Thursday, May 31, 2007

What Kind of People Are Promiscuous?

In a study conducted by psychologists Patrick Markey of Villanova University and Charlotte Markey of Rutgers University, people who are socially dominant and either very friendly or very antagonistic tend to be more sexually promiscuous.

Outgoing, warm people might sleep with others in order to share their warmth, but antagonistic people may engage in casual sex to avoid having a monogamous relationship. Having a dominant personality is also a key attribute, which makes it easier to approach new partners.

People who are either extremely warm or extremely cold toward others tend to be promiscuous -- and that people who are just lukewarm have the fewest sexual partners.

Patrick Markey found it particularly interesting that warm people tend to be promiscuous, because this flies in the face of traditional moral teaching that promiscuity is wrong.

The results of this study ring true to me -- and I should know.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Can Sex Be an "Addiction"?

Since the original 12 Step group, Alcoholics Anonymous, originated back in the 1930s to combat alcohol addiction, other 12 Step groups have sprung up over the years, based on the original model, to combat other kinds of addictions, both real and perceived.

Some time in the 1980s, the idea of "sex addiction" began to be talked about, with much of the early research coming from Patrick Carnes, PhD. Several 12-Step groups devoted to Sex/Love addiction naturally followed.

However, there is controversy in the medical community on whether "sex addiction" even exists as a valid diagnosis -- currently, it is not listed as either a disease or disorder in the most current edition of the psychiatric diagnostic manual, the DSMIV.

And though books have been written, treatment centers have been opened to combat this "addiction", many mental health professionals remain skeptical.

Dr Ian Banks, posits that the emergence of sex addiction may be more to do with changing cultural views of sex rather than any actual psychological defect.

"There have always been a wide range of libido levels in society, and a high libido may be viewed as acceptable in one country, and unacceptable in another country, such as the US," he said.

"Part of the problem is that while in cases of low sex drive we can often identify a medical condition underlying and causing it, I'm not aware of any medical condition that could contribute to a very high libido.

"My feeling is that this is a reflection of the societies we live in. Sometimes there is an awful lot of pressure on people to conform sexually."

Dr. Marty Klein, a Licensed Marriage & Family Counselor and Sex Therapist, takes the same view as Dr Banks.

Dr Klein believes that the notion of "sex addiction" is "a set of moral beliefs disguised as science" that assumes sex is dangerous. The examples he gave are: that sex should be within the context of a committed and monogamous heterosexual relationship, that masturbation should be confined to once a day, and that having sex to escape problems is unhealthy.

He pointed out that sex addiction has also been used as a political justification for censorship, eliminating sex education and birth control clinics and opposing equal rights for gays and lesbians.

Eli Coleman, PhD. cautions against the tendency to pathologize unconventional sexual behavior, per se. He wrote that this phenomenon, “may be driven by anti-sexual attitudes and a failure to recognize the wide-range of normal human sexual expression.” He noted a long history of labeling disapproved sexual behaviors as pathologies. Coleman warned that it’s important to distinguish between someone engaging in obsessive sexual behavior and someone who simply has mixed feelings about his or her sexual values and behavior.

Annie Sprinkle, PhD. argues that the only difference between a “sex addict” and someone with a varied and active sex life is the feeling of shame. What feels shameful for one person can be a “non-issue” for another.

Amen to that. No shame here.
To read more:
Does Sex Addiction Exist?

Why There's No Such Thing As Sex Addiction and Why It Really Matters

Monday, May 28, 2007

Crossed Wires

While listening to a talk show on the radio the other day, I was reminded of an incident that happened when my son was a pre-teen, when I was still on the police force.

The day in question was one of my days off from work. My son had spent the previous night with his grandparents and my father had taken him to school that morning. As I commonly do, I planned to spend the afternoon in some woman's bed. I'd spoken to my father that morning and he said he'd pick up my son at school, then he'd take him to the mall where I could meet them to pick him up.

So, I went off and had a happy afternoon of debauchery. Later that afternoon, I reluctantly pulled myself out of bed, so I'd not be late to meet my father. I found him walking his laps around the mall, but my son was nowhere in sight.

