Monday, March 30, 1998

Week of 03/30/1998

Target: Adolescence
- by David Matthews 2

You know, there was once a commercial by certain fast food franchise... I won’t say which one, but sufficient to say they think they’re "royalty" … that suggested that teen-age years were the best years of a person’s life. I’m sure there are plenty of people who would agree with that statement. For some folks, their teenage years were the best ones, mostly because they didn’t have the kind of burdens adulthood foisted on them.

But for a lot of folks, their teenage years were far from the fun and frolic televised commercials and sitcoms wanted us to believe them to be. Certainly those who suffered from abusive family members, or found themselves addicted to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, didn’t enjoy the same kind of luxury as.. say, the most popular students, who seemingly has everything handed to them.

Unfortunately, there is another group of young men and young women whose teenage lives have been anything but pleasant. These folks who considered school to be a source of torment and dread. I should know - I was one of them. Oh sure, there were some pleasant times.. but those were few and far between, and they certainly didn’t involve school.

The reason why I bring this up is because there seems to be a common thread between suspects in the recent shootings at schools in the south. In Arkansas, two young boys ages 11 and 13 are suspected of pulling a fire alarm and then opening sniper-style fire at fellow classmates as they exited the building. And just like the shooting in Kentucky last year, dozens of talking heads gave their usual spin on why they think this trend is on the increase..

The worst spin, however, comes from the talking heads who rant and rave about how SOCIETY is to be blamed for these tragedies. You know, it’s easy to point at the vaguest and most ambiguous things and demonize them for everything from bad breath to mass murder. The magical, mystical, catch-all "society" gets blamed for it all. And if you HAVE to pin them down on a name, they’ll usually say "Hollywood" or "television" or "guns." Something vague, and certainly something that isn’t human. Humans, after all, can hire lawyers, and have this rather peculiar trait of taking accusations personally. They lack the gumption.. nay, the BALLS.. to come out and point fingers at an actual, living human being and say "YOU failed to do your job!"

Following this tragedy, the best example of this kind of eunuch has to be that walking colostomy bag that calls himself the governor of Arkansas. Listening to him give off this shopping list of perceived evils that seem to come straight out of the religious wrong playbook, I was utterly amazed as to how such an individual got to where he was in public life without being branded a kook. Word of advise, governor: follow the example of your scandal-ridden predecessor in the White House and keep your words of shock and horror simple! Don’t use it as a vehicle for your own re-election campaign!

Make no mistake, this tragedy in Arkansas was horrible, but making the matters worse is having all these talking heads rush into the limelight offering their own little slant on the issue mixed with their own pet causes like gun control or censorship.

Following last year’s shooting of an informal prayer group in Kentucky, a reader responded to my rant on the issue by putting the blame on the availability of guns. True, guns play a role in these tragedies, but the simple fact that guns are available do not make for a bloodbath. Guns have been available in these communities years before people even heard the words "gun control." There haven’t been any sniper firings in schoolyards then. Why now?

Why now has to do with factors other than just guns. Guns are the simply means to the end, not the cause.

The biggest, and certainly the most dominant factor, is adolescence itself. The teenage years are actually a social development that really didn’t manifest itself until the rise of the Industrial Society. Before then, you were either a child or an adult. Now, those in the years of 11-17 live in a nether-world where they’re treated as both adult and child, and yet as neither. Parents, who seemingly suffer from temporal myopia, only want to consider their son or daughter "their little baby," even when that baby has gone on a killing spree. Meanwhile, we have a general public so frustrated with the failure of the juvenile justice system that they’re almost willing to send 10 and 11-year olds to the electric chair, and are demanding an eye for an eye.

On top of that, there are personal demands of the would-be young man to be treated as an adult. There are expectations that sometimes cannot be met, social rules that no matter how hard he tries he’ll never succeed in, rewards that will never be given to him. That’s life, but you’ll never be able to explain that to a 13-year old boy who wants to be treated like he’s 21. He still thinks the world revolves around himself.

