"The mark of an immature man is that he would die knobly for a cause. The mark of a mature man is that he would live humbly for one" - Catcher in the Rye -WARNING WRITER SPELLING CHALLENGED! But Sometimes you have to say "what the fuck!"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Give me liberty or give me death!

Repost from 10/18/04

Politics and history seem forever intertwined. With our current election near, I threw together some political quotes for you all to enjoy. History serves as a lesson in democracy, freedom and liberty.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights...That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed. – Declaration of Independence

Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
---Patrick Henry

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal. – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Our country—this great Republic—means nothing unless it means the triumph of a real democracy, the triumph of popular government. – Theodore Roosevelt

Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

That this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. – Abraham Lincoln

Suffrage is the pivotal right. – Susan B. Anthony

Nothing worth gaining is ever gained without effort. The people who say that they have not time to attend to politics are simply saying that they are unfit to live in a free community. – Theodore Roosevelt

When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die. – Eleanor Roosevelt

...The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as 'deeply', as 'finally', staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people. – George Washington

Democracy is no easy form of government. Few nations have been able to sustain it. For it requires that we take the chances of freedom; that the liberating play of reason be brought to bear on events filled with passion; that dissent be allowed to make its appeal for acceptance; that men chance error in their search for the truth. – Robert F. Kennedy

Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.
--Alexander Hamilton

"It's going to be the ballot or the bullet."-- Malcolm X

"Vote early and vote often." --Al Capone

Differences in political opinion are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary."
-- George Washington (1732-99),

The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and, however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true to fact. The people are turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right
--Alexander Hamilton

"I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." --Thomas Jefferson

"The most effectual means of preventing [the perversion of power into tyranny are] to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts which history exhibits, that possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes." --Thomas Jefferson

"Convinced that the people are the only safe depositories of their own liberty, and that they are not safe unless enlightened to a certain degree, I have looked on our present state of liberty as a short-lived possession unless the mass of the people could be informed to a certain degree." --Thomas Jefferson
The right to vote...is the primary right by which other rights are protected – Thomas Paine

Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good: 'Tis but one-step more to think one vote will do no harm. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

The right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time. – Jackie Robinson

The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged... – 26th Amendment to the Constitution

The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all. – John F. Kennedy

The most basic right of all was the right to choose your own leaders. The history of this country, in large measure, is the history of the expansion of that right to all of our people. – Lyndon B. Johnson

The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls that imprison men because they are different from other men. – Lyndon B. Johnson

It was my firm conviction that if the Negro achieved the ballot throughout the South, many of the problems which we faced would be solved. Once we gained the ballot, we would see a new day in the South. I had come to see that one of the most decisive steps that the Negro could take was a short walk to the voting booth. – Martin Luther King

"Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican."
-Lisa Simpson

"If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost."
-- Aristotle (384-322 BC),

"Personally, I'm in favor of democracy, which means that the central institutions of society have to be under popular control. Now, under capitalism, we can't have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. Thus, a corporation or an industry is, if we were to think of it in political terms, fascist; that is, it has tight control at the top and strict obedience has to be establishedat every level--there's little bargaining, a little give and take,but the line of authority is perfectly straightforward. Just as I'm opposed to political fascism, I'm opposed to economic fascism. I think that until the major institutions of society are under the popular control of participants and communities, it's pointless to talk about democracy."
-- Noam Chomsky (b. 1928),

"It is the common failing of totalitarian regimes that they cannot really understand the nature of our democracy. They mistake dissent for disloyalty. They mistake restlessness for a rejection of policy. They mistake a few committees for a country. They misjudge individual speeches for public policy." (Answering North Vietnamese charge that US could not endure)
-- Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-73),

"It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons. In particular, the connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found to be generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon --so long as there is no answer to it-- gives claws to the weak."
-- George Orwell (1903-50), British writer, "Animal Farm

"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."
-- (George) Orson Welles (1915-85),

"Man is by nature a political animal."
-- Aristotle (384-322 BC),

In politics stupidity is not a handicap."
-- Napolean Bonaparte (1769-1821),

"The notion of political correctness . declares certain topics. certain expressions . even certain gestures off-limits. What began as a crusade for civility has soured into a cause of conflict and even censorship."
-- George Herbert Walker Bush (b. 1924),

"One of the most basic principles for making and keeping peace within and between nations. . . is that in political, military, moral, and spiritual confrontations, there should be an honest attempt at the reconciliation of differences before resorting to combat."
-- James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. (b. 1924),

Our country was founded on a distrust of government. Our founding fathers gave power to the people to keep an eye on government. So when politicians say, Trust me, they're actually being very un-American."
-- David Duchovny,

All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field."
-- Albert Einstein (1875-1955),

