January 31, 2012
The current cleavage in Tennessee politics -- and in national politics as well -- is between those who believe that the world is fundamentally just and fair and people get what they have coming to them, and those who see people suffering from injustice, inequality or plain bad luck and think, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." The first group sees America as a giant mooch-ocracy larded with special interests and entitlements; the second sees a country with a social safety net under attack. When the economy becomes firmer again, that cleavage may change.
Posted by doctormatt at 10:39 PM
A modicum of personal choice and sexual egalitarianism, are out of keeping with the norms which were necessary to maintain social order in the period between small-scale hunter-gatherer societies and the rise of the mass consumer society.
The "traditional" and normative social systems common among civilized societies since the rise of agriculture and the emergence of mass society are cultural adaptations which serve to constrain impulses which are deeply hard-wired within our species. Elite lineages the world over arranged the pair bonds of their offspring for many generations, and yet this often meets resistance, or at least resignation. The tales of adulterous lovers subject to a tragic fate are common literary motifs. This is I suspect an aspect of evoked culture, the inevitable tension between our deep impulses driven by individual preferences, and the social obligations which many have to had fulfill as part of extended kinship networks which had accrued prestige and capital. Both of these are human universals, as are the consequences. The high culture literature records this tension, and elaborates upon it so as to model proper and correct behavior for elites so as to avoid tragedy.
Posted by doctormatt at 10:21 PM
In 2005, Eugene Jarecki's documentary "Why We Fight" won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for its incisive deconstruction of the military-industrial complex. At this year's festival, he won the award again with a follow-up of sorts, titled "The House I Live In," which examines the unimaginable damage wrought by America's prison-industrial system and the so-called War on Drugs.
This weekend the top documentary prize at the Sundance Film Festival went to "The House I Live In," which questions why the United States has spent more than $1 trillion on drug arrests in the past 40 years, and yet drugs are cheaper, purer and more available today than ever. The film examines the economic, as well as the moral and practical, failures of the so-called "war on drugs" and calls on the United States to approach drug abuse not as a "war," but as a matter of public health
Posted by doctormatt at 10:08 PM
The Tennessee General Assembly has taken another big step toward long-sought recognition as the most contemptible legislature in the land. This time, lawmakers have earned quick ridicule by introducing a bill aimed at keeping transgender people out of public restrooms. Thanks to Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, and Sen. Bo Watson, R-Chattanooga, for this thoughtful proposal. Under their bill, it's a criminal offense--complete with a $50 fine--for transgender people to use restrooms designated for the sex other than the one listed on their birth certificates.
That puts transgender people in a quandary, since it's legally impossible for them to change their sex on their birth certificates in Tennessee.
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January 28, 2012
Slippery slope? I don't think so.
Slipping on a slope is a painful accident that leads downward.
Instead, re-frame it as a stairway up. Each step is a deliberate, carefully chosen advance toward a more humane, just, enlightened world.
Giving blacks the vote, women the vote, contraception -- it's all a slippery slope to a place of better social justice and acceptance.
It turns out Mr. Gingrich believes "in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, and a woman.
Ms. Haag is pleading for a reinvention of marriage for our era, "something more than chore reallocation, but less than polygamy." She writes of "free love 2.0," "ethical non-monogamy" where partners discuss each other's affairs in mind-numbing detail, as well as the 50-mile rule, where spouses are free to graze beyond a given tract of land.
'Of all Earth's creatures, none is as urgently, creatively and constantly sexual as Homo sapiens," authors Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha write in their new book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality.
The husband and wife team pore over anthropological, anatomical and psychosexual evidence, arriving at a bleak conclusion: Our rabid sexuality just doesn't gel with monogamy.
'Open marriage' isn't a license to cheat, experts say
By Sharon Jayson
...as those words receive new attention amid the GOP presidential contest, the experts say it's important to note that among couples who practice open marriage, they don't consider it a license to cheat.
"The spouses do not consider themselves cheaters," says Pamela Haag, whose 2011 book Marriage Confidential included discussions with couples in open marriages.
"Spouses in open marriages agree to non-monogamy before-the-fact...."
