, I brought that question up a year ago, as to whether the other departments would be alerted so that they might not hire these--we can name them now--these homosexuals. Until the Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Peurifoy, made that word public over in the other body, we had insufficient information so far as the committee was concerned and could not tell you. In reply to my question we were informed they were not, and unofficially we were told, or at least I was told, that they have been employed in other sections of the Government, at least most of them were.

Mr. DONDERO. The reason I asked that question is that I made inquiry by letter to find out where these people went and whether they are now employed by our Government and I have not yet received a reply giving me any information on the subject.

Mr. CLEVENGER. If the gentleman will look at the report he will find some information on that subject.

I am going to address myself now to conditions we have discovered in the Department of Commerce. When I asked the security officer if he would flag them, he said he would. I told him I was very much afraid he could not, because of an Executive order which was issued restricting the information being given on these people.

The air is full of stories. The press is full of stories. I am not passing on that.

In discussing the constitutionality of the so-called loyalty program, John Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, had occasion to cite a decision of the circuit court of appeals rendered on August 11, 1949, involving the Joint Anti-Fascist Committee. A portion of that decision is worthy of repetition here:

Contrary to the contentions of the committee, nothing in the Hatch Act or the loyalty program deprives the committee or its members of any property rights. Freedom of speech and assembly is denied no one. Freedom of though and belief is not impaired. Anyone is free to join the committee and give it his support and encouragement. Everyone has the constitutional right to do these things, but no one has a constitutional right to be a Government employee.

For emphasis permit me to repeat the last phrase, "but no one has a constitutional right to be a Government employee."

It seems to me that the crux of our entire security program lies in that phrase. It is indeed a privilege and certainly not a right to work for the Government and it is time we cleared the air on the misconceptions of a good many well-intentioned people who have been misled by the propaganda of the Communist and the fellow traveler into the belief that the burden of "proof of qualification" lies on the employer in this case, the Government, rather than on the employee. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Government has the right, nay the obligation, to set up standards for performance of duty not only for prospective employees but for those already on the rolls. This sacred obligation to the taxpayer implies the summary removal of any employee who does not measure up to these standards, the avails and crocodile tears of the fuzzy-minded to the contrary notwithstanding. It is tragically true that our present administration has been sadly lacking in the courage or capacity necessary to carry out these obligations but this does not excuse, or in no way alter or mitigate these obligations.

We have heard a great deal in recent weeks concerning the security risks within the Department of State and I would like to say that while I am not familiar with the charges being bandied about I think the basic issue has been somewhat obscured in the unfortunate partisanship that has developed in this inquiry that is of prime importance to every American, Republican or Democrat.

The sob sisters and thumb-sucking liberals are crying for proof of disloyalty in the form of overt acts, on any security risks who are being removed from the Government rolls, but shed no tears for the lives lost as a result of the activities of the Hiss', Coplon's, and the Wadleigh's, all of whom would or did pass the loyalty standards with flying colors.

I wish the American people would keep in mind the fact that a security risk does not have to be a member of the Communist Party or even of a Communist-front organization. It is not only conceivable but highly probable that many security risks are loyal Americans; however, there is something in their background that represents a potential possibility that they might succumb to conflicting emotions to the detriment of the national security. Perhaps they have relatives behind the iron curtain and thus would be subject to pressure. Perhaps they are addicted to an overindulgence in alcohol or maybe they are just plain garrulous. The most flagrant example is the homosexual who is subject to the most effective blackmail. It is an established fact that Russia makes a practice of keeping a list of sex perverts in enemy countries and the core of Hitler's espionage was based on the intimidation of these unfortunate people.

Despite this fact however, the Under Secretary of State recently testified that 91 sex perverts had been located and fired from the Department of State. For this the Department must be commended. But have they gone far enough? Newspaper accounts quote Senate testimony indicating there are 400 more in the State Department and 4,000 in Government. Where are they? Who hired them? Do we have a cell of these perverts hiding around Government? Why are they not ferreted out and dismissed? Does the Department of State have access to information in the files of the Washington Police Department? Are we to assume that the State Department has a monopoly on this problem? What are the other Departments of Government doing about this ?

For years we had a public prejudice against mentioning in public such loath some diseases as gonorrhea and cancer. In effecting cures for these maladies the medical people recognized the first step was in public education. These matters were brought before the public and frankly discussed and it was not until then that progress was really made, It is time to bring this homosexual problem into the open and recognize the problem for what it is.

The Commerce Department hearings are somewhat enlightening in regard to the entire security problem and I would suggest that interested Members read them in detail beginning on page 2260.

Here we find that the Commerce Department has not located any homosexuals in their organization. Are we to believe that in the face of the testimony of the District of Columbia police that 75 percent of the 4,000 perverts in the District of Columbia are employed by the Government, that the Department of Commerce has none?

What is wrong with this loyalty program that does not uncover these matters, and when it does, adopts an attitude of looking for proof of disloyalty in the form of overt acts rather than elements of security risk? Is it not possible for the Government to refuse employment on the grounds of lack of qualifications where risk is apparent? This is not necessarily an indictment or conviction; it is merely the exercise of caution for the common welfare.

security? what security? we don't really mean security


Every once in a while I've been checking the blog of unnecessary quotation marks. Scare quotes and other similar infelicitous uses of quotation have long driven "me" "crazy." The title of the blog entry featuring the massage sign above is: Real Pros. Ah, the unintended euphemisms of our daily lives.

I feel like I'm being pitched a product in a cheesy office sitcom

Hillary Reinsberg, one of my advisees here at Penn and a fabulously snarky blogger and twitterer, is writing pieces now for The Huffington Post. Her first piece is about technology in the classroom. The power-point-aided lecture of today puts her to sleep. "While our parents' generation bemoans those pontificating figureheads of yesteryear, could today's PowerPoint-reliant professors be even worse?" Anyone who has read this blog's more or less constant campaign against the lecture will easily guess that I'm going to side with Hillary, although in my view she doesn't quite find the core of the problem. Giving an old-fashioned "oration" in lieu of PowerPoint slides is not really any better. The problem is that, given what new media enables us to do outside the classroom time and space, we are still using that precious site for set-piece talks (talkings-at) rather than real interaction, which is the mode in which people learn best. But I like Hillary's skeptical verve here and I'm proud to say that students don't fall asleep in my classroom (they can't; they're too edgily ready to talk next).

Bruce Finsilver: "My favorite falling-asleep-in-class story from Penn: One morning as I was walking into a lecture, the students exiting the previous class were all ‘shushing’ us. I saw a poor guy sound asleep in the 5th row. Our lecturer walked in and began as usual. After about a half-hour, the sleeper woke up. We all watched as he tried to figure out where he was and what to do about it; should he sit out the rest of the lecture and pretend nothing was amiss, or should he just get up and leave? He finally stood up and marched out to general hysteria from the rest of us."