Friday, February 26, 2010

Rationalized Sexism: The Crutch of Sex Addiction

Why is it whenever a celebrity gets busted for something, it is always an addiction, necessitating an apology, public repentance for the evil sin they have committed, and public humiliation in some rehab clinic that will no doubt treat their newly-titled affliction for a handsome fee? Enter the newest victim, I mean hell-bound sinner, Tiger Woods. I have avoided writing about Tiger simply because I do not care who some golfer or any professional athlete sleeps with, on the condition they are adults and it is consenting. In fact, I have no likeness for professional athletes or athletics in general, since sports in our culture is just filling for the drying opiate of religion to keep otherwise informed citizens dull, dumb, and collectively only worried about how many points Kobe Bryant scored the night before last.

Still, we live in a culture influenced by the idiocy of these dream machines, and this is a debate that I had in my class last week when it came up as a subject to discuss in current events. Yes, college students in political science classes who so hate reading the news, or much of anything else, want to talk about Tiger, to which I asked my Bible Belt audience. "Why is this an issue? Why do any of you want to talk about Tiger Woods, other than to avoid talking about political news?" To my students' credit, they came prepared with excuses for using this story as a cover for not studying. "He owes this to his fans." "Tiger violated his marital vows." And my personal favorite, "Because Tiger is going to burn in hell."


But really, why should we care? I am not married to the man, do not know him, do not care for what he does for a living, and when I last checked whatever he did with the mountainous number of ladies coming forward their dalliances are not illegal or a matter of criminal law. Ah, but he is a creep, the phony public moralists will harangue, which is certainly true. And while I do not want to disappoint anyone during their denunciation parade they should read through Jim Bouton's book Ball Four, which was written four decades ago and chronicles the extramarital shenanigans of most all of his teammates when he was a major league pitcher. Look at what happened to Steve McNair at the hands of his mistress. Look at the mess that is ex-ESPN analyst Steve Phillips, who has the distinction to losing two jobs in the past decade for going through workplace interns. For that matter, just look at the number of professional athletes who are running around with a generation of love children sprinkled throughout the US (ex-NBA player Travis Henry has busily started his own country by having eleven children with ten different women [with the extra being a twin]). At this point, I would be surprised if any of them are monogamous in their marriages and I do not make that assumption with any multimillionaire athlete who is young, usually attractive, and a magnet for those looking for either a thrill or a payday.

Whether the commentators and fans who expect this self-infliction like it, Tiger's marriage is not my domain. If I do not know or care to know the man, and only know of him because he hits a ball with a club, why should he apologize to me for dynamiting his marriage? If it is not a matter of the law, why should I expect anyone to apologize to me for something they emotionally did to someone else? Because he is a "role model"? Does anyone still honestly live the illusion that professional athletes are role models? Even back when I played sports and pursued baseball professionally as a young man, I never looked up to my favorite players as role models or demi-gods (just the opposite, once I realized they were all on steroids by the mid '90s). Anyone who is that foolish probably does not deserve consideration for any hurt feelings over what an athlete emotionally did to his/her spouse anyway.

In addition, and the part that bothers me about this manufactured saga the most, since when was doing what biologically comes naturally to human animals become an addiction? According to Dr. Drew and many other members of the psychiatric community, anything can be considered addictive (for an hourly fee in need of revisits and drugs, of course). It is not natural for a person to put poisons into their bodies (like drugs or fatty foods). It is not a part of our nature to want to drink alcohol. These are external objects with negative side effects that are addictive and people ingest to numb our existence and unresolved issues (maladies that can be used as an excuse for anything because we all have unresolved issues in our lives).

Sex, on the other hand, is not heroin or napalm (as John Mayer called it). I have yet to see anyone get pregnant from heroin or napalm. To put this another way, without sex I would not be writing this blog and none of the readers would be frequenting it. Sex has always been a part of our nature, and dare I say (remembering my science classes) the human animal biologically exists to perpetuate our seed. Yes, we can control those urges. Yes, we can discipline ourselves and we can develop institutions like marriage and monogamous pair bondings to mature and control our inclinations (the ultimate goal of every civilization, if it is worth anything).

Nevertheless, I remember well what I was like when I was 16, and it was not pretty. Basically, I lived, ate, and drank sex. When I dated as a teenager, it was my overwhelming obsession, something that I did not have or feel when I was 10 or 11 years of age. And I was the nice guy who never stood anyone up, always called back, and made sure to be as respectful as possible with the people that I dated. It was not because I was addicted to sex (I did not have that many dates and I have not had sex with most of the people I even dated over the years). It was because of my hormones.

The problem with men, and I suspect this is one of the big differences between the sexes, we mature at different stages in life. For men, some of us grow up quickly, as I did by my late teens (when I realized that I did not have to obsess over my previous memories of Daisy Duke to get through the day, and that something like a relationship with the female species was not all that bad). It probably helped that I was working two jobs by the time I was out of high school and enjoyed reading more than partying by my 20s. Other men grow up much later, mostly by our 20s and 30s, and many never do. I surmise that most young professional athletes have never been in want of sexually available partners, something that probably distorts his reality and perception and how to view members of the opposite sex (holding back that maturation process and likely feeding on our biological nature at its most base without constraints in a society that puts such athletes on pedestals). That is not an excuse for the behavior, but it is a much better explanation than comparing his appetites to smoking crack cocaine.

