Monday, July 31, 2006

There She Goes Again

Ann Coulter has stuck her bony foot in her mouth again.

Last Tuesday, on the CNBC show “The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch” commented on former President Bill Clinton’s sexual proclivities, stating that his promiscuity indicates “latent homosexuality”!

Following is a partial transcript from the show. My comments will be in bold and italics:

DEUTSCH: Off the air, you were talking about Bill Clinton. Is there anything you want to say about Clinton? No?


DEUTSCH: OK. All right. Did you find him attractive? Was that what it was?


DEUTSCH: You don’t find him attractive?

COULTER: No. OK, fine, I’ll say it on air.

DEUTSCH: Most women find him attractive.


DEUTSCH: OK, say it on air.

COULTER: I think that sort of rampant promiscuity does show some level of latent homosexuality.

Really, now? Such “rampant promiscuity” simply means the man is a libertine and that he gets horny a lot. Period. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, you know. Coulter obviously knows little about human sexuality if she thinks promiscuous = homosexual. Not all homosexuals are libertines, nor are all libertines homosexual, as I can personally attest.

DEUTSCH: OK, I think you need to say that again. That Bill Clinton, you think on some level, has — is a latent homosexual, is that what you’re saying?

COULTER: Yeah. I mean, not sort of just completely anonymous — I don’t know if you read the Starr report, the rest of us were glued to it, I have many passages memorized. No, there was more plot and dialogue in a porno movie.

Glued to the Starr report? Memorized some passages? Damn, the woman really needs to get a life!

DEUTSCH: I’m not paying any attention. I’m still stuck on Bill Clinton. Don’t — now, isn’t that an example of mean-spirted? Isn’t that just a mean-spirited low blow? No pun intended.

COULTER: No. Which part of what I said?

DEUTSCH: I think this…

COULTER: Well, you can read high crimes and misdemeanors if he wants some low blows.

DEUTSCH: OK. No, no. Here’s a — here’s a president of the United States…

COULTER: There’s merely a comment.

DEUTSCH: …a former president of the United States, and just saying, `You know what? I think he has latent homosexual tendencies.’

COULTER: No. I think anyone with that level of promiscuity where, you know, you — I mean, he didn’t know Monica’s name until their sixth sexual encounter. There is something that is — that is of the bathhouse about that.

Rolling eyes heavenward. Surely she must know that many straight men engage in casual sex and one doesn’t need to go to a “bathhouse” to do so?

DEUTSCH: But what is the homosexual — that’s — you could say somebody who maybe doesn’t celebrate women the way he should or just is that he’s a hound dog?

COULTER: No. It’s just random, is this obsession with his…

DEUTSCH: But where’s the — but where’s the homosexual part of that? I’m — once again, I’m speechless here.

COULTER: It’s reminiscent of a bathhouse. It’s just this obsession with your own — with your own essence.

DEUTSCH: But why is that homosexual? You could say narcissistic.


DEUTSCH: You could say nymphomaniac.

Or you could merely say libertine. It’s like the old saying about women goes, “A slut is simply a woman who has more sex than you do”.

COULTER: Well, there is something narcissistic about homosexuality. Right? Because you’re in love with someone who looks like you. I’m not breaking new territory here, why are you looking at me like that?

Because you’ve gone off the deep end, Annie!

Personally, I think she’s jealous because Bill Clinton has a much easier time getting laid than she does.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Living Wage?

Last week, the Chicago City Council passed a "Living Wage Act". This ordinance requires that "big box" retailers who make profits of over 1 billion dollars a year and who have stores of at least 90,000 square feet to pay wages of at least ten dollars an hour, plus another 3 dollars in fringe benefits to be implemented by 2010.

Opponents said that this measure would only cause retailers, such as Wal Mart, to simply abandon the city and to cancel any further development there. While this is no doubt true, there has to be a better solution than simply lying down and allowing such retailers to get richer and richer on the backs and sweat of poorly paid workers.

I was listening to talk radio, where the host and a caller were discussing this, both saying they "didn't blame" Wal Mart for abandoning such markets. No concern whatsoever was expressed for the thousands of workers presently being exploited for poverty wages by these greedy mega-retailers.