Historian Stephanie Coontz, who has researched the history of marriage, says in certain cultures around the world, extramarital sex for one or both partners is accepted. "The problem in America is that the so-called 'open marriage' has usually been somewhat one-sided. To be a real 'open marriage,' it has to be a mutual decision," she says. "For most of history, men had open marriages and women didn't.
..."To the extent [Gingrich] was trying to impose that against her will it had nothing to do with openness. It has to be mutually desired -- not mutually extorted."
...Dossie Easton, a marriage and family therapist in San Francisco... says open sexual relationships require the parties to be honest, have mutual consent and a willingness to negotiate how it's going to work and make sure that people's feelings are acknowledged....
Coontz says couples should discuss their feelings about monogamy.
"Do they want to make it a 'make or break it' thing or build in certain leeway so it does not seem like betrayal if it happens?" she says. "I'm not advocating one way or another, but it's a conversation couples should have about what their commitment to each other is."
Haag, of Baltimore, says estimates suggest about 5% of all marriages meet that definition of "open."
"We do know they exist," Coontz says. "But in the context of Americans in particular -- with a very strong identification of sexual fidelity with love -- it's the exceptional couple that works this out."
Adaptability to social change makes us more resilient and healthy as a society.
Discrimination and stigma based on sexual orientation or family type diminishes us. The more aware and accepting of positive diversity in relationships the more healthy our society is.
...I hope it won't be long before people in poly relationships don't feel the need to protect themselves with pseudonyms. A same-sex couple having a baby would no longer feel the need to hide their identity in this way.
I look forward to a society where any loving family, irrespective of how many people it includes or what sex they are, feels safe to be open about who they are.
In that respect, poly is the new gay
...While that seems like a slimy request from a cheater trying to wiggle out of having betrayed his wife, Newt's not alone in wanting non-monogamy. Anywhere from 1 % to 10% of couples are living intentionally non-monogamous lives.
My husband and I are among them, and we're pretty happy with our arrangement.
Tonight after we tuck the kids in, my husband will kiss me goodnight and head over to his girlfriend's house. It's not a secret or a problem; that's just how our marriage works. We both have other partners.
I don't know what we'd do without them. Our friends and family are wonderful, but it's my girlfriend I call when I need a ride to the hospital with a sick kid. There's something about the intimacy of a romantic relationship that makes me feel better about asking her if I can bring my vomiting child in her car.
I don't know how monogamous couples do it....
Our successful open marriage
My husband and I may seem strange for wanting multiple partners. To my kids, this is what normal looks like.
By Sierra Black
I spent a recent weekend up in Maine with my girlfriend and our three kids. We went on long canoe trips, made mountains of buttery waffles, and read Rainbow Fairy books aloud till the words blurred together on the page. When the kids had gone to bed and the house was quiet, we crawled into bed and had sex so hot I thought the sheets might catch fire.
When I got home, I told my husband all about it.
My marriage is open. It's also happy and stable. After I shared our mountain adventures, he filled me in on the highlights of his weekend: a small triumph at work, some quality time with his girlfriend, a successful home repair. We curled up at the end of the night, watched some old "Dr. Who" episodes and went to sleep in each other's arms.
I never thought I'd have anything in common with Newt Gingrich.
SARAH TAUB, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.sarahtaub.com
MICHAEL RIOS, email@example.com, http://www.michaelrios.com
Taub and Rios teach workshops on relationships including on open relationships and polyamory and are frequent presenters at polyamory conferences, such as those put on by Loving More, a national polyamory organization, which just released a statement on Gingrich: http://polyinthemedia.blogspot.com/2012/01/loving-more-responds-to-newt-gingrich.html
Taub said today: "Successful open relationships are consensual and based on trust, mutual respect and lots of communication. It's very difficult (though not impossible) for a cheater to 'come clean' and create an open marriage with his or her spouse, because the initial situation is inherently non-consensual and trust has already been broken. Some extraordinary people can make it work, but the cheater must have a huge amount of humility, patience and respect for the other partner, including respecting his or her right to say 'no.' This is not how Marianne Gingrich described Newt Gingrich's approach."