If sex was an addiction, you would have to at some point paint all of us at a stage in our lives as addicts, unless you never have sex or only have "acceptable" sex (i.e., with one person in a marriage or relationship [depending on your ideology and religious affiliations, since many consider sex before/outside of marriage a sin]). So, if you have casual sex, especially more than once, you can be seen as an addict. If you have sex just for pleasure, according to the closet case priests of my old church, you are an addict. If you have several mistresses or cads, you are an addict. If you frequently have sex with multiple partners, you are addicted. If you like porn, according to some shrinks and moral types, you are an addict. If you masturbate too much (however one defines 'too much'), you are an addict.

In this world, we are all dysfunctional addicts who should be in therapy. Well, that is not entirely true. Only in America, such is our Puritanical nature, can we be told that anything deemed objectionable is now an addiction in need of treatment (or prayer, for the home-schooled). And addictions can be treated if you go to an office, confess your sins, preferably in front of others (to drive home the point that you are an addict [further brainwashing you into believing in the necessity of your 'treatment']), and of course in dire need of some drug that will calm your nerves and maybe even your libido (and cost you a sizable chunk of your disposable income, to the delight of stockholders everywhere).


At the end of the day, no matter how much you treat it (like the manner in which these same members of the psychiatric community used to "treat" people who were gay) you cannot take away the biological desires of our species. I know of no other society that treats uncontrolled biological functions as a moral/psychological character flaw.

The quandary here is that marriage and monogamous pair bondings are artificial inventions (with humans being one of the few species who can detach sex from reproduction and the only ones as far as I know who have something like marriage contracts). In essence, the divergence is between our biological nature and what society tells us to do. Yes, we are a part of that society, and as noted society needs some rules and constraints, but we should not treat everything as a product of addiction as a means to browbeat practitioners of behavior that may be legal but objectionable. I am not 17 years old anymore. I do not want to have sex 24 hours a day. And unlike some of our esteemed athletes, I choose not to try. It is not that hard of a thing to do, so long as you can see those who you would otherwise be attracted to as full human beings deserving respect. And we know that is something no one likes to address with our athletes or men in general.


Addictions are easier to treat than telling men that we need to start reassessing how we perceive and treat people, not the least members of the opposite sex. They are 'whores.' We are mere 'cheats' and 'creeps' but treatable animals, waiting for the redemption of some skygod or the next victory at a major. That is the real crutch of sex addiction, which we do not address or seemingly care to address in all of this. Could you imagine the per hour charge for telling the polity to stop squandering its time and resources on individual consenting adults but doing something more productive like ceasing to objectify half of the population as playthings and the other half as untreated addicts? That the point of controlling your consenting choices is not to keep the tax exempt god squad happy but that maybe it could be a byproduct of a reoriented mindset that sees others as people and not conquerable material from a late night commercial?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moron Report #38: Genocidal Homophobe Ms. Beverly Hills

Maybe the vote in Cali against gay marriage back in 2008 should not have surprised me after all. Apparently, the state is teeming with young beauty pageant contestants who think gays and lesbians are less than human. Meet the newest Carrie Prejean of the hour, and probable future Fox "news" anchor, Lauren Ashley.

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Beverly Hills Slams Beauty Contestant for Speaking Out Against Gay Marriage

By Hollie McKay

- FOXNews.com

Former Miss California Carrie Prejean isn't the only beauty queen open to expressing her objection to same-sex marriage. Miss Beverly Hills 2010 Lauren Ashley is also speaking out in support of traditional nuptials.

Miss Beverly Hills and upcoming Miss California contender Lauren Ashley spoke out to Pop Tarts earlier this week against gay marriage -- and as a result she has been publicly condemned by the City of Beverly Hills.

"The City of Beverly Hills today denounced statements made by Miss California USA contestant Lauren Ashley, the self-described Miss Beverly Hills. Ms. Ashley resides in Pasadena and is currently a contestant for the Miss California USA title. She does not represent Beverly Hills in any capacity," the city said in a news release issued Wednesday. "The City of Beverly Hills strongly condemns Ms. Ashley's recent statements and has contacted pageant officials to determine ways to formally prevent any beauty contestants claiming the title of Miss Beverly Hills in the future."

A representative from the City Council told Pop Tarts that the mayor and the entire council were very upset by Ashley's comments and the council will decide whether or not to take the issue up with the Miss Universe Organization, co-owned by Donald Trump and NBC.

State pageant director Keith Lewis said all applicants are interviewed by a representative from the organization and if successful they can then choose what city they wish to represent in the quest for the Miss California title. But despite the Beverly Hills City Council's desire to have the pageant structure changed, Lewis said, "the incident has no bearing on Miss California USA or the way the pageant will be conducted in the future."

"I would love for the City of Beverly Hills to have their own preliminary pageant to determine a representative," Lewis added. "But until then, this is the way Miss Universe runs it and this is how it is done in other states."

A spokesperson for Trump and the Miss Universe Organization was not immediately available for comment.

But despite the controversy -- and all he endured last year during the Carrie Prejean saga -- Lewis stands by Ashley's right to exercise her personal opinion.

"I believe in the rights of the individual and their personal beliefs, and I believe in tolerance and respect for all sides of the issues," Lewis said on Wednesday. "I hope Beverly Hills exercises the same inclusion."

And while the City of Beverly Hills is shunning the pageant princess, she has garnered strong support from the National Organization for Marriage.

"I'm not surprised that Miss Beverly Hills, Lauren Ashley, opposes gay marriage -- after all 45 percent of young Californians voted for Prop 8, as did 7 million Californians generally," the organization's president, Maggie Gallagher, told us. "But I have to say, I am impressed with her courage in coming forward and for speaking up for Carrie. The elected officials of city of Beverly Hills are not demonstrating tolerance or kindness by continuing the avalanche of hatred against supporters of Prop 8."

