8 Ways To Destroy Your Friendships

Dear Belladonna Rogers,

I don’t have as many guys as friends as I used to. Sure, some die and others move away, but I’ve been thinking that maybe I’ve played a part in getting where I am today. My wife and I don’t get invited places anymore. What makes people end friendships or drift apart? I know I’ve made my share of mistakes. What I’m wondering is: have I made them all?

Lonely Guy in Las Vegas

Dear Lonely Guy,

Friendships end in many ways, none of them pleasant. Other than the trains of geography or lack of any sense of commonality, friendships die when one friend reaches a boiling point, a point of no return, a point beyond which apologies and promises just don’t matter anymore.

To stay in a friendship after mistreatment that goes beyond one’s limits is to invite a tsunami of drek that even an ardent masochist would decline.

Some of us have lower boiling points than others, but under the following circumstances, almost anyone would say, “Basta! Enough!”

Note: This column concerns only friendships in your personal life, and does not apply to professional relationships in the workplace.

Here, then, are eight surefire ways to destroy friendships with your male friends. As it happens, they’ll work equally well with women. Few friendships will survive affronts such as these.

 1. LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON FIRE

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There he was, Mr. America, lying to our faces, as if the entire adult population of the United States agreed with him that fellatio wasn’t a part of sexual relations. Our mistake, Mr. President! It must be — what? Part of preparing interns for paying jobs? Would those be in the private sector or the public?

When you lie to a friend, thinking he knows less than he does, he realizes that you’re lying. You’re not only lying, you’re also insulting him. This is why telling serious lies is both insidiously wounding and oafishly boorish.

Lying is just another way of saying, “I think you’re so dim, you’ll believe anything I tell you.”

It’s the “you’re so dim” part of lying that really gets to people.

Here, we’re not talking about the “white lies” that help make life agreeable, or at least livable. We’re talking about a friend looking you in the eye and telling you a whopper, and a whopper that takes you for a fool, as whoppers are wont to do.

2. IN YOU, WE CAN’T TRUST

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Trust is at the core of friendship; without it, your friends are better off confiding in a doorknob or an avocado.

Here’s why: your buddy Art tells you that what he’s about to divulge to you is between the two of you, that you’re the only one he’s telling, and that it should go no further. Next thing Art knows, Bob’s heard every detail. Gee, how did Bob hear? Since Bob was one of the subjects of what Art told you in confidence, your yammering has ended two friendships at once: Art’s with Bob and Art’s with you.

Why would Art or Bob — or anyone they know — ever trust you again? Gossiping, betraying confidences, not understanding the meaning of “in the vault” are great ways to turn a loyal buddy into someone who wants nothing further to do with you. Do this once or twice and word gets around. No one wants a blabbermouth for a pal.

As an another example, someone who knows you’re close to the action asks you why Lou was fired. Just because someone asks you a question — and you happen to know the answer — doesn’t mean you have to tell everything you know, unless you’re on the witness stand. You can look the questioner in the eye and say, “Discretion is the better part of valor,” and then exercise your right to remain silent.

People often spill the beans to impress others, or in the mistaken belief that it will gain their trust, but it produces exactly the opposite (also known as the “fake-out”) effect: it’s a flashing neon sign warning them to listen to you but never to tell you a thing.

Paul Revere on his horse was trying to save his countrymen. Your average bigmouth is just trying to sound like a know-it-all to project that ineffable something known as power. It doesn’t work that way. It will boomerang faster than a cheeseless pizza in a headwind.

The first day we moved to our neighborhood one of the neighbors came by, introduced herself, and began telling me every shred of gossip about everyone. When she was finished, she said, “What about you?”

“Me? I’m off to the supermarket,” I said, “our fridge is empty!” Except to say hello, I never said another word to her. Why would I? To have her repeat everything I said with her own special spin? If I wanted everyone in the neighborhood to know what I think, I’d write a column for PJM.

You don’t want to have to watch your back with your friends. As Oscar Wilde said, “True friends stab you in the front.”

3. BITE OFF YOUR FRIEND’S HEAD ANY TIME YOU WANT

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You know those times you’re so busy and hassled you don’t have time to be anywhere near the ballpark of polite? Whether in emails, on the phone or in person, treating your friends to your nastiness whenever you feel like it doesn’t make the cut. No one enjoys being the target of Rumpelstiltskin-like rage.

Knowing that any communication with you will trigger the bite-your-friend’s-head-off response doesn’t encourage anyone to stay in touch. Interestingly, a quick, gracious email takes no more time than a snarky one. Why not go with amiable over abrasive?

