Thursday, June 28, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards vs. Ann Coulter

In an ongoing campaign against Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, Ann Coulter fired another salvo at Edwards last Monday while plugging her latest book on Good Morning America:

"I wouldn’t insult gays by comparing them to John Edwards. Now, that would be mean. But about the same time, you know, Bill Maher was not joking and saying he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack. So I’ve learned my lesson. If I’m gonna say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."

For his part, Maher had previously clarified his comments by saying, “I believe that were he [Cheney] not in power, our troops would likely come home sooner. But I don't wish him dead.”

The Edwards campaign first responded as it did back in March, when Ann Coulter then directed an ad hominem attack at Edwards, calling him a "faggot": by asking supporters to send donations to defy her remarks and help Edwards meet his goal of raising $9 million in the second quarter.

On Tuesday, when Coulter appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews to promote the book, Elizabeth Edwards called in to the show to publicly confront Coulter about her incessant use of ad hominem attacks, appealing to her to stop engaging in hate speech and to participate in legitimate political dialogue instead.

Needless to say, Coulter was not receptive to Edwards' suggestion and the conversation quickly degraded, with Coulter shouting over Edwards' voice on the phone.

“I think we heard all we need to hear. The wife of a presidential candidate is asking me to stop speaking,” Coulter said.

Coulter, naturally, was being deliberately obtuse. Being asked to engage in civil, reasoned discourse and to cease with the cheap shots isn't the same as being told to shut up entirely. And considering that Coulter has made her money and acquired her fame by appealing to people's baser instincts, it's a sure bet she has no intention of exchanging the low road for the high road.

In my opinion, Edwards would have scored more of a direct hit if she'd treated Coulter in a pitying manner when she called Hardball, treating her as an ignorant person who didn't know any better. Indeed, my father always told me that using this tactic would elicit more of the desired effect than any criticism would. I would have laughed my ass off if Edwards had said in an unctuous tone, "I'm going to PRAY for you!"

In a later interview on Today, Edwards expanded on her remarks to Coulter: “I hope I was provoking people across the country to speak out when they hear this kind of hate language,” Edwards said. “It made a difference in the South when racist language used to be the way that everyone spoke.

“But then when decent people spoke out and said, ‘We don’t want to hear that anymore,’ it changed. And now racist language is not a part of civil dialogue in the South,”
she added.

Edwards does not hold Coulter solely responsible for the decline in political civility in recent years: “It’s not just Ann Coulter on the right,” she said. “Michael Savage is another example of someone who uses awful inflammatory language that degrades the political process, and the same is true on the left.” She also said, “This is not legitimate political speech. This is speech of hatred and meanness meant to distract us from the issues.”

Coulter has long made John Edwards one of her special targets, starting when she accused the Edwardses of using the 1996 car accident death of their son, Wade, for political advantage. John Edwards noted, however, that he's not the sole target of her cheap shots in the 2008 presidential race, pointing out that Coulter has made fun of Hillary Rodham Clinton's legs and compared Barack Obama to terrorists because his middle name is Hussein.

Why does anyone take this overgrown schoolyard bully seriously?

Elizabeth Edwards is dead on the money. It's time for political discourse in this country to return to the realm of adulthood with civilized, reasoned debates and to leave the juvenile ad hominems behind.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Fired For Saving a Life

Colin Bruley, a leasing agent at an apartment complex in Jacksonville, FL, was fired nearly two weeks ago after he came to the aid of a resident screaming for help.

Bruley grabbed his shotgun and ran out to help the woman who yelled that she'd just been shot. She feared that her assailant might still be in the area.

"She was in a desperate need for help 'Someone help me, I've been shot,'" he said. "I reacted to a situation and it was a matter of seconds."

Bruley said he found Tonnetta Lee bleeding heavily. He handed the shotgun to a neighbor, tied a tourniquet around her right leg and waited for police and rescue to arrive. He never encountered the assailant and his shotgun was never fired.

The next morning, his employers fired him, citing "gross misconduct" and for possessing the shotgun, which violated their company policy. Never mind that he saved a life.

"Going out there unarmed, I think, would have been dumb," Bruley later noted. "Anybody that had access to a weapon would have done the same thing."

