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Name: RuggedRealist
Gender: Male
Hometown: New York, NY
Home country: USA
Current location: NYC
Member since: Tue Jan 4, 2005, 05:36 PM
Number of posts: 32,886

Journal Archives

MoveOn and Occupy protested the Koch $50-$75K a plate dinner at Koch's Southhampton Estate


Mitt Romney raise $3 million Sunday at three events, including one at the Southampton home of David Koch, one of the billionaire Koch brothers, who have come to dominate conservative fundraising.

Maria d. Maisonet, center, marches with protestors from MoveOn.org, the Occupy Movement, and the Long Island Progressive at a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Sunday, July 8, 2012, near the Southampton estate of billionaire industrialist David Koch. Koch asked donors to give $50,000 per person or $75,000 per couple.

They never got close, and Mitt Romney may not have even seen them, but protesters — some from Occupy Wall Street — took political theater to a new level Sunday outside the beachfront estate of billionaire David Koch, where the Republican candidate was raising money.

Some of the 200 protesters marched down mile-long Coopers Beach toward the home in a cloud of sand, bearing banners and signs: “Your $50,000 ticket equals my child’s education,” “End corporate personhood” and “Don’t forget to tip the help.”

Kean University professor Stuart Leonard led an advance party to the beach in front of the Koch estate — only the rooftop and tip of a tent were visible from the sand — and the protesters posed with a flag in the style of the Marines at Iwo Jima.

My debate with Neil Cavuto regarding California Public Sector Union Pensions

The people of San Diego and San Jose just passed a ballot initiative that denies new employees pensions and makes current public workers pay more to fund their pensions. Unions for these workers are suing in court to block the initiative.

Am going to be on Fox News at 4pm defending California public workers unions

Am going to be on Fox News at 4pm EST discussing the California Ballot measure recently approved by voters that cut pensions for city workers.

I am going to be defending efforts by the public workers unions to sue to get it overturned.

Charlie Glickman and Sex Positivity

An important discussion as the term is under attack from some groups who mostly do not understand it.


Western societies have been influenced by the idea that sex is harmful, shameful, disgusting or sinful for centuries. While allowances have usually been made for certain situations, such as procreation, the idea that pleasure, the body, and sex are (at best) necessary evils has deep roots in many different cultures.


Another way that sex-negativity can manifest is through the Myth of the Normal. When the Myth of the Normal is invoked, we define certain sexual acts or situations as normal, while everything else becomes abnormal/sinful/wrong/shameful. A quick glance at the average sex advice column in the supermarket checkout stand magazines will offer plenty of examples of the ways that we create the Myth of the Normal.

These sex-negative patterns have a deep impact on how we think about and experience sex. As a sex educator, I strive to help people explore the ways that sex-negativity affects them in order to move towards a more joyous relationship with sexuality.

The difficulty is that many people mistake enthusiasm for sex with sex positivity. In my view, sex-positivity is the view that the only relevant measure of a sexual act, practice, or experience is the consent, pleasure, and well-being of the people engaged in it or the people affected by it. In my experience, this is a much more useful way of exploring sexuality because it helps us see past our own triggers and squicks, set aside our judgments, and make room for the diversity of human sexuality. We can build a sex-positive sex of ethics, set and hear boundaries, and discover the sexual expressions that work for us while honoring and celebrating those that work for other people. This is what I see as the path out of sex-negativity.

About the author


I’ve been a sexuality educator since 1989, when I became an HIV educator and counselor. I quickly learned that effective safer sex education had to include information on sexuality, relationship issues, and communication and negotiation. So I decided to start learning about these different topics and quickly discovered that talking and teaching about sex was the path I wanted to take.

In 1996, I joined the staff at Good Vibrations as a Sex Educator-Sales Associate in the Berkeley store. Talking with thousands of people about their concerns and questions showed me how much we need accurate information. After a few years, I began to coordinate the After Hours workshop program, which has grown to include over 100 workshops per year on an incredible range of topics. I also developed the staff training program, and eventually became the Education Program Manager. I currently oversee all of the Good Vibrations sex education projects.

Meanwhile, I began to offer workshops and personal consultation on a wide range of topics including safer sex, working with male survivors of sexual assault, sexual practices & diversity, BDSM, polyamory, sexual shame, sexual authenticity, and the relationships between sexuality and spirituality. My teaching was based on my personal experiences, as well research and reading I had done, but I had the sense that there was something missing. I noticed that most sex educators develop their classes by watching other teachers and using the same tools, without always understanding the practices that create optimal learning for adults. I recognized that I was no exception to this observation, so I decided to find other ways to teach.

