Category Archives: Sex

Her Holiness

God is a Woman

God is a Woman

Is God a woman? I realize this is a meaningless question. How can an all-powerful, all-knowing being of energy have a gender? But I’ve heard it discussed enough to know that people want to know the answer anyway, so let’s give it a go. Think of this like you would small talk at a party–meaningless but pretty much unavoidable.

Obviously, we can’t look at physical features to give us the answer, so we have to compare his or her actions with those of human characteristics that we would characterize as either masculine or feminine. What other measure is there? Sure, the ability to give birth to creatures (not to mention the entire universe) is a strong feminine indicator, but what else? Please forgive any blatant male/female stereotypes used in this analysis–it’s all I have to go on.

Death Penalty for Adultery

Death Penalty for Adultery

Perhaps most indicative is the tendency to change her mind. Should adultery be punished by death? According to the Laws of Moses In the Old Testament, it was a definite yes. In the New Testament, Jesus emphasized compassion and forgiveness. But then Mohammed in the Koran goes right back to death. So, what is the real deal? Even if one or more of these religions are wrong and she was misquoted, she certainly has done nothing to clarify the rules.

God's Warning

God’s Warning

Now that I’m a parent, I understand that we don’t always want our kids to know what will happen if they break the rules. We would rather deter them by implying serious consequences, but don’t necessarily want to have to follow through in the event of a breach. So, being too specific can force you to do something you don’t want to do or make you look like a pushover for not following through, thus reducing the chance that you will be able to deter future bad behavior. So, is god fickle when it comes to punishment or just trying to confuse us like a parent who isn’t as strict as she wants us to believe? If she is deliberately changing the rules just to keep us uncertain, that is pretty bad parenting. After all, we’ve been killing each other over such unclear rules for centuries, which completely undermines the concept of deterrence. No, I don’t think it could be on purpose. I think god must really be fickle.

Meteor Strike

Meteor Strike

Let’s look at god’s demand that we worship her. I think that says it all. Yes, there are guys who think they deserve to be worshiped, but it isn’t exactly the norm. Men prefer to be admired for their accomplishments and their ability to compete and win. Or at least for their ability to knock you senseless. If god were a man, he would probably be more inclined to intervene in human events just to show off. I know that some of you think he already does so every time he throws a hurricane, tornado, or tsunami around, but I don’t think that is how a guy would do it. If god wanted to show mankind that he is “the man,” it would be a bit more dramatic. A meteor taking out “sin city” would be good. Or maybe O.J. Simpson and his attorney bursting spontaneously into flames in front of the cameras just after acquittal. That would definitely make everyone stop and think.

Six Day War Celebration

Six Day War Celebration

If the Jews really are the chosen people and god were a man, I think he would also act a little more like a sports fan. When the Israelis kicked butt in the Six Day War, did anyone feel the ground shake or the winds howl? Were the clouds painted red, green, and purple? Did the victorious soldiers get laid like rock stars? After the first big victory in two thousand years, I would expect a bit of celebration, unless they aren’t the chosen people anymore. But would a guy ever really give up on his home team after such a big comeback? I don’t think so. No, I think god just isn’t much of a sports fan or maybe he has switched to a new team (see the part on fickleness, above).

Worship Your Woman

Worship Your Woman

Women, on the other hand, love to be worshiped. The reason doesn’t necessarily matter. In fact, if you give her a reason, she will probably question you in detail about why you love her, which might lead to doubts about your actual devotion and motivation. “So, are you saying you only love me because I look good in a bikini?” Be too specific and you might just end up in the doghouse. It’s better to just worship her without reason or complaint, which also seems to be what god really wants. It’s rule number one in the Ten Commandments for a reason. It doesn’t matter how much of a jerk you are most of the time, as long as you worship her, you’ll probably be OK.

Would a female god encourage Muslim men to worship their women at the same time they force them to cover their bodies from head to toe and stay at home to keep them safe from all the other sex-crazed men? Are men just expected to completely lose all self control when they see an attractive woman? I think most women would say yes. Men are weak and just can’t help themselves. She knows this and has made appropriate rules.

Sexy Burkas

Sexy Burkas

Does god really believe that hiding female sexuality even works to help keep them safe? When it comes to sex, men have pretty good imaginations and aren’t always too discriminating about what is under the curtain. So, it might not help much, but it could at least shift some of the drooling and harassment away from the hot babes to the less attractive ones. A male god would certainly have dispensed with the monthly hormone surges and either increased the female sex drive to match those of men or increased the proportion of women to men to promote polygamy.

As far as I’m concerned, god is acting a lot like a woman. Of course, what does that really mean anyway? Will she be especially pissed off at men in particular considering the way they have treated women throughout most of history? Would a female god favor women over men? Considering how women don’t always treat other women very well, I’m not so sure. Mothers are also probably more prone to having a favorite son than a favorite daughter. Jesus really could do no wrong, I guess, even when he disregarded her previous laws. So maybe that’s why men have been able to get away with so much mischief.

Will there really be a harem of 72 virgins waiting in heaven for every Muslim man or is that just a cruel joke? Men might just end up doing all the heavenly housework. Somebody’s got to keep the place looking good. Considering that men have to leave their second brains behind when they die, will they even have any more interest in virgins? Tell me it isn’t so, mother! Pretty please?

Welcome to Heaven

Welcome to Heaven

Advertisements

Save the Cows on Yom Kippur

No leather shoes on Yom Kippur

No leather shoes on Yom Kippur

I was just reading up on Yom Kippur because I’m expected to attend a “break the fast” party at the end of the holiday. This is when most Jews get together to stuff their faces after having fasted for 24 hours. I learned that, while everyone knows not to fast, they probably don’t know about four other prohibitions for that day.

For some reason, Jews are not supposed to wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur. Maybe god just didn’t want anyone to wear any good shoes at all, since it is a day of rest after all. Leather was just the best available footwear technology at the time, but I don’t think he would have been that specific without a reason. Was god not able to predict the development of plastic and other artificial materials? Throughout the Old Testament, it is quite evident that god wanted us to sacrifice a lot of livestock. With all that killing of animals, I would expect there to have been an abundance of leather available for shoes and other items of apparel. So, I don’t quite get why he would want to ban the wearing of leather shoes specifically.