I asked my father where he was and he said he was about to ask me the same thing. Apparently, we'd gotten our wires crossed and each had thought the other was going to pick him up from school. A couple of moments later, my very angry stepmother comes steaming into the mall with my embarrassed son trailing behind her. When neither I nor my father had shown up at the school, my son called her at home to come get him.

She lit into me for "forgetting" to pick up my son at school, that I was so selfish thinking of nothing beyond my own pleasure, blah, blah, blah, blah. Even when my father interrupted to say that it wasn't anyone's fault, but a simple misunderstanding, she was not mollified and continued ranting at me.

When she got like that, there was no reasoning with her, so I told my Dad I'd see him later, and my son and I left the mall, then stopped at a burger place on the way home.

I'd not thought about this incident in years

Friday, May 25, 2007


A couple of days ago, a 60 year old woman in New Jersey gave birth to twins. That's right, a SIXTY year old woman. The woman and her husband also have two adult children and a six year old. The new arrivals, and, presumably, their six year old sibling, were conceived through artificial insemination.

Amazingly enough, however, she does not hold the record for the world's oldest mother. With the assistance of artificial insemination, this record has been currently pushed up to 67 or so. Before this technology was widely available, the record for oldest mother was held by a 57 year old woman who gave birth in 1956 to a child conceived in the old fashioned way.

I am confused as to why anyone would even want to give birth at this age. Most women this age have raised their children and are enjoying their lives free of childcare responsibilities and, perhaps, as grandmothers. Most men and women look forward to retirement and their lives slowing to a more leisurely pace, not to getting up in the middle of the night to feed a crying baby, nor chasing after active toddlers.

It's a bit more understandable that some might want to adopt children at an older age, but I can't see a woman wanting to go through the physical rigors of pregnancy well past the age nature intended -- especially without the fun that precedes a normal pregnancy.

I also think there's something essentially selfish about people this age using extraordinary means to have children. There's a very good reason why women experience menopause -- nature intended that the odds be in favor of a new mother living long enough to see her child to adulthood.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

8 Reasons Why Sex is Good For You

• Wards off heart attacks. Frequent sexual intercourse (twice or more per week) lowers your chance of a fatal heart attack.

• Lowers heart disease. DHEA, released with orgasm, can reduce the risk of heart disease. And testosterone reduces harm to the coronary muscles if a heart attack does occur.

• Helps men live longer. Two or more orgasms a week help men live longer and healthier.

• Improves your sleep. Orgasm causes a surge in oxytocin and endorphins that help people sleep.

• Makes you look younger. In a study of 3,500 European and American women and men, one of the strongest correlates of youthful appearance was an active sex life (three or more times a week).

• Increases fertility and regulates menstruation. Regular intimate sexual activity with a partner promotes fertility by regulating menstrual patterns.

• Decreases pain from menstrual cramps, arthritis, and headaches. It increases levels of endorphins and corticosteroids, raising pain thresholds.

• Reduces stress.

It works for me. Get laid today; it's good for your health.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mormons At the Door

Several days ago, as I was getting dressed for work, a knock came at the door. I was curious, as anyone who knows me would have known it was about time for me to go to work. I had the front door already open -- anyone coming by would have seen me through the screen door. So, hiding until they went away wasn't an option. And as I was about to go out the door, anyway, I figured it wouldn't take long to get rid of whoever it was.

I went to the door to find two conservative looking guys, about 20 or so, standing there with expectant expressions. They were wearing white, short-sleeve dress shirts and navy dress pants. Two bicycles, with helmets strapped to the handlebars were parked in the yard behind them. Mormon missionaries. I rolled my eyes heavenward at the sight of them.

This was a first for me. Usually when door-to-door religion salesmen knock on my door, it's the from the Baptist church four doors down on yet another campaign to save me from my life of lust.

My town, for the most part, is mostly Protestant, with fundamentalist Baptist and Pentecostal being the majority. Indeed, even though my town has nearly 30,000 people, we only have two Catholic churches, which was originally one for whites and another for blacks. With the huge increase of Spanish speaking people moving into the area in the last ten years, many churches are also adding Spanish-language ministries to their offerings as well. Our town even has a Christian youth group for Russian and Ukrainian speaking children, as we're now also getting a lot of new residents from that part of the world.

