Archive for the ‘The Evil Men Do’ Category

Who Shares Their Personality Traits With Serial Killers?

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

There are some phony egghead studies that make me cranky because they are obviously concocted to sell people on something that isn’t true, and there are other phony egghead studies that bumble into conclusions so obvious they make me wonder who spent the dough that was used for the study.

This one kind of falls into the second of those two:

Oh-oh! Politicians share personality traits with serial killers: Study

Using his law enforcement experience and data drawn from the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit, Jim Kouri has collected a series of personality traits common to a couple of professions.

Kouri, who’s a vice president of the National Assn. of Chiefs of Police, has assembled traits such as superficial charm, an exaggerated sense of self-worth, glibness, lying, lack of remorse and manipulation of others.

These traits, Kouri points out in his analysis, are common to psychopathic serial killers. [emphasis mine]

Reminds me of that Obama voter who ‘fessed up in a personal e-mail a year ago…he was holding secret hush-hush meetings with my boss at the time, a few years before that, saying “Don’t put Morgan in charge of this, it’ll piss everybody off.” Yup. “Everybody” turned out to be just him. He’d be pissed off because I wouldn’t back his Replacement-Jesus candidate.

Exaggerated sense of self-worth…glibness…lying…lack of remorse…manipulation of others. Check, check, check, check and check.

I don’t know why he bragged about that to me. Seems pretty stupid. But I was glad to have the insight into what was really going on behind the scenes.

Yes, absolutely, by all means let us study these people.

“While many political leaders will deny the assessment regarding their similarities with serial killers and other career criminals, it is part of a psychopathic profile that may be used in assessing the behaviors of many officials and lawmakers at all levels of government.”

I’ve noticed something else about people like this, whether they’ve gone the serial-killer route or found some other life-pursuit. It seems they can talk themselves into believing things, but only if they make an effort out of it.

It’s like their brains are divided into an inner core and a more outward section. They can tell a lie the way a “normal” person would tell a lie, which is to maintain a recognition of what is the true state of affairs, while presenting deceptions to an audience that are contrary to this recognition. So that the contents of the inner and outer sections are different. But this personality type finds that undesirable after a short time, and ultimately opts to tear down the courtyard wall that divides the inner from the outer. To repeat the lie over and over again, until he believes it down to the marrow of his bones. It makes it easier to present the lie and it’s also more effective when it comes time to persuade others to believe (or be open to) the lie.

These people are superbly confident. They have a great appeal to the weaker mind because they seem so certain about everything they do. They don’t change direction. They don’t slow down. The impression they give off is that perhaps they’d re-think things better than anyone else if something could be gained from it, but they’ve done such a dandy job of figuring things out the first time that there is no need and no point.

There is an inevitability in the things they do. There is a sense of futility involved in even thinking about opposing them. In short, they go about things just like a 20-ton wrecking ball.

That’s because they share the same mission as a wrecking ball. Thinking like a grown-up, is a burden reserved for those who design and create. Destruction is a lot easier.

Ten Greatest Con Men of All Time

Monday, March 16th, 2009

…and not a single Obama administration official on the list.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

It is often said that being a beat cop makes you cynical about humanity, and the experience does this to you in a most destructive way: The glimmerings you pick up about our species, what makes it tick, our capacity for evil and violence, are all TRUE. What’s unique is the side of the human condition you’re seeing.

Rather like figuring out what an elephant looks like by staring at its asshole.

Well, as of now, you don’t need to respond to domestic-disturbance calls or go chasing off after drug dealers to gain a dark perspective of the human condition. You can just read the last two posts on Rachel Lucas’ blog.

Air passenters are ungrateful

Manhattanite Tess Sosa, who escaped the sinking plane with her husband and two small children, thought the airline was too focused on self-congratulations – and “they want to exonerate themselves as much as they can.”

“They are happy they had such amazing results, and they applaud themselves, and then give us a small token?” she said. “That’s how I take it.”
“You’re going to crash me into the water, and you’re going to tell me all I get is an upgrade?” asked Antonio Sales, 20, who was traveling with the University of South Carolina’s track team. “That’s more of an ‘OK, you’re not dead, I’ll give you something to hold on to.’ It’s not enough at all.”

Teammate Gabrielle Glenn, 20, was more blunt: “That’s it. They should sue.”

Rarely have I beheld such ungrateful piggy behavior.

The airline is “applauding” itself BECAUSE none of you died. Due to them employing an excellent pilot and crew who saved your lives. They have nothing to “exonerate” themselves for because the crash wasn’t the fault of any human being on the entire planet.

Geese, bitches. GEESE.

My favorite is the one I titled this post after. Antonio Sales, 20, someone who needs a punch in his tiny little nuts. Hey Antonio. The reason “you’re not dead” is BECAUSE they decided to “crash you into the water” BECAUSE THE FUCKING ENGINES FAILED – BECAUSE OF GEESE – AND THAT WAS THE ONLY WAY YOU WOULD NOT DIE.

And a “Mom” who seems to think the whole universe is here just to give her a place to have more and more children, husband or no. You were wondering why you hear so much about this bitch lately? Because it’s part of her plan

The woman who gave birth to octuplets this week conceived all 14 of her children through in vitro fertilization, is not married and has been obsessed with having children since she was a teenager, her mother said.

Angela Suleman told The Associated Press she was not supportive when her daughter, Nadya Suleman, decided to have more embryos implanted last year.

“It can’t go on any longer,” she said in a phone interview Friday. “She’s got six children and no husband. I was brought up the traditional way. I firmly believe in marriage. But she didn’t want to get married.”

Angela Suleman said her daughter always had trouble conceiving and underwent in vitro fertilization treatments because her fallopian tubes are “plugged up.”

There were frozen embryos left over after her previous pregnancies and her daughter didn’t want them destroyed, so she decided to have more children.

Sure, that’s what I would do.

And dig this:

THE single mother of octuplets born in California last week is seeking $2 million from media interviews and commercial sponsorship to help pay the cost of raising the children. [emphasis Rachel’s]

It’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder — and no, Barack, I am not requesting treatment for this epidemic be made part of the “stimulus”. But an epidemic we do have:

The narcissist is described as turning inward for gratification rather than depending on others and as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power and prestige.

We lavish all this attention on idiots for idiotic reasons — voting for unqualified candidates for President because “there’s just something about Him, I can’t explain it”; giving people their time in the limelight on American Idol when they can’t carry a tune in a bucket; doting on prospective mothers during baby showers.

What we seem to forget, is little kids are watching this. And the little kids grow up. You almost can’t blame them for then saying “Okay, my turn, where’s mine?”


I’m sure Nadya Suleman had a similar experience sometime during or prior to the teenage years, when she got this “obsession.” Now she wants to know where hers is. Of course she does.

And the airplane passengers are just more of the same.

We seem to have crossed a meaningful boundary here. Sometime in the first half of the twentieth century, mass communication became possible and affordable, and so it was suddenly important for us to be seen doing things. To show what wonderful people we are, to whoever might be watching. And so you had all these bullshit social programs very much like the ones we’re creating right now, to “put people to work”…nevermind that no true wealth was being created. Looking back on it, it was quite silly, really — even though we’re making the same mistakes all over again.

Well now, it’s important to be seen by other people while we’re watching yet other people. The Voting-For-Obama thing is a perfect example — how many of his slobbering, ignorant supporters used the phrase word-for-word, “I want to be part of this”? More than just a few. If their friends didn’t know they were voting for Obama, the exercise would’ve been futile. It was never about being-part-of-this, it was about being-KNOWN-to-be-part-of-this, which is a different thing. You watch the forementioned attention whores on American Idol who can’t carry a tune in a bucket…well, you can’t just watch that in solitude, and then keep it a secret. No! you have to go to work and babble away about how unfair it is that so-and-so got voted off. So everyone knows you were watching it.

So we have NPD where we didn’t have it before — because we asked for it.

Just like we stopped smacking kids in the butt when they misbehave, and now it’s some kind of mystery why every third kid has something called “ADHD.” It’s not a mystery. We treat each other different, in a few years’ time, we’re going to be acting different. The mystery would be how to explain it if it didn’t happen.

Hey Rachel…great stuff. Now I think you need to put up a post or two about bunnies or candy canes or something. Wallow in this sewage for too long and it’ll just eat you up inside. You know it and I know it.

The Road to Serfdom

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Yeah, you really should put down what you’re doing and go read up. If, after skimming, you don’t agree it was worth your time to do so, I can pretty much promise you weren’t doing anything worthwhile when you got interrupted.

It was written by one F. A. Hayek between 1940 and 1944, and effectively predicts the world’s struggles with socialism in the years after World War II. The trailhead is the wartime necessity of “coming together for the greater good”; from there, even after the cessation of hostilities, the slope just becomes steeper and more slippery. People become acclimated to the notion that any challenge can be overcome we if can just be persuaded to put aside our sniveling, greedy little individualist ambitions and somehow be bludgeoned into following a few more rules.

But whose rules? After the last shovelful of earth falls on the casket holding the shattered remnants of libertarian spirit, we come across a problem of Too Many Chiefs Not Enough Indians. A strong opinion, it turns out, is not such a rare and precious thing; if it were, we’d seek out a wise man. But there is much power available to whoever came up with the plan that shall reign supreme, and this culminates in quite a different state of affairs. Endless bickering, squabbling…a wise man isn’t what’s needed, we just need someone strong. We need unity, gosh darn it, and if it doesn’t come naturally we will force it. That will make things better.

The prosperity and happiness of “everyone” depends on it.

It’ll really make you think about things. Or it should.

Hat tip: Classical values.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Columbine Dilemma

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Regarding the post earlier today, I’m reminded of something someone pointed out about Columbine. It’s impossible to give credit because this was nine years ago…but think back with me, if you will, to what was going on at the time; who was being blamed. The parents were being blamed, bowling was being blamed, trench coats and goth culture were being blamed, video games were being blamed. And you know guns were being blamed. The person I have in mind, was simply pointing this out. The tragedy appears to have become a convenient soapbox for…whatever.

Some whack-jobs were even blaming the kids who actually pulled the triggers on those guns! Ha, ha! Is that crazy, or what? Oh wait, actually, I was in that crowd. Still am.

Well, fast forward to today. This wrinkly man-hating old buzzard got caught indulging in nonsensical twaddle because, like the activists of nine years ago, she couldn’t resist that ambrosia of Fuel For Whatever Social Activist Mission Your Little Heart Has In Mind, in the form of a school shooting. And so she screeched away about how it was high time that we realized…boys are idiots.

Teenage boys are idiots…Teenage boys are more impulsive and aggressive than any other group. WItness their penchant for crashing cars, diving headfirst into rock quarries, experimenting with drugs, and deciding to “play chicken” by draping themselves across dark country roads in an attempt to prove something to their similarly stupid peers.They are driven by sexual curiosity to the point of insanity, and they hold a misguided sense of immortality.

Yes, I’m generalizing. Many teenage boys are polite, respectful, accomplished individuals, but those of them who are are pulling this off are doing so by fighting the natural impulses to be idiots that threaten to overtake them every day.

There is, perhaps, no other single group in American life less suited to have access to handguns than teenage boys.

Well don’t worry Katie Allison Granju, because while a teenage boy fired the gun, it was also another teenage boy that got taken down. One less idiot.

Well the trouble is, in this case, 15-year-old shooter Jamar P. Siler’s adopted sister is also a murderer as of the first day of this month. Normally a detail not worth including. Except it is the solvent, to Ms. Granju’s hypothesis, much as salt is to a slug. Those boys are real dangers to society, huh Katie?

Knoxville police say the 15-year-old accused in today’s shooting at Central High School was adopted into a family that includes a 22-year-old woman wanted for allegedly shooting another woman Aug. 1 at Walter P. Taylor Homes.

Ciara S. Siler is wanted on a first-degree murder warrant and is thought to be hiding in public housing projects in Nashville, Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk said.

Siler allegedly shot and killed Jerri Lynn Goodman, 31.

Her adopted brother, Jamar B. Siler, is charged with killing 15-year-old Ryan McDonald this morning at Central High.

The temptation is to pile on the mother, and it’s understandable. But there may very well be other forces at work. I say that because of the highly ignorant comments of someone who identified herself as a ninth-grader and classmate of the troubled Jamar, who, in my opinion, shouldn’t be allowed to comment on publicly accessible Internet forums — and damn well shouldn’t be doing so with her real name. She needs to be protected from her own stupidity, and as a child I think she’s entitled to that protection.

But I have my own Columbine agenda coming out of this one. There’s something in the water in that little hamlet in Tennessee:

Who are you to judge..??? Dont you understand that people make mistakes?? Only one person can judge and that is GOD…On judgement day he will be the judge….No one but close friends really know what JaMar went through…. He was a great friend to everyone at Vine Middle Performing Arts and Sciences Magnet School in East Knoxville,….. He was a typical teen and he was very smart and intelligent.. Who just didnt want to live up to his potential… I know Ryan also by being a student at Vine.. Just understand that no one is perfect and that you as well make mistakes and that you really cant put the blame on one person for the simply fact that people have their own issues and their struggles in life.. And his life was not full of gold.. That he had a hard life and that he needs someone to love and care for him because no one really did that when he was younger.. Go through what he went through 15 years of his life and tell me how you feel?? and if you come out of that experience like everything is peaches and cream than something is not right about that at all!!!!
To you JaMar B. Siler just understand that we love you regardless of the accident that you did… Dont worry because all you have to do is pray to God and confess to him that what you did was wrong… You are very handsome and unique. And that you are loved by everyone.. You may be gone for a long time but you are not forgotten..You will be constantly in our prays and thoughts..Through Christ all things are possible… Keep Yah Head Up Kid.. RIP RYAN

Idiot, idiot, idiot, idiot, idiot. And probably every bit as much a dangerous hooligan as anybody who’s ever aroused the ire from Katie Allison Granju. Can’t really put the blame on one person. We love you. Accident that you did. Idiot.

