Sex, Violence, and Politics

So Obama got endorsed by the Kennedys, I see. Pretty much puts the kiss of death on any conservative appeal he had because of his charisma, but the guy’s really just another new-school socialist anyway. Having him in the White House would be a nightmare, but I suppose it’d be less bad than Hillary…

Via Kim comes the reminder that Mardis Gras is child’s play:

Five days of frenzied festivities kick off on Friday, with the biggest parties in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Recife.

Latin America’s largest country stops work and indulges in a riot of drinking, dancing and parades accompanied by often licentious behavior.

The Health Ministry launched its annual safe sex campaign on Sunday under the slogan “Good in bed means wearing a condom.”

I find it just bizarre in general that these festivals exist, but never underestimate the stupidity of large groups of people. And there are people genuinely confused about the wildfire spread of STDs? I know I’m not anything remotely close to normal, and maybe my logic is just too abstract for most people, but if anonymous sex has all these negative consequences why not just… not do it?

Also from Kim is this heartwarming tragic tale of neighborly love senseless violence:

A father of three was murdered after going to a neighbour’s house to retrieve his son’s football. David Martin was allegedly stabbed with a samurai sword and a knife then bludgeoned round the head with a golf club. His wife and two youngest children watched in horror as an argument broke out and Mr Martin collapsed in agony.

Emphasis mine. “Hey guys, I was just wondering if I could get my son’s football back…” gets you beaten to death? What kind of insane world are we living in? What makes it even worse is that Mr. Martin’s father died in the exact same way – beaten to death trying to save his son from a group of misunderstood youth gang that should have been hung on the spot all those years ago. But they can’t do that, and with no death penalty to worry about, it’s pretty obvious that people aren’t worried too much about the repercussions – especially when the repercussions for said crimes are 6 years in juvenile for one offender while the others walk away.

This where I have to refer to LawDog’s excellent post on self defense. It’s becoming increasingly the case that criminals don’t fear the repercussions of what happens AFTER the crime, which I can easily attribute to our sluggish and ultimately ineffective justice system. This leaves you to provide him with fear on the spot. As LawDog points out,

Joe Critter does his first mugging. He is probably almost as scared as his victim, he’s not sure he wants to do this — but … hey! He got ten dollars (or sex, or a feeling of power, or whatever) but more importantly: he didn’t get hurt.

The next time, he’s a little less scared. He’s a little more sure. He gets five dollars (or sex, power, whatever) — and he’s not hurt. He feels his activities present less risk to him each time he has a successful (he didn’t get hurt) attack.

Twenty or a hundred victims later, Joe Critter not only doesn’t think mugging is risky, but the lack of risk has caused him to consider other, more violent actions. Because these actions don’t get him hurt.

On the other paw, suppose Joe Critter is in a place where self-defence is expected and encouraged. He figures the reward of wallet money is worth the risk of Rehabilitation Through Reincarnation, or Bodily Injury and attempts a mugging. The victim defends him or her self, and let us postulate that Joe scrambles away with powder burns and a bloody furrow along the ribs.

In contrast to the above example, for mugging number 2, the Risk part of Joe’s Risk/Reward assessment climbs, rather than lowers. Death — instead of being a philosophical possibility of his actions, is now a very real, concrete fact.

Go read the rest.

In happier news, new episode of House tonight. Holy crap, I’m actually excited about a TV show.

Best. Endorsement. Ever.

First we had Walker, Texas Ranger supporting Huckabee, and now we have Rambo supporting McCain.  You can’t make this stuff up:

“I like McCain a lot. A lot. And you know, things may change along the way, but there’s something about matching the character with the script. And right now, the script that’s being written and reality is pretty brutal and pretty hard-edged like a rough action film, and you need somebody who’s been in that to deal with it.”

The really, truly sad thing is that this will get McCain more votes, because obviously if Rambo is supporting the guy, then he’s a guy the terrorists really don’t wanna mess with. I wonder if the next logical step is to see Steven Seagal come out in favor of Romney, followed by a three-way cage match on Pay Per View to decide the fate of the free world?

Stranger than Fiction

Via Michelle Malkin comes the following “WTF”moment:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — California Rep. Duncan Hunter, a former presidential candidate, announced Wednesday he is endorsing Mike Huckabee’s White House bid.