Rios said today: "Open marriages are consensual, honest and based in love. Saying 'let me have an affair or I'm going to divorce you' is not consensual -- it's coercive.... If Gingrich had approached his wife with his feelings beforehand, perhaps she would have said, 'yes, well, actually I've been thinking about that possibility myself,' and then they could have honestly had a healthy, open marriage. But what we're hearing about is an affair that started in deception and ended in coercion -- and that's neither loving, nor honest, nor consensual. It's not an open marriage or polyamory by any stretch of the imagination."
Ideally, the polyamory discussion takes place in a monogamous relationship well before the start of an extramarital affair.
Even couples who believe in polyamory in theory find it difficult to broach the subject.
"It takes a lot of courage to look someone you love in the eye and tell them that you fancy another person, even if you've agreed already that you're going to do this," says Ms Wagner.
"It's not something we're used to doing. We have no role models for this."
Opening a previously monogamous relationship is customarily negotiated before the openness occurs. Polyamorists consider it bad form to introduce one's spouse to one's secret lover with a cheery, "Honey, I've been thinking we should open our relationship!"
Much pain could be avoided if couples discussed monogamy as an option during the dating phase of their relationship, rather than assuming it as a default....
How many cases of red-faced homophobes must be exposed as closeted self-hating homosexuals before advocating anti-gay legislation raises too many eyebrows to be worth the risk? How many outspoken defenders of "traditional marriage" (whatever that is) must be exposed as adulterers before voters just roll their eyes at those two words?
...For all the oft-repeated claims to the contrary, civilization doesn't depend upon the sanctity of any particular form of marriage, but upon honoring the dignity intrinsic to any mutually respectful, mutually beneficial relationship....
Today I should have been spending quality time with my girlfriend while waiting for my husband to join us, but instead I have been thinking about Newt Gingrich's marriage. The Republican presidential hopeful is facing allegations by his ex-wife that he asked her for an "open marriage" so he could continue his affair with the woman who became his third wife. But if he truly wanted an open marriage this is not the best way to go about it.
I consider myself "polyamorous". The word is a fairly recent creation, coined in the early 90s to mean: "The practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved."
Do Open Marriages Ever Work?
By Brian Palmer
It works for some people. There has never been a scientific study of the success rate of open marriages, because different couples work out their arrangements in different ways. A marriage can be polyamorous from the beginning, or a couple might experiment only after tiring of monogamy. Some spouses have purely sexual relationships outside the marriage, while others have lasting emotional commitments to third parties. Lumping all of these together and comparing their aggregate divorce rate to those who have traditional marriages wouldn't give an accurate picture.
A couple of points are rather clear, though. There's strong anecdotal evidence that open marriages can last for decades, but one that's born of an ultimatum -- like the threat that Newt Gingrich allegedly made to his ex-wife -- would be unlikely to succeed.
According to psychologist Lisa Diamond of the University of Utah, gay men are more likely than any other group to practice polyamory. For a forthcoming study, she asked 120 cohabiting couples in the Salt Lake City area whether they had explicitly agreed to have sex outside of their relationships. Almost one-quarter of the gay male couples said they had a polyamorous arrangement. That's compared with about 7 percent of the heterosexual couples and 3 percent of the lesbians. Previous studies have suggested similar proportions, although none is large enough to state the prevalence of open marriage with any certainty....
People involved in open marriages and relationship counselors have a few tips for anyone who is considering such an arrangement, based on their personal experiences. First, they point out that open marriages work best when both partners are committed to the idea of non-monogamy in the abstract.... Second, polyamorous couples who have a secrecy policy -- in which the partners are free to pursue outside relationships but are forbidden to discuss the trysts -- are tempting trouble.
...As my friend TheNerd said, "Comparing Gingrich to polyamory is like comparing wife-beating to BDSM."
I'll say something perhaps stronger: Newt Gingrich is to polyamory as rape is to "making love".
...I don't want to play the no-true-polyamorist card, but polyamory is the ability to open your heart to multiple loving, consensual relationships - built upon ideals such as honesty, respect, consent, ethics, communication, trust, and love.
What's missing from Newty are most of those things. He got the "multiple" part right, but failed miserably at the rest....
Posted by doctormatt at 2:47 PM
January 19, 2012
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Oh, so much to say about this one.
OK, so Newt told his first wife he wanted a divorce. While she was in the hospital...... diagnosed with cancer.
