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Should the state impose a sin tax on pornography?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on July 18, 2005

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Photo of Jim Morrison

“No. I don’t think there should be a tax. I think there should be restrictions, but a tax is not the way to go. A tax would do more to legitimize it like liquor and cigarettes.”

Photo of Jenel Farrell

“No. They probably wouldn’t generate much money anyway because of the Internet.”

Photo of D'Arcy Stone

“I doubt it would be constitutional because of the first amendment, and it would be almost impossible to enforce unless they start a new task force.”

Photo of James Nelson

“Of course not. People can decide their own morals. It’s not for the government to decide.”

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Comments

enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

I am not sure about the tax. If it decreases the viewing of pornography then I am for it. This is one of those cases where some of my other values trump my value in freedom. But, it is not my religious values that are at work here in my decision-making process. I do not believe in forcing into law my religious values. I believe pornography can be devasting to individuals and societies independent of one's religious beliefs. The harm is not just to the consumer of porn, but creates victims of others. Here are the findings of a few studies:

"Zillmann, Dolf (1982)

Findings show that massive exposure (4 hours forty minutes over six weeks) to standard pornography (people having consensual, nonviolent sex) resulted in 1. a loss of compassion toward women as rape victims and toward women in general; 2. a loss of concern about the effects of pornography on others; 3. a need for more violent and bizarre forms of sex; 4. a desensitization to violent, non-coercive hard core pornography; and
5. a trivialization of rape.

Michigan State Police ( Lt. Darrell H. Pope)

Studied and recorded the use of pornography in sex crimes. He researched 48,000 sex crimes spanning a 20 year period (1956-1979). (Research was done in 1977, replicated in 1981). In 42% of the 48,000 sex crimes investigated, police indicated that pornography was involved -- used just prior to, or during the act of sexual assault -- as stated by the victim or the offender.

Silbert and Pines (1984)

A detailed content analysis of 193 cases of rape and of 178 cases of juvenile sexual abuse revealed a clear relationship between violent pornography and sexual abuse.

Goldstein, Kant and Harman (1973)

Rapists are 15 times as likely as non-offenders (30% to 2%) to have had exposure to "hard core" pornography during childhood or between 6 to 10 years of age. They also tended to report an earlier age of "peak experience" with pornography." It is highly likely, based upon McGaugh's studies on memory, that the early experiences "stood out in the minds" of these children because of the release of the chemical epinephrine during their emotional arousal. This makes these findings even more disturbing."

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

Since I am sure to have posters argue the point that pornography causes harm, I am prepared to cite even more studies if necessary. I once had a male client who came in for help with anger issues. It was discovered that he was often demeaning to his fiance and would get into power struggles with her. I recognized that people don't put others down unless they don't feel good about themselves. In delving into why he didn't feel good about himself, it was discovered that his low self-esteem came from viewing pornography on the internet and his powerlessness to stop his addiction. Once we helped him break the habit, he began to feel better about himself and no longer put his fiance down and didn't have as much problems with anger anymore.

People will say that individuals should be free to harm themselves if they want to. Well, maybe. They will say also that the viewing the porn itself doesn't harm others; it is only correlated with the harming of others and it is those direct actions that we should do something about. Again, you may be right, but I think it is a responsible thing to do to try to discourage the use of pornography that underlies and is so connected with violent and sexual crimes.

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tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 2 months ago

Its just another way to try to legislate morality via taxation. Look at the cigarette tax. That worked really well to make people quit smoking didn't it? And by the way just where is all that money that the cigarette tax was supposed to generate?

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jonas 9 years, 2 months ago

To some extent, Enochville, I can agree with you that there are negatives from porn both to consumer and his immediate surroundings, though I think I'm pretty fine and man do I ever watch a huge amount of WHOA. . . . .

. . . . . . . .

Uh, moving on. I guess the problem is that, you know, you're just going to have to pick your evil to combat. There are lots of things that cause harm to people, and I think that if you're going to spend a lot of time and energy hunting them down one by one you'd be better off just putting your feet in your mouth and trying to eat yourself (a bizarre image, I know, but it leapt to my mind and it's early). Cynical maybe, but I think the ultimate truism is that LIFE is harmful to us, and virtually all of it's components have the capacity to screw us up, physically, emotionally, spiritually etc. I guess the question is how does one make the judgement call to attack a particular problem but not another one, because I can think of other things I see as larger problems than porn. Like pundits. There should be a sin tax on pundits. I bet I could do a study that would provide a high level of correlation between people who listened to, say, Rush Limbaugh, who then were less sympathetic or more likely to harm (especially emotionally) anyone who was of a different mindset than them.

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average 9 years, 2 months ago

How do you tax that which no one pays for? Unless Sunflower Broadband is going to levy a porn-surcharge based on the websites you go to, the state is going to get a few hundred dollars from Miracle Video and that's about it.

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neopolss 9 years, 2 months ago

I think it is a fallacy to pinpoint viewing of pornography as the single cause of adult sexual abuse or violent crimes. There are many more contributing factors to this, including family genetics, upbringing, emotional and physical issues, as well as social status and social influences. Pornography may have been viewed, but it is a very narrow view to attribute violence/sexual misconduct as a direct result of viewing pornography. I don't think the BTK killer viewed porn once.

Sin tax. It almost feels like we are taking steps backward. How many years have we as humans existed, and yet we STILL haven't gotten over the taboos of sexual relationships. Maybe we simply want to deny what we are - animals just like any other creature on this planet. We eat, sleep, crap, mate, and die. We want to be something more.