Of course, friends understand that their buddies have times when they’re out of sorts.

But when irascible, grouchy, and intemperate conduct is no longer the exception but becomes the rule — complete with self-indulgent growls as the inevitable reply to any efforts at communication — your friends may just stop communicating.

Doormats are like toilets: everyone wants to have one, but no one wants to be one. Friends don’t demean their friends with brusqueness and rudeness.

  4. BACKSTABBING        

Don’t expect a big crowd on your birthday or, later, at your funeral if you go in for backstabbing. Backstabbers make many mistakes, in addition to backstabbing itself, but the biggest is the one that underlies their conduct: depravity so flagrant and obtuseness so dense they actually believe their targets will never find out who did it.

Backstabbers are like vampires working in darkness, thinking no one can see them.

But when dawn breaks – as break it does — no one is invisible. You’re revealed for what you are.

Backstabbers are so devoid of understanding that they fail to recognize one important fact of life: not everyone is as rotten as they. To be sure, some people are, but 99 times out of 100, one of your victims’ loyal friends will tell them exactly who stabbed them in the back.

One of my friends relishes news stories of “stupid criminals” – felons who think they’re really smart but who make tiny, tell-tale errors, such as this: a burglar who failed to log out of his Facebook account into which he compulsively logged in – using the crime victim’s own computer, which he didn’t take with him, to satisfy his urge to connect with his FB “friends.”

That’s what back-stabbers and liars have in common: they underestimate their friends’ intelligence while overestimating their own.

When it comes to a backstabber, as the vivid Southern expression has it, “I wouldn’t piss down his throat if his heart was on fire.”

Moving right along, we come to one of the all-star members of the Friendship-Torpedoing Hall of Fame…

5. BIRD- DOGGING

This one never fails to alienate everyone it touches, and it touches a minimum of four people including you. It may begin innocently enough — at least on the surface — when you, the wife, and another couple go out to dinners, bowling, or anything else as a foursome.  One night in the moonlight when you’ve driven to Tahoe for the weekend, you begin to show just a tad a too much gusto for your friend’s wife. Before you know it, your ogling escalates to lusting.

The next thing anyone knows, you’ve maneuvered your friend’s wife into an elevator. You’ll later claim that you “didn’t know what got into” you. In the elevator, you try to cop a feel, steal a kiss, or do something else that you’ll later describe as “just playing around.” Right.

“Playing around” is what’s known as a “gateway” behavior. “Just playing around” is a little too close for comfort to foreplay, which, in turn, is a little too close for comfort to sexual intercourse. “Playing around” with your friend’s wife isn’t playing. She’s not a toy or a pet.

Like all offensive conduct, this one’s an equal opportunity friendship-ender. Both married men and married women put the moves on the spouses of friends.  If there’s a quicker way to torpedo a friendship, I don’t know what it is.

Along with its many other odious effects, this behavior puts your friend’s wife in a painful bind: does she tell her husband of 15 years that his friend of 30 years has put the moves on her? Does she force her husband to choose between his loyalty to his bird-dogging “friend” and her? And what about her friendship with your wife? Does she tell her how loathsome you are?

The only thing that can be said in favor of your behavior is that it’s efficient: you alienate three people with a single vile act. Nice going, there.

If you feel you absolutely must commit adultery — in which case, before doing so, I refer you to several of my previous columns herehere, and here — for crying out loud, lay off your friends’ wives.  If anyone should be off-limits (other than your relatives – you know, your children, siblings, aunts, uncles, parents) it should be  — hello? — the women your friends have married.

6. THE BICKERSONS

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If you can’t keep your marital disputes within the confines of your own bedroom, stay home.

To expose friends, even your closest friends, to rounds of mutual recrimination, arguing, and verbal abuse is beyond the pale. Even loving married couples who adore each other have adequate exposure to marital discord without becoming unwilling witnesses to yours.

One of the worst variations on this theme is when there isn’t a fight: there’s only one spouse verbally assaulting the other, while the abused sits too stunned or frightened to reply. Friends shouldn’t have to referee such excruciating acts of cruelty.

You may be among the couples who engage in this form of friendship-abuse in the bizarre belief that you’re entertaining your friends with reprises of the classic marital-discord sitcoms of the 1950s, I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners. You’re not.