Beyonce in Leather Boots

Beyonce in Leather Boots

Maybe he really wanted to ban the wearing of sexy leather clothes to protect us from our sado-masochistic impulses. Of course, he couldn’t come right out and say we can’t dress in leather boots, tight leather pants, leather face masks and leather whips, since some people would have run right out and invented them that afternoon and committed all kinds of perverted sexual sins by that evening. No, he had to be more subtle and hope we stopped making leather apparel in general, thus avoiding the temptation entirely.

Some people really do want to follow all the rules, even the ones that are not commonly known, so they have already looked into other types of footwear that might be permissible. Crocs would seem to be a perfectly good alternative since they are completely made of artificial material.

Crocs on Yom Kippur?

Crocs on Yom Kippur?

However, according to Lithuanian religious leader Rabbi Elyashiv, crocs should be avoided since they are too comfortable and do not provide the level of suffering one should feel on the holiday. Yup, he wants you to suffer more. Sure, god could have just said “no comfortable shoes,” but that leaves it up to the discretion of the wearer as to whether or not they are really comfortable. It also makes his intent more apparent, which, at least according to some religious scholars, is the desire to make us suffer, if only for a day.

On the other hand, maybe god wasn’t bothered so much by the leather as he was by red meat in general. Maybe god really just wanted to ban the eating of red meat to protect our hearts. He had already banned shellfish and a bunch of other “non-kosher” stuff, presumably to protect us from sickness, but probably didn’t want to keep raining down manna until we found some other decent food supply. Maybe he figured that we would be so busy sacrificing animals that there would only be barely enough left for one serving of red meat per person per week. I believe this limit was supposed to have been inscribed on the first Egyptian food pyramid. He probably didn’t think we were smart enough to figure out that it didn’t make much sense to burn all of our livestock and live in poverty and on the verge of starvation. He certainly couldn’t have realized that McDonalds would eventually give up counting how many billions of customers would be served artery-clogging beef by-products.

Animal Sacrifice

Animal Sacrifice

But maybe he really is smarter than I give him credit for. It could also be that he was actually thinking ahead to a time when people would actually be able to make decent shoes without leather and wanted to give the animal rights activists another good reason for banning the misuse of animals. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the one who made all those rules commanding us to sacrifice perfectly good livestock is actually a huge proponent of animal rights? I guess if we look at it from a wider perspective, we will realize that there really weren’t that many people back when the Laws of Moses were first made, so the impact on the livestock population probably wouldn’t have been as bad as it would be today. If a thousand Hebrews burned a thousand animals per year back then, can you imagine how many we would have to sacrifice today to meet the weekly quota? I don’t think there would be a burger left for McDonalds to sell and Italian leather goods would be unaffordable. So, god must have predicted we would eventually figure out that we had to stop sacrificing animals to avoid their extinction. Unfortunately, we haven’t been smart enough to figure out that too much red meat might kill you, and who wants to waste all that leftover leather?

To take the place of animal sacrifices, god had to find a way to ban leather without saying why he didn’t want us to have leather. If he told us it was to keep cows from going extinct, we would have shrugged our shoulders and moved on to lamb, and buffalo, and alligator, and kangaroo, and whatever else makes a good hide. God must be an animal rights activist who was way before his time. He knew that a little bit of animal sacrifice back then would have given the people something fun to do to spice up the boring prayer sessions, but would, in the long run, have to be phased out.

Land of Milk and Honey

Land of Milk and Honey

Why didn’t god just tell Moses the secret for how to make other kinds of shoes? That could have saved a lot of cows in the past few thousand years. Cotton would have been a good choice, but it was probably fairly hard to grow in the desert and he apparently had no interest in making the Middle East a friendlier place to live. After all, if it were too nice, full of rivers, waterfalls, flowers, rolling plains and forests, for example, people would have been more inclined to fight over it. Who would want to fight over a desert? Hmmm, I’m still not sure why anyone would want to do that.

The secret of polyester would have been an awesome gift to give Moses. But it also probably would have prematurely made the Hebrews rich beyond their wildest imaginations. Unfortunately, there is nothing worse than wealth and success to discourage people from worshipping a god. People seem to be far more appreciative of the almighty when they are poor, uneducated, and continuously persecuted by other groups. So, apparently, god decided to make the Hebrews burn their most valuable assets (i.e. livestock) to keep them poor, humble, and extremely devoted. He also declined to provide any substitute for leather shoes until such time as the technology enabled the Chinese to make shoes so cheap that nobody else could possibly make any money from them.

In short, god banned leather shoes on Yom Kippur to save our hearts, save us from sexual perversion, and save the cows. As a bonus, it would also be a way to prevent wealthy Jews who buy hideously expensive Italian (i.e. Roman Catholic) leather shoes from showing them off on the high holy days. I’m glad I figured that out, because I can now explain the reason I will be going shoe less.

No bathing on Yom Kippur

No bathing on Yom Kippur

Two of the other activities prohibited on Yom Kippur are bathing/washing and anointing oneself with perfumes or lotions. Now I’m not sure how they celebrated the holiday back then, but I can imagine that it was really hot and stinky in the temple all day. By the time the day was over, I’m sure everyone wanted to enjoy breaking their fast in private, where they could actually smell the food, not the stinking bodies around them.

Today, it is a tradition for Jews to get together in temple to see people they haven’t seen all year, because they probably haven’t been to temple since last Yom Kippur. This isn’t a problem for Jews, since they only have to confess their sins once per year and get to start all over again. It is certainly much more convenient than the weekly confession system than the Catholics set up to boost attendance. After Yom Kippur services, someone usually hosts a party where their friends can share a big meal to break their fast. This holiday is a time when people want to be seen at their best, which means wearing their best clothes (minus the Italian leather shoes), getting their hair styled, fixing their makeup, putting on their most expensive jewelry, and, oh, not stinking. If they followed the rules to the letter, the human stench would make this whole holiday needlessly unpleasant.

No perfume on Yom Kippur

No perfume on Yom Kippur

So, the question is, why did god ban both bathing and perfume instead of just one or the other? It seems to me that he could have given people the option to either cover their stench with perfume or to wash, but not both. It would still have involved some sacrifice, but not enough to keep us from showing up in public at the most important holiday of the year.

For people who decide to follow both rules, one would hope they at least clean themselves before the big party after sundown. But people are usually so starving by then that they want to get right to the food. Men can just jump in the shower and be ready in a few minutes. But it’s a little too much to expect women to be ready without having most of the day to prepare. They need to shower, shave, blow dry their hair, get dressed, get undressed, change into something else, find out what their friends are wearing, change back, put on their makeup, and finally get out the door before their husbands and boyfriends leave without them. The night would be over by the time most of them were ready. So, it seems to me that these two rules must be a mistake.