Ashley originally told us she was against gay marriage and quoted the Bible's Old Testament as saying, "If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them."

However the media storm that ensued interpreted her words with headlines such as "Miss Beverly Hills Wants Gays Put to Death" and "God Wants Gays Dead, Says Beauty Queen."

The 23-year-old titleholder declined to comment any further or respond to the city's press release, but insisted she was "doing fine" in spite of the backlash.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2010/02/23/miss-beverly-hills-lauren-ashley-same-sex-marriage-carrie-prejean/
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There will be those who would discount Lauren as just another religious crank, to be ignored for greater issues, or that complaining about this is basically no different than "wasting" our time defending icky women stuff like reproductive rights or exchanging embryo recipes. I am not one of those people. Imagine someone saying things like this about any other group in this country. There would be no one, probably not even at Fox, who would defend him/her. Advocating violence and hatred of gays is becoming an increasingly accepted part of the nomenclature of the right-wing in this country. It is mostly likely a product of frustration of a culture conservatives are slowly losing (and will one almost certainly be defeated on).

Here is but another example of this tomfoolery, Colorado State Representative Scott Renfroe, an Evangelical Christian conservative Republican who openly compares being gay to the act of murder (and note, this is a man who believes in the death penalty for murder, so take his views to the logical conclusion one would have to fathom if you were unhinged enough to think some 2,000 year old dead carpenter rests inside of your body).



Getting back to the soon-to-be ex-Ms. Beverly Hills, it could be said that I, as an insensitive heathen, am just refusing to face that Lauren was merely quoting scripture. True, she was, the Book of Leviticus to be exact. Of course, Lauren has probably never bothered to read the rest of that book. If she had, she might want to take notice of these rules in her favorite book of the Bible.

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1. Ban on bowl haircuts: "You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard."--Leviticus 19:27 [Basically, if you lived in the 1970s you are going to hell.]

2. Ban on Tattoos:
"You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord."--Leviticus 19:28 [Lauren, I really hope you do not have any tats.]

3. Polyester or Fabric Blends:
"You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together."--Leviticus 19:19 [I hope all of your clothes are 100% cotton, or else it is the ninth circle for you, Ms. Beverly Hills]

4. Shrimp (Yes, shrimp):
"But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you."--Leviticus 11:10 [I wish I had remembered this one when my parents took me to Long John Silvers as a kid.]

5. Female Amputation: Look out, ladies, your next self-defense class could be your ticket to hell. Without further ado, "If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity."--Deuteronomy 25:11-12 [OK, it is Deuteronomy, but it one of my favorite passages from the Old Testament, forever proving what a delusional life it is to believe in this antiquated nonsense.]
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So, Lauren, take heart. Ye have multi-fabric weareth on ye body more than once in life, inviting the eternal doom of the angry skygod. Welcome to my hall of shame. You are now in the same company as these hellbound brotherly beastlayers.


UPDATE: It turns out Lauren Ashley is not only a bigot but a liar to boot. According to the good people of Beverly Hills, she was never Ms. Beverly Hills. My apologies to the people of Beverly Hills.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Hero?

It is interesting to see how white right people are starting to call Joe Stack a hero, simply based on the motivations for his actions.* Does anyone have any illusions that if Joe Stack was named Ibrahim, and he did it for Allah, that Fox "news" would have the word hero in any title or description of the bomber?

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Daughter Calls Pilot in Texas Plane Crash a Hero
Monday, February 22, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — The daughter of a man who crashed his small plane into an Internal Revenue Service building called her father a hero for his anti-government views but said his actions, which killed a tax service employee, were "inappropriate."

Joe Stack's adult daughter, Samantha Bell, spoke to ABC's "Good Morning America" from her home in Norway. Asked during a phone interview broadcast Monday if she considered her father a hero, she said: "Yes. Because now maybe people will listen."

Authorities say Stack, 53, targeted the IRS office building in Austin last week, killing employee Vernon Hunter and himself, after posting a ranting manifesto against the agency and the government. He apparently set fire to his home before flying his plane into the office building.

Hunter's son, Ken Hunter, said he's alarmed by comments that called the pilot a hero.

"How can you call someone a hero who after he burns down his house, he gets into his plane ... and flies it into a building to kill people?" Hunter told ABC." "My dad Vernon did two tours of duty in Vietnam. My dad's a hero."

Bell said she offered her deepest condolences to Hunter's family. She said her father's last actions were wrong.

"But if nobody comes out and speaks up on behalf of injustice, then nothing will ever be accomplished," she told ABC. "But I do not agree with his last action with what he did. But I do agree about the government."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,587132,00.html?loomia_ow=t0:s0:a4:g4:r1:c0.000000:b0:z5
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This cast doubts of those friends who say they had no notion about his politics. To his daughter, who grew up listening to the man, his actions summated to being "inappropriate," as opposed to homicidal, an intentional and glaring omission. She agrees with him and was obviously influenced by his upbringing. But such sentiments, according to the murderer's family, now makes him a 'hero' but wrecking a plane into a building and killing everyday workers--well, that is just 'inappropriate,' as if the worst thing Joe Stack ever did was ask an uncomfortable question to Ms. (ex)California.

Ah, but he is "speaking out against injustice." Really? Tell me, Samantha, what about the injustice of flying a plane into a building and killing people? What about the injustice of setting your house on fire, subjecting your current family or neighbors to possible fiery death, and then flying your plane into a building and murdering in cold blood an office worker (who has no say on tax policy)?