Mormons are a very small minority of the religious makeup of my area, however. Because of this, it's not an unusual thing for me to see Mormon missionary pairs biking all over town doing their thing.

I Googled "Mormon missionaries" and read that all single Mormon men between 19 and 26 are expected to devote two years to full-time missionary work, usually away from their home towns, barring those exempted or disqualified for certain circumstances. Unsurprisingly, those who have been a party to an abortion, have children born out of wedlock, and/or have been divorced are disqualified. Missionaries must adhere to the Mormon "law of chastity" -- no sex unless you're married, no masturbation, no porn, no homosexuality. They are not allowed to date and cannot even telephone or email girlfriends back home during their two year missions, but are limited to one snail mail letter per week.

I find it hard to believe that anyone could keep up that level of pious celibacy for that amount of time, taking into account that they spend their days largely unsupervised, especially considering the average horniness level of most guys that age. I would imagine that some of them must manage to grab themselves a bit on the side, with no one back home being any the wiser.

So, when I answered the door to them, I couldn't resist needling them a bit. I asked them something to the effect of why were they wasting their time trying to peddle their bizarre religion when they should be spending these years getting laid as often as possible, while they were at the peak of their virility, before being chained down by marriage and kids.

They were still engaging in red-faced, flabbergasted spluttering when I got in my car and drove off to work a couple of minutes later.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

On The Prowl

Nearly every night after work, I stop off at the same 24/7 supermarket to pick up a few things. I never buy a lot when I got to the market, and never enough for more than a couple of days. I got into this habit when my son first became a teenager -- if I bought a lot, he'd eat it all nearly overnight, and I ended up spending much more on food than I really wanted to. So, I became a frequent supermarket shopper.

About a month ago, a new clerk began working there. I was attracted to her immediately -- she has the most perfect apple-shaped ass that puts the lead in my pencil every time I see her. Because it's usually fairly late at night when I go in there, there are few customers in the store, so I'm normally able to chat with her for a few minutes before heading home.

She's young, about the age of my current primary, and newly divorced. Fairly early on, I could tell she was attracted to me as well, but I decided not to rush things with her. Even though I want to take her home and fuck the stuffing out of her, I don't want to come on too strong at first and scare her off. So, I've played it cool and have been warming her up, bit by bit.

I got the perfect chance to make my move the other night. I had come into the market at around the time she got off work, so she walked out with me to the parking lot. When she saw my car, she said she'd love to have a ride in it; that she had always liked that type of car. I told her I'd love to take her out; that we could go out to eat on a night we both had off and then take a drive in the country.

Sooooo, we're set to go out next week. Wish me luck.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Fundamentalists in the News

Reverend Fred Phelps, the ultraconservative preacher who is so far to the right that he's fallen over the cliff, has announced that his group of followers will be protesting the funeral of......Jerry Falwell!

Phelps' entire "ministry" is devoted to hating gays; indeed, his website is called "Godhatesfags". He is most well known for organizing protests at the funerals of soldiers and sailors killed in the line of duty, because of our military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Phelps has now decided to express his ire toward Falwell, who almost appears liberal compared to Phelps. The reason for this protest is that Phelps believes that Falwell didn't go far enough in condemning gays.

I think Falwell was a jerk, but his family, like anyone else, deserves the right to mourn in peace.


James Dobson, head of the fundamentalist group, Focus on the Family, has announced that he will not be casting his vote for Rudy Guiliani, if he happens to be the Republican nominee for President in 2008. Dobson said that "my conscience and my moral convictions" would prevent him from doing so, adding that "I will either cast my ballot for an also-ran — or if worse comes to worst — not vote in a presidential election for the first time in my adult life."

He categorized Giuliani an "unapologetic supporter of abortion on demand" and castigated him for signing a bill in 1997 creating domestic-partnership benefits in New York City.

Dobson added that there were other "moral concerns" with Giuliani, specifically that he's on his third marriage to "his mistress" from his second marriage and "appears not to have remorse for cheating on his wife."

Dobson had previously criticized John McCain for not supporting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Apparently, Dobson is unconcerned about a candidate's stand on unemployment, the war in Iraq, eradicating poverty, education, health care, and a host of other important issues. It would seem as if he's only concerned with a candidates views about what the government's role should be concerning the personal lives of private citizens; i.e. "moral issues".