Emil Steiner, of the Washington Post, wrote: "He put the life of his neighbor -- who was also his client -- ahead of his own safety. Which raises the question: Isn't this the kind of person any company would want as an employee?"

Exactly. While I understand that it's normally a good idea to follow company policy, some common sense should apply. Obdurately taking a "rules are rules" approach, leaving no room for discretion, is both unfair and shortsighted.

The fact that this man saved a life, risking his own safety to do so should have outweighed the breaking of company policy in this case. Indeed, if the company had properly rewarded him for his heroism, they could have garnered positive attention for their apartment community. Instead, by taking a blockheaded approach, they've dug their own hole of negative publicity.

We can only hope that some other apartment complex will soon snap up Bruley and give him a job.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Government Study Outlines American Sexual Habits

This past Friday, the National Center for Health Statistics, a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released the results of a survey-study concerning the sexual habits and drug use patterns of Americans. The nationwide study is based on data collected from 1999 to 2002. For the purposes of this blog entry, I will confine my remarks to the data about sex, which is confined to heterosexuals.

Unlike previous studies of this nature, this most current survey was conducted using computers, rather than in face-to-face interviews as in years past. The use of computers was hoped to provide participants with more privacy, which would tend to result in more honest answers, free from the fear of disapproval.

As was expected men tended to have had more sexual partners than women, with 29 percent of American men report having 15 or more female sexual partners in a lifetime, while only 9 percent of women report having sex with 15 or more men.

The median number of lifetime female sexual partners for men was seven; the median number of male partners for women was four.

Among the findings:

  • About 96 percent of U.S. adults have had sex.
  • Sixteen percent of adults first had sex before age 15, while 15 percent abstained from sex until at least age 21.
  • The proportion of adults who first had sex before age 15 was highest for non-Hispanic blacks (28 percent) compared to 14 percent for both Mexican-Americans and non-Hispanic whites.
  • Six percent of blacks abstained from sex until age 21 or older, fewer than Mexican-Americans (17 percent) or non-Hispanic whites (15 percent).
  • Black men and women were more likely to report having 15 or more partners in a lifetime (46 percent and 13 percent, respectively) than other racial or ethnic groups.
  • Seventeen percent of men and 10 percent of women reported having two or more sexual partners in the past year.
  • Twenty-five percent of women and 17 percent of men reporting having no more than one partner of the other sex in their lifetime.
  • 11 percent of never-married adults had remained chaste
In an online survey conduced on the MSNBC website in relation to this story, the numbers are similar:

Live Vote

Guys: How many sexual partners have you had? * 19906 responses
5 or less
6 to 10
11 to 20
21 to 50
I've lost track.
I'm a virgin.
Ladies: What about you? * 13007 responses
5 or less
6 to 10
11 to 20
21 to 50
I've lost track.
I'm a virgin.

As you can see, I'm in the category with 15 percent of all men and 7.9 percents of all women in the "I've lost track" category. I have to say I'm surprised to see so many people, both men and women in the five partners or fewer category.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

More Old Journal Entries

March 11, 1989
We brought in two feisty females tonight. They'd gone into a convenience store and started a fight there, knocking down product displays all over the store. One stabbed the other, then they ran across the streett to continue. We found them in the kitchen holding each other at bay with knives; with one holding a baby. Of course, they insisted upon fighting US too and had to be dragged to jail, where they naturally refused to cooperate.

March 17, 1989
The night before last we had a woman call in to report a man jerking off outside her window. JB asked the dispatcher if the complainant could describe the suspect. There was a long pause on the radio (as the dispatchers paused to laugh their asses off, no doubt), then a dispatcher snapped back, "He'll be the one with his pants around his ankles with his dick in his hand", before giving details about his race, age, height, etc. I mean, just how many men did he expect to find at 4 in the morning out there jerking off?

March 20, 1989
JW was hurt pretty bad last night. He'd seen someone that we had an armed robbery warrant on and went to arrest him. The guy resisted him and they got into a fight, fucking up JW's hand -- he almost lost his pinkie finger. While he and the suspect were rolling around on the ground, his backup arrived and pulled the guy off him, who turned out to be hopped up on drugs.