It could have been an either/or choice that got lost in translation. Or maybe bathing was just one of those things that used to involve a lot of work and thus was not considered appropriate for a day of rest. Someone had to carry many buckets of water from a well, pour it into a basin and start a fire to get the water nice and warm. Watch Survivor and see how much fun it is trying getting a fire started without matches. Today, taking a bath or a shower is fun. Who is against having fun on a day of rest? Perfume, for that matter, was probably something that only Egyptian princesses could afford anyway, so banning it wasn’t exactly a sacrifice. So, you can consider the perfume ban a reasonable sacrifice, but going to a public function without bathing, no way! At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’m hungry.

No sex on Yom Kippur

No sex on Yom Kippur

OK, now for the final prohibition for Yom Kippur. Marital relations. That’s right, no sex Friday night and no Saturday morning quickies–just a long, boring night with no food, no sex, and nothing else that violates the rules for the Sabbath. It always comes back to sex, doesn’t it? God just can’t get over the fact that we really like to have sex. Like I said, who could be against fun, especially on a day or night of rest! It isn’t like sex is actually work. OK, maybe that isn’t entirely true. It probably used to be work back in biblical times if you were just one of many concubines or slaves and had to put out even when you were tired, especially if your master threw a party and decided to share you with his friends. So, for some, I agree, sex could have been more work than play. I guess god wanted to make it a holiday even for wives and slaves. Today, women are perfectly willing and able to say no to sex if they don’t want it, which is pretty likely if they are planning a big party or getting dressed and ready to go to temple for the first time all year.

To make sure it was a day of rest, god could have just said no concubines, slaves, prostitutes or orgies during Yom Kippur. But that would have implied he knew we were going to be breaking his other anti-sex rules every other day, which of course we do and always will. So, he couldn’t exactly say that and not look like a fool. Hence, the total ban on sex during the holiday. Is this reasonable? No sex for a day? Considering that we’re supposed to be confessing our sins, asking for forgiveness, and praying all day, I guess I’d have to say yes, it is a small sacrifice to pay. After a day spent in temple checking out all the gussied up hot guys and girls and, hopefully, getting forgiven for what we did last year, followed by a night of binge drinking and gorging, the sex is bound to be that much better anyway. So, in a sense, god was doing us a favor by making us wait.

In summary, Yom Kippur is a day when you just have to suck it up for a day. No food, no bathing, no perfume, no Italian leather shoes, and no sex. Would you even want to have sex without bathing or perfume? For guys, probably yes. For women, not so much. In fact, there are plenty of other interpretations on what else needs to be banned, even if they were not specifically mentioned by god, including technology, toothbrushes, and makeup.  But whatever you do, please, please, please, take a long, leisurely hot shower before you show up to pig out at the sundown food fest. Eat plenty of bagels, Whitefish and Smoked Salmon. Then get your asses home and finish off the evening the way god intended–drunk, naked, and satisfied. But whatever you do, no burgers or leather apparel, please. Save the cows!

Hunger Games Yom Kippur

Hunger Games Yom Kippur

The Return of Slavery

Robotic Workers

Robotic Workers

What if I told you that the only way to compete with countries that employ low-cost labor was to bring back slavery? Slaves work at a subsistence level and can be discarded when they are no longer needed, so they make for a very low-cost, flexible workforce that can perform the tasks that are least desirable. What if slavery were the only way to maintain the standard of living that most of us have come to expect? Would you agree, assuming you were guaranteed to be part of the free class?

What if the slaves were robots? Whew, I’ll bet you thought I had really lost my mind! Of course, you’d agree! They are just machines and they can be made to do anything. God certainly never said anything about doing unto machines as you would have them do unto you. It isn’t even one of the three laws of robotics.

I’m really looking forward to retiring once the robots can do all my work for me. I’m a little worried, however, about who is going to pay me to not work anymore. My government retirement could be in jeopardy if the tax base shrinks from the effects of rampant unemployment. My private pension and 401K may similarly evaporate if the stock market collapses under the strain of rapidly falling company revenues due to the shrinking base of employed consumers. Social security will not work if the number of human workers contributing into the payroll tax system falls sharply. Unemployment insurance has a short time limit and is paid for by employers that may no longer need employees. Welfare, at least in the United States, is, well, just so sub-par! And charity can only cover so many people. So, where will the money come from as employment continues to fall?

Labor Force Participation

Labor Force Participation

I suspect I may be among the last generation of humans who ever has to work his whole life and save up enough to actually retire. My kids will probably soon be unemployed or have shorter work weeks or an early retirement and my grand kids may never have to work at all. Eventually, everyone will enjoy the huge benefits of automation and will be able to work less (or not at all) and play more (or all the time). But what will happen during the transition between the human economy and total automation? It is during this transition, which has already begun, that humans will suffer from a steady increase in technological unemployment with no adequate social safety net. The workforce participation rate is already at a 36-year low of only 62.8 percent, with over 92 million Americans out of the work force. Ironically, as more people stop looking for jobs and drop out of the work force, the unemployment rate appears to go down even when the number of jobless people is climbing. This is what is happening right now.

Robots are already performing a great deal of simple, repetitive work that unskilled and even skilled humans used to do. Robot manufacturers are now starting to produce industrial robots that can learn simple tasks quickly and easily and can do so at a cost that is just as low as foreign low-wage workers. This means that jobs formerly outsourced to low-wage countries like China can start to move back to the United States. This movement has already begun.

Automated Manufacturing

Automated Manufacturing

But that doesn’t mean that American workers will necessarily benefit from those jobs. Companies that move manufacturing back to the US by investing in automation will require fewer jobs, and those jobs may not necessarily pay well if there is too large a supply of workers. Remember that thing called supply and demand? It doesn’t just apply to the junk we buy–it applies to us too.

Even if the robots are produced in the US, and there is no assurance that they will be, those design, manufacturing, and maintenance jobs will be few in number and may still not pay as much as we may expect, depending on the worldwide supply and demand for engineers and technicians. The whole point of automation is to reduce overall costs and/or improve performance, which is the same objective of global outsourcing. Not only will automation reduce the cost of providing products and services, it will also drive down the cost of labor worldwide as Americans have to compete with Chinese, Indian, and other workers worldwide who are able use the same technologies to do even more jobs remotely.