Unable to get what he wants through social pleasantries, he might explore different means to get the respect he feels he deserves.

Here in Atlanta, a 13-year old boy was convicted for the cold-blooded murder of a father of two. Why, you ask? Because while the father of two was sitting in the car with his children at a grocery store, he refused to turn off his headlights for the 13-year old. He "disrespected" the boy, so the boy shot this stranger in front of his own children. He’s now in prison, and will be spending the rest of his life there getting the "respect" he’s deserving.

Complicating this issue are socialistic mentalities that try to convince people that this magical, mythical "society" can do everything the parent cannot or will not do. The "it takes a whole village to raise a child" mentality that Hillary Clinton loves to preach about has actually resulted in the degradation of individual responsibility.

One caller to a news channel said he believed that raising children is a "contract between the parents and society." Gee, how wonderful he brought society into his family! I wonder if he and his wife sought society’s permission to have kids? And if so, which government office did they go to? Did they have to get a permit? And was society present when their kids were conceived?

The truth is that society does not "enter into a contract" with parents to have kids. Parents thrust their kids into the lap of society without a care as to the repercussions, and then demand that society take care of those kids for them. You want to know where the "Big Babysitter" mentality of the Clinton Administration came from? Here’s the source!

In a vicious downward spiral of shifting responsibilities, we have parents who shove the burden of their kids to government. The government responds by demanding more taxes to pay for these programs. This means everybody (not just the parents) gets to have more money taken from their paychecks to pay for taxes. More money in taxes means less money for family. Parents have to work longer and harder, maybe even picking up a second or third job. This means less time for the family, which the parents once again shove the burden on the government.

Then, when their precious little Johnny Dimple or Suzy Purebred become teenagers and do something wrong, the parents are mortified. And they wonder how this could have happened. And they ask out loud "Whatever happened to personal responsibility?" Of course, the answer sits right in front of them.

First and foremost, we need to remember that parents have the burden of raising their kids. They decided to bring the kids into the world, and it is up to them to raise their kids to become adults. Not the schools, not the church, not government, not Hollywood, not the media, and certainly not this magical, mythical "society." While these institutions and organizations can provide some of the tools needed, the crux of the responsibility is on the parents.

Second, we need to recognize that teenagers are entering a phase in their lives where they are becoming adults, but aren’t there yet. In my experience, kids usually have at least a vague understanding of what is right and wrong by age 12. It’s not like a switch being flipped, one minute you’re a kid, the next you’re and adult. This is a gradual process.

Third, we need to recognize that, yes, kids CAN be quite brutal if left to their own devices. Not all kids are instant angels from birth. Without a personal mechanism to contain and properly utilize a child’s anger, rage, and frustration, they will use the first means available - violence. As a former practitioner of the martial arts, I have seen how children who train in some form of formalized budoka become better people not only physically but also mentally. Rage knows no age, but fortunately neither does the mechanisms to control that rage.

The tragedies in Mississippi, Kansas, and in Arkansas are horrific, but we need to realize these were powder kegs waiting to explode. Their causes are more complex than the sound-bite mentality of the media can handle, but the solutions don’t have to be.

Monday, March 23, 1998

Week of 03/23/1998

"Uh.. No Comment?"
How Democrats Slide Into Hypocrisy
- by David Matthews 2

If you go through my past articles in the archives, you’d probably see me bashing both liberals and conservatives, even though I seem to be harsher towards conservatives. That isn’t hard to do, considering the arrogance and self-righteousness of groups like the religious wrong, who seem to have their hands into the GOP like a ventriloquist controls a dummy. Their egos make them the perfect target.

But being a political cynic first and a Libertarian second, I have an unusual advantage in that I can be utterly brutal to both Democrats and Republicans. And while I have focused a lot of my brutally honest rants on President Clinton, he is only a shadow of the Democratic Party, and a weak one at that.

No, this week, my focus, my scorn, and my brutally honest rant shall be about the Democratic Party. And it appears they are deserving this one.