So, you do not like a tax law, and that is your definition of a hero? When Uncle Sam allowed Mr. Stack to make business deductions (an indirect subsidy that we, the rest of the taxpaying public, paid for), he loved our government then. It was only until he was cut off the deduction gravy train after the '86 law that he supposedly cared (assuming that one believes his suicide note), and I am supposed to buy into the notion that his life was ruined? The man was a college educated engineer, not an unemployed steel worker. He had enough money to run his own business for over two decades after that law was passed, live in a nice home, and start a second family, something which the pauperized workers of the automobile, steel, and traditional industries have not been able to do over the past few decades. Mr. Stack had no disability, outside of the rot in between his ears, but you think murdering people is merely 'inappropriate'?


To those who think this stuff is heroic, I would like to know, if you are honestly anti-government, why is it that these people are the ones driving on roads subsidized by my tax dollars, spending federal notes created by government printers (and at my expense)? Why is it that Ron Paul is living off my dollar for his health care and Social Security (when he is far beyond the years of his FICA contributions, meaning he is living off my dollar for a check from an agency he thinks the rest of us do not deserve)? When I see the Samantha Bells living in their shacks, refusing to profit from the provisions of government, only then can I listen to her opines about the 'injustice' of the state and take it seriously (it would be corresponding to a Communist millionaire lecturing me about the plight of workers), especially when Bell is living in Norway, a country whose tax rates are much higher than the US and a government that provides her with cradle-to-the-grave welfare, including healthcare. I would be interested to know if Samantha has taken any of those benefits, while telling us her dad is a hero for hating the government.

There are many things my government does that I do not like (namely, bombing and arresting people [i.e., the two things you will never see the supporters of Joe Stack ever wreck a plane into a building over]). I do not murder people as a response to my government's injustices and I do not take the view that all government is evil. Government is a means to an end. Like technology (another obsession of these primitive individualists), it can be used both for good and bad. If you want to be a tax-dodging faux anarchist, then practice what you preach and stop taking or accruing any of the benefits of that state. It would seem an easy plan to follow, even if you are living in one of the welfare state capitals of the world, Norway.


*=let this disprove the notion where Mr. Stack was taking his orders--that is, unless you are an ex-Marxist-turned-libertarian lemming.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Ballad of Joe Stack

So, a 50-something white male in Texas chucks his plane into an IRS building, and surprise, surprise, according to the grand wizards of redstate.com, he took orders from the left. And why? Well, because his manifesto denounced, amongst others (including the late Senator Pat Moynihan, accountants, and tax money-taking businesses) the "cronies" of ex-President George Bush.

Yes, because when we are not supporting Islamic terrorism, we are brainwashing old white men to blow up that icon of right-wing individualists everywhere, the IRS. If only he had shot up the Holocaust memorial then, well, no, according to Glenn Beck that would be our fault too, since we are apparently Nazis now.



In between being a Communist, Muslim, Nazi, leftist plane-wrecker extraordinaire, I have little to no time for feasting on aborted fetuses and embryos anymore, never mind the ritualistic sodomy. If only conservatives were able to attend some of our Illuminati orgies, surely, they would convert to satanis...I mean progressivism (oh, Glenn, you almost caught me!). But on a more serious note, a man has died, and he left this earth in a terrible and violent manner, leaving behind a wife and daughter he deserted in a burning house that he set aflame. Not that anyone seems to care.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Love Story Worthy of Valentine

It is easy to be a cynic when it comes to Valentine's Day. Yes, it is an obvious commercial holiday created to make money for stockholders of flower and card companies. Yes, we have conditioned ourselves as a society to see this as a cheesy holiday for young lovers.

And yes, there are many people out there who hate Valentine's Day for varying reasons, with some being more resourceful than others. From burning love (and tweety) in effigy to making sexual entries as the modus operandi, here are but a couple of the more inventive recent incarnations of the anti-Valentine's Day trend.





Then there are the stories that make you see love is not just a silly concept, but a universal feeling that we all have, which binds all cultures, backgrounds, and peoples. Such was the story of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, a couple who spent over five decades together before marriage, and never were able to tie the knot until 2008 because they were gay. I chronicled them right after that marriage, and Del has since passed, but the memory of that day and their love is something I have thought about more than once over the years.



That is the kind of life and story we should all be proud to know and want to live. What a pity it took them so long to realize that day. What a shame that we sometimes lose touch of what a silly Hallmark holiday can make us do when thinking about stories and people like Del and Phyllis.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Greensboro and Beyond: The Left Is Not Dead

Every few decades or so, a new wave of 60-something blowhard cynics who did not get what they wanted when they were 20 write opines about how everything they believed in failed. Contrary to the musings of some of those disappointed ex-Marxists, progressives are alive and well. We are only dead to the Quislings who never believed in our values to begin with (and probably only believed in any of it when they were younger because it was fashionable to their peers). This is not to impugn the character of everyone who was in the New Left, but progressives were around before and will be around long after you have been incinerated and placed in some urn to preserve your spiritual essence.

So, we do not follow your political methods of the ‘60s. Guess what? You did not follow the politics of the Old Left, either, who was much closer to the level of actual working people than the college students from the ‘60s. And considering the lack of political success of the New Left, why should anyone want to copy your tactics and approach to politics anyway?

