Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Racism and the Subway Spaghetti Incident

by Joanna

OK, I saw this video about a week ago, and I wanted to address it back then, but I decided not to, because I did not want to make any assumptions. My first thought was that the white woman who was verbally attacking the Black woman for eating on the subway train was a racist, particularly because she referred to the Black woman as an "animal", which is fairly often used as a racist epithet. I automatically thought that if this woman had encountered a young white woman eating on the subway, she would have either politely asked her to stop, or she would have ignored it completely. Since I am not usually one to shy away from saying what I think, particularly as it relates to racism, I am not sure why it took me so long to respond to this video. But, after reading this post from another blogger about the video, I decided to address it myself.

So, I went back to the youtube page where I originally saw the video and watched it once again. And, I read some of the comments related to the incident. And, I was not surprised to see how much racist vitriol was written.

Monday, March 28, 2011

11,12,13: Fast Ass Little Girls

I am 11 years old and my Dad just got me exactly what I asked for as my birthday gift. I carry my Mongoose dirt bike through our railroad apartment, past my sleeping mother, down creaky stairs and out of the heavy self slamming front door that leads to Monticello Ave. The evening air feels wonderful against my skin as I ride up and down the surrounding blocks for no other reason than sheer boredom. I suffer from insomnia but back then I just called it boredom.

Some nights I have a riding buddy. He is some neighborhood boy who sometimes rides along side of me when he sees me out with my dirt bike late at night. We don’t speak, rather he chases me through the streets as I speed forward, bunny hop and make sharp turns up and down the grid blocks of Jersey City. I don’t know his name but I see him often enough to know he had seen me in my private school uniform which should give away the fact that I am in grammar school. He asks me to come outside without my bike. Sneaking out of the house is even less complicated without my bike and so I did, and after several conversations on the corner of Reed Street I don’t hesitate to walk a few blocks away from home at his urging. One day he tells me he has a surprise for me. My curiosity gets the best of me and I follow him. He had given me a skate key a few nights before though I didn’t know how to skate. He promised me that he would take me skating and teach me one day.

I follow him through the side streets to an abandoned school that I had attended for kindergarten, maybe the familiarity of the building was one reason I let him coax me into following him up to the auditorium. It didn’t seem dangerous or wrong to be going into the building since abandoned buildings are just as common in Jersey City as buildings are that aren’t abandoned. People live and hang out in both according to my limited life understanding.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Sermon [Who was Jesus]

Some (especially fundamentalists) will find the following offensive. For many, the traditional view of Jesus as a redeemer who died to save humankind from eternal damnation is what holds their whole world together.
I have no quarrel with religious beliefs, especially beliefs that help make people kinder human beings. My advice for people who think they may be offended is to leave this blog immediately. Others may find what I have to say interesting, even refreshing. In either case, the choice to read is yours. However, the choice to think critically is yours -- and mine.
* * *
Who was Jesus and What Did He Say

Contrary to popular opinion, Jesus wasn’t a Red State Republican.

Jesus was born and raised a Jew. He lived and thought of himself as a Jewish teacher. All of his direct disciples were Jews. He felt that his job was to teach Jews about God and about the right way to live (though his teachings are truly for all people).

He did not intend to begin a new religion. He wouldn’t even have known what the word Christian means. In fact, Christian is a word that appeared after he died to describe people who believed some things that he himself never believed.

He wouldn’t have recognized the name Jesus Christ. His name was Yeshua or Yeshu (rhymes with day shoe), which is Joshua in English and Jesus in Greek. He didn’t have a last name. No one did in those days. Men were called So-and-so son of So-and-so, or So-and-so from Such-and-such a place. Whatever the case, Christ isn’t a name, it’s a title. It’s the Greek word for mashiakh, which is a Hebrew word that means “The Anointed One.”

Jesus once or twice referred to himself as a prophet. But he never thought of himself as the Messiah. The Messiah is a figure in Jewish legend that will supposedly appear one day to make the world perfect. Jesus never thought of himself as the son of God. True, he called God father, but that was (and still is) common in Jewish prayer. He didn’t mean that he was literally a son of God. He knew that he had a human father. He didn’t think that a male God had come down to earth and impregnated a human female, who had given birth to a hero, as in Greek and Roman mythology. What he meant by son of God was someone who takes after God, just as a son takes after his father. What he meant to teach was that if you truly love God, and treat your fellow human beings with respect and compassion, then you are a son of God.

Jesus knew he wasn’t the only son of God. On the contrary, he wanted everyone to become a son or daughter of God. His message was that no matter how poor, stupid, or confused we think we are, all of us are capable of becoming sons or daughters of God. He explicitly stated that anyone that acts with unselfish love is God’s beloved child. The second part of the message is that it is equally true that everyone is God’s beloved child and that God’s love is always present for us, no matter how selfishly we act.

The composition of the Gospels is an extremely complex subject, but what follows are some brief discoveries.

Jesus never wrote anything himself. The earliest account we have of him is the Gospel According to Mark, which dates about 70 years after Jesus’ death. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke probably date 20-30 years after, and the Gospel of John probably a little over a 100 years from Jesus’ death. None of these books were written by a direct disciple of Jesus. Jesus did have disciples named Matthew and Mark, but they weren’t’ the authors of the Gospels attributed to them. The Gospels were written in Greek, a language Jesus may, or may not, have known. His language was Aramaic, which is related to Hebrew. His original words, in original Aramaic, may never have been written down; if they were, they have been lost.
Seventy years is a long time; ninety or a hundred years is even longer. During those years, many stories were told about Jesus, and there were many reports of what he said. Some of these were handed down orally from Jesus’ own disciples, who lived with and knew him, even if they always didn’t understand his teachings. Disciples of disciples, who never knew the actual Jesus, made other stories and reports up much later.

Some people faithfully attempted to repeat the words he taught, and others added very different teachings, according to their own interpretation of what was true.

When the Gospels finally came to be written, their authors inherited a mix collection of teachings and stories, only part of which originated in the life and teachings of Jesus himself. Thomas Jefferson, a self-described spiritual man and author of the Declaration of Independence, once said, “There is internal evidence that parts of the Gospels have proceeded from an extraordinary man, and that other parts come from very inferior minds. It is easy to pick out the diamonds from the dunghills.” Imagine a president saying something like that today! Eventually he would spend a winter excising what he thought was contradictory and created what is now called the Jeffersonian Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.

And there are passages in the Gospels that seem to contradict the authentic teaching about God’s love, as in the end of Mark’s Gospel, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever doesn’t believe will be damned.” Sayings such as this make Jesus sound ignorant and small-hearted. I think Jesus would have been amused to hear such words attributed to him .

Another example, Jesus teaches us not judge (in the sense of not to condemn) but to keep our hearts open to all people. Later scriptures have Jesus as the final judge, who will float down on clouds for the world’s final rewards and condemnations. Jesus cautions against anger, teaches about the love of enemies, but in other passages Jesus calls his enemies “children of the devil,” and attacks them with savagery and contempt.

Which Jesus are we too follow? I think the task for any earnest spiritual seeker of faith, is to separate the diamonds from the shit. Like Jefferson, I don’t think it’s that hard to see through the political motivations of later interpretations.