7. WHAT PART OF “NO” DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?

Let’s say you have a friend who’s made clear he doesn’t like seeing photographs of Nazi barbarity. So, when you find some truly grotesque photographs on a website of Nazi atrocities, you send them to him. He tells you again that he cannot tolerate seeing such pictures. A month later, you’re surfing your favorite sites and find that Life magazine has just released a cache of recently discovered photographs of Nazi atrocities. Entirely disregarding your friend’s insistence that he wants to see no more of these, you send them.

This is unacceptable. Listen to your friends and pay attention to what they say or email. Then respect their requests. If you don’t, you’re going to have fewer friends.

Just because you find such materials fascinating doesn’t mean everyone does. Far from it. For some, they’re horrifically painful. You can’t be expected to read anyone’s mind, but when you’re given precise information about what is unwelcome, either in word or in deed, don’t do it and expect your friend to be eager to hear from you again. Ever.

8. TAKING OUT YOUR ANGER AT YOUR FRIEND’S WIFE ON HIM

Your friend John is married to Jane. Jane supports some causes and takes some positions you oppose. News flash: John doesn’t control Jane. Don’t blame him for his wife’s actions or beliefs. The reverse is also true. Wives are married to their husbands; they’re not their husband’s puppeteers, any more than husbands can command their wives to think as they do.

Many couples who vote together cancel out each other’s votes and then go home and make love, not war. Hi, Mary!

Don’t take out your anger at your friend’s spouse on your friend. Just because people are married doesn’t tether them together ideologically, politically, or in any other way but one: they’re married. They don’t bear responsibility for each other’s actions, unless they’re in a criminal conspiracy together, which is unlikely to be the case with John and Jane.

By repeatedly carping about the behavior or political orientation you deplore in your friend’s spouse, you’re ignoring one big fat fact: your friend loves his wife. He’s not going to divorce her because you don’t like her or her views.  If he can live with them, butt out.

You’ll only cause your friend to be so exasperated by your intolerance of the woman he loves that he won’t divorce her. He’ll divorce you.

* * *

There are many routes to the end of the road with friends. It’s disappointing, if not heart-breaking, to reach that point, but we all have our limits.

As the French poet Jacques Delille (1738 – 1813) wrote, “Fate chooses your relations, you choose your friends.”

— Belladonna Rogers

Israel’s 20% Arab Population: A Dire Prediction From A Dependable Source

In an arresting and disturbing article today in The Washington Times (the Times you can trust) the premier American scholar of radical Islamism, Dr. Daniel Pipes, predicts a dire future — for Israel.

Although some of Israel’s Arabs have reached the uppermost echelons of the only democracy in the Middle East — serving in the nation’s legislature, its diplomatic corps as Israeli ambassadors, and in its judiciary as judges — many more are far from assimilated.

Of the vast majority who have not made it to the top, he writes:

 …these assimilated few pale beside the discontented masses who identify with Land Day, Nakba Day, and the Future Vision report. Revealingly, most Israeli Arab parliamentarians, such as Ahmed Tibi and Haneen Zuabi, are hotheads spewing rank anti-Zionism. Israeli Arabs have increasingly resorted to violence against their Jewish co-nationals.

Dr. Pipes has just returned from Israel where he traveled to Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Nazareth, the Golan Heights, Baqa al-Gharbiya, Acre, and Umm al-Fahm.

His purpose? To meet with mainstream Arab and Jewish Israelis to ask the question, “Can ethnic Arabs, who account for 20% of the population, be loyal citizens of Israel?”  His answer:

…Israeli Arabs live with two paradoxes. Although they suffer discrimination within Israel, they enjoy more rights and greater stability than any Arab populace living in their own sovereign countries (think Egypt or Syria). Second, they hold citizenship in a country that their fellow Arabs malign and threaten with annihilation.

Since 1949, the Arab population of Israel has increased tenfold. Dr. Pipes  — who speaks fluent Arabic and was thus able to conduct his conversations in that language — writes:

I found most Arabic-speaking citizens to be intensely conflicted about living in a Jewish polity. On the one hand, they resent Judaism as the country’s privileged religion, the Law of Return that permits only Jews to immigrate at will, Hebrew as the primary language of state, the Star of David in the flag, and mention of the “Jewish soul” in the anthem. On the other hand, they appreciate the country’s economic success, standard of health care, rule of law, and functioning democracy.

Of his attempts to understand the real situation of Israeli Arabs today, particularly their Janus-faced relationship to Islam while also enjoying political freedom as citizens of the Jewish state, Dr. Pipes writes:

My interlocutors generally brushed aside questions about Islam. It almost felt impolite to mention the Islamic imperative that Muslims (who make up 84 percent of the Israeli Arab population) rule themselves, Discussing the Islamic drive for application of Islamic law drew blank looks and a shift to more immediate topics.