And we do not have interesting debates and demonstrations? We torched Seattle at an international trade summit, nearly caused a riot in Philadelphia, and forced all of Pittsburgh to shut down from our demonstrations. True, we are not having sex openly in the streets as much anymore. The younger crowd prefers video cameras now, but you can blame technology for that phenomenon. We still believe in the values that most of the New Left deserted when their revolution did not come to fruition and decided to become like David Horowitz and the ex-Marxist-turned-libertarian hiding out in his hinterland shack in northern California. Just because you abandoned your beliefs does not mean that we have, or that we no longer exist as a political force. As hard as this might be for some of the turncoats to accept, the Left today has as much, if not more, influence than the New Left ever obtained, which admittedly is not saying much, but our victories are not imaginary (be it abortion rights, gay rights, women’s rights, etc., and achieving those gains in a political culture that forty years ago criminalized these movements’ goals or made them seem unreachable).

If one is to write the history of progressives in the US, our lifespan is much greater than the five decades the losers of the last revolution spent hating themselves over. True, we very rarely win political battles in this country. That has always been the case. Even on those occasions when we do win (the Civil War, the civil rights movement, the New Deal), we are inundated with numerous successive defeats (desertion of Reconstruction, post-civil rights backlash by working class whites, the desertion of the New Deal by the Democrats, etc.). Those ebbs and flows have been an ever present feature of our history. So, to the defeatists, I do not know how to disappoint you, but you are not that special. You are not the first generation to face political defeat in your lifetime.

Moreover, while it is true progressives have too often vested election fortunes in a Democratic Party that rarely seems to care, I do not respond to that inattentiveness by sleeping with my enemies who want to banish labor unions, the right to collectively bargain, along with the National Labor Relations Board Act, and also thinks that the Confederacy was right during the Civil War. How is it that any so-called leftist can hold the Democratic Party accountable for its shortcomings, and then campaign for the likes of Bob Barr and Ron Paul? If these ex-New Left folk had not gone native and joined the right, I might be more willing to listen to their critiques, but I at least maintain my censures of the Democratic Party from a progressive viewpoint.

I would fully agree with critics that the Democrats are not our savior, and not infrequently our enemies, but I do not take the delusion over to mean I was wrong about my own beliefs. No one party is worth my values. That is what disappoints me about the self-hating philistinism of so many on the New Left as they have aged. You would think that Dos Passos and Whitaker Chambers would be instructive to us about what happens to older leftists when they begin to care more about augmenting their houses or their stock returns (or worse wanting to substitute fighting the injustices of capitalism with bombing Muslims).

Could one imagine what it was like to be a union organizer before the right to collectively bargain? Well, my grandfather and great grandfather did, and their activities operated under the threat of death, in a political establishment that until the post-WWII era almost universally despised them (and still does in many places to this day). They lived with disappointment their entire lives, knowing they were going to lose most of their battles, but they also won a few, and those victories contributed to making it possible for many workers in the steel and automobile industry in having something like a decent life many years later (and better, safer working conditions). Those careers long predated Greensboro, circa 1960, and I am sure a few decades from now there will be somebody from my generation who will be lecturing a younger progressive about the hopelessness of life in a world that did not give them everything they desired in youth. That is the political cycle of progressivism in American history. Defeat, followed by a few small victories, and besieged by further defeat.

One could argue that it has always been this way because the US was not founded like a normal nation state (by a feudal aristocracy looking to maintain political supremacy with the nouveau riche and an emerging working class competing for economic resources). We developed under the gun and were established by European settlers who saw this country as something akin to a butcher fest for Indian removal and proprietorship. Is it any wonder that American politics has, excepting for the 1930s, been more conservative than its European counterparts? Those constraints have always been there. They were there when churches and pastors refused Thomas Paine a burial for being agnostic (even though his writings during the revolution were vital in helping to gain sympathy for the Continental Army). They were in force by the white South, who reacted to the black franchise with terrorism, lynchings, and Jim Crow. They have been in force since the beginnings of Wall Street and the stock exchange.

The Left has not always responded well to being the minority in American politics. Typically, like the radicals in Congress in the late 19th century, we fade away, only to come back under different incarnations. This is how one can traverse the Left (however one defines us) over the past century, going from the IWW, the Communists, to civil rights, anti-war, feminism, gay rights, and contemporary progressives, centered around many of those same issues (with a few added over time from previous struggles). We have always been pluralistic and a minority in numbers, at least when we started (and only transformed into a majority opinion in support for any one cause following many years of organizing and political struggle).

In every successive generation of the Left, the older and previous one has expended much of its time conveying sorrow over their era’s failures, projecting them onto ours, and claiming our death. During the New Deal, John Dos Passos declared that Franklin Roosevelt had destroyed the labor movement by co-opting it. Within two decades, Dos Passos asserted that the same New Deal was actually a trojan horse for Communism and had undermined American capitalism (coming full circle of his view of the Democratic Party, from the far left to the far right). Dos Passos was really just the harbinger for those same depressed idealists from the New Left later on.

Yet, in spite of them, progressives never died out. Martin Luther King Jr. did not join the American Legion. Gays and lesbians in California did not commit revolutionary suicide after losing their most important vote in the past three decades last November. They did not for the same reason labor union activists from the late 19th century did not quit, even when Grover Cleveland was crushing them. Quitting is not an option. You simply keep fighting and reforming, knowing full and well you will probably not win in your lifetime, in the hopes you will, but also realizing it might take a generation after you are gone to get what you want. Susan B. Anthony died 14 years before the passage of the 19th Amendment, after 60 years of struggle for civil rights and voting rights (for freed slaves and women).