I am not a Christian, but I believe the real Jesus was one of the most beautiful men who ever lived. He himself would probably have not considered himself beautiful or even special. He would have said that we are all beautiful, we are all special because – he definitely said this:

We are all children of God.

My name is Eddie and I'm in recovery from civilization...

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Friday Sex Blog [The Dream]

* * *

I was saved by a dream. Literally.

This is no figure of speech. I rarely ever remember my dreams and maybe this is a good thing, considering what the fuck kinda shit dwells in my subconscious. However, there was one unforgotten dream about several years ago that has had a tremendous impact on my life. In fact, after that dream I was never the same person -- changed me completely. And, get this: I don’t even remember its details.

Nonsense, you say? Read on…

About ten or more years ago, my life was imploding. Everything that I had worked towards, or valued, seemed to be unraveling. My marriage was on the rocks. Actually, it was barely breathing, it was waiting for someone to mercifully shoot it. I was in my senior year of my undergraduate studies and I had become so burnt out that I couldn’t retain any more information. A straight A student, my grades were plummeting and I was having a hard time finding meaning in it all. In addition, I couldn’t get a job to save my life.

It was a strange time, looking back, because though I realized things were coming to a head on many fronts, it seemed as if I were just floating around there for a bit. As if it were all happening, and I was there witnessing all of this, but unable to do anything about it.

Eventually, I divorced, barely escaped my senior year, and had to leave graduate school for a job and that’s where it all started. I was working for an East Harlem non-profit as a life skills trainer, when I met this young lady at the job. She was half my age, and I really didn’t think she was interested, but eventually she let her feelings known. Actually, what she said was, “Don’t you ever get it?” during dinner once. No, I’m dense and sometimes I don’t “get it.”

So it happens that I’m dating this really young lady and at first, my attraction to her was minimal. I mean, she was very pretty, intelligent, and we shared many common interests. We spent a lot of time going to museums, discussing poetry, reading books together, taking walks, etc. Still, I never felt any overwhelming feelings of love.

But I digress, I need to make my point…

Well, one thing led to another and she let on that her feelings for me were more than casual. I think the “L” word was mentioned or implied, and though there were red flags screaming all over the place (too complicated to discuss here), I allowed myself to entertain the possibility that the feelings were mutual. This woman was 25 years old to my 43. While the tired cliché that age is only a number may be true, my priorities and frames of reference were a lot different from hers. To make a long story short, eventually, she “fell out” of love and I was stuck in it. I had talked myself into love. We split and I was taking it pretty bad. Looking back, I realize now that what I had was an obsession, not love, but knowing that didn’t help my heart, if you know what I mean. I didn’t do anything overly stupid like stalk her, or act out on my compulsions, but I was in a lot of pain and anytime I said or did something idiotic or awkward, it was like adding insult to injury.

Things progressed and I end up like so: there I am, it’s a cold, rainy Friday night and I go home, just wanting to lay down and pull the covers over my head and sleep forever. I'm bemoaning the fact that after so much inner work, insight, and (supposedly) growth, I was still stuck on a fucked up pattern of behavior.

And that’s when The Dream happens…

I’m in deep pain and I go to sleep. Maybe it wasn’t just this girl, but the accumulation of everything that had been happening: divorce, stalled education, not being there with my son everyday -- I felt like I was in a boxing match and losing big time. I went to sleep shrouded in a profound and intense sorrow.

I dream.

I don’t remember the specifics of the dream, the content, but the feelings -- Oh my God! -- the feeling is what I remember totally. In the dream, there is a woman in my life, I don’t know or remember exactly what she looks like. I vaguely remember only her eyes and her smile. But that isn’t important. What’s important is that in this dream this woman loves me in a way I have never experienced in my life. The love is so palpable, so real that I feel it infusing my whole being with joy, washing away my sorrow as if it were mere dirt.

I get this very real feeling of being loved so completely, so totally that it seems as if my very being is transformed on a cellular level. In the dream, this woman knows everything about me: from my most insightful thoughts to the most pornographic. She knows it all, the good and the bad -- everything -- and yet she still loves completely, without condition.

It's a total, pure love.

In the dream, I remember hearing her voice because all I remember is that she was walking laughing with some of my friends. But I get the real sense that she loves me and I am filled with this utterly unconditional love and I’m ecstatic. I am joyful in a way I have never known before.

Then I wake up…

And here is the kicker: the feeling in the dream? That feeling of being loved? It’s still there! I’m filled with this incredible joy that seems to come from the very core of my being. It’s not an over-the-top “gee-I’m-so-happy” kumbaya-type feeling, but rather a calm presence at my center, washing away my fears and doubts. It’s as if the woman in my dream connected me to the very essence of love itself.

I never tried to analyze this dream, but without thinking about it in words, a part of me sensed that that woman in my dream wasn’t someone else, but an aspect of myself. Really. I didn’t get this by thinking about it; I sensed/ felt it in my body.

At least that was my experience.

Since that day, yes, I have experienced sadness, anger, disappointment -- the full catastrophe of life -- but nothing, not even death, has ever taken away this joy at the core of my being. It is an invincible joy.

Perhaps I was mistaken about the nature of this dream. Maybe it wasn’t an “aspect of myself” that loved me in this powerful way. What if the dream was pointing me to a path? What if the dream was directing me to the opening of my heart because the more I open, the more this presence grows in my life. When I close and contract, I lose contact; when I open, the connection becomes stronger. Maybe the dream wasn't about me in the usual sense that I experience myself. Perhaps the woman in my dream was dissolving the fake wall that separates me from you.

Whatever the case, she was certainly the woman of my dreams...

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ball of Confusion (Madness)

¡Hola! Everybody...
What can I say? There’s sooooo much going on in the world today it’s hard to figure out where to start... (lots of links!)

* * *

It is bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance.

-- Elizabeth Taylor

First, while the mostly conservative US media and political class assure us that toxic sludge (or at least “safe nuclear reactors”) are good for us, you’d better not drink the water (or milk) in Japan, cuz, you know, the radiation levels are kinda/ sorta above levels. Shit, I live about 25 miles from a steaming mess of nuke that’s more dangerous than the Japanese glow-in-the-dark one. Imagine trying to evacuate about 22,232,494 (more or less) people from the NY Metro area? We’re not very polite... LOL

I find it ironic that the same people who were after the Village Idiot’s head (on a platter) for waging war under false pretexts and redistributing wealth (upwards), now applaud Obama as he does the same. In fact, we’re fighting three wars right now. Teachers are being fired, jobs (and record profits) continue to be outsourced, republican state governors are trying to bring us back to the days of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire tragedy, and we just ejaculated 131 Tomahawk missiles at $1 million a pop.

Hold on while I sneeze:


Sorry, but I’m allergic to moral cowardice.

On the entertainment front, raging beauty, talented actor, compassionate activist, Elizabeth Taylor passed away. The first time I saw The Last time I saw Paris, I was so struck by her beauty, it felt as if her image was burned into my brain synapses. What a gorgeous freak of nature! IMNSO, Taylor was matched in beauty and talent only by the as sublime Dorothy Dandridge (who, unfortunately, wasn’t allowed to shine). Taylor also cared, she left the world a little better than she found it, AFAIC.

