Monday, September 29, 2008

No sex today: my taxpayer rescue plan

Memo to President Bush, the Presidential Candidates, and Members of Congress

From: Citizen Donna Marie Williams

RE: My Taxpayer Rescue Plan

When it comes to the current economic crisis, there is no such thing as a democrat, republican, or independent. As you know, many democrats agree with republicans and vice versa on the best way to resolve this matter.

Partisan politics makes me sick. It's fake. It's about winning the rhetorical debate, not telling the truth. Cut it out.

The Taxpayer Rescue Plan

I'm not an economist or accountant, so I don't know enough to go into a lot of detail about the current economic mess. I do know, though, that the framing of the debate has been all wrong.

You call it a bailout plan when it really should be a taxpayer rescue plan. Only lip service has been paid about the taxpayer (a.k.a. Main Street), when it's the taxpayer who should be the focus of this recovery since it’s taxpayer dollars that’s coming to the rescue.

The taxpayer/consumer is the heart and soul of the economy.

The hell with Wall Street. The hell with Fannie, Freddie, AIG, WaMu, Wachovia, and the others to come down the road. Let them fold or be bought out. It's clear that we're witnessing the greatest flea market in history, and the result will be a consolidation of power. Fewer banks, investment firms, etc. will hold more of our money. I don’t like it, but I get it.

For once, since it's our money, let taxpayers get in on the action. In my plan, the taxpayer is the centerpiece of the recovery. Not the companies, not the banks. Not the privately held Federal Reserve. And definitely not the CEOs and their political cronies. Put them under the jail.

The following are the broad strokes of my taxpayer rescue plan. I’m sure I’ve left some things out, but you guys can sort through the details upon agreement that the premise is sound.

1. Taxpayer dollars must strengthen the following pots: FDIC, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and public education. I like the idea of raising the FDIC limit on protected accounts to $200,000. The taxpayer must come first.

2. Accountants must go through the books of the failed companies line by line. The purpose of this exercise is to locate and rescue all the pension funds. We must make sure that the pension promises that were made to our parents, grandparents, and future retired selves are kept. No compromise. Allow financial institutions that have been excellent stewards to bid for and take over these pension accounts.

3. If we bail out the failed, corrupt companies (which I don't want to do), then the taxpayer must become a voting shareholder (via referendums?) of the corporations. After a reasonable amount of time, taxpayers will begin to receive dividend checks. For the first time in the history of this country, the wealth will be spread out among the taxpayers as it should be. This is not welfare, socialism, or communism. This is economic reciprocity. If we have to pay, then in due time we must receive a return on our investment.

My approach will take time, but better that than to hurry up and sign a bill that will put future generations in further back-breaking debt. Better that than to pull an arbitrary number ($700 billion) out of thin air. Under my plan, we'll get a handle on how much is truly at risk first, then disburse the funds to minimize taxpayer risk.

4. There must be meticulous oversight of the process. One man cannot be allowed to allocate dollars as he sees fit. Too much money makes psychopaths of us all. Instead, I strongly recommend that a consortium of independent accounting firms takes over the process of assessment, disbursement, oversight, and shareholder/taxpayer payouts. It’s not a perfect system because we know how Arthur Anderson was a player in the Enron mess, but we’ve got to start somewhere. Maybe also include an ethics advising committee of some sort.

5. Yes, predatory subprime lending was a factor in the collapse. It's so easy to blame the working poor and middle class, but what about the fact that housing prices have been overinflated for years? Home ownership is part of the American dream, yet with sky high prices, the working poor and middle class didn't stand a chance until subprime. Take a holistic look at the industry—for example, redlining and the over inflation of property assessments. Many factors go into establishing housing prices, and it's not an exact science. There's a lot of room for creativity, if you know what I mean. Anyone who has attempted to purchase a home knows this to be true. Look into the myriad of practices, not just subprime lending, that has corrupted the entire industry.

