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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Marriage & Prostitution

Whether it's been tolerated or outlawed, the world oldest profession has existed in every society on record. Marriage is a universal phenomenon as well, albeit universally accepted.

My problem is with people who sing the praises of marriage when it is prostitution in everything but name. For most of the world's history, and in many places today, marriage was a financial transanction. Marriageable women were auctioned off by their families to the highest bidder and the desires of the bride were not considered at all. It's hilarious how the most pious, high and mighty pinheads are engaged in the most horrific forms of exploitation. Aren't these the same Muslims who accuse the West of being decadent and promiscuous?

As for the Christians, consider these two verses from the Bible:

Exodus 22:15-16
If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29
If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

So, basically, the dad was his daughter's pimp. Man, Bible times were awesome!

Even in marriages that are not arranged, money is almost always a factor. Think those supermodels are marrying Donald Trump because of his youthful vigor and charming personality? Possibly, but the fact that he's a billionaire probably doesn't hurt. How many women would willingly marry someone who was flat broke? How many would be willing to marry a rich man who was repulsive in every way?

If a man buys a $800 ring to convince a woman to marry him and thus gain access to her vagina, what's the difference between that and paying $20 for a quick ride? It's a better deal? Less paperwork?

Marriage has its advantages, especially for child-rearing, but seems way hypocritical to go after hookers and johns when plenty of other folks are doing pretty much the same thing.

Well, since I sorta look like this, looks like I'll have to take what I can get:




Hmm...Mail-order brides from the Ukraine. That's the ticket!






Saturday, September 20, 2008

Drugs

This post will not be about the War on Drugs or the case for legalization. That has been done to death already. While agree that the current drug laws in the US are stupid, hypocritical, and in any case unenforceable, there's not much I can add to the discussion that hasn't been said already. So I will turn my attention to some fresher aspects.

First up, I have met drug users who act like buying marijuana makes them some kind of criminal mastermind. If you are one of those people, ask yourself this: of all the people you have known who have used marijuana (or any illegal drug) how many of them got caught? How many of them did jail time for it? My guess would be not very many if any.

And why is that? It's because the police are mostly interested in catching the producers, the traffickers, and the dealers. Generally, the users only get busted through an act of monumental stupidity.

Secondly, even if you did get caught, it is unlikely that you would go to jail, if you're white that it is. Racist and unfair? Absolutely. But it is also absolutely true.

"Studies and experience have shown that the majority of people who use and sell drugs in the state of New York are white. These findings are not unique to New York. Throughout the nation whites and minorities used drugs at roughly the same rates. However, African-Americans and Latinos comprise over 94% of the drug offenders in New York state prisons. Despite their majority status, whites makes up only 4.9% of drug offenders in New York prisons."

Source

I'm wondering what the other 4.9% did. Did they get caught with a dump truck full of cocaine? I find it endlessly amusing that the white liberal college kids complain bitterly about racism but see nothing wrong with using racism to their advantage.


And while we're on the subject of college kids, I might as well address underage drinking. Underage drinking is common in all high schools and colleges and particulary at the college I went to. I remember the first day of orientation listening to their little speech about their zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking. Of course, absolutely nothing was ever done to enforce it and indeed, thousands of college freshmen got drunk that very day. I suppose the easiest way to placate the sort of people who care about that kind of thing is to make a bullshit promise they have no intention of keeping, so that's why they do it. The only people who got in trouble for underage drinking at my college were the people who passed out on the sidewalk.

As for me, I can't smoke weed. It would make McGruff cry.




Saturday, September 13, 2008

Special Double Feature: IQ & The US Military

If there was an award for cramming the most bullshit into one idea, it would be IQ. Need an example? OK, take Marilyn vos Savant. According to IQ, she is one of the smartest human beings currently alive. And what is she doing? Curing cancer? Peace in the Middle East? Figuring what to do with all that pesky nuclear waste? Nope. She answers questions about math puzzles in Parade magazine. Um, thanks Marilyn.

It is true that there is a high correlation between IQ, higher income, and higher levels of education, but it is not an indicator of special intellectual greatness.


Moving on, we come to the US military. Take a gander at this pie:




Source

Does something seem amiss with that? I'd say so, especially since according to the US government:

"FinancingThe 9/11 attacks cost somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000 to execute. The operatives spent more than $270,000 in the United States. Additional expenses included travel to obtain passports and visas, travel to the United States, expenses incurred by the plot leader and facilitators outside the United States, and expenses incurred by the people selected to be hijackers who ultimately did not participate."

Source. Scroll down to "Financing" to view.

If we keep spending all this money on the military, there'll be nothing left for the Bear Patrol!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Socialism

Wouldn't it be great if everyone shared and was nice to everyone else? Well, obviously, it would be great. The problem is there no way to make it work.

And why is that? It's because people are basically selfish. Despite some praiseworthy exceptions, they look to their own interests and those near and dear to them before they worry about anyone else. If giving to people who needed it was as common as not farting in a crowded elevator no one would make a big deal out of giving to charity.

For 99% of our species' existence, people lived in groups rarely exceeding about 200 individuals. All of our social instincts are built on the experience of living in small groups. In fact, anthropologists have found that most people can only keep track of about 200 people at a time. How many people do you know on a first name basis? I'll make a bet it isn't more than about 200. It is hardly the suprising that almost every political movement uses kinship terms like "brother," "sister," "father," and "mother." In fact, every group today, however large, is structured like a family- be it a street gang, a cult, or a political party.

The beret-head crowd can bray all they want. Socialism has been a catastrophe in every country it has been tried in. The only country that comes close to making it work is Sweden. It has a high standard of living and lower inequality than many other rich countries. And what is the basis of Sweden's prosperity? Privately-owned industry. The only way to pay for public goodies is to heavily tax a robust economy. Social programs cannot work without capitalism. Capitalism cannot work (ethically) without social programs. The Swedish welfare system and those of other countries did not appear overnight. They are the result (largely) of workers demanding fair treatment by use of strikes and boycotts, a fact which is curiously down-played in many history books.

Marx was right when he said that labor is the foundation of wealth. If people refused to work to make others rich or without getting a fair wage, I imagine these defects of capitalism would quickly be fixed.