Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day

Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides college funding to survivors of Special Operations personnel killed in the line of duty.

Scholarships for Military Children.

Fisher House provides "comfort homes" for family members of patients receiving care at military or VA medical facilities.

Army Emergency Relief provides emergency assistance to active military members and their dependents.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Justice doesn't seem color blind

Public Defender Dude has a post up about a public defender in Los Angeles who was found by a judge to be 100% liable after one of her clients was framed by the LAPD. He writes:

"As much an outrage this was, it is an even bigger outrage that she was found 100% liable for Mr. Ovando's predicament, as if the police who shot him, framed him, and lied at his trial had nothing to do with it. How, exactly, is someone supposed to represent someone when lying cops can expose you to unlimited liability? And, the fact is, as much as we bring this stuff up, the DAs still pooh pooh our claims of lying cops, Judges still refuse to call a cop on lies, and juries still find people guilty even though it's obvious cops were dishonest."

Bitch, PhD put something up this week about white privilege, and the two sort of came together in my head to remind me of a story. Have I mentioned I love story hour?

A number of years ago I was called up for jury duty. You would think there would be no way in hell I could ever be selected for a jury; if you think I'm opinionated and mouthy here, you should catch the live show sometime. But damned if I didn't get selected for every fucking jury which came down the pike, I sat for three trials during that week (it was municipal court--DUI, shoplifting, no OJ stuff).

The last trial I had to sit through had six of us selected as jurors, one of whom woud be designated an alternate right before deliberation began. I wound up being the lucky loser sitting outside waiting on the outcome. The jury consisted of myself, three older Hispanic women, a middle aged white man who worked at the National Lab, and a young white soccer mom. The trial itself involved a little old Hispanic man accused of interfering with an officer and resisting arrest. When I say little and old I mean the guy was 70 years old, stood about 5'6", and weighed maybe 120 pounds soaking wet.

There were five officers who testified during the trial and none of them told the same story, in fact no two versions of their testimony even came close to matching. After listening to the several witnesses and hearing the wildly different stories from the cops, it was pretty clear to me that the cops were lying. It was a little disheartening that they didn't seem to be smart enough to make sure their stories even matched. This poor old guy had been caught up when a pursuit went through his property and things got out of hand. After sorting things out the police wound up charging him rather than admitting they'd roughed up an old man for no reason.

While the jury was deliberating the defense attorney came over and asked for my impressions, he wanted to know if I felt he'd made his case, or if there were suggestions or criticisms I could offer. I told him I thought he'd done a great job, that it was clear to me the cops were lying, and that it was a slam dunk as far as I was concerned. Imagine our shock when we got word that there was a hung jury. What the fuck? When the jury was released I spoke with the jury foreman, a very nice old Hispanic lady, who told me the two white jurors had voted guilty and could not be convinced otherwise. Soccer mom wouldn't talk about it and bailed immediately, but I got a lock on Lab guy and asked him how he could possibly believe the police, given that no aspect of any of their five separate stories matched up in any way and were contradicted by eyewitnesses. He gave me this puzzled look and said "But they're the police, they wouldn't lie."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Blessed are the ripped, for they shall inherit California

Millennial religions generally share a number of characteristics. They generally appear in societies, or segments of societies, which are under a good deal of stress. There is a promise of deliverance from hardship in the form of some type of physical, temporal, or spiritual reorganization. The movements are driven by a charismatic prophet or messiah who has received that promise through a vision or divine inspiration.

The prophets of these movements also tend to follow a certain pattern. In most cases the receipt of the motivating vision produces radical personality change. Frequently the background of the prophet includes behaviors such as drug abuse, alcoholism, and chronic bouts of various forms of debauchery, which are resolved by the personality transormation produced by their vision.

This makes me curious about the Bible. In the Bible Christ jumps from a young boy to a thirty year old man with no coverage of the intervening years, which is really pretty bad narrative. Given what we know of millennial prophets I've wondered what the heck he was doing, and if the reason we have no coverage is that someone is hiding something. Turns out he was pumping iron. What would Jesus do? Winstrol.

