Monday, December 30, 2013

Little Miss Muffin

Fire everyone involved. Also, put some of them in prison.
The issue before District Judge George Larke is whether the people of Terrebonne Parish should pay money to a woman sexually abused at the age of 14 by a juvenile detention guard whose job was to keep her safe and, if so, how much....
“Vickers could not have engaged in sexual relations within the walls of the detention center with (the victim) without cooperation from her,” legal papers filed by the parish’s attorneys read. “Vickers did not use force, violence or intimidation when engaging in sexual relations.” ...
“These girls in the detention center are not Little Miss Muffin,” one official said, asking not to be quoted by name.
Full story in the Tri-Parish Times.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Taking Offense

A follow up to my previous post, wherein U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter suggested using nuclear weapons in a potential conflict with Iran.
Hunter will almost certainly be accused of being a racist, to which Rep. Hunter will no doubt take offense.
What is more offensive: proposing to incinerate thousands or hundreds of thousands of people, or accusing a person who makes this suggestion of being a racist?

Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran

U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter, doesn't want to invade Iran, but if it comes to that he thinks that it might be a good idea to employ "tactical" nuclear weapons. "I think if you have to hit Iran, you don't put boots on the ground. You do it with tactical nuclear devices, and you set them back a decade or two or three.... I think that's the way to do it—with a massive aerial bombardment campaign."
For those of you who aren't up on the lingo, a "tactical" nuclear weapon is used to incinerate armies in a single blast. It is intended to have a more limited scope than a "strategic" nuclear weapon, which is used to wipe cities off the face of the earth. Rep. Hunter is using the word "tactical" as shorthand for "I am not a nutjob who wants to kill 7 million people."
However, just because you used the word "tactical" doesn't mean you're not crazy. The problem with tactical weapons is using them risks escalation to "strategic" weapons. This problem has cropped up repeatedly in war games ever since the idea of the tactical nuke was developed. (It is a serious problem in Indo-Pakistani relations.) Yes, Iran may not have the capability to wipe out our cities in response to an invasion, but there are still many ways in which the situation might spin out of control. Suppose Iran signed a treaty with Russia, stipulating that if the United States destroyed Tehran the Russians would destroy New York. Suppose that Russia then misinterpreted American tactical strikes and retaliated by blowing up New York. Sound far-fetched? In 2002, a meteor nearly caused nuclear war between India and Pakistan.
However much Rep. Hunter likes explosions, let's not nuke Iran—not even a little.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Rhetorical Bestiary: Women Are Not the Same As Men

Women are biologically different than men. They are not as large or as strong. Due to their lower testosterone levels, they are more risk-averse.
In the past, women were unfortunately barred from many professions due to rank sexism. Thankfully, the sexism has faded away. Women are now able to choose whatever job they like. Yes, there are still many jobs where a gender disparity exists, but only in proportion to women's legitimate desire to avoid those jobs.