There are many married people such as myself who has viewed porn as a couple. We openly discuss things we enjoy and dislike, and use porn (and other items from certain stores) to try new things. I find this in no way a sin. I find it an insult. Sex is not evil.

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neopolss 9 years, 2 months ago

Arguments made for pornography (just to be fair)

http://libertus.net/censor/fallacies.html

The Michigan State Police Study & Pornography Paul Wilson, Dean of Humanities and Social Science at Bond University and former Research Director at the Australian Institute of Criminology, writes: "Many of those who have campaigned against pornography...were fond of quoting from a report allegedly produced by the Michigan State Police Force's Sexual Crime Unit in the 1980s. The report was said to have stated that there was link found between the use of pornography and the commission of sex crimes. "On December 2, 1991, the head of the Michigan State Police Investigative Resources Unit into Violent Crime, Detective Sergeant David Minzey, made a public statement about this research, saying, 'The truth is that no such study was ever conducted.' He went on to say that, 'As the criminal personality profiler for the Michigan State Police I can offer that pornography is used to enhance sexual fantasy and for arousal. That this material would cause one to work themselves up into a frenzy and then commit a sexual assault would be a giant leap indeed. : I believe that the person who presented this study had a religious agenda.' " It is well to remember the Michigan State Police, their non-existent study crops up time and time again. ========================================

http://www.bojiggly.com/articles/porn-benefits-refs.html

A list of references on pornography and its affects

http://solomonsrefuge.com/PornStudies.htm

Pornography and Feminism by Colleen McEneany. Arguments attacking : the Meese Commission as hoax. :two female members of the Meese Commission, Judith Becker and Ellen Levine, became its sharpest critics and strongly dissented from the commission's conclusion that "pornography" contributed to violence. ========================================

http://www.aclj.org/news/bibpers/020529_dangers_of_porn.asp

The Meese Commission

http://libertus.net/censor/studies2.html

Mass Media Effects on Violent Behavior: Messages from Pornography, Part II, Richard B. Felson, in Annual Review of Sociology, v. 22, 1996. A paper presenting an overview of behavioural science research into the effects of pornography on aggression. "Evidence does not support the hypothesis that exposure to nonviolent pornography leads to violence toward women. Most experimental studies show no difference in aggression toward women between subjects exposed to pornographic films and control groups (for reviews, see Donnerstein 1984, Linz & Malamuth 1993). ...There is evidence that rapists report less exposure to pornography than controls, not more (see Linz & Malamuth 1993 for a review)."

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49cent 9 years, 2 months ago

I agree Bowhunter.The guilt and repression, and ignorance/intolerance disquised as hate, I got from going to church has done more damage to me than watching porn.

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Redneckgal 9 years, 2 months ago

Maybe I am a little naive here but I don't think porn is a big enough industy in Kansas to supply the kind of revenue that the state needs. Or to even be a drop in the bucket for that matter. Education is important but pretty soon we are going to be funding it to the exculsion of every other program in the state. I work in social services and we already have mile long waiting lists of people needing services due to previous budget cuts. I really think our next best option may be to expand gambling. It seems to me to be the way to raise the kind of big money the state needs fast.

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

For the record, I never claimed that porn was the single cause of adult sexual abuse or violent crimes; I said that there is a connection there. I started off wishy washy about the tax and I think I may be against it now. The government may not be the proper place to discourage porn. But, I do feel that it should be discouraged by citizens and oragnizations.

I do feel that sex is a wonderful, enjoyable, beautiful activity and I feel quite comfortable with it. But, I also feel that it is sacred and should be kept within the bounds the Lord has set (I am not talking about legislating this - just giving my opinion). I feel that porn is damaging and degrading and I think research supports that. You can have a rich, satisfying sex life without it. I'll need time to digest neoplss cited studies.

I knew that some would say of feel that, "Well, porn doesn't negatively affect me." I think you've been using it for so long you've forgotten what it feels like to be free of its influence. I'd respond by saying that reminds me of smokers who claim that smoking doesn't make them short of breath. "I can breathe just fine," they say. It is not until they quit smoking that they realize the effect the smoking was having on them. They are like, "Wow, I never knew it was possible to feel this great." The same will happen to you if you give up porn. Try giving it up and see if you don't feel better about yourself. However, some of you will find it is more difficult to give up than you thought. Here is a study citing some of the things you could hope to reverse by giving up porn:

¢ Zillmann & Bryant (1988) They conducted a "performance contrasting" study of 160 adult males and females (students and non-students) who were exposed to experimental treatment conditions (either hard core pornography or nature films) in one-hour sessions for 6 consecutive weeks. The hard core pornography included a wide range of heterosexual activities including fellatio, cunnilingus, coition, and anal intercourse. None of the programs contained depictions of sexual violence, bondage and discipline, homosexuality, or bestiality. They found that pornography consumption affected both females and males uniformly on all measured aspects of happiness and satisfaction. ¢ Exposure to hard core pornography diminished satisfaction with the physical appearance of the respondents' sexual partner. ¢ It reduced satisfaction with his/her affection. ¢ It reduced satisfaction with his/her sexual behavior as such. It reduced satisfaction with his/her sexual inquisitiveness in particular. ¢ It reduced satisfaction with the respondents' present intimate relationship altogether. ¢ It reduced the importance of "faithfulness." ¢ It reduced the importance of "good family relations." ¢ It ENHANCED the importance of sex without emotional involvement.

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happyone 9 years, 2 months ago

should there be a sin tax----there is no way for them to be able to tax all porn. Most porn is viewed via the net and therefor more or less untaxable.

