Archive for December, 2011

Politics: The Birds and The Bees 101

 

Politics: The Birds and The Bees 101

By: Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright, 2011

 

I must make this disclaimer: I really don’t feel I can judge anyone for their dalliance in what, I believe has, colloquially, been called “Mattress Thrashing.” How I feel about the “act” and the sexual orientation of the participants doesn’t matter — particularly if the dalliance is a consensual act between adults. 

Not everyone feels that way. I understand that too. Regardless, the birds, bees and mankind in general “do it” without regard to whatever the consequences may be. That’s their personal choice.

But if they make that decision then they need to be ready to take the consequences of their actions without complaining that someone (Usually, the “media”) is trying to smear them.

 Throughout history, kings, commoners, princes, politicians, paupers, preachers, teachers and a Titanic-load of other folks  have been caught messing around with someone they shouldn’t have been messing around with.

It’s a fact. It’s happened time after time and will continue to happen until the final curtain falls.

Nonetheless, it seems like nothing getsAmerica’s attention faster — and their pulses racing — then the bedroom antics of political figures. Look what happened to Herman Cain. I wrote a piece comparing Cain and Hart — both of whom threw their pants into the ring rather then their hats. Well, to be fair, Cain’s accusers still haven’t proven their claims but the innuendo was enough to bring him down. 

Throughout history, sexual proclivities have scuttled many promising political careers.

Judges, senators, presidents, governors, congressman, mayors, political staffers, assemblymen and representatives have all been caught up in some sort of sleazy tabloid sheet escapade that put the squelch on their careers. Lately, even the main-stream press is joining in the ink-throwing and career bashing by reporting the higher profile entanglements.

Surprisingly, some of those who became entwined in a sexual liaison/scandal survived and went on with their careers. While others, bit the dust and lost their office, credibility and more. Both types (Winners and losers?) have left an historical legacy of lechery for their contemporary  counterparts.

Anyway, I got curious and thought I’d see what I could find out about the depth of the pandering problem among politicians. Not that they would be any worse then the population in general but would be far more likely to attract attention. I found thatAmerica’s pols truly were following a long tradition of between-the-sheets shenanigans that goes back to Thomas Jefferson!

Actually, the issue probably goes much further back then Jefferson but, in the interests of space considerations, I had to have a beginning, a middle and an end to this passionately pursued, lasciviousness by America’s leaders — or it might have turned into a book rather than a blog! 

The most recent honorable (?) mention would go to Herman Cain and Anthony Wiener but for some of the more memorable, we have to go back to William Jefferson Clinton and Monica Lewinsky and the infamous Cuban cigar trick. Before the time BillClintonestablished relations with Monica, and while still governor ofAlabama, he had apparently honed his expertise with Jennifer Flowers and Paula Jones…

I’m sure that many of us remember Gary Hart and the good ship Monkey Business whereGary monkeyed around with Donna Rice.Gary was caught out shortly after challenging the major papers of the day to “follow” him around if they thought he was involved in any hanky-panky. They did and he was caught with Donna cozying up to each other…

Wilbur Mills was Chairman of theHouse Waysand Means Committee. Even with all of his Senatorial clout he couldn’t cover up his drunken drive around theTidalBasinwith Fanne Fox, a well known stripper. Fanne was billed as “The Argentine Firecracker.” Later Mills held a press conference from Fanne’s dressing room in The Pilgrim Theater (Boston). Soon after this second “incident” Mills stepped down from his Chairmanship.

Thomas Jefferson, our third president and author of the Declaration of Independence fathered a child. The mother was Sally Hemmings, a 17 year-old slave belonging toJefferson. Now, we could probably excuse Tom from the scandal part since slave owners were permitted wide latitude with regard to how they “treated” their property…

Brock Adams, a Democratic senator from Washington, decided not to seek re-election after eight women alleged misconduct that included harassment, sexual assault and rape!

Jim West, former Mayor of Spokane, WA (Must be something in the water, up there) and

Washington State Senate Majority Leader (With a strong anti-gay bias) sought to meet men on the Internet and allegedly molested two young boys while serving as a scoutmaster.