I spent all day yesterday meeting with lawmakers and attempting to sway their positions regarding criminal justice policy. The event was part of a coalition of organizations that included a group from the Juvenile Justice movement. Right now NY State, which is facing a so-called budget deficit, is maintaining several empty prisons at the cost of more than $200 million per year. In addition, we’re closing schools at a time when we’re sending juveniles to prisons deemed inhumane by federal investigators. The cost of keeping one child in prison per year in New York state? Over $100,000. Some researchers put the actual cost at over $200,000 per bed, per year!

The good news? For me it was hanging out with a great bunch of very young activists, who were well-versed on the issues and who, in passionate terms and an informed manner, schooled members of our state legislature on the foolishness of incarceration as a panacea for all social ills. Even legislators hostile to our agenda seemed genuinely impressed by the young people in my group. I’ll be writing little bit more about this process later on this week. For those of you who like to beat up on our youth, I am compelled to ask: what the fuck are you doing to make this world a better place?

So, there you have it: there’s the mess, the message, and there’s also solutions to the mess. Which part did you play today? Are you making this a better world?

Just sayin...

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery form civilization...

"I Love The Way You Lie": The Media, Chris Brown & Anger Management

By: Johnathan Fields

In an effort to clear some of the air regarding a piece I did earlier this year on Kanye, wherein I argued his use of misogynistic images should not blind us to the other things operating in his "Monster" video, hopefully my commentary on the Chris Brown debauchery will further articulate my stance.

One of the comments I received on the Kanye piece was about the history of Black communities and how Black women have continually been silenced at the expense of Black men. While I don't whole-heartedly agree with these claims, as Black heterosexual women have often been given more voice than some Black gay men, it is interesting to watch patriarchy unfold yet again with all of the commentary on Chris Brown. Why are Black women being held accountable in an attempt to excuse a Black man's actions?

Frankly, I don't give a damn about Chris Brown or his anger management issues. My personal opinion on artists dates back to Michael Jackson when people wanted to throw child molestation claims around. When it comes to the musician or artist, all we need to measure them upon is their art. We can argue that art reflects life, which of course is a personal decision each of us can make. But, at the end of the day, the artist hopefully has a career because we appreciate their art. If we decide not to support that art because of their personal life politics, so be it. But don't expect others to follow suit. The cultural climate in which we live does not allow artists to separate their personal and professional lives. Instead, the media has conditioned us to expect both.

It is imperative that we unpack the nuances of a scenario where a music artist busts his hands through a window on the set of Good Morning America. In 2009, Chris Brown was charged with assaulting his then girlfriend, Rihanna. Clearly, ol' boy has been working through some anger issues if he can't seem to control his rage--which is further illustrated by his behavior at GMA. The media speculation ensued and Brown was dubbed the face of domestic violence. Sure enough, partners and sponsors began to distance themself from Brown. Rihanna's career continued to gain public momentum. However, resentment seemed to be built by some. Why were people saying Chris' career was over? What about Rihanna? Some asked where her accountability was. Hmm...Some people allowed their own personal dislike for Rihanna to cloud the fact that no one deserves to be beaten.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Do White People Stink?

by Joanna
It is amazing to me that white folks, when confronted with blatant examples of racist words and deeds will go above and beyond to prove that racism simply no longer exists. Or it only exists among certain fringe groups of white people. Or, only in certain parts of the country. It is very rare to hear a white person admit culpability in perpetuating racism in overt or subtle ways.

When a white woman goes on a racist rant about Asians in her college library, people are quick to jump to her defense, claiming that she is not racist, that she was just making an observation that would be perfectly acceptable if not for the 'PC Police'. When a white politician says that Mexican immigrants should be shot down like feral hogs, it is written off as an innocuous joke. And when a TV psychologist spews the N-word eleven times when communicating with a Black caller, she is given a pass because 'Black people say it all the time'.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Sermon [Dreams and Illusions]

For those interested in the issue, the online magazine, Subversify, has published an editorial of mine on the nuclear crisis in Japan (click here)

Also, here's to wishing Rippa a quick recovery...

* * *

Your sleeping and your waking dreams
have different forms, and that is all.

For many years I was plagued by a recurrent dream. I would call it a nightmare, actually. However, it wasn’t the kind of spine-tingling nightmare that wakes one up in a cold sweat. It was worse than that. The dream always seemed so real, that it would take quite a while after awakening to realize it was a dream. The premise of the dream is simple: I have been living a lie. In this dream, the life I was living was the complete opposite of everything I have worked for.

It’s difficult to describe the horror of waking up to that “fact” – that my life has been a lie. And the thing is that it’s so real. One woman I know used to tell me that it was the “Devil” trying to get at me. LOL! I truly abhor such thinking.

It’s been years since I’ve had this dream, but it had a devastating potential. What I learned from my sleeping dreams is that our minds have the ability to create worlds that, while we remain asleep, seem completely real ands appear to be outside of us. Yet, as in my recurrent nightmare, all the people and things in these dreams are in actuality creations of our own minds that we mistake for reality. It is only when we awaken that we come to the realization that none of the events that seemed to happen in the dream ever occurred.

The core teachings of all the great spiritual traditions emphasize that what we call “reality” is also a dream – a dream from which we have not yet awakened and therefore do not recognize. Modern science is proving these ancient traditions true. Cutting edge research in perception, knowledge acquisition, and “gathering data” show that, rather than perceiving in the pure sense, we actually create our world. We have to -- otherwise we wouldn’t have survived as a species. We create “schemas” (maps) so that we don’t continually have to process data. This is a good thing; it ensures that we can act swiftly to dangers and situations needing immediate action. It also has its downside in that it creates filters that serve as obstacles to perception.

I feel the aim of life is to awaken from both our sleeping and waking dreams. The aim of any effective guidance, spiritual or otherwise, is to help us recognize our dreams and illusions and to awaken from them. Dreams show us that we have the power to create the world – as you would perceive it. And because you want to see it a certain way, it becomes that. Because you perceive things in a certain way, you have no doubt that it is real. Yet, here you are in a dream within a dream, mistaking cause for effect.

If you want freedom, then the end of dreaming is the end of fear. Awaken to the reality of the here and now and you will awaken to a different universe. Ultimately, all you have is this moment. You can’t even love without being present in this moment: love in the past is but a memory and love in the future is but a mere fantasy.

Wake up...

My name is Eddie and I'm in recovery from civilization...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

In Defense of Rebecca Black: "Friday" Singer Cyberbullied By Grown Men

If you're not familiar with Rebecca Black, you might want to read about her here at KnowYourMeme.com.

I was at work when I first watched this video, and I called my coworker over to show her. We laughed at it. Let's be honest, the video is funny in just how impossible it is. Kids her age are not driving on the highway, and they shouldn't be partying at some block/houseparty type deal either. We both asked "Where are their parents?"

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Japan Crisis, Racism and Social Networking: Two Sites Take On Racist Pigs

Like everyone else, I was in shock at the sheer devastation that seemed to engulf Japan like an all-consuming fire.  I woke up to news about an earthquake, and then it became clear there was a tsunami, but I guess I didn't think it would be that bad.  Then the news reports made it clear: something REALLY bad had happened to Japan and her people, and it was unprecedented. 