They brought both of them to the hospital at the same time. One idiot nurse made comments about police brutality and the Captain climbed all over her, pointing out that this guy had held up people at gunpoint and had hurt people and that there was a badly hurt officer in the next room.

Later on, the jailers reported that he refused to go to court, threatening to beat up anyone who came into his cell.

March 24, 1989
All the loonies are out in force tonight. We have a regular nut who comes in all the time just to see if we're all right and then proceeds to talk about all her ailments and operations. She is harmless, however, and not all that irritating, like a lot of unbalanced people can be.

March 25, 1989
One of the dispatchers had a woman call all the way from New Jersey. She wanted to know if Jessica Hahn (from the Jim Bakker scandal) worked for one of our local radio stations. She wanted to ask her who had done her nose job! She went on to say she'd even called the Playboy mansion looking for her! Every time I think I've heard everything, I hear about something like this that shows me that I haven't heard everything and probably never will. Nuts are infinite in their ways to be nutty.

April 8, 1989
Some teenager missed the curve at the lake and drove his car right into it. We didn't know a thing about it until he showed up at the ER. A good part of the night was spent at the lake with wreckers trying to get the car out of the lake.

April 12, 1989
We've been having a lot of problems with the patrol cars lately. As an example, last night AJ had one run on him. As he was chasing the suspect's car, his car stalled out and he rolled backwards into a ditch. I can just see him now, beating the steering wheel, saying "Damn, damn, damn, damn", as he sat there in the ditch watching the guy get away.

April 21, 1989
We picked up a stabbing victim at one of the movie theaters. The guy had gotten stabbed somewhere down in the hood and his friends were trying to get him to the hospital when their car died in front of the theater. They called us and we took him to the hospital and caught the one who stabbed him shortly after that.

While all this was going on, a domestic argument call was dispatched. When the two officers arrived, they heard shots coming from inside the house, prompting them to call for backup. The entire shift rushed down there with the exception of one rookie who was left to watch the stabber from the incident above. It was close to shift change and the officers about to come on duty, quickly signed on duty and headed out there as well. All of us surrounded the house.

And the hero of the day turned out to be the one female officer on the scene, who was one of the two officers originally dispatched to the call. When the gunman came out of the house, she quickly tackled, subdued, and handcuffed him, ending the standoff.

Later on, she and the other officer originally dispatched came up to a group of us, holding up a screen door full of bullet holes, saying, "See, he really DID shoot at us!"

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Last night, I got a taste for spaghetti; not the nasty shit out of a can nor the kind I try to make at home, but something good. One of the places I always went to for spaghetti had closed down a few months ago because the restaurant owner had not paid his taxes, so I had to go somewhere else.

There is a small mom-and-pop Italian restaurant in town that has always served excellent food at a reasonable price. So, I decided to go there and get an order to go, along with some garlic knots.

When I got the food home, I was pleased to see that I'd gotten a generous helping, but the smell was "off" to me the moment I opened the container. When I took a bite, I discovered that it didn't taste right, either.

There was no taste of garlic or oregano whatsoever, but there was a pervasive CHEESY taste. And I don't mean parmesan flakes sprinkled over it, either. I mean the gagging, cloying taste of strong cheese -- it tasted like "cheeseburger spaghetti". Now, for a cheeseburger to taste like a cheeseburger is fine, but I don't want my spaghetti to taste like a McDonald's DoubleCheeseburger. I just wanted a standard plate of spaghetti, that's all. Was that too much to ask for?

I took a few more bites, but the taste nauseated me, so I pushed it away as inedible. Even the cats turned their noses up at it. They ate the meatballs, but wouldn't touch the pasta part.

The garlic knots were also substandard. It's pretty hard to fuck up garlic rolls, but they managed to do so. They were cold and wet, but just barely edible.

I was both pissed off and sad about this. I was pissed off to waste my money in this way, and sad, to see a once-excellent restaurant to have gone so far downhill. Regretfully, I will no longer patronize this restaurant.

Have any of you experienced a favorite restaurant go to pot like this?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What I've Been Reading Lately

As my regular readers know, I am an avid reader. Following is a short list of what I've been reading lately and what I'm about to read.

