KEEPING WATCH - IF ABORTION IS MURDER...
A BRAIN STORM — 8/28/2012
then sexual intercourse between fertile couples without intent to conceive must be a crime.
The first time I said it, I thought, what foolishness. But then the more I thought about it, I thought, ok, we need a long term reach out goal of distancing conception from enchantment and romance and conquest and seduction and bluster. In fact the most intense orgasmic pleasure may need to be relocated. Or perhaps We need to be seasonally sexual, like twice in a life time, and apart from that, reproduction needs to be safely and totally cordoned off.
Conception needs to be sober, thoughtful, deliberate and direct. Nature has thrown conception in with impulse to assure reproductive success of such excess as to fuel famine and war. It is up to us to tame that beast.
Still my heart is not in it. I need to think of something better than classical sex.
I remember the movie about the alien from K-Pax who described conception on his home planet as a very painful and smelly process. There, the motive was careful deliberation. Too extreme to be sure, but thought provoking anyway.
If conceptions took place in a laboratory under the control of sober technicians requiring careful attention to detail and void of any whompa then misconceptions might be very rare.
I guess I like the idea best of some kind of reversible sterilization for both sexes that is 100% effective on both counts - sterilization and reversibility. Those so fixed would be very unlikely to ever need an abortion.
Ok, there You have it. At this point, that would be the favored direction - but I am cheating of course as Joy and I are both fixed already. So, in the interim I will leave it to Others to chart their own course while honestly thinking it is time to seriously address the problem of misconceptions with the goal of 100% effective and 100% reversible sterilization for both sexes being the first step.
This appeals to me much more than driving abortions underground.
As for something better than classical sex (adjusted for excessive fertility), something perhaps very different and much better, well, such musing is best left to the old who can sneak-a- peak behind the veil of death and consider what indeed might be just a bit more heavenly.
8/27/2012 MISSOURI'S TODD AKIN ON RAPE (edited for clarity with Joy's help at 8:51 am.) (updated 11:00 am)
Todd Akin, Republican Representative from Missouri, has gotten himself in big trouble by saying there is some natural immunity that protects women from pregnancy in the event they are raped.
That would be nice but there is no such immunity. Nature adds insult to injury. He could now say, "It would be nice if it was virtually impossible for a woman to get pregnant from being raped." and all of us could stand up and applaud. Nature should protect the woman from disease and forced conception in rape cases but nature does not! Shame on nature and double shame on the rapist.
He could have gone on from there to add, "Wanting and intending to become pregnant needs to be a prerequisit for pregnancy." With that we have a leg up in the fight against abortion. Again a standing ovation from both parties. (I hope)
Just think what that would do in terms of limiting abortions. Stop abortions by stopping unwanted pregnancies before they begin. A combination of better laws, enhanced personal responsibility and better forms of birth control should be sought after to do just that. It is time to dramatically reduce abortion in the US. It is time for women to have immunity to unwanted pregnancy (just like Akin thought they did).
A Game Changer up date:
The next question brought up by Akin is what constitutes legitimate rape? His position was, in cases of legitimate rape, women’s bodies do not allow conception to occur. So if a conception did occur, then obviously the woman was not raped.
The courts too fail to enforce rape laws as they struggle with the question of legitimate rape. Did she want it, did she like it, did she enjoy it, did she bring it on herself, did she deserve it… and now Akin adds, did she get pregnant. If so she must not have been raped.
Reluctance to report rape in such an environment leads to shamefully poor enforcement of rape law in the US. I offer the following recommendation as a spring board for discussion.
Sex is serious business. It can be life changing or even life threatening. Actions of such a serious nature are commonly covered by a contract. Historically the marriage contract attempted to limit the domain within which sexual intercourse was to legally occur. Marriage is only marginally functional in doing so today. Therefore might it be reasonable to require a notarized contract with a three day waiting period establishing consent to participate in listed sexual behaviors at a specific time and place with listed precautions taken and responsibilities and limits noted?
No contract, no sex. Sex without a contract and she files a complaint and there is physical evidence of intercourse, he is automatically guilty of statutory rape.