“I got to know Governor Huckabee well on the campaign trail,” Hunter said in a statement. “Of the remaining candidates I feel that he is strongly committed to strengthening national defense, constructing the border fence and meeting the challenge of China’s emergence as a military superpower that is taking large portions of America’s industrial base.

This is beyond bizarre. Hunter was very conservative, tough on borders and terrorism, and all for small government. Huckabee is none of those things. I’m truly confused as to what he’s thinking with this endorsement.

And then I remember we’re talking about 21st century Republican politics. Nothing makes sense.

Rethinking conservatism

Kim has a great post on the lack of actual conservativism in “conservative” politics, and suggests a few basic ground rules:

Axiom #1: All capital (i.e. money) belongs to the indivudals who earn it, and not to the State.

This seems to me so self-evident that I hardly know how to explain it. Suffice it to say that in countries where capital has been considered the property of the State, those countries have generally collapsed, and been saved only by other countries where capital is not the property of the State.

It gets better. Go forth, and read.

Lesser of five evils

So I’ve been watching the primaries with increasingly little connection to any given candidate. My ideal choice from the beginning was Fred Thompson – while not perfect, he was certainly the best of the bunch. Conservative, well-carried, well-spoken, intelligent… He seemed like perfect answer to the unimpressive remainder. Now that he’s dropped out, we’re down to five (and no, I won’t even consider either of the Democratic candidates. They’re against nearly everything I stand for):

  • Mitt Romney

Here we have a politician’s politician. Seems to change his mind every chance he gets, fails miserably at appealing to minority groups, and has a general air of untrustworthiness. I’ve said before that I hate the guy and that I like the guy – it seems to change every time he opens his mouth. He has performed well in some debates and miserably in others. On his good days he’s great but on his bad days he’s horrible – and I don’t think I can handle that in (another) president.

  • Rudy Giuliani

Captain 9/11 and the one-note band. He’s got a terrible record on gun control, immigration, and most other big issues, ancd has tons of NY-brand scandal and crime-connection baggage to back it all up. The only positive he’s got going for him is his stance on the war, which isn’t perfect but it’s better than most. Really, to see him elected would be a disaster for all involved.

  • Mike Huckabee

I really don’t know how this man gets taken seriously at all. He’s all for big government, big spending, and calling it all right in the name of the Lord. I’ve been told by several people that I’m morally obliged somehow to vote for Huckabee because he’s a Christian – which I find absurd, and probably explains where his support comes from – but to do so would compromise almost every social and political value I hold. He may be a great preacher, but he’d make a terrible president.

  • John McCain

The hometown hero. I guess I’m supposed to like him because he’s from Arizona, but really I can’t stand the guy. I’ve said before that I think the guy is getting a little nuts with time, and while I have great respect for him as a veteran and POW survivor, and even for remaining mostly harmless as a senator (McCain-Feingold notwithstanding), I don’t think he’s fit for presidency. He can act in a very unprofessional manner, as has been seen in almost every debate, and he has a real thirst for power that scares me. My mom told me when I was younger that anyone who wants to be president probably shouldn’t have the job. I don’t think she was all that far off.

  • Ron Paul

The revolutionary.To be honest, I like so much about him. His stance on handling government is spot-on, although I don’t think he can realistically make all his proposed changes in four years (or even eight). His stance on foreign policy is hard to argue with, but leads to a flawed (in my opinion) understanding of how to handle this war in Iraq. He wants to pull out immediately, but I think it would be disastrous to do so. More on that in another post, perhaps. His views on abortion mirror mine, in that while he thinks it’s wrong he also thinks it should be a state and not federal issue, and that government should neither condemn nor condone it in any fashion. His views on gun control and immigration could have come out of my own mouth.

But I can’t find it in myself to support him, for two reasons. One, his attitude bothers me. He’s too strong-willing and unwilling to bend at all, and I think that can be a problem. While it is not ideal, compromise is often necessary in the field of politics. Two, and this is the big one, he has a very disturbing idea of our government’s involvement in terrorism. I don’t know that I’d go so far as to label him a conspiracy theorist as I once did, but his history of making suspiciously “truthist” statements – particularly about 9/11 and JFK – really bothers me. I think it provides an insight into a deeper problem with the man that disqualifies him for the job.

So, there we go. A nice round up of what’s left on the field, and me wondering what chance we have left at a relatively sane 21st century. I’m open for suggestions, discussion, arguments, whatever in the comments. Maybe one of you can give me a little hope.