Personally, I think drugging and raping 13 year old girls is wrong.

September 27, 2009
Polanski, who drugged and raped a 13 year old girl

Polanski, who drugged and raped a 13 year old girl

Call me crazy, but drugging and raping a 13 year old is kind of a bad thing. It’s kind of like…well, DRUGGING THEN RAPING A 13 YEAR OLD. There’s a lot of misinformation and urban legends surrounding Roman Polanski, but one thing is certain: he’s admitted to drugging and then raping a 13 year old.

Sure, Roman Polanski has had a hard life. His wife was murdered, and he grew up in Warsaw during the Second World War. He has had some bad circumstances in which to live. This isn’t lost on me—that’s a shitty hand to be dealt. What I also understand is that he hasn’t been in trouble since drugging and raping that 13 year old girl. That’s quite an achievement for someone who drugged then raped a 13 year old girl.

One thing about the drugging rape of the 13 year old girl that I used to believe was that the girl lied about her age. Hey, you know, it happens. So then Roman Polanski shouldn’t be punished for drugging and raping a 13 year old girl, he should be punished for drugging and raping a….wait a minute! That’s kind of bad no matter how you put it.

The kicker to the whole “she lied about her age” defense is that Roman Polanski asked the girl’s mother for permission to photograph her. So, unless we’re talking about a man who drugs and rapes 13 year old girls, but has maintained some kind of Victorian ethos about asking the mother for permission to photograph an adult daughter, Roman Polanski knew damn well that the girl he drugged and then raped was a minor.

Another urban legend out there is that Roman Polanski served his time, but a vicious, vengeful judge wanted to make an example of a celebrity who drugged and raped a 13 year old girl. It is true that Polanski served some time for the rape. He put in a solid 42 days of a 90 day psych evaluation for the rape, then once released from the psychiatric evaluation, he fled the country. According to a Washington Post article (September 20, 1977), Polanski “…was ordered imprisoned for a 90-day psychiatric study to help the judge decide his sentence.” That wasn’t his sentence, that was an evaluation. Polanski fled not because of an overzealous judge, but because his actual sentencing was coming up (for drugging, then raping a 13 year old girl).

Now that Polanski is in custody, there are going to be articles of support for him, and articles decrying his actions. There is going to be a lot of revisionist attitudes, and those old ‘Roman Polanski was the real victim’ bullshit arguments. One has already been put up on HuffPost. John Farr (some unknown hack who reviews movies for a living) wrote a piece calling for leniency for Polanski because he’s been ‘rehabilitated’. If by that he means living in the lap of luxury and completely avoiding being punished for drugging and raping a 13 year old, then yeah, he’s completely rehabilitated.

Please, for all that’s right in the world, think about this case. Think about a 13 year old girl being fed champagne and quaaludes by a 44 year old man. Think about how he led her to a bed, refused to stop when she repeatedly said “No!”, performed oral and anal acts upon her person, and think about his complete lack of spine. Think about how he fled the country to live in luxury. Think about it all.

Say it with me: He drugged and raped a 13 year-old girl.


Some Thoughts About Healthcare

September 6, 2009

A quick piece I wrote sometime last year, or so–all the more relevant right now.

I’m a fiscally conservative liberal. It sounds like a contradiction in terms, but I promise you, it isn’t. I’m certainly not a libertarian, and I do not propose that I fall anywhere in your neat little political spectrum graph you have embedded in your head. I believe in providing some basic necessities of life, such as healthcare, retirement security, and social safety nets through grouping our resources as a community. I believe that we can do so in a cost saving manner, while ensuring a quality of life that is greater than current conditions.

That is how I view the function of government. I see it as our collective ability to help each other, and ourselves, through working in concert on the most basic of needs. We needn’t create massive bureaucracies to do so, nor do we need to give up our individual rights. No one wishes to have a government that is oppressive, or one that takes too much, and provides too little. These are the ingredients to doing the opposite of the what was intended.

The free market is fine and dandy for many, many things. It has proven effective at controlling costs up to a point, and provided us with ingenuity and inventiveness unseen for the vast majority of human history. It seeks to fill needs not yet provided, and punish those who would attempt to become robber barons. But it doesn’t always work. We know this. It isn’t that it needs to be done away with, or massively overhauled, it doesn’t. It just needs common sense measures to ensure it’s proper functioning.

