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05/13/2010
IconCruising through the news sites, I recently came across a list of the Top 25 Most Romantic Movies.' I was amazed at a number of the choices:' adult male dancer in cheap resort "doing" a teenage girl (like they have a future together!); a woman having sex with her fianc''s younger brother; people who meet while on a European excursion and immediately become intimate, and on and on.'When I was younger, I used to just "watch" movies and get caught up in the mushy emotions.' As an adult (and definitely as "Dr. Laura"), I watch movies on a much deeper level, and I'm not happy with the notion that as long as two people are swept up in fantasy and immediacy, it's just b e a u t i f u l .'Maybe it's because I spend hours each day on my radio program helping people extricate their hearts, minds, and collateral damage from their decisions to just go with the flow of erotic and romantic feelings.' I'm left trying to help them remedy the hurts done to others as well as themselves and the "accidental" children who do not typically benefit from "conception-on-the-run."'The film The African Queen was, for me, one of the most romantic movies of all time.' Humphrey Bogart gives up being a surly, drunk, self-designated outcast for Katharine Hepburn, who gives up being an up-tight, prissy, self-avowed spinster, for a cause , using his little beat-up boat to sink a German war boat.' Having that joint goal (well, she had to work hard to get him out of his shell to be brave enough to re-join the world), and having to deal with deadly elements on a six-foot power skiff together, they built something really romantic.'Those of you who are married and struggling with illness or the economic "elements" should watch that movie together...twice!' I believe it will make you snuggle.' What brings people really close together is not just itinerant sex.' It is a joint goal, the attainment of which requires you both to become MORE.' Sometimes that goal is survival, and at other times, it may be the birth of a child, or a commitment to some effort in the world.' Great sex is the prize...it is not the substance of true love. More >>

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05/13/2010
IconI'm still laughing...I read an article last week in one of the online news reporting sites about a new book on economics, called Superfreakonomics .' In the book, the authors discuss the issue of prostitution in today's economic climate.' As it turns out, prostitution was a profitable enterprise (focusing on mainstream sex acts) until the sexual liberation movement in the 1960s changed "the business of intimacy, and a generation of 'free love' altered the marketplace forever." The "modesty traditionally displayed by women in search of Mr. Right evolved to a bold pursuit of Mr. Right Now." The 1960s genesis of casual sex became prostitution's direct rival.So, prices for sex acts plummeted.' Hookers had competition from the average woman who would have sex for free (without even getting a dinner out of it). Being entrepreneurial, hookers then began to provide more unconventional sex -' the kind of things men can't get from their girlfriends - and the price for those often depraved acts hauled the fees way back up.As one call girl said: "Thank God prostitution is illegal, 'cause if it weren't, I wouldn't be making $500 an hour; I'd probably be back doing what I was doing, which was working as a computer technician for a Fortune 500 company." Of course, if you're the prostitute for a state governor, you'll probably get lots of media offers!The call girl entrepreneur who was interviewed was asked whether or not she would suggest this "career" for her daughter.' She obfuscated like crazy, saying she hoped it would be only one of many, many options, and then the article ended with the revelation that she's now quitting prostitution to go to school to study economics.' I guess morality finally caught up to her.This is why I use the term "unpaid whore" for women who shack up with guys, rather than dignify themselves and sexual intimacy with a marital commitment.' I tell them that at the very least, they ought to be paid for sex, since it ultimately means nothing profoundly important to him past the orgasm.' Now I can mention that they are taking food out of the mouths of prostitutes and their families!!Women cannot run away from their true nature, and our true nature (apart from any psychological problems) is to nurture and nest.' We can act like wild women and say it's our right and freedom, but I take the calls every day from disillusioned, hurt women who did , in fact, expect love and loyalty from the men they had sex with.So, ladies, have pity on the call girls and prostitutes.' Give them back their turf, and re-elevate womanhood so that men again have a mountain to climb and earn, and therefore value . More >>