I think there should be more done to regulate porn. It does a lot a damage in some relationships. As enochville posted: reduced the importance of "faithfulness." most men don't feel that viewing porn without their spouse is being unfaithful. When most women in that situation would argue that it is "cheating"

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

The_Original_Bob: The issue of whether pornography is bad or beneficial is relevant to the question of the government's jusidiction to do anything about porn (single it out for higher taxes, legislate against it, etc.) If porn causes harm not only to the user, but to other non-participants in society then they may have some jurisdiction such as in drunk driving or smoking in airplanes. It was that type of harm I focused on in my first post. Others brought up porn's (non-)effects on the individual, so I responded.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

When I turned on my computer and read some of the articles in the Wash. Post, stories about research into how to protect the troops in Iraq from mortar fire and improvised explosive devices, stories about how England is in more danger from terrorist attacks because of their relationship to the US, I wondered why LJW never puts questions out that deal with important serious things in our lives. Then I turned to todays question and read some of the comments. I got my answer. Why would LJW pose a serious question when the comments would be just a silly bunch of nonsense. I thought, do these posters have any sensible bones in their bodies. Well, I read on and I must say, there are some very good comments today with a lot of reference material. Hard to know what to believe, though. A sin tax, ridiculous idea, I suppose. Not your problem, Canada,you may say!!! True. Mind my own business. :o) Oh hummm! But I still wonder why LJW never poses ??'s about international affairs, and things that really matter. roundabouts, gas grills, fireworks, sex toys, oh hummm. gee, I just thought, if they do impose a tax, does that mean the price of rabbits could go up? hee hee. Carm, what say?

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italianprincess 9 years, 2 months ago

TOB,

Isn't Mass St highway 59? My sister says it is, but I think shes wrong. I Believe Iowa is 59, but then I could be wrong here as well.

If it is highway 59 is a highway ( maybe not a major one ) then I hope the owner fights for his store. I think the neighbors are complaining more about kids maybe walking in the door.

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neopolss 9 years, 2 months ago

Zillmann & Bryant Counter-argument

Excerpts taken from the below site: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2372/is_n2_v34/ai_19551963

During the 1960s, pornography was decriminalized in Denmark, and its production and sales increased. This situation allowed researchers to compare reported rates of sex crimes before and after decriminalization. Both Kutchinsky (1973) and Ben-Veniste (1971) reported a significant decrease in reported sex crimes, including rape, during the years in which widespread dissemination of pornography increased in Copenhagen, Denmark. This finding leads to the belief that pornography may actually lead to a decrease in the number of sex crimes rather than to an increase in calloused behavior toward women (Ben-Veniste, 1971; Kutchinsky, 1973). On the other hand, Court (1984) argued that, although the number of sex crimes overall may have decreased in Denmark after the decriminalization of pornography, rape actually increased. Yet, Danish crime experts argued that this increase in rape reports was not a result of a greater tolerance of rape but a "greater willingness to report rape because of increased public awareness" (Donnerstein, Linz, & Penrod, 1987). Overall, the Denmark experience is inconclusive and may not be generalizable to the U.S. because of differences in cultural norms.

Linz, Donnerstein, and Penrod (1988) exposed male college students to nonerotic violent films and nonviolent erotic films and failed to support Zillmann and Bryant's (1982, 1984) findings that sexually explicit films negatively affect beliefs and attitudes about women. Instead, Linz et al. (1988) found that participants exposed to R-rated film violence against women showed a tendency to be less sympathetic to a rape victim when compared with control groups, including those exposed to nonviolent erotic films. In other words, Linz et al. (1988) found that violent nonsexual depictions were more likely to lead to calloused attitudes toward rape victims than sexual or pornographic depictions.

I do find it humorous that many who portray this and other activities as gambling as sin would support using its proceeds to fund education shortfalls in the state budget. Wouldn't that be equivalent to blood money?

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neopolss 9 years, 2 months ago

Tom_Foolery

Kansas collects sales taxes from online sales at the end of the year when you file. It was newly introduced on this year's tax form. The counter has been that bringing the tax online will effectively destroy the income generated by online stores. This is partly due to the shipping prices one pays. Add a tax to it and there no longer becomes a reason to shop online other than convenience.

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Fangorn 9 years, 2 months ago

TOB: LOL!

I say no. That's my default position on ANY tax. I have to be convinced that a tax will be used for a very good, constitutionally authorized function for federal or state taxes, or for a reasonable government function for local taxes. I also have to be convinced of the likelihood of the tax being used for its intended purpose. After all, promises made across the fruited plain that gambling revenue would equal education dollars were just smoke and mirrors.

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happyone 9 years, 2 months ago

According to McNally road atlas highway 59/40 stops at Mass as it comes over the bridge it then follows 6th street.

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italianprincess 9 years, 2 months ago

I discussed the issue of adult stores with my mom the last night on the way home from my oldest son's ballgame. She said that some people here are paranoid that these stores cause harm.

I'm like........hmmmmmmmm, okay. If these type of stores bother some people then don't go in them.

As far as taxing, it seems like another way of controlling ones life. Tax this, and tax that is what its coming to anyway. This won't be the only thing they will consider in the years to come.

Can somone name something legit we are not taxed for besides the air we breathe?

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Linda Aikins 9 years, 2 months ago

TOB - Do they sell pornography at the World's Big Handdug Well?

My daddy grew up in Mullinville and once helped make a record about the Well. I was just there this summer and bought a souvenir. And touched the meteorite.

Now I know we're related.

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Ceallach 9 years, 2 months ago

No, I do not believe the state should impose a sin tax on porn. Other "sin" taxes are on items that are legal, at least that is what I have always thought. I feel sure someone will quickly let me know if I am misinformed :-)

I do believe porn often lessens the sexual experience by making it all about appearance and performance, and less about expressing the bond of love between your partner and yourself. Very few men or women can compete (for very many years :) with the "stars" of porn films, or the illusions created by cameramen.