No hopeless entanglement of “he said, she said” to be straightened out in court. No contract, no sex.
Too simple? Perhaps. Do we need more people in prison? No! But we obviously need to change the game.
I am not planning on voting for Obama. I may go Green or I may write in. If You always wanted someone to write You in for president let me know.
8/24/2012 "O SECRECY WITHOUT A SECRET" Martin Buber
In his book Understanding Power, Noam Chomsky writes that in his studies of government secrecy he finds that very rarely is there something in the classified information that has to do with national security. The main purpose of secrecy is "just to make sure that the general population here (in the US) does not know what is going on." That and the folks keeping secrets feel powerful and important keeping them (or leaking them on the mushrooms).
One of my favorite philosophers, Martin Buber, muses in his book "I and Thou" how many religions and religious groups relish some form of secrecy. It is not the substance of the secrets that binds such groups together. Were it so, the secret could not be kept, the allure is in the power of exclusiveness. Thus Buber calls it "O secrecy without a secret." It works much like the chat of children, "I know something You don't know." which usually entices pleas to know that if denied generates a very cheap experience of power for the knower however trivial the knowledge. Having such a cheap secret is very much like being a Seuss Sneech with a star on your belly. The less substance it has, the better it works.
As I have spent the last several years working to enhance transparency in county government I have been amazed at the resistance that I have encountered. The current form of the Agenda for the Supervisors meetings is a good example. It contains the heading of "Other County Business". That is just another way of saying "None of your Business" since You and I do not have clue what is to be discussed under that heading.
It appears to be important to the supervisors to tell the world that they can secretly discuss county business. They could pride themselves in excellence in transparency but to them that must feel more like being in the nude in a doctors office taking an exam than being in a tie in the Supervisors meeting. That is unfortunate since it does not need to be that way. If they thought of themselves more as educators, facilitators and public servants then revealing the stuff of county business could be rewarding, as long as they are proud of their work. The transparency of One's work in public service is certainly something to be proud of.
( Joy says parts of this post are too preachy. That is why I signed it. It did not win her stamp of approval. Where a post is not signed we have generally conferred and agreed on content before it is posted.)
I was in attendance at a Democratic Town Hall Meeting Friday evening where Democrats (and one independent :) were given the opportunity to ask Rich Taylor, Democratic candidate of the 47th District of the Iowa Senate some questions. Jobs and education are on Rich’s front burner and thinking about the opportunities and challenges I was drawn to this web site that features teens who have been successful starting up new companies. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/teen-entrepreneurs-20120810.html
As I looked over their accomplishments I wondered, as might we all, what is there about these young people that got them on the move so early (and conversely what is there about me that failed to kick-in over the years. Still, if a teenager is not too young, well then, maybe I am not too old.)
The concerns of teachers who feel they are being called upon to make test takers out of their students were also given air time. It reminded me of one of the late Stephen Covey’s guiding principles. “Begin with the end in mind.” Do we evaluate our educational system on the number of entrepreneurs we turn out or on the test scores of our graduates?
Mr. Taylor is particularly concerned about making sure our schools are turning out people who have the skills to work in manufacturing thus allowing the area to attract companies like Siemens who manufacture wind turbines in Ft. Madison. I added my concern that Romney is threatening to discontinue tax credits for wind subsidies under the guise of creating a level playing field for all energy producers. However, Romney did not mention factoring in the costs, in terms of dollars and lives, of maintaining or expanding the military support necessary to protect oil interests around the world.
I continue to be impressed with Mr. Taylor. I switched back to being a Democrat long enough to vote for him in the primary. I recently switched back to being an independent again. It continues to be the best fit for me and toward the end of the evening it became apparent why.
Then the question of homosexual marriage came up. (This is where Joy says I get too preachy. I trust she knows but... well, here goes)
Rich Taylor and his fellow Democrats cast the question in terms of equal rights. Rich noted that the Pledge of Allegiance calls for justice for all. Wayne Kamm expressed his concern that the Christian Right is attempting to impose their religious beliefs on others and compared them to Muslims seeking to impose Sharia Law on Arab nations.