I’m reminded of my own words from last week:

…I see we have a variation here that is newer than that other ancient one, and perhaps more dangerous: That is complete agnosticism about where evil is.

This is different from the guy who calls evil good, and good evil. He, at least, must make the concession that there is such a thing as evil. And much of the time, he’ll either place some value on human life, or pretend to do that much. Capital punishment is a great example. I say “Hey, admit it or not, there are some guys who will kill again if they’re allowed to live; you can’t hold them in the prisons, especially when you have liberal hippies running around, unleashed, struggling to come up with new excuses every year for releasing criminals from prison.” You come back at me and say “Waitaminnit, how can you say killing is wrong, and then prove it by killing someone?” And we debate back and forth. Me with the law-and-order argument, you with the Sean Penn Susan Sarandon argument.

At least we are both placing some value on human life; or pretending to.

Not so with the moral relativist who crusades on “weeeeelllllll…ya just gotta keep an open mind.” That is a new level of ignorance.

And it must, inevitably, metastasize into the darkest, purest form of evil. For it doesn’t place a value on human life, nor does it pretend to.

The idiot ninth-grader talks about God. What if we could talk directly to God about this? What if we could ask Him, why don’t these apathetic monsters show some value of human life? To my way of thinking, God would surely answer back with some derivative of…from where, exactly, are they supposed to have learned such a value? Individuals mature in a society that places no value on it — students shoot each other, and it’s an “accident that you did.” Such a climate of social mores & customs does far more than merely suggest that human life is devoid of value; it all but proves it.

With every year I see come and go, I’m more and more saddened when I see people asking for greater quantities of what inspires their complaints, as they so complain. When they don’t even realize they’re doing it.

Best Sentence XXXVI

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Today’s Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) is so good, it needs no preamble. But, by way of introduction, it’s included in a reply BroKen made in an online debate we were having about pinheads.

He got onto some kind of tangent, and then came up with this gem.

Any value system that cannot name evil, becomes evil itself.

We briefly touched on this concept when we introduced ourselves to Cassy Fiano‘s audience last month, stealing the idea, in turn, from the Book of Isaiah; specifically, Chapter 5, Verse 20.

Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

This is what’s good about BroKen’s thought; it makes you think. Because, now that I give it another think, I see we have a variation here that is newer than that other ancient one, and perhaps more dangerous: That is complete agnosticism about where evil is.

This is different from the guy who calls evil good, and good evil. He, at least, must make the concession that there is such a thing as evil. And much of the time, he’ll either place some value on human life, or pretend to do that much. Capital punishment is a great example. I say “Hey, admit it or not, there are some guys who will kill again if they’re allowed to live; you can’t hold them in the prisons, especially when you have liberal hippies running around, unleashed, struggling to come up with new excuses every year for releasing criminals from prison.” You come back at me and say “Waitaminnit, how can you say killing is wrong, and then prove it by killing someone?” And we debate back and forth. Me with the law-and-order argument, you with the Sean Penn Susan Sarandon argument.

At least we are both placing some value on human life; or pretending to.

Not so with the moral relativist who crusades on “weeeeelllllll…ya just gotta keep an open mind.” That is a new level of ignorance.

And it must, inevitably, metastasize into the darkest, purest form of evil. For it doesn’t place a value on human life, nor does it pretend to.

Cat’s in the Microwave…Silver Spoon

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Poor Kitty!Just disgusting. Six week old kitten. Anyone with information is asked to call 800-628-5808. Do it. Knowing vermin like this is walking around, free as you & me, is nauseating.

“Edison” was brought to Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain with life-threatening injuries consistent with being burned in a microwave, said MSPCA-Angell spokesman Brian Adams.

His entire tail may have to be surgically removed, Adams said, and both of his ears may have to be amputated.

Edison also suffered burns to his legs and blisters on his tongue, but it could be days before doctors know the full extent of his injuries.

Our neighbor has two dogs, each the size of a small pony. It’s one of those situations where the dogs are left alone, whimpering all day long, miserable, and when the owner comes home they’re so happy to see ‘im…so he figures he’s just a swell dog owner.

I’m seeing less and less of a difference between the leave-em-alone-all-day owners and the stick-em-in-microwaves pet owners. One’s active animal cruelty, one’s passive.

Best Sentence XXXIII

Monday, July 14th, 2008

The Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) goes out this morning to Stephen Browne, who is struggling to figure out why so many celebrities and academics seem to worship at the shrine of Che Guevara. He manages to come up with this beauty that I suspect is timeless, although I can’t prove it:

Though I am one myself, I know that intellectuals tend to be more than a bit on the wimpy side. They admire strength, they want to be strong, but they don’t know what strength is — and too damned often they think strength is brutality. [emphasis mine]

Of course this needs to be complexificated somewhat. I’m not a big fan of Che by any means. There are a lot of people who feel the same way about him that I do, and we have it in common that we’re big fans of “brutality” too — which, in turn, is bitterly opposed by the slobbering Che fans Mr. Browne is trying to inspect and critique.

Not so much brutality; but violence when & where it is justified:

vi·o·lence (n.)

1. swift and intense force: the violence of a storm.
2. rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment: to die by violence.
3. an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws: to take over a government by violence.
4. a violent act or proceeding.
5. rough or immoderate vehemence, as of feeling or language: the violence of his hatred.

bru·tal·i·ty (n.)

1. the quality of being brutal; cruelty; savagery.
2. a brutal act or practice.

There is a difference; brutality is violent, but all violence is not necessarily brutal even though some may errantly call it that. I wonder if justified violence, that was not brutal, would slake the thirst of these wimpy intellectuals who crave some demonstration of strength.

I’m struck by how carefully both sides of this split, while adhering to their most base instincts, manage to keep track of the ultimate effects of this violence. Some consistently champion the violence against that which creates or preserves and abhor the violence against that which destroys; others condemn the violence against that which creates or preserves, and support the violence that destroys what destroys.

I’m also impressed that “brutality” is a good word to use in this situation. We saw in Abu Ghraib how the violence that destroys that which destroys, was mutated into brutality. Those of us who support violence to destroy that which destroys, for the most part, withheld our support from this. We recognized the political ramifications of these acts for what they were, and understood that these were people who had done something terribly stupid that would bring danger to their fellow service members who were already there, or headed there. This is not the kind of violence we want or need.

Those others who support violence to destroy that which preserves, support violence that is already brutal. Saddam Hussein was brutal. Che Guevara was brutal. Osama bin Laden and his “freedom fighters” are brutal. This kind of violence has no line to cross. And so to those who lend their support to it, or delay their condemnation of it, or use the word “minutemen” to refer to those who perpetrate it, this is a meaningless distinction. So they can’t have their Abu Ghraib moments, because it is logically not possible. Such a moment would mark the descent into a layer of savagery, in which this violence already mired.

I wonder what would happen if those “minutemen” who are doing violence against our own troops, and in so doing earn the adulation and apologia from some of the fifth-column types over here — what would happen if those minutemen found sophisticated new ways to disable our servicemen humanely? Or without killing them, or engaging any other lasting effects? Would any of the fifth-column types give a rip about that? It does not seem so.

And so this is why Mr. Browne has earned a BSIHORL award. He has chosen his wording very carefully. The intellectual cowards who crave strength, knowing not what it is, are not impressed with just any ol’ “violence.” They are, and always have been, in search of cold, cruel brutality. Nothing else will do.

Hood Rat Things With My Friend

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Got this one off Boortz’ site this morning. What a great kid! Looks like his social skills are all there and everything…

Update: According to the Urban Dictionary, “hood rat” is a real term. Be nice. Some of us don’t mature quickly enough to understand by age 42 the terms some of these seven-year-olds throw ’round…

Hood Rat

A person (usually a female) who exhibits a trashy or triflin demeanor. Their appearance and hygiene is usually unkempt and they are very promiscuous and often don’t use protected sex. They can be aggresive and are usually found in the “ghetto” (a car wash or park) or other poor environments (usually on the front porch) being unproductive to society living off Gov. aid. These type people are content with how they live and enjoy getting high and drunk on a regular bases. A female hood rat will be dressed wearing: store brought, colored, contact lenses, house shoes or flip flops; a nappy, blond or red weave; tasteless, faded and cut-up short shorts, a revealing top or jersey dress, and plastered with tattoos of baby daddies. A male hood rat will be dressed wearing: a funk that will knock your socks off; an Xtra long white dirty t-shirt big enough to cover a bed mattress; big heavy duty boots or 100 dollar tennis shoes (he probably spent his entire check to buy) and a plaque infested gold grill. Not all black people act like that, neither do people who live in impoverished environments! Some of them want out!

Peter Gibbons: I can’t believe what a bunch of nerds we are. We’re looking up “money laundering” in a dictionary.Office Space (1999)

Rachel Has a Brilliant Idea

Friday, July 4th, 2008

DO MAKE SURE you read her disclaimer word for word before watching that disgusting video.

And for pity’s sake, beat your kid’s butt if he needs it. If you think he’s such a sweet angel that he’s never needed it, you probably are in need of a neutral observer because kids aren’t that good. Not that they’re all this bad by a damn sight, but hey…less discipline…more stories like this…I see a connection.

The Nine Most Prolific Serial Killers in History

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

I didn’t know my serial killer trivia as well as I thought I did.

The Story: Elizabeth Bathory was a Hungarian countess in the 16th century. Her husband was killed in the Long War, leaving her in charge of the family estate. During her reign, many young girls began to disappear…
Capture: Local parish priests began to complain about Bathory’s action in court, leading to an investigation. Upon searching her castle, they found many bodies, as well as many dying girls.
Punishment: Because of her position, Elizabeth Bathory was never tried. But her servants were. Their method of execution was rather brutal itself: they were thrown into a fire.

Just realized they left out Mr. and Mrs. Sawney Bean, though. Cannibals don’t get no respect.

Their many children and grandchildren were products of incest and lawlessness. The brood came to include eight sons, six daughters, eighteen grandsons and fourteen granddaughters. Lacking the gumption for honest labour, the clan thrived by laying careful ambushes at night to rob and murder individuals or small groups. The bodies were brought back to the cave where they were dismembered and cannibalised. Leftovers were pickled, and discarded body parts would sometimes wash up on nearby beaches.

Yummy! Happy Fourth…

Not Because He’s a Nice Guy

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Coming up sometime today — I have little doubt of this — is a protestation that “State Representative Fagan’s remarks were taken out of context.” Let’s go ahead and do our homework before we’re asked to do it this time, and consider the sad case of James Fagan of Massachusetts. I feel like this is where Rod Serling should glide into view and intone, “submitted for your approval…James…Fagan.”

Via Hot Air, via Ace, also via Constitutionally Right, via Jay, via Cas: This guy said some things that you wouldn’t expect to out of the Twilight Zone. Dee dee dah dah dee dee dah dah…

Let me tell you why it’s so wrong, It’s so wrong because in these situations…that 6-year-old is going to sit in front of me, or somebody far worse than me and I’m going to rip them apart. I’m going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined. That when they’re 8 years old they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep. When they’re 19 years old they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody. And that’s not because I’m a nice guy. That’s because when you’re in court, and you’re defending somebody’s liberty, and you’re facing a mandatory sentence of those draconian proportions, you have to do every single thing you can do on behalf of your client. That is your obligation as a trial lawyer.

The point he’s trying to make, is the same one that’s been made by our liberals about “torture” inflicted by the United States at Guantanamo, and about the three-strikes in California. It’s a cute little way of playing at cause-and-effect thinking, by those who are all but complete strangers to cause-and-effect thinking.

It goes like this: If you have a twenty year automatic sentence for one conviction of child rape, and I’m a defense attorney and my client’s been accused of it, I will be playing “accuse the accuser” all the time with each case that comes up, because I’m going to be holding nothing back when it comes to keeping my client out of jail for two decades.

So you see, there’s just a scintilla of reasoned consideration of consequences in what he’s saying. Just enough to give the feeling that that’s being done. It would be funny, were the subject matter different.

If this were an honest argument, legislators like Fagan would be making the same one when it’s time to raise the minimum wage. I can hear it now. “If I’ve got twenty kids working for me and next week they’re going to be costing me an extra $400 a week, I’m gonna rip them apart!” When’s the last time you heard Fagan, or anyone from his party, saying anything like that.

But you see, that would be a far more reasonable implementation of this cause-and-effect method of debate. If I have twenty people working for me at $7 an hour — or if I’m just thinking of hiring that many — you have to assume that as a businessman, I’m going to instigate a change in my plans if & when that goes up to $8. It’s quite unavoidable.

Contrasted with that, Fagan’s argument only makes sense if he can say “life, for our child molestation victims, will remain relatively pleasant and carefree if we ritually allow our predators to take a walk after a token rap on the knuckles.” That’s the opposite side of the coin that is his argument, and I’m afraid it’s so patently absurd that nobody’s going to step up and even pretend to put their name by that. Quite to the contrary, Charles at Constitutionally Right puts the kibosh on that whole thing, adroitly and concisely:

While it is true that it is a defense attorney’s obligation to defend his or her client to the best of his of her ability, that is true in all cases. Mr. Fagan would have you believe that he would be harsher in his cross examination of the victim if his client is facing 20 years then if he was only facing 5 years. His illogical, and downright offens[iv]e argument is that by mandating a sentence of 20 years, the State legislature will be victimizing the child by forcing him and his peers to traumatize the little girl on the witness stand. In essence, he argues that the only way to prevent him from “ruining” her life, is by offering leniency to the child rapist in the hopes he does not attack another young girl.

The victims of these predators have already lost what they’re going to lose. Yes, it’s heartbreaking to even consider them being “torn apart” like that, and that does happen, but the reality is they didn’t make the situation. The prosecution didn’t make the situation, the legislators who would sign off on the law didn’t make the situation. The predator did, and he deserves to go away for a long time. The crime itself has lasting effects; the cross-examination, brutal as it may be, does not. It’s a sacrifice some families choose not to make, but that others do, to make sure others aren’t traumatized the same way.

