Mark Palermo

A Subsidy for the Human Touch?

He Was Our S.O.B.
Long Ago Saturday Nights at the Circle 9
The Dark Side of Vaccinations
Wine: Where Ignorance and Pretension Find their Loudest Voice
A 1976 Journey in Search of Self
The Machinery of Mass Dreams
The Outlaw Georgie Bush
Sex Offender Registries Out of Control
Extreme Makeover for Airheads
The Fault Lies not in the Stars, but in Ourselves
Reconsidering George Carlin
If You Think Liberals Are Jerks...
She Couldn't Do Her Chores
Remembering Viktor Frankl
One Day on the Farm-1977
A Fresh Look at Meat
How the Real World Works: A Lesson
30 Bucks for the Human Touch
1929 All Over Again
An Old Man's War, A Young Man's Fight
More Things in Heaven and Earth...
Our Dumbed-down Public Discourse
Bread, But No Roses
Earth's the Right Place for Love
Read This Before Enlisting
Poison Is Good for You: The Fluoridation Scam
Ron Paul:He Makes Too Much Sense
War Is a Racket
Brazil's National Orgasm Day
Calling all Liberals!
Why I Don't Get Flu Shots
What is Community?
Haverhillicus Homocrisicum
If You Wanna Be a Junkie, Why?
Do We Know His Family?
Scam: Youth Sports
A Subsidy for the Human Touch?
How Not to Be Boring
If the Bread and Roses Strike Were NOW
America's Problem with the Body
Columbus Day? or Renaissance Day?
Depleted Uranium Weapons
Mitt Romney: A Clintonian Republican
A Checklist for Conservatives
On Torture and Torturers
Pimp of the Nation
Romney is a Jerk
Hypocrisy and its Champions
The Dumb Society
The Men's Taverns of Yesteryear
On Dittoheads!
Let China Sleep
2004 McDebates
Animal Rights Page
US Wealth Distribution Chart
Public Grief, Private Lives


In Denmark they have an enlightened approach to the world’s oldest profession. Sex work is legal as long as a woman can prove it is not
her only means of support. Now the Danes are debating another question. Should disabled people be allowed government subsidized
home visits by prostitutes?Torben Hansen, has cerebral palsy which severely affects his speech and ability to get around. The 59-year-old Hansen says that he had a girlfriend, but she died, and getting to a brothel is too difficult for him, so he would like his local government to compensate him for house calls by sex workers. Even for the libertine Danes, this question of public subsidies has provoked a controversy about just how much help you are supposed to get from the government. Stig
Langvad of the country's Disabled Association accused politicians of double standards saying, "The disabled must have the same possibilities as other people. Politicians can debate whether prostitution should be allowed in general, instead of preventing only the disabled from having access to it." A similar idea is being
floated in Australia by advocates for the disabled.

  On one hand I want to tell Hansen “For God Sakes, man. Pick yourself up off the floor and stand tall. There is a woman for every man in this world. Go out the door and find another.” Easy enough to say. But I don’t have cerebral palsy. It’s not such an easy question to answer. What about veterans, for instance, that come home from Iraq- as some do -psychologically and physically damaged? The VA provides them with an array of rehabilitative services. But what about the service they may
need more than any other? Do we as a society simply pretend this need doesn’t exist? Older people forget too easily what it was like to be young.
  So I am rooting for Hansen. In this generation of billionaires and yuppies that pay five bucks for a cup of coffee, there should be a little money somewhere for a lonely man to experience the human touch. But when I think about how well-intentioned ideas like this
get translated into legislation, I shudder to think of it.  It might just work in northern Europe. But here, after all the loopholes are
identified, it would be abused beyond all limits and the financial advantages milked to the last drop. Think of the bloated bureaucracies this would generate, the federal grants, the lawsuits from people who say they caught something, the billing frauds, the
  In the end, like Hansen, we must make face our existential situation and make do with the cards we are dealt. But let’s give him credit
for trying. If the government won’t help people in Hansen’s predicament, maybe somebody can start a charitable foundation. They can solicit private donations (I’ll send 15 bucks) and get some corporate sponsorship. Maybe Bill Gates can kick in something. They can call it the Foundation of Physical Satisfaction. I wish Hansen well in his quest. What is meant to be will always find a way.

April 2006