Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gay Marriage and Straight

       Have you all been following the hoo-raw about the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act?  The Democrats are cheering about freedom and equality, and the Republicans are glooming about the downfall of America and making historically inaccurate comparisons to ancient Rome.  (Just for the record, ancient Rome -- like Greece, Mycenae, Crete and Egypt before it -- was a sexually relaxed culture;  sex for pure pleasure wasn't frowned on but celebrated, and so long as women produced enough babies to keep the population steady, they didn't care what else people did.  All those societies were eventually brought down by political, economic and environmental factors that had nothing to do with their sex-lives.)
        But anyway, in all this squalling, the commentary that impressed me the most was Rasty's.  Yes, I could call him something of an expert on the subject of marriage, seeing that he had three other wives before he hooked up with me.  His opinion is:
       "Sure, let Gays get married!  Let 'em find out what it's really like.  All the rest of us who want to live together, and join fortunes and all, have to saddle ourselves with the obligations and responsibilities and legal fancy-dancing we call 'holy matrimony'.  And if, further down the pike, we find we've made a mistake and want to undo it before any more harm gets done, we've got to go through the even worse hassle known as unholy divorce.  Why should Gays get a free pass?
       "Sure, all you leather-boys and lezzie-girls out there, go ahead and hitch yourselves.  Learn the fun of being hit up for each others' debts, smacked down for each others' bad credit, hassled by the cops for what each other did during that boozed-up party or drunk night on the town, finding the joint bank-account empty because the other saw something in a store window that they just couldn't live without.  Yeah, think about that before you go down to the local meet-rack and pick up a hot honey for the night;  now, thanks to the Supremes, you're likely to wake up in the morning talking baby-talk and making Mormonesque promises of forever, and you can easily make the thundering mistake of running out to the nearest wedding-chapel before you have time to sober up and think.  Once you're hooked, you're good and hooked, and you've gone and done it to yourselves.  So listen up: you better start watching your fun, because your free ride is over."
--Leslie <;)))><   )O(         

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Power of Mama-ing

This happened to my old pal, Judy Leitze, several years ago, back in Chicago.

Judy was walking home from the neighborhood grocery store, past one of the "projects" -- a big low-rent apartment building put up by the city to house the poor.  As you might guess, the building turned the neighborhood into a "tough" district, but Judy didn't mind;  she lived in an older apartment building further down the street.  Anyway, it was just after sundown and the usual crowd of teenagers were hanging out, trying to act tough before they had to go in for dinner.

This evening there was a knot of maybe four teenaged Black boys hanging out by the corner, and when they spotted Judy they started hooting the usual scare-the-Whiteys crap.  You know: "Hey mama, I got what you want!" accompanied by disgusting noises, intended to make the passers-by scamper away and boost the egos of punks.

Ah, but Judy knew the territory, and knew how do deal with such.  She turned around, pulled herself up straight and shouted back, in her best Parental voice: "Young man, does your mother know you hang out on the street-corners after dark, shouting dirty words at strange women?  Because if not, then somebody ought to tell her.  Now, I know you live in that apartment building there, and it wouldn't be hard to find out--"

That was as far as she got.  The boys turned around and ran like gazelles for home.  In a few seconds, they'd vanished.  Judy walked on home, chuckling.

"Always remember," she said, when telling the story, "That all these would-be punks have mothers -- mothers who are usually their only source of income, food, shelter, or anything else.  The biggest threat you can throw at them is I'll Tell Your Mother On You."

'Twas demonstrably true;  I never saw any other bunch of punks in that neighborhood bother Judy again.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Homicides Statistics

Since you can bet that the politicians will be trying to whip up more support for gun-control as soon as they can find another shooting-crime to exploit, I thought I'd take this brief period of calm -- and lack of media-driven hysteria -- to display some plain, boring old facts.  Their sources are, respectively, the FBI's annual Crime Statistics Reports, the National Safety Council, and the World Health Organization.

Now since it takes a year for the FBI to compile its crime statistics, the latest year for which it has complete facts is 2011.  So, in 2011, the number of homicides committed in the US, by category, were:

with "assault rifles":     18
" hunting rifles:           453       (shotguns were included in this category)
" blunt objects:          674
" hands, fists, feet:     867
" knives:                  1817
" handguns:              6009

During the same year, according to the National Safety Council, the number of homicides by vehicle were:

by drunk driving:  12,839
" sober driving:     32,885

Do the math.  The total number of Americans murdered by all firearms was 6480.  The total number of Americans killed with vehicles was 45,724.  Is anyone howling for "vehicle control"?