I watched in horror as the waves headed menacingly and quickly to towns, washing away boats, people, cars.  The only thing in my heart was a prayer for those lost and for those who survived.  I did not think about anything else.  My heart was and is with Japan, as are most of yours.

But not everyone had family who developed a moral compass within them and for them.  Not everyone has class or even love for fellow human beings; empathy even.  Not everyone has a brain either, as witnessed by the stunningly sheer ignorance, hatred and outright RACISM featured for the world to see at Ignorant and Online and Karma Japan

I don't want to get into demographics too much.  It would be easy to point out that the vast amount of racists and morons featured on the page are White, but that would be a disservice, because the same people raising hell against these imbeciles are as multicultural, and White, as those talking the shit.  Sure, one may be able to put race in there, but I think that absolves the group as a whole.  Believe me, this is a group effort at this level of ignorance.

The Friday Sex Blog [Sexuality]

Note: I've been extremely busy fund-raising and writing proposals in an attempt to secure funding for my project.


Yes, there was a basic attraction that was true enough. But there was also a wild beast-like hunger for every inch of your body, every secret niche and shameful part of it, every smell. It yearned to throw you under me on your belly and fuck you from behind, riding you mercilessly, relishing in the musky smell wafting from your ass, glorifying in penetrating your reddened cheeks, your helpless cries and tangled hair -- in ruthlessly taking your offering…

You are a sexual person since before the day you are born – from the womb to the tomb. Part of a healthy sexual attitude includes understanding sex as a positive aspect of life. Maintaining an affirmative sexuality and expressing sexuality in a manner that improves your life is necessary for developing the capacity for intimacy.

This perspective is vastly different from the traditional double standard that most follow. Anti-sex conditioning and negative attitudes regarding sexuality -- especially that sex is “dirty,” that men and women are sexually different/ incompatible -- creates sexual dysfunction and separates us from our basic nature. Sexuality is a normal way for you to express your human need for touching, sharing, and pleasuring. This need is equally valid for men and women.

The good news is that you can undo the conditioning and increase your sexual awareness and comfort. This does not mean that you have to feel sexual and perform at any time, in any situation, with any partner. That is the sexual pressure placed by tradition on the shoulders of men. It is a dehumanizing perspective of male sexuality. Equally dehumanizing is the traditional imperative that females should not to be sexual at any time, in any situation, or with any person other than her husband or intimate partner-- and even then not be carried away with passion. I am amazed at the vast numbers of women going without sex these days.

Yes, you can learn to be comfortable with your sexuality and more accepting of yourself as an essentially sexual person. The wonderful truth of the matter is that you have the choice to be sexual at a time and in a manner where you can truthfully celebrate healthy sexual expression.

There are many ways we learn about sexuality, but the most primal one is through touch. The touching you received from your mother and father as a child is important; so is your own touching to explore your body. Before the age of six months, children discover the positive sensations of touching their genitals. Was playing with your penis or vulva accepted by the parent as normal and healthy, or were your hands slapped while being told: “No! That’s dirty!”?

My point here is not to get into a blame game for sexual dysfunction; your parents were acting out according to the sexual scripts that were handed down to them. It has only recently emerged that childhood sexual curiosity and exploration are a healthy part of human development. However, it is my belief that as adults we can learn to undo negative sexual conditioning and build a healthy sexual awareness and sexual self-esteem.

There’s a lesson for all of us in a child touching herself that we need to heed. The child is experiencing positive, pleasurable feelings, not genitally focused sexual arousal.

Sensuality is the basis for sexuality.

The child feels she’s entitled to the warm, comfortable feelings of sensual touch. Genital exploration and stimulation are a natural extension of sensuous touch.

That’s the gist of it all. No one, or no book, can teach you nor force a sexual response. No one can teach you how to become sexually aroused and have an orgasm. The potential for sexual response is natural. What you can learn is awareness of sensual and sexual stimuli, how to nurture and cultivate sexual desire, the importance of clear and direct communication, and active involvement in giving and receiving pleasure. You have to be open to your sexuality, not inhibited by the obstacles that interfere with healthy sexual expression.

The most common obstacle to uninhibited sexuality is goal-oriented sex. That’s not sensuality, but a fast food version of sexuality. I call it “Mickey Dee sex.” No wonder so many women pack it up! (Use it or lose it, bitches. LOL!). Goal-oriented sex -- sex in which the ends (orgasm) supersede the process (sensuality) -- leads to a lot of emotional wreckage. The list is exhausting: performance anxiety, peer pressure, forced sexual response, use of sex as a weapon in an argument or power struggle, use of sex for manipulation -- and on and on the list goes.

Sex is not a performance to prove something to yourself or you partner, it’s not a spectator sport in the sense that it’s not a competition to see who can have the best orgasm, or last the longest, or anything like that. You hear people talking about sex in the most degrading manner: “I did that bitch,” “Girl, I did that ma’fucca so good he gave me his PIN number.” People seem to focus on technique as if being a sexual acrobat can make them a good lover and that’s so much bullshit.

In any case, that’s not sex, it’s rutting. In fact, it’s not even good rutting. I’m all for rutting, as long as it’s a good rut. Otherwise, I’d rather jerk off.

Sexual awareness is about being open and receptive to affectionate, playful, erotic, and intimate touch. The essence of sexuality is giving and receiving pleasurable touch.

Sensuality is not something you either have or do not. It’s a range of attitudes, behaviors, and feelings which reflect you as a sexual person. Remember: sex is a good thing

::Martha Stewart smile::

Sexuality is a major part of who you are as a human being and your personality. You are responsible for your sexuality; express it so that it enhances your life and intimate relationships.



When "Turning the other cheek" is not the answer......

by Joanna

When I was younger, I was constantly bullied by the kids I went to school with. For the longest time, I just impotently screamed and yelled back at my torturers, because I had no idea how else to combat them. I tried to conceal things from my parents, but after one too many times coming home and heading straight to my bedroom to cry, my mother figured out what was going on. She really did not know what to do either.... she had been convinced for many years that fighting was not the answer, and that the best way to deal with a bully was with words, or by walking away and being "the better person". Of course, being "the better person" often caused anxiety and depression, because it left me feeling impotent when it came to protecting myself.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Disorderly Conduct" According to the TSA.......

by Joanna

Did you know that if you peacefully protest the tactics used by the TSA in screening passengers, you could end up in handcuffs? 'Tis sad, but true. Check out the story of Aaron Tobey, who was detained, interrogated and charged with "disorderly conduct" who staged a small personal protest after opting out of passing through a scanner.

Excuse me officer.... does this bag look a little short??

This is one for the WTF files.... a story of epic dumbassness.

EAST HARTFORD, Conn., March 16 (UPI) -- Police in Connecticut said they arrested a man who called 911 to complain about being "cheated" in a cocaine transaction.

East Hartford police said Antonio Recinos, 35, called 911 at about 1 a.m. Sunday to say he had been "cheated" after paying $40 for 0.4 gram of cocaine, The Hartford Courant reported Tuesday.

Investigators said Recinos later approached an officer on patrol and showed him the baggie of cocaine he had earlier purchased. The suspect, who appeared to have been drinking, told the officer he had not received enough cocaine for what he paid.