Personally I am sticking with the definition of Marriage as one man and one woman both dedicated to a life time of doing the work and celebrating the bounty that makes successful marriages both workable and wonderful.
In cases of bona fide confusion of sexual identity I see no need for a physical exam to determine gender. It is enough that those who seek to be married accept being pronounced Husband and Wife in a manner consistent with how they respond to questions of gender identify on a daily basis.
In my personal experience the actualizations of both sexual orientation and sexual expression are subject to responsible decision making. That is not to say temptations do not come. I doubt there has been one day since puberty when I have not experienced at least a fleeting thought of sexual indiscretion and over the years I doubt that I have failed to consider a perversion of most any sort. I accept this as the backdrop against which the value of the one man/one woman marriage becomes apparent and is actualized.
The price of free will is maintaining affordable housing for the horde of one’s temptations. The point is not to get beyond the options or to blindly ignore them, the point is to be able to master them, and not let them master You. How You see your identity is critical. I am the decision maker. I lay low my temptations with a growing sense of humor born of the confidence of daily mastery. I am the one who can work to co-create a family by being the best husband and the best father that I can see my way to be.
Fidelity is chosen out of consideration of the infinite potential of the people I love, my spouse and my children and grandchildren as well as all the members of the grand community of life. There are no limits to how wonderful our togetherness can be.
Marriage is a moral decision. It is not necessarily for everybody. Why some who so narrowly define themselves as homosexuals want to embrace the transcendent moral decision of fidelity while refusing to take responsibility for the actualization of their sexual orientation is a question I leave to them. However, where conspicuous homosexual behavior is chosen in earnest I would argue that the option of marriage should not available. However I am not opposed to civil contracts.
There are studies indicating that most if not all males are latent for homosexuality. I do not find this to be any more disturbing than the fact that most people are latent thieves, murders and adulterers. Were this not the case there would have been no need for codes of moral behavior. If not for this no one could raise an army and humans would not know the option of peaceful coexistence against the backdrop of the violent abandon of war.
I also agree that the judges over stepped their boundaries in making an interpretation of law that ignored the absence of any original intent to support such an interpretation.
I closed my participation in the meeting noting that homosexuality is to some extent and in some cases a contagion and I asked what efforts would be made to contain it. Nobody was ready to address that question but Rich said he would give it some thought.
8/19/2012 READING THE INK BLOTS
I just happened to be there for a fanny fair recently where a drove of young girls wearing black skin tight buttock hugging shorts lined up at the counter at a local fast food business. I presume whatever the message this clothing is supposed to convey is OK in context. I would not have allowed a daughter of mine to leave the house so attired, even to go swimming. To me it was comparable to having a man show up in public wearing a koteka. (I suppose that is coming up next.)
My spell checker does not know what to make of the word koteka and similarly I do not know what to make of the noted attire but in both cases I am comfortable that context is everything and that I am the one out of context. I think the girls must have been in volleyball outfits or something of the sort. I my world the message… well never mind, as context dictates the message and in this case, I am the old fogy. ( I hope)
This scenario reminds me of a joke about a mental patient who was being shown ink blots after being instructed to say the first thing that came to his mind. After viewing several cards all of which the patient associated with sex the doctor paused and asked, “You think about sex a lot, don’t you?”
To which the patient replied, “ Me? Doc, you are the one showing all the dirty pictures.”
What constitutes deception in county government must also be seen in context. The Sunshine Laws seek to expose what here to fore has been "the private parts of government" and it is as alien to those in office as is the attire of the young ladies to me. In the first situation, I am the old fogy, and in the latter I am the pioneer.
Joy says, "You sign that one." She is sure I will be misunderstood. So, what ever You think I am saying, stop and read it again and then think something else and if You really want to know the message - ask questions. Otherwise, muse and know You too are reading the ink blots.
