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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Kiwi women most promiscuous in the world

New Zealand women have an average of 20.4 sexual partners, according to a survey by condom-maker Durex.

The global average was 7.3.

Austrian men were sharing the love most (29.3 sexual partners), while Kiwi blokes were 11th down the men's list with an average of 16.8 – higher than the global average of 13.2.

The Durex Sexual Wellbeing Global survey was compiled by the condom maker after questioning 26,000 people in 26 countries, including New Zealand.

New Zealand was also unusual for being the only country where women have more sexual partners than their men.

However, no matter the number of notches on the bedpost, there is a safe-sex message behind the results.

Family Planning Association chief executive Jackie Edmond said release of the survey was an opportunity to remind people to take care with both physical and mental health as part of a healthy sex life.

"Consistent and competent use of condoms is key to lowering transmission of and infection with STIs (sexually transmitted infections)," she said.

"Young people need strategies to decide if and when to be sexually active.

"They need to negotiate condom use with their partners and make good decisions about their sexual health including regular sexual health checks at facilities such as Family Planning Association clinics."

Other aspects of the survey have been released throughout the year putting New Zealand teenagers among the youngest in the world to lose their virginity.

Austrians were the youngest to lose their virginity at 17.3 years, followed by Brazilians (17.4), Germans (17.6) and New Zealanders (17.8).

It also showed our countrymen and women were getting plenty of sex, but not really enjoying it.

New Zealanders have sex an average 122 times a year. This outperforms Australians, who have sex 106 times a year.

But less than half (43 per cent) of New Zealanders are fully satisfied with their sex lives.

That was way behind Nigeria, the most sexually satisfied nation, where 67 per cent were content.

Japan was the least satisfied nation, with just 15 per cent being fully satisfied with their sex lives.

Durex spokeswoman Kristie Penwarden said the results would be used by the condom makers to identify inhibitions and pressures in the bedroom.

Posted by Ajay :: 12:38 PM :: 0 comments

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How Does Laura Bush Sleep In Night?

With the passing of Lady Bird Johnson, we are reminded that First Ladies used to stand for something. She was not as beautiful as Jackie Kennedy, and in the mid-1960s with the war in Vietnam escalating, beautifying America’s highways may have seemed a trivial goal. It wasn’t. Lady Bird Johnson—a successful businesswoman in her own right—combined a disdain for the spread of commercial clutter with a love for the environment that today seems positively progressive in a first lady. She helped her husband advance the Head Start program and civil rights; she spoke publicly in support of the Equal Rights Amendment.

By contrast, what does Laura Bush stand for? Well, at first it was “literacy” and the merits of being a stay-at-home wife who gets her husband (allegedly) to quit drinking. Then she was going to combat the influence of gangs on school children. (Her husband subsequently eliminated this program.) Then there was some hand-waving about women’s heart disease. Her very glitzy website also cites “Gulf Coast Rebuilding” (no comment) and “Global Diplomacy” as top Laura priorities. All of these are advanced with a smile as lock-jawed as Nurse Ratched’s.

As one of the scant 15 percent of likely voters who has a “very unfavorable” assessment of Mrs. Bush (and who finds her high approval ratings a complete mystery), I would like to suggest that she may be the worst First Lady in recent memory. Here are the reasons: First, she has had no consistent program or agenda that has changed anything for the better. Second, she provides PR cover for her husband so she can pretend they’re doing one thing, like helping school children, while he can do another, like screwing them and their teachers through disasters like “No Child Left Behind.” (Another example of being a beard for Bush, she promotes awareness about women’s heart disease while he proposes slashes in Medicaid, 70 percent of whose recipients are poor women.) Third, she has taken absolutely no stand against her husband’s relentless, Shermanesque march across women’s rights. Last and most damning, she is an utter hypocrite, especially when it comes to global rights for women.

Remember how Laura Bush claimed that one of the main reasons for the war in Afghanistan was to liberate women from their burkas? To “kick off a world-wide effort to focus on the brutality against women and children by the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the regime it supports,” she opined in a November 2001 radio address. “The fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women.” Really? Seven months later, her husband withheld more than $200 million in funding for programs to support women and to combat AIDS in Afghanistan.

And where has Laura Bush been since, when it was made clear that women would play virtually no role in the post-Taliban government? Where was she when Human Rights Watch reported in July 2003 that violence against girls and women in Afghanistan, including rape, was increasing? Well, in the spring of 2005 she went to visit Afghani women for six hours where she offered “the very best wishes of the American people.” Upon her return, she told Jay Leno things were “very encouraging” for them.