Well, I don't feel sorry for Wal Mart at all. After all, the company owes its success to its employees, without whom Wal Mart could not operate. This ordinance would not keep Wal Mart and other similar retailers from making a profit -- it would merely slow the rate down some and spread the wealth around more equitably within the company. They're in no danger of going out of business, so to hell with their "I want it all now" greed.

In related news, the House passed a bill for a minimum wage increase on Saturday. Good news? Well, it would have been, if not for the measure tacked on to the bill by House Republicans that would cut the inheritance tax on multimillion dollar estates.

Republicans have no interest in raising the minimum wage, but they know that Democrats won't vote to give rich people tax breaks, so if Democrats vote against the bill, the Republicans can paint Democrats as the bad guys for not voting for a measure that would help working people. They're also hoping that some Democrats will hold their noses and vote for it anyway, thus acheiving their goals of helping the rich get richer.
In other words, the maneuver was aimed at defusing the minimum wage increase as a campaign issue for Democrats while using the popularity of the increase to achieve the Republican Party's goal of permanently cutting estate taxes


Thursday, July 27, 2006

More Old Journal Entries

Following are more entries from my old journal from my police days...

August 27, 1988

This past weekend, I drew jail detail. I went in there on Saturday morning to find there were 15 people on the A side, 3 more than capacity. And half them belonged in a detox center, not jail. I ended up sending one to the hospital for the DTs (some of the winos called it the DDTs) and he was at the ER for 4 hours before they brought him back. This was nothing compared to what second shift had. An hour after I left, one of the trusty prisoners totally flipped out in DTs. The trusties were sitting on the carport getting some air and this guy suddenly started jumping through the weeds like a rabbit. They finally corralled him and took him to the hospital, but the they ended up sending him right the hell on back to us.

I came in the next day and they had him locked in a cell, totally off his rocker. The floor of his cell was completely covered in water and soggy newspapers. He had allowed the front part of his bunk to collapse and he was sitting on the tilting bed, as is. He thought he was in a big truck and wanted me to set the brake before it went out of control. He was talking to people that weren't there and was having an earnest conversation with the toilet. The hospital had sent Librium back with him, but that was like pouring a glass of water on the Chicago fire.. I was annoyed that the hospital had sent back a person so obviously in need of medical help. They do it all the time and I hate it because we are not set up to take care of sick people and we are not medically trained. The jail is in one sense a dumping ground. We end up having to take the people they won't take elsewhere. A lot of the people we get don't really belong in jail, but they can't get the help they need elsewhere, because of financial reasons. A middle class alcoholic can go to a detox center, the poor ones end up in jail.

August 28, 1988

The mall has a big problem with loud, rowdy teenagers loitering there, picking fights with each other, drag racing around the parking lot, and so on. A group of them mugged a 72 year old woman the other day. Another officer proposed a funny solution -- we bus all the winos from the viaduct to the mall and move the teenagers to the viaduct!

August 29, 1988

Last night we brought in one who was bucking for the "Asshole of the Month" award. He was very sarcastic and belligerent, verbally abusing everyone in sight. He refused to use the phone because he thought it was "bugged". When he was put in the cell, he promptly dismantled the bed and flooded the cell. When he bitched about this, I told him he had made his bed and that now he could lie in it. Later on, he started whistling for the jailer instead of calling him by voice. I don't know about the jailer, but hell could freeze over before I would come in response to a whistle. The day I respond to a whistle is the day I strap on a dog collar.

September 26, 1988

The fair is gone and not a moment too soon. It ended with a bang, as usual. Second shift had a rip-roaring drunk brought in last night. He ripped up the fingerprint cards and threw them at the jailer. When he was put in his cell, he promptly broke the toilet in there. They decided to send him to the county mental tank. They put him in the paddy wagon and he promptly did a donkey act, kicking out the back door of the van, and running into the field with handcuffs on.

October 6, 1988

Today, about a half hour before we got off, someone got shot at one of the projects. Another officer was bringing a prisoner to the jail as the call went out over the radio. When he heard that, he just shoehorned the guy out the door to the jailer and sped off. The shooter turned out to be one of our regulars and he had shot this guy in the leg in a fight over a woman. Dumbass.

October 24, 1988

Last night the Sgt. called out on the radio that he was opening the gas pumps, asking if any units needed gas. The dispatcher responded, "10-4!". The Sgt popped back, "J, I didn't think you needed any more gas!"