This avoidance reminded me of Turkey before 2002, when mainstream Turks assumed that Atatürk’s revolution was permanent and assumed Islamists would remain a fringe phenomenon. They proved very wrong: a decade after Islamists democratically rode to power in late 2002, the elected government steadily applied more Islamic laws and built a neo-Ottoman regional power.

Dr. Pipes concludes with a grim and all-too-credible prediction:

I predict a similar evolution in Israel, as Israeli Arab paradoxes grow more acute. Muslim citizens of Israel will continue to grow in numbers, skills, and confidence, becoming simultaneously more integral to the country’s life and more ambitious to throw off Jewish sovereignty.

…as Israel overcomes external threats, Israeli Arabs will emerge as an ever-greater concern. Indeed, I predict they represent the ultimate obstacle to establishing the Jewish homeland anticipated by Theodor Herzl and Lord Balfour…

Ironically, the greatest impediment to these actions will be that most Israeli Arabs emphatically wish to remain disloyal citizens of the Jewish state (as opposed to loyal citizens of a Palestinian state). Furthermore, many other Middle Eastern Muslims aspire to become Israelis. These preferences, I predict, will stymie the government of Israel, which will not develop adequate responses, thereby turning today’s relative quiet into tomorrow’s crisis.

Look for my forthcoming column on PJM on the extraordinary accuracy of Dr. Pipes’ predictions over the past three decades, when he was invariably the sole analyst making the forecasts he did.  It will present the evidence to support my confidence in the accuracy of his troubling prediction in The Washington Times today.  I urge all interested readers to read his full article.

The Power of Our Tattoos

Today is as good a time as any to let you in on a little secret: I don’t have a single tattoo. When we’re out together, this is one of the only ways the photographers can tell the difference between Angelina Jolie and me. It’s so convenient for us all, especially Brad, bless his heart!

The fact that I’ve chosen to remain untattooed confirms a Pew Research Center study that found only 10% of Americans over 41 are tattooed, while among 18-25-year-olds, the figure is 33.3%, and in the 25-40 year-old set — which includes the 36-year-old Ms. Jolie —  it’s an eye-popping 40%.

And they’re keeping the country’s estimated 15,000 tattoo parlors busy: it’s a $2.3 billion a year business, according to a 2010 report. No Obama bailout for them.

TATTOOS ARE NEITHER A NEW PHENOMENON NOR — AS SOME FEAR — OMENS OF AN IMMINENT ARMAGEDDON 

Despite their lack of popularity among the over-41 set, tattoos have enjoyed a long, checkered (as well as polka-dotted, striped, snaked, astrologically signed, etc.) history.

Three Ways To Cope with the Coming Plague of Obama Bumper Stickers

Dear Belladonna Rogers,

I’m a 77-year-old conservative grandmother living, for family reasons, in a very blue state. It’s only March and already the Obama 2012 bumper stickers are everywhere. The parking lots are filled with them.  They’re irksome, especially when combined on the same bumper, with the 2008 version. It appears that the driver has learned exactly nothing in the past four years.

Is there anything I can do that will avoid direct confrontation, won’t get me in trouble with the law, but that will satisfy my urge to communicate my disagreement with the Obama-supporting owners of these cars?

Frustrated Near ‘Frisco

Dear Frustrated,

Yes, yes, and yes!

Placing an anti-Obama bumper sticker on top of a pro-Obama bumper sticker is tampering with property, also known as criminal mischief.  This can be a felony or a misdemeanor.  You don’t want to go there, tempting as it certainly is.

What you may do that’s perfectly legal is what many pizza chains and other businesses do in parking lots: gently lift the windshield wiper and place a written message to the driver where he or she cannot avoid seeing it.

I have three suggestions:

A POLITE PIECE OF YOUR MIND

It’s devilishly simple.

You type two sentences and print out as many as you like. Keep them in your car at all times. Here’s a little inspiration:

Dear Friend:

Some unknown socialist put an Obama bumper sticker on your car. I’m letting you know so that you can remove it before it causes you any further embarrassment.

That’s it.  Simple, friendly, concerned, considerate. What’s not to like?

It’s also guaranteed to be very annoying.