I am not surprised that some studies indicate that nonsexual violent films were more likely to lead to calloused attitudes toward rape victims than sexual or pornographic depictions. As women, for years we have been shouting -- Rape is not a sexual act!! Rape is an act of violence carried out in a sexual manner. It is quite convenient to those with this violent, calloused view of women and rape, that they can rape walk the streets, quite anonymously, with their weapons concealed. Whether or not porn helps them prepare their weapon does not make rape a sex act. An act they will probably find a way to commit whether or not porn is available to them.

(BTW, just for the record -- I am not advocating that said weapons be in public view at all times:)

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Ember 9 years, 2 months ago

A sin tax, you say? Well, I say rubbish.

Can we define what is and is not a sin? Is it a secular term, or a religious term? What I would define as a sin would most likely be vastly different from what most other people would view as a sin.

If it is religious, do we use Christianity as a basis, or Islam, or some other religion?

If we use Christianity, which sect do we go with, since Catholics view more things as a sin than most of hte other sects?

To outlaw, or even tax, a thing, you must define a thing. Is there a definition of sin that we, as a community, can agree upon?

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ike0000 9 years, 2 months ago

All heed the words of the Lizard King.

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Linda Aikins 9 years, 2 months ago

Bathe Boil Groin

("The Original Bob" anagram)

Now THAT's a mojo risin if I've ever seen one.

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Fangorn 9 years, 2 months ago

I think Ember is on to something here. It's the start of a fiscal/existential philosophy: To tax a thing, is to know a thing. Brilliant! Washington will now claim they are merely trying to understand pornography/alcohol/working income/whatever.

Maybe we should try to tax torture? Since they'll have to define it, perhaps we'll finally find out what is and what is not torture.

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tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 2 months ago

The day they have hearings in Washington to define what porn is that'll be the day I call in sick and watch c-span all day. It would be a hoot!

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tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 2 months ago

Let 'ol W and Karl Rove and some of those guys in on it. OMG!!

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hottruckinmama 9 years, 2 months ago

actually it could happen rememeber the clerence thomas anita hill thing? and clinton's impeachment trial? not exactly the same but close.

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neopolss 9 years, 2 months ago

As long as they don't start giving members (not a pun) of congress pearl necklaces as porn examples on C-span.

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acg 9 years, 2 months ago

I admit, I had to google it too (santorum) and just the fact that they gave it an actual name cracks me up! I don't understand why everyone in this country feels it necessary to get into everyone else's business. Porn tax? Absolutely ridiculous. It won't affect me because I don't buy a lot of porn but do I think they should tax it? Of course not. I was watching a channel 9 news report about Naughty but Nice the other day and some old guy was on there talking about how the store was offensive to him. How? The windows are tinted, you can't see inside. The sign has been changed, there are no nudie chicks on it. If you aren't into the stuff being sold in a sex shop, then don't freaking go in. (I had my suspicions that old dude was offended more by the thought of happy people getting it on then by the existence of the shop itself, but I digress). And if I hear one more person proclaim how taking it out of the neighborhood is going to "Help The Children" I swear I'll lose my freaking mind. Do we have a rampant problem with children being busted trying to go into the sex shop? I doubt it. Leave this guy alone, he's just trying to run a business. Leave all porn lovers alone. They should have the right to participate in whatever kind of kink makes them happy. As a matter of fact, let's just make a list for people who are confused:

If you aren't into porn: don't buy it or frequent porn shops. If the movie/song/book/tv show/commercial/printed ad or newspaper article offends you: turn it off/put it down/throw it away, you get the picture. If you think homosexuality is wrong: don't be gay. If you think liquor/cigarettes are bad: don't drink and smoke. If you think drugs are bad: don't do drugs. If you can drive a stick shift, smoke a cigarette and nurse a baby all at the same time: you might be a redneck.

Wait sorry I got sidetracked. :)

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GreenEyedBlues 9 years, 2 months ago

I think they should impose an Unsightly Footwear Tax on Croc shoes.

Extreme, you said "tax exempt dildos" and I'm still laughing.

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happyone 9 years, 2 months ago

acg-- that last line is hillarious

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Redneckgal 9 years, 2 months ago

Isn't it sad that legislators are even wasting mind energy on this almost non-issue? When they need to be figuring out how to fix the mess our states in? Thats a lot of the problem. They get so caught up in their own little agenda's that they can't do anything else. But I have to admit it....it'd be worth the drive to Topeka to hear the debate!!

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Kevin Surbaugh 9 years, 2 months ago

Yes, its high time. Wish i could say that I thought of it first. Over the years I have seen politicians who both smoke and drink vote for so called "sin tax" on alcohol and tobacco. Why not include the sell of porn and the related paraphernalia. I am supprised it hadn't already been thought of before and its time has come. Come 2006 I expect this to pass and porn shops as well the book stores that sell say playboy and hustler will have charge tax on each sell of these item, in the same way grocery stores do for beer and tobacco. Its a great way to raise revenue without raising property taxes or the overall sales tax. - Kevin Surbaugh, owner http://www.kevinsviw.com

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Redneckgal 9 years, 2 months ago

Hey now acg...hum...I think I can do all those things at once..but wait..I never breast fed..so that rules that out..but I can do the other 2 and talk on a cell phone!

Actually just joking. Most of the time I can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Did I also mention I'm blond?