Here’s another way to look at it: If we pass this law, and in another twenty years we have a whole generation of grown-ups who were raped and brutalized as little kids and then “torn apart” by the defense attorneys because of Jessica’s Law…will it make sense, at that time, to say “darn that Jessica’s law, all these people were forever psychologically damaged because they were torn apart on the witness stand by the defense attorneys“?

No, that would be a very silly thing to say. Fagan’s argument, therefore, is not only lacking in merit but wholly disingenuous as well. Quite to the contrary, finding ourselves up to our armpits in traumatized adults who were victimized as kids, we’d blame the perpetrators. And, if for some reason there was a sharp up-tick in persons known to have been so brutalized by then, we’d say “Thank God for Jessica’s law putting these creeps away for twenty-five years, I wonder how bad the problem would be if we didn’t have that.”

That would be only reasonable. If that happens in the wake of passing Jessica’s Law. But the evidence indicates, overall, that the innocent are victimized in direct proportion to the leniency built into our justice system. You lock up bad people, crime goes down, you let ’em out, crime goes up. And that, right there, is the cause-and-effect argument Fagan is trying to avoid: If we don’t want our children molested so that it becomes necessary to put them on that stand in the first place, what do we do with our convicted child molesters? Lock ’em up, or let ’em out?

Cassy thinks we should go ahead and just execute them. Frankly, at this point, I’m not entirely sure I disagree with that anymore. There are real lives being put in danger while we tolerate these utterly absurd nonsensical arguments from people like James Fagan, and if we just execute the child molesters we can stop arguing about them. At that point, who knows what happens to Representative Fagan. A good chunk of his reason-for-being would go away, then, so he could retire from his state legislature and pursue whatever other leisurely activities he has in mind. My guess would be going fishing, ripping the fish apart, making sure they can’t sleep, making them throw up. Whatever.

Update: Mark Lunsford, father of the Jessica after whom the law is named, responds:

“Why doesn’t he figure out a way to defend that child and put these kind of people away instead of trying to figure ways for defense attorneys to get around Jessica’s Law?” Mark Lunsford fumed, slamming recent remarks by Rep. James Fagan. “These are very serious crimes that nobody wants to take serious. What about the rights of these children?”

Lunsford, whose daughter Jessica was raped and murdered in Florida by a repeat sex offender, will be in Massachusetts tomorrow to push lawmakers to pass Jessica’s Law, which would require a 20-year sentence for rape of a child under 12. The House passed a watered-down version of the bill last week but Lunsford and other victims’ rights activists will be pushing the Senate to include mandatory prison time in the final law.

“If this bill is not going to put these people away, don’t disrespect me by putting my daughter’s name on it,” Lunsford told the Herald last night. “You have to put these guys in prison and admit these people are uncurable.”

H/T: Apathetic Lemming of the North, via commenter Brian, commenting on Scotto Blogo.

For The Anti-Death-Penalty Types XIV

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Via Rottie: SFGate and their professional “come interview me” head-shrinkers advise you not to condemn the failed Good Samaritans who just stand around gawking while deplorable acts of violence are committed. Yes, if you see someone weak and helpless being subjected to a good beating, you are not to rush in and right the wrongs without a good plan in place, and that means, you are not to do anything. Nor are you to think ill of anyone else who doesn’t bother to do anything. Those are your instructions for today. Capiche?

Oh yeah and as a pure afterthought, in the “giving you news about what happened” category…some pukeweasel curb-stomped a baby-toddler to death.

One of the witnesses, Deborah McKain of nearby Crows Landing, said she was the first to pull up to the beating scene with her boyfriend, a volunteer fire chief who is 52, as well as her 20-year-old son, her son’s wife and her son’s male friend. They called 911 at 10:13 p.m., police said.

Over the next seven minutes, McKain said, [Sergio Casian] Aguiar kicked his son at least 100 times as he calmly stated that he needed to “get the demons out” of the boy.

Seven minutes! And the gawkers gawked. But tut tut tut, remember what we said up there about judging the gawkers. That helping-the-helpless and defending-the-defenseless is best relegated to the ancient history of Matt Dillon. Nothing to see here, citizen.

Bystanders are justifiably scared and confused in such situations, the experts said Wednesday, and they lack the experience needed to respond with force. They can also be mesmerized by shock.

John Conaty, a veteran homicide detective and former patrol officer in Pittsburg, said that in interviews of witnesses to violence, “the common thing you hear is, ‘I was frozen in fear. I just couldn’t take action.’ ”
“I would not condemn these people,” said John Darley, a professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University who has studied how bystanders react in emergency situations. “Ordinary people aren’t going to tackle a psychotic.

“What we have here,” Darley said, “is a group of family and friends who are not pre-organized to deal with this stuff. They don’t know who should do what. … If you had five volunteer firefighters pull up, you would expect them to have planned responses and a division of labor. But that’s not what we had here.”

For the first ten seconds or so, that’s a great excuse. It’s a mediocre one after thirty. After forty-five seconds, it doesn’t wash at all.

This curb stomping went on for seven…full…minutes. Sorry, shrink. This doesn’t impress me as a logical preponderance of what happens to the human psyche during such attacks, not one bit. What it impresses me as, is a manifestation of one of the Things I Know About People That I Wasn’t Told When I Was A Child, specifically, Item #27.

27. People who make a conscious decision not to offer help or defense to someone who needs it, don’t want anyone else to help or defend that person either.

Think about it. Some guy stomps a baby and two guys watch and don’t make a move to interfere, they can hide behind Dr. Darley’s limp, flaccid excuses all they want. Seven minutes. Hell, make it an hour; might as well be.

What if one of the guys makes a move to help the child and the other guy doesn’t? Think on that. Maybe the guy who interferes, fails. Maybe he gets hurt. It really doesn’t matter — the guy who continued standing there, with his mouth hanging open collecting flies, while the other guy at least made the effort to stand up for what’s right…he looks like what he is. A craven coward.

And that’s why people who don’t bother to stop bad things from happening, don’t want anyone else to do it either. Makes ’em look bad. And that’s why, for every four words that appear in this “article,” at least three of them are dedicated to the effort of eradicating from us any expectation that we should help each other out when bad people come out of the woodwork and do their bad stuff.

There’s very little “news” in it.

Anyway, let’s go on the assumption that Professor Darley is correct here. Something is happening in our society, and these days you can stomp on a little baby for seven minutes and all the bystanders will just stand around like they’re on drugs, watching you. It’s to be expected of them because this is just the way people are. And let’s even suppose, further, that this just makes good sense.

Okay then.

If that is the case, Texas is handling the death row properly is it not? We need to get started on one end of this death row thing, and choke our way through it toward the other end, lickety-split. Go through ’em like Rosie O’Donnell through a crate of M&M’s.

Because people are just that way, too. Mr. Aguiar proved that. So some humans kick their own sons to death…other humans just stand around and watch them. It’s just the way people are. So when we find out people are this violent — knowing our average innocent-bystander hasn’t got in ‘im what it takes to stop that violent guy, when he does his violent stuff — we’d better smoke the hell out of him as fast as we can, right?

I look at it as…our innocent people, like women, girls, old people and two year old babies…they are going to get their defense one way, or the other. And if SFGate and their headshrinkers-on-file are in this great big hurry to eradicate good-Samaritanism from our society, rip the testicles off it, and transform us into a bunch of little pathetic weaklings who will just stand there, mouths agape, watching big strong men stomp babies into the concrete and not lift a finger to stop them after seven minutes — then it’s up to the executioner to supply that defense.

That seems pretty cut and dried.

And if anyone wants to argue that with me, I claim the moral high road. Executing murderers is more civilized and more sophisticated than not executing them. It certainly is, especially in a gelded, overly-vaginized society in which we don’t lift a finger to protect defenseless babies from being stomped into gooey red slush piles on the concrete.

The babes should be able to count on someone. If they can’t count on all these bystanders who are so confused they can’t do the right thing — then let them count on Old Sparky. One or the other.

Recidivism Rate of Executed Criminals

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Misha unleashes his righteous anger upon a blue-blood European pinhead deploring the barbarism of our country in killing those who would & have killed others.

Not to mention that we simply cannot resist digging out the ClueBat of DoomTM when it’s an effeminate Brit-twit lecturing us on the subject. How ’bout you pull the beam out of your own eye before you start kvetching about the splinter in mine, ya twat?

Pretty much.

You know, I keep hearing that it would be so much more civilized to let killers walk around after they’ve been duly convicted of having killed innocent people.

You don’t kill anyone…you get killed. Some guy kills you…he doesn’t get killed.

Yeah. That’s supposed to be civilized. Nobody’s explained to me why that is yet. They just yammer away that I’m supposed to think so.

Here. The Euro-wussie won’t enlighten you on the details of the crime and I won’t wait for him to think about doing so…so here is how Felicia Prechtl was killed by Karl Eugene Chamberlain seventeen years ago.

On 08/02/91 in Dallas, Texas the subject fatally shot the victim, a 30-year old white female. Chamberlain was a resident of the same apartment complex and had gone to the victim’s apartment under the pretense of borrowing sugar. Chamberlain left the apartment and return minutes later with duct tape and a rifle. Chamberlain entered the apartment, displayed the weapon to the victim, and forced the victim into a bedroom. Chamberlain taped her hands and feet, and sexually assaulted her. Chamberlain took the victim into the bathroom and shot her one time in the head with a .30 caliber rifle, causing her death. Chamberlain left the apartment and returned to his own apartment.

Every time I hear of one of these cases, I am impressed with the discretion and good judgment our justice system seems to show about putting people on death row. It far surpasses anything I would have expected. The pattern is consistent that the crime is one of these “I want what I want when I want it” type o’ things. As in…I want to get me some tail, you’re here, oops you might go tattling so I better put a bullet in your brain, you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Exactly the kind of vermin we should want to exterminate. Exactly the kind of human chaff you’d bully people in another country into keeping around…if you do not live there.

If I was the Executions Dictator, I doubt I would be able to do a better job. Wouldn’t mind trying. But the death penalty seems to be the one part of our justice system capable of restoring my faith in it.

Naturally, there are some loudmouths wanting to get rid of it.

It’s like a restaurant. You know how when you pick out a really good restaurant with decent prices, prompt service, great food you just know that’s the next one to get closed down? That’s what the death penalty is becoming — the one part of our justice system in which the lives of the innocent are successfully defended from the narcissistic whims of the predatory. So of course someone comes along with a “THIS PROPERTY CONDEMNED” sign. After you get so old and cynical, you just come to expect it.

Hottest Ring

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Dick Durbin and Rachel Lucas are having a minor disagreement about who among us is bound for the hottest ring in hell.

Who’s the hottest ring in hell reserved for?

People who say mean things about Michelle Obama. No, really:

DICK DURBIN: Well, I know Michelle, she’s been my friend, a friend of my wife, for many, many years. She can take it. She can handle herself. She’s a very accomplished person. But I will tell you this: the hottest ring in hell is reserved for those in politics who attack their opponents’ families. And if there are some Republican strategists who think that’t the way to win the election, I think they’re wrong.

Huh. That’s an interesting moral structure, a fascinating window into the mind of someone who apparently misunderstands the concept of “if you go on the campaign trail and say campaign things, you’re gonna get criticized, dumbass.”

You know what I think about when I hear the phrase “hottest ring in hell”? Things like this:

The men who pulled up in three white pickup trucks were looking for Patson Chipiro, head of the Zimbabwean opposition party in Mhondoro district. His wife, Dadirai, told them he was in Harare but would be back later in the day, and the men departed.

An hour later they were back. They grabbed Mrs Chipiro and chopped off one of her hands and both her feet. Then they threw her into her hut, locked the door and threw a petrol bomb through the window.

Because, CALL ME CRAZY, just seems to me that it’s healthy to have some perspective. To maybe spend less time defending Michelle Obama’s tender widdle feewings and more time doing something about truly horrifying issues such as that genocidal psychopath Mugabe. Which by the way, no one is.

Yeah. That.

But I have another question: Why do prominent democrats like Durbin keep talking to dumbasses? By that I mean…his words seem very reasonable, if you have command of some of the information, but not of all of it. Like for example, if you know Michelle Obama’s been criticized by Republicans, but you don’t know about the nasty, vile stuff that has been coming out of her mouth, it would be understandable if you were inclined to pump your fist in the air and yell “Right on, Dick! You da man!”

But if you knew the whole story, you’d know why Rachel’s criticizing him.

This element always seems to be there in democrat speech-making — the lie-by-omission. It’s like, if it isn’t there, they go to some regular meeting and get paddled with a wooden spoon, or it’s their turn to clean the toilet with their toothbrush. Or something.

Who, paying attention to this election, thinks Michelle Obama is all sweetness and light and minding her own business when suddenly these awful Republicans have this nasty stuff to say about her? Who’s he talking to?

Attention Ladies: During Sex, Do NOT Call Your Boyfriend

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Especially if he has a history of criminal violence:

Toni Milton, 38, mistakenly dialled Neil O’Brien’s number on her mobile phone while she was making love to her ex-boyfriend, a court heard.

O’Brien, 41, said the sound of his girlfriend sleeping with another man caused him to flip out. He drove to her house and stamped on her face so hard he left a shoeprint, Leicester crown court heard.

He was jailed for 15 months after a judge said even the “unusual circumstances” of the incident would not save him from prison.
The court heard the couple had been together for six months, but the relationship had hit a rocky patch. When O’Brien went to stay with his parents in Exhall, Coventry, Miss Milton invited an ex-boyfriend to her home in Barwell, Leicestershire.

Mr. O’Brien has prior convictions for violence and “grievous bodily harm.”

The story itself is less interesting than some of the comments on FARK. There arises, in particular, a certain mindset of the variety of…how shall I say it…

“Okay look, what she did is wrong and I am not trying to justify it, don’t you dare try to insinuate that I am, but he really, really, really should not have done that.”