Though Dobson has a right to his opinion, like anyone else, his radio show has a loyal following of about 7 million listeners, which gives his opinions the potential to influence the outcome of the Republican nomination. Centrist Republicans who wish to bring the Republican party back closer to the Eisenhower center, might well vote for a Democrat in protest if another fundamentalist approved candidate gets the Republican nomination. Dobson's words could possibly have the backhanded effect of benefiting the chances of a Democrat being elected in 2008.

We can only hope.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

Over the years, many people have called me "selfish" for choosing to live a promiscuous life with many casual lovers, rather than to settle down with one woman in a conventional marriage. Most often, this sentiment is expressed by those women who wish to have a long-term committed relationship with me. I also heard it quite often from a variety of people when my son was young; they believed that my son needed to have a conventional family life like "everybody else". Many people suggested that I remarry and settle down so that he could have a mother figure in his life.

Regarding my son's childhood, I suppose that I was, at some level, essentially selfish. There just wasn't any way that I was going to make the sacrifice to remarry, for the sole purpose of giving my son a mother. As far as that goes, I came first, and that was non-negotiable.

But, then again, a marriage is supposed to be couple-centered, not child-centered. Not all people who marry have children, and, in those that do, there are presumably many years together after the children have grown and started their own lives. I'm guessing an adult child wouldn't feel a whole lot better when they discover that their parents didn't want to be married for their own sake, but only to provide the child with a family. Nor would it have been fair for me to marry a woman just for my son's benefit, and not because I wanted to spend the rest of my life loving her only -- that would have been simply been a selfishness of another kind.

I also saw to my son's needs with the help of my father and stepmother. So, my son didn't lack for caring adults in his life. And I didn't rub my life in his face, though I made no special pains to hide it from him as he grew older. He's taken it all in stride, though he's not chosen to live as I have. Though he has yet to be married, he's not anywhere near being a libertine, either. I think I managed pretty well raising him to adulthood, despite my less than conventional life.

As far as my own sex/love life goes, I don't lead women on to expect anything more than what I'm willing to give. Those who get involved with me for however short or long a time know what they're getting into, and if they go into it thinking they can change me somewhere down the line, they are soon disabused of this foolish notion.

Because I know I could never be faithful to one woman, I stay unmarried, rather than get married only to do what the hell I want anyway. Admittedly, there are some perks to being married: someone to help earn a living, manage a household, tax breaks, and the like, but knowing my essential nature, I've always thought it would be selfish if I did get married, rather than remain in a status more in line with my natural inclinations. And it would be selfish of a woman who loves me to expect me to live in a state that goes against my basic nature.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Modern Day Pharisee

Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority and bigwig of the religious right, died yesterday at the age of 73. I normally don't like to speak ill of the dead, but there's nothing good I can say about the man.

He used religion to divide, rather than to unite. His brand of Christianity served more to hurt, than to heal.

Originally against religious people getting involved in politics, he spoke out against those, such as Martin Luther King, who worked to eradicate racism in the 1960s. He changed his mind after the 1973 legalization of abortion, eventually founding the so-called "Moral Majority" in 1979.

In sharp contrast to the man he claimed to be a follower of, Jesus Christ, who stood with tax collectors, prostitutes, and others considered to be the "dregs" of first century society, Falwell often made derogatory comments about those he considered as sinners and losers. This mindset was made quite clear by a statement he made after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:

And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, "You helped this happen."
-- Rev Jerry Falwell

Jesus often chastised the Pharisees, who were the Religious Right of his time, for their hidebound obsession with law, petty rules, and regulations. Jerry Falwell was, in most senses of the word, a modern day Pharisee, who simply didn't get Jesus' simple message that to follow him was to love and care for others.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Living in Denial

Yesterday, while reading the book, "Lust in Translation", I came upon a reference to a group called "Covenant Keepers". This Christian group is extremely anti-divorce, believing that it is only permissible in the cases of adultery or when an unbelieving spouse deserts the marriage. I find it quite telling that physical abuse -- just so long as the abuser isn't getting any on the side and isn't an atheist -- is not considered valid grounds for divorce.