Walter Jenkins, a long-time aide to Lyndon Johnson, was forced to resign after he was caught having sex with another man in a YMCA bathroom.

Grover Clevelandfathered an illegitimate child before running for President. His detractors mounted a campaign issue that didn’t stick. The “smear” was based on the jingle: “Ma, Ma, where’s my pa?” Grover supporters came back with their own ditty: “Gone to the White House Ha, ha, ha.” 

That’s just a sampling of what’s been going on behind the scenes in the White House, governor’s mansions, congress, the senate and political offices around the country — throughout history. 

Today, these folks seem to get caught more and more frequently as smart phones, digital cameras and iPads record their shenanigans. The foregoing is just a small sampling of sexual scandals among politicians and it is not meant to be judgmental.

Personally, I don’t care what they do — with the exception of child abuse and forced sex — or who they do it with (Provided it’s an act between consenting adults and does not include children or forcing, by threat or action, someone to play their twisted games) as long as they do the job that they were elected to do.

The reality is that all too often the sheets that they shake, and the persons they share those sheets with; become more important to them than almost anything else. That will tend to negatively influence their ability to do their job properly.

Like I said, this is only a sampling. If you would like to see the “Top 53 American Political Sex Scandals” click on this link:

http://www.politickernj.com/files/Top53SexScandals.pdf  

Some of these escapades will make you giggle in your grits and others might make you shake your head in wonder. They all indicate that the “mighty” are only human, too.

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Is It Over For Herman?

 

Is It Over For Herman?

By Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright, 2011

 

Is Herman Cain gonna drop out of the race for president?

Like numerous others, I don’t know; but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.

If he’s “guilty” of the accusations leveled against him AND if he did have a 13-year affair with Ms. White — I’m of the opinion he should just get out while that getting’ is good. That is, before the GOP forces him out or he becomes the laughingstock of the primaries and the target of every other candidate who will try to explain that they are more “moral” and family oriented then Herman Cain.

I’ve read a lot about the “reassessment” that he feels compelled to make regarding his candidacy. Yeah, he does need to redefine his “mission” and prove he is trustworthy. Much of what he has been saying indicates that he needs to talk the situation over with his wife, family and campaign staff.

At another point he says he has spoken with his wife and she “forgives” him. Of what? I mean if he didn’t’ do it … what’s to forgive? If he did do it, then forgiveness is in order.

But then, how do we, the electorate, feel about his integrity? If he didn’t do it he’s gonna have a helluva battle in front of him to regain our confidence. If he did do it; then he’s apparently just as big a prevaricator as any politician anywhere — of any persuasion or affiliation.

Personally, I think he’s gonna announce his withdrawal from the race. But we won’t know until we hear him say it. What intrigues me is what he’s saying to his wife. Because I’ve got sort of a warped way of thinking, I thought it would be fun to speculate on what he might have to say to his wife about his peccadilloes, or lack thereof.

GUILTY: “Gloria, I know this looks bad but I swear I never did nothing with any of those women and it’s all a smear campaign designed to besmirch my sterling reputation as a family man, business man and candidate!” (This being said while the florist is unloading a whole truck — full of roses).

NOT GUILTY: “Gloria, I know this looks bad, but I swear I never did nothing with any of those women and it’s all a smear campaign designed to besmirch my sterling reputation as a family man, business man and candidate”” (This being said while the florist is unloading a whole truck — full of roses).

GUILTY: “Gloria, you know that I have never, ever, looked at another woman in all the years we’ve been married. You are the only woman in my life and we have to fight this thing together in order to win this election so you can be the First Lady of theUnited States!” (This being said while an armored delivery service brings in a matched set of diamond earrings, necklace and bracelet from Tiffany’s”).

NOT GUILTY: “Gloria, you know that I have never, ever, looked at another woman in all the years we’ve been married. You are the only woman in my life and we have to fight this thing together in order to win this election so you can be the First Lady of theUnited States!” (This being said while an armored delivery service brings in a matched set of diamond earrings, necklace and bracelet from Tiffany’s”).