These people are confused about the meaning of “should not have.” They’re trying to communicate a thought that the English language will not afford them the means to communicate — because if you were to slide a questionnaire under their nose and it said “Question 1 — she should not have done that, true or false” they’d pick True. And don’t you dare insinuate that they wouldn’t.

So the ideas that find words upon which to hang, assert the a) She should not have done what she did and b) he should not have done what he did. The logical conclusion to draw from this is that these were equivalent transgressions.

This, obviously, is a complete opposite of what these “He should not have done that” types are trying to say. Clearly, there are two tiers of “should not have” at work here. They are suffering from language-inspired cognitive dissonance.

And I further infer that these people are not living in a land of reality, because their more excoriating level of “should not have” is antithetical to common sense cause-and-effect. If I hold a bowling ball chest high and let go of it, it should crash to the ground — and if I say it “should not have” I’m going to be a certain brand of dimwit. I think all rational persons would agree to that. Similarly, if a woman has a boyfriend with a history of assault convictions, has some kind of a tiff with him, separates, sexes up some other ex-dude and then calls up the violent supposedly-current dude on her cell phone in the middle of carnal acrobatics…it’s lunacy to promote some expectation that nothing will happen.

Cunning PlanIn other words, they’re imposing an expectation of civilized behavior, upon someone who has no history of showing it. In so doing, they are, in fact, excusing her and if they don’t realize this, it really doesn’t matter. Once the boyfriend shows a proclivity for thuggish behavior, he ceases to be civilized. Once he ceases to be civilized, he becomes essentially a force of nature. A wild bear, or a puddle of gasoline. To lapse into addle-minded automaton condemnations of his predictable behavior, is to pronounce she should have an ability to hold a match to that puddle of gasoline without consequence.

Oh, and the bit about dropping the phone and having it land on redial — sorry, not buying it. You can parade all the cell phone models past my nose you care to, and intone to me with righteous indignation “yeah, you drop this thing it hits redial all the time!” all you want.

She was gettin’ boned, and she wanted her stud to know all about it. She pulled a Nicole Simpson. Furthermore, there’s no reason whatsoever to doubt that she picked the thuggish stud in the first place, because he was a thug. Turned on by the “bad boy.” This is why the “he should not have done it” stuff turns me off. If I was a gambling man, I’d bet some serious money he got picked in the first place because “should not” doesn’t apply to his kind. It doesn’t even begin.

She harnessed a dangerous, overly-masculine energy, and sought to control it and toy with it for her amusement. It’s very common. Kind of a female version of asking your brother bubba to hold your beer, and yelling “watch this!” What happens next is seldom good. At that point, you’re wrestling not with a civilized consciousness quite so much as with forces of physics and nature. And it’s by choice.

Having said that — yeah. Fifteen months sounds about right. No big miscarriage of justice here, on either side. She got a big surprise that comes from natural-consequence cause-and-effect, kind of like the kid who sees a bear cub in an open field and adopts it as a pet. Or the guy who takes a whiz on an electric fence. He inflicted assault and got a jail term. Although I think three years would have been a little bit closer to the mark. But, whatever.

The Dark Age

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

In our relatively recent memory, there is a micro-era just 76 months long that shook the world. That this tiny epoch exists in our past, says a great deal about how we live with each other, how we’re slaves to fad and fashion, and how we’re not nearly as independent as we like to think we are.

My son’s been having this interest in cultural events that immediately preceded his birth, which was in ’97. This could be a sign of genius, if he knows what he’s doing…something that is always open to question. It could be hereditary. In my case, back in my childhood I had an interest in what was going on in the sixties and seventies, barely conscious of the fact that “big things” were going on, and I didn’t quite understand what they were. But they were bigger than me. My similar interest was decidedly a case of not knowing what I was doing. If I had my childhood to live all over again, knowing back then what I know now about post-modern feminism and the effect it’s had on our culture and on our public policy, I would have read every single newspaper I possibly could have gotten my hands on.

There are cycles, waves, and other such patterns involved in the way we value things across time. We’ve always had this tendency to elevate one demographic onto a pedestal, and bury another one shoulders-deep into the ground for a vicious virtual-stoning. We take turns doing this, and throughout it all we have this self-deceptive way of telling ourselves we’re treating everyone “equally” when we all know it isn’t true. It’s a delicious and intriguing piece of human hypocrisy, something woven deeply into us inseparable from our body chemistries.

Maybe we picked it up when we bit that damned apple. Who knows.

And we exercise it as individuals. In a couple of years, my son will be a teenager and the “My Dad Knows Everything” phase will come to a bitter end. I’ll be the clueless dolt who doesn’t know a damn thing.

James BondIn the meantime, my son likes James Bond movies. He seems to be in search of the elusive James Bond question that his father can’t answer. And always, always, we keep coming back to the above-mentioned chapter. He’s figured out that the history of the movie franchise is inseparable from the history of modern America…double-oh seven’s adopted parental country. How it is connected, he’s not quite completely sure. But he understands there is a connection.

Always, we come back to the elephant in the room. The one thing about the superspy that cannot be ignored…but defies explanation because it defies definition. The one things in Bond’s timeline that is absolutely intermingled with and inseparable from ours. I’ve made several casual references to it, but have never thoroughly explored it before in these pages.

The Dark Age.

The time when the Knight of the Cold War underwent a timeless and decidedly female fantasy — the story of Persephone, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. He was taken away. He slept. The world tried, and arguably failed, to get along without him.

This has been an educational experience for me; the one facet to this Dark Age that fascinates me, above all else, is that it is a classic case of the few dictating the tastes of the many. We recall it — when we do — as a grassroots event, a natural consequence of the everyday folks getting fed up with an over-saturation of machismo. It simply isn’t true. It wasn’t bottom-up; it was top-down. Our elders decided they knew what was best for us, and they decided we were tired of James Bond. It was part of a much larger thing. Manhood was out of style. Masculinity, it was thought…although nobody came out and said straight-out, for it made far too little sense…was something that enshrouded us in the age of warfare, and now that the Cold War was over manhood no longer had a home. Anywhere. It was time for it to go away.

And so it became obligatory for the Lords and Vicounts and High Priests to instruct the peasants not to like James Bond. Or cigars, or martinis, or…well…anything you might’ve seen your “daddy” doing, be it Yankee or Anglican.

Working on cars on a summer day in an old greasy tee shirt. Drinking beer. Knowing best. Peeing on a tree. Opening jars for the wife. Telling dirty jokes. Growing facial hair. We were “above” all that, as we explored this new chapter in which 007 would be 86’d.

James Bond’s long slumber, the span between the sixteenth and seventeenth film installments, neatly bookends a small era in which we wanted none of these things…because we were told we should want no such things. And this year, as my son teeters on the brink of teenagerhood and is about to lose his curiosity about the Dark Age, and as Senator Hillary Clinton repeatedly struggles and fails to bring the Dark Age back again, perhaps it would be fruitful to re-inspect exactly what happened to us.

Supposedly, what happened was that Ian Fleming’s creation stalled out with the always-crescendoing legal troubles that arose from ownership disputes. There is certainly some truth to this; the evidence seems to suggest, on the question of Fleming taking indecent liberties with Kevin McClory’s contribution of the storyline in Thunderball, that Fleming is actually guilty. But it doesn’t really matter, does it. The very thing that makes this explanation plausible, is the thing that makes this explanation all bollywonkers and gunnybags. James Bond, at least in film form, has always been in legal trouble over this McClory issue. It is the reason there were two James Bonds in 1983. It is the reason that, in For Your Eyes Only two years previous, there was that surreal “Blofeld” appearance nobody can explain completely — the one with the smokestack, the wheelchair, the helicopter, and the delicatessen in stainless steel. Yeah, that.

Personally, I’ve never completely bought into this line that James Bond went away because of legal problems. He went away because he was out of style. Our feminists didn’t want us watching him. They told us what to do, and we obeyed our feminists. Starting with Hollywood, which made the regrettable decision — and today, looking back, the most ludicrous one — that the most profitable years of double-oh seven were in the past.

When one inspects what James Bond really is, one can easily see why our feminists have always hated him so much. He isn’t really a British spy, you know. He is the very apex of male fantasy. Let’s face it, international espionage doesn’t really have a great deal to do with saving the world from a madman with a laser orbiting the planet. It certainly doesn’t have to do with Aston-Martin automobiles, or sleeping with a lot of women. Or wearing a two thousand dollar suit and a three thousand dollar watch, when a couple hundred bucks divided among the two of those acquisitions will do quite nicely.

No, what those things have in common is that they typify male fantasy. They define manhood. Being entrusted with an important job, going about it, noticing something is about to happen that will injure millions of people you don’t even want to ever meet, preventing an enormous disaster and then retreating back into the shadows to go about your more mundane daily duties. Huh. I’ve just described the typical Superman episode. I’ve also just described a day in the life of any knight sitting at King Arthur’s round table. This is male fantasy that goes back a good stretch before Ian Fleming’s parents ever met.

And as frosting on the cake of feminist hatred toward the British superspy…once these male fantasies solidify into a newest James Bond movie installment, and the knuckledragging males like myself move heaven and earth to go see it…we don’t go alone. No, we bring our women along. Yes, women following men into the theater to watch a man’s movie. And we don’t jam our “honey do jars” full of bits of paper promising to do this or that pain-in-the-ass thing in compromise. We don’t have to. Our women want to go. Our women want to see the next James Bond movie more than we do.

This is what earns James Bond a fatwa from the feminist movement. He reminds us that men are noble creatures, and that women are complicated. Our feminists tend to hunger for the exact opposite, you know…they like men to be disposable and they like women to be simple. But with not a single sign of Meg Ryan crying, or Hugh Grant acting like a dork, the simple woman isn’t supposed to be having any fun. And she wouldn’t be. Yet the latest Bond flick comes out, and our women are practically jumping in the car, warming up the engine for us, offering to buy the popcorn.

James Bond is a sign that feminists may have more to learn about women, than anybody else.

And so, during the Dark Age, they killed him. They did what feminists desire to do: Shape our culture and define the values we exercise therein. Glittering recruiting-buzzwords like “power” and “freedom” and “choice” really have very little to do with any of it.

But…when angry women want us to do things, we find it hard to tell them no.

For the two thousand three hundred and thirteen days that began in the summer of 1989, James Bond slept.

The world went un-saved.

And when the experiment was over, it turned out — maybe the world doesn’t need saving after all — but it certainly does need James Bond. That male fantasy that he’s really all about. We depend on it; that’s just the way it is, and the feminists can get as grouchy about that as they want to get, but it’s true and will always remain such.

The feminist edict that James Bond should go away, began the way all cultural impulses do: With a tailwind, and on a downward slope. It caught on because resistance was at a low ebb. Certain external events created a climate in which it was handy and convenient to suggest a retirement from MI6 and from Hollywood. The AIDS crisis had reached a plateau, and some would say it was still on a sharp upswing. The baby boom generation, always numerous, always powerful, and always hostile to anything that might have been identified with the generation previous to them, had reached middle age and they started to occupy positions that were powerful, positions in which “real” decisions were made about things. And with Russia’s troubles, anything even remotely connected to a “cold war” seemed naturally headed to the trash heap.

It was Timothy Dalton’s second venture in this role. It is sometimes said that his style, notable in fidelity to the book version of Agent 007, grated on the movie audiences and there may be some truth to this as well. But another thing about Dalton that doesn’t get a lot of mention is that he was the first “Fountain of Youth” James Bond. Fans were expected to believe this was the same guy who outwitted Dr. No in 1962 and wrecked that railroad car on the Orient Express with Red Grant the following year; here he was, maybe seventy years old, wrestling control of an airplane in mid-flight after waterskiing behind it in his bare feet. The storyline was original enough, involving Bond’s defection from the British Secret Service and carrying out a personal vendetta on behalf of his friend Felix Leiter. And Robert Davi had all kinds of things going for him as the bad guy. He was dark, sinister, bloodthirsty, cruel and charming.

But — and looking back on it, this was probably the nail in the coffin — the bad guy was also a drug lord. In the previous film, The Living Daylights, it turned out that bad guy was also a drug lord. James Bond fighting the war on drugs. Nothing says “past the prime” quite like that.

The only sense of continuity was that Dalton had signed up to do three movies, and this was the second. Other than that, there was no momentum at all.

The death knell also came from bad returns, and the bad returns undoubtedly resulted from bad promotion. The film competed with Batman; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; Lethal Weapon 2 and many others. Bond had been a summer phenomenon with every film appearance since The Spy Who Loved Me, but evidently the time had come to re-think that, and perhaps it was re-thought a bit too late.

When the thumping came from the dismal revenues, feminists, and others invested against Bond’s success, trumpeted that we were tired of men saving the world from disaster, conveniently ignoring the success of Die Hard just a year ago. The talking point stuck. They talked it up and talked it up. Meanwhile, MGM/UA sued Danjaq, the parent holding company of Bond-related trademarks and copyrights…another outgrowth of the McClory mess.

That winter, in a dark omen about the times in which we were about to live, carefully sanitized of any male heroism or derring-do or respect for same, Marc Lepine murdered 14 women at the University of Montreal. The Montreal Massacre has come to epitomize what’s wrong with feminism, why it is the very last mindset that should have anything, whatsoever, with the formation of public policy.

Let us summarize it here: Feminists talked down male heroism. They opposed it at every turn. They poured vast sums of money and energy into sneering at it, indoctrinating entire generations of people to the idea that the Real Man is a myth, and if he is indeed real he serves no purpose, in fact is something toxic and ugly. And Mark Steyn, quoting himself after the Virginia Tech shooting, fills us in on what happened next:

Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lepine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate — an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The “men” stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.

The conclusion is inescapable. Masculinity was killed, and soon after it the real women it had been defending.