Via Jill at Feministe.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

New Kids on the Block

Tough times, I had a whole thing to blog about, and when I started putting together the background something jumped out which demanded some love. Here's the meaty bit:

"I wish people would stop and think about the actual meaning of marriage in human society up until recently. And yes, this means Christian marriage, too. It's a property arrangement. It's to keep agnatic descent clear. It's not primarily about love."
An agnate is a relation through patrilineal descent, for those of you who have not wasted enormous amounts of your brain's computing cycles studying kinship. I think it would have been much better for the author to limit comment to marriage in modern civilizations, rather than broadly applying the generalization to all human societies. Modern humans have been on the planet for upward of 150,000 years. Agriculture has been around for about 10,000. What we would call modern civilizations, around 6,000.

That's an extremely small slice of the human historical pie. Prior to the sad arrival of agriculture, foraging societies dominated the scene, and those tend strongly toward matrilineal/matrilocal organization. Subjugation of women by men is a feature of patrilineal/patrilocal societies, but finds ultimate expression when we add wealth to the mix (agriculture=food surplus=wealth).

I strongly believe that cultural abcesses like radical gender inequality are the product of societies which are still in their infancy. Maybe toddlerhood. It is concerns like "keeping agnatic descent clear" which are recent cultural products, hopefully ones which will soon be outgrown.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Amateur Ornithologist

My girlfriend went in for "breast augmentation" surgery yesterday.



She's been wanting to do this for about eighteen years now, but never had the resources or personal time to get it done. I've taken the week off to look after her while she's recovering.

I'm still not too sure how I feel about it. I can't be too critical of body modification, because I have a big honking tattoo and butt implants (I made one of those up). I have a generic anti-surgery bias; my left knee is the proud owner of a torn ACL resulting from a football game gone drastically awry, which I haven't had repaired. So it's not just an abstract principle, I really don't like surgery. Maybe I'll whistle a different tune if I'm shot through the chest someday.

But really, it's her body and she can do what she chooses with it. I've tried pretty hard to be neutral about the whole thing, and it's been on the table for the four years and change that we've been together, so it's been discussed at some length. I've repeatedly said that if she wanted to do this for herself then more power to her, but I'm happy with the goods God gave her. And I am, I think she has a smoking hot body which is fine the way it is. Er, was.

Anyway, now I'm a little sad about the whole thing.

On a side note, during the pre-op briefings they gave her a little stuffed bear to take home after the surgery. We immediately christened it "Sweater Puppet." Helped lighten the mood.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Stand back everyone, I'm a musician!

ICT [2005/05/20]��McCain calls for IGRA review, revisions:

Senator John McCain is calling for revision of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, stating ''I strongly agree it's time we reviewed a 17-year-old piece of legislation and profited from the experiences we've undergone, and make whatever necessary changes in order to deal [with] an $18.5 billion - and continuing to grow - industry that none of us ever anticipated would reach this size when we passed the act in 1988.''

That's right folks, if everyone knew that Indians would make so much money, the paternalistic folks in our beloved federal government never would have opened up this box of Pandoras in the first place.

This part slays me: "Former Crosby, Stills and Nash member David Crosby, who is battling land-to-trust for gaming in California, argued that problems are caused by tribes' exemption from compliance with local zoning and other regulations, and from paying state and local taxes.

''It's unfair to all the other people who live there. I think that's blatantly obvious,'' Crosby said."

Well, it's a relief to have a singer step in and finally resolve the centuries of racism, paternalism, and legal issues associated with tribal relations and IGRA in particular with one pithy sentence.

Allow me to capitalize for a moment.


Citizens pay taxes in exchange for the government providing us with certain services, like building schools and roads, protecting us from criminals who are not elected officials, and invading smaller countries on flimsy pretexts. State and local governments do not provide services on trust lands, those services are provided by the federal or tribal governments. Crosby is saying it's not fair that Indians do not pay taxes for services they do not receive. More to the point, Indians are paying taxes, although they're not called taxes; since states are not allowed to tax tribes (being sovereign entities) it's euphemistically referred to as "revenue sharing." California tribes are right now committed to "sharing" twenty-five percent of gaming revenues, which I believe is the highest of any state in the nation.

I strongly recommend sticking with singing and sperm donation, those seemed to work pretty well.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Meriwether and William's Excellent Adventure

Indian Country Today has an article up concerning protests taking place over the re-enactment of the Lewis and Clark expedition. It quotes Carter Camp telling the re-enactors ''You are re-enacting the coming of death to our people. You are re-enacting genocide.''