Recinos was arrested and charged with possession of narcotics. SOURCE

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Want to see your tax dollars at work? Go watch NASCAR racing!

by Joanna

Did you know that sponsoring NASCAR teams is part of the defense budget of the United States? Yes, crazy but true. A Minnesota Democrat recently proposed an amendment that would prohibit the Pentagon from sponsoring NASCAR teams. Since $60 million needed to be cut from the budget for the current fiscal year, ending the practice of sponsoring a racing team should have been a no brainer right? Nope... her amendment failed. Despite the fact that McCollum received angry phone calls from NASCAR fans she is determined to continue the fight to end the sponsorship deals.

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) started it when she offered up an amendment to the federal spending bill calling on the Army stop spending millions of dollars to splash its logo all over, among other things, the Sprint Cup car driven by Ryan Newman....
...McCollum is taking a hard line against NASCAR, calling on the Pentagon to cease spending taxpayer funds to sponsor Newman's #39 Chevy Impala. Other branches of the military ended their sponsorship of Sprint Cup cars -- a sponsorship that comes with a hefty pricetag -- years ago. But, as the National Journal reports, the Army is still at it, dropping $7 million in racing sponsorship money on the sport last year.
The Congresswoman's staff told the magazine they could find no benefit to the Army from the deal.
"Who is in Iraq or Afghanistan because they saw an Army car go around the track?" McCollum's chief of staff said. "We're in a fiscal crisis. There's an amendment on the floor to eliminate all funding for homeless veterans. How is it more important to fund race cars than to help the men and women who served our country?" SOURCE

Should Students Be Kept in Cages? New Orleans Charter School seems to Think So!

by Joanna

Wow... it seems like McDonogh City Park Academy in New Orleans is teaching its students.... to become prisoners! A mother in New Orleans recently complained that her 14 year old, who was being disciplined for stepping out of the lunch line, was forced to stay in an area resembling a prison cell (or a cage) for 30 minutes.

A local mother is mad about what she's calling cruel and unusual punishment at her son's Charter School.

Latreshia Davis says school leaders at McDonogh City Park Academy routinely lock students inside a cage; as a form of discipline.

"I sent him to school to get an education," said parent Latreshia Davis.

Davis does not mind the burglar bars outside McDonogh City Park Academy; but she is angry about the fenced-off area inside, used to discipline students.
"To me it looks like a jail or a cage for an animal," Davis said. SOURCE

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

42% of Millionaires Surveyed "Do Not Feel Wealthy"

by Joanna

This article says exactly what I have suspected for a really long time. Specifically, that the more money people have the more they seem to complain that they "need" more. It seems like there is a trend today that even those with millions of dollars in the bank want to complain that they do not have enough, and want to classify themselves as "middle class".

While most millionaires say they feel wealthy, a large share do not, according to a survey by Fidelity Investments.
Of 1,000 millionaires surveyed last fall, 42 percent said they don’t feel wealthy — and wouldn’t being to until they had $7.5 million in investable assets (what they have without counting workplace retirement accounts or real estate).
Feeling wealthy involves a sense of having more than what you need, said Gail Graham, the executive vice president at Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. This can include the ability to buy luxurious items, and give your money away to family members
“Many of the respondents are baby boomers, who are supporting their parents and children,” Graham said
Retirement saving is a major worry, even for millionaires. Four in 10 surveyed said having enough money to support their lifestyle after retirement is their biggest concern. SOURCE

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Hampshire Republican Senator Says Disabled & Retarded Should Be Kicked Out of the Country

by Joanna

Apparently, the world would be a better place if those pesky "defective people" were just gone. You know the ones I mean right? The disabled, the mentally ill, the addicts? Well, according to New Hampshire state representative, 91 year old Martin Harty, some people are simply disposable.

Barrington Republican Martin Harty told Sharon Omand, a Strafford resident who manages a community mental health program, that "the world is too populated" and there are "too many defective people," according to an e-mail account of the conversation by Omand. Asked what he meant, she said Harty clarified, "You know the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions - the defective people society would be better off without."

Harty confirmed to the Monitor that he made the comments to Omand. Harty told the Monitor the world population has increased dramatically, and "it's a very dangerous situation if it doubles again." Asked about people who are mentally ill, he asked, apparently referring to a lack of financial resources, "Can we afford to bring them through?"

Harty said nature has a way of "getting rid of stupid people," and "now we're saving everyone who gets born.....

..... Omand said she called Harty, who represents her district, to tell him her concerns about the House Finance Committee's proposed cuts to mental health services. Omand said Harty said he disagreed with her and made the comments about eugenics.

Omand says Harty then stated, "I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population."

Omand said Harty appeared to be serious. After Omand responded that his idea sounded like what Adolf Hitler did in World War II, Omand said Harty responded, "Hitler did something right, and I agree with (it)." SOURCE

Victim Blaming in Cleveland, Texas Gang Rape of 11 Year Old...

by Joanna

An 11- year old girl in Cleveland, TX was gang raped by up to 28 men over the Thanksgiving holiday, and now, she is the one coming under attack in her community and in the media.
The assaults happened Nov. 28 after a 19-year-old with prior drug convictions persuaded the young girl to leave her house and go "riding around" with him and two other young men, according to a Cleveland police officer's sworn statement.
They first went to the blue house, where she was ordered to disrobe. If she refused, the statement said, she was warned other girls would beat her up and she would never get a ride back home.
Soon she was having sex with multiple young men there, the statement said. Someone used a phone to invite four more men, who soon arrived.
Not long afterward, the group fled through a back window when they heard a relative of one of the teens arriving at the blue house. The 11-year-old left behind her bra and panties as the group moved to the nearby abandoned trailer, where the assaults continued. As the men had sex with the girl, others used their cell phones to take photographs and video, police said.

Over the next two days, the recordings went viral around school. One student who recognized the girl and several of the young men, including star athletes, in the videos, alerted school authorities and triggered the investigation. SOURCE

Having sex with an eleven year old is WRONG. I do not care if she “asked for it”. I do not care if she has had sex partners previously. I don’t care if she “looks like she is grown”. I don’t care if she is “fast”. She is eleven, and if a teenage boy or a grown ass man has sex with her, he is a rapist and a child molester. There is a reason that a child is not able, according to the law, to consent to participate in sexual activities. A child’s mind is not capable of using the same decision making process as an adult.

This story is about a little girl who was raped by up to 28 teen boys and grown men. Yet, the members of her local community AND the media seem to want to make this story more about what SHE and her parents supposedly did wrong.

CLEVELAND - All Maria wanted was to see her 11-year-old daughter.

Weeks ago, the girl had been hushed away to a "safe house" for her own protection - after the phone calls started, and the disturbing, sexually explicit videos began surfacing in this town of 9,000 about 50 miles north of downtown Houston.

Seventeen men and boys, including a middle school student and adults in their 20s, have been charged with sexually assaulting Maria's daughter, a sixth-grader, in a dingy trailer. That number could grow to 28.

Last week, while hospitalized for an illness, Maria finally received a brief visit from the girl.

"My daughter was crying and crying and hugging on me," Maria said. "She didn't want to leave. She misses her family and wants to come home."