Well, Mark Steyn has his opinion about what it all means, but the prevailing viewpoint has another take on it…

Since the attack, Canadians have debated various interpretations of the events, their significance, and Lépine’s motives. Many feminist groups and public officials have characterized the massacre as an anti-feminist attack that is representative of wider societal violence against women. Consequently, the anniversary of the massacre has since been commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Other interpretations emphasize Lépine’s abuse as a child or suggest that the massacre was simply the isolated act of a madman, unrelated to larger social issues. Still other commentators have blamed violence in the media and increasing poverty, isolation, and alienation in society, particularly in immigrant communities.
The massacre was a major spur for the Canadian gun control movement. One of the survivors, Heidi Rathjen, who was in one of the classrooms Lépine did not enter during the shooting, organized the Coalition for Gun Control with Wendy Cukier. Susan and Jim Edwards, the parents of one of the victims, were also deeply involved. Their activities, along with others, led to the passage of Bill C-68, or the Firearms Act, in 1995, ushering in stricter gun control regulations. These new regulations included new requirements on the training of gun owners, screening of firearm applicants, new rules concerning gun and ammunition storage and the registration of all firearms. The gun registry in particular has been a controversial and partisan issue, with critics charging that it was a political move by the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien that has been expensive and impractical to enforce.

Who’s right? Form whatever opinion you wish to form; I’ve formed mine. This culture conflict between male-friendly and male-hostile forces had been going on for awhile, and ultimately it culminated in the death of James Bond, the greatest family-friendly male fantasy material ever put to the big screen. And then the Montreal Massacre showed us the horrific consequences in store for us if we eradicate masculinity…and in response to that…our neighbors to the North, in their infinite wisdom, eradicated masculinity some more. Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women — as if deranged gunmen pay attention to such things, before making the fateful decision to go charging through a college campus shooting people.

Little things began to happen in popular culture about this time, poisoning the well just a little bit further. The Simpsons premiered — the madcap adventures of a little poorly-drawn cartoon boy named Bart. It turned out his doofus dad Homer had special resonance with our now thoroughly-vaginized audience, and in the years to come the family patriarch would steal center stage. Homer Simpson, in this way, continued the trend set by Al Bundy in Married…With Children — albeit as a less sympathetic character — and the Age of the Doofus Dad began in earnest.

On the big screen and the little screen, things started popping up “geared toward” girls and women…which means deliberately excluding men. The studios discovered women were feeling a special attraction toward things that not only entertained them, but were assured to provide little-to-no entertainment for anybody else. They called it “tailoring” or “customizing” or “specially targeted” or whatever. The meaning was all the same: Men wouldn’t like it.

Makes sense. Guys, when you take your sweeties to the movies, it should hurt. Makes as much sense as that ring that should cost a lot. Sacrifice is the point.

So we were buried in an avalanche of things men wouldn’t like. The Little Mermaid marked the beginning of what became an annual pilgrimage — Disney would market the hell out of their next big feature cartoon, full of strange people and animals with eyes the size of dinner plates, with obscene volumes of merchandising tie-ins. Next year, they’d go back, Jack, and do it again. All of it “tailored.” Cleansed of anything that might be interpreted as even residual masculine appeal. All of it calculated to make Dad barf.

Steel Magnolias. That spring, Pretty Woman. Ghost. Feelings, feelings, feelings…bits of fluff to make you cry, tossed up there for the purpose of pulling in the little gold statues of the man who has no face.

Ryan White died of AIDS. Such poignant deaths tugged at our heartstrings, and helped to remind us that the era of feelings could not have crested out just yet. It was just getting started. After all, if you resolved to confront the AIDS crisis with your brain instead of with your heart, what in the world would you do? There was nothing to do in the Realm of Thought except throw a little bit more money at the disease. And then a lot more money. Well, when people can’t form a plan that seems complete, they like to feel their way through things so with every AIDS-related news event we did some more feeling.

Manhood being coupled with stoic, rational thinking, it was buried a little further in the ground as we continued to bury our brains. We had to be more sensitive. People were dying of AIDS. Nobody ever explained how being more sensitive would stop AIDS deaths, but that’s the beauty of feeling your way through things — no explanation necessary. Just think happy thoughts. Or sad ones. Whatever fits the occasion. Just be compatible. Doing constructive things, that was out of style now.

The era of James Bond continued to slip into the past. In August of 1990, movie producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli parted company with screenwriter Richard Maibaum, and John Glen, director of the previous five films. Half a year after this unfortunate event, Maibaum would be dead.

The environment took center stage, now that we were being extra-feminized and sensitive. We had a new Earth Day, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1970 event, and that summer Captain Planet and the Planeteers premiered on TBS.

Men were understood to be inherently bad and women were understood to be inherently good. We began an endless fascination in women doing those heroic male things, like catching the bad guy. This is the year in which Clarice Starling became famous, as portrayed by Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs. And then there was Thelma and Louise. Of course, the Tailhook scandal helped out a lot. Women were heroes — and hero status was incomplete if it was even suggested that maybe, just maybe, there might be some things men could do that women could not…that wouldn’t do. We pretended otherwise. And if anybody dared to get tired of it, we’d simply explore how women were victims — and that would return them to “hero” status.

The dysfunction that took hold in our society, wasn’t so much that we saw good things in women. The most “patriarchal” societies, contrary to popular belief, have it in common that they have seen women as innately good and worthy of protection — hence the necessity of strong men. No, in the 76 months of this Dark Age, the real damage was irony. Things seemed, to us, to be the opposite of what they really were…starting with strength and weakness. Weakness was now the new strength. In the news as well as in fiction, people were shown to be strong through a ritual of showcasing their frailties. Rodney King was worthy of our attention because he got beaten up. The beating was worth talking about. His leading the police on a high speed chase through a densely populated suburban neighborhood…wasn’t worth talking about, because this didn’t service the goal of portraying King as a victim. Starling was strong because she was a victim. Thelma and Louise were strong because they were victims. The Tailhook ladies were strong because they were victims.

Strong didn’t have anything to do with being ready, willing or able to defend someone in need of a defense. That would be too patriarchal.

In July of 1991, Patricia Ireland succeeded Molly Yard as the head of the National Organization of Women. This was a pivotal event because it was a generational hand-off; Ireland is a baby-boomer, and Yard came from the generation previous. Three months after this, Susan Faludi published her book, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. Strength-through-victimhood continued.

Feminists, during this time, could be as nasty as they wanted to be. If anyone called it out they’d just call it a “backlash” and do some more complaining about dark and sinister undercurrents in our society, working against them. Meanwhile, James Bond was dead…along with countless other “patriarchal” trinkets, involving far less meaning to us item-by-item than they meant collectively. The feminists were being exactly what they called others. Rodney King’s famous query was “can’t we all just get along?” The irony was, those who worked day and night to make sure everybody heard the question, also labored with equal gusto to make sure the answer was a resounding “Hell, no!”

Jeffry Dahmer was arrested. For eating people. The police got in trouble when it was discovered Dahmer fooled them into returning a bleeding, naked little boy to his care…who he later had for dinner. He ate lots of other people, but the police got in trouble because of this one boy. Don’t worry about Dahmer, he’s probably the last cannibal we’ll see for awhile, but we’d better fix the police because they’re feeding little boys to cannibals!

So the pattern continued. Those who did harm, were presented to us as nothing more than a curiosity…maybe even something deserving of our sympathy. Those whose job it is to protect us from the harm, are presented as part of the real problem. Ostensibly, this is done to make sure our protection is worth something. But every crime needs a protagonist, doesn’t it? If I’m a cop I can’t very well feed someone to a cannibal if there’s no cannibal around, can I? The police were a danger, the protagonist was not.

In November, Freddy Mercury died of AIDS. The feeling-over-thought continued. Bohemian Rhamsody, that winter, blared from every loudspeaker on every radio and every television.

Disorder was the new order. Justice was dispensed, not from the courtroom in which Stacy Koon and his colleagues were acquitted for the Rodney King incident, but in the riots that followed in downtown LA. Again…it was all about solving problems with feeling instead of with thought. Justice becomes a myth when you do that; just a glorified system of might-makes-right. More irony: People who want to disclaim masculinity, manhood, “patriarchal oppression” and so forth claim that as their goal — to elevate themselves and society above an anarchy in which might-makes-right. But that’s exactly what they cause to happen.

Meanwhile, nobody noticed that the Maastricht Treaty had been signed. This was the beginning of the European Union. Just like any other union, it was constructed to “level the playing field” against someone who had an “unfair advantage” — which means to attack that someone. In this case, it was the United States.

The importance of the Maastricht event cannot be overstated. Sixteen years later, we have been dutifully fed our talking points that the United States is seen by our “allies” as an oppressor. Most people who believe this uncritically, fail to comprehend how intricate and robust is the organization that is really responsible for all this “seeing.” It is an international union formed for the purpose of gaining more power…against the United States. With a little bit of a longer memory, one can see there is more to that story than just President George W. Bush. The hostility against America has roots in it, that go all the way back to this event. This quiet event.

Then came the Year of the Woman. It was part of a global fashion trend. That year, Betty Boothroyd had been elected as the first woman Speaker of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, and Stella Rimington became the first woman head of MI5, the domestic counterpart to Agent 007’s MI6 international espionage branch. The movie industry continued to assault us with their feeling-over-thought anti-man pap: A League of Their Own; Lorenzo’s Oil; Prelude to a Kiss.

Dan Quayle, technically correct, perhaps even prophetic, but hopelessly tone-deaf, gave a speech on the harm Murphy Brown was doing to our society. It was something we needed to have pointed out, but we weren’t ready for it at the time. Our sense of direction was utterly destroyed by now. Chaos looked like order, women looked like men, cops looked like robbers and robbers looked like cops. When cowardliness led to piles of womens’ dead bodies, we thought the best way to protect our women was to embrace more cowardliness. Murphy Brown’s dysfunction? It looked like function.

As Quayle’s boss faced re-election that fall, the worst debate-question ever was asked by pony-tail guy at the debate in Richmond, VA: “How can we, as symbolically the children of the future president, expect the two of you—the three of you—to meet our needs?” Rush Limbaugh provided more context for the quote here (link requires registration with Rush 24/7):

RUSH: Shall we go back to March 30th, 1993, from my Television Show, I played this sound bite from October 15th of 1992. This was the presidential debate, Perot, Clinton and Bush 41 in Richmond, Virginia.

THE PONYTAILED GUY: The focus of my work is domestic mediation, is meeting the needs of the children that I work with by way of their parents and not the wants of their parents, and I ask the three of you, how can we as symbolically the children of the future president expect the two of you, the three of you to meet our needs?

RUSH: That’s the famous Ponytail Guy from the Richmond debate in 1992. These presidential candidates are our fathers, the president’s going to be our father, and what can we expect from our father, you, to meet our needs?

The irony continued. Dependence was independence.

As the Danjaq/MGM case wound its way through the courts, The Crying Game was released…continuing the irony, women were men. Superman, the defender of Truth, Justice, The American Way, died. Just as well. We had some significant questions about what exactly all three of those were…and at the time we didn’t even realize we had those questions. But Superman just plum ran out of ways to save the day — without offending insecure women with his masculine oppression and what-not. So down he went.

Clinton appointed a whole bunch of women to his cabinet. Had he been seeking the best and the brightest for these important positions, he might have accidentally picked some pretty ones, and that would have been threatening. So he made sure they were all physically unappealing. Reno. Shalala. Albright would come later…and of course later that year Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court. I don’t wish to be unkind, but these ladies are homely. To doubt that there was an agenda in place to select them that way, is to doubt the evidence of our senses. If you sent me out to find some that look like this, I’d be out there all day long…probably finding none at all, or no more than one. In one of his first acts of office, not quite content with his retroactive tax increase, he passed the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA.

Because as anybody knows, the first step to making the economy stronger is to make it godawful expensive to hire people. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Country music didn’t escape the Age of Dysfunction either. Eilleen Regina Edwards, better known as Shania Twain, released her debut CD. Country Music purists became apoplectic, and the schism helped to channel this seemingly limitless supply of anti-tradition anti-male energy into lifting the nascent career of the gorgeous Shania…whom, apart from that, had no shortage of assets appealing to the male psyche. There was little or no animosity involved in her lyrics, but a darker culture arose to consume her. No bitter, angry single-mom was complete without a cheap little CD player belting out one Shania Twain cut after another. It was all just so fresh…which sounds deceptively positive. Under the roots of it all, was a underlayer of raw, naked animosity toward anything that was traditional, and/or not yet quite as feminized as it might possibly be.

The Supreme Court decided Wisconsin v. Mitchell, signaling the readiness of our modern culture to consider hate-crime legislation. Who exactly is ready for it, nobody is willing to say; for a judicial-branch decision to drive what the legislative-branch is supposed to do, isn’t quite the way things are supposed to work. But work that way it did, as the Supreme Court decided states have latitude in considering motive for a crime in enhancing the penalties for it.

What’s been mostly forgotten is that the Wisconsin decision concerned an assault on a white fourteen-year-old boy, Gregory Reddick, by a gang of black individuals in Kenosha, who had just seen Mississippi Burning. Todd Mitchell asked the group “Do you all feel hyped up to move on some white people?” — Reddick was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the rest is history.

Todd Mitchell’s penalty was enhanced due to thoughts in his head. The Wisconsin Supreme Court had determined there was something wrong with that, that such an enhancement would have a “chilling effect” on free speech. The Supreme Court overruled, finding “no merit in this contention.” Those are unfortunate words. Penalty enhancements due to thoughts-in-the-head may, with a little bit of trickery, be shoehorned into some functional compatibility with the spirit of our Constitution, or at least with the letter. But “no merit” is a little on the strong side. To say penalties can be enhanced because of free speech exercised, might have a chilling effect on free speech…it does, at the very least, have some merit.