Robotic Store

Robotic Store

Imagine a highly automated McDonalds, where orders are taken by computers or people working from an Internet-connected site overseas, and where all the food is produced and delivered by routine robotic processes. Maybe it will need one human to clean up any messes that arise or handle unhappy customers. Imagine more and more vending machines that can prepare real, fresh, hot food. This is coming. Soon. Actually, it is already here.

Robots require nothing more than power and maintenance if they are well designed (or easily trained). They do not demand raises or benefits and they have no desire to be treated any better than anyone else. When you no longer need them, they can be destroyed and will not resist. They are the perfect slave army, but is that good for the people who don’t own the army? The development of robotics will continue to progress as long as they are economically viable, which means as long as they can do a job less expensively or better than a human. Humans will have to find other jobs, but we aren’t all needed to manage the robots.

Jobs of the Future

Jobs of the Future

Most futurists believe that new jobs will be invented that we can’t even conceive of yet. Two hundred years ago, before the industrial revolution, 70 percent of American workers worked on a farm. Automation has eliminated all but 1 percent of those jobs, but new technologies created hundreds of millions of jobs in entirely new fields. The industrial revolution created millions of factory jobs, which the revolution in artificial intelligence and automation has begun to reduce. New jobs almost certainly will be created, but what will happen when automated assistants acquire sufficient intelligence as well as fine motor skills to rival almost every new job we can conceive? Will there always be enough productive work that somebody would be willing to pay for? All of our jobs may soon be at risk due to the accelerating process of technological unemployment.

Where will it end? Theoretically, when there are no jobs left to perform. Robots are already stronger, more reliable, and more precise than us and have an inhuman ability to manage and use information in novel ways that enable them to perform many tasks far more efficiently than any human. Their limited dexterity, sensors, and ability to learn new tasks continues to improve, but for now, the best forms of automation are software bots working through the Internet, not in the form of physical robots.

What will the displaced human workers do when they are replaced? Theoretically, they will find something else to do, but that means they will need to constantly increase their skills or knowledge to outpace the development of intelligent machines. This is a losing game that will only hold off the inevitable for a short time. The jobs will start to narrow down to those people who are smart in a way that computers are not (yet) or have physical skills that robots do not. And imagine that you simultaneously have to compete for these limited kinds of jobs with low-cost humans in third world countries!

Automated Radiologist

Automated Radiologist

Strength and dexterity will cease to be valuable human skills. Ironically, however, current robots are unable to duplicate many forms of manual labor even though they can already perform tasks that require a high degree of human intelligence. Many knowledge workers, such as doctors, lawyers, and accountants, may actually be at greater risk of losing their jobs before gardeners, plumbers, electricians, and others with trade skills that require dexterous manual labor. While intelligent machines cannot perform all tasks that professionals can perform, they can do enough of the work to make one such professional far more productive than a whole office full of them were before, thus reducing the need for as many humans. Even robot management will probably be delegated to an advanced model of management bots, thus eliminating yet another type of human job.

Truck, bus, and taxi drivers will be replaced by self-driving vehicles while retail and office workers of all kinds will be replaced by, or if they are lucky, paired with machine-based assistants. I suspect that most human jobs will require the ability to manage machines and use them to accomplish tasks more efficiently. Office jobs will benefit from automated assistants, but they will mostly consist of network-based assistants rather than physical machines that walk around. They may work with you or on your behalf or in place of you to accomplish tasks like assembling data, sorting it, reformatting it, analyzing it, and making recommendations or taking action. Many home appraisals are accomplished partly or mostly by automated systems now and their capabilities will continue to improve.

Sex Robots

Sex Robots

What will people do when the unemployment ranks swell and they get desperate? Surely, women will always be able to fall back on the oldest profession, no? Not so fast. I’m betting that the market for realistic, humanoid sex robots will take off just as quickly, if not faster, than the Internet porn industry. The worldwide demand for sex is so strong that entrepreneurs will seize on any technological advance that they can apply. Robots will do anything, remember? Anything. It will be hard to compete with that once they are good enough. Only the most beautiful, clever, and charming women will stand a chance, until, that is, we can make androids that also act like a real woman in every way.

But that is actually a good thing, as it is probably the only technological advance capable of reducing the current global sex trade, which some believe has enslaved millions of women and children. Some estimate that prostitution is a $100 billion industry. Government-sponsored research from 2006 estimated that 800,000 people were trafficked across international borders, but many more were kept within their own countries. Sex trafficking is a huge global problem, so we should actually welcome anything that can be done to reduce the demand for sex. Law enforcement alone has clearly not been able to crush this criminal industry. Unfortunately, sex machines will most certainly face an extremely hostile public reaction and a political response. There is nothing illegal about having sex with a machine, but I’m betting that some legislator will try and make it so. Time to stock up on your special toys! They may soon be considered illegal paraphernalia!

Carjacking

Carjacking

Even security jobs will move to automated systems that are theoretically immune to bribery or corruption, though not necessarily to hacking. Intelligent surveillance systems will watch our every move, tip-off security bots or human police, and will start to reduce the amount of shoplifting and other crimes that currently cost consumers so much. Hello Robocop model #1984! This will be great for businesses and honest consumers, but will shut down the options of last resort that some people use to provide food and shelter for themselves. It isn’t that I’m in favor of crime. But when automotive security systems became more sophisticated, criminals resorted to more violent means, such as carjacking. Will automation make crime harder to get away with but also force criminals to become more violent? Or will criminals just get more sophisticated, like current-day hackers, and start using their own robots to help them pull off crimes?

Robotic Security

Robotic Security

Unless we come up with a better way to provide a safety net of public assistance to a rapidly increasing number of desperate, technologically unemployed humans, we’re going to have a big problem that the new robocops will not be able to solve.

Smart Cougars

Smart Cougars

Smart Cougars

The smartest thing I think a woman can do is to marry (or cohabitate with) a younger man. For one, females live longer by males by about five years, so if you don’t want to live alone at the end of your life, this is your best bet. Secondly, a younger man is more likely to be sexually active and satisfying as the woman ages. As far as kids go, while it is biologically better to have kids when you are young, they can tie you down just when you are ready to be independent, have some fun, or start a career. If a woman thinks ahead, she can extract and freeze some of her eggs when she is young, have a career and a boyfriend, and have kids later when she finds a suitable young mate. While men can have kids even into their older years, their fertility goes down and the chance of defects rises, so women in their late thirties and early forties face the extra obstacle of older, more defective sperm. A younger man will increase the odds of a successful conception.