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America
by Chris Hedges

A profile of the Dominionist variety of Christian fundamentalism whose avowed goal is to turn the US into a theocracy. Though the book seemed a bit over the top in some places, it's a book for every American who wishes to preserve the form of government the Founding Fathers established.

Brainless: The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter
by Joe Maguire

As the title suggests, this book is an unflattering portrait of the right-wing pundit. But don't buy this book -- everything in it is available free on the internet. There's no new information here. Worth checking out of the library, however.

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
by Lee Iacocca

I picked up this book at the library after reading this review. I just started it yesterday, but from what I've read so far, I recommend it highly. Iacocca's common sense observations about the state of our nation make me wonder why someone like Iacocca isn't running for president. I just might have to go to the bookstore and get my own copy of this one.

Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers
by Brooke Allen

This book debunks the mistaken notion put forth by religious fundamentalists that the Founding Fathers intended America to be a Christian nation. I haven't started this one yet, but from flipping briefly through it, it seems like a promising read.

I'd be interested to hear what my readers have been reading lately.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Easy Come, Easy Go

My readers will remember me recently writing about a new lover I'd met at the supermarket.

I've taken her out a few times, and we've had a good time, though she's never been anything approaching an intellectual companion for me.

The other night, after grabbing a meal together, I stopped at the gas station/convenience store to fill up. She waited in the car while I went inside to pay.

As I came back out to leave, I ran into my primary lover coming in.

"So that's the new one, huh?" she asked me. "I knew you had a new one on the string when you stopped visiting me so often." Her tone of voice was matter-of-fact, as this pattern has played several times over in the course of our relationship.

"Yeah, that's her," I told her. "No big deal. Just a bit of fun, you know."

"Don't forget to come by on Tuesday night", she told me. "I'm going to cook a steak."

"I'll be there," I promised her. I leaned down to give her a kiss before heading out to the car.

My new lover was silent as I cranked up the car and drove away. Several blocks from the gas station, I finally noticed her silence and asked her what was wrong.

"I think you should take me home," she said.

I gave her a sideways look, wondering what the hell had gotten into her.

"That women at the gas station," she finally elaborated."You kissed her. Who was she?"

I heaved a loud, exasperated sigh, then said, "Come on, now. You know we don't have an exclusive relationship. I thought I explained all that to you when we first went out."

"But I thought that after you kept asking me out, that you'd changed your mind about all that stuff," she said.

"Trust me, I don't change my mind about things like that," I told her. "It's who I am."

I turned the car to head to her apartment. "You're right. I should take you home."

A few minutes later, I let her out, telling her I'd not call anymore, as it it was obvious our arrangement wasn't going to work out. Before driving away, I added that I'd enjoyed the few times we had gotten together.

So, that's the end of that. Easy come, easy go.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Punishment to Fit the Crime

In the last decade or so, increasing attention has been paid to crimes that involve non-consensual sex of various categories. While this is a good thing in regards to forcible rape and the molestation of children, the media and the legal/court system has not been as careful in distinguishing between the various types of offenses and what kind of appropriate legal responses should apply. Because sex offenses tend to be an emotional issue for many people, a good bit of hysteria has ensued, with many people losing sight of how the system of justice is supposed to work.

In addition to stepped up efforts to prosecute forcible rape and to stop pedophiles, more attention is being paid to "date rape" and consensual sex between young adults and teens. Unlike with cases of violent rape and the molestation of children, where the offense is clear and unambiguous to everyone, the other categories mentioned above can be tricky to define and devise proper legal responses to. Rigid, "one-size-fits-all" responses to such offenses often end up with laws being absurdly and unfairly applied, as the case of Genarlow Wilson clearly shows.

"Date rape" many times turns into a he said/she said deal in cases where no force was used. It's also not agreed upon whether a woman remains responsible for her own actions when she is intoxicated or high. Likewise, it's also questionable whether a woman who is psychologically manipulated into having sex has completely given up her responsible part in the matter. The "date rape" charge has also been sometimes abused by women who have had sex willingly enough at the time, but later decide that it wasn't such a good idea, after all, and then press rape charges.