November 25, 1988

Tonight, a guy was arrested, caught trying to steal a pickup truck. When questioned about it, he said he was sick of walking. Yet, he had $170 in his pocket. Too cheap to call a cab, I guess. I told him he should have tried to steal a Pinto instead of a truck -- that way he would have only been charged with petit larceny!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Andrea Yates Retrial

Browsing the news today, I discovered that Andrea Yates is having a retrial for the murder of her five children by drowning in 2001. Her original conviction was overturned because erroneous testimony may have influenced jurors.

There's no question that she's guilty, the question is whether she was of sound mind when she did it. In other words, what will be decided is whether she goes to prison or to a mental hospital.

While I think she needs to be held accountable for this heinous crime, her psychiatric history brings many mitigating factors into how this case should be decided.

She has a long history of mental instability, and the type of life she led only exacerbated her problems. One doctor had even recommended that she not have any more children.

However, her instability and her religious beliefs hampered her ability to do what was best for her and the children she had. She was married to an extreme fundamentalist husband and they both believed that a wife was to be submissive to her husband and obey him in everything, no matter how unreasonable.

Rusty Yates did not believe in birth control, public schools, nor did he want his wife earning money. And he was frugal with his money. He moved the entire family into a small trailer, decided that Andrea should homeschool the children, and decided to ignore the advice from the doctor that Andrea not have more children, believing it was up to God to decide how many children they would have. Andrea, as a proper submissive fundamentalist wife, and one with shaky self-esteem, did not challenge any of these decisions, but went along with it, even as it continued to erode her already precarious mental health.

One day, she snapped. Unfortunately, her innocent children paid the price.

She's guilty. No doubt about that. And she needs to pay for what she did. No question about that, either.

But I can't help but think that it's not right that Rusty Yates will go completely scot-free for his contribution to this tragedy. He might not have personally drowned those children, but he most certainly poured gasoline on the fire of Andrea's mental illness that ultimately led to the crime. I'm thinking that if he'd taken her mental illness more seriously, this was a crime that could have been prevented.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Female Libertines

Recently, I was listening to talk radio, where the host was talking about how men are "hard-wired" for casual sex. He stated, correctly in most cases, that a man can truly love his significant other, yet will be easily able to have a fleeting encounter with another woman, without it meaning a thing, forgotten as soon as the tryst has concluded. He went on to say that too much familiarity can kill a relationship for a man, which I've found to be true for me.

It was only when he started talking about women when I began to disagree with him, thinking he was excessively simplifying matters; painting too broad of a brush to explain women's behavior. He trotted out the old tired cliches about all women being unable to separate sex from love, always desiring a relationship rather than casual sex, etc.

The underlying assumption here was that "boys will be boys" and women had better not complain when a guy is acting according to his nature. Another implication was that women had better not act like "one of the boys" sexually, as it's presumably easier for women to remain monogamous and that it's almost unnatural for her not to want to do so, thus it's a worse transgression if she is not than it would be for a man.

And I consider those who wink at promiscuous males, but refer to promiscuous females in a derogatory fashion such as "slut", "whore", etc to be hypocrites if the first order. What's good for the gander being good for the goose and all that, you know. Personally, I'm glad to have known so many women with a matter of fact attitude toward sex.

While it may be true that a majority of women do not view casual sex in the same way as the average male, it doesn't necessarily follow that this is an immutable, universal, or necessary thing. Through my vast experience with women, I can say with the utmost confidence that female libertines most assuredly do exist, though likely there are presently fewer of them than male libertines. Logic only backs me up: for every promiscuous male, there are many more women who helped him to earn the title "promiscuous".

Nor does address the reasons why this is generally true. Until recently, in the days before legal and safe birth control and abortion, promiscuous women had the threat of unintended pregnancies hanging over their heads. Considering the varying levels of social disapproval and sanctions that came along with unwed pregnancy, this was a major deterrent for most women to engage in casual sex.

Related to this is that married women have always been punished much more severely for extracurricular sex. The driving force behind this had to do with property and inheritance -- a man needed to know which children were actually his. Nowadays, with DNA testing, this factor has essentially become a moot point.