The right-wing gets what it wants because it has money. We get what we want, when we can, because we have people and convincing and organizing them takes longer than buying them. That is the price of living in a country founded on proprietorship, slavery, and Christianity. Those are not exactly ingredients very friendly to our cause, and when we do win, like on women’s suffrage, it normally takes several decades of agitation. It is easy to confuse those years for death. However, it does not actually make us dead. We faced much worse in late 19th century Russia or pre-1950s Germany. We face much worse now in places like Colombia, where our union brothers and sisters are kidnapped, murdered, and dumped in ditches by military-linked militias and guards for foreign corporations doing business in these war zones. You cannot get much worse than being rounded up, bound and blindfolded, and thrown out of helicopters, or having yourself raped and tortured to death, as 60,000 of our brethren suffered during Operation Condor. Sometimes, the Left in this country needs a wake-up call and a sense of perspective. We cannot all be 1793 France (and even the French could not sustain it before degenerating into Bonapartism).

So, to the Hitchens’, Cockburns, Horowitzs, Muravchiks, et al., we do not need your ‘help’ or eulogies. The only ones who have died are you--that is the parts of yourselves that once gave a rat’s tail about people who worked and suffered. Regardless of whatever else anyone could say of contemporary progressives in this country who put too much faith in Obama and the Democrats, they at least do not respond to losing by hiding out in some bunker with their shotguns and waiting for reinforcements from Paul Craig Roberts and the Cato Institute. For us, the lesson of your lives only serves as a template for what not to become when we get your age.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tom Tancredo: Non-Christians Should Leave The U.S.

Former member of the House of Representatives and apparent unevolved Cro-Magnon Tom Tancredo has a message for us non-Christians--get out of the US.

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Tom Tancredo Keeps It Real At Tea Party Convention

The race for America is on right now,” the former GOP Colorado congressman told the crowd in Nashville. “You have launched the counter-revolution.”

“People who could not spell the word vote or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House — name is Barack Hussein Obama,” he said. “The revolution has come. It was led by the cult of multiculturalism aided by leftist liberals all over who don’t have the same ideas about America as we do.”

Arguing that American “culture,” one based on “Judeo-Christian principles,” is under attack, Tancredo said the tea party movement would be non-existent if Obama hadn’t won the election and pushed the country swiftly to the left.

http://politics.nashvillepost.com/2010/02/05/tom-tancredo-keeps-it-real-at-tea-party-convention/
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Other than the fact this is an obvious appeal to racism and bigotry, without the sheets and burning crosses, I will allow our so-called Judeo-Christian founders chime in with their own views on organized religion and Christianity in particular.

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"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity."-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

"But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear."-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

"Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination."-Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent."-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789

"They [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion."-Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Sept. 23, 1800

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State."-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802

"And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."-James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."-James Madison (from Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments, 1785)

"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."-James Madison (from Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments, 1785)

"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches"-Benjamin Franklin

"When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not care to support it, so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."-Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac, 1754 (Works, Volume XIII)]

"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."-Benjamin Franklin, in Toward The Mystery

"None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing."-Benjamin Franklin

"Revealed religion has no weight with me."-Benjamin Franklin

http://www.nobeliefs.com/great-quotes.htm
http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2002/03/ben-franklin-quotes.php
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I should note two of those quoted framers were a part of the writing of our Constitution, and it was Madison who actually wrote the Bill of Rights (our first ten amendments), which includes the establishment clause, banning the use of government power to promote any one religion. I suppose Tom was hooking class at North Colorado the day(s) when his professors went over the material in his political sciences courses (the degree to which he pursued as an undergrad). Or maybe his profs were lunatics like himself and lied to him. Either way, surprise, many of our founders, including the ones most responsible for writing our Constitution, were not Christians.

And those are just three of the founders. How about Thomas Paine, the propagandist for our independence that Washington stated was as important to our winning the revolution as an entire division of soldiers? Here is the man most famous for writing Common Sense, which helped convince so many of our troops to stay in the Continental Army and fight on against the British.

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"Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifiying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than this thing called Christianity."-Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

"You will do me the justice to remember that I have always supported the right of every man to his opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right makes a slave of himself to present opinion because he precludes himself the right of changing it. The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall."-Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize humankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel."-Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."-Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my church."-Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

http://www.nobeliefs.com/great-quotes.htm
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By Tom Tancredo's own standards at the teabagging convention in Nashville (the home of the state that gave us the founder of the Ku Klux Klan), Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin should have been exiled from the U.S.

What I find most ironic, as a fellow Italian-American, is the fact that the grandparents and great grandparents of the people cheering him on in Nashville were the same ones opposed to allowing Rep. Tancredo's ancestors from being allowed to immigrate to the U.S. It may surprise the Congressman to know (at this point, maybe he sincerely lacks the knowledge of our country's history), but Italians for the most part did not become honorary Anglo-Saxons until well after World War Two. Here is but one example of an editorial cartoon on the early Italian immigrants from the teabaggers of their day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Moron Report #37: The Passion of Mel Gibson

I typically do not like to pick on actors. Most of the ones I have known over the years, and this includes a couple of family members, are neurotic to begin with, to which I feel some sympathy for them. Then again, none of the ones I know are multimillionaires several hundred times over, who accumulated much of that wealth by making and directing a snuff film about the torture killing of some 2,000 year old dead carpenter, the profits of which were gained off the backs of gullible Christians who thought Mel was just like them--minus his hatred of Jews, gays and lesbians, and non-Catholics. So faithful to his wife was Mel that he thought the best way to reward the mother of his seven children was by impregnating a Russian musician a couple decades his junior and running off with the new lady. Jesus Christ.

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Mel Gibson's remarks fuel controversy

By Breeanna Hare, CNN

(CNN) -- Mel Gibson's mouth may have landed the actor in hot water once again.

While promoting his new movie, "Edge of Darkness," Gibson is shown on tape making some unsavory comments.