Tags: BehaviorBudgetFeminismFinancesgratitudeSexSexualitySocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconEvery time I go out to buy anything from shoe polish to hair spray to a new Harley-Davidson jacket, I get taxed.' Every time this happens, I ask, "Hey, what's the story here?"' When I earn it, the federal government taxes it, the state government taxes it, and then when that's all done, and I'm down to what I can actually spend, they tax me on everything I use my "already taxed" income for. Does that seem right, fair or fun to anyone?' I think not.That was until last week.' The per-pack federal tax increase on cigarettes from 39 cents to $1.01 has made for a smokin' "stop smoking hot line" and treatment center boom!' The Denver-based National Jewish Health line received triple the usual number of calls last Monday for six states in which it operates:' Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, and Ohio.'Quit smoking phone lines around the country are feeling the surge, and Michigan's quit line itself had to quit because it ran out of money in mid-March after logging more than 65,000 callers in 5 days!' Besides counseling and tips, Michigan's hot line offered free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges.Arkansas had to quit general advertising for its quit line to keep up with the surge.Not all "quitters" will be successful.' It's a tough physiological and psychological addiction to break.' One source guesses that about 1 million adults will quit as a result of the tax increase.'So, after hearing about this, I got to thinking...if money outweighs morality in issues of behavior, the government is onto something.' Instead of super-taxing yachts and Harry Winston-level jewelry, why not tax divorces, so that people will make more of an effort to make their vows mean something more than their egos or impulses? Why not tax people who use day care, nannies and/or baby-sitters, so their children will come to know them better and be more loved, nurtured, and end up feeling safe and confident about love and family?' Why not tax women who abort instead of finding a wonderful family to give life and love to their unwanted children?' Why not tax men who walk away after knocking up some woman they have no intention of adoring, protecting or providing for by marriage?I could go on, but you get my meaning.' On my radio program, I try to reach and influence people with a bit of good sense, rational thought, and (when necessary) appropriate guilt.' I give them direction, motivation, support, and a good motherly nag.Callers don't pay for their time on the phone.' Sometimes, I joke with them that if they don't start doing the right thing, I am going to reverse the charges - and impose a kind of "talk show tax."' That's starting to sound more and more like a good idea.' If people are willing to get rid of a nasty, dangerous, addictive habit like smoking because of money, maybe costing them money would prod even more people into "doing the right thing." More >>

Tags: AddictionBudgetFinancesPersonal ResponsibilitySAHM stay at home momSmoking
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05/13/2010
IconWhile it does interfere with the comfortable digestion of my breakfast, I usually watch the morning TV news for twenty minutes or so, just to see if anything important has happened in the world...and I have to watch carefully, as most morning TV shows just consist of cute exchanges, truncated conversations with important people, or the rehashing of stories that have minimal significance but maximum power to pull in an audience. Recently, though, I watched a story about how credit card companies are raising their interest rates to 30%, and how that might border on "usury" - which is supposed to be illegal.'As a young adult, I didn't even have a credit card.' I got my paycheck, put it in the bank, and used checks against what I actually had in my account in order to pay bills.' If there was anything over at the end of the month (and if there was, it was very little, as I was making only $11,000 per year as a college professor), I considered it "splurge money" and used it on something stupid.' Today, I've got lots of credit cards, but never pay any interest, as we pay off the bills in full the day they arrive.' Admittedly, in between being a young adult and today, there have been some stupid and/or disastrous times when the use of a credit card put us in debt, and it took effort and pain to pay it off.'I say all this to make it clear that I've "been there and done that" like everyone else.' And ultimately, I think the answer is: don't use a credit card unless you have every cent in the bank to back it up.' Don't consider it a credit card at all - consider it a cash card.' In fact, you might consider only having a debit card, which means it can only be used in relation to what you have, and not what you wish you had.' That way, you won't have credit charges which can rip apart the fabric of your life.Here's another idea:' take the time to earn what you want - that special car, a home, jewelry, a vacation - instead of having your folks give you a down payment for a house you can barely afford.' Take the time to build your foundation, and when you can finally afford the next step in your life, you'll feel much more accomplished, proud, special, and downright happy. More >>

Tags: BudgetEconomyFinancesMoneyPersonal Responsibility
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05/13/2010
IconI read in my local paper about a formerly wealthy 90-year-old man who now has a job as a "greeter" in a local store.' It seems the company that managed his money was making bad use of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme and all was lost...especially since this gentleman's once fully-paid-for home was re-mortgaged to get a third of a million dollars more to invest in this debacle.Ironically, one of the factors which keeps people alive longer and healthier in mind, body ,and soul is having work, i.e., some purpose and activity not only to occupy their minds and time but to challenge them.Coincidently, a dear friend of mine owns and runs a lovely hair salon.' It seems that every month she complains about the "young thing" at the front desk. It seems young women can't be counted on to come to work regularly, much less on time and do their jobs as receptionists and appointment bookers.' Obviously,' this is not one of the highest-paid jobs in the universe, but young people today seem to feel entitled to "more" rather than grateful for "a foot in the door" and potential long-term opportunities.Here's where these two stories intersect: I told my friend that she should hire a retired, mature woman who would appreciate the extra money, would like contact with lots of people as colleagues and customers, and would probably love having her hair done for free.' The mature woman would appreciate the excitement and daily mission, and my friend would probably get one of the most reliable workers she's ever envisioned.Were I hiring right now, I'd be a reverse "ageist" and get somebody with a work history and the maturity to appreciate an opportunity where they can still be important to somebody about something and get paid for it! More >>