Lastly, and perhaps the most problematic, are the cases that involve boyfriend/girlfriend situations where the sex is entirely consensual. This involves underage teenagers having sex with a young adult, usually with fewer than five years age difference between them. In most cases, it is the girl who is younger. Unlike years ago, when parents dealt privately with their daughters having relationships they didn't approve of, nowadays many parents turn to the legal system to take over their role in such matters. Despite generations of teenagers doing what comes naturally, doing so nowadays can ruin the futures of many young men who have nothing in common with real pedophiles. These young men arguably may not be exercising the most mature judgment, but this doesn't necessarily make them criminals.

We all agree that violent, forcible rape of someone of any age is unambiguously a serious crime. Likewise, no one doubts that preying upon pre-teens and young children is an unspeakable offense. But it's a big mistake to lump date rape and consensual sex between young people close in age with the more serious crimes, tarring all offenders with the indelible label of "sex offender".

I think the key to handling date rape and, especially, consensual sex between young people is flexibility; using discretion on a case by case basis. To handle these types of offenses in the same fashion as those of violent rape and true pedophilia only feeds hysteria and impedes the rational and fair exercise of justice with punishments that actually fit the crime.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Leaving The Enforcement of Laws Behind

After reading King of Ankh's post, "Baddies", where he asked readers what they would do if they witnessed a crime, I was inspired to write my own blog entry, even though I'd left a comment there.

First of all, I'd like to stress that despite being a former law enforcement officer, I do not and will not try to personally stop any crimes in progress -- especially the type of petty property crime that Gwyn described. Despite my years of experience, I'm no longer paid or certified to do so. I have no desire to risk injury or death -- and lawsuits!

There are, of course, some exceptions to that rule. If I witness something that threatens great bodily harm or death to a victim, I would try to stop it if it's reasonably possible. I no longer go about armed, so it's not always feasible to do so. Rushing into a situation unarmed, only to get myself hurt or killed -- and do nothing to help the original victim -- would only be a futile gesture.

Most often, the most useful thing I can do is to call the police, get tag numbers, descriptions, and so on. Because I am frequently out on the roads, I spot a lot of drunk drivers, which I report and will follow in my car to help officers en route to more quickly apprehend the offender. Using a cell phone to report possible drunk drivers is something any citizen can do and can help officers to get more drunks off the road.

One thing I totally mind my own business about are the victimless crimes -- gambling, prostitution, people drunk or high in public, but not driving, and so on. I didn't like enforcing such laws when I was certified and obligated to do so, so I damn sure will not now help to invade people's privacy by facilitating the enforcement of them. My attitude about such things is strictly, "Not my business -- not my problem".


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Compliment or Insult?

There are some adjectives that many people commonly consider to be positive personal descriptions that I view negatively.

One such adjective is "wholesome". Thought most people see wholesomeness to be a desirable thing, almost synonymous with good physical and psychological health, I get a vaguely nauseated feeling every time I hear it. "Wholesome" makes me visualize bovine-looking fundamentalists wearing cardigan sweaters with glazed, deer-in-the-headlights expressions. Other adjectives that immediately spring to my mind are "bland", "blah", "boring", "beige", "mundane", and "banal". I am glad to be anything but wholesome.

Two related adjectives are "average" and "normal". Many people actually aim to be average, to herd with the flock, to avoid standing out in any way. In the drive to be seen as normal -- and who gets to define "normal", anyway -- some people repress any thoughts that are original, unusual, or different. Many equate normal and average with correct and mentally healthy, though this isn't always necessarily so. Being what society considers "normal" and "average" is probably the safest approach to take to life, but it's neither the most fun or the most enlightening.

Conversely, there are several adjectives that most people view negatively that I take a perverse satisfaction from when they are applied to me.

The first one, obviously, is "promiscuous". Though most people, even if they are, in fact, promiscuous, back away from being described thusly. But I've never shied away from it. I am
promiscuous, but I don't see this as a bad thing, so I don't see any need to make excuses, obfuscate, or resort to euphemism when talking about my relationships with women.