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happyone 9 years, 2 months ago

acg -- are you a redneck if you can drive a stick, smoke a cigarette, drink your morning coffee, tune in the radio, and talk to the kids at the same time?

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

It seems like we have exhausted this topic. Anyone want to respond to this cbs news article: "Meth babies the new orphans".

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/07/18/earlyshow/living/main709677.shtml

What do you think should be done?

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Ceallach 9 years, 2 months ago

e_m: The "bond of love" between two people has not been artificially sanctified. One could easily argue that it is in fact the use of pornography as a precursor for intimacy, (pornography being artificial as opposed to natural stimulation), that is being sanctified by being elevated to the status of social and moral acceptability.

I realize that I am, in many ways, more than a little old-fashioned. However, if a partner "needs/wants" to stare at Jane Doe or Jane and John Doe in order to have a "quality experience" with you -- then that is a scenario most sad. Settling for that type of second hand (no pun intended) union will, I fear, keep the couple from ever discovering the "bond of love" that will hold them together for the coming years (when gravity has taken it's toll).

Many of us came of age before the internet -- when porn was not available through a variety of vendors. We learned intimacy and commitment the "old fashioned way" and I think that today people are being cheated by the "instant gratification" culture.

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

Thank you for your comments, Ceallach. I agree with you.

TOB: thanks for looking at the article. Meth use appears to be an epidemic and shows no sign of slowing down. "Orphaned children" are being rescued faster than they can be placed. What do you guys think motivates someone to start meth in the first place? Are they that naive to not know what it will do to them? If that were the case, education might prevent some people from starting. There are many ways to distract yourself from your pain and problems; why choose meth? Because it is easy to make and its cheap? How can we make it more difficult to get the materials to make it?

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Redneckgal 9 years, 2 months ago

Hey TOB I've heard you talk about the little east Lawrence kids a lot is that a bad area of town? It must be. But please lay off the little kids it not their fault their born into misery. I agree with you though on one thing make adoption laws easier. And yes I think its time to consider gay adoption.

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Ceallach 9 years, 2 months ago

enoch: Those are great questions. I was wondering what the average person can do? Surely there is something besides throwing more tax money into SRS. Those poor people are getting burned out at a phenomenal rate, and who can blame them. I have friends who have been nearly emotionally destroyed by their jobs with SRS. Something images and tragedies cannot be turned off when you shut off the computer and close the office door.

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happyone 9 years, 2 months ago

some people begin using meth because of the initial heightened physical and mental performance the drug produces. Blue collar and service workers may use the drug to work extra shifts, while young women often begin using meth to lose weight. Others use meth recreationally to stay energized at "rave" parties or other social activities. In addition, meth is less expensive and more accessible than cocaine and users often have the misconception that methamphetamine is not really a drug.

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

Thank you happyone, Ceallach, and TOB. I get from what you are telling me that the difference between people is judgment. I have known many people who would use marijuana, but avoid crack and herione like the plague. I wish everyone had the good sense to not use meth because of the well established consequences. And, it sounds like we can't teach good judgment through education.

Where else do we see poor judgment to see how we deal with it there? Young children don't have the sense to stay out of the street, keep out of the electrical outlets, or stay off the hot stove. There we try to prevent them from being able to make poor choices through physical obstacles and close observation. I guess a part of the solution to the meth problem is try to put in place obstacles to obtaining the products to make meth and observing closely those parents who have had their children returned to them after staying off meth for a while. Granted no obstacle will be insurmountable. But, the frequency of violations do go down with the increasing difficulty of the task. We don't have to make it impossible, we just have to make it more difficult than some other alternative high that is a little safer.

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

That is the same idea behind limiting the impact of terrorists. We'll never be able to make it impossible for them to attack us. We just try to make the big targets a little more difficult than some other smaller target. We have beefed up security at the airports, so instead of getting attacks that kill 3,000 people like 9/11, we get attacks that kill 50+ people in subways.

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willa 9 years, 2 months ago

I can see that we've moved on, but I have to wonder why this pornography tax idea came about in the first place. Certainly, the government can use some financial help, as it seems they never can fund anything. But...pornography? As many have posted, that's hardly going to be that lucrative. I have the sense that it's merely because it's a "sin," in which case, the definition is absurd and dangerous. Why not tax condoms more highly; after all, the people buying them must wish to engage in non-procreative sex? Maybe higher birth control taxes... The illogical rhetoric of our legislators sometimes astounds me. The whole pornography tax sounds like a personal crusade and a red herring designed to distract our attention from the fact that our state government seems ill-equipped to govern. Blech.

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captain_poindexter 9 years, 2 months ago

Trivia Time!!!!!!

A Supreme Court Justice said the following about obcenity, "I know it when I see it."

Name that Justice.

no to the tax, I am taxed too much already, don't tax my porn.

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Ceallach 9 years, 2 months ago

e_m: We are in complete agreement, I think we just worded our feelings a bit differently. (It may be a Venus - Mars thing :) I have never thought of that bond as being a duty. I agree that would seriously detract from what love is all about. The "bond" of friendship also goes far beyond any type of duty. Thanks for the gentle answer. (Sometimes I think more than a little of my brain is still mired in the 60's. Pops its head up when I least expect it.) Is that a bad thing?

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Ceallach 9 years, 2 months ago

Bill Murray would be a great replacement for O'Connor. Anyone who has seen him in "What About Bob" will know that he is more than qualified for the Supreme Court. (One of my favorite movies.) What the world needs is politicians who appreciate the value of taking life in "Baby Steps."

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happyone 9 years, 2 months ago

it was Stewart check out the link I posted earlier

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Ceallach 9 years, 2 months ago

Sorry -- thought we had changed our topic to the Supreme Court.