Eventually, I went back to school and received my doctorate in Adult Sexuality Education from the Union Institute and University. My dissertation explored the application of adult education principles to the connections between sexuality, spirituality and shame. I’m also certified as a Sexuality Educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.


Hi I'm Steven Leser (imagine that!) from NYC

I am a lifelong Democrat who is passionate about politics and my beliefs (I doubt anyone who has ever discussed politics or history with me comes away thinking otherwise).

I was destined to be a political junkie. I was born on election day, Nov 5, 1968. Yes, it was a Presidential election year, unfortunately, our guy didn't win.

My first political experience was somewhere between the ages of 3-4. My mother went canvassing door to door for the ERA and took me along.

I am the proud parent of an amazing 18 yr old young lady who is about to graduate with a 4.0 GPA and soccer scholarship.

My two darkest political moments were, #1 -At the Pinellas county election night victory party in 2000 at a bar in Clearwater Florida when Florida was pulled back from Gore. #2 - I had been a recount observer in Pinellas County and left a busy supervisor of elections office one day to go to lunch and when I came back it was a ghost town with the Supreme Court's decision nailed to the door.

My brightest political moment was being in Harlem election night in 2008 and celebrating madly with the residents the election of our amazing new President!

IMHO Way worth it but LAT: Analysis: Gay marriage decision not working in Obama's favor so far



That said, the first wave of polling is in, and the results aren’t looking particularly good for Obama. Taken together, four different national opinion surveys over the past week, by reputable organizations with good track records, indicate that the president’s stand could well hurt him politically. Unsurprisingly, the numbers are fairly close; but as often gets pointed out, tight elections are decided by small numbers of votes.

Perhaps the most encouraging sign for Obama comes from a new ABC/Washington Post poll, which found that independent swing voters had a slightly more favorable than unfavorable view of his position (though the results were a statistical tie, given the margin of error for that subgroup). ABC’s analysis, by statistician Damla Ergun of Langer Research Associates, pointed out that independents who reacted most strongly to the decision tilted against it, and that “strong sentiment can better predict voter turnout and vote preferences.”

A Gallup poll found that the overall change in public opinion was a” net minus” for Obama, though the organization cautioned that these results could change, depending on the degree to which same-sex marriage is, or is not, a campaign issue in the fall.

The latest New York Times/CBS poll showed that 26% of voters were less likely to support Obama as a result of his announcement, compared with 16% who said they were more likely to support him. But the small overall sample size and the lack of any valid sub-group data make those numbers fairly useless for purposes of predicting voter behavior. The poll did find, however, that a clear majority of Americans regarded Obama’s declaration of support for same-sex marriage as largely a political move, which doesn’t help him at all.


We're going to win this thing regardless, and then Obama is going to appoint two more Liberal justices to the SCOTUS who will be the deciding factor in an LGBT version of Loving v Virginia and that will be that.

Americans keep believing they will be able to kick that football

Every Presidential Election, the Republicans promise working class Americans that money will trickle down to them if we give big tax breaks to the rich. Like Lucy trying to entice Charlie Brown to kick the football, how many times are we going to end up on our backsides before we stop believing them?

I feel somehow less frothy. Not sure why. Thoughts?

To Republicans/Conservatives, the Buffett Rule is 'Far Left'

Conservatives, like the author of the below article at IBD, are trying to claim that the Buffett rule is 'Far Left'. All the Buffett rule is about is that the Rich should not pay a lower tax rate than the rest of us. That's it. According to Conservatives, that is "Far Left". Put another way, this should only bother you if you think the Rich should pay a LOWER percentage of taxes than the rest of us. That is where Republicans and Conservatives are right now.


Centerpiece Of Obama Re-election Campaign Is Far Left

Tax Policy: It looks like the "Buffett Rule" will be at the heart of Barack Obama's re-election campaign. Is that a winning game plan? Three years of the politics of envy haven't exactly put the economy back on track.

From Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, the president mounted his tax fairness hobby horse on Tuesday and yet again pushed for a Buffett Rule that would add a punitive tax on the wealthiest Americans.

"Do we want to keep giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans like me, or Warren Buffett, or Bill Gates — people who don't need them and never asked for them?" Obama asked. "Or do we want to keep investing in things that will grow our economy and keep us secure? That's the choice."

More at above link, if you can stomach it

A little fun for DUers, check out the Definition of "Free Republic" in the Urban Dictionary


First definition starts off with:

Just another whack-job website where contributors discuss the minutae of whether the earth is either 6,001 or 6,002 years old.

Highlights include heated debates on whether Noah included baby or full-grown dinosaurs on his boat and which of the dinosaurs that man co-existed with back in the day were the best to serve up with grits for breakfast.

At least they're all in the one place on the net.

It gets better from there!
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