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Archive for August, 2007

It’s pretty obvious I’ve been out of touch with the medical profession for awhile. Otherwise I wouldn’t have fallen off of the couch when I read a story this morning on the above named subject.

According to ABC News, more and more young women are visiting their gynecologists for a procedure variously referred to as “vaginal rejuvenation, designer vaginoplasty, revirgination, labia reduction” and “G-spot amplification” The purpose of these procedures seems to be a more attractive vagina but in many cases, pain reduction is the goal.

The procedure has become so frequent that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued guidance to its membership, pointing out that cosmetic vaginal surgery should be avoided, although surgery to relieve pain is appropriate. Regarding enhancement, however, some physicians argue that people should be able to make their own decision as long as a physician provides information about the possible outcomes.

When it comes to men, the history of enhancement is clear. From time immemorial, men have attempted to enhance their natural equipment with all sorts of balms, powders, salves, concoctions, and penile muscle exercises. Now, with advances in modern medicine, men opt more and more for another failed approach, the “penile enlargement” medical procedure. In this bizarre operation, a physician implants some sort of device in and around a male’s equipment. Too many of these devices fall short of their intended purpose.

Regarding female vaginal enhancements, one thing bears mention. The basic purpose of these procedures is to enhance beauty not enlarge size. This puzzles me. Speaking only for myself, I’ve never seen an ugly vagina. In the context of our conversation here, I ask, what is “beautiful?” How does a woman assess her own personal vaginal attractiveness? Does she throw an overnight vaginal inspection pillow party? Or does some man commit the fatal error of telling her that her vagina is ugly? If such a man exists, he fully deserves to float forever through the icy netherworld of celibacy.

Although I josh, I am still puzzled over the methods women use and the standards against which they measures vaginal beauty. How does a girl determine that her vagina is or is not beautiful? Obviously, there’s a logical missing link in my mind. Perhaps it’s the element of emotion and a desire to conform to a youth cultural standard invisible to anyone over the age of 30.

In any event, vaginal enhancement is a thriving economic activity. I’ve run across a few enhancement clinics in the course of my hurried and haphazard research for this post. Most of them are in Los Angeles and New York. However, I’d stake some money on the proposition that the center of universal hedonism, San Francisco, has more than its share of Reconstructive Vaginologists.

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Hey, I just clicked my clicker and the 1968 San Francisco filmed movie “Bullit” popped up on AMC. When the movie was released, I thought it was just another mediocre cops and robbers show even if the star was Steve McQueen, one of my favorite male actors then.

Thirty-one years later, the movie is a classic look at a gorgeous SF, complete with that mother of all chase scenes over the city’s hills and through its neighborhoods and even through some outlying areas which really aren’t in SF at all but who would know the difference except someone familiar with the Bay Area.

The movie’s plot is irrelevant, and the characters almost so. The real star of the film is San Francisco pure and simple. The photography clearly reveals a beautiful 1968 Baghdad by the Bay.

Looking through the cast list I noticed some names not then well-known. Robert Duval was billed fifth, playing a cab driver; Julie Christie was an uncredited party guest; Suzanne Somers and Johanna Cassidy also had uncredited bit parts. Johanna later starred in “Falcon Crest” with Robert Foxworth.

An interesting and informative website is Bullitt Locations in San Francisco. The site details every single filming location in SF, complete with pictures then and in 2002.

Trivial observations: (1) Twenty stuntmen, including Steve McQueen, were used in the movie’s filming; (2) the city appears neat and clean in the movie; (3) for the most part, the people are clean shaven and neatly dressed. Stubble-chic hadn’t yet appeared.

If you’re into this sort of stuff, the film is scheduled twice on September 12, 2007, on AMC. Check it out. You may like it.

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Remember these lyrics from Dierks Bently’s song “Good things happen?”

I see color and I hear sound
And good things happen when you’re around

The Democrats must be quite gleeful when Larry Craig is around. None of them have said much about his debacle, but I can almost feel their elation as another Republican Senator appears about to bite the dust.

Even if Craig remains in office, the Dems will see the color and hear the sound. Larry will make a welcome addition to their list of hypocritical Republican poster boys.

The modern run of hypocrisy began when the Repubs initiated impeachment proceedings against Clinton. As the process moved ahead, we learned that Impeacher in chief, House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, was engaged in a sexual affair with a staffer.

Worse in some eyes, he arranged for divorce papers to be served to his hospitalized wife, then undergoing treatment for cancer. Gingrich subsequently resigned.

The Republican leadership chose an upstanding family values man Bob Livingston from Louisiana. Whoops. Poor Bob revealed his own affair and declined the post. He also resigned.

Republican hypocrisy was compounded when we also learned that Henry Hyde, representative from Ohio, and a prime mover of impeachment proceedings, had pursued a long-standing “youthful indiscretion” when he was forty-five. Boy, Hastert must have had a hell of a lengthy adolescence.

Hyde toughed it out, but the sudden revelations of Republican infidelities gave rise to feelings that the ranks of fine, upstanding moral gentlemen were becoming rapidly decimated. The House finally settled on Denny Hastert but the die had been cast for an attitude adjustment.

The Clinton impeachment forced the Republicans to admit that, yes, Virginia, Republicans have sex, too, and, yes, sex is just a normal human activity, and, yes, we all make mistakes, and, yes, infidelities happen, and, yes, let’s move on. Except in the Clinton case, which wasn’t about sex at all but “lying under oath.”