Last Sunday (03/15), Kathleen Willey took her case to the public in an interview with "60 Minutes" about her fateful encounter with President Clinton. She described in detail how President Clinton kissed, fondled, and groped her while in the White House. She says that she wanted to slap him but decided against it only because he’s the President.

Make no mistake, her account of the event is a heavy blow to Camp Clinton’s endless defensive pattern of "deny and defame." We’re not talking about the allegations of some second-rate fluff reporter with aspirations of being Bill Clinton’s secret mistress. (Or so Camp Clinton wants us to believe.) We’re not talking about some big-haired girl from Arkansas being pandered to by anti-abortion activists looking to "get" the President. (Or so Camp Clinton wants us to believe.) We’re not talking about some political opportunist with aspirations of being the reincarnation of J. Edgar Hoover by prying to people’s lives with hidden microphones. (Or so Camp Clinton wants us to believe.) And we’re certainly not talking about some young 24-year old former intern who supposedly has a fatal attraction to powerful authority figures and can only speak through a high-priced attorney addicted to the limelight. (Or so Camp Clinton wants us to believe.)

No, Kathleen Willey used to be PART of Camp Clinton. We’re talking about a former supporter, and a former contributor to the Democratic Party. And we’re not talking about just an innocent kiss or some squabble over gifts or a conversation with perhaps some spicy talk. We’re talking about allegations on the caliper that brought Bob Packwood out of the Senate almost in disgrace!

I would find her account of the events to be credible, because it would be a day that Mrs. Willey would not want to exaggerate or omit, even though she would probably love to forget the day. It was for her the worst day in her life. She and her husband were in debt up to their eyes. They were on the verge of losing everything they had. She would find out days later that her husband, rather than endure the pain of defaulting on their debts, committed suicide early that evening. She was at the White House to beg for a paying job so she could keep from going into default, and she instead allegedly got groped and molested by the President of the United States. Do you think after what happened that she would be willing to exaggerate on the events of the day?

But, you know, credit has to be given to Camp Clinton in their speedy reaction to these turn of events. It used to take years for Camp Clinton to respond to requests for information. It took two years for the Rose Law firm records to be discovered in the White House residential wing. Now the slightest morsel of information on people speaking out against Clinton gets made public within minutes. Remarkable turnaround time, if you ask me. Of course, it probably does help if the information being released is intended to hurt Clinton’s accusers, not Clinton.

Following the "60 Minutes" interview, many groups that used to support Clinton were forced to backpedal on their stances. The National Organization of Women, a staunch Clinton support group, had to come out leaning against Clinton on these allegations. Even the Reverend Billy Graham, who served as the religious inspiration of presidents for decades, had to cast doubt on the effectiveness of President Clinton in the wake of these allegations.

Even the Republicans had to restrain themselves in their zeal to avenge themselves from Iran-Contra and Watergate. I think I can safely say that when Republicans debate over HOW they want to impeach Clinton, that they’re getting just a little too anxious over this situation.

So where are the Democrats?

You know, I almost feel sorry for them. After all, they’re in the proverbial "rock and a hard place" situation. Clinton is their champion - the man with a dream that can only be shadowed by the dreams of Karl Marx and Josef Stalin. Any measure remotely liberal in origin becomes Clinton’s personal crusade. Clinton mastered the art of "stealth taxing" and speaking in 100% pure methane. Given the choice between Clinton and the power-hungry Republicans, the Democratic Party quickly, and understandably, chose Clinton.

And yet, Kathleen Willey was one of them. Not only that, but an alleged victim of sexual harassment, one of their own causes and creations. Their defense of Anita Hill against the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas made sexual harassment a household word.

Like I said, I almost feel sorry for them.


No doubt, would the accused be a Republican, the Democrats would be more vocal on this issue than the air-fluffed members of the media. Case in point has to be how they were responsible for the removal of Bob Packwood from the senate. They refused to have the issue die in committee and forced Packwood to either resign or endure an embarrassing impeachment trial where the allegations were already made public.

Remember folks, Packwood was also considered a staunch defender of women’s issues.