I enjoy reading things like this, not because I think that we should not recognize events or projects like the Corps of Discovery, but because in all things we should strive to hear and understand all sides of the story. When I read about things like the Abu Ghraib atrocities or what is going on at Guantamo I'm not surprised in the least, because everything we're seeing there has already happened at various times in U.S. history. The reason it remains a problem now is that as a nation we have failed to openly recognize and reconcile with this past, it just gets shoved under a blanket, only to crawl out again and again.

Good on Carter and everyone else involved.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Blogeria is a harsh and unforgiving land. Stay hydrated.

My blog is making loud sucking noises, mostly because I don't really have time these days. When I do manage to post I don't make the time to fully develop the material, so we're left with half-formed crap. I have noticed that some bloggers take a light day on Friday and post pictures of their cats; I respect the privacy of my cats, and the thing is done to death anyway, so instead I was thinking of maybe instituting Friday Ass Blogging. It could potentially combine with a caption contest, maybe with prizes. Who knows?

Sometimes I Really Miss Usenet

Usenet is cool in that discussion are threaded, and it's visually very easy to follow who's replying to what and in what time. Somehow my previous story hour post was viewed as a misdirected commentary on something having to do with the draft; it's all confusing and hard to make sense of, particularly since the word "draft" appears nowhere in my post, nor do I offer any commentary on such a thing. But fuck it, somebody somewhere asked for it so now I'm going to talk about the draft.

I don't support a draft, and neither do any remaining acquaintances of mine who are still on active duty (really, there's no evidence like anecdotal evidence, is there?). The basic reasoning we share in this is that no highly motivated, hard charging stud wants to be stuck in a fighting position with someone who doesn't want to be there and is lacking motivation. We're hearing a fair amount of bitching from the troops right now, and that's from volunteers, imagine the wailing from draftees.*

I also have some problems with the way issues of fairness are being discussed. Does the military offer incentives which primarily appeal to the poorer classes? Undoubtedly. However, framing a discussion in terms of recruitment tactics targeted on the poor or undereducated does a vast disservice to the large number who do not share those backgrounds, and a good number who do.

Here's an example. The major wars in this century have seen a hugely disproportionate representation among certain minority groups; the largest variance between percentage of total population and percent composition of military members has been seen in Indians (surprise!). Indians have also historically been the poorest and least educated minority, and have seen greater representation in violent conflicts. However, the disproportionate military representation has had little to do with poverty or education, and a great deal to do with the importance of warrior societies and fighting for one's home (symbolically at least, please avoid nitpicking).

I enlisted at the beginning of 1991; I disagreed very strongly with the first Gulf War and our "need" to fight it before other options had been exhausted, but I volunteered to go fight in the thing. I had the test scores to pick and choose my assignment, but I chose the Infantry. I did take the college money, after all momma din't raise no dummy, but that's not why I enlisted. I enlisted because it's just what we do. And now, even though I think powwow's are pan- and all, when I do go to one I am allowed to participate in the gourd dance, which really means a lot more than college degrees.

Anyway, I think it's funny to read analysis of the state of military recruitment, which can usually be read backwards as middle- to upper-class well educated people pointing out that their particular demographic is severely under represented, and how that's just not fair to those who did show up. Solution: go fucking enlist.

My $.02, worth exactly what you paid for it.

*this post should in no way be read as a criticism of the legions of draftees who have come through in fine fashion on behalf of this country

Monday, May 16, 2005

Uncle Walt's Wild Ride

Bitch, PhD has a great post up about the upcoming sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean. Well, less about the movie than trying to raise a child free of institutionalized racism. Which is great. For quite some time I've thought that Disney is one of the most pernicious influences on American culture, even before they started shoveling crap like Pocahontas or PoC. I'm certain this will garner from Disney the pat response "It's just entertainment, not history, and should not be taken as such."

One problem with attitudes like this is that, unlike Professor B, many (if not most) Americans lack even a single Indian acquaintance to serve as a counterpoint to the caricatures which are the standard for Indian characters in American film. And television. And literature. Most of what passes for knowledge of Indians by the average American is gained through pop culture, and pop culture imagery has been controlled by whites with little or no input from Indians.