"The political lesson of Watergate is this: Never again must America allow an arrogant, elite guard of political adolescents to by-pass the regular party organization and dictate the terms of a national election."
-- Gerald R. Ford (b. 1913),

"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."
-- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826),

"I wish I could give you a lot of advice, based on my experience of winning political debates. But I don't have that experience. My only experience is at losing them."
-- Richard Milhouse Nixon (1913-94),

“Certainly in the next 50 years we shall see a woman president, perhaps sooner than you think. A woman can and should be able to do any political job that a man can do."
-- Richard Milhouse Nixon (1913-94),

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."
-- Plato (427?-347? BC),

“I wish that all Americans would realize that American politics is world politics."
-- Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919),

"In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing."
-- Mark Twain (1835-1910),

“For the ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle (home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics) he feels himself master of his fate, but against major events he is as helpless as against the elements. So far from endeavouring to influence the future, he simply lies down and lets things happen to him."
-- George Orwell (1903-50),

"I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth."
-- William Frank Buckley, Jr. (b. 1925),

“Information is the currency of democracy."
-- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826),

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tarantino Style “Professionals” and the Red Light District

Repost from 10/14/04

Women Opinion and Sex
After some interesting and articulate comments left by Won and Sloth on my Hooters post, I got to thinking about my radical views of the sex industry. Being as I hold a B.A. in Women Studies from Berkeley (I also have a B.A. in History), this kinda makes me a token feminist. However, like the comments from Won and Sloth prove, not all feminists think alike. One issue, with varied opinions is prostitution, pornography and the sex industry. This disagreement can be seen by “famous” feminists such as Andrea Dworkin and Camile Paglia. Some say the sex industry enslaves and objectifies women, other argue that women can reclaim their sexuality through the sex industry and use it for empowerment and financial gain. Nina Hartley, my favorite porn star, is once such feminist.

Buying a Cock Ring in Texas… Personal Consent and Liberty
As an American, liberty and personal consent mean a lot to me. If you want to play with a vibrating dildo in Texass you should be able to. If two gay men want to fuck each other’s brains out in the Deep South, this is their right. If I want to medicate with marijuana, I should be granted safe access. If a busy businessman or Charlie Sheen type desires a quick blowjob to relax, he should also be given safe access. Society should not be dictated by the religious beliefs or morals of others.

Sexin in Amsterdam and the Red Light District
Going to Amsterdam in late 2000, blew my mind. This was a full paid trip for my job as a Cannabis Cup coordinator. The ethics and tolerance of the Dutch amazed and inspired me. Though the magazine funding my trip put me up in my own room, I happily allowed a 23-year-old son of one of the speakers to “bunk” with me. He was this hot, young, punk rock kid, who soon became my assistant and “assistant”. After the Cannabis Cup Awards party, when my official work ended, my “assistant” and I headed to the red-light district. We had hoped to find a live sex show, but since getting there so late, those businesses had closed. We did get to walk down the cobblestone old world roads, and glimpse in the windows of the working girls. Though high from MDMA, cannabis, and lots of sexing with the 23-year-old, I still vividly recall my impressions. Girls in bikinis or evening ware, talking on the phone, or painting their nails, causally sitting in a small window front, on display for the passing crowds. The area seemed clean and highly touristy. I thought to myself “now this is the way to do it”.

American Streetwalkers and Crack Motels
I could never be a prostitute, mainly because I cannot have sex with someone I’m not attracted too. Some grrrls posses that gift, in a sex therapy sort of way, and God bless em! Growing up, prostitution always confused me. Movies like Pretty Woman and American Gigilo glamorized this industry, and was in sharp contrast to what I would see on the streets. My first glimpse of real prostitutes came from urban areas, like Seattle, San Diego, and San Francisco. I would see these women hanging out on street corners or around crack motels. Some of them looked like real trash, dirty, gross, and unclean. The best looking streetwalkers I have seen were in Washington DC, these chicks walk around in bikinis and fur coats and talk on cell phones. More upscale, and aimed at the political crowd. A streetwalker’s motivation for selling her body and soul likely is money and/or drugs. The Pimps Up Hoes Down reality of the business can be truly frightening.

Decriminilization and Improved “Working” Conditions
However, in places like Amsterdam, Nevada, and Canada the seedy element of prostitution has been somewhat been removed. Working grrrls have access to health care, good pay, and even unionization. "I am not blind for such big problems as forced prostitution and venereal diseases; but you can't solve these problems by banning it. On the contrary you solve them by better regulations concerning working conditions, safety and hygiene. Problems like forced prostitution don't have anything to do with the profession as such, but with the mentality of society today. I think the biggest problem is changing that mentality in relation to how we get on with each other as human beings.” Quote from Amsterdam’s Prostitution Information Center former worker and spokesperson Mariska.