They also counsel the spouse whose spouse divorces them anyway, without so-called "biblical grounds", to continue to "honor their vows", despite being divorced. That is, they should not remarry or have sex ever again, but to remain "faithful" to a spouse who has divorced them, even if that spouse has remarried. They are further urged to pray for that spouse to return to them, again, even when the spouse has remarried and gone on with their lives.

You might wonder if anyone could actually follow such ludicrous advice, ignoring reality to make needless martyrs of themselves. I actually knew of a woman who has done so. Several years ago I worked with a woman who was a fundamentalist Christian. In conversations with her, she told me that her mother "lived" this way. Even though my coworker was a fundamentalist, even she saw the utter futility of her mother throwing her life away over a relationship that would never be rekindled, as her father had indeed remarried and gone on with his life. She'd tried to introduce her Mom to single Christian men from the church, but her mother would have none of it, insisting that she was a "married woman" and that dating one of these men would be "adultery".

I think this is one of the craziest things I've ever heard. Let's hear your thoughts.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Blame Tags

Many people, particularly those who work in service jobs, are required to wear a name tag, especially if they also wear a uniform.

When I worked in law enforcement, I had a fancy metal name plate with my first and middle initials along with my last name. It also had a smaller bar that attached underneath that read "Serving since 1986" on it. I didn't mind wearing this, as it was professional looking and, with only my last name spelled out, didn't encourage people to get too chummy with me and call me by my first name uninvited.

People working more menial service jobs, however, are usually compelled to wear a cheap, cheesy looking tag with only their first name on it. This automatically puts the person in a one-down position, much in the same way that adults may call children by their first names, but children may not usually do the reverse.

Some may think that name tags such as these project a friendly image that creates the illusion of "customers as family".

Nothing could be further from the truth, however. The real purpose of name tags isn't to make customers think that the clerks are their friends. Rather, these tags are meant to help a customer to identify a particular employee in the case of a dispute -- they are "blame tags", so the customer knows who to blame. Period.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Political Survey

I found this meme on Aielman's blog. I refer to his opinions in my responses, so it might be a good thing to read his blog first before reading mine.

-Do you believe in a higher authority/power?
There's not enough conclusive proof for me to be positive in either direction, though I'd like to believe there in a benevolent creative power. I do believe, however, that if such a higher power exists, then the world's religions don't have the slightest clue as to its real nature. I believe that one can believe in evolution, while at the same time believing in a higher power -- such a higher power could have set evolution in motion at the beginning. Who knows? Aielman's answer quite possibly could be the correct one.

-If so, are you an member in one of the many organized religions?
I am not a member of any organized religion, though I see nuggets of wisdom here and there in most religions. I am too independent of a thinker to accept all the tenets of any particular religion part and parcel, however.

-If so, do you practice regularly?
Not applicable

-If so, which organized religion are you a member of?
None -- I'm just a good old-fashioned sinner

-Do you believe in relative or absolute morality?
I'll have to go with Aielman again on this one -- I believe absolutely that morals are relative. Human beings are too complex to address ethical issues with a rigid, black and white, yes/no mindset. Not allowing for shades of grey is inadequate, not to mention usually inaccurate as well.

-What country do you live in?

-Should religion and government be kept separate?
I believe in both freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion. People should be free to follow whatever religion they choose, in private and in public. As Thomas Jefferson once said, "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

With this in mind, I see no problem with kids in school having Bible clubs, praying at sporting events, celebrating Christmas, celebrating Halloween, and so on. Nor do I have a problem with comparative religion classes, studying religions from an objective standpoint. But this means the free expression of ALL religions. Wiccans should be able to freely wear a pentacle pendant, Muslims, the hijab, and so on.

However, I don't think public schools are the place for school sponsored instruction in religion from a believer's standpoint. You don't go to a house of worship to learn math, so I don't think a public school is the place to promote any sort of religious belief.

Similarly, while I believe that people voting or serving in government will naturally be influenced by whatever belief system they subscribe to, I have a problem with them attempting to impose their sectarian beliefs on everyone. As an example, a religious person who does not believe in abortion can express that faith by never having an abortion nor being a party to one, but can also believe that they cannot make that decision for others.