8/14/2012 CHIP AND SEAL SURFACING REQUEST (edited 8/16)
Once again the chip and seal surfacing request was discussed in the Supervisors meeting (8/14). Once again nothing about it appeared on the agenda. The residents on the road have offered to pay for the upgrade. The supervisors are considering taking on maintenance costs, beyond what is normal and customary for a gravel road, up to a point and to the benefit of the residents requesting the upgrade.
I would recommend that any additional maintenance costs above and beyond what is normal and customary for a gravel road should be the responsibility of the residents who are wanting to pay for the chip and seal surfacing.
Last night I attended the Henry County Conservation Board meeting. I raised four concerns.
1. Over the past several years the diversion of several acres of the Mud Creek Park into a constant loss haying operation to protect the neighbor's airstrip was done under the guise of creating and maintaining a food plot. That plunder has been hard on both the soil and the wildlife. The good news is the new management plan will seek to benefit a broad spectrum of concerns to include the fertility of the soil, ground nesting birds like Turkeys, Quail and Dickcissels as well as the neighbors safety.
I understand that the meadow will be fertilized and limed as required and seeded into a prairie plot of native grasses and forbs with periodic burning done as required to control woody vegetation.
Lets hope for an abundance of milkweeds for the monarchs!
Natural succession back to the forest would be the most cost effective management plan but it will not be allowed to occur to accomodate the neighbor and to focus on ground nesting birds as well as other critters from brown snakes to honeybees who will hopefully derive benefits from the reduced level of disturbance and the biological diversity of the "native" meadow. Going forward under the new management plan what the neighbor will offer in exchange for the de facto extention of his air strip has yet to be determined.
2. Residents have complained to me that no clear policy on the limitations of the use of County Conservation vehicles and/or tracking of that use is functional.
I was informed by board members that the issue has been discussed in the past as part of a discussion on county deputies taking their cars home.
I think putting the conditions of use and the tracking of that use, specifically for the County Conservation Department vehicles, has merit as a possible cost control measure.
3. I expressed concerns with the request that the public use the Board's collective address when contacting board members by email about county business. The potential for the creation of electronic meetings in this process, held without an agenda that would therefore violate open meetings law will be monitored by a designated board member who too will expedite emails from the public to selected board members. I still prefer that emails go directly to selected board members but I too appreciate the value of keeping all members of the board up to speed on the issues.
4. I requested a copy of Mud Creek soil sample results as well as copies of the audio recordings of the last three board meetings. I want to look at the soil samples to assess the damage to the soil and the amount of fertilizer and lime necessary to restore it to optimal health. Then I want to listen to the recordings to clear up some of my confusion about what was said in previous meetings.
There was an interesting discussion yesterday during the supervisors meeting about allowing a group of county residents to chip and seal a section of a gravel road in Henry County. The decision was made to go forward with preparations to accomodate the request. To do so will require changes to the 5 year plan. It will also require the very short term financing of the project expected to exceed $50k. It will also require time spent on researching just how all the arrangements are to be made.
I remember riding my motorcycle on the chip and seal rural roads in southern Michigan when Joy and I were first married. It sure beat gravel. So an experimental project "at no cost" to the county sounds good.
The question however is this. Did You know this was going to be discussed? Was this topic on the Agenda? The supervisors choose to tuck it into the County Engineers Update. If a failing grade is a clear cut intentional cover-up this looks like a D+ to me since the press and the Watch Dogs were both present. But keep in mind, they are not always present. Being there the Watch Dogs and the Press get an A and save the supervisors from getting an F. We have a long way to go to achieve excellence in transparency. I keep thinking we are closer than we are. What would have been so difficult in listing this topic on the Agenda?
Rural Residents seek permission to chip and seal a county road?
That is news and that is of interest to county residents and there was no way for county residents to know it was going to be discussed.
You would expect more from your supervisors, but old habits are hard for old dogs to break.
The Watch Dogs are KEEPING WATCH on the Old Dogs. It was great to see two members of the public there as well, one being Mr. Garretson who is running for Supervisor. When You see him be sure to ask him how he feels about transparency in government and don't let him off with a pat answer.
My bet is here are more people who are going to plead they cannot control their sexual orientation or their actions.