BUY ANTI-OBAMA BUMPER STICKERS AND PLACE THEM UNDER THE WINDSHIELD WIPERS OF THE PRO-OBAMA CAR

Happily, your choices are many and, while not inexpensive, if some of your like-minded friends chip in, it might be worthwhile to spend some money for such upbeat messages as:

The bumper stickers come in packs of 50 for $190 ($3.80 each), or bought singly cost $5 each. If you were to park your (un-bumper-stickered) car and watch what the pro-Obama drivers do after noticing your kind gift, my prediction is that you’d observe them throwing your valuable bumper sticker on the ground. Littering! As soon as they drive away, retrieve your abandoned bumper sticker and place it on the windshield of the next pro-Obama car you see.

After all, an anti-Obama bumper sticker is a terrible thing to waste.

Given your age and desire to avoid direct confrontation, I’d recommend being as subtle as possible as you go about your activities.  Perhaps you have a big, strong young male family member or friend who feels as strongly about Obama as you do who’d like to spend some quality time with you.

If you’d like to spend less than the prices noted above, I suggest the following third option:

 A BIGGER PIECE OF YOUR MIND

In the immortal words of New Orleans chef, restaurateur, and entrepreneur Emeril Lagasse, a letter such as the one below is guaranteed to kick it up a notch. A note of caution: the first option takes only a few seconds to read.  The one below will do more to express your thoughts, but it runs the risk of not being read in entirety by an avowed Obamaphile. That said, here’s an example of how you could purvey a generous piece of your mind.

Dear Fellow Citizen:

I note with stunned incredulity that the rear bumper of your vehicle is festooned with both an Obama 2008 and an Obama 2012 one.  This is troubling indeed.  It suggests to your fellow citizens that you’ve spent the last three years in the sort of place Vice President Cheney was said to have inhabited during the George W. Bush years: a secure, undisclosed location — but unlike Mr. Cheney, however, without access to news from the outside world.  

If, on the other hand, you’ve been living openly and freely, I must inquire whether you’ve noticed the lack of respect for the U.S. Constitution by the president and the Department of Justice, with “Attorney General” Eric Holder’s refusal to prosecute such blatant law-breakers as the New Black Panther Party and ACORN?  Does the phrase “Fast and Furious” mean nothing to you?

Have you noted without dismay the president’s hare-brained, anti-capitalist and un-American belief that those who work hard and have actually dared to earn a handsome income be penalized and have their hard-won wealth “re-distributed” to others?

Have you not watched in horror as the unemployment rate has soared perilously close to 9% among your fellow citizens?

Are you not outraged by every single element of ObamaCare and the fact that a growing number of physicians in fields such as cardiology are considering becoming “life coaches” to their patients because the tests they routinely order to monitor their health will be over-ridden by computerized regulations, and, indeed, forbidden entirely by green eye-shaded federal government employees who’ve never seen the inside of a medical school classroom? Or by social engineers or clueless politicians such as Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and “Human Services”?

Are you not horrified that your country is now more than $14 trillion in debt?  Does this not concern you if you have children or grandchildren, or even if you don’t?

Can you honestly say that none of these outrages causes you to reconsider your original, ill-founded enthusiasm for Barack Obama?

If you’re as pro-Obama in 2012 as you were in 2008, you can be only one of two things: (1) a Democratic loyalist who gives not a moment’s thought to the actual positions and hazardous consequences of voting like a lemming, or (2) a blinkered, clueless cave-dweller cut off from all news of the United States and the world for the past four years.  If that’s the case, I urge you to read news analysis on PJM.com during that period to see exactly what you’ve missed.

Just how much drek can you allow yourself to ignore?

Finally, I suggest you buy yourself a giant sized GOO GONE, a liquid that comes in a spray can.  Apply it to your bumper stickers. Scrape with all your might until you’ve succeeded in removing that embarrassing pair from your rear bumper.  Once they’re gone, you can drive with your head held high because, at long last, you’ll have come face to face with the harsh, cold breath of reality and will have understood the perilous error of your ways.

Sincerely,

A concerned fellow citizen

IT’S YOUR CHOICE

There you have them: three distinct approaches, any one of which should help cope with some of the frustration you feel, and may even shed a little light of reality on your state’s Obama-besotted residents.

When the unremitting uniformity of their political views gets you down, return to this webpage and feast your eyes on the artistic creations below, brought to you by our distinguished colleagues at MAD magazine, one of the most reliably great magazines of the 20th and 21st centuries, the obvious fountainhead of The Onion:

— Belladonna Rogers

Irony Alert! Leftist Women Now Overjoyed That Government IS in Their Bodies

How ironic it is that all those women who bought bumper-stickers from the leftwing National Organization of Women wanting laws “off” their bodies are now salivating at the thought of free oral contraceptives, compliments of the Obama administration’s… laws.  I guess it depends whose laws they prefer.  How convenient to have such a bone-headedly flexible philosophy.