-What is your position on evolution?
Again, my beliefs are congruent with Aielman's -- I believe that the universe has always, and continues to evolve.

-Are you in favor of abortion (voluntary termination up to 22 weeks, 24 with medical referral)?
Yes. I think the argument where life begins is a moot point. The mother, the host to a developing life, should always have the greater rights. It's an essential privacy issue -- if a woman doesn't have the right to manage her own body as she sees fit, this endangers whatever other rights she may have.

-Should the state be allowed to discriminate based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, other?
No. Exclusion from whatever positions should be based on failure to pass entrance tests, not on the accident of birth.

To use Aielman's example, even if 99 out of 100 women cannot perform a certain military task, the 100th women shouldn't automatically be barred because of the other 99. Standards should not be lowered to allow more women in, but the ones who can pass the original standards have earned a place.

History has shown us that whenever society has said women can't do certain things; that they are incapable, women have proved them wrong, every single time.

Aielman's concerns about unit disruption and the like were also expressed when women began serving as regular patrol police officers in the late 1960s. It was said that a male officer would be distracted by wanting to protect his female partner and it would negatively affect his performance in a crisis situation.

But female officers are now de rigeur everywhere; none of the fears about female officers were manifested in any great degree. I served with female officers and I can assure you, they are just as good, on the average, as male officers. They went through the same academy training that I did and earned their certifications, same as me.

So far as gay soldiers go, I'm in agreement with the late Senator Barry Goldwater, "I don't care if a soldier is straight; I only care if he shoots straight."

Aielman said, "You need to change more attitudes in civilian life before you try them in the service. In this day and age, we can't afford the disruption." I don't think Harry Truman thought this was a valid consideration when he desegregated the armed forces right after World War II -- racist attitudes were still quite prevalent among most Americans in those days.

-Do you believe intelligent design should be taught in schools?
It's fine in a comparative religion class, but has NO place in a science course.

-Do you believe civic or military service should be required?
I wouldn't require it, but it's ok to have strong incentives to encourage it for both sexes.

-Do you support the death penalty?
Very reluctantly. And I believe it should be used very sparingly, only for the worst of the worst -- the Jeffrey Dahmers of the criminal world for whom there is no hope of rehabilitation.

-Do you support the legalization of marijuana?
I agree with Aielman's statement wholeheartedly: I support the legalization of all recreational drugs. Prohibition doesn't work, and we're losing trillions in tax revenue. It's another of the libertarian privacy issues for me. I am naturally wary of "Nanny laws" where the government acts in the role of a parent.

-Do you support affirmative action?
I've got mixed feelings on this. I think affirmative action was good in the short run, to bring previously-discriminated groups up to speed in order to have a fair chance to compete in today's society, but these programs should not be around forever, lest they turn into reverse discrimination.

-Do you support euthanasia?
Yes, it's another privacy issue about the ownership of one's own body. In the Terry Schiavo case, while I was glad that she was finally allowed to die, I wasn't very impressed by the passive, starvation method they used, which I found cowardly. We can euthanize our suffering pets in a quick, humane manner, but we cannot do so for our human loved ones. Where is the dignity in standing by passively as a person slowly starves to death over a period of weeks, when an appropriate combination of drugs would mercifully end it in minutes?

-Do you support cloning?

-Do you support embryonic stem cell research?
Yes. I think the key to beating many diseases is in this form of research.

-Do you believe in global warming?
Though more research needs to be done, I think this is an issue that should be taken seriously. A "better safe than sorry" approach is probably the most prudent course to take until we have more conclusive proof either way.

-Do you support gun control?
Again, I agree with Aielman. Stringest attention to background checks, safety and proficiency training, and waiting periods are all common sense guidelines. My experience in law enforcement showed me that most criminals don't get their guns from gun shops, anyway. Banning guns would serve only to take them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, not criminals.

-Do you support nationalized health care?
I believe in universal health care for every American and that it shouldn't be tied to one's employment status. Millions of working Americans have no health insurance, and millions more stay in unsuitable jobs just for the health insurance, and many Americans work well beyond retirement age for this as well. I also think more jobs would be created, if employers could get the health insurance monkey off their backs as well.