Which leads me to another point: there are over 500 extant tribes in the United States alone. We're not a homogenous group. On an objective level, how the Carib are portrayed in a film should affect me about as much as how Germans are portrayed affects Canadians. I'm more or less compelled to take an active interest in what's going on in this film because The Man lumps all tribes together into one featureless ball. It's the Carib this time, at others it has been Apaches, but the underlying problems remain the same (except it has become pc to hire Indians to portray Indians, rather than using whites wearing makeup).

Indians are a very, very small minority in this country, it would be nice if something approaching dialogue were to occur on subjects like this, but I frankly don't see that happening until it becomes a money issue for studios/football teams/assholes. If you go see it, I hope you're plagued with racial guilt (sorry, professor). If you are plagued with guilt, go buy a t-shirt to atone for your sins. The proceeds go to scholarships for Indian kids, the poorest and most undereducated in this country. And they're funny. The t-shirts, although the kids are a hoot as well.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

This one time, at band camp...

There's been a decent amount of discussion lately in blogeria about legal and ethical violations by recruiters who are falling drastically short of making their numbers. See here and here for examples. I'm frankly too lazy to find more.

If you will indulge me a moment, I'd like tell a story. I love story hour.

About eleven or twelve years ago, during my stint in the Army, a colonel from another unit submitted a request to my unit for a five man support element. The request was submitted in writing to our battalion S-3 (operations officer), who confirmed the details with the colonel by phone before farming it out to my company. The nature of the request dictated that it be handled by my squad, and it fell to my team. Several days prior to mission time the team leader also contacted the colonel by phone to confirm the relevant details on the order which we had received; time, place, equipment and so on. When confirming that the mission was taking place at a nearby location on our own post, the colonel further remarked that we would not have to request transportation, as we would not have to travel off-post, or far from our barracks. This particular mission also happened to be taking place on a weekend, which becomes important later.

Come job day we all assemble in the company area several hours ahead of our reporting time to assemble equipment, perform checks and inspections, and generally get our shit together. About an hour prior we formed up into a loose formation and marched to our reporting site, where we found another team from a neighboring unit which was also acting in support of this mission. But no sign of the larger element we were supposed to be supporting. At this point the staff duty NCO wandered by and asked us what the hell we were doing in his AO; when we explained who and what we were doing, he informed us that there was no such exercise taking place in that location. Were we perhaps looking for a similar training area on a neighboring post? You know, the one thirty miles down the road?

We found a phone, called the number for the location on the other post which the staff duty NCO had thoughtfully provided us, and sure enough, the colonel had given the wrong location to both support elements he had requested. One company from my battalion was billeted on the neighboring post, and he got a wee bit confused. We were now in somewhat of a pickle, as we had to motor our asses thirty some miles in what was now about twenty minutes to show time. Adding to the level of screwed, the motor pool was closed for the weekend. We discussed taking a POV (privately owned vehicle, or what the rest of the world calls a "car"), but ruled that out on two counts; 1) carrying a military weapon in a POV is a UCMJ violation, and 2) we had specific equipment which wouldn't fit in any of our vehicles. So we called the colonel back and told him he was shit out of luck unless they could send transport or wait seven or eight hours for us to walk. Neither of those turned out to be viable options, so we said "Have a nice weekend, sir" and went home.

Monday morning the big ball of shit started rolling. Physics and the nature of the chain of command dictated that it proceed downhill at the quicktime.

Clearly a colonel is far too high ranking to be blamed for such a screwup. It seems the Captain who served as S-3 in our battalion was similarly blessed, and so the ball rolled on down the hill, until it reached us and ground to a stop. 0730 Monday morning the whole team was standing at attention in the CO's office explaining what happened. And by "explaining" I mean moving our mouths and making meaningless sounds having absolutely no effect on the outcome, which had already been determined during an early morning call between our battalion commander and the colonel in question. We "explained" that our equipment would not fit in any of the vehicles available. And we were told that we should have taken it apart or broken it down however necessary (I am not making this up). We "explained" that it's a violation of a general order under the UCMJ to transport weapons in a POV. And we were told so fucking what, you men were given a mission which you failed to accomplish. The mission comes first, and you accomplish your mission using whatever means are available.

Let's review that: we were disciplined for not performing a clearly illegal act in pursuit of our mission.