Also, a woman who had the label "slut" hung on her usually found it hard to enter into a "good" marriage. In the past, when women were prevented from making a decent living to support themselves and when there were few support systems to help raise her children....and certainly no day care centers....not being able to find a suitable husband could ruin a woman's entire life.

There have always been female libertines, especially among the wealthy who have always lived according to their own rules, but nowadays, with effective birth control, legal abortion, DNA testing, and approaching equality in career opportunities, libertinism is no longer just for privileged women. Since the sixties, increasing numbers of women have approached sex in a more "male" fashion, and because recent scientific research has shown that neither sex is naturally monogamous, I'm guessing that women's and men's attitudes toward sex will become more and more similar as time goes by.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Left Hand of God: Review

The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right

Michael Lerner

Date: 07 February, 2006 — $15.72 — Book

product page


Review of The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right

I wanted to like this book, I really did. Thought the author has some good ideas, he ruined the book with a repetitious and rambling writing style that made it very hard for me to wade through this wordy morass and actually finish it.

The author, a rabbi, challenges the idea that religious conservatives have the corner on spiritual values that are relevant to politics. Religious conservative ideas, which conform to the financial bottom line, are what Lerner calls the "Right Hand of God". He asserts that liberals should not abandon the spiritual perspective on politics to the right wing, and they should reclaim the ethical high ground that religious liberals in the past, such as Martin Luther King, espoused.

Most of his ideas I agree with, such as restructuring the workplace so that we work to live rather than live to work, universal health care, legislation that would compel corporations to operate more responsibly in regards to the environment and in relation with their employees, and so on. And, interestingly enough, Rabbi Lerner agrees with me that the government should get out of the marriage business, though I found his solution of turning legal marriage into "civil unions" for everyone, while "marriage" would be a private, religious matter to be only a partial answer. Still, however, it is a step in the right direction.

Lerner has some good ideas if you don't mind cutting through all the verbosity -- this book could have been edited to one third its length and still retained all the important points. However, I highly recommend that readers pass on buying it and get it from the library instead.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Request I Will Not Fulfill

I've been seeing the woman who is my primary lover for nearly two years now. She knows how I live my life, and she accepts that. However, in recent months, she's expressed the desire to have a baby, despite knowing that I have absolutely no desire to marry or raise children again.

She says she understands this, and wants to do so anyhow as a single mother, willing to take full custody and responsibility.

As much as I'd like to give her what she wants, I know that being a single parent is more than she imagines it would be. And no matter how sincere her vow not to make me financially responsible, I'm not at all sure she might not change her mind once she'd see how hard it is raising a kid on your own, and if she did so, the government would stand firmly behind her to enforce support from me, no matter what she and I agreed to privately.


Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Republican Ten Commandments

The Republican Ten Commandments

I. Thou shalt talk about Christian principles, but not live by them

II. Thou shalt attack opponents personally when you can't win on policies

III. Thou shalt call yourself pro-life, but be in favor of the death penalty

IV. Thou shalt call yourself pro-life, and put guns in the hands of school children

V. Thou shalt give lip service to democracy while taking away civil liberties

VI. Profit is the Lord Thy God, thou shalt not put the people's interest above those of your corporate contributors

VII. Thou shalt make sure fetuses have health coverage, but leave children and babies behind

VIII Thou shalt bear false witness against your opponents and liberals, and demonize them

IX. Thou shalt run on a moderate platform, then enact right-wing policies as soon as possible

X. Thou shalt call the media liberal, so that people forget that the media is owned by corporations with a conservative fiscal agenda

Friday, July 14, 2006

Censorship vs. Education

We've all heard of attempts to have certain books banned in schools. Such calls for censorship usually come from fundamentalist parents or groups who object to such things as language, mature themes, and topics perceived to be "anti-Christian", as in the case of the Harry Potter books.

Up until now, all such censorship attempts have involved books to be read by minors who have not yet graduated from high school. Yesterday, I heard a new twist on the school censorship issue that just boggles my mind.

Ken Wingate,
a member of the South Carolina's Council on Higher Education, has made a formal protest of a book that all incoming Clemson freshmen are required to read this summer. Wingate believes that the subject matter is too sexually oriented for young people.

The book, "Truth and Beauty" by Ann Patchett, who will give a lecture at Clemson about the book,
is a memoir of a friendship between two women who meet in graduate school.

