August 12th, 2009


Pre-Marital Sex and Me

I have done many things in my life which I regret but none that I regret more then making sex a part of my pre-marital relationships. Not just because of religious reasons, but for practical ones as well. I've had pre-marital (and once extra-marital) sex on and off since I was 16 and it has completely ruined my view on what a truly healthy relationship needs to be like.

So what's wrong with it, without getting into the Biblical implications? For one, and I feel the primary aspect, it gets in the way of a lasting emotional bond. The whole relationship is about getting both people "in the mood" at the same time and not about learning about the aspects of each other that will determine if the relationship is viable in the long term. True romance has as much to do with sex as a rock does. I've learned from experience that a good sexual, pre-marital relationship does not equate into a viable partnership of mind and body and soul. Most of that lesson came from my ex-fiancee, Amy. The sex was good, even great at times, but our inter-personal relationship was poor and neither of us seemed to be able to focus on it or even interested in fixing those things that were keeping us emotionally apart.

So what's the allure of the pleasure of pre-marital sex if it makes relationships harder to form? Why do some couples seem to connect just as well whether or not sex is involved? I don't know, but I'd call them lucky. All I know is that sex should not be the beginning of the relationship, but the result of a healthy marriage in which there is already an established history of dignity and respect and love and understanding in both participants.

You might argue, "Well perhaps pre-marital sex didn't work for you, but it is ok with me and my partner." I'd like you to ask yourself if that's really true. If it is, can you remove the sex and still have what you consider a fulfilling relationship? If you remove the sex and there is nothing else left then it isn't ok with you and your partner. If you remove the sex and there is nothing left to fall back on to keep the "flame" going then I would seriously reconsider the relationship.

That is my challenge to you today, but not only to un-married couples but to married couples as well. Take the sex out of your relationship for one month, come back here and share your experiences with me. I'm eager to know just how many of you have a truly fulfilling relationship and what it actually consists of once you remove sex.

[tags]self, relationships, amy, sex[/tags]


Does the Government Really Protect Us?

I recently got into a debate on twitter with user @shelleypowers of Burningbird on the role of government and so-called consumer protections.

One of her last posts on twitter before I asked her for a pause in the conversation so I could more fully elaborate my thoughts on pre-marital sex and this topic made mention of the national park system, the Eisenhower Interstate System, the SEC and other "consumer protections".

First of all, the national park system is not a consumer protection. It's at best a short-sighted, costly environmental protection. It could be more efficiently run as a privately operated tourist destination (as is a local to me national landmark, Cumberland Caverns is) whose entry and exit fees, camping fees, and other associated fees could go to the cost of paying for rangers and park upkeep without the need of taxpayer money. Such a system could also serve to protect marine ecosystems as well. Is it possible some people might try to make the short-term profit and selling off for lumber or untapped fossil fuel reserves? It is quite possible but the government is considering that anyway! Why is the government considering it any different then a private organization considering the same option? Do we turn all the parks over at once and hope that all the new owners charge reasonable rates so everyone can enjoy it while still making a profit for themselves? No, just like with any other change you make it gradual, watch what happens and let the consumer force the changes needed to make the system work.

As for the EIS, my thoughts are mixed on it as the Constitution clearly puts it in the Federal government's authority to create roads between forts, ammunition dumps, postal roads and the like, with the rest of the roads either up to the states or the people who live along routes that need them. This is also not a consumer protection. If there were no paved roads we'd have more advanced shock systems to deal with consumer desire for a smoother, safer ride. If a neighborhood wants to step up to the plate and take over maintenance for a section of road then the government should not get in the way. It is a benefit to the government and all the other taxpayers for the government to no longer maintain the road. That is tax money saved. At least a homeowners association will be able to get the best for the job and not just the lowest bidder (personally I want the guy who is willing to go to extravagant means to make sure my road is safe so I don't have to sue him later). So Federal roads like the Interstate system? Constitutional use of taxpayer money. Intra-state, county, and local roads? Perhaps consider a different method of getting roads paved that doesn't involve theft from the people.

Now to tackle the SEC. The SEC and corporations in general are a huge, multi-faceted problem. The main part of that problem is the fact that the corporation itself is an outmoded (try medieval times Europe), non-consumer friendly legal fiction to begin with. Get rid of the corporation as they are structured today and you no longer have a need for the SEC. As corporations are structured today there is no accountability to the consumer but to the stockholder. CEOs are at the beck and call of stockholders and their desires and the stockholder's only desire is making money. Within that framework CEOs are almost completely immune, due to fictional entity known as the corporation, from whatever they do in pursuit of the goal of making money for their bosses, the stockholder. When you are given a "legal" monopoly on a section of the market, and you are only told you have to make money at all costs, wouldn't you cut corners if you could? Wouldn't you hire the cheapest labor in the poorest countries? Many would, many more do, and they get away with it because instead of the public outcry being focused on how and what the corporation is and how it acts, it's focused on the results of those actions, most often only resulting in a bandage on the gushing wound. Remove the governmental protections, remove the incentive for greed and corruption while allowing for the maintaining of a profitable business and you just might see a reversal in the trend. Remember the big outcry on those CEOs getting bonuses despite their companies receiving bailout money? Not only was it legal it was ethical because those companies were under contract to those men to receive those yearly bonuses. For those companies to not fulfill those contractual obligations would have opened them up to a lawsuit that they would have lost. The government bailouts, on the other hand, were not only an illegal and improper use of government money, but it was a horrendous idea from the start. If a company decides to take on high risk assets and then those fall through the floor, they should accept the resulting consequences of their own actions. Even if it meant them going out of business. This subject, though, is more eloquently explored in Chad Perrin's article, No Dilemma. Highly recommended reading.

[tags]government, taxes, politics[/tags]