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captain_poindexter 9 years, 2 months ago

interesting. happyone, did you go to umkc law school like yours truly?

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Richard Heckler 9 years, 2 months ago

A sin Tax? What in the world is a sin tax? What if you don't consider drinking,smoking,sex and porn a sin? Would we still have to pay?

You bet I would support a public education support fee on soda pop,chips,bottled water and cheese burgers say 5 cents a hit. We are going to need creative financing cuz some of those republicans are already scheduling distractive subject matter for the fall session. Yep too many of our trusty legislators are going to educate us on the matter of sin beginning in January.

Results from 3 different tests revealed that filtered bottled water was no different than tap water(a sin) with the exception of lower chlorine content.

If anybody wants significant change in their drinking water reverse osmosis or distilled is the way to go. Smart Water is distilled with added electrolytes. We chose to go with a home distiller and increased the intake of fruit and veggies(a sin)... yum.

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happyone 9 years, 2 months ago

no didn't go to college at all had to work to survive

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neopolss 9 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps part of the meth epidemic came about from the crackdown on weed. Instead of risking possession, it seemed easier to find a new drug that was still legal and go crazy. With the crackdown on meth, the streets will again begin to turn towards newer substances, as every generation before us has, the list of "illegal" drugs continues to grow but the amount of those using them never changes. The war cannot be won until we realize that deciding between "good" and "bad" drugs is a contradictory sentence. Government does not need to be in the business of drug endorsement, and only through legalization can we begin to gain control over it. It is not our place or right to control what any person does to their body, harm or not. What we can do though, is present legalization through regulation, and the epidemic goes away.

Studies have shown that in countries where weed (among others) is legal, the usage rate among the population neither increased nor decreased. The advantage though is that the people gained control of when and where these substances could be used. Many may disagree with what I say. But the other alternative is to continue throwing money at a "war on drugs" that is a proven failure. Perhaps we need to realize that liberation, education, and open knowledge is key.

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beatrice 9 years, 2 months ago

I think morning after pills should be an ingredient of meth.

Santorum couldn't have been named after a nicer fella.

Life is too short, and I think it a sin to drink cheap beer. Place a sin tax on any beer with the word "light" in the name.

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happyone 9 years, 2 months ago

To add to your point people also need to realize that the majority of teens that are starting to use drugs are doing so because Mom, Dad, Teacher and every other adult around them told them NOT TO! Its rebelous behavior, always has been always will be.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

I believe the porn issue and the meth/drug issue are one and the same. we human beings just can't seem to be satisfied with our lives. We are always searching for something more exciting, more stimulating. Is that not what porn is all about? Why does the beautiful act of physical love between a couple have to be stimulated beyond the normal? Why can't we just be satisfied with the warm loving feeling that exists between a man and wife. Well, of course, there really is a great deal of difference between love and sex, is there not? Two young high school kids in the back of the car, is that love? Well maybe sometimes. A john and a prostitute, is that love? Hardly. The rather poor young couple who want to feel better about their life, come into possession of some meth and boy oh boy, life is suddenly so much better. Oh yeh!! We just want more of everything thinking that will make us happy. The bored well off housewife goes out shopping for a new outfit or a new sofa set, thinking, "That will make my day." Then next month it's something else to buy. We are the more generation. More is better. More and More and more. More sex, more elation, more stuff. We are never satisfied. I tend to blame advertising. You just need to have this thing or that. You can't live well without it. What is the solution? I don't know. I think our value system is out of whack. It is not just a porn or drug problem. They are just the symptom, not the cause. We need to get back to a value system that is lasting and meaningful. good discussion today. Three cheers for you all and also for the levity thrown in here and there.

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

There are several drugs that are legal and supposed to be available by prescription only, but are abused and sold on the street to addicts. Legalizing won't help the problem either, not in this country anyway.

Meth use results in the neglect of children. Neopolss said, "It is not our place or right to control what any person does to their body, harm or not". It is our place when it results in the harm of others.

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happyone 9 years, 2 months ago

well put ms_c

If we could go back to a simpler way of life where the man worked and mom stayed at home to raise the kids with morals and ethics things would be better. Unfortunately in today's society those that would choose that option cannot because 1 income is not enough to pay the bills.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

It was definitely Justice Potter Stewart way back in 1964 who was trying to define pornograhpy.

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

ms_canada: The way your post it written, it sounds like you are saying everyone in our society is like that. I could not disagree with you more if that is what you are saying. I know a lot of very healthy people who I believe are doing it right and aren't struggling with these neuroticisms. Not to say their lives are perfect or that they don't have weaknesses.

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raven 9 years, 2 months ago

Ms_C: I agree that there does seem to be the more, more, more attitude. Most of my friends have been getting married lately and buying there first homes. They have been getting themselves in over their heads with more expensive houses then they can afford, lavish (sp?) weddings and expecting to make much more than (usually) there particular degrees usually start out. They (most) have new cars, big screen TV's, etc. and tons and tons of credit card debt. But, certainly not everyone is like this I have a 13" TV (seriously), an ok car nothing special and am still renting. But, I can certainly afford my lifestyle!!!

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Redneckgal 9 years, 2 months ago

Well said ms. c and happy one. I tryed to stay home with my older ones when they were little and it just didn't work. My almost ex just WOULD not be satisfied with what we had. He had to have more and better of everything. I got a part timejob that allowed me to be with my kids a lot and that didn't pay enough to satisfy him. Got a better job and then he went and over extended on credit. Its really bad when people get in that because its awful hard to get out of.