GUILTY: “Gloria, I know you’re upset, but I can explain! The important thing right now is not my candidacy but our marriage and presenting a united front to all those vultures in the media who would do anything to destroy us and your chances to be First Lady!”

NOT GUILTY:  “Gloria, I know you’re upset, but I can explain! The important thing right now is not my candidacy but our marriage and presenting a united front to all those vultures in the media who would do anything to destroy us and your chances to be First Lady!”

 Yep! I think Mr. Cain’s got himself into one sorry mess (Whether he’s guilty or not) and he’s gonna have to do some fancy dancin’ to come out of this with a whole skin. 

On the other hand, if he does drop out, and he does close down his campaign, what happens to any of those millions of donated dollars that might be left over in his “War” chest? It could be that there’s enough there to permit him to have earned a fairly good “wage” while campaigning.

In spite of what he might like to do with that money (Like pay for all those roses, jewelry, trips to fights in Las Vegas and expensive dinners.), he’s prohibited by the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 to use that money for personal reasons. Maybe he could figure out a way to give it to Ms. White, or use it to pay off his other accusers.

The ERA mandates some pretty stiff penalties regarding the disposal of that money. So, if he spent any of that money contrary to the guidelines of the Ethics Reform Act, he could be clobbered by the FEC and the IRS…unless of course he would stoop to some sort of creative bookkeeping.

GUILTY: “Mr. Revenuer, do you have any idea who you’re dealing with?”

Personally, I liked a lot of what the guy had to say. I’m not saying I would have voted for him, but he seemed to have his head on pretty straight. I think that all these accusations that have surfaced  tend  to indicate that his libido was as out of whack as his “9-9-9” idea. 

Maybe Cain should watch this video. It wasn’t written for folks like him but might be apropos …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMwhl4IrPNc

 

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“The Ultimate Recyclable”

 

The Ultimate Recyclable

By Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright, 2011

 

There’s no question in my mind that today “things” are different then when I was a kid. I’m not saying they are better, or worse, just different.

A couple of times a week, I do a coffee klatch with a bunch of other “old” guys who remember twenty-five-cent-a-gallon gasoline and nickel candy bars. One thing I’ve noticed is that all of them seem to think that if we could just get the country back to what it was like right after WWII, everything would be just dandy — again.

As much as I hate to burst their bubble — it ain’t gonna happen. But on the flip side that’s not all bad either.


The Sears Catalog


In the late 40s and early 50s I can remember unpaved streets and outhouses within the city limits of Baltimore. I remember my grandfather’s house inGlen Burnie, Maryland having an outhouse. Indoor facilities consisted of a “chamber pot” that was slid under the bed for use during the night! We also had a hand-pump under the grape arbor where we “drew” our water for cooking, drinking and bathing — year around.

I surely don’t want to go back to living like that. On the plus side, there were not as many automobiles on the roads and streets back then, so the streets were our playground. If we had a game of stick ball going, widely spaced cars, light poles and “ash” cans were home plate and bases. You made do with what you had to do with.

One thing we did have that we don’t have today was the ultimate recyclable: The Sears Roebuck catalog! Man, that book got used, reused and used up!

Way back before my time, the Sears Catalog sold cars, tractors and even “Modern House Kits”. You could buy garden equipment, groceries, yard goods, shoes, lamps, auto parts, tires, and thousands of other items that just made you look through the catalog for hours and hours and hours wishin’ you had a pocket full of money or, fewer dreams.

By the time I could peruse the Sears catalog, cars, tractors and housing kits were bygones. But it was still a book chock full of things that could be had a little cheaper the in a regular store and your  “Satisfaction” was “Guaranteed”. Not only was the catalog a great way to shop — especially if you lived in a rural area where there were no such thing as malls or even “Department” stores — it was also great entertainment.

We could spend hours looking at bicycles, wagons, Red Ryder BB guns and other things that we kids thought we could not live without but might never own.