Meanwhile, this mother of two daughters has remained mute during her husband’s six-and-a-half year assault on women’s rights. In addition to appointing two deeply conservative, anti-choice zealots to the Supreme Court, Bush enacted a domestic gag rule in 2004 which allowed HMOs, hospitals and the like to prohibit doctors from providing abortion referrals or even information about abortion. One of his first acts in office was to reinstate a global gag rule, which forbade any agency that got funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development from using those or any other funds (including their own!) to provide or promote abortions. Within a year, there were shortages of contraceptives, clinics had closed, and 16 developing countries (including Afghanistan, which Laura cares so much about) had seen shipments of supplies cut off.

Two months after his inauguration, Bush closed the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach. He then made sure that information about issues like pay equity and childcare were removed from the Department of Labor’s website—25 such publications vanished from the Women’s Bureau website alone. Instead, new bogus information, such as the claim that there was a link between having an abortion and getting breast cancer, appeared on the National Cancer Institute’s website. In 2005, the Bush administration weakened the standards for compliance with Title IX (maybe the Bush girls were too busy partying to play any sports).

As one reviews this record and the cynical gaps between Mrs. Bush’s pro-woman-pronouncements and her husband’s determination to keep as many of us as possible barefoot and pregnant, it is hard to imagine how she lives with him. Or herself.

Posted by Ajay :: 12:35 PM :: 0 comments

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12 Years Old Enemy

Conservatives claim to be in favor of stable families, small businesses, hard work, private schools, investment and homeownership. So why in the world are so many on the right attacking the family of Graeme Frost?

Graeme is the 12-year-old from Baltimore who delivered the Democrats’ reply to a radio address by President Bush in September. The seventh-grader pleaded—in vain, it turned out—that the president not veto Congress’ $35-billion expansion of the children’s health care program known as SCHIP. A car crash in December 2004 left two of Halsey and Bonnie Frost’s children comatose, Graeme with a brain stem injury and Gemma, his sister, with a cranial fracture.

The kids were treated, thanks to SCHIP. The Frosts spoke out so the public would know that real people lie behind the acronym.

Their reward was to be trashed on right-wing blogs and talk radio as if they were multimillionaires ripping off the system. The assault on the Frosts apparently began on the Free Republic Web site and quickly spread to National Review Online, Power Line and Michelle Malkin’s blog, as well as Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.

And of what were the Frosts guilty? Well, they own their own home, which they bought for $55,000 in 1990 and is now worth about $260,000; they invested in a commercial property, valued at $160,000; Halsey Frost, a self-employed woodworker, once owned a small business that was dissolved in 1999; and Graeme attends a private school on scholarship. I rely here on facts reported this week in The Baltimore Sun and The New York Times, both of which set straight the more outlandish claims made by the Frosts’ attackers.

The right is unapologetic. “The Democrats chose to outsource their airtime to a seventh-grader,” wrote National Review’s Mark Steyn. “If a political party is desperate enough to send a boy to do a man’s job, then the boy is fair game.”

OK, the Democrats are “fair game,” but a 12-year-old? No wonder nobody talks about compassionate conservatism anymore.

As a general rule, I am a fan of the blogosphere. It has broadened the public debate and brought new people into politics. And nasty stuff is by no means limited to the right-wing blogs. Left-of-center blogs whose political views I largely share have published offensive stuff, too. Shaun Mullen, who blogs at The Moderate Voice—yes, there are moderate blogs—is right to generalize when he says that the targeting of the Frost family reveals “the vicious underbelly of the blogosphere.”

So rather than just condemn the right-wingers as meanies, let’s take their claims seriously. Doing so makes clear that they are engaged in a truly perverse and incoherent form of class warfare.

The left is accused of all manner of sins related to covetousness and envy whenever it raises questions about who benefits from President Bush’s tax cuts and mentions the yachts such folks might buy or the mansions they might own. But here is a family with modest possessions doing everything conservatives tell people they should do, and the right trashes them for getting help to buy health insurance for their children.

Most conservatives favor government-supported vouchers that would help Graeme attend his private school, but here they turn around and criticize him for ... attending a private school. Federal money for private schools but not for health insurance? What’s the logic here?

Conservatives endlessly praise risk-taking by entrepreneurs and would give big tax cuts to those who are most successful. But if a small-business person is struggling, he shouldn’t even think about applying for SCHIP.

Conservatives who want to repeal the estate tax on large fortunes have cited stories—most of them never check out—about farmers having to sell their farms to pay inheritance taxes. But the implication of these attacks on the Frosts is that they are expected to sell their investment property to pay for health care. Why?

Oh, yes, and conservatives tell us how much they love homeownership, and then assail the Frosts for having the nerve to own a home. I suppose they should have to sell that, too.

The real issue here is whether uninsured families with earnings similar to the Frosts’ need government help to buy health coverage. With the average family policy in employer-provided plans now costing more than $12,000 annually—the price is usually higher for families trying to buy it on their own—the answer is plainly yes. All the conservative attacks on a boy from Baltimore who dared to speak out will not make this issue go away.


Posted by Ajay :: 12:33 PM :: 0 comments

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