In an act that symbolized exactly what was going on, Lorena Bobbit cut off her husband’s penis and flung it at a stop sign, to fall into a field where it was later retrieved and reattached. Good thing she picked the summer of 1993 as the best time to do it. She was hailed as a feminist hero. The jury found her not guilty by reason of insanity, and after a court-ordered 45-day psychiatric evaluation, she was released.

She got away with it.

And the feminists said she was exactly what they wanted to be. Good for them. I wonder if, in 2008, they have the decency to be embarrassed by that. But it might be a good idea for the rest of us to remember what exactly “feminism” meant fifteen years ago: Cutting off dicks, or wishing you had the guts to do it.

Kim Campbell was sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

President Clinton passed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, then went out to the Rose Garden for a photo op as Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shook hands in a sham peace ceremony. The age of fakery, of built-in irony, of feeling-over-thought, of pretending things weren’t what the cognitive lobes understood them to be…staggered on. Meanwhile, John Wayne Bobbit flirted with porn. It seems he was restored to his potency much more quickly than we were restored to ours.

Sleepless in Seattle assailed our senses, followed closely afterward by the premiere of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Jocelyn Elders was confirmed as our Surgeon General, and the Maastricht Treaty came into effect, forming the European Union.

As Madonna slipped into her Dominatrix outfit, Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act into law, then sent his wife down Pennsylvania Avenue to babble some kind of nonsense at Congress about socialized medicine.

On November 13, Star Trek: The Next Generation had an episode called Force of Nature that nearly killed Star Trek. It was about environmentalism. It turns out, when you take a starship above Warp 5 you do some incremental damage to the fabric of the space-time continuum. At the conclusion of this episode, Starfleet, in its infinite wisdom, imposed a galactic speed limit on all starships, bringing the fictitious age of exploring the “final frontier” to a virtual end.

Another metaphorical event of profound poignancy: Ripping apart the fabric of a space-time continuum, was exactly what was taking place in real life. With manhood, our spirit of exploration was dying. And with that, our fastening to logic and truth. We wanted Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. We wanted the thoughts in our heads to be regulated, while we were told no such thing was happening. With all the exploring done, we just wanted things extra safe…we wanted our Hillarycare universal health plan.

Lani Guinier, the “quota queen,” was nominated as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

Colin Ferguson, accused of killing six passengers and wounding nineteen on the Long Island railroad, employed the black rage defense. His attorneys tried their best to retroactively declare open season on people, but to no avail. He received six life terms. Hey, at least they tried.

Black rage was first proposed by black psychologists William Grier and Price Cobbs in their book Black Rage (ISBN 1579103499). Grier and Cobbs argue that black people living in a racist, white supremacist society are psychologically damaged by the effects of racist oppression. This damage causes black people to act abnormally in certain situations.

Irony continues. The victim has strength, and is to be respected. Inequality is equality.

Since everybody was instantly good and wonderful if they would just let women do things they previously couldn’t, the Church of England began to ordain female priests. Hugh Grant typified his perpetual role as the hapless clumsy “git” in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Timothy Dalton went on record, announcing his official abdication from the role of James Bond.

Michael Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley. The World Series was canceled, and the FIFA World Cup began in the United States. Enter soccer, exit baseball. But the real insult to the United States was just around the corner: Michael Fay used his American origin as an excuse for spray painting cars in Singapore. You see, we Americans are meek and mild and we’re just not tough enough for that caning punishment they have over there. The skin on our buttocks is especially thin, I suppose. So, you should just let us get away with it. I have a social disease, Officer Krupke! Grasping for the chance to show that chaos is really order and strength is really weakness, President Clinton intervened and bargained the ritual six strokes of the cane down to four.

With our national identity confused, lost, given away, we went through our summer ritual of being buried in annoying, glurgy, anti-male, feeling-over-thought movies. When A Man Loves A Woman. Natural Born Killers. Bad Girls. Blue Sky. Exit to Eden.

Woodstock ’94 commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of something that wasn’t really worth the trouble. Hippies smoking dope listening to music having sex in the mud. It was kind of a bust. The hippies had grown up, gotten jobs, mortgages, heads full of gray hair…and some nice suits that couldn’t get muddy.

ER premiered.

Hillarycare was quietly abandoned. We just weren’t going for it…yet.

A new Star Trek movie came out in which Kirk and Picard would appear together. This started lots of Kirk/Picard comparisons…wonderfully entertaining, all of them…but again, metaphorical toward the confusion and dysfunction we felt during these 76 months. The overall trend was that Kirk was more dependable and effective when confronted with a crisis, but Picard was more desirable…for reasons left unstated, or stated only vaguely. His propensity to surrender was thought to be an asset. Again, weakness is strength.

Disclosure came out, asking us to imagine an event in which a woman is guilty of sexual harassment (including an unfortunately ludicrous and silly scene in which Michael Douglas is given a blow job against his will).

We showed some signs of an early bloom in this 330-week winter. We voted in a Republican Congress, and Dr. Elders was finally forced to resign. Peter Jennings said we were having a “temper tantrum.”

When the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City was blown up, they blamed talk radio and angry white men.

Bryant Gumbel, then co-host on the NBC News Today show, reported that “The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on the rhetoric that’s been coming from the right and those who cater to angry white men. While no one’s suggesting right-wing radio jocks approve of violence, the extent to which their approach fosters violence is being questioned by many observers, including the president…”

We were being told what to think and what not to think. But dependence was independence.

Women continued to take on male roles in fiction. One expensive production after another failed, either in the short term or over the long haul, but the producers insisted on believing women could look appealing just by doing manly things. Real entertainment is expensive, after all. And so Hercules had an episode called “The Warrior Princess” which spun off into its own show; “Star Trek: Voyager” premiered. Of the latter, the only draw was that the Captain of the vessel was a woman. Who acted a lot like a man. It was rather painful and boring to watch, but it did endure for seven seasons, the Warrior Princess for six.

In those early days, success was sure to be had so long as the personalities showcased were not straight, white and male. And so 1995 brought in the now-ritual summer of glurgy anti-male-ness and anti-family-ness and anti-thought-ness…Babe, Pocahontas, Boys on the Side, Bridges of Madison County. Copycat, Scarlet Letter. And, let us not forget the Macarena being released. Looking silly is serious business.

Sandra Bullock, in the first movie appearance since she lit up the screen in Speed, embarked on a new rejuvenated career dedicated to chick flicks — with While You Were Sleeping. Funny. Thirteen years later, I have yet to remain awake all the way through that movie.

Nearly three years after Barbara Boxer began her vendetta against him, Sen. Bob Packwood was forced to resign. A few years later, she’d circle the wagons around President Clinton for doing something much worse…I guess inconsistency is consistency. But with Packwood gone, we could talk about women being victims again, especially with Shannon Faulker’s adventures at The Citadel. Victims are strong because weakness is strength.

On November 13, 1995, the 2,313 day winter was finally brought to a thaw as Goldeneye was released. It received two BAFTA nominations and earned $26 million during its opening, the most successful Bond movie since Moonraker.


It should be obvious by now. We had been starved. We had been denied what we, men and women, really want: That old story, the knight-of-the-round-table story. Disaster prevented. Good thing that strong smart resourceful guy was where he was.

Women, somewhere, may be capable of doing what men can do. But there is no fantasy there. Nor do we have any inner lust toward this phony irony, wherein victimhood is strength, femininity is masculinity, unfairness is justice, thought control is freedom, chaos is order, dependence is independence. We know, deep down, all of us, that that’s all crap — we can only snack on it for so long before we get sick of it. Three hundred thirty weeks…it’s far too much to ask of us. Can’t keep it up.

Eventually, we have to return to our programming and our programming has to do with truth, logic, and order. That is what our programming is all about, for our programming has to be consistent with nature. If it were not, we would not be here. And so we like to see a strong masculine figure preventing disaster, for the benefit of people he has never met and never will meet. A man…defusing a bomb. A man…lifting a concrete slab off a baby who is miraculously unharmed. A man…fishing a kitten out of a tree…or shooting a terrorist who was about to wear a dynamite belt to a pizzeria. Men see that, and they feel better about themselves because they want to be that guy; women see that, and they feel better because they understand someone somewhere believes they are worth defending.

What was this long winter, the Dark Age in which James Bond slumbered away, really about?

It was about abjuring reason…for the sole purpose of feeling good…and failing. Once it was over, we felt better than we’d ever felt since it began. Let that be a lesson to us: To plagiarize Franklin, those who disclaim logic, reason and masculine symbiosis for a good feeling and “self esteem,” deserve none of these things and shall ultimately have none of these things.

I’ve Been Bad For Years And Years

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008


FRAGMENTS of bone, which could be human remains, have been found by officers excavating the former Jersey children’s home at the centre of a major abuse investigation.
The news came after the first picture of a “punishment room” at the former home was released, revealing a haunting message. On a wooden post against the wall of a secret chamber under the building was written: “I’ve been bad for years and years.”

[Deputy police chief Lenny] Harper said he did not know who had written the message or how old it was.

Officers have excavated one underground chamber at the home and believe there might be three more. The chambers have been described by victims as punishment rooms where they were physically and sexually assaulted and kept in solitary confinement.

More than 160 people claim they were abused while at Haut de la Garenne and the allegations of abuse go back about 40 years. There are 40 suspects and Mr Harper said a specialist team was at Jersey’s ports in case any tried to escape.

The news is not cooperating with my efforts to get my mood brightened a little this morning. I’m glad the coffee’s good and the shower water is hot.

Can I Borrow a Cup of Sugar and a Gun?

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Baker County, FL

A woman is accused of borrowing a gun from a neighbor and then shooting and killing her husband Monday in their home south of Macclenny, according to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said Meloney Jackson borrowed a gun from a neighbor, entered the house in the 7000 block of John Rowe Street and shot Kevin Jackson.

Baker County deputies responded to the scene at about 5 a.m. after neighbors reported hearing five gunshots coming from the house, WJXT reported. They found the husband dead of gunshot wounds in the front yard with a gun laying next to his body and took the wife into custody.

She Poured Acid on the Bodies and Took the Baby

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Fox News

Deputy Pierce County Prosecutor Ed Murphy wrote in a court declaration that Davila showed up at her barracks on Sunday afternoon with the baby and initially told a fellow soldier that she was baby-sitting. Eventually, she confessed to the soldier that she had killed the baby’s parents the night before, Murphy wrote.
The victims were identified as Timothy Miller, 27, and Randi Miller, 25. Timothy Miller was apparently shot in a bathtub at the couple’s suburban Parkland home, while Randi Miller was shot on a bed and then moved to the bathtub, Murphy wrote.

According to the declaration, [Spc. Ivette Gonzalez] Davila took the baby to a home-improvement store after the killings, bought muriatic acid, returned to the home and poured it on the bodies.

The baby was not harmed and is now in the care of the state’s Child Protective Services.

Davila told the soldier that “Randi Miller was in a relationship with Davila’s ex-boyfriend,” Murphy said in his declaration.

Tacoma, WA. The soldiers were stationed at Fort Lewis.

On Liberal Morality

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

I had cited in the seven lies I was told, as a boy in public school, presumably being told the same things that many other kids were told, the canard that “Republicans and Democrats want to get the same things done but have different ideas of how to go about doing it.” Post-high-school-graduation, I have seen very little evidence of this. Higher standard of living, maybe? Republicans and democrats both want that? I dunno about even that one. There are a lot of Republicans, it seems to me, who take the “money is the root of all evil” thing a little too seriously (chopping off the “love of” at the beginning of that cliche). And the democrats who want to raise standards of living, I’ve notice, always seem to want to target certain favored classes of people. With other classes not quite so smiled-upon, an increased standard of living is, in their minds, an evil thing.

One of the wonderful things about America, in my mind, is that our ideological split is rather singular in nature — us on the one side, them on the other. This gives rise to some unhealthy things, such as people in both camps who are tempted to cross the fourth milestone to insanity, essentially insisting “nobody from my tribe can have a bad idea, and nobody from the other tribe can ever have a good one.” That isn’t good at all. But consider the alternative to a single ideological split: Many of the same. Ugh. You think it’s hard, now, for an election campaign to be run on issues rather than personalities. I’ll take one single big fat chalk line down the middle of the house, thank you very much.

But here’s another wonderful thing about America’s split between conservatives and liberals: It goes right down to the definition of morality. This means you can find decent people on both side of the line — we aren’t quibbling about whether to be moral, we’re disagreeing about how to test it. In that sense, the old falsehood has a kernel of truth to it (as do all potent and convincing falsehoods). We all — or most, anyway — want to be good people. How do we define it?

I’m amused that this piece that leans right contains essentially the same phraseology as this other piece that leans left…”Liberal morality is a very alien thing…” versus “…social conservatives frequently take stances that liberals find baffling, if not downright evil.”

Now here is a differential across the divide: Once we do have morality defined in a way that makes us comfortable, what do we think of people who fail to adhere to our standards?

I think Larry Elder summed it up very capably when he said,

Conservatives consider liberals well-intentioned, but misguided. Liberals consider conservatives not only wrong, but really, really bad people.

The column in question concerns Elders’ encounter in a barbershop with a fellow patron who was shocked to learn Elder had voted to re-elect George W. Bush. It is titled “Open-Minded Liberals”…with a question mark at the end.

The older I get, the more befuddled I am that this “open-minded” nonsense ever got started. It is one of the few mysteries in life that my unhealthy childhood television diet back in the seventies, might provide some assistance in unlocking. I recall it was very fashionable for television networks to release pastiches of “All in the Family” in one boring episode or another, setting up a central character to be good-hearted “meathead” and another marginal character, often a one-time-only character, to be “Archie” except not so lovable. It became ritualistic for the central character to deliver some caustic, dismissive line in one of the last scenes while the canned studio audience sound effects would cheer wildly, condemning the marginal character’s racism or, occasionally, sexism. The marginal character would give this look downward at his toes like “aw gee, I suck so much” and he’d never be seen again.