So what do the Democrats have to say for themselves?

"Uh.. No comment?"

Their silence, however, does them a terrible disservice. Caught between their champion and their cause, Democrats run the risk of defaulting into the ranks of hypocrisy by their non-choice.

Worse yet, this kind of hypocrisy sends a very dangerous message to the public - that very real charges against elected officials can be negated in the name of partisan politics. Their silence negates their earlier crusades against Clarence Thomas and Bob Packwood. They cannot now afford the luxury of picking and choosing how they want to implement the cause they themselves created.

At the very least, vocally deciding to weigh in the evidence first and suspend unsubstantiated rumors and allegations from both Camp Clinton and their critics will go far to salvage the party’s credibility. Declaring themselves to be at least neutral until the facts are brought in would be better than the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" statues that they appear to be with their silence.

Whatever they do, they must do it soon. This is, after all, an election year. If the Democrats want to stop their losing streak and still have a chance of recapturing either the House or the Senate from the Republicans, they must decide which is more important - their allies, or their morals.

Monday, March 16, 1998

Week of 03/16/1998

War of the Tax Words
What Is The "Scheme" And Who Is The "Schemer?"
- by David Matthews 2

It is said that politics is but a game. This intellectual bastion of idealistic superiority boasts of players big and small. Like gods sitting atop Mount Olympus, these players often decide the fate of the world with complete detachment. They know that at the end of the day, they won’t be personally harmed by the outcome of their events.

Politics is a war game, with the goal to conquer the intellectual playing field of the general public. Instead of guns, politicians use words. Knowledge and information are the ammunition that keeps the mouths flapping and the words flowing.

It is said that in war, the first casualty is the truth. And in this fantasy war game we call politics, it is no different.

For instance, what do you call a "scheme?" Wouldn’t you say, as I would, that a scheme is a nefarious plot? A hoax? A charade?

Well, the word "scheme" has fit into the vocabulary of the Clinton Administration to describe any new change that they don’t like. Have an idea to fix the tax system so it becomes more equitable for every American? Nope, can’t have that. That’s a "risky tax scheme."

Let’s look at it for a minute: you and I, right now, are paying taxes based on a tax bracket system that penalizes us for making more money. The more money we make, the higher up on the tax bracket we go, forcing us to pay even more taxes than before. The person who makes $200,000 per year has to pay not only a higher amount of taxes over the person who makes $20,000 per year, but also a higher percentage in taxes!

Why, you ask? Because the rich don’t really pay their "fair share" of taxes, or so we’re told. They get tax breaks and tax write-offs and tax deductions. Well, what about our own tax deductions and tax breaks? What makes those deductions any different?

The answer is, of course, that there is no difference. We don’t want to pay taxes, period. But we HAVE to, because there has to be some way to fund this nightmarish infrastructure politicians have the balls to define as our government.

To make matters worse, the only alternatives offered to the public come in the form of more tax breaks and deductions. Or, better yet, creating tax credits and calling them tax cuts, as if the two terms are interchangeable! Anyone with a working brain knows that a tax cut means less taxes, while an tax credit is a glorified IOU that can only be cashed in when it’s time to do the taxes. The result, of course, being a tax system that is so chaotic that not even ten accountants working on the same figures can fill out the same tax form!

So how is it that a fair and balanced way of paying taxes would be considered a "risky tax scheme?" The person who makes $200,000 would still pay more in taxes compared to the person who makes $20,000, only now they would be paying the same percentage. The government would still be getting its money. So who would be "defrauded" by it?

How about the same people who are benefiting from the current schizophrenic tax system? The politicians who manipulate the tax system so stealthily that we never know how much money we really make, only what we’re left with; the accountants who make their money off how complex the tax system is; and the financial services who hire the accountants. These are the people who will be hurt the most by anything resembling a flat tax, and they’re the ones who will move heaven and earth to stop that from happening.

Meanwhile, as usual, we’re getting screwed by the real "tax scheme," the one we are forced to pay.