Another time, a blogger left a comment calling me a "predator" after reading an entry on my other blog describing an instance when I was specifically looking for a one night stand and ended up having a brief consensual encounter with an emotionally vulnerable woman.

Though I don't actually think of myself as a "predator" -- especially now with all the hysteria about sex offenders -- I was not offended by being called this. I have to admit it turned me on and aroused me, as I fantasized about being a mountain lion stalking through the hills seeking a new mate.

Am I warped? Perhaps. But at least I'm honest.

Are any of my readers either put off by some things that most people consider complimentary and fascinated -- or at least neutral -- about certain descriptions most people would consider unfavorable? If so, tell me below in your comment.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Common Courtesy or Gender-Specific Chivalry?

Not too long ago when in the mall parking lot, I observed a couple heading to the car with their purchases. The man was loaded down with several large bags, while the woman walked unencumbered, except for a tiny purse. When they arrived at their car, the woman walked to the passenger side of the car and stood waiting for the man to unlock and open the car door for her -- while still loaded down with shopping bags -- after which he closed the car door for her.

I sneered at the sight of this. Who did she think she was -- a princess? And I was embarrassed to see a man so well trained and domesticated.

For one thing, she should have been carrying a couple of the bags to give him a hand. Secondly, she should have gone to the trunk with the man and helped stow the packages. And while it may have been valid for him to unlock the car doors if he had the only key, she certainly could have waited until the packages were stowed and then opened and closed the unlocked door herself.

I've also seen couples arriving at a public place, where the woman waits in the car for the man to come around and open the door for her, rather than simply clicking the locks so she can open it herself.

Don't get me wrong; I think common courtesy is a great thing. That is, I'm all for it when it is applied equally to everyone regardless of who they are. But I've got no use for the old-fashioned "chivalry" type of manners that a "gentleman" is expected to display to a "lady", simply because she is a woman. Some examples of this gender-specific etiquette include:

1. The aforementioned opening and closing of car doors. There are, of course, some exceptions to this that make sense: If the woman is struggling with packages, babies or small children, or is handicapped or elderly, then, of course, one should assist with the doors. This would be equally true if the sexes were reversed. But doing this for an unencumbered, able-bodied woman simply because she is female. No way.

2. Opening doors for women entering/exiting a building. It would seem to me that it's good manners to simply open the door for whomever is behind you -- there's no need to check their gender first and let the door slam in their face, if it's a man.

3. Helping a woman on with her coat. Again, unless she's elderly or handicapped, what's the point of pretending she actually needs help doing this?

4. Assisting a woman to get seated at the dinner table; pulling out the chair for her and helping her push it up to the table. Once again, what's the need? I'm also guessing that many women might feel distinctly uncomfortable with all this hovering.

5. Standing when a woman enters the room. What for? Good manners means you respect everyone equally -- don't respect a woman simply for being female. It would seem as if a polite greeting would do in this instance.

6. Giving up your seat to a woman on public conveyances. Again, this should be done for anyone, regardless of sex, if they are struggling with packages or children, or are elderly or handicapped. If it's an able-bodied woman with her hands free, my ass is staying seated.

At root, the entire point of courtesy is to treat others as one would wish to be treated. Good manners should be the same for everyone, regardless of who or what they are.

I understand that some of the women here might not agree with me, but we'll just have to agree to disagree.


Thursday, June 7, 2007

Presidential Candidates and Faith

Last Monday, when speaking at a forum about faith and politics, Hillary Clinton said that her faith in God helped to save her marriage after the Lewinsky affair was made public.

"I am very grateful that I had a grounding in faith that gave me the courage and the strength to do what I thought was right, regardless of what the world thought," Clinton said. "I am not sure I would have gotten through it without my faith." She added, "At those moments in time when you are tested, it is absolutely essential that you be grounded in your faith."

While this is all well and good for her, I think my first reaction to being asked such a personal question in public would have been to say that it was a private matter and not the public's business. I think the question was entirely inappropriate.

Indeed, I think that delving into a candidate's personal religious beliefs is treading on thin ice -- it smacks too much of the idea of a religious test for office, a notion the Founding Fathers discarded over 200 years ago.