It was boring and unimaginative immediately. It didn’t get to be tragically funny until years later. Half-hour sitcoms telling us what values to have? Nowadays we have cable television shows like “Desperate Housewives” or “Six Feet Under” or “Dead Like Me” telling us how to look at life…which is another problem…but overall, a vast improvement.

I digress. The point, here, is that stale comedy shows from the era of double-digit inflation and gas rationing, represent the last time I have ever seen liberal ideas given even the semblance of “open-mindedness.” How our left-wing friends got all twisted around from tolerance, to anything-but, is a delicious chronicling of irony. It’s as if they set themselves up for it from Day One. Like their bumper sticker slogan might as well have been…”we all need to be respectful of people who aren’t like us…and we have no room anywhere for anybody who disagrees.” Or how did Austin Powers’ father put it? Something like “There’s two things I can’t stand, people who are intolerant of other cultures…and the Dutch.”

Discarding all the occasions where intolerance would necessitate some form of action, I haven’t seen the people we call “liberals” tolerate anything outside their perimeter of favored cultural sexual-preference and skin-color baubles since…well…ever. Their morality seems to have something to do with intolerance, if anything. And the intolerance is a complicated thing. It has at least two tiers. They’re intolerant of terrorists…they’re intolerant of conservatives…you don’t exactly have to be a seasoned scholar of modern popular culture to realize these are two entirely different things. There is a commitment to making sure the conservatives don’t get their way. To make sure of it. And if the conservatives do indeed get away with some shenanigans, why, vengeance will surely belong to the liberals someday.

Myself and others have thought, very often, how things would look now if liberals were as committed to thwarting terrorism as they were to thwarting conservatism.

And how long do you have to wait for a liberal to, even in the midst of denying what’s above, justify it nevertheless? Something about your odds of being killed in a terrorist attack being thirty gazillion to one? When we waterboard we’re worse than they are? Aren’t those favored liberal talking points now?

Anyway, all that is just a prelude to what follows below. I was having a discussion over at Phil’s place which led to an interesting off-line. The subject isn’t quite so much liberalism, it’s more like very mild forms of egalitarianism…the minimalist sort that formed, among other things, the American experiment itself. Phil was referring to the last 200 years or so in terms of how tyrants come to power, and I’ve always been rather interested with what came before the 200-year period. What started all this, I wonder? The storming of the Bastille? The subject immediately under discussion is what Rush Limbaugh sometimes calls “Gettin Even Withem Ism” (it’s a phonetic expression and I have no idea how one correctly spells it), which by itself is a curiosity. Listen to liberals for awhile, especially Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, and you’ll see it’s almost compulsory to call out some bad guy who’s due to be taken down a peg or two. One gets the impression that their brand of liberalism cannot survive long without this essential element, not even for a breath or two.

That has always struck me as odd and strange. If we’re trying to achieve an open, tolerant, transparent and diverse society, why we could just babble away about that noble vision for months at a time without calling out any villains, right?

Today’s liberals can connect bad guys to anything you want to discuss. Health crises, like AIDS. Weather phenomena like Hurricane Katrina. I mean…you just name it. Maybe this is why Barack Obama is kicking Hillary’s ass lately; maybe the liberals themselves are just sick of it. That’d be a good thing. It would imply that like the rest of us, they have a hunger for solutions and are ready to subordinate the distribution of blame to a decidedly inferior priority. That they’re finally starting to grow up a little bit. To think about becoming what, in my lifetime, they have always bragged about being: “progressive.”

But on the subject of morality, I thought this DailyKOS writer did a pretty good job of drawing up the difference:

Liberal Christian morality differs from conservative Christian morality in that liberal Christians don’t look at the Bible and see rules but instead see guidance for how to think about morality and justice. Right and wrong is not determined by God, but God’s morality is based on fundamental truths of right and wrong. Conservative Christians criticize this thinking as non-Biblical, because it excludes sections of the Bible that are clearly rules-based. Liberal Christians have a number of responses, including the idea that God is constantly trying to get us to change and move beyond what we once were.

If I understand this right, the liberal view of morality is not superior or inferior, but rather dynamic instead of static. It defines continual self-improvement as one of the most important pillars, perhaps the all-important pillar. We are a continuously self-improving thing, designed to discern for ourselves what is right and what is wrong.

Maybe that’s why liberals don’t like us to talk about terrorism. It highlights self-contradictory things about this that would normally be kept in the dark, and it lights up those contradictions rather brilliantly. If we are in a process of evolution, becoming a progressively more moral species, relegating to the realm of wrongness things that were previously thought right, we can cheerfully avoid ethical conundrums right up until the point where we encounter some “missing links” such as the terrorists who murdered thousands of people on September 11, 2001. If we’re being socially tolerant, then we need to respect other cultures, and that includes the decision to live in the seventh century. If some other culture wants to live as million-year-old chimpanzees on the spectrum of moral evolution, and the rest of us our in a process of relegating previously-right things to the realm of wrongness, that would mean these primitives are living in a time when the acts we consider wrong, are in fact right. And if that includes murdering thousands of office workers and bystanders to make a point about our foreign policies, then the potential exists that the September 11 attacks fall into the zone of “aw, that’s quite alright” — at least in the perspective of those who committed them. And we are honor-bound to respect that.

If you want to avoid that conclusion, then you have to at least allow for the idea that some issues of right and wrong are absolute. And if you want to allow for that, then you have to embrace at least some of…oh, dear…that awful, dreaded conservatism.

Well, it’s widely accepted that moderation is a good thing. So maybe that’s how the liberals justify it. But when you listen to liberals and their opinions of conservatives for very long, it doesn’t seem like this can be the case. They seem to think of conservatism the way Yoda spoke of the Dark Side of the Force…you know…once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

They are the doctor’s hands, scrubbed and ready for surgery. We’re the filth, slime and muck. They are not to come into contact with us. It’s exactly what Larry Elder saw in that barbershop.

I was looking around for something that would more reasonably explain all this, and I stumbled across this piece that invoked images of the Bastille all over again, and made a brilliant point besides.

The Nature of Liberal Morality
By John “Birdman” Bryant

In contrast to conservative morality, liberalism is based on the premise that Reason, rather than Tradition, should be the criterion of good. Ironically, however, the first historical instance in which Reason was made the basis of morality — the French Revolution — not only witnessed some of the most immoral acts ever performed by man, but saw Reason literally transformed into the god of a religion thru the efforts of Hebert and others, so that Reason simply became a different form of Tradition.

I know if I tried to be a liberal, I’d make a very bad one. This notion of moral definition that is dynamic across time, has always troubled me greatly, and I suspect it troubles everybody else too — even liberals.

I do something marginally terrible, such as jaywalking or littering, and fifty years later my grandson is busted for exactly the same crime. We both go through the judicial process and receive, half a century apart, radically different judgments. Both those episodes are alright? How can that be? If that is the case, what is to be said if the crime for which we are each respectfully busted, me now, him five decades from now, is far more serious? What if we each kill someone under identical situations? I serve 25-to-life and my grandson gets out after two and a half years? Or vice-versa? Neither scenario carries some kind of miscarriage of justice? How can that possibly be?

If that is indeed the case, what are we to think about slavery — back when it was actually practiced here? We’d have to grant some kind of approving nod to it, wouldn’t we? Or at least, fail to condemn it. And if we fail to condemn that, what else would we have to say is alright…so long as it comes from a respectfully primitive time.

The author goes on to quote himself, and finds an exception to a rule that previously left such exception unmentioned:

“The principal axiom — and fallacy — of the philosophy which in the present day goes by the name of “liberalism” is that any given human life possesses infinite value. It is this axiom which explains the liberals’ eagerness to feed the starving third-world masses, in spite of the fact that such feeding will not stop starvation, but will make it all the worse once an infusion of food has made it possible for those who are starving to add to their numbers. It is this axiom which explains the liberals’ abhorrence of the death penalty, even for those persons who have committed the most heinous and despicable crimes. It is this axiom which explains the liberals’ opposition to war, even when the enemy is clearly opposed to the democratic principles which make the liberals’ self-righteously resounding protests possible. And it is this axiom which so arouses the liberals’ anger when scientists, in the study of their carefully-gathered statistics, conclude that some racial, ethnic or other groups may be inferior to others, thereby implying that — since the value of some people is less than that of others — that therefore not all those values are indeed infinite. “There is, however, a notable exception to the above axiom, which is that liberals, in favoring a woman’s right to abortion, do not seem particularly concerned with the lives of the unborn. I am not sure why this exception has arisen — or indeed that it is an exception, as liberals may well be split on the issue — but my suspicion is that it has much to do with liberal opposition to religion, and particularly the liberal distaste for the views of religious fundamentalists on abortion, who maintain that every fetus possesses that apparently-imaginary entity known as a ‘soul’.

Personally, I think that might explain part of it, but there’s got to be a whole lot more to it than that. Some liberals are religious, after all.

The relationship between liberals, and oppression of humans by other humans, is a curious one. They outwardly deplore it, but as we saw with the Iraq war, they also condemn bitterly those who interfere with it. It’s kind of like the big brother who pronounces nobody can ever touch a hair on his little brother’s head — except him.

Except the big-brother-bully occasionally has to translate his words into action, while our liberals seem opposed to doing that or allowing anybody else to do it either. Whaddya get when you cross bullying with laziness…liberalism.

Cause of Global WarmingThe abortion issue has always seemed, to me, to have something to do with a minimalist definition of what people are. I reach this conclusion by observing it from a high level, from which I can simultaneously observe the euthanasia issue, the death penalty issue, the evolution-versus-intelligent-design flap, and the “don’t emit carbon ManBearPig” thing. Across all five of these issues, it seems the one axiom that earns opposition and condemnation from our liberals, is the one that says we matter. That we are here to accomplish something wonderful and great. Five times out of five, this dictum wanders into arguments that our liberals cannot allow to stand.

And you could power large cities off the energy they arouse in opposing them.

One can’t help but wonder if “global warming” isn’t caused, over the last ten years, primarily by liberal outrage. I guess when you work really hard over a lifetime at being ordinary, you get extra-extra-ticked-off if you see someone else trying to be extraordinary. Maybe that’s what liberalism is.

Stalker Drove Forty Hours

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Welcome 2008. It’s obvious something is busted with us, or with you.

A Granville man was arrested last week after driving 40 hours to Spokane, Wash. and threatening to rape two girls, ages 15 and 6, police reported. Joshua R. Stetar, 20, was arrested Friday after police responded to a harassment complaint called in by the father of the 15-year-old girl, Spokane Police said.

According to the police report, Stetar said he met the girl in December of 2006 while playing Halo — an interactive X-Box 360 video game that allows players to talk to other players via a headset as they combat aliens using a variety of weapons and equipment.

At about 9:30 p.m. Friday, Stetar sent a text message to the victim stating that he was driving by her house, police said. In the message, he described his car as a gray Oldsmobile. “Her parents were outside on their porch at the time, and they confirmed the vehicle actually did drive by,” said Spokane Sgt. Isamu Yamada.

At 9:36 p.m., the victim received another text message from the suspect stating, “Tell the cops that I’m gonna rape you and your sister.” Stetar reportedly thought the victim’s 6-year-old cousin was her sister.

Gosh, I don’t mean to creep out anybody who might have gotten a fancy new inter-networking game under the tree this Christmas…but you know, if that happens, I’m not one bit sorry for it.

This is one screwed-up world.

Update: The article goes on to mention Joshua Stetar’s MySpace page is “riddled with Bible verses and religious rhetoric supporting abstinence.” It makes no mention of other things I find just as eerie if not moreso…like he’s 20, 6’2″ and 130-something pounds, is a sports fan and claims to be a Psych major. Don’t have any axe to grind against any of those, I’m just sayin’.

I wonder what axe the newspaper has to grind; they might not be real big fans of abstinence programs.

Looks like Joshua got her street address and cell phone number off Google. There’s a good thing to tighten down right there; have you played “virtual stalker” against your own kids lately, snooping around to see what comes up? It’s quick, easy and free.

Infant Skeleton Found in Suitcase

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Pretty creepy story from Pittsburgh…

An infant’s skeleton was found in a suitcase by adult siblings cleaning out their elderly mother’s house after she died, state police said.

The siblings did not recognize the suitcase as their mother’s, but said clothes found inside belonged to her, Trooper Lisa Jobe said.

The suitcase was found under a bed Saturday. The woman, who lived about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh in Hempfield Township, died earlier this month. She was in her 80s and her surviving children are in their 40s and 50s.

Police did not immediately release the dead woman’s name. They hope that a forensic pathologist can determine the infant’s gender and how and when the child died.

The woman’s husband died about three years ago, police said. The surviving children could not give police any information about the remains or how long they may have been under the bed.

For The Anti-Death-Penalty Types XIII

Monday, December 17th, 2007

This blog, which nobody actually reads anyway, makes a point of revisiting the point whenever there is occasion to do so: Opposition to the death penalty is not something people do because of personal principles. It is something people do out of ignorance. Ignorance of the potential of the human species for evil.

Sadly, there are situations in which you can’t show your compassion to the guilty and innocent, both. You must choose. It’s an ugly thing to have to acknowledge, and not everybody is up to it. That’s fine by me…all I ask, is that if people can’t come to grips with how ugly and depraved human behavior can be, to what depths it can sink — they should politely excuse themselves from the process of figuring out what is to happen. They don’t belong in it. And the people who engage in these heinous acts, don’t belong on the same plane of existence as the rest of us. Sounds terrible when you put it that way, but it’s true.

And unfortunately, we are reminded yet again.

A premature baby delivered after his mother was kidnapped and set on fire during the robbery of a Polk County insurance office died early Sunday, authorities said.

The 1-pound, 2-ounce baby, delivered by Caesarian section Thursday night, died at an Orlando hospital, Lake Wales Police Chief Herbert Gillis said. The child was born more than three months premature.

The baby’s mother, Juanita “Jane” Luciano, 23, and his aunt, Yvonne Bustamante, 26, were set on fire during a robbery Thursday at the Nationwide Insurance office where they worked, police said. Both remain in extremely critical condition.

