Women should hire private security

You know how I love me some great political satire.  This Slate post about an Oregon rape because budget cuts basically eliminated police on the weekend is brilliant and spot-on.  I’m just going to paste the whole thing:

Liberal blogs and, of course, public radio are up in arms over this story about an Oregon woman who was raped because, due to massive budget cuts, there were no cops available to take her panicked phone call to the police. The rape occurred last August in Josephine County, a rural district that responded to the loss of millions of dollars in federal subsidies by firing 23 of its 29 police deputies and restricting the remnant’s availability to Mondays through Fridays. (The woman placed her call on a Saturday.) It’s a very sad tale—and one wrapped up in the waning of the logging industry, which the original subsidy was designed to support—but I advise readers to be careful and hold on to their wallets, because the people peddling it have an agenda. This is what those big government types do, you see: Tug at your heartstrings and get you into an emotional place so that they can lure you into voting to raise taxes for more government spending. Well, I for one am not fooled.

Look, no one is for rape. But that doesn’t mean the nanny state tax-and-spend solution is the answer. A government handout—for law enforcement or otherwise—just, to quote Rep. Paul Ryan, “lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency.”  All this feminist hand-waving about rape is really just about turning women into victims hooked on federal aid. Real feminists want women to be strong and pick themselves up by their bootstraps, instead of living their lives depending on things like police showing up to your house when you call 911.

I have three words for you women who don’t want rapists breaking into your house: Get. A. Job. That way, you can earn money and pay for a private security firm to guard your house while you sleep. That’s the sort of private enterprise and self-reliance that this country was built on. Government is absolutely terrible at job creation, after all. If they restored those federal funds to Josephine County, where the rape took place, or passed the public safety levy that the patriotic conservative voters rejected, how many cops would they have hired? Ten? Twenty? Even if they hired 100 police officers, that’s fewer jobs created than if every household in the county hired a private security officer to prevent rapists from getting into their houses.

For those who scoff at the old-fashioned American free market approach to personal security, I recommend the wise words from the Josephine County sheriff’s office: “Consider relocating to an area with adequate law enforcement services.” Exactly. I recommend France, where they love this wooly-headed socialist nonsense.


Photo of the day

Love this from the National Geographic Traveler photo contest:

Portrait of an Eastern Screech Owl

Portrait of an Eastern Screech Owl

Photo and caption by Graham McGeorge

Masters of disguise. The Eastern Screech Owl is seen here doing what they do best. You better have a sharp eye to spot these little birds of prey.

Location: Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia, USA

Book covers and gender

Earlier this month HuffPo ran a fun feature on gendered book covers.  I.e., what if you took book covers that were marketed to men and flipped them to appeal to women– and vice versa.  A fun idea– here’s a few examples:


Pretty cool.  Anyway, I was reminded of this by a very interesting essay in Slate about likability in female characters.  Apparently, if you are a woman and write likable female characters, people take your work less seriously.   Personally, I just finished a great novel with a very likable male character (and a likable, but subsidiary, female character).  But, I also love novels with more complex, darker characters (Humbert Humbert, anyone).  The likability of the characters just strikes me as a strange way to judge the literary aspirations of fiction.

When Arkansas = N. Korea

I meant to do a post about an excellent book I read over Christmas, Escape from Camp 14, about a political prisoner who escaped from a horrible, horrible North Korean prison.  Why was he there?  One of N. Korea’s most evil laws is based on “corruption of blood” and punishes three generations of people for a political crime.  The protagonist of the book– literally born in the prison– believed he was being punished for his uncle escaping to South Korea decades earlier.

60 minutes recently ran a really nice segment on the story.  You should watch it.  So, why bring this up today?  Apparently, there’s a Republican member of Congress from Arkansas– not just another crazy state legislator, an actual member of the US Congress– who thinks we need to bring this principle to America:

WASHINGTON — Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Wednesday introduced legislation that would “automatically” punish family members of people who violate U.S. sanctions against Iran, levying sentences of up to 20 years in prison.

The provision was introduced as an amendment to the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013, which lays out strong penalties for people who violate human rights, engage in censorship, or commit other abuses associated with the Iranian government.

Cotton also seeks to punish any family member of those people, “to include a spouse and any relative to the third degree,” including, “parents, children, aunts, uncles, nephews nieces, grandparents, great grandparents, grandkids, great grandkids,” Cotton said.

“There would be no investigation,” Cotton said during Wednesday’s markup hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “If the prime malefactor of the family is identified as on the list for sanctions, then everyone within their family would automatically come within the sanctions regime as well. It’d be very hard to demonstrate and investigate to conclusive proof.”

Fortunately, cooler Republican heads prevailed, but this is nonetheless telling.  No, the Republican caucus is not this crazy, but what’s pretty damn disturbing is that you can actually get elected to be a member of Congress and be this extreme.  There’s just nothing remotely close on the Democratic side of the aisle.  Heck, even though Washington DC re-elected Marion Barry mayor after he was found to be a crack user, it’s not like he was actually pushing political ideas this extreme (not even the legalization of crack). I’m not worried about ideas like this really getting much play or coming to fruition, but it strikes me as a truly sad state of affairs that individuals this far out there can get elected to high office within the Republican Party (or get nominated for state-wide office).

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