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The Weekend Eudemon

Effectively Ineffective
Eric Scheske received a fair amount of hate mail from natural family planning advocates when he--in the throes of his wife's fourth, then fifth, then seventh unexpected pregnancies--expressed doubts about NFP's effectiveness. Writing in Gilbert Magazine, for instance, he said, "I'm always floored by the NFP literature that claims NFP is just as effective as artificial contraception. First, I simply don't believe it (I realize I'll get some hate mail for that statement; see below for the address). Second, and more important, such an assertion strikes me as wrongheaded. It would be like an opponent of distilled spirits championing beer on grounds that you can get just as drunk on beer as you can on hard liquor. There's nothing wrong with respecting a woman's natural fertility cycle to regulate the birth of children for good cause, but to attempt to use the cycle to stop the birth of children altogether strikes me as an abuse, yet that's an 'upshot' of the claims that NFP is just as effective as artificial contraception. It's no wonder that many of my 'pro-contraception' friends deride the whole NFP concept as a distinction without meaning."

That didn't sit well with many, and he did receive the anticipated hate mail. Finally, he's no longer alone. H.W. Crocker has now said everything Scheske's been trying to say, and more. It's a highly recommended read.

Grinding Porn
The City of Grand Rapids, Michigan, recently adopted a zoning ordinance to address adult entertainment businesses. Due to (misguided) First Amendment restrictions, cities that want to limit their citizens' exposure to smut must be sure they have a reason besides the smutty content. Grand Rapids' ordinance explains why it adopted the ordinance. The Preamble sets forth a lengthy list of cases and studies in support of the principle that adult businesses result in prostitution, drug use, exploitation, crime, and other societal ills. The list is impressive. We don't expect people to read it, but we thought it worth re-producing here for those who want a handy list of resources about pornography's deleterious effects.