The Mustang Ranch and the Happy Hooker
My personal feelings toward prostitution revolutionized after reading a couple books; Brothel: Mustang Ranch and Its Women by ALEXA ALBERT and The Happy Hooker : My Own Story by Xaviera Hollander.

Brothel author Alexa Albert lived inside the now closed Mustang ranch and wrote an excellent sociological study of the prostitutes and the John’s. Starting out being anti prostitution; by the end of her experience and study she favors legalization.

Excerpt from book review From Publishers Weekly
"Perhaps the most prominent legal brothel in Nevada, Mustang Ranch held mythical status in contemporary Western culture until it was shut down on racketeering charges in 1999. As a medical student, Albert was granted rare access to this intensely private world in order to conduct a study on condom use, and lived periodically at Mustang Ranch from 1993 to 1999. Her routine study soon deepened in tandem with her curiosity about the politics of prostitution and about the prostitutes themselves. In this straightforward account, she details the brothel regimen (from the women's relative captivity to what happens during various "parties") and explores the private lives of the women who work there, as well as those of the "johns" and the workers who service the Ranch. Yet the heart of the book lies in Albert's exploration of the sense of family that thrives in the brothel with all the fractious infighting, competition and camaraderie inherent in any community. Her short history of the legalization of prostitution in Nevada revolves around Joe and Sally Conforte who officially owned Mustang Ranch until charges of tax evasion forced Joe into hiding in South America in 1990 while illuminating the confluence of public opinion and economic forces that spurred legalization. Acknowledging her own feelings (which range from disgust to profound respect), Albert convincingly dispels myths about this mysterious world and provides a strong defense for the legalization of prostitution."

The Happy Hooker, now that is one hell of a book. This was probably one of the most graphic, erotic and tantalizing books I obtained at the public library. Now I own it. I consider Xaviera Hollander to be a feminist.

From Publishers Weekly
"Xaviera Hollander has been writing a Penthouse column for 30 years. She chronicled her life as a "high-class New York madam" in 1972's The Happy Hooker: My Own Story, which now returns to print. Frankly discussing lesbianism, bondage, voyeurism and run-ins with lawyers and the FBI, Hollander's book was an international bestseller."

Another Book Description
"How did you first learn about sex? If you grew up in the 1970s, it may have been from a gleefully lusty tour guide named Xaviera Hollander
In the late 1960s -- that era of sexual chaos, when Playboy Clubs and love-ins were competing for national attention -- a beautiful, intelligent young Dutch secretary named Xaviera de Vries moved to New York, grew swiftly tired of her desk job . . . and soon became the most visible and glamorous madam the city had ever seen. As Xaviera Hollander, she published a shockingly candid account of her life behind the brothel door. The Happy Hooker shot straight to the top of the bestseller lists, sold more than fifteen million copies, and made this enterprising young woman an international phenomenon. Thirty years later, these delightfully explicit tales of the '60s and '70s swingers' scene -- including countless jaw-dropping stories of lesbianism, bondage, fetishism, and more -- remain as titillating as ever, charged with the mix of shrewd observation and uninhibited appetite that made Hollander an irresistible storyteller. The Happy Hooker is a classic: the world's greatest book on the world's oldest profession."

"The prostitute is not, as feminists claim, the victim of men but rather their conqueror, an outlaw who controls the sexual channel between nature and culture."
Camille Paglia

"Punishing the prostitute promotes the rape of all women. When PROSTITUTION is a crime, the message conveyed is that women who are sexual are ''bad'', and therefore legitimate victims of sexual assault. Sex becomes a weapon to be used by men."
Margo St. James

Amsterdam and prostitution

Prostitution Information Center
Excerpt from PIC’s website
"What's PIC's opinion on prostitution? Prostitution is a fact, it has always existed and will never go away. It doesn't matter how you feel about it. Therefore we believe it is important not to forbid prostitution, but to organize it better, otherwise the problems will only become greater.
In many country's prostitution is illegal and men and women are being persecuted. They are forced, by law, to work under very dangerous and unhygienic circumstances. Prostitutes are treated like animals, criminals or trash. But why? Because there getting paid for sexual acts, under normal cicumstances exchanged with mutual respect. Prostitution is a personal choice and nobody should intervene in this choise. Sex isn't dirty and certainly not bad for your health. Most people have sex, and nowadays it looks like everything is possible and permissible, exept getting paid for it. If somebody chooses this profession for him or herself, and works in a responsible and healthy way, there absolutely doesn't have to be any problem with prostitution at all. Because there are problems, it is the task of the government to regulate prostitution in a proper way, so that we can learn to live and let live and respect each other's choices."

Legalized prostitution a position paper

Countries with legal prostitution


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