CULTURAL REVOLUTIONSrnTHIS ISSUE OF CHRONICLES, wernare pleased to report, has been funded inrnpart bv a special grant from the Alex C.rnWalker Educational and CharitablernTrust of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.rnD O N N A SHALALA, Secretary of thernDepartment of Health and Human Services,rnrecently said at a press conference:rn”We have the knowledge and the technologyrnto prevent the spread [of AIDS].rnWhat we have lacked until now is thernpolitical will.” The press conference wasrnheld to introduce the latest governmentsponsoredrnnightmare: a series of commercials,rnputatively designed for AIDSrnprevention, which openly advocate, forrnthe first time in a federal governmentrnprogram, the use of condoms “consistentlyrnand correctly.” The ads are targetedrnat young adults aged 18 to 25 andrnare part of larger “community-based”rncrusades to make the world safe forrnpromiscuity. All the major televisionrnand radio stations have agreed to run thernads, although only NBC and FOX havernagreed to do so without any restrictionsrnon the time or content of the advertisements,rna fact that caused an outburstrnof applause from the reporters coveringrnthe press conference. Some stations, inrnan attack of conscience, agreed to runrnthe more explicit ads only after tags promotingrnabstinence are added. Even withrnthese minor alterations, the response tornthe condom commercials is a strikingrncontrast to the networks’ almost-total rejectionrnof a series of pro-life spots fundedrnby a private foundation.rnThe ads themselves, designed by thernfirm of Ogilvy & Mather South for thernCenters for Disease Control and Preventionrnin Atlanta, contain various scenesrnnot suitable for reprint in a family magazine,rnalthough they are already beingrnbroadcast into the living room of everyrnAmerican family—except those smartrnenough not to own a television. SecretaryrnShalala calls the ads “sophisticated,”rnand so they are: they feature cute dialoguernand high-tech animation, andrnsome include various popular performersrnto trumpet the party line, so as to grabrnthe attention of the mass of zombiesrnthat is their intended audience. Some ofrnthe nine new spots (it is said) promoternabstinence as the best policy for avoidingrnsexuallv transmitted diseases; the ads,rnhowever, indicate no place for youngrnadults to obtain information on why refrainingrnfrom sexual activity might be arngood thing yet provide a hotline to findrnout more about correct condom use.rnWhat is most disturbing about therndefenses offered by the government forrnthese ads is the blithe assurance thatrnthese advertisements are only a matter ofrnhealth policy, of “knowledge” and “technology,”rnas if questions of sexual conductrnhave ever been considered only mattersrnof health. The commercials, it is true,rnconcentrate primarily on reducing thernrisk of contracting AIDS and, by derivation,rnother such diseases; no mention isrnmade of illegitimacy, and of course therernis no discussion, above the level of personalrnpreference, of the advantages,rnmoral and social, to avoiding promiscuousrnconduct until marriage or at least arnmature age. No, these commercials, likernmost such government programs, treatrntheir charges as animals with virtuallyrnno self-control. I’he government line isrnthat well, of course, abstinence is bestrn(strictly in terms of disease prevention),rnbut we all know how kids are going to behave,rnand so we have to be “sophisticated,”rnexplain to the rutting youngstersrnthat the act of procreation is a dangerousrnand disease-ridden one, and teach themrnto treat every partner as a possible deathrnsentence.rnNowhere does it seem to occur to thernBrain Trust in Washington or Atlantarnthat a segment of the population mightrnthink these advertisements just a bit toornsophisticated for their simple tastes andrnconsider them an affront to values—likernchastity, or parental supervision, or traditionalrnnorms regarding matters of intimacyrn—they hold dear. What becomesrnclear is that while promoting the use ofrncondoms might have some health benefitsrn(although the scientific evidence isrnnot as certain as the CDC would like usrnto believe), the deeper result of a programrnlike this is to strike yet anotherrnblow at the traditional beliefs of thernAmerican people. Citizens in somernstates are already winning small victoriesrnagainst this new type of subversion.rnThe Texas Board of Education has approvedrnan abstinence program, fromrnwhich parents can remove their childrenrnif they find it inappropriate, and in NewrnYork a court has just struck down NewrnYork City’s policy of providing condomsrnto students without their parents’ knowledgernor permission, ruling that such arnprogram violates parental rights.rnShalala and company claim that therncommercials are only a small part of therntotal government package, that otherrn”community-based” programs can take arnmore flexible approach to respond to thernneeds of the members of various locales.rnThis answer strains credulity. Can wernreally believe that local programs promotingrnother messages will survive andrnnot be either strangled by a lack of federalrnfunds or attacked with the bogusrncharge of “imposing morality”? Already,rnleft-wing and homosexual activists arernpressing for more explicit commercials,rnsaying that the present ones do not givernhow-to instructions cleariy enough. InrnWashington, there is no question as tornwhether regular citizens or militant activistsrnhave the greater influence. Thatrnthe commercials ignore the plain statisticalrnfact of the disease’s victims is yet arnfurther sign that social engineering, andrnnot solely health policy, is at the root ofrnthis new campaign.rn—Gerald RussellornY E T T A M. ADAMS, an eccentric andrnmeddlesome bag lady, died on a benchrnoutside the concrete walls of the Departmentrnof Housing and Urban Developmentrnlast winter. If this had been thern80’s, her death would have been cited asrna consequence of budget cuts, greed,rnand flint-heartcdness. But thanks to arnfriendly press and a political team skilledrnat spin control, HUD Secretary HenryrnCisneros used the occasion to grandstandrnfor putting more cash in the government’srncoffers.rnIn a Washington-style act of contrition,rnHUD Secretary Henry Cisneros decriedrnhomelessness and promised an immediatern$25 million in new spending.rnNobody asked why the $28 billion therndepartment spent last year did not preventrnAdams’ death or why a tenth of onernpercent increase would make any differencernnow. Many people, including localrnfamily members, had tried to talk Ms.rnAdams into a shelter. Plenty of spacernwas available the night she died. Forrnreasons known only to her, she refusedrnhelp.rnClaiming to be grief-stricken, Mr. Cisnerosrnpounded out an op-ed for thernJUNE 1994/5rnrnrn