I don't in any way condone what those recruiters are doing, particularly in regards to mentally disabled kids, but ultimately they are responding to pressures which are being exerted upon them by their chain of command. I view this as an extension of the mentality and leadership climate which produced the current culture of torture. I hope to have time to write that up tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Oral Fixation

Guest blogger cntodd has a post up over at Majikthise in which he discusses attitudes towards what he refers to as "truth-telling" and how they vary according to medium. He asks us to consider these examples:

  • In oral cultures, sayings and proverbs are themselves a medium for truth-telling – bits of wisdom passed down from the elders. Such bits of wisdom both guide daily life and adjudicate civil disputes.
  • In the American legal system, oral truth gets displaced by written truth – briefs, citations, law books, etc. – but in the courtroom speech itself gets privileged over print in that testimony is the medium for truth-telling. The short proverbs and sayings of an oral culture would not be accepted as a valid form of testimony or evidence.
  • In academic writing, the printed word is privileged over the spoken. Postman tells of a story in which a doctoral candidate was rebuked by his dissertation committee because of a citation that read: “Told to the investigator at the Roosevelt Hotel on January 18, 1981.” The committee said, you are not a journalist, you are supposed to be a scholar. The academic practice of truth-telling takes the medium of print to be essential.
There are a few problems here, starting with the (mis)characterization of oral traditions. In the oral tradition with which I'm most familiar, speech is broken down into three major categories: plain talk, prayer, and narratives. Cntodd is referring to items within the narrative category, but narratives are further broken down into six minor categories: myths, histories, sagas, gossip, coyote stories, and sexual stories. The two which really concern us at this time are myths and histories.

Myths concern the creation, how the world and the things in it emerged and achieved their present form. These stories take place "in the beginning," are only told by holy men and women, and their primary function is to instruct, although they may also provide some entertainment. Histories take place in the "long ago" time frame, when we were emerging as people and developing our ways and customs. They also instruct and entertain, but their primary purpose is social criticism, they demonstrate the consequences of improper behavior.

What cntodd calls "sayings and proverbs" probably refer back to myths and histories. It's very important to recognize that there are internal distinctions made between what is myth and what is history; histories are items which are known to be facts, even though they have not taken place within the memory of the speaker. Histories represent a shared body of knowledge which tends to be learned by rote and spoken in public, where any deviations from what is known may be identified and corrected. It is important that these messages survive unchanged, because they tend to represent very real survival lessons which are being preserved precisely because they did play a critical role in our previous survival. As a side note I'd like to add that in a pre-literate culture there's nothing worse than being labeled a liar, not even being called a Republican.

I'm going into long, boring detail because it's important to realize that recognition of speech events frequently involves an implicit understanding which doesn't lend itself readily to outside observation, and it's easy to miss these distinctions. Beyond that, cntodd has fallen into a bit of a trap in failing to recognize how even modern Americans distinguish between different types of speech events; there is a world of difference between reciting proverbs and giving sworn testimony. Or lecturing, sermonizing, telling bedtime stories, or delivering stand up.

In other media the rules and categories are also traditionally well defined; in a bookstore or library we have these divisions between fiction, non-fiction, biography, religion, reference, and so on. On television we recognize rather implicitly the differences between Tom Brokaw, Jerry Seinfeld, and Dr. Phil. Where we get into trouble is when one category gets all dressed up as another and goes out on the town, as we've seen in the Gannon controversy and the fake news segments the administration has been pimping. Trouble arises from violation of the rules which have been established regarding how we identify different types of speech. In the case of the tv ads, when an advertisement is constructed in a manner which is consistent with another type of speech (news) so as to possibly be misleading, an explicit statement is expected to counter the implicit assumptions.

Man, I can ramble. Anyway, I don't really think our problem is that too much weight is given to certain types of media, or that certain media are favored for certain types of communication, what I get from cntodd's post is that there is a lot of confusion over the rules governing speech acts, specifically in regards to what constitutes journalism, and how we can regain an implicit recognition of journalism vs. bullshit. Thanks for plodding through.

Say Hello to Mr. Johnson

Hey, look at this tool.