The best example of the free market’s imperfection can be found in the mills and factories of the early twentieth century. Men, women, and children forced to labor in squalid conditions, and made to live as slaves within a framework of freedom. As a people, we rejected this, and rightly so. We put in place regulations and guidelines to correct the abuse of a few on the many, and the system was saved from catastrophe.

We have these dilemmas on a smaller scale each generation. Today, we have a few that need to be addressed. The free market has attempted to provide inexpensive healthcare while regulations have been put in place to help those that the corporate structure cannot, or will not help. These regulations are seen to have have worked against the goal of providing healthcare at a less expensive rate, making insurance and related costs skyrocket. Whether this is necessarily true is debatable, but I think there maybe some truth to the argument.

How are we to both provide inexpensive healthcare and also ensure the health of the population at large? We cannot sit idly by as millions of us suffer cruel fates because of the free market, just as we cannot let our desire to help collapse our ability to provide these services. We must choose a direction, either one that is less regulated, but may abuse those it provides services to, or one that is given to all of us, and is thus protected from such inequities. Either way, there is no doubt that lawsuits must be limited, and bad providers of services found and kept from hurting people. I don’t think anybody will disagree with that last point.

The best example on the world stage may very well come from a stereotyped people. The French. Sure, the French are the symbol of everything bad to the conservatives, yet there healthcare system may be the very best example of a market driven universal healthcare. A decent jumping off point for future discussions on the ability to help all without hurting everyone in the process.

The Frech system is not perfect, of course, but it does provide a wonderful array of services for almost half of what individual expenditures are here in the United States. The per capita cost in France is about $3500, while in the US it’s closing in on $7000. The french get to see their own doctor, and are reimbursed buy the government for a vast number of services. The individual can chose to get further private insurance for procedures that don’t fall into a basic medical needs category, and thus the extra costs of abuse of the system is avoided.

The system doesn’t have the long waits and poor service that conservatives put forward as arguments against universal coverage, and it’s bureaucracy is limited by the use of electronic filing and streamlined electronic transfers of funds. They limit the costs, and maintain a system that was rated number one in the world by the World Health Association in 2001. Half the cost, and everyone is provided for.

Businesses still provide their employees with extra insurance, as benefits, and a way to attract the best workers. Some self employed even completely forgo the system and provide themsleves with their own full coverage insurances. It’s a flexible system that does a number of exceptional things, while maintaining exceptional savings.


The Palin Resignation: A Vivisection

July 7, 2009

There’s been so much said about the Palin Resignation, and the reasons thereof, over the past week–and for good reason. Whether or not you’re a supporter of hers, it needs to be accepted that she is rightly a topic worthy or considerable discussion. The momentarily reinvigorated base constituency of the Republican Party embraced her as a rallying point when all seemed lost. Granted, it was a false hope, fed by her boisterousness and fake bluster, but it was a real sensation to those draped in Osama/Obama t-shirts with Joe the Plumber buttons adorning them.


A person desirous of the trappings of power also seems to have trapped something rather furry.

Sarah Palin–the actual person–is a mere sideshow to the idea of her is to some psychographics within the GOP. I don’t mean this as a slight to her–this is true of a huge swath of politicians and leaders in general. She was willing to stand at a podium and spew forth vitriol and emotional responses that many felt that they didn’t have the power to do themselves. She was the voice box of a frustrated group, encumbered by the massive sandbags George W. Bush failed to fill for Katrina, and made our men in uniform hide behind for a lie. Those Republicans were besieged by negative association, and were thus reluctant to be heard, even if it were just a venting of their built up anger toward everything they felt was against them.

With such new-found fame, and a place in the hearts of a significant constituency, it is puzzling that Palin would throw these things away without an eye on something greater. Thus, the talking heads on cable ‘news’ shows have been spending countless hours–between coverage of Michael Jackson’s death–putting forth their explanations on this matter. Most of it is utter bullshit, and here’s why:

A 2012 Palin run for the Presidency:

A first term Governor suddenly resigning shows a lack of regard for those who voted for her. There’s no immediate explanation of why, like there would be in ordinary circumstances such as this. Not only it is an awkward move to explain in any future campaign, it smacks of desertion of the highest order.