But the family's tiny gray wooden home off a long, dark forested road on the outskirts of town is no longer considered safe for the 11-year-old. Child Protective Services put the girl in a foster home for her protection and restricted her family from even speaking to her, the family said.

Local officials say the attack has devastated this close-knit community, leaving many to wonder who will be charged next. There's talk that a star athlete at Cleveland High School was seen sexually assaulting the girl on the video. The son of a local school board member is involved, too.

Someone has been making phone calls to Maria's house. Police fear they're coming from people seeking retribution.

"They keep calling and asking for her," said Maria, whose last name is not being printed to protect her daughter's identity. "They don't believe me when I say she's not here and cuss us out. They're trying to find her. This is the time when she needs us the most." SOURCE

Friday, March 11, 2011

Breast Milk: A Sexual Fetish? No, Seriously?

I'm gonna tell you a secret about me.

It's something that makes me self-conscious and there's nothing I could/would do about it because I don't believe in screwing around with my lady parts unless it's in the process of screwing around.

My breasts leak milk.

There! I said it. *looks away uncomfortably*

I gave birth to my first child many moons ago and my breasts filled up with milk at a point in time during my pregnancy as is expected. I gave birth to my daughter and she was breast fed and bottle fed for her first six months of life. I researched and was taught how my body produced my child's food and how good it was for her to have the nutritional benefits of breast milk in her diet. I stopped breast feeding her when I wasn't able to keep up with her appetite and so I stopped...or so I thought until a lover mentioned how sweet my breasts tasted. Hmm..they "should 'dry up' at some point" is what the Dr. told me.

Years later I bumped into a door hard as hell and had two wet spots stuck to my hard nipples as proof that my breasts hadn't yet stopped producing milk. It took only one asshole to over react once he realized he inadvertently lapped up my breast milk during foreplay for me to become self conscious about it. I still get anxious as soon as a lover touches my breasts in any way.

Not that the rest weren't curious/enthralled/turned on by it. This still confuses me so I thought I'd bring this to you fine folks.

Erotic lactation, also known as Lactophilia is a person that gets sexually turned on from breastfeeding. The terms adult suckling, adult nursing, and adult breastfeeding have interchangeable meanings. Some partners share an adult nursing relationship where an adult feeds from the woman’s breasts. A couple in an exclusive relationship can be called a nursing couple.

"Milk fetishism" and "lactophilia" are the official diagnostic terms for this specific fetish.

Traditionally both the breasts and nipples are highly erogenous zones, both for men and women. Nipple and breast stimulation of a woman is a common aspect of sexual arousal. Though sensitive and capable of giving great pleasure the nipples of males are not as sexualized as females in the Western Culture. Humans are the only primates that have females with permanently enlarged breasts after puberty; other primate species are only enlarged during pregnancy.

Scientist guess that the breasts grew as a frontal counterpart to the buttocks when primates began to walk upright. Breasts are evolutions counterpart to the booty; prominent in order to attract males.

Another possibility assumes that the offspring had a better chance of survival if the mothers were to receive physical pleasure from nursing their babies. Never thought of that; shall I now mention that I never minded breastfeeding. Though I heard some women say that breastfeeding was uncomfortable or even painful; I compared it to another pleasurable function my breasts served. Do with that what you will.

Breasts may also have evolved as a way for men to visually note that a woman had reached "maidenhood" or rather the age at which time she would begin to compete for sexual selection among the available men.

Breasts may also have developed to act as a cushion for infant heads, or may have been a signal of fertility, or to elevate the head of the child during breastfeeding to prevent suffocation.

Unintended milk flow (galactorrhea) is often caused by nipple stimulation and it is possible to reach normal milk production exclusively by suckling on the breast. Nipple stimulation of any sort is noted in reducing the incidence of breast cancer. So shout out to all those breast men out there. You keep us healthy!

Because female breasts and nipples are generally regarded as an important part of sexual activity it is common for couples to go from licking breasts to suckling milk.


In 2005 the London The Sunday Times gave a report of a survey that showed that in 25% to 33% of all couples the male partner had drank his wife's breast milk. The men did so on purpose as an act of sexual enticement.

Since the European Middle Ages, a multitude of subliminally erotic visionary experiences of saints have been passed on in which breastfeeding plays a major role. One prominent example is the Lactation of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux where the Virgin Mary is shown spraying breast milk into the eyes of Saint Bernard. It miraculously cured his eye infection.

While lactation does appear in pornography, it is considered taboo because of its association to incest and children. Most breast pictures are without milk both in and out of pornography. You won't often see a picture of a woman's breast with expelled milk like this one right here.

Some people may confuse enjoyment of breast milk with infantilism which is the fetish of a partner taking on the role of a suckling baby. The entire act is about being pampered by “Mommy”; it involves wearing diapers, soiling them, allowing oneself to be bathed like a baby; discipline and reward may also be involved.

BDSM can involve breastfeeding a submissive partner as a reward or milking, the taking of submissive milk at the will of the dominant.

There were times during my 'club days' when I would spray milk across the room as a ‘trick’. It was usually met with enthusiasm and a request to do it again which was funny enough but what tripped me out the most was the amount of men and women who were willing to 'taste' breast milk. How many of you sitting here reading this right now would be absolutely livid if you found out your partner had suckled breast milk at some point in life and has now been kissing on you with those same lips.

I'm still working on how I feel about breasts and their little unique feature but I will say that every time I hear someone use that clichéd ass joke "Got Milk" you'll understand why I bust out laughing. I was told that there was some type of medication I could take to make them dry out but who wants to do anything considered 'drying out' to their breasts?

So, until the next time I get enough focus to write a post..what say you? Are you for or against breast milk? Is breast milk just simply milk and should I grab the cereal on my way back to bed? Should I duct tape them before sex so I don't skeeve anyone out again?

****Tracy Renee Jones is a social scientist, writer and an artist. Also writing under the name The Kinky Courtesan she writes a sexual fetish exploration and urban erotica blog based on her own former life as an adult entertainer. More of TRJ’s erotica work can be seen YouTube and also on Tumblr. She also runs The Trippie Hippie which is a lifestyle blog about holistic recipes, art, design, music and urban culture.

You can follow her on Twitter @tracyreneejones (during daylight hours) and as @thekinkycourtesan (NSFW/adult).

No breasts were hurt during the creation of this post.

The Friday Sex Blog [Sexual Ignorance]

The following entries are true…

* * *

-=[ They Actually Said That ]=-

When punishment is the subject, religion is the predicate.