6. And another thing: the rules and regulations of the credit industry suck. I hate how, when you're applying for a loan, the mere inquiry goes against your credit rating. You need to fix all those laws that hurt the taxpayer. Also, your corporate benefactors exported most of our manufacturing base overseas. That really didn’t help the situation at all. Not only are they exploiting people in developing nations with slave wages, you let our own people down. And stop selling off our highways and ports. Are you crazy? And why can’t Ford sell their 65 mpg car to U.S. citizens? Is a trade agreement with the Japanese involved? Why is it that only Hollywood celebrities get to drive the coolest green cars? We need the savings more than they do.

I'm acutely aware that my plan will bring more pain and suffering in the short term. Thousands, maybe millions, will lose their jobs. I'm so sorry about that, but that's what happens when a nation makes mammon its god and when we trust psychopaths to handle our money for us.

I truly doubt if the plan Congress is mashing together will save jobs or rescue taxpayer dollars. Why? Because the taxpayer is not the focus. Facilitating the consolidation of corporate power is the focus. At least my plan stands a chance of true economic recovery because the rescue mission is targeted where the true danger lies: within the solvency of the American taxpayer.

As a communications strategist, I've been downsized, laid off, and let go more times than I can count. When it first happened, I was terrified. The last time it happened, I was a homeowner with major surgery pending. I went into foreclosure, then filed chapter 7, which went completely against my moral code, my sense of personal responsibility. As a single mother with two children to take care of, I felt at the time that I had no choice.

I learned in my own personal Great Depression that you can’t keep pouring money down the black hole. Recovery takes great discipline and sacrifice, and it is painful. But I’m a witness, you do come out better and unencumbered on the other side. You begin to enjoy a freedom you’ve never felt before.

That's it. That's my plan. Again, I'm no financial expert, but that's the taxpayer focus upon which the recovery must be based.

Thank you for your time.

Donna Marie Williams

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Teen girls, reluctant doctors?

I just heard the most disturbing news from one of my sisters. She said a gynecologist told her she's no longer taking teen patients.

"Why?" I asked, incredulous.

"Because," said my sister, "so many teen girls had been coming in with not just one STD, but multiple STDs to be treated in one visit. She said it was nasty."

Nasty? Is that a term they learn in medical school?

I knew that the STD rate had been increasing in some youth populations, but I'd never heard about this issue with doctors refusing to see certain patients. Was this a trend among doctors?

I called my business partner, Alfred "Coach" Powell, and told him what I'd heard. He called a contact at a college clinic. What he found confirmed at least part of what I'd heard.

While this particular clinic isn't turning patients away, young women as well as gay men are seeking treatment for multiple STDs in one visit.

This is the most educated, informed generation around sexual issues, but behaviors are slow to change.

College campuses should purchase copies of my book Sensual Celibacy in bulk and give them away for free to young women. And I've known one or two gays who benefited from the wisdom included in its pages.

If you have teen children or work with them, don't give up on them. Contact me at to purchase our latest books: Girlfriends Journal #1 and Journal for Young Men #1 (Real Talk, Real Thoughts about Love, Relationships, and Sex).

These guided, abstinence- based journals are powerful eye openers for teens who are trying to work through turbulent emotions. In our workshops, there's never a dry eye in the house. Get these life-changing books today for yourself or someone you love. They may heal a heart or save a life!

Somewhat off point, but not really

Okay, I know this is a blog about not having sex, but I just can't resist putting my two cents (literally, I'm on a budget) into the fray about our current economic crisis.

In my book Sensual Celibacy, I wondered how celibacy impacts the GNP (gross national product). After all, if you're not having sex, chances are you're buying copious amounts of chocolate and Kleenex, renting tons of DVDs for those Friday and Saturday nights home alone, and shopping way too much for shoes.

Come to think of it, shoe shopping is the one thing celibate and sexually active women agree on.

The point is, when you're suddenly single or single by force not choice or even willingly single, there are times when the aloneness seems unbearable. What to do?

In a capitalistic society, instead of meditating or praying, we spend money. Spending money is the way we escape from the pressures of life – although spending money often creates new pressures. We've been trained to whip out the plastic to buy things we don't really need, and at least for a moment we feel better, even ecstatic.