But the 2008 candidates, both Democrat and Republican, all are quick to assure voters that they possess a religious faith. But as far as I'm concerned, their faith or lack thereof is an entirely private matter and should not reflect on their fitness to hold the country's highest office.

I think the best handling of the personal faith issue so far has come from the Rudy Guiliani camp, when a spokesman released a statement saying that Guiliani was Catholic, but that "The mayor's personal relationship with God is private and between him and God."

In other words "'Nunya' Business!"


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Kirk Douglas: Seduced at Age 15 By Teacher

In his autobiography, "Let's Face It -- 90 Years of Living, Loving, and Learning", actor Kirk Douglas revealed that he was a willing "victim" of statutory rape, when he was seduced by a schoolteacher at the age of fifteen. Kirk wrote that he didn't consider that the woman could have faced prison for their relationship, but that he still doesn't regret a thing.

Douglas wrote, ""I had been a ragamuffin kid of 15 coping with a neighbourhood filled with gangs... Under her guidance I became a different person. I am eternally grateful. "By today's standards she would have gone to jail. I had no idea we were doing something wrong. Did she?"

Well, this was 1932, and I seriously doubt that anything beyond losing her job would have happened to the teacher. While I don't think anyone would have approved of what happened, I don't think the classification of statutory rape would have applied to this situation at that time, considering that many people then quit school at 16, got married, and took on adult jobs. Of course, it would have been a whole different ball game if the teenager had been a girl and the teacher a man, needless to say.

This story was especially interesting to me because I lost my virginity at the same age to a woman 20 years my senior, the details of which can be read on my other blog. Douglas' feelings about the matter, of not regretting it for a minute, also correspond to how I view what happened with me. It rings true.


Monday, June 4, 2007

Online Dating Site Sued For Discrimination

Linda Carlson, a lesbian from California, recently sued because the site does not allow those seeking same-sex or bisexual relationships to join. The lawsuit claims that by only offering to find a compatible match for men seeking women or women seeking men, the company was violating state law barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

eHarmony also rejects applications from separated people, which implies that the site is solely for people looking to get married. Apparently, those seeking platonic friendship, casual sex, or unmarried relationships of varying levels of commitment need not apply, either. Applicants take an extensive personality test, with 16 percent being rejected as "poor marriage prospects", because they are deemed to be "emotionally unhealthy". By whose standards, I wonder. I can't help but think that perhaps many of those they reject for this reason probably are just lonely, not crazy.

Neil Clark Warren, a Christian psychologist author with ties to James Dobson's Focus on the Family, is the founder of eHarmony, which explains the discriminatory nature of this site. When asked why his site doesn't provide same-sex matching, Warren pointed out that same-sex marriage is illegal in most states. "We don't really want to participate in something that's illegal."

I think eHarmony is cutting off its nose to spite its face. Opening their services to those seeking same-sex relationships, bisexual relationships, and heterosexual relationships whose purpose/goal is something other than monogamous marriage could only be a profitable way to expand its market.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

From the Mouths of Children

As anyone who is a parent knows, sometimes kids can say the most off-the-wall things. I'm sure I said my share of crap, but the only thing I can remember is being a preschooler and watching my Dad do his income tax. My parents died laughing when I went over to my Dad and informed him that I was tax deductible. Who knows where the hell I heard that from.

I have a cousin eight years younger than me who always mixed up the words "aunt" and "uncle" when she was little. I can clearly remember her calling my father "Auntie" when she was about five or so. Everyone in the family teased her for years about that one.

My son came up with a few winners when he was a kid.

When he was three, if you asked him his age, he'd tell you that he was forty-five. I don't know where the hell he got that from

About a year later, if you asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he'd tell you he wanted to be a hit man. Seriously. The only thing I can figure is that he must have picked it up from one of the crime movies I'd watched back then.

A few years later, my father's car broke down. Very concerned, he asked my Dad if his car had had a heart attack.

Along that same time, I took him to eat dinner at the house of a married couple who were my friends. We were served steak and my son's steak had a thick strip of fat on it. Looking at the fat distastefully, he turned to the hostess and asked her if he had to eat the "rubber part". We all broke up and I'm still laughing now as I remember this.

What are some of the funny things your kids have said?