Trump vs. Sanders

It’s not unimaginable.

Something unexpected happens that causes Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race, and suddenly it’s Bernie Sanders for the Democrats.   Bush gets no traction.  Rubio stumbles badly in explaining his incoherent stand on immigration reform and under-developed ideas about tax reform,  and Ted Cruz is simply repellent.  Come to think of it, Fiorina is kind of repellent as well.  She is better prepared for the debates than the others (she actually knew the name of the head of the Republican Guard in Iran: Qassam Suleimani), but she has a dismal record at HP.

Ben Carson has no intention of winning the nomination.  He would find it as ridiculous as I would if he won.  He’s there to get $500 million worth of free advertising for his books and motivational speeches.  He is a one-man industry, selling the American myth that it doesn’t matter where you are born or what colour your skin is because if you work hard– like him– you can eventually become a world-famous surgeon and run for president.

Trump is also in it for the free advertising and is probably only willing to ride it out as long as he is in contention.

However, with the other candidates failing to make inroads, it is entirely possible that one of them could prevail and end up as the Republican nominee.

So it might be Trump or Carson against Bernie Sanders.

I would pay to attend those debates.

[whohit]Trump vs. Sanders[/whohit]





Mean and Stupid

And here is another news story about a 30-year-old female teacher who made a 17-year-old male student’s dreams come true.  She has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Twenty-two years.

How long do you think 22 years is?

What kind of a person are you?  Ask yourself that– what kind of a person are you?  What kind of a heart do you have?  What kind of mind?  What are your ethics?  What is your religion?  What is your philosophy?  Do you have any values?  Do other people exist?  Do they have lives outside of your apprehension of their lives?  Do you have feelings, or just a series of poses attuned to any momentary perception of social values and attitudes?  Any feelings at all?

And then consider, is only 22 years enough?  Why not life?   Why not make this young woman really pay for her horrible crime?  Why not flog her?

But then, if it is not uncommon for a person convicted of manslaughter to receive 20 or 25 years, would you honestly rate this crime as just slightly less serious?

In Japan, in 1936, a woman, Sada Abe, was sentenced to six years in prison for murdering her lover, Kichizo Ishida by strangulation, and then cutting off his testicles with a kitchen knife (after he was dead).  Six years.  (Want to read a really interesting story?  Google her.)  How did they know six years was the right amount of time, for such a heinous crime?  (In fairness, it was kind of a suicide pact.  But, in fairness, the teacher’s relationship with the student was consensual.)

Should she be lashed, perhaps, as well?  Or buried up to her neck and stoned to death?  Why not?  Why the hell not?  What do you have against a good lashing or stoning?  What keeps you from demanding a proper punishment suitable for the horrors of the crime she committed?  She had sex with a 17-year-old boy.  She did it 20-30 times.  Why are you such a pussy about the punishment?  Why not pour acid on her face, or just kick her to death?  What’s holding you back?  Where did you get the idea that some punishments might be too harsh?

That poor 17-year-old boy.  He was probably a mere 5′ 10″ tall, maybe 150 pounds.  The teacher looked to be around 110, maybe.  Quite a threat to the helpless lad.

What do you feel for this teacher?  Is she a human being?  Does she have emotions, thoughts, dreams?  Is there some reason you should care about the fact that her life is now a rotting carcass of dashed hopes and crushed ambitions?  That she may never get another good job?  That she may never marry or have children.  That she will live the rest of her life in shame and poverty?

Twenty-two years.

It is clear from the news accounts that the 17-year-old boy, who cannot be identified because he is a waif, an innocent, an infant, a victim, did not blow the whistle on the escapade.  He did not go to the police in desperation and plead for help because this horrible attractive teacher was having sex with him.  No, it was his mother, wondering where he had been one night.  She looked at his cell phone and found messages from the teacher.  She called the authorities.  Why not just talk to your son?   For all I know, she might be just as appalled at the outcome here as I am.

So, what kind of a person are you?