Much later, another scandal erupted. Six-term Florida representative Mark Foley, who used his position to solicit sex from male congressional pages, was forced to resign. Now, we have Larry Craig teetering on the edge of night.

Will the Craig matter combined with other Republican scandals unmentioned here do for the gay movement what the Clinton case did for straight sex: eventually force the Republicans to admit that, yes, Virginia, gay Republicans exist and that’s okay because we are running out of straight candidates?

Someone once wrote, “Into each life some rain must fall, and too much has fallen in mine.” The Republicans may be on the verge of finally calling in a medicine man to stop the downpour.

But miracles aren’t necessary. All the party really has to do is use a little common sense and abandon its 18th Century social values. This is, after all, the 21st Century. I think. Is it? Did I get that right?

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Bush Dog Democrats

A new progressive website recently popped up on the political radar screen. It’s called Open Left and its purpose it to build a progressive governing party in America.

According to Open Left, the most serious problem in Congress today is a group of Democratic representatives who consistently vote for Bush programs and policies such as the privatization of social security and warrantless wire tapping.

The “Bush Dog Democrat” tag is a variation of the old “Blue Dog Democrat” label applied to a group of conservative Southern Democrats led by Billy Tauzin and Jimmy Hayes of Louisiana.” Both men later became Republicans.

The offices of these men were decorated with paintings of blue dogs by Cajun artist George Rodrigue. Hence the origin of the term “Blue Dog Democrat,” which in its turn was a variation of the pejorative label “Yellow Dog Democrat,” applied to Democrats in the so-called Solid South.

In those days, Southern Democrats were often accused of being so loyal to the Democratic Party that they would vote for a yellow dog before voting for a Republican. Apparently a Bush Dog Democrat possesses the same voting inclinations.

Of course the Democrats in Congress suffer from a serious malaise occasioned only in part by the pseudo Repub-Dems. Most of them are frightened into submission not by borderline Democrats but by the Bush tactic of calling them soft on terrorism and accusing them of failing to support the troops. The Democrats have yet to develop a cohesive strategy for responding to the old Republican tactic of waving the American flag.

When you get right down to it, most Democrats in Congress are yellow, but not as the old label “Yellow Dog Democrat” would suggest.

The yellow today is more akin to Old Yellow Stain, Captain Quigg, who demonstrates cowardice with results only he and the ship’s laundryman know about. A group of officers believing the captain to be insane mount a mutiny and assume conrol of the ship.

The Democratic Party today may need a few good mutineers. That’s probably the real message Open Left seeks to convey.

See Beyond Chron for a fuller treatment of Open Left.

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Remember the case of the diaper wearing astronaut who drove from Houston to Orlando, Florida, to confront a woman she thought was alienating her lover’s affections? Not her husband’s affections, mind you, but her lover’s, who happened also to be an astronaut. Both astronauts were high-ranking military officers. The affection thief, surprise, surprise, also was an officer, a non-astronaut Air Force captain that the male astronaut met at a Kennedy Space Center training exercise. Small world, isn’t it? Wonder what the enlisted corps think about this.

To make a long story short, the diaper spacewoman was arrested, charged with attempted murder (later reduced), and now her attorney has announced that he will mount a temporary insanity defense. He’s on the right track. Would anyone with full control over a disciplined military brain, drive from Houston to Orlando wearing a diaper? I think not, and I’m convinced she has a good case.

According to her attorney, she suffered from major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, insomnia, and a brief psychotic disorder with marked stressors. Some stressors: she recently lost 15% of her body weight and struggled with marital discord. Was she also stressed over the stress she caused her husband and children? If so, I found no specific mention of her concerns in that arena of her life.

As mentioned, her attorney should be able to build a credible case on her behalf. The only real question is whether he can do his part as a defense attorney in empanelling a sympathetic jury if it comes down to a jury trial. One of the most incredibly unpredictable forces in the universe is a jury. Finding twelve unbiased people in a bastion of family values may present an insurmountable challenge.

How will he be able to trump the belief that a woman belongs in the home? Flitting all over space, saving Earth from alien invaders is man’s work. And a woman having sex outside of marriage? God forbid.

Maybe the best approach would be a plea deal. Consider these stats:

According to the ABA (the American Bar Association), judges are more sympathetic than juries

And per the Bureau of Justices Statistics, (1) seventy percent of those convicted in 2004 were sentenced to incarceration, and (2) State and Federal courts convicted a combined total of about 1,145,000 adults of felonies in 2004, while State courts alone convicted about 1,079,000 adults of a felony in that same year.

Considring the stats alone, an outcome of innocent probably isn’t in the cards for Nowak. If the matter were mine to handle, I’d try to get the best peal deal possible sans prison time if at all possible. If not, I might settle for a few months with credit for time served.

Faling these, I’d check around with peers in Orlando to find the most sympathetic judge and then do my best to have the case tried before him or her.

My last best effort would be a jury trial if it came diwn to it, but I’d let Nowak know the stats and the dangers involved.

Then, I’d sweat bullets.

Good luck, folks.

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LATE FLASH!

Senator John McCain has called for Larry Craig’s resignation. Larry has “stepped down” from several influential committees.

Events in this case are moving so fast that my fingers can’t keep pace with my brain.

Where did those cells go? Too many VO and Cokes with Bud chaser, I guess.

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Here’s what’s happening at Benefit Magazine, courtesy of SF Willie, along with some kind words for Ruby and Tim Gaskin. The more I know about this matter, the more I realize that Ruby has more supporters than she realizes.

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