-Do you support wall building to discourage illegal immigration?
First of all, I don't blame the illegals for wanting to come here. They're only interesting in bettering their situations, like any of us would be. I do, however, blame the corporations who bring them here to take jobs away from Americans, especially in times of high unemployment.

That being said, I do think that illegal aliens ought to be deported, but I welcome legal immigrants who go about it the right way. The only exception I'd make is for those whose lives would be in danger if they remain in their own country -- I think this country should have suspended the immigration laws for the duration of World War II for all the Jews fleeing the Nazis, for example. However, this exception doesn't apply to the illegal aliens from south of the border.

Perhaps a better thing would be to help beef up the Mexican economy and to help get rid of their corrupt government, so that people would want to remain in their own country. Leaving this situation unchanged will assure we'll have many more illegal immigrants in the years to come.

-Do you support term limits?

-Do you support campaign finance limits?
Probably a good idea.

-Do you support welfare?
Yes, as a safety net measure to insure a minimum standard of living and to prevent homelessness for those down on their luck and for those weaker members of society unable to compete in the open market.

-Where do you consider yourself on the political spectrum typically (Left, Centrist, Right)?
On most tests, I come out as a left/liberal libertarian, with more of an emphasis on the liberal label. I am a civil libertarian, especially concerning issues of freedom and privacy, but I also firmly believe in the safety net concept that ensures a minimal threshhold of standard of living. Economically, I'm more of a classic liberal.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Shoddy Construction

On November 7, 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which had only been open for four months, collapsed during 42 mile an hour winds.

The bridge earned the nickname "Galloping Gertie", because of its rolling, undulating motions. Motorists crossing the 2,800-foot center span sometimes felt as if they were traveling on a giant roller coaster, watching the cars ahead disappear completely for a few moments as if they had been dropped into the trough of a large wave.

A survivor of this disaster, Leonard Coatsworth described what happened:

Just as I drove past the towers, the bridge began to sway violently from side to side. Before I realized it, the tilt became so violent that I lost control of the car... I jammed on the brakes and got out, only to be thrown onto my face against the curb... Around me I could hear concrete cracking. I started to get my dog Tubby, but was thrown again before I could reach the car. The car itself began to slide from side to side of the roadway.

On hands and knees most of the time, I crawled 500 yards [450 m] or more to the towers... My breath was coming in gasps; my knees were raw and bleeding, my hands bruised and swollen from gripping the concrete curb... Toward the last, I risked rising to my feet and running a few yards at a time... Safely back at the toll plaza, I saw the bridge in its final collapse and saw my car plunge into the Narrows.

A dog died in the collapse, though no human lives were lost.

Following are some photos of the disaster:

The bridge twisting prior to the collapse

One side was 28 feet higher than the other at this moment of extreme twist


After it was all over.

A new, better designed bridge was opened on this spot ten years later, which is still in service today. A second span, set to open this year, will help alleviate the large volume of traffic which crosses each day.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Employers, Privacy, and the Internet

Recently, I read a news story about a cop who was fired from his job for using a chat room to solicit sex and to email explicit photos of himself while on duty. He was not fired for his actions, which were legal because his target was an adult, but rather for engaging in them while on duty. His activities came to the attention of his superiors because the woman turned over the photos and chat logs to her local police department, rather than simply to ignore and/or block him.

As I read this, I thought back to my own years on the force, and how it was a good thing that it was before the internet era. I freely admit I had sex several times over the years while on duty. And I was not in any way unique among my fellow officers in this respect. I knew another guy who regularly had assignations while on duty -- indeed, we had several women in common.

Before I worked there, an older officer had been having sex in his patrol car and had inadvertently sat on the button that keyed his walkie-talkie. At that time, if you had an open mike, no one else could transmit, not even the dispatcher. But everyone could listen, including every yahoo in the county with a police scanner. This was a potentially dangerous situation because if an important call came in, there was no way for dispatchers to send officers to the scene.

Needless to say, his entire encounter had an audience. Every sigh, every groan, every grunt was heard, unbeknownst to him. The shift commander sent other officers looking for him, racing up and down streets to find where he'd parked the car. This was no easy task, as he'd parked in an out of the way place to avoid attracting attention.