Why do women still think they need a distinguished older man who can provide for her? Times have changed and women are no longer restricted to keeping up the home and raising kids. Even if that is what a woman wants, why should she have to live out the end of her life alone because she married an older man? At least find someone no older than you and, if you can hold out, wait a little extra longer.

Women in India and China are now in much higher demand due to the shortsighted and prejudiced practice of aborting female fetuses, which has resulted in a huge shortage of women. If they are smart, they will wait for their choice of a young man who is able to compete for her affections.

Polyandry

Polyandry

I take back what I said about marrying a younger man being the best move for a woman. If a woman wants to get started raising a family when she young (early twenties), the best option may actually be to marry two men. That is, to start with one older husband followed later by a younger one. The older man should be around 30 years old, which is mature enough to be ready for a family and able to provide some financial stability. When she is about 30 and he is going on 40, she should add a younger man to the marriage to provide company in old age, additional income, and a better chance of continuing to expand her family for many years to come.

Counter intuitively, there may also be sexual benefits as well. The men might fear that there would be less sex to go around, but this is probably not the case. Since the average man only takes seven minutes to orgasm, and this is not long enough for the average woman, she would have the benefit of two men to extend the lovemaking session twice as long. And what woman would not want a threesome with two heterosexual men? OK, maybe a lot, but that is probably just because society has always told us how wrong it is for a woman to want this. So, instead of the frequency of sex going down, the length of each session would probably just go up, which is probably just what she wants and might eventually be just fine with the guys, who would be under less pressure to perform. If they both fail to satisfy her, they could at least blame the other.

Studies have shown that when men are in sexual competition for a female, a little evolutionary effect called “sperm competition” is triggered, which gets them more aroused and causes their sperm count to spike upward. This is nature’s way of increasing a man’s chance of being able to successfully impregnate a female. Thus, when she is trying to conceive, not only does she get longer lovemaking sessions leading to a greater chance of orgasm, she gets two men each of whom has enhanced sperm output. Since having an orgasm following copulation is also believed to increase the chances of successful conception, she gets another bonus.

Let’s not be single sided in extolling the benefits for a woman and look at what the man gets. If they both work, they bring in more total household income, which leads to a higher standard of living, more security in the event of a job loss, and/or more free time. Each man can trade off golfing, going to the gym, playing poker, or whatever past-time he really enjoys, while the other takes care of the wife’s needs. You know what I mean. Shopping, yard work, handyman stuff, watching vampire TV shows, etc. The stuff you just can’t get out of no matter how hard you try to delay, cut corners, or pay someone else to do. The same applies to taking care of the kids. However, you now have to coordinate your answers among the three of you when the kids try to scam one of you into something they want.

Biblical Polygamy

Biblical Polygamy

The benefits of a two-man one-female relationship just seem to keep on coming (that was not an intentional pun)! So why wouldn’t we want to make poligamy, or more specifically, polyandry legal? Don’t give me any Bible-thumping family-values nonsense. We all know that polygamy was standard practice in biblical times, only they had it backwards since women were subservient to men and were confined to being baby-making machines for rich men who wanted to build a large clan.

Mysteriously, we have changed our values so much that, even if you are a billionaire golf icon who can afford to support a whole harem of women, you are ridiculed and forced to apologize for doing what our ancient religious founders claimed as their natural right. Now that women have a large measure of independence in much of the world, why shouldn’t the tables be turned when it makes sense? Chances are, few countries will permit a formal marriage of a woman to two men no matter how much sense it might make. Gay marriages will be common before anyone tries to make polygamy legal again, but there isn’t really a need for such a formality. Celebrities have been living and raising families with partners for years without a marriage contract (e.g. Johnny Depp, Gene Simmons, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn). So, adding a third party without a contract would only be a minor inconvenience. They could always tie the knot after the older guy croaks.

Polyandry is obviously rare and generally only practiced where there are shortages of women. Sometimes a wife is shared by multiple brothers to keep property, such as land, within one family. However, I’m pretty sure that Chinese and Indian men would rather fight each other to the death rather than accept polygamous unions where the female has multiple partners. In Asian cultures, women are still relatively dependent on men, assuming they are even allowed to live. But necessity breeds invention, so unless the men decide to fight it out and reduce their numbers, the wife shortage will begin to create a problem. Maybe this is nature’s way of pushing social reform.

And God Created BDSM

Tinkerbell

Tinkerbell

There is a not-so-secret underground of sexual adventure and experimentation in the world, and probably always has been. It is called BDSM, a compound acronym standing for Bondage and Discipline (B&D), Dominance and Submission (D&S), and Sadism and Masochism (S&M). But with the advent of the Internet, it has become far easier for people with specific interests and fetishes to find each other, to learn about other common kinks, and discover that they are not the only freak in the world.

This is happening right under the noses of mainstream society, at least in democratic countries that tolerate it. But the size of this socially and sexually liberated “minority” seems to be quite large, with online communities, clubs, parties and events in towns and cities all around the world. Those who disapprove call it perverted, but participants merely call it “the lifestyle” as it is simply an alternate way of living outside the mainstream concept of morality.

obey-godIronically, I think there is a link between BDSM and religion. In fact, religion may be the first institutionalized form of BDSM. Think of it this way. God is the ultimate Dominant, Master or Mistress, while his followers are the ultimate submissives or slaves. God has laid down rules and his submissives are expected to follow them or accept punishment. Religious leaders embody the role of the Master on behalf of god and set up communities of submissives or slaves.

However, god can hardly expect his submissives to follow all his ambiguous rules. Could it be that he wants us to fail so that he can give us the punishment we sinners crave and deserve? Why else would he fill the world with so many temptations and our bodies with hormones that cloud our judgment? Could he possibly expect us not to break the rules once in a while or even all the time? Why give some people such a high sex drive that they can’t help themselves, even when it comes to children? Why give some people such a strong homosexual tendency while calling it immoral? Why are so many people attracted to so many different weird fetishes, including bondage, whips and various forms of torture and denial? Why is it so hard for priests and nuns to honor their vows of celibacy?

My hypothesis. The answer is that god wants to push us up to and beyond our limits. But it isn’t a game to see how much temptation we can resist. He isn’t testing us just to make sure we are worthy of entry into heaven. It is a game to see how much we are willing to submit and how much punishment he can get us to take. It is a game in which we have to live in servitude and suffer his punishments in order to please our Master. In effect, religion is the ultimate Dominant/submissive power exchange game. Don’t get me wrong–this does not mean that there is no place for god’s love.