In one of his most devastating — and hilarious — columns ever, author, blogger and deep-thinker- with-a-puckish-wit Ira Stoll devastates the poster child of free birth control pills, Georgetown University law student and Obama tool, Sandra Fluke.  Writing in The New York Sun, Mr. Stoll parries her argument that $1,000 per year during three years of law school is too much for poor students to pay for their birth control “needs” (emphasis added:)

Here are a few ways Ms. Fluke and her friends might get their contraceptive costs down below that $3,000 level:

  • They could have men pay half. Modern men do half the parenting work or pay at least half the child support. Why shouldn’t men pay for half of the contraceptive costs?
  •  Ms. Fluke and her friends could use condoms instead of prescription birth control pills. One Georgetown student group reportedly handed out 4,500 “free” condoms during one recent semester. Or the law students could buy condoms online at $40.25 for a package of 100. At about 40 cents a condom, the Georgetown students could have sex twice a day, 365 days a year, for all three years of law school, for just $881 dollars.
  • Ms. Fluke and her friends could go to Walmart or Target, whose lists of inexpensive drugs include the oral contraceptive Tri-Sprintec priced at $4 for a 28-day supply. Total cost, assuming continuous use for three full years (including the summer after graduating law school or before starting): about $150.

As I argue elsewhere today, the idea that all insured Americans should pay $10-20 co-payments for their own medications but should be forced to subsidize the recreational sex of anyone else is truly repugnant.  When you were young, did you ever expect anyone else to pay for your condoms or spermicidal jelly to place in the diaphragm you bought with your own money?  I didn’t think so. No, to think otherwise, you’d have to hold, as does Ms. Fluke, a B.S. (golly, I wonder what that stands for?) in Policy Analysis & Management and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

And you thought that no one could do anything useful with a major like that.  Au contraire, she’s already well over her Warholian fifteen minutes of fame. Why do I foresee a godawful Sandra Fluke tell-all book coming to your nearest Barnes & Noble’s “Current Events” table all too soon?  Can a permanent slot on “Anderson Cooper 360” be beyond her reach?  Gloria Borger, call your agent.  Now.

Returning to Mr. Stoll, he concludes his trenchant analysis with these questions that he says “go right to the heart of ObamaCare”:

Why is the president getting involved in setting prices for prescription drugs in the first place? Where in the Constitution does he get that power? Why should people past reproductive age who are paying copayments for their heart or arthritis medication be paying taxes to subsidize free prescription contraceptives for law students?

Why, indeed?  And to think these same leftist women have all those posters in their attics and basements with messages such as this one:

Guess they’re probably saving them for the Romney administration.

Why Obama’s Promotion of Oral Contraceptives Guarantees the Spread of Lethal STDs

Dear Belladonna Rogers,

My health insurance premiums are going to pay for free birth control pills for others insured by my company — pills which I never took, and my daughters refuse to take. Is it right that I should have to pay for women to get something for nothing that I would not use myself, or ever recommend?

Troubled in Tulsa

Dear Troubled,

No, it isn’t  right that you – or any American – should underwrite oral contraception — the world’s single most dangerous form of birth control — for anyone else.  Just because contraception is legal doesn’t mean that by paying for private health insurance we should subsidize it in any form, not to mention in its most hazardous form.

THE COERCIVE POWER OF OBAMACARE 

The Affordable Care Act, the anodyne-sounding name for what the rest of us call ObamaCare, seeks to coerce a divided nation to provide oral contraceptives to women who’d rather not spend their own earnings or savings to buy them.

This abomination of a law is objectionable on at least two grounds. First, it forces those who are morally or religiously opposed to contraception to pay for what they regard as a sacrilege.  Similarly, it forces those who believe that sex outside the marriage is wrong to subsidize it and by doing so, to support the federal government’s favoring — even enabling — such behavior by making it free.

Even if you have no argument with birth control, abortion, or sex outside marriage, you could still consider ObamaCare reprehensible for requiring all citizens to underwrite the cost of the recreational sex of others, and to do so using the single method most deleterious to women’s health, as well as the most expensive one.

PAYING FOR RECREATIONAL SEX IS THE OBLIGATION OF THE INDIVIDUALS ENGAGING IN IT

Recreational sex is an optional way to pass one’s time or express one’s affection. It is not related to the medical healing of disease (the presumptive reason to favor health insurance for all).