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happyone 9 years, 2 months ago

Redneckgal I speak from experience I stay home with my kids but will have to get a parttime job in the fall, not because we want more but because with gas prices and everything else going sky high we can no longer stretch the budget. Its a depressing thought really. I had children because I wanted to raise good people with intelligence. Now thanks to our economy (thanks bush!!)I can no longer do that full time.

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

ms-c: Sorry. I do agree that materialism and sensation seeking is rampant. My point was that there are many people that aren't really struggling with these things although they struggle with other things. We can choose to not be part of all that.

raven: It is so good to see you posting again. Your input has been missed.

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Carmenilla 9 years, 2 months ago

Wow! Great topic and comments today. I'm really inspired by some of the dialogues going on here. Too many topics have been addressed for me to even wrap my head around it all. Monday must be "Tangent Day" (I guess thats every day on here). Neoplss and enochville had some great responses to eachother. Very lively debates! Good to see and sad I missed it.

And ms_canada, you said "rabbits", hehe hehe ;-p

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Carmenilla 9 years, 2 months ago

Also, forgot to add that there is a short blog on Lawrence.com about the "sin" tax and what it means. Its a good quick read.

Hope everyone had a good weekend.

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beatrice 9 years, 2 months ago

ms_canada, I agree that life without always needing more, more, more is ideal. However, porn and drug use are not one and the same. (Drugs kill, porn thrills.) You ask, "Why does the beautiful act of physical love between a couple have to be stimulated beyond the normal?" The simple answer is, why not? As long as the stimulant doesn't become the norm. Are you telling me that you have never been stimulated to make "physical love" after reading a spicy novel or seeing a romantic movie? Same thing, really. Why put sugar in coffee? Because you can. Same concept applies to lovemaking and the occassional stimulant, Lee.

What I hate is going to the bookstore and seeing "Sex for Dummies." Just what we need -- more dummies having sex.

happyone: people raised in homes where the mother works outside the home (or even where the father stays home, or there is a single parent who must work, or gay parents, or ...) can still be raised with morals and ethics. The society you describe is one of only recent invention, and yet morals and ethics of some kind have always been around.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

oh no no no enochville, I did not mean that at all, but you must admit that more and more people are becoming dissatisfied with their lives and feel the need to "spice" things up somehow. I, too, know many people, good people who are most satisfied with life. My church was full of them yesterday and you know, when we were all standing there with our great band of young musicians leading us in joyous song, my heart was so filled with the joy of life that tears were coursing down my cheeks. A whole large room of joyous people and ours was only one church in this large city. I think that you probably had a similar experience yesterday, did you not enochville?

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

ms_canada: absolutely. Thanks, I do enjoy your posts.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

beatrice - so you have another nom de plume.hmmm and you got me there on the stimulation. Sure I have been stimulated by a movie, don't read too many racy novels, although sometimes I encounter them in a novel unexpectedly. Ever read the Clan of The Cave Bear, one of the raciest love making episodes that I have ever encountered and did not expect in a book like that. No, dear lady, nothing wrong with a little stimulation, but keep it in the right place, the marriage bed. I guess I would be labelled "puritanical" and make no apologies.

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happyone 9 years, 2 months ago

T_F wouldn't the moped issue be more of abuse (for the moped of course)?

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

e_m you have obviously never read it. It is sure not a Canadian thing. The author is Jean Auel. Look it up.

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beatrice 9 years, 2 months ago

Was referring to you with the name, ms. c. Did I get it wrong?

It is fine that you describe yourself as "puritanical," and I don't ask you to apologize. Unfortunatelly, there are too many "south of the border" who would describe themselves in like terms, yet they want to apply their views on the rest of us through government policies. I don't want others dictating what someone else should or shouldn't do in or out of their bed, be it a "marriage bed" or not. And down here, a marriage bed is only available to us heteros, not to all.

Maybe I'll check out the Clan book (wink, wink, nod, nod).

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captain_poindexter 9 years, 2 months ago

ms_canada, I appreciate your knowledge of our Supreme Court! He was talking about obcenity not pornography. But close enough.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

beatrice - got it. But how? Yes and you are right about the marriage bed being only for heteros. Our goofy parliamentarians recently passed a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. but churches are allowed to refuse them. Big deal. No, I do not agree with imposing my views on others legally. OMB, you must stop with the funny stuff, I almost peed myself over the pic-a nic basket. Carmenilla - and I wasn't even banned. hehe!

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

Here is something interesting Syntax - the study of rules or the pattern of relations........ hummmmmm!

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

Should the state impose a study of rules or a pattern of relations on pornography?

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sunflower_sue 9 years, 2 months ago

I was assigned to watch the movie "Clan of the Cave Bear" as a freshman in college. I rented it, took it home and sat down to watch it...with my MOTHER!!!! Oh man, was I embarrassed! (Daryl Hannah was in the movie.)

I'll admit, I love to come across a racy scene in a novel...but it usually invloves a relationship between the participants and more dialogue than panting. The relationship is the thrilling part. Sex is just the icing on the cake.

I've taken more than my fair share of "life drawing" classes and, believe me, someone with clothes on is far more interesting than without. A little mystery goes a long way. I'm worried about what these young men growing up on porn will want/expect of my daughters. And just look at the role models that young women have. (Britney, Christina, etc...) Our society is teaching our children that porn is the norm. Creeps me out. I have a friend whose 8 year old dresses like "kiddie candy" and I find it very disturbing!

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

OMB - right, the movie was the worst ever and it has been a long time since I read those books that I forgot. Was it really the second book? Oh well, what ever. Yes, I do believe you are right.

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beatrice 9 years, 2 months ago

ms_c, you told me once, dear, in talking about an old friend named Beatrice, that is how.

