I have long expressed admiration for the American Civil Liberties Union for ardently defending the Constitution in our legislatures and courts, including the Supreme Court. Since September 2001 the ACLU has had a much tougher task thanks to the Bush-Cheney and Obama administrations. At times, however, I have strongly disagreed with ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. Such was the case after a jury acquitted Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman—on grounds of self-defense—of fatally shooting Trayvon Martin. Romero wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. and said “it is imperative that the Department of Justice thoroughly examine whether the Martin shooting was a federal civil-rights violation or hate crime.” Years ago I had a particularly long, fierce argument with Romero. I tried to explain that giving a convicted defendant additional prison time for a so-called hate crime violates the First Amendment because it imposes punishment of thoughts, not actions.
I brought James Madison into my argument with Romero. He was the Founding Father who introduced the Bill of Rights—including what came to be the First Amendment—to Congress. Madison had previously written to Thomas Jefferson after the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom was passed: “We have in this country extinguished forever…making laws for the human mind.” No American, Madison emphasized later, would be punished for his “thoughts.”
By urging that Zimmerman be prosecuted again, Romero disregards the Fifth Amendment which unequivocally stipulates: “nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy.”
Suddenly, though, Breitbart.com reported that Romero was not speaking for the entire ACLU. Laura Murphy, director of its Washington office, sent a letter to Attorney General Holder. She said: “We are writing to clearly state the ACLU’s position on whether or not the Department of Justice should consider bringing federal civil rights or hate crimes charges as a result of the state court acquittal in the George Zimmerman case. The ACLU believes the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution protects someone from being prosecuted in another action. A jury found Zimmerman not guilty, and that should be the end of the criminal case.”
Americans love to be lied to; otherwise I Edward Snowden would be a wildly popular national hero. Same for Bradley Manning, Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange and others who risk their freedom to inform us about the myriad ways we are continually deceived by our government These whistleblowers are performing a public service. They’re democracy’s lifeblood, nourishing the essential ingredient that our proclaimed form of governance requires: an informed public. If we are ignorant, our votes mean nothing.
In exposing lies and government misdeeds, the whistleblowers revealed that our leaders are not always virtuous. Snowden has been accused of espionage because he exposed the vast spying network that our own government conducts against us. How can it be that a truth teller who seeks to protect our rights is judged the criminal, not the government officials who brazenly subvert the Constitution?
Our government lies to us frequently and conceals that fact by classifying as “top secret” any and all embarrassing information. However, those so-called secrets are routinely leaked to the news media whenever it serves the purpose of the White House, an agency or one of its officials. Anonymous sourcing of stories attributing information to those not cleared to reveal what they are telling is the norm. During my years working as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, anonymous sources babbled about the most sensitive subjects of national security or anything else they wanted publicized.
An example I cite often was a personal experience in 1985. After exiting a plane in San Jose, California, I ran into Edward Teller, the famed physicist and “father of the H-bomb,” whom I had interviewed several times. Teller was then adviser to President Reagan on his pet Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), dubbed “Star Wars,” and I was on my way to Stanford University to participate in an arms-control seminar.
Teller was very eager to tell me about the great results of a top-secret test—code-named Cottage—involving the nuclear-driven X-ray laser that was at the heart of SDI. If Teller’s claim were true, this would be the most impor¬tant development in the U.S.-Soviet arms race implementing a defense system that would zap any incoming nuclear warhead as it traveled through space
I know from personal experience that the most impor-tant thing a U.S. President can do is use his power to appoint judges to our country’s most powerful courts. Long after the chief executive has left office, the jus-tices will still be there, making decisions that will affect every aspect of our lives.
“I may sound bratty, but I love attention,” admits this “driven, extroverted, humorous and eccentric” 21-year-old collegian out of Charlotte, North Carolina. What merits Naomi’s attention when the business major isn’t hitting the books or waitressing are drawing, writing, swimming, clubbing, Breaking Bad, Weeds and cartoons. But the 5-foot-5 single gal “with a big heart” discloses, “My favorite hobby is sex, and I like it rough—slapping, biting, bondage and role- play. That’s why I hope to meet a guy who is super nice to me but beats the ever-living shit out of me in bed.” As for modeling nude, Naomi concludes, “I want to enunciate the fact that sex sells. Contrary to popular belief, I want to prove that a girl can use her body and her brain to profit.”
“I’ve admired the sexy ladies in Boobslovin.com and wanted to be one myself for a long time,” proclaims Renyx Flame, 19, a “high-energy performer and certified mechanic on the side” from Atlantic city. “Being published will make my fan base blow up!” Demolishing any hint of modesty, the 5-foot-7 Breaking Benjamin and horror-flick fan fesses up, “I love getting screwed in crazy places. I’ve had sex in the back of a movie theater, in a tree house and on the hood of cars in the repair shop I used to work at.” Renyx touts, “I’m super flexible, so I can twist myself into fun positions, and I’m amazing at deep-throating. I love surprising my guy with a blowjob while he’s watching a Cowboys game.” Game for more public forays, Renyx coos, “One of my fantasies is to have sex on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.”