Hell

Hell

To a submissive, heaven is a place where they are completely dominated and cared for, not a place of independence, leisure and comfort. A good submissive often wants to be loved, but not as an equal. Others want to feel that they are unworthy of love. The submissive mostly just wants to be controlled and to do anything to please his or her Mistress or Master. God probably doesn’t even care whether we want to be loved or unloved or whether we enjoy the pain and denial or just do it because we think that is what we deserve. He will give us whichever role we seek.

God probably isn’t all that interested in those people who say screw it and break all the rules without much hesitation. They are no fun for him. However, they still do serve a purpose by providing ever more temptations to torment his submissives. So, if you are a bad little boy or girl, don’t sweat it too much.

When god supposedly created us in his image, was he referring only to his Dominant side? Or does god actually have a submissive side as well? Could he be a switch, which is what the BDSM community refers to someone who switches between a Dominant and a submissive role? That brings Jesus to mind.

Life of Brian

Life of Brian

How much more submissive can one be than to suffer all that other men can inflict on him while turning the other cheek? Jesus is almost the embodiment of a submissive, except that he never appeared to enjoy his mistreatment. Of course, who knows what really happened? Maybe that is why I like the closing scene of Monty Python’s Life of Brian so much. For those of you who aren’t fans (and I’m not sure why I should even bother to explain), this is when all the crucified prisoners started to sing and whistle “always look on the bright side of life.”

The characterization of religion as a form of BDSM provides a different perspective on the ceremony where Catholics eat the body and drink the blood of Jesus. Replace it with other body parts and fluids and you’ve got a real BDSM scene! If Jesus is the son of god, or god himself (I’m still confused about that part) then it seems he is playing the game of a switch. Obey me. No, let me serve you. Take my punishment. No, hurt me. Can it be any clearer? Don’t even get me started on the Spanish Inquisition.

Spanish Inquisition

Spanish Inquisition

Dominant/submissive or Master/slave relationships are abbreviated as D/s and M/s. Maybe we should refer to the trinity as G/j/? (God/jesus/holy spirit?). I added the question mark because I’m still not clear on the whole holy spirit thing.

There has got to be a reason why god tolerates satan and his demons instead of wiping them out. It just makes the game so much more interesting. God can play the submissive, or good cop bad cop, or so many other roles. I don’t think there is a heaven and a hell. I think there is just a Heaven and Hell Club, and it’s rockin the universe!

Oh, yeah, if I wasn’t already, I’m surely gonna burn in Hell for writing this post!

The Birds and the Bees

Animal Homosexuality

Animal Homosexuality

Do homosexual animals choose to be gay or are they just born that way? In October 2006, The new Natural History Museum in Oslo, Sweden, opened an exhibition entitled “Against Nature?” that displays evidence of animal homosexuality. According to Geir Soeli, the project leader, “Homosexuality has been observed for more than 1,500 animal species, and is well documented for 500 of them.” Examples given include female swans raising young in homosexual couples, male right whales rubbing themselves together, male giraffes mounting another male, and gay behavior in beetles. Yes, you heard right, gay behavior in insects. Bonobos, a type of chimpanzee, are all apparently bisexual. Wow! Of course, Jane Goodall showed us that chimpanzees are highly intelligent and are capable of complex social interaction. So, maybe the Bonobos, as a group, have all just chosen to be bisexual! OK, not likely, especially for the beetles.

Many people claim that human homosexuality is abnormal and immoral. They usually base this judgment on religious scriptures that declare it to be wrong, although for some, it is just a simple personal aversion to the thought of sex between two members of the same sex. It’s a lot easier to get over the “icky” feeling that heterosexuals get when watching gays kiss than it is to ignore scripture that you believe to be the word of god. As younger generations continue to see gays in normal situations on TV and in public life, homosexuality will become more accepted and tolerated within secular society. However, among religious believers, it is really the alleged word of god that stands in the way of complete social acceptance.

As for being abnormal, I must concede that homosexuality may be abnormal from an evolutionary standpoint, since it makes reproduction less likely, but it certainly is common within many species. Now that we have finally taken note of widespread bisexual and homosexual behavior it in animals, including our closest relative, the chimpanzee, this is a pretty undeniable fact. Since the word “abnormal” literally means “deviating from the type” or “irregular,” but homosexuality is now known to be quite common, I don’t think the word applies. If gays are abnormal, then so are tall, blonde, beautiful, blue-eyed girls, especially from the perspective of people in China or Africa. Somehow, I don’t think anybody wants to call them abnormal. Then again, unlike gays, blondes definitely have an evolutionary advantage when it comes to attracting men.

Evolution of Homosexuality

Evolution of Homosexuality

Homosexuality is also condemned for being “against nature.” OK, let’s think about this. Can something be both common and against nature? If being “against nature” means it confers an evolutionary disadvantage relative to other traits, then I suppose so. Being hideously ugly or fat might then be called against nature. Yet, we still have a lot of them around and they seem to be doing just fine. Some of them are even nicer and smarter than the gorgeous, blue-eyed blondes. Imagine that! They are still able to compensate for their shortcomings and compete for the attention of other men or women. Even the fat ones keep reproducing and recruiting others to their over consumptive, early-death inducing lifestyle.

It is possible that gays have been able to compensate for their dead-end reproductive behavior? Many of them do get married to members of the opposite sex and even have children, so the answer probably is yes. Many of them just stay in the closet and act like everyone else. Maybe they don’t get as excited in bed, but now that we’ve got Viagra, who cares? In fact, persecution of gays could in fact be the main reason that they continue to exist. If they were all encouraged to come out of the closet and marry each other, maybe they would stop reproducing and die off!

Now that’s what I call irony. If you really think homosexuality is wrong and bad, you should be one of the first ones to support gay marriage and let natural selection take its course! Unfortunately, the same people who believe it is wrong for religious reasons probably don’t believe in evolution, so that argument probably will not work on them.

In any case, it doesn’t seem to matter since there is no confirmed evidence of any “gay” gene that is passed down to offspring. Homosexual children seem to keep getting produced by hetersexual parents anyway. However, a study of homosexual men in Italy suggested a possible heriditary link that they call the “balancing selection hypothesis.” The study found that the mothers and sisters of gay men had more offspring, thus implying that whatever gene may be responsible for making them gay may also have made their female relatives more fertile, thus conferring a compensating evolutionary advantage! We really just don’t know enough to say why homosexuality is so common among the species of Earth or why it has survived the trials of evolution.