The law up their sounds great, actually, and not at all goofy. Allow people to marry and enjoy the benefits of marriage, without needing the approval of a church. It is just what is needed down here, but of course it won't happen because it makes perfect sense.

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Richard Heckler 9 years, 2 months ago

It appears as though the rather conservative side of maybe not republicans are trying to avoid funding public education which we that these not republicans could spend the entire session discussing.

Besides that how do these yo yo's know what's on the shelf in Priscilla's anyway? If it looks like fun it's no wonder they are so upset. By the time legislators end their colorful descriptions and whining every child that knows anything about sex will want to indulge. No doubt it will attract a few adults.

Priscilla's profit margin will double or triple by the end of the session I predict.

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Fangorn 9 years, 2 months ago

As an interesting (to me, at least) aside, Potter "I'll-know-it-when-I-see-it" Stewart was replaced on the Supreme Court by Sandra Day O'Connor, who has now herself resigned. How time does roll on. . . . .

ms_canada: I've read the entire series of Jean Auel's books. I found that was the series wore on, it was less archaeology and more sex. They were still good books, though. She did a lot of research. I'm told she's writing one final book to wrap the series up.

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captain_poindexter 9 years, 2 months ago

oh gosh, those pesky Republicans are at it again. sounds like scooby doo.

If it weren't for you blasted democrats we would have the white house, senate, house....oh wait.

all is well.

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tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 2 months ago

Okay this is horrible. I'm watching channel 4. They have a story on about the little toddlers who drowned up in Lansing today. But the worst part they actually took and played footage of the poor mother right after she received the news. OMB. I just cannot believe they would show something like that. Is it just me? What in the hell is wrong with them?

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beatrice 9 years, 2 months ago

tell_it: It is not just you. Broadcast "journalism" is repugnant, and should be avoided at all costs.

captain_p: Ouch! But if you have seen the original set of Star Wars movies, you must know that the Dark Side won't be in control forever.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

fangorn - oh goody, I am glad to hear there is another book coming out in the series of Earth's Children by Jean Auel. I, too, have read the whole series. I loved them. I like that kind of book that tells how primitive people developed ways of making their life comfortable. I loved the way Aila talked to her horses, Whinny and the Lion cub that she had as a pet and helper. Anyone not having read this books, give them a try. If you don't like the sexy parts, skip over them, the rest is very interesting.

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Ceallach 9 years, 2 months ago

"Newscasters" that stand in a parent's face asking insensitive, ignorant questions should be run off the air. Until then we will have to listen to questions like "How did you feel when you heard they had found your child's body?" -- Is there every a time when a parent should be asked to answer that in front of a camera? No wonder so many of us have stopped watching them. (They should be banned :) No really, they should.

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Ceallach 9 years, 2 months ago

Oh, ms_canada, were there sexy parts in the Earth Children series? I didn't notice ;)

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captain_poindexter 9 years, 2 months ago

haha, beatrice.
I always thought the empire had cooler ships, troops, etc.

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tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 2 months ago

Now thats one ban I would go for! One thing I know for sure my family won't be watching that channel anymore. That was just bad.

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Redneckgal 9 years, 2 months ago

I seen the news report on the same channel. It was disturbing to say the least.

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Ceallach 9 years, 2 months ago

My goodness. Just read the new headline. Marian is fighting mad about the allegations against Lynette and herself. Somethin's about to hit the fan! Maybe we will talk about that tomorrow.

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sunflower_sue 9 years, 2 months ago

I, for one, will be writing an e-mail to the news station to tell them how disgusted I am with them. I already "banned" KCTV 5 news last year...now I'm off of 4. They need to hear that we are unhappy or they will keep up the tabloid TV.

I invite you all to join me.

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sunflower_sue 9 years, 2 months ago

Done!

Anyone want to join me, here's the link: http://www.wdaftv4.com/

go to comments/suggestions

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Ceallach 9 years, 2 months ago

I will readily participate in a ban such as this. They may not pay any attention to us, but at least we will have our say. Shall we start it with

Hey, YDP, about your news casts--?

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Ceallach 9 years, 2 months ago

sun_sue: thanks for the link, I have sent my feedback as well.

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Ceallach 9 years, 2 months ago

On a lighter note, regarding some earlier posts about the Earth Children series by Jane Auel. I am fairly sure the Clan of the Cave Bear was the first in that series. I too enjoyed the books (much more than the movie), particularly the archeological research Ms. Auel did prior to the writing of them. That story alone was interesting.

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Richard Heckler 9 years, 2 months ago

About the TV news team asking very insensitive questions think first in how many different situations do they impose themselves. Should they have been in her face at all...hell no. I too will convey a few thoughts as this tactic has become way too commonplace like when a son or daughter has been returned from Iraq in a pine box... " By the way how do you feel" Reply: Would you please mind your own Fxxxing business...thank you"

Their time could have been better spent asking both sides of the aisle and the President when socialized medicine,such as they have,is going to become available to all of the taxpayers.

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Redneckgal 9 years, 2 months ago

Thank's sunflower. Hope they get the message.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

OMB I think the second one was the Valley of the Horse. Maybe fangorn knows for sure.

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Fangorn 9 years, 2 months ago

sunflower_sue: Thanks for the link. I have sent an email appropriate to the occasion.

tell_it: Thanks for letting us know about this. That's ust horrible! How can civilized people treat others like that?

OMB & ms_canada: The Clan of the Cave Bear, The Valley of Horses, The Mammoth Hunters, The Plains of Passage, The Shelters of Stone (in that order).

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

thank you fangorn, it has been a few years since I read them and was not sure.

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