Let’s get brutally honest here - the public doesn’t benefit from the current tax system. Instead, they are forced to endure endless twists and turns in a tax code written by bureaucrats to benefit even more bureaucrats. And to threaten to change that bureaucracy to benefit the people it is supposed to is suddenly called a "scheme." Given that the source of the accusation are master manipulators of the truth should only stand to prove that they are threatened by the measure.

Monday, March 9, 1998

Week of 03/09/1998

Nothing Personal?
How Legislative Immunity Creates Abuse Of Power
- by David Matthews 2

On March 2nd, the US Supreme Court made an unusual decision concerning personal responsibility and government.

The justices ruled unanimously that local and state legislators be given the same kind of legislative immunity enjoyed by members of Congress. Legislative immunity means you cannot sue legislators individually for violating your rights in the course of passing laws.

On the face of it, it seems to be a legitimate argument. Legislators doing their jobs shouldn’t have to worry about lawsuits for doing their jobs.

But what if they are abusing their jobs? What then?

Therein lies the problem. Government is the one institution that can legitimately take away everything you have. Your money, your business, your livelihood, your property, even your freedom and even your life. And if they screw up? They just shrug and say "Nothing personal, I was just doing my job."

Suppose you run a legal business. Everything you do is constitutionally protected, but not widely accepted. Maybe you sell tobacco, or alcohol, or some racy magazines or adult videos. Along comes a self-righteous politician who decides he doesn’t like what you do. So he makes it his business to put you out of business. He takes his crusade to the public, bashing what you do so much you start to think there’s a sub-basement in Hell made in your honor. He gets laws passed, has your goods impounded, shuts down your businesses and your livelihood, and on top of it has you arrested. You sue the government and win. You go through the whole appeals process until even the highest court agrees with you. Game over?

Hardly! The self-righteous crusader tries all over again. He rewrites the law, gets it passed, gets it enforced, takes away your business and property again, and has you arrested again. You have to spend more money for lawyers and court costs.

Most citizens have limited finances. Government does not. Eventually, you’ll either have to shut down your business or go broke. Either way, the self-righteous crusader wins.

And what recourse do you have against this crusader? NONE! The courts believe that the only recourse is the ballot box. But remember that in this case, your business is constitutionally protected but not widely accepted. This crusader has already taken his case to the public and maligned what you do to being akin to the worst evils in history. He already has a core group of active voters who have the time and the resources to make sure their agenda gets enacted.

As a further insult, the self-righteous tyrant has unlimited access to tax monies that you have to contribute to. You are compelled to fund the very means of your own destruction! And even if you win and the government has to pay for your legal fees, you still lose! What makes matters worse is that even if you vote the guy out, he will STILL get a generous pension at your expense. He’ll still get paid for destroying your life!

Remember folks, tyrants don’t care about anyone other than themselves. The only way to hurt a tyrant is to hurt them personally. In this case, through their personal wallets. When the local politician with self-righteous indignation and delusions of grandeur have to put up the same amount of money in legal costs as those they persecute, they think twice about their crusades.

It’s also quite hypocritical for politicians to rail on about personal responsibility when they are immune from responsibility for their legislative actions. Those conservatives and liberals who preach about the lack of personal responsibility apparently don’t realize that they themselves contribute to the problem by sanctioning legislative abuses.

Of course, the ability to sue legislators has it’s share of abuses as well. The case that elicited the Supreme Court decision involved a former city employee who’s job was eliminated. She claimed it was in retaliation for past complaints. She sued city hall and the council members individually. The court dismissed the case against city hall, but found against the individual members of the city council. The logic was somewhat flawed in that the council members were acting as "agents" of city hall, thus city hall should have been just as liable as the members themselves. The two parties are linked in that regard. But instead of linking the two parties, as they should have, the justices went the opposite route and said the agents of government are immune from being held responsible for their actions in that regard.

Look, in an ideal world, the systematic and endless abuse of power by legislators on all levels of government would be rewarded by prison terms, not terms in office. Unfortunately, we live in a world with self-righteous politicians who abuse the very freedoms they claim to cherish. Without the means to punish them for those abuses, individual freedom is meaningless. That is something that the US Supreme Court has apparently forgotten about.