In a video that has now gone viral, Gibson let an expletive slip while he was still wearing a microphone and appearing on camera for a segment on Chicago's WGN-TV with reporter Dean Richards.

Richards asked Gibson if he felt like he was "a different person, a better person," than he was four or five years ago, noting that the actor has "had a lot of ups and downs" since then.

In 2006, Gibson was arrested for driving while under the influence, and allegedly made anti-Semitic remarks to his arresting officers.

During the interview with Richards, Gibson responded that the past few years have been "a real roller coaster ride," but said he thinks he's the same person he always was.

Richards then asked Gibson if he felt the public would receive him differently, at which point Gibson became visibly agitated.

"That's been almost four years, dude," he told Richards. "I've moved on. But I guess you haven't." Richards said he just wondered whether Gibson thought the public had moved on, to which Gibson replied, "Well, I certainly hope so. That was a while back, and I've done all the necessary mea culpas, so ... let's move on, dude."

Richards wrapped up the interview with a standard thank-you-for-coming, and Gibson, drinking coffee, gave the reporter a thumbs-up before muttering a loud-and-clear "a--hole" right into his mic before the satellite feed was cut.

This comes after an interview with CNN affiliate station KTLA, where entertainment reporter Sam Rubin asked Gibson if his long absence from acting had anything to do with the alleged anti-Semitic remarks. Gibson denied he ever uttered statements of that nature, and then asked Rubin, who is Jewish, "I gather you have a dog in this fight?"

Gibson has since apologized to Rubin for the query, Rubin confirmed.

Gibson's publicist Alan Nierob said Gibson was not aiming his expletive at WGN's Richards, but rather at Nierob himself, who was "pulling faces" during the interview.

On Richards' WGN-TV blog, the reporter shared his side of the story.

The interview "was pleasant enough for the first half but as my questions became more challenging, his tone and even physical demeanor changed," Richards wrote.

"I didn't brow beat him. I didn't make a judgment on him," the blog read. "Apparently, he thought I'd back off. We don't roll like that in Chicago. ... A star of his caliber, presumably with good PR people, should have been prepared with a simple response."

Richards said he was shocked to hear Gibson use the expletive "when he thought he was off camera."

In Richards's observation, "famous person or not, the true measure of a person is how they act when they think no one is looking."

As of Wednesday, no one from Gibson's team has reached out to Richards.

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Movies/02/03/mel.gibson.controversy/index.html
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I used to give Mel a free pass in his younger days, his views have been well known for decades, especially the charge of anti-Semitism, much of this by association to his neo-Nazi father Hutton Gibson (a Holocaust denier, supporter of the Third Reich, and conspiracy theorist who thinks "the Jews" brought down the World Trade Center towers). I always felt that you should never judge people for the foibles of their parents, since we do not choose who are parents are going to be--that was until Mel's arrest back in 2006 and his baiting of a Jewish reporter this last week. It has become painstakingly obvious that the apple does not fall too far from the tree for father and son in their attitudes on religion, politics, and race.

But you need not worry, Mel. I do not have any "dog in this fight." I am not Jewish or a two-faced fraud who thinks gay people are hellbound sinners, while you violate all of the religious values you claim to uphold and make money from.

If there is an omniscient creator, and an afterlife in which we are to be judged, I do not envy that hole in your soul where years of alcohol, extramarital sex, and self-loathing from the Nazi nutjob who raised you have whittled you down to what you have become--a pile of hate-filled flesh. Sounds harsh, Mel defenders? This is the same man who once said this of gays:
“They [gays] take it up the ass. This is only for taking a shit [pointing to his butt]… But with this look, who’s going to think I’m gay? It would be hard to take me for someone like that. Do I sound like a homosexual? Do I talk like them? Do I move like them? What happens is when you’re an actor, they stick that label on you.”
It is truly a sad irony that a person like this can religiously judge gays while screwing and ingesting everything known to our species, and debasing an institution he does not even think gays should be permitted to participate in anyway.
Not that I care or feel pity for you, Mr. Gibson. It is only my way of giving you an extended welcome to my hall of shame, "a-hole," I mean Mel. I suppose you deserve some credit, though, something which your priestly brethren in the church cannot say for themselves--at least your outlet from sexual repression was an adult.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sign No. 256 That We Are Nearing Blade Runner: Sex Robots

I never thought I would see the day where defending relationships, carnal or otherwise, with live humans was deemed a reactionary position, but here we are. Meet Douglas Hines, who has a way for all guys with $7,000 of disposable income to satisfy their needs without subjecting themselves to the cumbersome process of dating or, goddess forbid, a long term committal relationship with an actual female. What a fitting image for this age of the humanization of corporations.

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Inventor unveils $7,000 talking sex robot

By Brandon Griggs, CNN
February 1, 2010 4:39 p.m. EST

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) -- To some men, she might seem like the perfect woman: She's a willowy 5 feet 7 and 120 pounds. She'll chat with you endlessly about your interests. And she'll have sex whenever you please -- as long as her battery doesn't run out.

Meet Roxxxy, who may be the world's most sophisticated talking female sex robot. For $7,000, she's all yours.

"She doesn't vacuum or cook, but she does almost everything else," said her inventor, Douglas Hines, who unveiled Roxxxy last month at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Lifelike dolls, artificial sex organs and sex-chat phone lines have been keeping the lonely company for decades. But Roxxxy takes virtual companionship to a new level.

Powered by a computer under her soft silicone "skin," she employs voice-recognition and speech-synthesis software to answer questions and carry on conversations. She even comes loaded with five distinct "personalities," from Frigid Farrah to Wild Wendy, that can be programmed to suit customers' preferences.