His second wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
So he essentially told her he wanted to remain married, but in an open relationship so he could continue remaining intimate with a staffer of 6 years.
The second wife said "No, that's not a marriage."
So he divorced her, and married the staffer.
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January 16, 2012
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January 15, 2012
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Available for iPad2, and the newer iPhone Download the ap.
Posted by doctormatt at 4:05 PM
January 12, 2012
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January 9, 2012
Don't take it from me. Take it from the book being published today that will mainstream the movement to end corporate personhood: "Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do, And What You Can Do About It," by Jeff Clements with foreword by Bill Moyers.
Posted by doctormatt at 11:08 PM
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Untold millions don't think we've heard the real (or at least complete) story of the phenomenal, complex success of those 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001. Skeptics now include former White House counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke, who recently speculated that the hijackers may have been able to enter the US and move freely precisely because American intelligence hoped to recruit them as double agents--and that an ongoing cover-up is designed to hide this. And then, of course, there are the Pentagon's account of the heroic rescue of Jessica Lynch in Iraq, which turned out to be a hoax, and the Pentagon's fabricated account of the heroic battle death of former NFL player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, who turned out to be a victim of friendly fire. These are just a few from scores of examples of deceit perpetrated upon the American people. Hardly the kind of track record to inspire confidence in official explanations with the imprimatur of the military and the CIA.
What we're looking at, folks, is the reality of democracy in America: A permanent entrenched covert establishment that marches to its own drummer or to drummers unknown. It's exactly the kind of thing that never gets reported. Too scary. Too real. Better to dismiss this line of inquiry as too "conspiracy theory."
Posted by doctormatt at 5:05 AM
A brief rundown of the costs of our Iraqi mission may also be in order: 4,487 American deaths, countless American casualties (32,226 "wounded in action," according to the Pentagon; up to 500,000 harmed by service in Iraq if you include those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or traumatic brain injury. according to the Nieman Foundation), and over (perhaps a lot over) 100,000 civilian fatalities. This isn't even mentioning the $806 billion price tag for the United States, with broader spending, such as veteran care, taking the total cost to perhaps $2.4 trillion.
Posted by doctormatt at 5:01 AM
Senator Bob Graham says FBI may have hidden evidence from Congress about Florida 9/11 highjacker connections
why did the Ghazzawi clan flee in such a hasty manner, pausing only to empty their safe but leaving food on the kitchen counter and their pool pump running? Was it because they had received some unexpected news, news so urgent and alarming that normal preparations for an orderly departure gave way to what appears to be a panicky exit?
If this question seems inconsequential, think about what kind of news, in the days just before 9/11, could have prompted such intemperate flight from the United States by a well-connected clan of Saudis? The possible answers to this question could prove world-changing. The most important Mideast nation so far untouched by the dislocations of the Arab Spring is Saudi Arabia, the single largest supplier of petroleum to the western world. If major players in that country's ruling family are shown to have had a hand in the 9/11 attacks, it would be the equivalent of a geopolitical tsunami--upsetting powerful elites around the world. Is it any wonder that efforts have been made to prevent a no-holds-barred investigation of this connection? And isn't it time, ten years later, to end this coverup -- in the name of the common good?
Posted by doctormatt at 4:34 AM
Evidence linking the Saudi royal family to Saudis in South Florida who reportedly had direct contact with the 9/11 hijackers
WhoWhatWhy has found evidence linking the Saudi royal family to Saudis in South Florida who reportedly had direct contact with the 9/11 hijackers before fleeing the United States just prior to the attacks. Our report connects some of the dots first laid out by investigative author Anthony Summers and Florida-based journalist Dan Christensen in articles jointly published in the Miami Herald and on the nonprofit news site BrowardBulldog.org.
Posted by doctormatt at 4:28 AM
Article by Russ Baker
A growing body of evidence points to a concerted campaign to prepare Americans and the world for war against Iran. This is not idle speculation. It fits a pattern that repeatedly preceded previous hostilities.
Posted by doctormatt at 4:24 AM
January 7, 2012
Antineoplastons - non-toxic competitor to chemotherapy and radiation.
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January 5, 2012
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January 1, 2012
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