Everyone who’s physically able and unbound by moral or religious beliefs is free to indulge in recreational sex, but no one else should have to underwrite it. Why not have insurance bankroll the hotel room and room service while we’re at it?  Car service? Flowers?  Champagne? Chocolate-dipped strawberries?

We do have legal requirements that all citizens underwrite activities from which they, personally, derive no direct benefit, but which are deemed public benefits.

 UNDERWRITING  THE RECREATIONAL SEX OF OTHERS versus CHILDLESS COUPLES UNDERWRITING PUBLIC SCHOOLS 

Compare the  requirement that we all pay for oral contraception for tens of millions of women through our health insurance premiums to the obligation of single individuals and childless couples to pay local taxes that fund public education. All citizens have a stake in assuring that the next generation is as well-educated as possible. The nation gains when our children can read, write, and are mathematically and scientifically educated.

But exactly who benefits from the recreational sex of unmarried or even married people? At the very most, only the individuals engaging in it.

THE GROTESQUE ARGUMENT INTENDED TO SCARE YOU INTO PAYING FOR ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES FOR SANDRA FLUKE AND EVERYONE WHO AGREES WITH HER

The  unspoken public policy argument that we should underwrite birth control through our insurance payments is that if we don’t, we’ll end up paying for baby food and maternal care, which on balance would cost more than the $1,000 per year of which Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke has so publicly complained — and which won her a call from a very concerned Barack Obama, a concern he has not shown for any woman suffering from genital herpes.

Even if you accept – which I don’t – the argument that it’s better  to pay for a woman’s birth control now than for her otherwise resulting infant(s) later, then Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and her pandering boss should encourage the use of the single cheapest birth control method that also — alone among the many varieties of contraception — prevents sexually transmitted diseases (STDs.)

Why promote a form of birth control that is a surefire guarantor of the spread of 20+ — many fatal — STDs when an alternative is readily available in drugstores and even gas stations nationwide?  I refer, of course, to condoms.

THE MASSIVE KNOWN HEALTH DANGERS OF ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES

The manufacturers of oral contraceptives — The Pill’s greatest proponents — warn that, especially when combined with smoking — not a rare pairing — birth control pills increase a woman’s risk of deep-vein thrombosis, stroke, and heart attack.

If any readers imagine that it’s “only” older women in their 40s or 50s who are at risk for deep-vein thrombosis from oral contraceptives, I can assure them that this is not so, based on the experience of a 22-year-old friend of mine who had one — lodged perilously in her lungs — as a direct result of the combination of smoking and birth control pills. My friend survived.  Not all victims do.

Nor do birth control pills protect against STDs including, but not limited to, HIV. As gynecologist and obstetrician Dr. Mary L. Carpenter  has written,

[B]irth control pills [are] a risk factor for breast cancer. … There are other organizations that have for years told the whole truth about breast cancer risk from hormonal contraception … in addition to enumerating non-controversial risk factors such as family history, obesity, late menopause etc. … The powerful “reproductive health” establishment and its political, medical and media allies were threatened by a relatively trivial act of the Susan G. Komen Foundation to more effectively help women at risk for breast cancer and extract itself from its relationship with Planned Parenthood.

And who do you think pays when these unprotected women develop breast cancer or genital herpes – which, when active, can cause blindness in a baby born to an infected mother? Or develop infections such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), causing tubo-ovarian abscesses, which can lead to scarring of the reproductive organs, ectopic pregnancies, infertility, and death?  Yet another STD, the human papillomavirus, is a proven cause of cervical cancer.

We all pay for these women’s communicable diseases against which condoms protect them and against which oral contraceptives are useless.

BY UNDERWRITING THE MOST EXPENSIVE, DANGEROUS FORM OF CONTRACEPTION, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DISINCENTIVIZES PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES FROM DEVELOPING LESS COSTLY OPTIONS THAT WOULD OFFER WOMEN HEALTHIER CHOICES THAN CURRENT BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

With the federal government in the person of Mrs. Sebelius encouraging one and only one form of birth control, she is disincentivizing pharmaceutical companies from developing cheaper, safer alternatives.

Democratic Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Barbara Boxer, and Patty Murray claim the ObamaCare contraception policy is necessary, arguing that oral contraceptives “can cost $600 a year,” which is “a lot of money,” they say.