Claiming that the book
lacks moral values and encourages promiscuity, Wingate said, "The book contains a very extensive list of over-the-top sexual and anti-religious references.The explicit message this sends to students is that they are encouraged to find themselves sexually."

Imagine that. Young adults finding themselves sexually. Even though many people this age are over fighting a war in Iraq and are legally able to get married, this man apparently believes that it would be preferable if such adults should remain in the dark about their sexuality.

Wingate went on to say,
"The book talks in graphic terms about pornography, about fetishes, masturbation and about multiple sexual partners and seducing fellow students. It is way over the top."

I wonder how many actual 18 year olds this man knows? I can't think of one who would be shocked by any of this. And does he seriously believe that if he succeeded banning this book that these topics would go away and young adults would never think about them? Does he think that treating 18 year olds like 8 year olds in any way adds to a quality university education?

Wingate wrote to Clemson President James Barker, saying, "
As a Clemson alumnus, a Clemson parent, and a member of the Commission on Higher Education, I suggest that you pull the plug on the author's lecture and offer an alternative book for the freshmen." He called the university's choice of this book, "a serious lack of judgment".

In response, Clemson has stuck to its guns and will not alter the reading program, at least for this year.

I don't know about you, but I intend to read Patchett's book, even though this probably would not have been a book I'd have chosen otherwise.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Workplace or Playground?

I was listening to conservative talk show host, Jay Severin, the other night in the car, where he made the comment that he hires only "attractive" women for his office.

Severin, a self-avowed libertine, says he wants such women to take with him on business trips who will be amenable to "fooling around". He also asserted that it should be his right to hire people using whatever criteria he wants, because he doesn't depend on government funds to operate his office.

Despite being a fellow libertine, I see several things wrong with this, though agreeing in principle that people should have the right to conduct private businesses as they see fit as long as everyone agrees to the terms.

First of all, it's generally not a good idea to play where you make your money, even if you're the boss. I know, personally, I'd not ever get any work done that way. And it's not necessary to have all your female employees be potential bed partners -- imagine the catfight potential there -- which could further disrupt the workplace. Even if you end up messing around with one or two of your employees, you still need some folks around to mind the store!

Secondly, I'm sure Severin has a very narrow definition of "attractive", which no doubt totally conforms to what is currently fashionable. And, as he should already know as a libertine of my own generation, that "good looking" doesn't always mean "good at it". In fact, in my experience, I've found out that the reverse tends to be true more often. Many extremely good looking women are high maintenance who think they've done their job and are doing you a favor simply by agreeing to sleep with you, and women whose appearances are not currently in fashion often make up for it with attitude and technique.

Plus, it's not logical to assume that just because a woman matches the current fashionably attractive ideal in our society that she is also into casual sex. Again, such attitudes don't always correlate with one's appearance. In my experience, good at it goes a much longer way than good looking.

And, lastly, I'm guessing Severin wouldn't like it very much if the shoe were on the other foot. He'd be crying bloody murder if he'd been passed up for a job he was qualifed for if a female boss didn't find him sufficiently studly for her taste. What's good for the goose is good for the gander and all that, you know.


Monday, July 10, 2006

Marriage or LLC

Last week, the cause for same sex marriage was set back when New York rejected a proposal that would extend legal marriage to homosexual monogamous couples and Georgia reinstated its ban of such marriages.

Though I believe that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation should have the same rights in regards to legal marriage, the continuing intransigent opposition to gay marriage confirms my belief that advocates are going about this in the wrong way. Indeed, at the rate we’re going, it appears it would take over a century before same sex marriage would be recognized everywhere in the USA.

Instead of advocating that marriage in its present form be extended to gays and lesbians, I firmly believe that marriage ought to be abolished altogether as a legal category for everyone. It’s none of the government’s business whom consenting adults choose to have intimate relationships with and it’s not the government’s place to sponsor or advocate any particular relationship form by extending legal benefits to only one form, excluding all others.

Some might agree with me in principle that it’s not up to the government to define what a valid relationship is through legal marriage, but point out that marriage is about more than simply legitimizing a particular form of sexual relationship. There are a large number of practical benefits our government extends to legally married couples. Every U.S. state has 170-350 rights and responsibilities connected with legal marriage. The number and exact rights vary from state to state. Federal laws relating to marriage number more than 1,138, according to Partners Task Force. Such benefits include tax breaks, health insurance benefits, next of kin rights, immigration issues, and so on.