There's nothing like taking the time to write a post about how much of your valuable time people are wasting by forcing you to hit the "Back" button. That's a real killer. In the future try this:

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Learning to howl

Just got back from a fantastic weekend of fresh air, sunshine, running water, and maybe ten people within shooting distance all weekend. It was the pup's first trip, and she came through like a trooper. Meaning she dragged my ass all over Creation in her demand to smell everything within a five mile radius eight or nine times. My knees are toast, we covered a lot of broken ground over a couple of days.

I had to tether her in camp, which she hated intensely for about the first half hour, making me feel incredibly guilty. And the first night in the tent was an experience in raw brutality, the bitch plays a lot rougher than a dog and was so excited she didn't want to sleep. Don't even talk to me about the river; I'm guessing about 39 degrees, and she would have been happy to swim around in that shit all day long, whereas my feet lost all sensation after about two minutes and I had to drag her out. Good times.

Not a huge success from a relationship standpoint, the pup being as needy and high maintenance as she is. Her pack sense is strong, she needs to be included whenever there is affection being dispensed. That was a little annoying, but now that we're home her ass is back on her own bed.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Feliz Cinco de Mayo, cabronas!

Welcome to Cinco de Mayo, where I have celebrated by downing a metric shitload of tequila to celebrate a bunch of mestizos whipping up on Europeans. Feel free to make an inappropriate joke concerning racial stereotypes and alcohol, as American pop culture tells us it's not really racism when directed against Redskins, Braves, Indians, Fighting Sioux, Sun Devils, or.... well, you get the point, and I could spend all day and get carpal tunnel before I finish with that shit. Hang around for the Feast of San Geronimo, I'm going to roast an entire side of beef on a spit and throw large rocks at the first three European-Americans who walk by my house.

Today I settled for a recipe gleaned from Begging the Question, I have mixed feelings about reporting that it seems something good has come out of Texas. Being 1) Mexican/Indian on one side and 2) from New Mexico, I sort of have a congenital predisposition to dislike Texas (unofficial motto: no Mexicans, no Indians). There's a saying in eastern New Mexico that goes "So far from God, so close to Texas."

What was I talking about again? Oh yes, I'm going camping this weekend. I get to leave the gigantic flaming shithole which is Seattle for three glorious days of fresh air, sex, and tramping around in the woods with the pup. Did I mention I fucking hate Seattle? No offense to my northwestern cousins, I'm sure you deservedly love your homeland, but Seattle is a boil on the Devil's own buttocks. When I get back I'll try and talk about abortion (because really, nobody ever talks about it these days), why I hate Texas, and why I take evangelical Christians about as seriously as I take Bill Gates. While totally respecting their belief system. In the meantime, go find out why it's better to live inside our heads than the real world.

Requests for power animals and Authentic Indian Names (tm) may, as always, be emailed or left in comments.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Culture of Bottle Feeding

I haven't posted much (meaning at all) lately, not because I haven't had anything to say, but rather because I have quite a lot to say, most of it requiring more time to write than I currently have to spare. So I've decided to attempt to break big things up into manageable chunks, and see how that goes. Connect the dots, people!

Civilizations are growth oriented enterprises. Looking at various institutions and measurables, things tend to either be growing, declining, or in a state of collapse, it's rare to see instances where the status quo is maintained. Contrasting with that are foraging societies, which tend to favor stability. In regards to population, a given territory is capable of supporting only so many people; numbers vary depending upon current environmental conditions, but a population of foragers will generally represent the maximum number of people a land base is capable of supporting during the leaner years.

Any number of social institutions or attitudes may manifest with the goal of maintaining a stable population, both in regulating births and attempting to control unnecessary deaths. One thing which is not at all uncommon is to see children breastfed until they wean themselves, which may not occur until they are three or four years old. Breastfeeding women produce higher levels of prolactin, which suppresses ovulation, essentially a primitive form of birth control (primitive in the sense of not involving technology, if that word was going to make someone cry).

I haven't seen a ruling from the Church yet whether it's a violation of the no birth control doctrine to breastfeed a child, particular if part of the reasoning is avoiding an immediate pregnancy. I'd like to know if anyone has specific knowledge of the Vatican's policy towards boobies; I'm not a Christian, but Pascal's wager being what it is I don't want to piss off the Pope. I also would like to know if that would extend to oral/boobie contact which only simulates breastfeeding (my girlfriend is asking).