Anyway, when did religious people suddenly start to believe in evolution and decide that a trait is normal based on whether or not it confers an evolutionary advantage? If anything that is against nature is bad, we could easily build a list of behaviors that would diminish our way of life and transform our concept of morality.

Here is a list of a few things that we take for granted as being good, but nevertheless could be considered “against nature” from an evolutionary standpoint:

Hero Worship

Hero Worship

Selfless, heroic actions that place one’s life in danger to save a stranger or defend a cause: One does not tend to pass on a genetic line by risking one’s life unless one is defending family members or gaining some other advantage, such as reciprocal protection from a group of people you are helping. In today’s society, when we are unlikely to even know our neighbors, why would anyone want to help others? Instead of admiring heroes, perhaps we should look down on them as deluded idiots and Darwinian losers.

Caring for the sick and elderly: It makes no biological sense to care for people who are terminally ill or for the elderly once they are no longer able to either work or pass on their wisdom and knowledge to others. I can’t think of any evolutionary benefit for doing so. Are there any examples of animals acting in this way? No, the sick and weak are killed and eaten or left to die. So why are we so compassionate? Well, frankly, not all of us are and society as a whole really does not do that good a job of caring for such people, but we all think it is something that we should be doing. Maybe it isn’t. We spend plenty on Social Security and Medicare that we could otherwise spend on our kids. If helping the old and sick really is against nature, maybe it’s time for a new policy along the lines of the old movie Logan’s Run, where people were killed once they reached the age of 30. Of course, that was just a movie. In reality, we would want it coincide with the Social Security retirement age. Of course, if someone is still productive and agrees to keep working, I’d give them a deferment. Talk about an incentive to stay in good health and keep working! What a plan!

Standing on escalators: Escalators have got to be as unnatural a device as you can get, since they only help the weak and lazy, decrease physical fitness, and require the expenditure of electricity generated by power plants that help to destroy our environment through global warming. Who needs these things anyway and why do people insist on standing when they could be walking? Even on the down escalators, why are most people too lazy to even walk down? When people walk along on the sidewalk, do they normally stop periodically to rest? Of course not! Then why do they do it on an escalator? OK, this may not be the best example of unnatural behavior, but it is a really big pet peeve of mine! I hate to see people standing on a down escalator! At most, escalators should only be made to go up. Stairs are perfectly fine for walking down. If people are really too lazy to walk down, why don’t we just make slides so we can at least have some fun?

Back to the “against nature” issue. Here is a list of things that are perfectly natural in that they help one to propagate one’s genetic line. Unfortunately, I’m not sure everyone would agree that they make for a good, civilized, society:

Rape: Forcing the women of conquered tribes, cities, or countries to have sex has always been popular with soldiers throughout human history and is responsible for much genetic diversity. Genghis Khan did an impressive job of spreading his DNA as he raped his way throughout Asia and Europe. In fact, one might say that rape was a natural part of the evolution of the species, especially back when everyone was a racist and interracial marriage was taboo. I would place rape in the “natural, but not so good” category.

Pillage, Plunder and Theft: Another historically popular way of amassing wealth, thievery and the domination of others is as popular to this day as it ever was and ensures that a large number of people are able to support themselves and their families. Billions of dollars of our economic output actually supports shoplifting, burglary, intellectual property infringement, and the associated law enforcement and corporate security activities intended to stop it. The best thieves actually run entire countries or large corporations and are able to embezzle billions of dollars. Some even have multiple wives, concubines, or girlfriends and are able to pass on their genes far widely than ordinary, law-abiding people. Again, I’d place this in the “natural, but not so good” category.

Murder: This is perhaps the best example of survival of the fittest as long as it doesn’t go too far. One can both gather booty and eliminate the weak through murder, so it is, from an evolutionary perspective, a pretty good way to weed out the human genetic pool. However, we’ve gotten so good at it that we can now eliminate large numbers of people at random, so it might not be as good as it once was. If we end up destroying our entire civilization, then I guess you might say it was a bad thing, unless you happen to be a cockroach. In that case, your evolved offspring a million years in the future may be lecturing their classes on the archeological evidence of the extinct humans. Since murder made it onto the 10 commandments as a big no-no, I would definitely place it in the “natural, but not so good” category.

Slavery: This is pretty much a variant of the pillage, plunder and theft category, since slavery allows an employer to get more for less. Basically, it is like getting labor for the price of food and housing while even allowing you to skimp on the food and housing. It’s sort of like eliminating both the minimum wage and worker’s rights, otherwise known today as illegal immigrant labor. Slavery also came with the side benefit of free rape and murder whenever the master wanted, giving him a decisive evolutionary advantage. Slavery was so popular for most of human history that neither the Old or New Testaments of the Bible nor the Koran prohibited it. It didn’t even make the 10 Commandments. Neither Moses, Jesus, nor Mohammed are known to have made any attempt to stamp out the practice, so one might believe that god has always been a big fan of slavery, especially if the slaves were nonbelievers. Looking back into history, however, most people would place it in the “natural, but not so good” category.

I guess I really have no problem with something that may be against nature. I do, however, have a problem with people who want to meddle in the lives of others when it is really none of their business.

The War on Pleasure

Make Money Like a Porn Star

Make Money Like a Porn Star

What is the difference between a prostitute and a pornographic movie star? One gets paid for sexual services while the other gets paid for sexual services that third parties get to watch. One constitutes illegal prostitution and the other is considered entertainment.

What is the difference between a “john” who solicits a prostitute and someone who promotes and sells porn videos? One sells physical sexual stimulation of the body and the other sells sexual stimulation of the mind, usually to enhance the effectiveness of his own sexual activity. What really is the difference and why is one illegal, but not the other?

If prostitutes were smart, they would all move into the entertainment business by offering acting services for people who want to star in their own porn video. As long as their business is oriented towards the production of resale-quality porn, or even just audition-quality porn, which is a legitimate business activity, it should be completely legal. Not only would this keep the “performers” out of jail, it would certainly increase their income due to the added value of the services provided, the elimination of all fear of prosecution, and the ability to maintain a safe place of business. They would no longer need abusive pimps to protect them, and could rely upon video surveillance and hired security guards to do the job. As a business, they could be sued if they passed on sexually transmitted diseases to their customers, thus increasing the incentive to engage in safe sex.