A few years ago, I lost everything – my job, my house, my knees (double knee replacement surgery). I thought I was losing my mind.

I read the heartfelt stories about women who had endured a crisis with their husbands at their side.

Well, hell, I didn't have one of those. Made me feel worse.

Normally, I would go to the bookstore and buy tons of books and books-on-tape to self-medicate, but with no money, I couldn't depend on the old shopping therapy to soothe my battered soul. At least not in the way I had before.

Somehow I got through my dark night of the soul, and I've learned to live on a lot less. A lot less. In fact, it's become a game to see how much I can save and still receive a modicum of enjoyment from life.

The country's going to have to learn to live on a lot less to get through this crisis. We also need to reestablish our manufacturing base. Not only did these guys have sticky fingers, they exported practically our entire manufacturing base overseas. Just plain evil.

Don't wait for someone else to create a company that actually makes something useful. Do It Yourself! Check out for a model of an online DIY community. The DIY revolution could very well turn out to be our economic salvation.

It will also give you something to do while not having sex.

So when I hear all the moaning and groaning on Wall Street and all the finger pointing in Washington, I point my own finger at all of them.

When I needed a bailout, only my family was there. Why should my taxes go to helping these rich guys when, in their insatiable quest for money, they never cared about building in safeguards for their employees and the society as a whole?

How can these CEOs, who ran their companies into the ground, get more money than a developing nation? Or was it the plan all along, to drop a bomb on the economy? Follow the money. I mean, either there's widespread incompetence or obedience on Wall Street and in Washington.

And if we must bail out these fools, then I want part ownership in the companies. I want to see dividend checks from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, and Iraqi oil (don't get me started on that).

The problem with capitalism is that money can become your god. As we've seen recently, money is a piss poor excuse for a god.

I'm still trying to sort through fact from fiction, but I'm beginning to suspect that the meltdown was calculated. Corruption and greed were the usual culprits, but there's a bigger agenda, as there always is with these things.

Follow the money. It's all about the consolidation of power. Fewer and fewer corporations are setting up to run more and more of our lives.

So I'm no different from anyone. I like to spend money, and in my more honest moments, I'll even admit to using money spending to self-medicate. But as I mentioned, I've learned how to live with a lot less. I pray and meditate a lot more.

How do I get my money spending fix during hard times? I go to the thrift shop.

More on a celibate woman's adventures at the thrift in later posts!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pick-up strategies: good or evil?

I have a friend who considers himself quite the lady's man. Like all narcissists, he loves the sound of his own voice, believes only he has the answer to the world's problems, and is bored with the opinions of others.

He talks about himself all the time. Like Suede on this season's Project Runway, he refers to himself in the third person. A woman can't get a word in edgewise.

Believe it or not, such men can be charming, and I admit to keeping him around for entertainment purposes. But I can only take him in small doses. I've told him more than once that while he may be brilliant, he knows nothing about women.

Which brings me to the purpose of today's post. How would you feel if you discovered that a guy you were interested in had attended a "school" that teaches men how to pick up women?

Remember that VH1 reality show, The Pick-Up Artist?

Let's say you're going out to a club, a book store, or church social. You'll probably spend some time making yourself attractive before you go. You may read a few lines from my book Sensual Celibacy or team up with a friend to make sure you don't have accidental sex.

So can we be mad at guys for wanting to develop their skills? Aren't we both, women and men, preparing ourselves to make a connection? Aren't these preparations designed to ensure that things go the way we want?

Radaronline posts an interesting article about a school that teaches guys pick-up techniques. Yes, there are probably many sleazeballs that use the approach for evil and not good. But there are some men out there, good men, who are shy. They never get a break because their more verbose brethren have bedazzled all the women.

Read the article and decide for yourself. I think learning social skills is not a bad thing. Especially if it makes me stop and listen to a man, a good man, I might not have considered before.

How do you know if the man is good or not? Only time will tell, which is why abstaining from sex is critical. The beauty of sensual celibacy is that this mental mindset will help you discern the toads from the princes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Silliness to take your minds off sex

In addition to reading my book, Sensual Celibacy, I'm always looking for inventive ways to stay the straight and narrow. Well, this little time stealer may not stop you from thinking about sex entirely, but it'll take your mind off it for a quickie moment.