“I personally object to vaccinating children against a disease that 100% preventable with proper sexual behavior.” -- Leslie Unruh, director, National Abstinence Clearing House ( link)

“If a woman wants to give birth to a healthy baby, Planned Parenthood kicks her out with a referral slip. After all, adoption is not where the money is.” -- Douglas Scott, president, Life Decisions International (link)

“The federal courts, and the Supreme Court in particular, have “systematically attacked Christianity.” -- Tony Perkins, president, Family Research Council (link)

“America must pursue a civil society that will democratically embrace its essential moral duties, including… caring for children born and unborn.” -- Proclamation of President George W. Bush, declaring January 18th “Sanctity of Life Day” (link)

“Course materials and instruction relating to sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases should include emphasis, provided in a factual manner and from a public health perspective, that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense.” -- Texas Health and Safety Code 163.002 (link)

“The Parents Television Council does not censor. The First Amendment was instituted to guarantee precisely the type of activities pursued by the PTC: free speech and disseminating information.” -- Parents Television Council, which pressures the government to remove “objectionable” TV shows from the air (link)

“Hardcore pornography, or material depicting actual sex acts, promotes the idea that human beings can be sexually used and abused without consequences. If we tolerate pornographic material that encourages people to indulge their darkest sexual fantasies, we cannot act surprised when millions do so in real life as well.” -- Daniel Weiss, media analyst for Focus on the Family: “Porn Feeds Human Trafficking,” Denver Post, Op-Ed, January 27, 2006

“We need to yell it to the top of the rooftops that these condoms we’re sending down to you don’t protect you… [You] have a false sense of security. So I think we’re sending the wrong message when we use taxpayer dollars to give condoms out to these kids and we don’t tell them ‘By the way, you’ll probably be dead at age 24 by cervical cancer. But we’re giving you condoms, so go do your thing.’ To me, abstinence is the only way.” -- Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-VA), at Congressional Hearing on Cervical Cancer and HPV ( link)

“When two people of the same sex… adopt children… I think what you have in many respects is state-sanctioned child abuse.” -- Radio Host Janet Parshall, on CNN’S Larry King Live (link)

Porn users “giver lame justification for their behavior like: ‘It’s harmless,’ or ‘Everybody’s doing it’ By doing this they ignore the effect their problem is having on people around them. This behavior is not OK, it’s not even almost OK. This habit is a perverse and ridiculous intrusion into [a] relationship.” -- Dr. Phil McGraw (link)

“[Journalists and politicians like you] are in what we call the reality-based community, people who believe that solutions emerge from the judicious study of discernible reality. That’s not the way the real world works anymore.” -- Senior advisor to President Bush, in conversation with journalist David Susskind (link)

“I’m always a little irritated when I hear the criticism of abstinence, because abstinence is absolutely 100 percent effective in eradicating a sexually transmitted disease.” -- Former First Lady Laura Bush, apparently utterly clueless to the fact that abstinence fails in 88% of teens who pledge it (link)

If the public can be convinced that condoms offer certain -- or nearly certain -- protection from pregnancies and STDs, then the [proponents] can argue that the only thing holding people back from free sexual expression is outdated, irrelevant religious restrictions.” -- Focus on the Family, on why they must discourage trust in condoms (link)


“This is just a short note to express my heartfelt thanks to you and the entire staff of Focus on the Family fro your help and support during the past few challenging months. I would also greratly appreciate it if you would convey any appreciation to the good people from all parts of the country who wrote to tell me that they were praying for me and for my family during this period. As long as I serve on the Supreme Court I will keep in mind the trust that has been placed on me. I hope that we will have an opportunity to meet personally at some point in the future. In the meantime my entire family and I hope that you and the Focus on the Family staff know how much we appreciate all that you have done.” -- supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, to James Dobson after Alito had been confirmed to the Supreme Court (link)

* * *

Yes, these resourceful idiots actually did say all of the above.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

Debbie Riddle Says: No Hiring Mexicans... Unless it is to cook, clean or mow your lawn!

by Joanna

Last week, this lovely story came out pertaining to a Texas lawmaker who believes that illegal immigration is just an awful, awful menace.... unless of course, the "illegals" stay in their lane and stick to performing menial household duties for rich white folks. Then, she sees no problem, and would even grant exemptions to the penalties for hiring undocumented immigrants to people employ them as household servants.

Texas has long been a hotbed of controversy on immigration issues. And a proposed immigration bill in the Texas state House is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows. The bill would make hiring an "unauthorized alien" a crime punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine, unless that is, they are hired to do household chores.

Yes, under the House Bill 2012 introduced by a tea party favorite state Rep. Debbie Riddle -- who's been saying for some time that she'd like to see Texas institute an Arizona-style immigration law -- hiring an undocumented maid, caretaker, lawn worker or any type of house worker would be allowed. Why? As Texas state Rep. Aaron Pena, also a Republican, told CNN, without the exemption, "a large segment of the Texas population" would wind up in prison if the bill became law.

"When it comes to household employees or yard workers it is extremely common for Texans to hire people who are likely undocumented workers," Pena told the news giant. "It is so common it is overlooked." SOURCE

Thursday, March 10, 2011

NPR Execs Slammed For Calling Tea Party "Racist". Why?

No, seriously. Why are they being slammed? I'm not going to get down with the Zionist comment. That's a little too far for me. I mean, whether or not Jews control the media or not is kind of irrelevant and sounds like scare tactics steeped in some kind of anti-semitism at most, fearmongering at least when it's usually brought up. I disagree with Schiller's stance on defunding NPR as well, but the other stuff seems spot on.

Where have these people been the last year or two? While not everyone in the Tea Party is racist, it sure does attract a vast amount of racists. It's no secret that they tend to be right-wing Christian xenophobes who obviously slept through most of their woefully inadequate high school history classes (not to mention just chose to read up on any of that after high school). I've dealt with them before in conversation--thankfully only on the internet. My own husband has disowned a cousin and an uncle for their covertly racist, Tea Party bullshit. The ideology is so thick, that there was no need for them to censor their bullshit at all, even though we have biracial children.

Schiller is seen on a videotape during a luncheon with men who were posing as members of the fictitious Muslim Action Education Center.

Among Schiller's comments: Tea Partiers are "Xenophobic, I mean basically they are; they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it's scary. They're seriously racist, racist people."

What's the big deal again? I guess we've forgotten last year's attacks on plans to build a mosque a few blocks from where the Twin Towers once stood. The Tea Party were on that like white on rice, using their "America Fuck Yeah" antics and capitalizing on a tragedy to push an agenda that was extremely xenophobic, not to mention Anti-Muslim in many ways.

Did we forget their mania when they thought President Obama would take away their guns? Have we forgotten their right-wing Christian agenda? Why do we have to mind our tongue when we are dealing with a brand of people who are wholly undeserving of that much courtesy? They ARE racist charlatans. Just check the study:

Surveyers asked respondents in California and a half dozen battleground states (like Michigan and Ohio) a series of questions that political scientists typically use to measure racial hostility. On each one, Tea Party backers expressed more resentment than the rest of the population, even when controlling for partisanship and ideology. When read the statement that "if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites," 73 percent of the movement's supporters agreed, while only 33 percent of people who disapproved of the Tea Party agreed. Asked if blacks should work their way up "without special favors," as the Irish, Italians, and other groups did, 88 percent of supporters agreed, compared to 56 percent of opponents. The study revealed that Tea Party enthusiasts were also more likely to have negative opinions of Latinos and immigrants.(more here)

I've long since believed that the little snide remarks about the Tea Partiers simply are not enough. They need to be openly discredited and attacked. Someone NEEDS to speak up against them, and they need to tell the truth. I am disheartened that Schiller left, and while I understand NPR doing what they did, when will we have people call a spade a spade? These people have been able to survive largely because they haven't been called out for the troglodytes that they are. This organization has survived this long by bully tactics and fooling the public into believing they aren't venomous vipers hellbent on turning the country back to archaic principles.

