Teaching Our Sons Not To Rape

Ok, I have seen a common theme popping up over the last several months about the issue of rape and how to address it.

There are those who are constantly saying “Women should protect themselves,” and those who are saying that “We should teach men not to rape.”

The first one has some relevance, but given the nature of the vast majority of rapes, it doesn’t have much bearing on reality.

The second one is vital to solving the problem. We as a society DO need to teach our sons (and daughters) not to rape. However, those who espouse this view are constantly shot down. The response from the opposition runs the gambit from vulgar language to threats of violence (I wish I was making this up).

People who say that men should take responsibility for their behavior are often called sluts, bitches, prudes, or if they are guys they are called gay, effeminate, etc. Ironically, I do not personally think that the accusations are near as insulting as the people making them seem to think.

Anyway, I am starting to ramble so I will get to the point.

As a guy who lives in the middle of a culture that takes just that route, that tells their young men and women not to rape each other, I can tell you this much: If fucking works.

The United States military, Navy and Marines especially perhaps, have had a long history of sexual assault and related problems. The most effective method that they have found so far, the one method that actually produced a drastic drop in the number of assaults and full out rapes, was teaching people what rape and sexual assault are, and insuring that they know it is wrong.

And to the assholes who are all like “Women should protect themselves because guys are going to do what guys do.” As a human male, you sicken me. You are shame to your species. You are basically saying that you and those like you are no better than rabid animals that function at a level no more elevated than that of a mollusk. Please, do the world a favor and don’t reproduce. We don’t need your ideas being passed on to future generations.

Not a Happy Read

Warning: This one is not written with friendly words.

There are a number of bumper stickers out there that are geared towards encouraging community, cooperation, unity, and peaceful coexistence. Probably one that everyone has seen simply says “Coexist” and the letters are made up of various religious and philosophical symbols, as well as a few LGBT symbols thrown in for good measure.

The message is simple, and it is obvious. We are all human. We are different, but we are human. We need to learn to deal with that.

And of course, as is inevitable, I have started seeing various opposed variations. Sad as that may sound, it is true.

I saw one earlier on the way home that offended the hell out of me. I am not prone to road rage, but I went ahead and got ahead of the guy just in case I changed my mind.

It said “Coexist?” except that the letters were made up of bombs, guns, and various jingoistic symbols. And then bellow that it said: “Ok Lefty, you first.”

It offended the fuck out of me. To be blunt, it is not intolerant to discourage hate. It is not intolerant to tell you not to go bomb and kill people because you don’t agree with their skin color or their religion. It is not intolerant to say that it is wrong for you to bully.

It also offended me greatly because the combination of the message and the symbols used caused one thought to stick in my head and refuse to budge…

People like that are the reason that people like me still die on a daily basis, even if they don’t make the news any more.

We still get periodic lists of names of sailors and soldiers who have been shot, blown up, run over, or just taken their own lives in the Middle East. So yeah, fuckheads like that offend the hell out of me.

You know what the real bitch of it is though? They are the ones screaming “Support our Troops!” any time they see someone even indicating that peace is a good idea.

The Shrinking Deficit: Or Sequester is a Sham

The deficit has been going down somewhat steadily for the last four years. I know that may sound odd if you listen to the media and especially to the Republicans in Congress who have declared their primary job to be getting rid of Obama (Even though their primary job is supposed to be serving the American people).

Now, we are entering into sequester. Ignoring the fact that the sequester is an entirely made up thing triggered by an entirely fabricated crisis, the primary piece of evidence that we “must” do this is just as fabricated than the WMD’s that lead us into Iraq, and the end result is likely to be just as much economic harm.

The deficit is the main excuse used to push for sequester. “We must reduce this every growing rapidly rising deficit,” “The deficit is higher than it has ever been,” “Obama has increased the national debt faster than any president since World War II,” and the litany goes on. But this is not true. There are numbers. There is this thing called math.

And this is where the problem comes in. The average American has to depend on the media and their politicians to tell them the truth. There are over 315 million people in our country. It is literally impossible for any one person to know everyone or even the majority. That is why the news media is so important. That is why our Founders decided to go with a Representative Republic rather than a True Democracy. It is because they knew that our numbers would only grow.

However, when you have the leaders of our nation stating in front of television cameras flat out lying to us, and the reporters broadcasting those lies as the gospel truth, you get confusion. Yes, all of the data necessary to know the truth is publicly available, but the vast majority of Americans do know have the knowledge or resources to access that data. The internet is a wonderful thing if you know what you are looking for, or if you know that you should be looking.

With a close majority of law makers backing the men that go on the air screaming about the deficit, why should anyone believe they are wrong? Most Americans are good, hard working, trustworthy people. The thing about trustworthy people is that we tend to see the best in others even when they have been screwed before. Add to that the fact that whichever politicians screwed you last, they are going to be laying the blame for it at the feet of their opposition.

Notice that I said “close majority.” This is because there are currently 253 Democrats in congress and 277 Republicans [1]. The result is that I can’t really lay the blame for this entirely at the feet of one party or the other. Yes, the Republicans tend to be the one screaming from the rooftops about out of control spending, worse than any time in history. The Republicans are the ones declaring that Obama is a runaway train and that he is increasing the deficit more and more every year. But, where are the Democrats? Why are they not speaking up? They have just as loud a mouthpiece in the media as the Republicans and the Republican majority is only about four and a half percent. So yes, they are at fault here as well. Either they are just as confused as the rest of the populous, or they are willfully choosing to let the Republicans lie to us. I am not sure which possibility is worse.

The reality is that the deficit has been going down in relation to the GDP for years. Believe it or not, history has indicated over the last few decades that “Big Government Democrats” tend to spend less and shrink government while in office, while “Small Government Republicans” tend to spend more and increase the size of government. Given that most people are constantly told the opposite by the media, I would say that we need to start depending more on the raw statistics, and less on the pundits interpreting them.

This brings me to the point where I am going to start talking numbers. Because of the prevalent narrative in the media, 90% of Americans do not know what is actually going on with the deficit [2][3]. And no, that number is not just pulled out of thin air.

A recent Bloomberg News poll, reported on 22 February, 2013 [3] indicated that 62% of people polled believed that the deficit was growing annually. 28% believed that it was staying about the same. Only 6% knew that it was actually shrinking. The other 4% account for people who didn’t answer and the margin of statistical error.

That is 90% of our brothers and sisters who have no clue about what is going on in the economy other than “it sucks.” It is not their fault though. As I said, the people who are supposed to inform us have been feeding us bad information, and the people who were supposed to keep that from happening stood silent, or worse, vouched for them.

The Rachel Maddow Show for 26 February, 2013[4][5] has a decent report on the subject. I listened to the audio podcast version. If you subscribe there, it starts at about the 6 minute mark with her getting into statistics around the 8:40 mark. Otherwise, if you go to the website for the video[4], and click on Previously, and the link for February 26, 2013, it is one of the clips they have there. As of this writing it is the first item on the list.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Congress
[2] http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/22/17056939-a-well-kept-fiscal-secret
[3] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-22/americans-back-spending-cut-delay-amid-budget-deal-push.html
[4] http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26315908/
[5] http://www.nbcnews.com/id/28981762/ns/msnbc-rachel_maddow_show/