My Online Prose Portfolio

"Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money."
Louis Untermeyer

The Occasional Muse
My humble opinion on current events

September 25, 2003

Is 30 Years Too Long for Rape?

Is 30 years in prison too harsh a sentence for a rapist? Albert Stephen Farnsworth, 21, thinks so. According to the story, he feels the sentence will "stop him from getting married and starting a family."

Someone needs to tell Mr. Farnsworth that there's an easy way to avoid spending 30 years in the slammer. Don't rape a 12-year-old girl.

That's right. On February 4, Farnsworth and a buddy, who will receive a similar sentence October 31, kidnapped and sexually assaulted a twelve-year-old girl as she walked to school.

After spending a productive and wholesome evening using methamphetamine and watching porn movies, the two gentlemen decided to rape a young woman. At 7:15 the next morning, they snatched the girl off the sidewalk, stuffed her in a van, took her to a guesthouse, and raped her.

But Farnsworth thinks the penalty is harsh. He reportedly told a probation officer that he "regretted" the crime but suggested that because a life was not taken, why should his?

But the girl, now 13, left Arizona and can't return. Her mother describes her as a "shell" of the girl she used to be. She shows no emotion and won't speak of the rape to anyone. She was once "carefree" and is now a "scared little girl."

So you see, Mr. Farnsworth, you did steal a life. You took a happy young girl, robbed her of the life that she knew, and replaced it with a far worse one.

Think 30 years is too long? You're lucky I wasn't the sentencing judge.

NOW Defensive over Endorsement

Carol Mosley-Braun has announced for president. She has zero chance of winning. She served one scandal-riddled term in the Senate. Such meager qualifications did not stop the National Organization for Women from endorsing her, which is a joke. She's not the best candidate in the Democratic field, not even close. They endorsed her solely because of her gender.

The New York Times called the endorsement silly, which it is, but naturally NOW disagrees. She - surprise! - said the Times' charge "smacks of sexism." Furthermore, "Are they going to call a civil rights group silly, or a veterans group, or a labor union, for making an endorsement they don't agree with?" Gandy asked. "We know they wouldn't use that language with any group of men." Oh, Ms. Gandy, the Times says all sort of harsh things about male politicians, mainly conservatives and Republicans. That's politics.

But my favorite Gandy quote is this little gem: "We want to get more women participating in the political process, and thereby helping to defeat George Bush," she said. "When Carol Moseley Braun is at the table, even the guys in the race speak to women's issues."

Did you catch that? Even the guys. In other words, without the heroic Braun, the guys would not be speaking to women's issues! Does she really believe this? And does anyone really believe her? I'm sure it's news to the other Democrat candidates, who no doubt consider themselves proud feminists.

The idea that any male politician would not speak to women's issues unless he were running against a woman is just stupid. Women are half the electorate, so it's good politics to attract their votes by addressing their concerns. But beyond that, most men have at least a couple female relatives. You know, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, daughters, wives. These men aren't concerned about their issues, simply because they're men?

Could such a notion be called sexist?

The Recall's Recall is Recalled

Does that headline make sense? I think so. The rest of the judges on the Ninth Circuit have corrected their three wayward colleagues and ruled that the California recall is perfectly legal and may proceed as planned. The ACLU will not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, because it even it knew a lost cause when it saw one.

Did you catch the debate last night? What a circus. Arianna Huffington was just a waste of time, space and air. Arnold was an empty suit mouthing the usual platitudes, long on quips and barbs, short on substance and ideas. And Republicans in California think Arnold will make a good governor?

The most impressive candidate was state senator Tom McClintock - serious, composed, articulate, intelligent, substantive - everything Arnold is not. But he's been hung with the dreaded "unelectable" campaign because, for some reason, too many people think Arnold would make a better governor. They've been urging McClintock to drop out to give Arnold a clear shot at Bustamante.

Look, I live in Arizona, so I don't have a stake in this. But it's obvious that McClintock is the best candidate. Arnold is a horrible candidate - unlike previous entertainers who have successfully transitioned into politics, he has no real political experience. Heck, even Jesse Ventura was mayor before he became governor.

And the press has been just wonderful. You know, that same media who constantly whines about negative campaigning, and political mudslinging, and how we need to clean up the political process and restore civility. That same press has reported almost exclusively on the few barbs thrown in the debate, and ignored the considerable substance. How does that make any sense? The media is either hypocritical, stupid, or blind.

Whichever it is, the American people deserve better.

Back to The Occasional Muse