Of course, all this is just an artificial way of getting around a law that makes no sense, since all that it does is to restrict business activity between consenting adults. This activity has always existed and will always exist as long as there is an imbalance between the supply and demand for sex. In the case of heterosexual sex, there will always be a shortage of females willing to engage in sex and there will always be a high demand on the part of males to buy what they cannot get in sufficient quantity or quality elsewhere. What makes sex for money wrong?

Alcohol Prohibition Propaganda

Alcohol Prohibition Propaganda

What is the difference between drinking alcohol and taking drugs? One is a liquid substance made from natural products that impairs one’s mental faculties, while the other can be a liquid, solid or gaseous substance made from natural products that impairs one’s mental faculties. What really is the difference? The nation gladly reversed the prohibition of alcohol once it became evident that most people opposed it and that it spawned criminal activities that required a costly war to suppress. So, it isn’t a matter of whether or not alcohol is bad for you. It is simply a matter of social choice to live with the benefits as well as the costs of alcoholism and drunken behavior. Obviously, the many benefits of alcohol (Girls Gone Wild Videos is at the top of the list) outweigh the many costs (such as waking up next to a very disappointing stranger).

Why then do we persist in the war on drugs without making a similar assessment of the risks versus benefit of alcohol prohibition? Certainly, not all drugs have the same risks and some are more beneficial or damaging than others. Besides, where would we get some of our most innovative and popular artists if it were not for drugs? Regardless, why do we think it is the responsibility of the government to protect people from their own conscious behavior? If it is the job of the government to do so, then when will we start to make the factors leading to obesity, heart disease, and cancer a crime, such as eating too much junk food and smoking?

Sugar Danger

Sugar Danger

I’d love to see an episode of Miami Vice where some donut-eating fat boy cops pose as johns (junk food solicitors) in order to roll up an imported junk food smuggling ring. Or maybe an episode of Crime Scene Investigation where they determine that the victim was overdosed over a period of 35 years with Twinkies and candy bars that originated from an illicit processed sugar factory in Iowa.

Wouldn’t it be great if legalized drugs could actually be used to combat obesity? Since the war on drugs hasn’t slowed demand, it isn’t as if there would be more addicts running around anyway. However, we would now be able to use some drugs to slow the country’s increasing addiction to sugar and fat. A little speed and the pounds will start to go away, along with the diabetes, hip and knee problems, and other ailments typical of fatties. A little pot, with plenty of munchies on hand, and those anorexics will start putting on weight until they are back to normal. Imagine what a few weeks or months on heroin could do to those morbidly obese whales who can’t leave their houses due to excessive fatness. The pounds would start falling off. Then, they could be put into detox programs until they stabilize. Hey, it might sound drastic, but it’s better than letting them eat themselves to death or use up expensive medical resources trying to treat their many medical problems.

Drugs do not have to be illegal to be controlled. Prescription drugs are controlled now, even though it is ridiculously easy to obtain them anyway. Why is it illegal for sick people to obtain and use medical drugs not approved by the FDA but available overseas? Just because the FDA hasn’t approved a medication, doesn’t mean that it isn’t safe and effective (and from past experience, the opposite is also true). Should we prosecute people for saving or greatly improving the quality of their own lives by using unapproved medications? If I was in great pain or in imminent danger of death and needed something illegal to make it better, you can be sure I’d say to hell with the FDA, give me the drugs.

If alcoholism and drug addiction are real diseases that only affect certain people, then why isn’t someone working on a vaccine of some sort to prevent or reduce their effects when ingested? The answer, of course, is because people like to get drunk and stoned! That’s the whole point. It is a personal choice. But some choices are arbitrarily declared to be illegal because they are a supposed threat to society. If that is so, then it only makes sense to do a real evaluation of the risks to society and rank order them by danger that they pose to others, but only ban those behaviors that threaten the rest of us. A scientific study from the UK does just this and suggests that alcohol is more harmful to society than heroin or crack. 

Harm Caused by Drugs

Harm Caused by Drugs

I’ve got a better proposition. Let’s think of addiction in a different way. The problem is only triggered when the substance is available. So, it really isn’t a medical issue at all. It is a willpower and access issue. You wouldn’t see any addicts on a deserted island. Sure, maybe on Lost, but what is the chance that anyone would really be lost on an island that just happened to have a plane full of cocaine and an enormous supply of junk food?

Anyway, with today’s technology, it is possible to monitor and control access to substances to a certain extent. Why not create a national database where we could list the names of addicts, such as the Voluntary Exclusion Program for gambling addicts? Potential addicts could put their name in voluntarily or, if convicted of a crime such as drunk driving or morbid obesity, could be put on it involuntarily. Sellers would have to check their identity against the database before providing access to the controlled substances. I know, it sounds like another step towards big brother, but it is better than punishing the many for the problems caused by the few. Of course, we would have to get much better at verification of identity through the use of biometrics such as fingerprint or iris scanners tied to a live database.

Here’s how it would work. Let’s say you are addicted to drugs or alcohol or cigarettes or sugar and fat and, in a brief moment of strength, you decide you want to quit. You have your fingerprint and iris scanned and put into the database and select from the list of substances from which you want to be denied access and the period of time. Maybe you just want to try it for a month or maybe you have to comply with a court order banning you for life. Then, when you go to a bar, the bartender scans your finger and finds out he can’t sell you anything but a Shirley Temple. When you go to the grocery store and scan your finger along with the items you are buying, the computer checks the database and alerts the clerk to pull out everything that is listed as high in saturated fat or sugar. With improved, barcoded nutrition labels, this information will be easy to track.

So, we just solved much of our substance abuse problems by using technology to supplement the feeble willpower of most addicts. How much would this system cost? I suspect it wouldn’t be that much compared to the savings in medical costs and reduction in losses to crimes normally perpetrated by addicts. We could probably even pay for it by defrauding Medicare like everybody else. We’ll just bill them for each database check by calling it a medical consultation. So, your health insurance costs should go down, although I’m sure your politicians will never let the taxes go down.

There will still be a black market to deal with, but it won’t be that big since most people would be able to get all their stuff legally. If prices rise too high and the black market gets out of hand, the government can just take it over and use the windfall profits to subsidize the increased medical and legal costs. So what if we sell them substances that are supposed to be illegal? Just think of it as a tax on bad behavior, just like today’s high cigarette taxes. On the other hand, we could just forget about this whole scheme and simply legalize everything. Then, if people commit crimes related to substance abuse, we can put a tracking device on them and confine them to their home, where they could telecommute, work for a call center, or process rebate checks.