Because of such benefits, most people are unwilling to forego the idea of legal marriage altogether, even if they agree with the fundamental idea that it is a governmental invasion of privacy into people’s intimate personal lives.

Some have advocated a middle position between legal marriage being extended to same sex couples and abolishing legal marriage altogether. They rightly point out that marriage has traditionally been understood as having two components: civil and religious. Such people have proposed that “marriage” should be understood as the religious component only, and that the civil part should be designated as “Civil Unions”, for both straights and gays. This solution was proposed as a way to mollify those who object to same sex marriage for religious reasons, but who have no objections to such couples receiving the legal benefits mentioned above.

Such relationships as they currently exist (civil union in Vermont, PACS in France, and registered partnerships in Scandinavia, (a) clearly establish that the relationship is an intimate/sexual one; (b) they, more or less, duplicate marriage by making each partner liable for the welfare of the other partner; and; (c) these systems are all basically not recognized outside of the state or country which created the statutes.

And the problem still remains that the government is still defining what a legitimate private relationship is, as well as the terms of such relationships, it would still be limited to the monogamous, and would remain subject to the government’s interference when being dissolved with the same divorce laws that govern marriage.

But there’s another way. And this would work for all types of domestic relationships, not just committed sexual relationships of various forms. This would include nonsexual family relationships, such as grandparents raising children, siblings sharing a home, parents with disabled adult children, adult children with disabled parents, and so on.

Intead of having to choose among legal marriage, marriage/civil union, or retaining privacy while forgoing legal marriage benefits, people can choose to form a relationship LLC (Limited Liability Company).

Marriage is based on family law, limited liability companies are based on partnership law and the legal arrangement its members agree to. Marriage is presently available only to one man and one woman. LLCs are available to everyone. According to Relationship, limited liability companies created by people who generally are not married but who want a legally recognized relationship between them; a relationship which would be a legal entity that could buy property, provide health insurance to its members, obtain credit cards, serve as the couple’s consulting company, lease a car, file a tax return as a partnership and, in general, engage in any legitimate business.

The advantages of a Relationship LLC (R) over marriage and civil union are that: (a) the parties in a Relationship LLC are NOT declaring a sexual relationship; (b) the parties in a Relationship LLC can decide how much and what resources they wish to share WITHOUT making themselves totally liable for each other’s welfare; and (c) the Relationship LLC can be dissolved without a divorce-style proceeding in court.

In other words, the LLC would be addressing the legal benefits now conferred only by legal marriage, but whatever sexual relationship the members have, if any, would remain completely private and not subject to government regulation. In addition, those involved would decide individually just what benefits and responsibilities the relationship contains on a case by case basis, instead of having it decided for them in a “one size fits all” manner in the way that marriage is currently defined.

Those who still desire public recognition of their unions are still free to have marriage ceremonies, religious or not, celebrating this fact, but they’d have no legal standing, without government involvement of any kind.

To me, this would be the best of both worlds. All forms of intimate personal relationships between consenting adults would be on an equal footing and would remain private, free from government regulation. And such relationships and other forms of nonsexual domestic relationships would be able to legally gain benefits of their choosing now limited only to heterosexual, monogamous married couples. And we’d finally get the government out of all our bedrooms.


To read more about the Relationship LLC idea, go to:

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Benjamin Franklin, Libertine?

In light of the holiday, I thought I'd write a few words about Benjamin Franklin, probably the most libertine of our Founding Fathers. He was, as other bloggers put it:

Thinker and leader, libertine and realist. In a word, urbane.

He rebelled against the true American conservatives of the day - the puritanical sects of the New England colonies - and sided with radicals to break free from England. Personally, he was something of a libertine and his belief in civil rights undergirded the Declaration of Independence. In his day, a belief and pursuit of science - as opposed to pure theology - was the very essence of liberalism.