Years ago I read about a shrink who when hearing excuses from pedophiles like, " Doc, I can't help it, I am not like other people, I have these temptations." responded by saying, what is unique about You is not the temptations You have but your failure to care enough for the welfare of Others to protect them from You.
In my youth during one of my more intense personal experiences I became aware that yes I could kill Others and too I could kill my self. Just 101 in what it is to be human I guess but it came upon me with the force of an intense and yet sober realization. I found comfort in deciding that if ever I was to go off the deep end I would kill my self first. Should I decide that life in the world is not worth living, it should be quite enough to check out while leaving those who cherish their life to live it.
So if some child molester tells me that "it is either molest children or kill myself", I am inclined to encourage the latter but I believe even better options need to be found. The name of the game is self control and selective actualization. That too is 101 in what it is to be human.
8/6/2012 WISCONSIN SIKH TEMPLE SHOOTING
So now what do You think. Should We all carry guns to church? No, We are safe. We do not look like Arabs. That did not work very well in the theater though. Not being black, not looking like Arabs can be added to guns, laws and prisons as not being enough. What then?
8/4/2012 WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT DRUGS AND VIOLENCE?
So now the question is, if everyone in the theater has a gun would "the crazy" simply use a bomb. The answer is in the news. So how then do we protect ourselves? Sleeping with a gun is no protection from a bomb. How about poisonous gases. If we all have guns will it be a game changer and will theives and felons then shift to gases even as the machete murderers will likely shift to guns? What then? Sleeping in a gas mask? We are not doing what needs to be done and therefore We are afraid. Same with drugs, we are not doing what needs to done and therefore drugs old and new threaten our welfare. What needs to be done? If not laws and guns and prisons, what? Come on, find your voice, what?
8/3/2012 ON TRANSPARENCY
Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch notes the Obama administration is less transparent then was that of former president George Bush. (See link below) Heap this on top of the lies leading into Libya and the endorsement of homosexual marriage and it is time for me to visit Shelly again and re-register me as an independent.
I had to register as a Democrat to vote for Mr. Taylor in the primary. I have yet to decide who I will vote for in the general election. I will vote for transparency in government and I will vote for a one man one woman definition of marriage.
I may very well not vote for anyone for President, until we get our civil liberties back to pre-911 levels and get the presidency reigned in so the Presidents are not waging wars based on lies and/or without congressional approval.
Further restrictions on the power of the president are necessary now that Obama is using drones to chase down and execute individuals (to include US citizens) on his hit list without due process. So far the specifics may be less offensive than the principles but the principles are what govern future action and protect our freedoms.
I recently reviewed the Hutu genocide of the Tutsi and found myself in agreement with the NRA chant that guns do not kill people, people kill people. Thousands were maimed and murdered with machetes. One point for the NRA.
The American Civil Liberties Union is now ready to help litigate cases where the citizens of Iowa have been denied access to records or meetings. Visit the site below to learn more.
While there are those, to include the sitting supervisors and the retired county auditor and the director of county conservation, who obviously have been offended by the efforts of Osborne and Wilson to date to move Henry County government down the road to the dawn of compliance with the Sunshine Laws, it is becoming apparent that our "early" efforts to do so have benefitted everyone.
I could have spent my time gathering evidence and secretly, but legally, taping the meetings of the supervisors and the conservation board and conversations with the members and their staff, being ever careful to avoid tipping them off - just waiting for the day when The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa was ready to litigate and then - orchestrate a sting .
Had I gone down that road I would not have been accused of harassing county officials in the process and now successful legal action could be in the works. It may not be too late for that but for the moment I am inclined to let this be the time to turn the page to the dawn of excellence in the transparency of county government.
To this end documentation of future violations will be sent directly to ACLU. I will no longer involve the Ombudsman whose job it is to defuse tension while protecting government officials while at the same time gently moving the process of compliance along.
I am waiting for a candidate for supervisor to mention their dedication to transparency in government.
The Supervisors might want to consider hanging the Sunshine Laws next to the Constitution on the walls of the court house.