In a trenchant article last month in Forbes magazine, “The Economics of Obama’s Immaculate Contraception,” economist Benn Steil brilliantly argues (emphasis added):

Why, I would ask the senators, is the “high” cost of oral contraceptives not an argument for using, and developing, less costly alternatives? Condoms are routinely distributed free of charge by government agencies and private organizations. Yet the Administration’s policy clearly promotes a shift away from condom use and towards the use of “free” pills. … In fundamentally changing the economics of birth control, the Administration is also discouraging innovation in the technology used to deliver it. What business sense is there now in drug manufacturers developing cheaper pills, or male versions of them?

Also notable is that oral contraceptives are singled out, among thousands of drugs, for special treatment through the ban on co-pay requirements. Women will continue to bear co-pays for antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals whose use bears a far more imminent relationship with their health – not to mention public health, when we’re dealing with infectious diseases. This again raises important questions about the principles at play. The Shaheen-Boxer-Murray argument was that oral contraceptives were prohibitively expensive for some women, yet banning co-pays clearly goes well beyond making them affordable.

THE PERNICIOUS NEXUS AMONG THE LARGE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES (WHICH PROVIDE MAJOR ADVERTISING  REVENUES & POLITICAL DONATIONS), UNTHINKING  MEMBERS OF THE LEFTIST MEDIA,  AND LEFTIST POLITICIANS PRETENDING TO BE PRO-WOMEN BUT WHOSE POLICIES ARE DANGEROUS TO WOMEN’S HEALTH

As an advice columnist, I occasionally read moronic publications to keep up with the dreadful notions foisted on women under the guise of “advice.” In the “GYNO HEALTH” section of the abysmal magazine, Cosmopolitan (U.S. circulation: 2.6 million — presumably sexually active young women),  the January 2012 issue included this paragraph of unadulterated leftist propaganda, hidden away, and mislabeled “Health Advice” on page 110:

 ALERT! Your Sexual Health Is Being Threatened – Again

Last year was a mixed one for reproductive rights.  Law-makers expanded preventative-care coverage for women under the Affordable Care Act.  Yet some strict state and national laws were proposed that, if passed, could block your  access to birth control [Block?  Did I really read the word “block?” How?  By closing every CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens in America? How moronic do Cosmo’s  editors believe their readers are? ] and abortion. Help prevent this by visiting  womenarewatching.org, a new site from Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund that offers  daily updates on what’s going on and steps you can take to make 2012 a winning year for pro-woman politicians.

Contrary to what Cosmo would have its readers believe, encouraging women to rely on the single most dangerous contraception method in medical history – one that provides zero protection from potentially fatal STDs and doesn’t even prevent pregnancy 100% of the time — is not pro-woman.  It is the essence of anti-woman.

Sebelius, Obama, and their Democratic supporters in Congress are placing ignorant, illiterate women – as well as college graduates and law students — relatively few of whom understand the dangers of relying on birth control pills — at grave risk by offering them “free” oral contraceptives.

It’s not just older Americans who have difficulty reading the minuscule dots that pass for “warnings of adverse health effects” and “contraindications” packaged with medications.  I don’t believe that one girl or woman in 100,000 reads the microscopic printed warnings that accompany birth control pills.

It’s clear that the Obama administration has made a grossly negligent policy decision to attract as many women voters as possible by offering co-payment-free oral contraceptives — assuming that such inducements (bribes) must be free to win an election – rather than offering both male and female voters condoms that would, indeed, not only reduce what the Righteous Brothers called “that lovin’ feelin’” but also reduce unwanted pregnancies and their exposure to known, incurable, deadly, communicable diseases.

The so-called “pro-woman” politicians cluelessly absorb the propaganda of Planned Parenthood and the large pharmaceutical companies, and fail to perform independent due diligence on The Pill’s obvious dangers (this due diligence would take all of five minutes, with a magnifying glass, to read the adverse health effects of oral contraceptives).  Then they go on the attack against “white-haired men” who, they claim, aren’t adequately “pro-woman.”

With pro-woman friends like Obama, Sebelius, Shaheen, Boxer, Murray and their supporters at Planned Parenthood, the big pharmaceutical companies, and Cosmo, women don’t need enemies.  It’s disgraceful how these female politicians and their irresponsible, reckless president are playing fast and loose with our lives, and those of our daughters and granddaughters.

Foreseeable, preventable deaths are occurring and foreseeable, preventable, contagious, and fatal diseases are being spread among American women — just to re-elect Barack Obama. Now there’s a pro-woman candidate for you.

— Belladonna Rogers