"There's a tremendous need for this kind of product," said Hines, a computer scientist and former Bell Labs engineer.

Roxxxy won't be available for delivery for several months, but Hines is taking pre-orders through his Web site, TrueCompanion.com, where thousands of men have signed up.

"They're like, 'I can't wait to meet her,' " Hines said. "It's almost like the anticipation of a first date."

Women have inquired about ordering a sex robot, too. Hines says a female sex therapist even contacted him about buying one for her patients.

Roxxxy has been like catnip to talk-show hosts since her debut at AEE, the largest porn-industry convention in the country. In a recent monologue, Jay Leno expressed amazement that a sex robot could carry on lifelike conversations and express realistic emotions.

"Luckily, guys," he joked, "there's a button that turns that off."

Curious conventioneers packed Hines' AEE booth last month in Las Vegas, asking questions and stroking Roxxxy's skin as she sat on a couch in a black negligee.

"Roxxxy generated a lot of buzz at AEE," said Grace Lee, spokeswoman for the porn-industry convention. "The prevailing sentiment of everyone I talked to about Roxxxy is 'version 1.0,' but people were fascinated by the concept, and it caused them to rethink the possibilities of 'sex toys.' "

Hines, a self-professed happily married man from Lincoln Park, New Jersey, says he spent more than three years developing the robot after trying to find a marketable application for his artificial-intelligence technology.

Roxxxy's body is made from hypoallergenic silicone -- the kind of stuff in prosthetic limbs -- molded over a rigid skeleton. She cannot move on her own but can be contorted into almost any natural position. To create her shape, a female model spent a week posing for a series of molds.

The robot runs on a self-contained battery that lasts about three hours on one charge, Hines says. Customers can recharge Roxxxy with an electrical cord that plugs into her back.

A motor in her chest pumps heated air through a tube that winds through the robot's body, which Hines says keeps her warm to the touch. Roxxxy also has sensors in her hands and genital areas -- yes, she is anatomically correct -- that will trigger vocal responses from her when touched. She even shudders to simulate orgasm.

When someone speaks to Roxxxy, her computer converts the words to text and then uses pattern-recognition software to match them against a database containing hundreds of appropriate responses. The robot then answers aloud -- her prerecorded "voice" is supplied by an unnamed radio host -- through a loudspeaker hidden under her wig.

"Everything you say to her is processed. It's very near real time, almost without delay," Hines said of the dynamics of human-Roxxxy conversation. "To make it as realistic as possible, she has different dialogue at different times. She talks in her sleep. She even snores." (The snoring feature can be turned off, he says.)

Roxxxy understands and speaks only English for now, but Hines' True Companion company is developing Japanese and Spanish versions. For an extra fee, he'll also record customizable dialogue and phrases for each client, which means Roxxxy could talk to you about NASCAR, say, or the intricacies of politics in the Middle East.

Hines believes that Roxxxy is a step above other love dolls -- the similar but mute RealDoll costs about $5,500 -- because her conversational abilities provide something close to emotional companionship. His customer base? Shy, awkward or older men who "have trouble meeting girls," he says.

In an industry known for pushing the technological envelope, observers are curious about how Roxxxy will fare in the marketplace.

"Is this a viable product? Yes," said Sherri Shaulis, an editor at Adult Video News, a trade magazine for the pornographic industry. "There's a market for it. Granted, it's a very small market."

Maybe not. TrueCompanion claims that more than 4,000 men have placed pre-orders for Roxxxy robots, and another 20,000 or so have requested information about the product. TrueCompanion also is developing a male sex robot, named Rocky.

"There's really nothing like this on the market," said Hines, who speaks of his unique creation with what seems like genuine affection. "Whenever she's out in public, everyone wants to talk to her and pose for pictures. It's so cute."

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/02/01/sex.robot/index.html?hpt=T2
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I write this as a heterosexual male, to my fellow male hombres considering this alternative form of companionship--is it that hard to get a date or do you just want to have sex without having to put up with other people? And if it is the latter, then why have the robot talk at all? Is it so you can feed yourself with the illusion that she is human? Of course, this is nothing new. Our friends in Japan have been doing this for quite some time, but I just cannot get myself past the notion that men are having 'relations' with pieces of plastic. Maybe I am just an old fashioned romantic, but I always sort of enjoyed the way an actual person felt. I have never thought of myself as a plastic kind of guy. I do not even like seeing human females carve themselves up (caving into the body image brainwashing of our society), not alone a carved and painted robot.

Something else I wondered, do these men actually see women (the real ones, not Roxxxy) as human, or are they trying to avoid them emotionally? I sort of understand the latter, as any man who has been a relationship and dumped can surely attest, but most of the women I have known throughout my life are good people and typically nice enough to strike up a conversation with. You can talk to real females about Middle Eastern politics without shelling out $7,000 for a mechanical prostitute. Indeed, if you get to know a real female, you may actually have something like a fulfilling relationship with one. Part of me thinks that this is the real problem in all of this, more than even the shyness (I was always shy growing up, but lacked the desire for robotic romance partners, so I see the shyness exculpation as a cop-out).

I am not trying to cast aspersions in these fellows. The market is filled with toys of all varieties, for both sexes. In a way, this is just a more technologically advanced version of those. However, I never considered temporary artificial gadgets as replacing the feel, touch, and presence of another person, which is what this has to be aiming for. I cannot envision too many guys with families or girlfriends having a Roxxxy.

But hey, it is a free country. To each, his or her own.