Which American family has the most interesting names in the country? The prize goes to a family in Alaska. That's right, the Palins.

So what would your name have been if Sarah Palin had been your mother? Check out this cool Sarah Palin name generator.

By the way, mine would have been Flag Cobra Palin.

I think I'll stick to Donna Marie.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another celeb for abstinence

Check out this great post about Jordin Sparks standing up for the Jonas Brothers and their abstinence pledge at the 2008 Video Music Awards.

That took courage!

It never ceases to amaze me what an easy target you become if you make a decision to not have casual sex. What ever happened to freedom and personal choice? Bigotry in any guise and against any group of people is just plain unacceptable and ignorant.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

This is what happens when real people campaign...

This historical campaign season of many firsts has me, well, flabbergasted. Where do I begin?

Well, since they brought up Sarah Palin's pregnant 17 year-old daughter, and since I write a blog called "Sensual Celibacy," I figure I have as much right to crash the debate party raging on blogs, both liberal and conservative, as anyone.

First, let's get this straight: neither democrats nor republicans have cornered the market on sexual irresponsibility. As the Good Book says, we have all fallen short (especially me).

The goal of any presidential campaign is, of course, to win. Unfortunately, truth and integrity are the greatest casualties of the war.

When I heard about the teen pregnancy, I immediately thought, now if one of Barack Obama's African American daughters was 17 and had gotten pregnant (God forbid), what would be the response?

We know. Oh, we know.

"Yet another black girl got herself pregnant. Typical. Who's the baby daddy? Does she even know?" Blah blah.

All is not fair in America, so the hypocritical response of the republicans wasn't a surprise, but it still pissed me off. There has been nothing but glowing praise for Palin and her pregnant daughter.

"At least she's not going to have an abortion, although the situation is difficult."

"At least she's going to get married."

What kind of message does this send to youth? And, do republicans even believe what they're saying?

Rather than being apologists for the Palins, be real, republicans. Don't throw the child under the bus, but on the other hand, don't be hypocrites. Stay true to your conservative agenda, even when there's a lot at stake.

Isn't that what integrity's all about?

What happened to the conservative agenda – abstinence education, no sex before marriage, etc.? What happened to the national campaign to reduce teen pregnancy rates? What happened to the discussion about the girl's education? How will this pregnancy affect her academic performance? Will she graduate on time?

Did you throw all that out the window because of political expediency?


I thought about Britney's sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, and the flak she took when her pregnancy was revealed to the world. She was a bad influence on youth, they said. Jamie's mother was called the worst mother in the world.

Yet I only hear glowing praise for Sarah Palin.

I'm just saying, be consistent, be fair.

Here are some teen pregnancy statistics to put this issue in perspective. According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • About one-third of girls in the U.S. get pregnant before age 20.
  • More than 80% of teen births are unintended.
  • "Despite the continuous declines, the US teenage pregnancy rate is still among the highest among industrialized nations."
  • "$9.1bn in public funding was expended on teenage childbearing in 2004. These costs include public assistance, healthcare, child welfare and other expenses." (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy)
And that's why the republicans shouldn't go soft, not now.

I have a teen aged daughter, so I know firsthand about the perils of parenting and growing up in this age of sexual irresponsibility. In fact, if I had been in Sarah Palin's place (God forbid), I wouldn't have taken McCain up on his offer. I wouldn't have wanted my daughter to endure the kind of public scrutiny Palin's daughter is now facing.

Sarah Palin, for my daughter's sake and all other teen males and females, don't hide behind the old "give our family privacy" bit. Use your great platform to talk about the need for abstinence education. Revive the discussion about how sexual themes and images in youth music, media, the Internet, video games, and comic books are deliberately promoted to children.

Sarah Palin, your daughter has launched a national debate. Your family is now part of all families. When it comes to our children, we can forgive just about anything. We know how your kids can break your heart. So be real, and don't hide behind politics, just this once. This is really important.