Tags: BudgetEmploymentFinanceshusbandJobSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconI cannot even estimate how many recent callers fall into two discrete, and unfortunate, categories:' the first are largely women calling to find out how they can better deal with the bitter resentment they have toward their husbands, because of economic stress; the second are largely men calling to find out how they can better deal with the feelings of failure as a man because of economic stress.To the women, I say "Unless he actively burned money in the basement, gambled it away, or spent way, way, way over budget, your fears are turning into rage toward the one person you should turn to , and not on ."' When they (generally) limply come back with "Yes, he spent more than we had," and I come back with "And, didn't you?" then the meeting is called to order.To the men, I say, "I am heartened that you see your responsibilities so clearly, but you are letting your shock get in the way of your problem-solving skills.' You see a hungry tiger in your living room, salivating over your kids.' Shock sets in, and you can be depressed that you don't have a stun gun or you can't figure out another way around that tiger to save your family.' We indulge in the shock and sadness of it all, but now it's time to see the challenge."I have teenagers with small incomes from part-time jobs call, wondering if they have to "share" with their parents who are up against it.' Can you imagine that?' Instead of being rather excited about the ability to contribute to the family at a time of crisis, many of our teens are only looking out for "Number One."All cities are having charity drives not only for the holiday season, but for victims of fires and personnel layoffs due to incompetency in government and private industry.' Most of the time, this issue is food, but sometimes children's lists include iPods and laptops!' Can you believe that?' What have we taught our children about humble survival and retrenching when they are still focused on high-priced electronics? More >>

Tags: BudgetFinancesMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconI am a woman of certain habits. I like the same breakfast everyday (raisin bran with blueberries and skim milk and one fried egg inside a toasted English muffin....for those of you who are curious), and I love to have my before-radio-show lunch while watching re-runs of Law & Order on television.Yesterday, they played an episode which was timely, considering the recent Islamic terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India targeting innocents in general and citizens of Britain and America and Jews in particular - the latter who were tortured before being murdered in cold blood.' Over 200 persons were murdered; about 400 injured.' Nine of these Muslim terrorists were killed by Indian commandos.' One has been captured and has given information about this highly organized conspiracy and its training roots in Pakistan.'For my purposes here...one ray of sunlight: 'All of the Muslim cemeteries have refused, according to a Wall Street Journal account, to bury these nine Muslim terrorists.' How about that!Now back to the parallel with yesterday's Law & Order re-run.' A Muslim- American is found dead...beheaded.' It is all set-up to look like bigoted Americans killed him just because he is Muslim.' It turns out, after a lot of posturing about prejudice against Muslims, that this man was killed by his own cousin: a bona fide terrorist trying to bring uranium into the U.S. to deploy in Manhattan to kill as many Americans as possible.' The beheaded man was informing on his cousin and all of those in the neighborhood conspiracy.' That's why his own people killed him.The Imam, the local religious leader, is lying to the police to protect the murderous cousin because they threatened to kill him if he didn't.' The Imam is measuring his importance to the community against his responsibilities to the laws of America -- laws of decency and morality, really.In a touching interaction between the Imam and the District Attorney, the DA asks the Imam if he is a Muslim first or an American first.' The Imam struggles with that, saying that he has been working very hard to keep young people in his mosque from getting recruited into terrorism and he would lose that.' The DA points out that the dead man's wife lost everything.' It is left there.In court, the black defense attorney, playing into the "race card" questions the Imam about his client's whereabouts during the murder.' At first the Imam lies. Then he tells the entire truth: about the uranium, the murder, and the plot to decimate all of New York City.' The murderer is convicted, but the Imam's mosque is burned to the ground -- retribution from some in his community.There is a last minute angry exchange in Arabic as the murderer is removed from the court.' The DA asks the Imam what they both said.' The murderer said, "Burn!"' To that, the Imam had replied, "I love America."To that "fictional" Imam and to those who run the Muslim cemeteries in India refusing to accept the bodies of mass murders my admiration, my respect, my appreciation, my prayers, and my hope that more will join you to "out" or "reject" those who perpetrate evil. More >>

Tags: BudgetEconomyReligion
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