Okay, now let's see how "violent" America is in comparison with other countries.  You can find this at -- the latest in World Murder Statistics, in murders (and remember that other countries have differing legal definitions of murder) per 100,000 citizens:

1) Honduras:                              91.6                                       
2) El Salvador:                           69.2                                        
3) Cote d'Ivoire:                        56.9                                        
4) Jamaica:                                52.2                                          
5) Venezuela:                             45.1                                                                        
6) Belize:                                   41.4                                           
7) US Virgin Islands:                  39.2                                      
8) Guatemala:                            38.5                                          
9) St. Kits and Nevis:                38.2                                     
10) Zambia:                               38.0                                           
11) Uganda:                               36.3                                           
12) Malawi:                               36.0                                          
13) Lesotho:                              35.2                                           
14) Trinidad:                              35.2                                           
15) Tobago:                               35.2                                           
16) Colombia:                            33.4                                           
17) South Africa:                        31.8                                           
18) Congo:                                 30.8                                            
19) Central African Republic:      29.3                            
20) Bahamas:                              27.4                                            
21) Puerto Rico:                          26.2                                            
22) St. Lucia:                               25.2                                           
23) Dominican Republic:              25.0                                   
24) Tanzania:                               24.5                                           
25) Sudan:                                   24.2                                          
26) St. Vincent and Grenadines:   22.9                         
27) Ethiopia:                                22.5                                           
28) Guinea:                                 22.5                                          
29) Dominica:                             22.1                                           
30) Burundi:                                21.7                                      

31) Democratic Republic of the Congo: 21.7             
32) Panama:                               21.6                                          
33) Brazil:                                  21.0                                          
34) Equatorial Guinea:                20.7                                       
35) Guinea-Bissau:                     20.2                                          
36) Kenya:                                 20.1                                          
37) Kyrgyzstan:                          20.1                                          
38) Cameroon:                           19.7                                          
39) Montserrat:                          19.7                                          
40) Greenland:                           19.2                                          
41) Angola:                                19.0                                          
42) Guyana:                               18.6                                          
43) Burkina Faso:                      18.0                                          
44) Eritrea:                                17.8                                          
45) Namibia:                             17.2                                         
46) Rwanda:                             17.1                                          
47) Mexico:                              16.9                                          
48) Chad:                                 15.8                                          
49) Ghana:                                15.7                                           
50) Ecuador:                             15.2                                        
51) North Korea:                      15.2                                           
52) Benin:                                 15.1                                           
53) Sierra Leone:                      14.9                                      
54) Mauritania:                         14.7
55) Botswana:                          14.5
56) Zimbabwe:                         14.3
57) Gabon:                               13.8
58) Nicaragua:                          13.6
59) French Guiana:                   13.3

60) Papua New Guinea:            13.0
61) Swaziland:                          12.9
62) Bermuda:                            12.3
63) Comoros:                            12.2
64) Nigeria:                               12.2
65) Cape Verde:                        11.6
66) Grenada:                             11.5
67) Paraguay:                            11.5
68) Barbados:                           11.3
69) Togo:                                  10.9
70) Gambia:                              10.8
71) Peru:                                   10.8
72) Myanmar:                           10.2
73) Russia:                                10.2
74) Liberia:                               10.1
75) Costa Rica:                         10.0
76) Nauru:                                  9.8
77) Bolivia:                                 8.9
78) Mozambique:                       8.8
79) Kazakhstan:                         8.8
80) Senegal:                               8.7
81) Turks and Caicos Islands:     8.7 
82) Mongolia:                            8.7
83) British Virgin Islands:           8.6
84) Cayman Islands:                  8.4
85) Seychelles:                          8.3
86) Madagascar:                       8.1
87) Indonesia:                           8.1
88) Mali:                                  8.0
89) Pakistan:                            7.8
90) Moldova:                           7.5
91) Kiribati:                              7.3
92) Guadaloupe:                       7.0
93) Haiti:                                  6.9
94) Timor-Leste:                      6.9
95) Anguilla:                             6.8
96) Antigua and Barbada:         6.8
97) Lithuania:                            6.6
98) Uruguay:                            5.9
99) Phillippines:                        5.4
100) Ukraine:                           5.2
101) Estonia:                            5.2
102) Cuba:                               5.0
103) Belarus:                            4.9
104) Thailand:                          4.8
105) Suriname:                         4.6
106) Laos:                                4.6
107) Georgya:                           4.3
108) Martinique:                        4.2
109) United States:                    4.2

Note that all the 108 countries ahead of the US have 100% bans on gun ownership by civilians.  Also, before you ask, the country that bottomed out the list by having NO murders last year was -- unsurprisingly -- Switzerland.  Note that Swiss law requires all its citizens to serve in the military, take combat training, possess a fully-automatic military battle-rifle (yes, with extended clips and combat ammunition), and maintain marksman qualifications twice a year.

Observe the facts, and think.

--Leslie <;)))><   )O(