She was governor of a very small state–one smaller than Charlotte, North Carolina, and half the size of San Diego. This is usually a valid and consequential topic of discussion when pondering a person’s readiness for an office such as President. Even if she were to have served several terms as Governor, this would surely be an issue.

Her lack of academic credentials is a glaring defect in a desired rise from obscurity to sitting in the Oval Office. Academic achievement may not be an fail-safe predictor of political success, but without it, one has to wonder about the intellect of the individual if there isn’t a long track record of worldly success. Clearly, she doesn’t have any substantial successes in her life one can point to as world-class achievements. Being elected Governor of a small state is the world leader equivalent to having won a tennis match against Stephen Hawking.

A run for the Presidency would not only be a laughable move at this point, but

"..and so then that the same then that there is other same the."

"..and so then that the same then that there is other same the."

would surely only be to garner donations, and not an elected office. She hasn’t the experience, the intellectual prowess, or the political scorecard to make a legitimate run for President–she knows this, her advisors know this, and a great deal more than half of the U.S. electorate knows this. Plus, her obvious lack of understanding on issues (Just yesterday she called the Department of Justice the ‘Department of Law’) would plague any run for higher office to a greater degree than it did during that whole VP candidate mess.

If not a run for the Presidency, then what?

The explanation that she wants to campaign for others is preposterous, considering that this is the dead zone between election cycles. She would have no trouble either finishing out her term, or at the very least serving longer. Resigning makes her effectiveness lessened in campaigning for others as well, seeing as how she will instantly be viewed as a has been, rather than a current power holder. She would be effective only for one cycle in this capacity, and then quickly moved to the scrap heap.

A run for Senate would seem like a logical step for an ambitious person seeking national experience, but running from a Governor’s seat is much more potent than from the sidelines. This would be a poor explanation of the resignation.

The media pressure was too much, and she had to escape seems to be an underlying reasoning. If she would merely stay in Alaska, and doing the job of the office she holds, the media pressure wouldn’t exist. This is possibly the most foolish reasoning for her move.

She can make more in speaking fees than as Governor is one that initially made sense to me until I actually thought about it. She could still do high priced appearances as Governor–it doesn’t resolve the immediacy of her move.

Rick Sanchez pondered on live TV about her being pregnant. It didn’t stop her before (though the goings on of that episode are extremely suspect), and she even went into labor during a speech in Texas (they say), and flew all the way back to Alaska, drove to Wasilla, and then delivered the baby. If that was the case, pregnancy to her is like getting a blister lanced.

With all of these possibilities seemingly unlikely or outright foolish, what are we to make of such an abrupt departure from office?

Take no heed in the words of lawyers. Sarah Palin most likely has something else on the horizon that has forced a move otherwise unthinkable. She’s getting out before a storm, and putting herself in less of a vulnerable position. She’s not acting out of strength, otherwise any move that she made would make sense. She’s playing a hand out of weakness, trying to secure herself from damage so close, it already is causing her world to spin out of control.

She seemingly has no other choice but to resign, as all other explanations seem inadequate.

She seemingly has no other choice but to resign, as all other explanations seem inadequate.

Lawyers are paid to spin. That’s their duty. If something is coming that is potentially devastating to Palin, a lawyer is not going to publicly acknowledge that–they will frame the client to seem innocent while at the same time positioning them to face the least damage. That’s what they do. That’s what Palin’s lawyers are most likely doing at this very moment.

Something is up, otherwise her behavior pattern wouldn’t so abruptly change–and the only thing that makes sense is lessening legal and collateral political damage.


The Palin Scandal Redux

July 4, 2009

Back in October, I wrote a little piece about Sarah Palin and her house–the links to the building supply company, the Wasilla Sports Complex, and all of the odd goings on. Well, it looks like it may be coming to a head. She’s resigning, and word on the street is that the Wasilla Sports Complex quid pro quo is the reason why. Let’s take a look at my October of 2008 post:

Massive Palin Scandal Brewing

h1 October 13, 2008 A scandal twice the size of Ted Stevens’ is brewing for Sarah Palin. No, it’s not the troopergate report, which in its own right is a monumental scandal, but one that hasn’t hit the mainstream media yet. This one’s a doozie. A half million dollar doozie.