Monday, March 2, 1998

Week of 03/02/1998

Target: Sex in Society
Why liberals and conservatives just don’t get it
- by David Matthews 2

You know, the conservatives have got to be pulling hairs out of their collective scalps over this intern thing. Despite allegations, leaks, rumors of immunity deals, and supposed taped evidence, Bill Clinton is holding firm his denials of any impropriety happening between him and the former intern. And worse yet to the conservatives, the public opinion polls have the president’s acceptance level higher than at any time in the Administration’s history! If conservatism is in vogue like the moralists want us to believe, then the polls should be dropping, right? After all, extramarital affairs are wrong. Illegal in some states. And those same polls say the majority of people don’t believe Clinton’s denials.

So what’s the story here? Why is it that the people believe some kind of shenanigans happened between Monica Lewinsky and Clinton, but they still think he’s doing a good job?

Well, conservatives would grumble that somehow because the economy is good, that it absolves Clinton’s alleged wrongdoings. But is that really the case?

While the explanation would serve the Gods of Mount Morality and members of the beltway elite like conservative icon Bill Bennett, there’s something more complex lying underneath it all that needs to be examined.

As I have stated before, this society seems to suffer from the intellectual version of bulimia. Fiercely divided between the intellectual and primal needs, we are lulled into believing that the intellect is all that really matters in society. The primal needs? Well, maybe food and shelter.. but the rest, we’re told, we don’t really need. We’re told we can live without them. Matter of fact, we’re told it’s better if we don’t satisfy those needs.

Then, suddenly, those primal desires explode in various aspects, and those same intellectual voices just can’t explain why it happened except to say that maybe they weren’t as strict as they should have been. So they clamp down even tighter in an effort to purge society of all things primal.

We have long since faced this situation when it comes to sex in society. Sex is a primal need. Satisfying that need elicits both pleasure and possible procreation. We need the latter, but the intellectually-dominated have so deemed we have no possible need for the former. So sex for the sake of pleasure has been discouraged and even banned outside of the only "established" institution that requires sex for procreation, namely the family. Even the indicators of sexual pleasure, such as nudity or anything remotely erotic in nature, have been the scathing target of moralists since the beginning of civilization.

The crusaders are always considered champions of the intellectual realm. Men and women like Plato, Tsin Chi Hwangti, Saint Paul, Pope Alexander VI, King Henry VIII, Queen Victoria, Dr. Thomas Bowdler, Anthony Comstock, Dr. Frederik Wertham, Vice President Spiro Agnew, Rev. Donald Wildmon, Edwin Meese, Rev. Pat Robertson, Donna Rice, and others, all at one point moved - and continue to move in the latter regards - to suppress anything associated with sex. And while this list of chastity belt legends is not all-inclusive, they are and have been at the forefront in the struggle against anything sexual in nature.

And when intellectual idealism cannot sway the consenting adult from fulfilling their primal desires with other consenting adults, today’s crusaders pull out the atom bomb of intellectual reasons - to protect women and children. The excuse of protecting women and children has long since earned its place under the most nefarious excuses of despotism in between "We know what’s best for you," and "I was just following orders!"

But there is one little point that is missing with these anti-sex crusaders - they are champions of things that have little regard to reality! The intellect is, by design, not based in reality. This allows the thinking man to transcend reality and see possibilities and concepts that go beyond the here and now. This is the realm of fantasy, in which all intellectuals thrive in. In the fantasy world, all theories work. That’s why intellectual bastions like academia, politics, and religions thrive and are sought after by those wishing acceptance in society.

The problem, however, is when the intellectual crusaders try to apply their theories on reality. While all theories work in the intellectual fantasy world, applying those theories often means conflicting with laws and principles of reality. In the intellectual world, you can envision throwing a ball up in the air, and it will go clear into space. In the real world, however, that ball has to follow the law of gravity. So when you throw that ball in the air, it’ll fall back down.

