Michelle Malkin
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Ah, San Francisco. You'll be tickled to learn that the town that spawned judges who think uttering "one nation, under God" in a government-run school is an unconstitutional vulgarity, from which every delicate child must be shielded, is the same town that just hatched government-sponsored ads featuring a smiling cartoon penis with syphilis sores. I am not making this up. The city used $50,000 in taxpayer funds to create a "whimsical" public awareness project called "Healthy Penis 2002." (Motto: "Making every penis a healthy penis.") Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, the city's director of sexually transmitted disease control, told the San Francisco Chronicle this week that the ads were "sex positive" and "fun" because that's what "the community" wanted. "What we're hearing from community and focus groups is people felt the message would resonate better if it were presented in a lighter way," Klausner explained. A private company that owns bus shelters in the Castro district, the city's homosexual enclave targeted by the ad campaign, objected to the use of the pockmarked penis in the ads. The owner worried about the effect the explicit ads might have on children. At least someone did. The city agreed to remove the private part from the bus shelter ads, but crusading health officials will publish the original taxpayer-subsidized ads in gay newspapers in time for a "gay pride" celebration in the Bay Area this weekend. Meanwhile, federal funds have poured into the coffers of groups such as the Stop AIDS Project of San Francisco, which received nearly $700,000 from the Centers for Disease Control to conduct events such as the "Great Sex Workshop," "Leatherf---" and "Booty Call," which obscenely promote sexual activity among young men. In February, according to Citizens Against Government Waste, the Bay Area group also sponsored "GUYWATCH: Blow by Blow," a seminar whose advertising read, in part: "What tricks do you want to share to make your man tremble with delight?" Now, I am all for combating AIDS and syphilis, and for trying to persuade recklessly irresponsible men to stop engaging in rampant unprotected sex with multiple partners recruited from sex clubs, adult bookstores, bathhouses and the Internet -- which is how experts believe the syphilis resurgence in San Francisco (as well as San Diego, Florida, Boston and Chicago) has come about. But making sexual whimsy of a dreadfully contagious disease, and forcing taxpayers to subsidize the feel-good indulgence of homosexual and bisexual activists, violates common sense and public decency. Even Los Angeles County health officials were turned off by the Healthy Penis campaign. "We decided that, on balance, the likely benefit in terms of reaching the population we're trying to reach didn't outweigh the downside of those people that would find this objectionable," said John Schunhoff, L.A.'s chief of public health operations, which rejected the Healthy Penis ads. Not that its own substitute was much better. The City of Angels is spending nearly $400,000 on a government-backed campaign featuring "Phil," a bumpy, red cartoon syphilis sore with silver shoes and an earring, who will appear as a life-size mascot throughout the county. The city also plans to pay for the creation and distribution of 40,000 squeezable 3-inch Phil the Syphilis Sore toys. Ick. These are amazing times. While federal courts collaborate with atheist zealots to expunge every innocuous mention of religion from the public square under the guise of protecting the fragile self-esteem of unbelievers and their vulnerable children, taxpayers are forced to pay for "sex positive" propaganda spread from public streets to public schools. We are one nation, under godlessness, with government-subsidized cartoon canker dolls and booty calls for all.
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Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010).

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