But he was not fired. In fact, he served for many more years until leaving voluntarily when he retired. It was definitely a different world back then -- he'd not have gotten by with it today

The first officer mentioned above, however, dug his own grave with his total lack of discretion. If he'd not told the woman he was a cop, she'd have just put him on "ignore" and blocked him and that would have been the end of it. Indeed, if I were still on the force, I'd not have mentioned the fact on my blog, and no one would have known what I did for a living.

I've seen several bloggers who have had their freedom of speech and blogging privacy compromised when their employers happened upon their sites and objected to the content. I've known several people who had to give up their blogs for this reason, though they sometimes open new blogs making stronger efforts to conceal their identities.

The internet is a double edged sword; it offers people anonymous interactions online, while at the same time making one's private actions easier for employers to trace. Discretion has always been important when engaging in casual sex, no matter the environment, but it's especially important now in the computer age.


Monday, May 7, 2007

Losing Interest

That feeling is back. It's something I've felt many times in my life and all the telltale signs are present. It's been coming on for some time, but I've ignored it up until this point.

I'm restless and bored when I'm with my primary lover. I know her inside and out, physically and emotionally; there's nothing new to discover. The sex has become routine and we've pretty much run out of things to talk about; our time together has become humdrum and mundane. We're at the point now where we finish each other's sentences. Our relationship is comfortable, but it's no longer particularly exciting.

But I don't blame her. I've gone through this same pattern with women many times in the past. They don't change, but I get to know them too well and I inevitably lose interest. A relationship with a primary lover never lasts more than a few years for me, if that.

Usually, I just drift away from them slowly; it's rarely a dramatic break. I have some former primaries that I still see every now and then. I rarely want them completely out of my life. And even now, it's not that I want another woman to be primary; the next one has yet to be on the horizon. It's just that I don't want to see this one quite so often as I once did.

She's been talking about returning to college to get her Master's degree. I think it's a great idea. It will give her something to focus on other than me and should push that baby idea completely out of her mind. And it should keep her busy enough that it will be easier to see her less often. And who knows? It might give us something new to talk about.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Views On Adultery From Around the World

In a new book, Lust in Translation: The Rules of Infidelity from Tokyo to Tennessee, author Pamela Druckerman takes a non-judgmental look at how different cultures around the world view adultery.

On a large scale, for the most part, infidelity is most common in poorer countries and those with political upheaval.

Men in South Africa are more likely to have affairs, instead of divorcing and engaging in serial monogamy, the Japanese believe that it isn't adultery if you pay for it, Russians don't believe that having flings while on vacations count as adultery, to cite a few examples. The French view it as a part of life and, accordingly, handle their affairs with discretion, feeling that some truths are better left unspoken.

Interestingly, the rate of American adultery is higher than that of the French, but Americans don't handle it with the same level of common sense sophistication. Though Americans are as likely to engage in extramarital sex as those in other countries, there is never a free pass when it comes to infidelity. According to our national moral compass, adultery is generally considered to be abominable no matter the circumstances. Druckerman concludes that Americans are the least adept at having affairs, have the most trouble enjoying them, and suffer the most in their aftermath.

Perhaps Americans could learn something from our more matter of fact European brethren.

I've not read this book yet, but I've put it on my list of books to read.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Quote From An Unlikely Source

"...sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged."
--Antonin Scalia

While surfing the net recently, I came upon this quote about group sex. It wouldn't have been a big deal if I
had been the one who said this, but coming from the mouth of ultra conservative Catholic Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, it raised quite a few eyebrows back in 2004 when he said this while giving a speech at Harvard University.

Scalia made this comment responding rhetorically to a question about how many people it takes to define an act as being group sex.

A couple of weeks before this, he made a similar comment when addressing a group at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, while making a point that it is not a judge's role to impose his or her moral judgments on citizens.

"Let me make it clear that the problem I am addressing is not the social evil of the judicial dispositions I have described. I accept, for the sake of argument, for example, that sexual orgies eliminate social tension and ought to be encouraged," Scalia said.

Scalia's comments might have been rhetorical, but my agreement with the comments are not. From my vast experience, I fully believe that the world would be a happier place if everyone got laid more often in a wide variety of ways. I also believe that sexual repression and excessive regulation of sexual behavior can be linked with a host of seemingly unrelated social ills.