“I feel I can benefit from this experience,” says Natily Taylor, 18, a “fun, relaxed and bi-curious” waitress from Truckee, California. “I am discarding my shyness if someone wants me to pose naked.” The 5-foot-6 newbie’s interests include “writing, drawing, Insane Clown Posse, shooting at gun ranges and riding horses,” but two others are more interesting. “I love giving blowjobs and having sex in a shower,” naughty Natily asserts
Born in the Philippines and raised in Seattle, Washington, the “sassy tattoo model” and popular webcam teaser admits she made some bitter enemies in high school when she fucked a classmate’s boyfriend. “This group of girls hated me for that,” Charmaine recalls. “They egged my house and crank-called me. I think they’re all single mothers now though, so who got the last laugh, bitches?”
Thrilled about not being tied down by parental responsibilities, Charmaine can do whatever the hell she wants. “My girlfriend and I were in L.A., and we both were super drunk. We met up with this guy and tag-teamed him in bed. I’d never done anything like that before. I love to be roughed around. I love to bite! I have a biting problem, especially when I’m drunk! I just love hurting people in a good way.”
A porn star loves humming? There’s a surprise. I resist the easy pun and ask Tanya if she listens exclusively to show tunes. ‘I’m primarily an old-fashioned girl,” she confides. (Another adventuress in the bedroom only.) “I like a lot of stuff from the ’80s and Cream, Eurythmics, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin. When I go on a road trip, that’s all I listen to.” “Any contemporary music on your iPod at all?” I wonder. “Some electronic music for my workouts,” Tanya replies. “And Sade’s ‘No Ordinary Love.’ Whenever I hear it, I want to make love. Any guy I’m with when that’s playing can generally get lucky.”
“I should have been a 70s teenager,” declares porn diva . “Most of my iPod is filled with classic Motown: Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight. I love ’em all.”
Who knows why it took us until the fourth installment to catch up with this nasty little series from the aptly named Morally Corrupt? Maybe we’re just too civilized. This one starts with a “Rush Sale” in which dudes bid on stripped pledges like they’re pieces of meat. (Your daughter’s prob-ably doing this in her college dorm right now.) Then they bust out the double-sided dildos, which makes for pussy-dripping fun all around. (The butt-bumping bit is cuter than kittens in a fishbowl.) The next vignette, “Snitches Are Bitches,” fea¬tures a batch of fresh fish tormented by their sorority sisters and oiled up in a wrestling pit for some slimy face-sitting and pussy-eating. Choice snatches of dialogue include “Make me come now, bitch!” and “Shove your face in her ass!”
I wish it had been me knocking on his door that fateful morning in early May. Or better yet me and “Big Lou.” Swiping the electronic master key into the slot on the door, calling out “Housekeeping” before entering, walking in with the vacuum cleaner in one hand and a spray bottle of disinfectant in the other.
How priceless it would have been to employ my own shock doctrine. To gloat as the fear registered on the face of the “rutting chimpanzee” as he came rampaging out of the toilet. The look of a lifetime of arrogance and privilege instantly replaced with confusion and pain as a quick blast of sodium hydroxide scalded to red the gray jellied sack that swung loosely between his legs. How I would have been the one laughing like a little girl as “Big Lou” closed in for the kill and kicked his hands away from his crotch, his legs out from under him and blew the asshole a kiss as he crashed to the floor panicking. His screams drowned out by the vacuum cleaner as it slurped up his shriveled pinkie, giving him the blowjob of his life.
Beautiful You began with my vague memory of finding some pornographic paperback books in my father’s closet. I was six or seven and could hardly read. They had titles like Hot Cowgirl Slut Ranch. None of what I read in them made sense, but neither did the soft-focus romance novels my mother read. The challenge in Beautiful You was to write an action-packed “gonzo erotica” book, but using the overblown language of bodice-ripper romances. It’s a book I could only write with both my parents dead.
“I’m open to it,” she tells me. “As long as it’s not some muscle-bound, tattooed guy who thinks I’m a hard-partying, badass chick.”
“But you are a badass chick,” I almost say. Christy is not easily figured out, however. So for the second time that afternoon I ask her to explain herself.
“I know I look badass, but that’s not me,” she says. “I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs or like to party. And at work I deal with extremes— pumped-up guys with lots of tattoos. In my personal life I’d like someone nondescript—a quiet, average guy.”