So, if they can't say it, I will. The Tea Party IS racist, xenophobic, obsessed with guns and pseudo-Christian to a harmful, unproductive degree.

It is what it is.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Single Mothers And The Hypocrisy Of Mike Huckabee

Last week a furor broke out over comments Mike Huckabee, the arch-religious conservative, made about Oscar winner Natalie Portman. You see, Natalie had committed the absolute worst sin:

And no, I'm not talking about the fact that she starred in a movie with Ashton Kutcher.

Portman's sin was that she had the AUDACITY to get pregnant out of wedlock. This is completely unacceptable. Who in the Hell does Natalie Portman think she is? Bristol Palin?

During an interview with conservative radio host Michael Medved, Huckabee had his Dan Quayle moment. This is what he said:

"You know Michael, one of the things that's troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, 'Hey look, you know, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having these children, and they're doing just fine.' But there aren't really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie. And I think it gives a distorted image that yes, not everybody hires nannies, and caretakers, and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that's the story that we're not seeing, and it's unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of having children out of wedlock.

You know, right now, 75 percent of black kids in this country are born out of wedlock. 61 percent of Hispanic kids -- across the board, 41 percent of all live births in America are out of wedlock births. And the cost of that is simply staggering."

Is Huckabee telling the truth? Are "most" single moms very poor, uneducated, and can't get a job?

The short answer is no. The long answer is this: 80 percent of single mothers work. Fewer than 10 percent are recipients of TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families). And 26 percent live below the poverty line.

26 percent! I suck at math, but even I know that 26 percent is not "most."

In a recent post for The Nation, Melissa Harris-Perry said that maybe Huckabee was really attacking teen mothers. After all, that's where the real crisis is. Only 50 percent of teen mothers finish high school. And the children of teens have higher risk of being born prematurely, having low birth rate, and dying during infancy.

I've seen "16 and Pregnant." I've seen teenage mothers holding their baby while sitting at the bus stop. I've seen my own 16 year-old sister struggle to take care of her kid.

And there is nothing sadder than a pregnant teenager. Because you already know that the odds of her kid making it in this cruel world is slim.

But Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, is just like every other card-carrying member of the Religious Right. They believe the way to get teen girls to stop having babies is to teach them abstinence.

Teaching kids abstinence is like sending Charlie Sheen to rehab. It doesn't work. It's counterproductive.

According to the CDC Healthwatch, the states with the highest teen birth rates were the states that emphasized abstinence-only programs. The five worst states (with rates of 60 pregnancies per 1,000 teens) are Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and . . . (drumroll) . . . ARKANSAS, Huckabee's old stomping ground.

Meanwhile, the states with the lowest teen birth rates (25 pregnancies per 1,000 teens) are Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. And they all offer sex education to their high school students. They teach them about the birds and the bees. They tell them, "Girls, you have a vagina. Boys, you have a penis. And when two people love each other, they have sex. And then they get married, and they stop having sex!"

To Mike Huckabee and all the other Christian Conservatives, here's something I want to "impregnate" into your skulls: You CANNOT have it both ways. You can't reject sex education, tell women they can't have safe (AND LEGAL) abortions, or access to birth control, and then turn around and complain that there are too many out-of-wedlock children in America.

If you guys want to reduce the number of women who have children out of wedlock, tell those Republican assholes in the House of Representatives to not defund Planned Parenthood. That would be the logical thing to do. But logic is a street that you guys refuse to drive on.

And these Christian Conservatives are the same Republicans who are so in favor of "personal freedom." But that freedom is restricted only to those who walk and talk the way they do. If you don't believe in their God, if you have an out-of-wedlock baby, if you have an abortion, and if you're gay, these people turn into the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld:

"No freedom for you!"

Let's go back to Huckabee's comment, the part where he says . . . "75 percent of black kids in this country are born out of wedlock. 61 percent of Hispanic kids -- across the board, 41 percent of all live births in America are out of wedlock births. And the cost of that is simply staggering."

This is the shit that pisses me off! Read between the lines. What he is saying is "these black and hispanic women are having these out-of-wedlock babies. And your tax dollars should not have to take care of their kids!" Every time I hear someone on the right talk about black women having babies, my bullshit radar starts going haywire. After all, it was Ronald Reagan who introduced America to the fairy tale known as the "welfare queen", the unwed black mother who committed welfare fraud, and used her government money to buy Cadillacs.
Ask anybody black and they'll tell you that was a bold-faced lie. Black women weren't taking their welfare checks and buying luxury cars. The truth is that black women were just trying to survive. A few of them were irresponsible, just not all of them. But truth is stranger than fiction. The Republicans needed to demonize welfare and they found poor black women to be easy targets.

Here's some more truth for you: The "cost" of all these black and hispanic kids does NOT come from being born of out wedlock. It comes from 30 years of Republican policies. Policies that cut taxes for rich white guys, while cutting social programs for black and hispanic kids. Policies that gave the economic pie to the wealthy, and gave the middle finger to everybody else.

"No pie for you!"

If Mike Huckabee wanted to criticize a celebrity, why didn't he pick on Lindsay Lohan for being a washed-up jailbird.? Or Kim Kardashian for being insufferable?

Why did he choose Natalie Portman? She may be having an out of wedlock baby, but she's engaged to her babydaddy. This girl is not your typical Hollywood starlet. She's intelligent. She went to Harvard. And there is a zero percent chance that you will ever see her on TMZ flashing her crotch as she steps out of a limo.

And didn't Huckabee watch Star Wars? Doesn't he know Natalie Portman's baby is going to one day defeat Darth Vader and blow up the Death Star?

I guess Huck was too much of a coward to say anything about that out-of-wedlock-baby-having, riding-on-the-coattails-of-her-mama, high-school-dropout Bristol Palin. Guess he didn't want to get mauled by Mama Grizzly.

And just to show how much of a hypocrite Mike Huckabee is, check out this quote he made about 16-year old, unwed Disney star Jamie Lynn Spears (Britney's sister) back in 2007:

"I respect it. Apparently she's going to have the child and I think that it's the right decision, a good decision, and I respect that and appreciate it. I hope it is not an encouragement to other 16 year olds who think that is the best course of action. But at the same time, I'm not going to condemn her."

Of course, now that public opinion has tilted heavily in favor of Portman, Huckabee is trying to walk back his comments, blaming it all on Hollywood and the liberal media. PRICELESS! Hey Mr. Sanctimonious, Hollywood and the media didn't say anything negative about Natalie Portman. YOU DID!

And finally, you know who was raised by a single mother? I WAS! And I seemed to have turned out alright. I got a job. I pay my bills. And I'm not in jail. I have aunts, cousins, and friends who are single mothers. There are millions of single mothers in America. And you know what? Most of them kick ass! They have a hard job, a job made harder by a society that demonizes them but refuses to hold men to the same standards.

So to all you single moms who are out there doing your best, who are out there trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents, and who don't need a man to "put a ring on it," I salute you. And to Mike Huckabee, I salute you to. The only difference is that I'm giving you the one-finger salute.

Care to guess which finger?



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