Many intellectual concepts work in theory, but once applied to the real world they can become a disaster. Religious and political leaders have time and time again proven this. The "great experiment" called Prohibition was pushed by both groups to get people off alcohol. Instead, it created a greater demand for alcohol, turned ordinary citizens into criminals, and turned criminals into millionaires.

Likewise, the ongoing prohibitions against all things sexual by those same religious and political leaders have created many of the societal problems related to sex. Many of the dangers of prostitution, for instance, are not inherent of the profession. Streetwalkers face far more dangers from the customer on the corner than the prostitutes who work in legal brothels. The few legal brothels that operate in rural Nevada are proof of that. And yet whenever talk turns to trying to legalize brothels, the intellectual crusaders against sex argue that to do so would make crime skyrocket, and then point to the dangers of the streetwalking prostitutes.

The intellectual demonization of sex has also served to corrode personal responsibility. The notion that somehow your actions hold the key to someone else’s morality has long been the excuse for moralists in the name of protecting children. After all, children don’t know any better, right? Well the same notion has been used to include adults as well. Any activity or substance deemed offensive to someone now becomes a "corrupting influence" in and of itself. It’s not your fault, it’s the fault of the "evil, corrupting" substance for doing this to you. One only has to listen to today’s neo-Prohibitionists for proof.

But religious and political leaders aren’t the only ones who have a hard time dealing with sex in the real world. Administrators and faculty members in our colleges and universities are right now struggling to deal with the problem of young adults having sex. Complicating matters are factors like alcohol, growing up, and varying ideals about sex between both genders.

One prestigious university expelled a male student for having sex with a female student on the grounds of date rape, even though nobody questions or doubts his side of the story when he said both were drunk and she was the one who freely and willingly initiated the sexual contact. If intoxication is no excuse for the man, why is it an excuse for the woman who initiated the contact?

Intellectuals can’t handle such complications, because in their fantasy world, those complications don’t exist. Young men and women don’t have sex, period. And if they did, it’s the man’s fault, because young women don’t have sex willingly. No matter the reality of the situation, in the minds of these academic intellectuals, the young man was at fault.

Of course, it’s easy for people to make lofty ideals when their personal needs are able to be satisfied. A "let them eat cake" mentality of piousness and hypocrisy can easily occur then. A lot of conservatives can easily talk about the "sanctity of marriage" after they’ve already been married at least once. Too bad they didn’t feel the same way when they were married the first time. Then again, even King Henry VIII was a "family values" leader himself. After all, he didn’t divorce his wives, he just had each one of them executed. It’s good to be the king.

Fortunately, the dysfunctional idiosyncrasies of our intellectual elites don’t instantly translate into the sentiments of the general population. Most people are thankful when they can get the most vital of needs such as food and shelter taken care of, never mind afford to live in an intellectual fantasy world.

If we want to do something to stop the insanity that we have concerning sex in society, the first thing we must do is break ourselves from our dependence on the intellectual elite. We give them that power when we turn to them to make moral judgements for us.

Ask yourself why YOU think something is wrong. Forget what Reverend Blowhard thinks. Forget what Congress thinks. Forget what some intellectual think-tank in Washington DC thinks. Forget what some 2000 year-old document says. For that matter, forget what some 200 year-old document says. Those things can help you make up your mind, but in the end it’s up to you to decide how to live your life. If you’re wrong about the choices you make, Reverend Blowhard, the Washington elite, and certainly an ancient piece of paper won’t take the fall - you will.

The second thing we need to do is break ourselves from the self-centered notion that our beliefs are the exclusive and unquestionable universal beliefs. While we all consider ourselves the protagonist in our own life stories, that life story is still only an autobiography, not the definitive guide to all life on the planet.

Finally, we need to remember that we do live in the real world, bound by physical bodies with very physical needs. Men and women do not live on bread alone, not even if you include a glass of water. One of those very real and very physical needs happens to include sex. If those needs aren’t met, it comes back to haunt us when we least want them to. That is not speculation, that is reality.