Those of us who pay attention to the election with our proverbial telescopes and microscopes have all seen the pictures of Sarah Palin’s beautiful home overlooking a pristine Alaskan lake. It’s very picturesque, and enviable for most Americans. Now, it’s all the more idyllic if you believe the Palin’s–Todd built it himself, with his own two hands. What a nice image, but is that image the true one?

The home was constructed in 2002, right before Sarah Palin’s tenure as the director of Ted Stevens’ PAC, Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Incorporated. Ted Stevens, you may recall, was indicted for taking a quarter of a million dollars worth of gifts in the form of construction on his Alaskan cabin, and there are potential striking similarities to Sarah Palin’s situation. Not only is it improbable that Todd Palin built an almost 4,000 square foot luxury home with a ‘couple of buddies’, but it is looking as though Todd Palin had very little to do with the construction other than supervision.

Remember the massive, and horribly overpriced sports complex that Sarah Palin pushed through in Wasilla? Well, it seems that the sports complex contractors and architect have strong links and ties to Palin. Spenard Building Supplies was one, and wouldn’t you know, they also supplied the materials for the Palin’s home. Sure, a small connection, but get this–Spenard also was the supplier for Ted Stevens cabin. This one building supply company is involved with Palin, Stevens, the Wasilla sports complex, and is a financial contributor to Palin. Keep in mind that the sports complex was being constructed at the very same time as the Palin’s home.

This connection is neither fleeting, nor minor. This appears to be a pattern of concurrent events that makes it more and more likely that the Palin’s home may have been some sort of quid pro quo arrangement for the massive influx of money into the building supply company. An area that could reinforce this connection would be if the architect of the Wasilla sports complex, Blase Burkhart (also a contributor to Palin), had anything to do with the construction of the Palin’s home.

Another interesting twist to the story is that Sarah Palin was, at the time, also running for Lieutenant Governor, a position that could further reward those contributing to her campaign, and those that were involved with the Wasilla sports complex and the construction of Sarah Palin’s home. We know that Alaska has been a bastion of corrupt political activities.

Spenard Building Supplies has connections to Ted Stevens indictment, but also the Murkowskis. They have been a major contributor to Murkowski’s daughter’s Senate run. Frank Murkowski was the center of a massive corruption probe, with his Chief of Staff, Jim Clark, being found guilty in a conspiracy involving Veco, the company at the center of the Ted Stevens corruption scandal. Spenard worked with Veco on Stevens cabin.

So, Sarah Palin’s home involves a company involved with Ted Stevens, Palin became the director of Ted Stevens PAC within months after the home was built, and there is a plausible quid pro quo with the involvement of the $12,500,000 Wasilla sports complex. These connections are proven with city, state  and court documents, the question now is whether Palin’s home had any amount of work contributed by Spenard, Veco, Burkhart, or any other contractors involved with the building of the Wasilla sports complex. My guess? There’s more to this story than has been uncovered so far. Todd Palin didn’t build a nearly 4,000 square foot luxury, lakeside home valued at over $500,000 by himself. Who helped him build it?

Sources for this entry include The Village Voice and StopThinkVote

Makes sense to me still. How about you?


I’ll be back sometime within a few days with updates

November 12, 2008

Sorry if it looks as though the blog has been abandoned, it isn’t. Just basking in a great victory for progress in America, and I’ll be back once my batteries are recharged for some new righteous indignation!


WoooooooHooooo! President-Elect, Barack Obama.

November 4, 2008

What a wonderful day for change, but foremost in my mind is the return of the United States from being an international joke.


First Election Results In!

November 4, 2008

Obama wins both Hart’s Location, and Dixville Notch (in my wonderful New Hampshire). The ballot tally in Hart’s Location was 17-10 for Senator Obama. Dixville Notch gave Senator Obama a greater victory, 15-6!

The tally now stands at 32-16

John McCain is not expected to overcome this 16 vote deficit.