I’ll bet you would tell me, if we were face-to-face right now, that you are not the kind of person who enjoys seeing people suffer.  And you would say that you are not the kind of person who snoops.  Oh no.  But then, you might say  that if the boy were your son, you bet you’d snoop.  It would be for his own good.  To protect him from the worldly influences of evil-doers, perverts, drug-dealers, jihadists, and Islamic fundamentalists who might seek to impose Sharia low on us.  Oh the horror!  Twenty-two years is more than reasonable.  She’ll only be 50 or so when she gets out.  She will have learned her lesson.  She will be a good person by then, whom you could befriend, even hire– except that she would be a convicted felon.  You’ll know, because she’ll be required by law to tell you.  She won’t be allowed to live within several blocks of a school, lest she find some other poor, vulnerable, delicate, weak 17-year-old boy to exploit.  Some cities will try to prevent her from living there at all: she will prey upon our vulnerable 17-year-olds!  Let her sleep under a bridge.

She deserves it.  After what she did, she deserves it.  She deserves to be punished, as brutally as we can without getting the Supreme Court involved: cruel and unusual?  Who the hell do you think you are?

You see the problem.  Any red-blooded male reading this story realizes right away that a 17-year-old boy having sex with an attractive 30-year-old teacher is not traumatized and will not be emotionally scarred for life, and probably won’t even really be sad about it, and will have bragged about it, and may even have already forgotten about it, if it hadn’t been splashed all over the news.

Well, no– he will never forget it.  But not for the reasons you might think.

Did you read the story?  Why?  Was there something about the story that excited you?  Did the word “sex” in the headline win you over?  Did you feel bad after reading it because you found the substance of the story horrifying or dispiriting or depressing?  Or because you like reading about sex?  And then you enjoy savoring the brutal punishment doled out to this young woman because, after all, unlike her, you are a good and decent person who only likes to read stories that lead off with the word “sex”?

And you realize that the authorities will do everything they can to make everyone feel good about crushing this teacher– about absolutely brutally destroying her life– by trying to persuade the boys (yes, there were three, apparently) to be “victims”.  I would not be surprised if the boys were even threatened with legal consequences or suspension from school or spankings if they did not play their parts correctly.  I’m serious: that has happened.  The authorities would have been desperate to vindicate their hysterical reactions.  They would not have stopped at charging the boys if they had refused to cooperate.

After all, it’s for their own good.

If we don’t create the theatrical impression that the boys were harmed, than we look mean and petty and ridiculous putting a 22-year sentence on a 30-year-old woman for having consensual sex.

Here’s the other problem: if men and women are equal– how dare you even wonder?– it is believed that the consequences must be the same.  This is a kind of sideways logic that is the result of confusing “equal” and “the same”.  So if the consequences of this teacher’s actions don’t seem reasonable, then you might have to admit that a 30-year-old male teacher having consensual sex with a 17-year-old girl might not be so, so awful either.  And that cannot be permitted, so poor Mrs. Fichter must pay the consequences, if it really doesn’t make any sense.

When I was kid, I enjoyed music and poetry and films that suggested that society was a kind of madhouse and that people were fundamentally mean and stupid, and that only the outliers, the strangers, the rogues, really understand what is going on.  I don’t enjoy the reality nearly as much.

[whohit]Mean and Stupid[/whohit]


Putative Putin

It has become apparent that America would prefer Putin the boogeyman to Putin the leader of the Russian nation.  It is convenient to sell yourself as a formidable guy who can stand up to those wascally wussians and ….  what?  What exactly?  Kick them out of the Ukraine?  Take away their only naval base in the Mediterranean?  Force them to stop arresting opposition politicians and punk girl bands?

Do many Americans have the slightest idea of just how weak Russia is right now, militarily?  How much of their relatively formidable navies and air force is gone?

The U.S. is not going to go to war with Russia over the Ukraine.   And the U.S. is not going to do much about Putin assisting Assad in Syria because deep down in their tiny black hearts, America’s political elite know that Putin is in Syria because the U.S. just couldn’t figure out a single bloody thing to do about ISIL and Assad so somebody had to step in, especially since there many of the “independent” states around Russia have substantial Moslem populations.

The real boogeyman out there is China, which, in a few decades, will begin to surpass the U.S. in economic might if not military might.  The U.S. does not have a good record of thinking ahead.  It is thinking behind right now, to the “glory days” of the Cold War, and Republicans just get warm all over and pleasantly moist at the thought of reviving the grand old strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction.

[whohit]Putative Putin[/whohit]