Franklin was never legally married to his wife Deborah, but merely lived with her. The main reason for this was that she was already married to someone else. Though they had two children together, they spent much of their married life apart. Ben fathered at least one child, William Franklin, out of wedlock, who in turn did the same, as did his son. Obviously, monogamy was not a Franklin family trait. Throughout his life, he remained popular with women, having relationships with his landlady in England and dalliances with several French women while ambassador to France.

In his own words:

"Somebody, it seemed, gave it out that I loved ladies; and then everybody presented me their ladies (or the ladies presented themselves) to be embraced, that is to have their necks kissed." He went on to write, "The French ladies had a thousand other ways of rendering themselves agreeable by their various attentions and civilities, and their sensible conversation. Tis a delightful people to live with."

After three days men grow weary, of a wench, a guest, and weather rainy.

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.

To be proud of virtue, is to poison yourself with the Antidote.

Old boys have their playthings as well as young ones; the difference is only in the price.

If Jack's in love, he's no judge of Jill's beauty.

And, what is perhaps his most well-known opinion about sex was his advice to a young man:

In all your Amours you should prefer old Women to young ones. You call this a Paradox, and demand my Reasons. They are these:

1. Because as they have more Knowledge of the World and their Minds are better stor’d with Observations, their Conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreable.

2. Because when Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their Influence over Men, they supply the Diminution of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a 1000 Services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman.

3. Because there is no hazard of Children, which irregularly produc’d may be attended with much Inconvenience.

4. Because thro’ more Experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the Affair should happen to be known, considerate People might be rather inclin’d to excuse an old Woman who would kindly take care of a young Man, form his Manners by her good Counsels, and prevent his ruining his Health and Fortune among mercenary Prostitutes.

5. Because in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement.

6. Because the Sin is less. The debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy.

7. Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections; none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy.

8thly and Lastly They are so grateful!!

Monday, July 3, 2006

Declaration of Sexual Rights

In keeping with the spirit of Independence Day, I'm posting the World Association of Sexology's Declaration of Sexual Rights.

Declaration of Sexual Rights

Sexuality is an integral part of the personality of every human being. Its full development depends upon the satisfaction of basic human needs such as the desire for contact, intimacy, emotional expression, pleasure, tenderness and love. Sexuality is constructed through the interaction between the individual and social structures. Full development of sexuality is essential for individual, interpersonal, and societal well being. Sexual rights are universal human rights based on the inherent freedom, dignity, and equality of all human beings. Since health is a fundamental human right, so must sexual health be a basic human right. In order to assure that human beings and societies develop healthy sexuality, the following sexual rights must be recognized, promoted, respected, and defended by all societies through all means. Sexual health is the result of an environment that recognizes, respects and exercises these sexual rights.

  1. The right to sexual freedom. Sexual freedom encompasses the possibility for individuals to express their full sexual potential. However, this excludes all forms of sexual coercion, exploitation and abuse at any time and situations in life.
  2. The right to sexual autonomy, sexual integrity, and safety of the sexual body. This right involves the ability to make autonomous decisions about one's sexual life within a context of one's own personal and social ethics. It also encompasses control and enjoyment of our own bodies free from torture, mutilation and violence of any sort.
  3. The right to sexual privacy. This involves the right for individual decisions and behaviors about intimacy as long as they do not intrude on the sexual rights of others.
  4. The right to sexual equity. This refers to freedom from all forms of discrimination regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, race, social class, religion, or physical and emotional disability.
  5. The right to sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure, including autoeroticism, is a source of physical, psychological, intellectual and spiritual well being.
  6. The right to emotional sexual expression. Sexual expression is more than erotic pleasure or sexual acts. Individuals have a right to express their sexuality through communication, touch, emotional expression and love.
  7. The right to sexually associate freely. This means the possibility to marry or not, to divorce, and to establish other types of responsible sexual associations.
  8. The right to make free and responsible reproductive choices. This encompasses the right to decide whether or not to have children, the number and spacing of children, and the right to full access to the means of fertility regulation.
  9. The right to sexual information based upon scientific inquiry. This right implies that sexual information should be generated through the process of unencumbered and yet scientifically ethical inquiry, and disseminated in appropriate ways at all societal levels.
  10. The right to comprehensive sexuality education. This is a lifelong process from birth throughout the life cycle and should involve all social institutions.
  11. The right to sexual health care. Sexual health care should be available for prevention and treatment of all sexual concerns, problems and disorders.