I think some of us kids sharpened our reading and math skills with the Sears Catalog. We could look at the price of an item, calculate the shipping and figure out how much we’d have to save over how long a period of time it we wanted to buy new galoshes, a Red Ryder BB gun, a Roy Rodgers hat or a new Schwinn.

I know the Sears Catalog helped me become a better reader — I was always finding new words that I didn’t know, like: ”guaranteed” and “duvet”. I remember my grandmother taking the catalog away from me when I asked her how to pronounce “l-i-n-g-e-r-i-e”. She swatted me upside the head and told me I wasn’t to look in that section of the catalog anymore!

I imagine her admonition probably kept me out of that section of the catalog for a good ten minutes. And, even then, I never looked “in that section” after that unless I was sure there were no adults around or I was by myself in the outhouse. I know that in today’s advertising world seeing a lady in a bra is no big deal. Back then, before I was ten, those glossy photographs of ladies in their “unmentionables” was, well … unmentionable.

The Risqué Factor for pictures like that was high enough that some pre-adolescents had been known to tear those pictures out of the catalogs and show them to their friends in out-of-the-way corners of the school playground and cloak rooms. We didn’t have locker rooms back then because we didn’t have gyms. Regardless, speculation regarding what that lingerie covered was a hot topic back then.

Anyway, back to the more practical side of the “Ultimate Recyclable” aspects of the Sears Roebuck Catalog.

In my grandfather’s house, we lived in what today would be described as a “finished basement”. Back then it was a “cellar”. The floors had linoleum on them and we had an eat-in kitchen and a “parlor” where the radio was — TV was still several years away. My grandfather had a big “Easy” chair that set next to a pot-bellied stove and in the winter months, that’s where Pop stayed most of the time when he wasn’t working.

Every morning, Pop would come downstairs (The bedrooms were on the first floor) and build a fire in the pot-bellied stove. He’d tear a couple of pages out of the “old” catalog, crumple them up, lay a few pieces of kindling on them and light the pile with a kitchen match. When he was satisfied that he had a good start to his fire, he would put a small amount of coal on top of the kindling.

In the spring, when Pop planted his garden, he would use pages out of a catalog, along with newspapers to cover his seedlings and keep them warm and moist.  He also used catalog sheets and newspaper as insulation in his tool shed.

I knew some folks that used the pages as shelf liners in their kitchen cabinets and pantries.

  But the way I most vividly remember the Sears    Catalog was in the outhouse. I don’t think I knew what real toilet paper was until I started the first grade!

Up until then, we had, and used, the Sears Catalogs in the outhouse! Being paper, they were biodegradable and just kinda disappeared into the stuff at the bottom of the pit.

The glossy sheets (The ones found in the lingerie section) were really not suitable for anything but looking at (At least in my pre-teen mind) or lining shelves and covering seed beds. Judging from my memories of my peers comments, that section did get a lot of attention when they used the “facilities”.

However the newsprint pages that composed the rest of the catalog were ideal for completing the job we went to the outhouse to accomplish. If you ripped out a page and crinkled it up, it made a fairly good substitute for the toilet paper that we did not have. It was a little rough, but usable.

The glossy pages, on the other hand, just didn’t have the wipe-ability of the coarser pages. Besides, those were the pages that Pop was most likely to use in his seed beds — those pages apparently had better “dimensional stability” when they got wet. Pop didn’t use the term dimensional stability but he knew what he was doing.

Now you know why I considered the Sears Roebuck Catalog as being essential to America’s shoppers, gardeners, fire-starters, fledgling readers and mathematicians, nascent voyeurs and as an indispensible aid in helpingAmerica finish the job by being the paper that got the job done.

I truly consider the Sears Catalog (The last “BIG” book was printed in 1993) to have been the ultimate recyclable. From sales to sanitation that book did it all. I don’t miss it but I sure do remember it!

If you’re interested, this link:

(http://www.searsarchives.com/catalogs/history.htm)

will give you a pretty thorough history of the Sears Catalog and the changes it made in the buying habits of Americans. A lot of famous Americans were featured in its pages but for some reason, there’s no mention of the recyclability of that venerable old catalog as we used it.