Based on evidence of the adverse secondary effects of adult uses presented in hearings and in reports made available to the City Commission, and on findings incorporated in the cases of Pap's A.M. v. City of Erie, 529 U.S. 277 (2000); Thomas v. Chicago Park District, 122 S. Ct. 775 (2002), City of Renton v. Playtime Theatres, Inc., 475 U.S. 41 (1986), Young v. American Mini Theatres, 426 U.S. 50 (1976), Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., 501 U.S. 560 (1991); California v. LaRue, 409 U.S. 109 (1972); DLS, Inc. v. City of Chattanooga, 107 F.3d 403 (6th Cir. 1997); East Brooks Books, Inc. v. City of Memphis, 48 F.3d 220 (6th Cir. 1995); Broadway Books v. Roberts, 642 F.Supp. 486 (E.D. Tenn. 1986); Bright Lights, Inc. v. City of Newport, 830 F.Supp. 378 (E.D. Ky. 1993); Richland Bookmart v. Nichols, 137 F.3d 435 (6th Cir. 1998); Dèjá vu v. Metro Government, 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 535 (6th Cir. 1999); Bamon Corp. v. City of Dayton, 7923 F.2d 470 (6th Cir. 1991); Threesome Entertainment v. Strittmather, 4 F.Supp.2d 710 (N.D. Ohio 1998); J.L. Spoons, Inc. v. City of Brunswick, 49 F.Supp.2d 1032 (N.D. Ohio 1999); Triplett Grille, Inc. v. City of Akron, 40 F.3d 129 (6th Cir. 1994); Nightclubs, Inc. v. City of Paducah, 202 F.3d 884 (6th Cir. 2000); O'Connor v. City and County of Denver, 894 F.2d 1210 (10th Cir. 1990); Dèjá vu of Nashville, Inc., et al. v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 26007 (6th Cir. Dec. 6, 2001); Z.J. Gifts D-2, L.L.C. v. City of Aurora, 136 F.3d 683 (10th Cir. 1998); Connection Distrib. Co. v. Reno, 154 F.3d 281 (6th Cir. 1998); Sundance Assocs. v. Reno, 139 F.3d 804 (10th Cir. 1998); American Library Association v. Reno, 33 F.3d 78 (D.C. Cir. 1994); American Target Advertising, Inc. v. Giani, 199 F.3d 1241 (10th Cir. 2000); Z.J. Gifts D-2, L.L.C. v. City of Aurora, 136 F.3d 683 (10th Cir. 1998); ILQ Investments, Inc. v. City of Rochester, 25 F.3d 1413 (8th Cir. 1994); Bigg Wolf Discount Video Movie Sales, Inc. v. Montgomery County, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1896 (D. Md., Feb. 6, 2002); Currence v. Cincinnati, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 1258 (6th Cir., Jan. 24, 2002); and other cases; and on testimony to Congress in 136 Cong. Rec. S 8987; 135 Cong. Rec. S. 14519; 135 Cong. Rec. S 5636; 134 Cong. Rec. E 3750; and reports of secondary effects occurring in and around sexually oriented businesses, including, but not limited to, Phoenix, Arizona - 1979; Minneapolis, Minnesota-1980; Houston, Texas - 1997; Amarillo, Texas; Garden Grove, California - 1991; Los Angeles, California - 1977; Whittier, California - 1978; Austin, Texas - 1986; Seattle, Washington - 1989; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - 1986; Cleveland, Ohio - and Dallas, Texas - 1997; St. Croix County, Wisconsin - 1993; Bellevue, Washington, - 1998; Newport News, Virginia - 1996; New York Times Square study - 1994; Phoenix, Arizona - 1995-98; and also on findings from the paper entitled "Stripclubs According to Strippers: Exposing Workplace Sexual Violence," by Kelly Holsopple, Program Director, Freedom and Justice Center for Prostitution Resources, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and from "Sexually Oriented Businesses: An Insider's View," by David Sherman, presented to the Michigan House Committee on Ethics and Constitutional Law, Jan. 12, 2000, and the Report of the Attorney General's Working Group On The Regulation Of Sexually Oriented Businesses, (June 6, 1989, State of Minnesota), the City Commission finds that sexually oriented businesses as a category of establishments are correlated with harmful secondary effects, and that the foregoing reports are reasonably believed to be relevant to the problems that Grand Rapids is seeking to abate and prevent in the future.

The Punchy Journal
. . . I drove back into town and went to a local bar, there to engage in one of my favorite past-times: Drinking beer, watching sports shows, and talking the good talk with the guys.

Topic of discussion this day? Hard to say.

There was talk about the local con man Brian Schmidt who had stiffed most of us in the past ten years, bankrupted a good friend, and inflicted serious damage on our town's eco-system and economy. He'd been evicted from his house the day before. One guy said justice had finally been done; another guy said that wouldn't happen until he suffers a pit bull attack to his genitals.

There was discussion of whether Britney Spears really exists, a few of the guys claiming that there is no actual Britney due to her plastic surgery and the airbrush alterations of her too-sultry-to-be-real pictures in Esquire magazine. Another guy replied, "First time I've had the urge to have sex with the paranormal. Is there a word for such a disorder?"

One guy mentioned a recent scientific study that says big-breasted women are smarter than small-breasted women. A few minutes later, a well-endowed woman came in the bar and another guy said, "Wow, that woman's a genius!"

"If we were only allowed to accept scientific suggestions as jokes, we could sometimes get some serious good out of them. " G.K. Chesterton

Another guy recited a list of funny names for the male member. He said "shwanz" is one of the funniest. Another guy added, "I think I'll go home and play 'Delivery from the Shwanz Man' tonight with my wife."

You can see why I like hanging out here.

Reminds me of an incident with Chesterton about a hundred years ago. A female acquaintance asked him why he didn't believe in comradeship between the sexes. Chesterton later wrote, "I was driven back on offering the obvious and sincere answer: Because if I were to treat you for two minutes like a comrade you would turn me out of the house." . . .