Update: As if John Corzine himself was scanning the pages of The Blog That Nobody Reads trying to find new and improved ways to do stupid crap that doesn’t make sense…this post goes up, and then over the radio I hear the New Jersey Governor has just signed legislation that will ban the death penalty in that state.

This is crass social elitism of the sort America was founded to oppose. You prune back on penalties for violent crimes, you get more violent crimes — and yes, that includes banning the death penalty. Once you have more violent crime, those of the most modest economic means are victimized first. And that neatly excludes the plutocrats who make the rules, like John Corzine, and decide our “civilized values” are incompatible with the death penalty.

The opposite is true. Our values represent the height of civilization, and they say the people who make the rules should uphold and cherish the same principles as those who must live the most rustic lifestyles, and are the first to be exposed to unseemly side of society. And that means we remove the monsters that have been proven to walk among us, time and time again, from the equation so they don’t injure the innocent. In the manner described above. And worse.

Is that so hard?

Yikes! V

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

It’s from my old stomping grounds.


Jenniffer Spencer, who is biologically male and castrated herself using a disposable razor blade in her prison cell, claims the Idaho Department of Correction and its health care providers are violating her constitutional rights and subjecting her to cruel and unusual punishment by failing to diagnose gender identity disorder and treat her with the female hormone estrogen.

It’s the intellectual plague of our times. Truth is diminishing, because you see, everything is negotiable. Absolutely everything.

For The Anti-Death-Penalty Types XII

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

This is good. Usually when I write a headline like that, someone got killed or badly hurt.

Now, we got another occasion for our anti-death-penalty types to learn a thing or two…and nothing happened. Nothing except a bunch of the white coat wearing, clipboard carrying, propeller-beanie scientists putting out one of them smart-college-guy type of reports, and guess what it says?

Studies Say Death Penalty Deters Crime

Anti-death penalty forces have gained momentum in the past few years, with a moratorium in Illinois, court disputes over lethal injection in more than a half-dozen states and progress toward outright abolishment in New Jersey.

The steady drumbeat of DNA exonerations — pointing out flaws in the justice system — has weighed against capital punishment. The moral opposition is loud, too, echoed in Europe and the rest of the industrialized world, where all but a few countries banned executions years ago.

What gets little notice, however, is a series of academic studies over the last half-dozen years that claim to settle a once hotly debated argument — whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. The analyses say yes. They count between three and 18 lives that would be saved by the execution of each convicted killer.

I would hasten to add, I hope this didn’t chew up a lot of dollars or take a great deal of time.

With the grittiest determination, just how complicated can we make this. I want to kill someone…you take the last guy who killed someone, and re-enact that scene from The Green Mile…I see it…am I deterred or am I not?

But wait. There’s more.

What the death penalty actually is, is pretty easy to figure out. Some guy did something wrong, he went through due process, got his automatic appeals and so forth…he’s alive…you do something to him…he’s dead. Simple. Inwardly, we all understand what’s involved here.

A little bit harder to define, and we touched on this in a previous post, is this thing we call “science” and all the stuff that goes along with that. Research. “Data.” And I find this passage very telling.

The reports have horrified death penalty opponents and several scientists, who vigorously question the data and its implications.

On this weird little planet on which I live, this is the real story. Just who are these “scientists” and how much of a practice have they been making of doing this? I mean, mixing up questions about data with questions about implications of the data. What have they been doing with valid data that present implications they happen to dislike? I mean, they’ve been doing something different with that data, than they do with data that have more palatable implications, right?

I would think, regardless of your feelings about the death penalty, it would behoove you to keep this in mind next time you read a “report” about ethical problems with the death penalty, societies being made safe without a death penalty, etc. etc. etc. We seem to have here a process in which data are dismissed based on the social implications that follow if that data are seriously considered. The article has betrayed this accidentally and mentioned it only in passing…so how many scientists do this, and which ones they are, I cannot say. But this would have to have a contaminating effect on the data that remain, as well as any conclusions that follow.

For The Anti-Death-Penalty Types XI

Friday, April 20th, 2007

Hey I’ll say this for Alec Baldwin (see earlier post). He’s a better dad than this guy…so far as I know…

Let’s set it up: It’s two winters ago. Someone hears some crying in an air shaft. They find a baby. Someone does some digging to find out how the baby got there, and it turns out Lucila Ventura chucked the baby down the air shaft.

Then, they find out her father, Jose, told her to do that. Yeah, you guessed it. Daddy is the daddy.

And the kicker? There was an older, mummified baby next to the one that was louder and luckier.

The boy survived but the next day investigators found a second, mummified baby in the shaft and DNA testing determined the baby girl was also the child of Jose and Lucila Venture. Homicide investigators said the baby girl’s body had been in the shaft more than a year before it was discovered, officials said.

And here you have the kind of thing you need to ignore to oppose the death penalty. Opposition to the death penalty, it turns out, is based on hope that the human species is better than it really is. Better and purer. At some point, hope becomes ignorance; dangerous ignorance. We have people like Jose Ventura. It’s simply a fact. Approve of it or disapprove of it, reality will just trudge on in complete apathy toward your thoughts.

But we can protect the innocent from people like him. And any argument that there’s some noble purpose for continuing to let him burn oxygen and use up good vital organs, is doomed to enjoy somewhat less promising lifetime ambitions than a baby stuck in an airshaft. Such an argument can come from nowhere and go nowhere. It’s simply a self-supporting assertion some people prefer to support because they don’t want to confront truth.

Really. People who are opposed to the death penalty, entitled to their personal opinions as they may be, shouldn’t vote. They really shouldn’t.

For The Anti-Death-Penalty Types X

Monday, April 16th, 2007

Okay as a science fiction writer, how would you set this up. How would you write the ultimate parable about a dystopian society with a confused, irrational opposition to the death penalty.

How about…how about this.

A rapist and butcher of young girls, who has been spared the death penalty due to his traumatic childhood on previous occasions — has wearied of the exercise and now taken the initiative to bar his boyhood exigencies from his latest trial. Let us say — he says this: “If they sentence me to death, I’m good to go.”

Write that up. Whatsamatta, you afraid no publisher would accept it? Too unrealistic?


James Leslie Karis Jr. said neither his tormented childhood nor his severe psychological problems could lessen his responsibility for what he called a cold-blooded attack on two women 25 years ago.
Karis was 27 when he kidnapped two county welfare workers on their morning break and drove them to a remote spot five miles north of Placerville.

He ordered the women to undress, tied them up and raped one. Afterward, he made the women dress and turn around. They pleaded for their lives and prayed aloud, but Karis shot them in the back and neck. Peggy Pennington, 34, died. The other woman survived to identify Karis.

He was caught during another kidnapping and attempted rape in Sonoma County.

Despite his second chance, Karis has dismissed the experts’ assessments as “psychobabble.” He said he’d rather be executed than spend the rest of his life in prison.

“If they sentence me to death,” he said Thursday, “I’m good to go.”

Sacrameto Bee has a more beefed-out story with a good bit more detail:

One of the women died, but the other, who had pretended to be dead, later identified Karis as her assailant. His trial was moved from El Dorado County to Sacramento Superior Court, where he was convicted and sentenced to death.

In 1998, appellate lawyers persuaded U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton to overturn Karis’ death sentence, and Karlton’s decision was upheld by the federal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Karlton concluded the jurors who sentenced Karis to death might have ruled differently if his attorneys had presented evidence of his abusive childhood.

Leaving the convictions in place, the judge ordered Karis resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole unless a new penalty phase was initiated by prosecutors.

It was, and preparations — including an intensive jury selection process — have been under way for months.

But Thursday morning, just as proceedings were about to start, Karis asked Judge Trena Burger-Plavan for permission to dismiss his lawyers, Michael Bigelow and Steven Bailey, and to represent himself.

Karis said he did not agree with Bigelow’s strategy to present evidence of his childhood traumas.

“He’s going to drag out the defense for two months with all this garbage about my family history, my background, and all that stuff which doesn’t really amount to a hill of beans, in my opinion,” he said, according to a transcript of the session. “And that’s why I choose to defend myself.”

Karis said he would rather return quickly to death row at San Quentin Prison than spend more time in the Sacramento County jail.

“I want to get out of Sacramento as fast as possible,” he told the judge. “I want this trial to be as short as possible.”

“I just want to get back to the row and do my time until they execute me,” he said. “I don’t really care if I get the death penalty.”

So we got here a situation where someone’s guilty as sin, and we use bullshit to keep him alive. To the extent that the guilty person tires of the bullshit and it’s up to him to say…just knock it off.

Because, hey. We can’t recognize that internally without him pointing it out. Our justice system is just too…enlightened.

Olbermann’s Best Person

Monday, April 9th, 2007

Keith Olbermann has a “shocking announcement” to make. Why don’t you watch it.

Regarding the O’Reilly/Rivera dust-up: Those two have kissed & made-up. Which is to say, they & their bosses figured out the publicity value involved in the little drama had exceeded the point of diminishing returns, and they’re telling us what they think they need to tell us in order to keep the ratings high.

What to make of this? Well I agree with this editorial over here:

Fox broadcaster Bill O’Reilly has certainly stirred up the city of Virginia Beach. Two Virginia Beach teenagers Alison Kunhardt, 17, and Tessa Tranchant, 16, were killed recently when their car was slammed into by a vehicle driven by Alfredo Ramos, 22. Ramos is an illegal alien with a record of three-alcohol-related convictions.

Mr. O’Reilly has criticized the lenient sentences Ramos received in his prior DUI convictions and attacked Virginia Beach for basically providing “sanctuary” for illegal aliens.

In defending his city, Virginia Beach police chief Jake Jacocks made a stunning statement. He said he found it “ironic that had the intoxicated driver been born and raised in Virginia Beach, little notice would have been given to this senseless tragedy by the media or the community at large.

If that’s true, it’s appalling. A great deal of notice should have been given when a man has been convicted of DUI three times is still on the road. The driver should have been in jail.

In jail, and/or out of the country.

However, the rest of the Chief’s comments do carry a certain logic. Immigration enforcement is the responsibility of the feds. I’ve not yet seen any facts to confound the notion that O’Reilly is, effectively, making scapegoats out of the Virginia Beach city officials for a problem that primarily rests with the federal government.

That’s O’Reilly’s first mistake. Losing his temper was his second.

But if he must blow his stack sometime, what a great occasion for it. What exactly was wrong with O’Reilly’s indignation, Geraldo didn’t say; I don’t think he can do so. I’m absolutely confident that the salivating fans of Olbermann and Rivera can’t tell me, or if they do, their answer will be anything but unified from person-to-person. What did Rivera say word for word…something about illegal immigrants committing fewer crimes than citizens? That’s a load of crap. Illegal immigrants are lawbreakers by definition. If there are statistics that say they commit fewer crimes, that’s a sign that the method of gathering the statistics is busted.

And how could you expect the method not to be busted? You’d be comparing more-or-less complete records, with incomplete ones. That’s what illlegal means — you don’t know the record. Geraldo understands this.

So since he’s proven himself utterly untrustworthy and completely unconcerned with the truth, I’ll state his argument for him. Geraldo is from the anarchy crowd. Anti-law-and-order. Some of us are weary of seeing people hurt by malicious or negligent people, and we want something done about it — other folks are mad at us for becoming weary, and have drummed up a plethora of reasons why we shouldn’t be weary yet. But they aren’t defending any principle. They’re just suspicious of human machineries dedicated to law-and-order. They don’t trust them, and for this reason, prefer chaos. They’re prejudiced against the idea of Matt Dillon riding in to town and locking up the guy in the black hat. They have a childish desire to see Matt Dillon gunned down instead, and as for the guy in the black hat, well, let the chips fall where they may.

Keith Olbermann, according to his own remarks, has also engaged in a “first.” He’s handed out a “Best Person” award. For what? Well, I’ve given a summary of the reason in the preceding paragraph. It is the only coherent one you’re going to see; you’ll certainly see nothing clearer or plainer coming from the folks who agree with Olbermann and Rivera. The point about discriminating against illegal aliens, is a complete crock. We’re supposed to discriminate against them. They’re criminals. The point about illegal aliens not breaking the law, is an even bigger crock.

In my book, this shows Olbermann is in favor of people getting drunk and killing other people, as long as the drunk driver is an illegal alien. I’m sure that notion gets under the skin of a lot of readers, and I’m sure a lot of them think I’m curtailing someone’s rights…even though, all I’m doing is making up my own mind as a private citizen, and writing it down. But unlike Rivera, Olby made his comments without anyone talking over him. He had plenty of time to say what he wanted to say. And what I saw was 1) O’Reilly pointed out the deaths were utterly preventable and that city officials should be held accountable; 2) Rivera gave a bunch of bullshit reasons why this is not the case; 3) O’Reilly lost his cool; 4) Olbermann — for reasons he’s afraid to state, or thinks unnecessary to state, or both — gave Rivera the first-ever “Best Person” award. An award he could have handed out at any other time over the last two years. For anything. He thought this was the right occasion. Making a stand for………illegal immigrants who break into the country, and get drunk, and use their cars as weapons and kill girls. He wanted now to be the time, so he could be crystal-clear about what he supports and what he opposes.

Am I to conclude something else?

No Crime Too Small

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

Interesting reading from blogger friend James Bostwick.

…the guy who stole my bike from outside a Tokyo train station one recent Saturday night wasn’t looking for anything flashy. He was drunk — it was payday and he had over-celebrated. He had slept well past his stop and was kicked off the last train of the night at the last station on the line. It was a crime of necessity: Steal the wheels or walk.

My bicycle was available because I never lock it. Not even when I’m leaving it outside a busy train station overnight.

This is Japan. Nobody steals your stuff here. Safest place in the developed world. You can look it up in the guidebooks.

What happens to you when you steal stuff in a land where nobody ever steals anything? Find out.