A Once and Future Pirate

In the interest of being open-minded and flexible, I tried turning over a new leaf and actually paying for a piece of entertainment software. Naturally, I first obtained a pirated version and a crack and discovered that yes, indeed, I did want to play this particular game. Unfortunately, the cracked game generated an amount of graphic garbage, caused the mouse to move like molasses and screwed up my display upon exiting, so I determined that I would, for once, exchange some valueless pieces of paper for said software product.

I soon felt powerfully confirmed once more in my total disdain for intellectual property as it relates to software when the same problem immediately evinced itself and continues to do so despite monkeying about with DirectX updates, ATI driver settings and so forth.

But at least I paid for the software, so I can get the benefit of technical support, right? Oh, my aching sides! (wipes tears from eyes) That’s funny. The pirates know more and offer better support than the poor slobs on phone duty, assuming you want to wait 20 minutes to talk to them.

With all the modding communities that have sprung up, I give it 5-7 years before the first true, high-quality open source games start to appear. In fact, if there are any programmers interested in such buccaneering endeavors, I have an OpenGL/D3D engine, access to a classroom full of 3D artists who will take any rendering or animation assignment I want to give them and a pair of game designs. Let me know if you’re down with OSD and you’re interested.

And the Baptists head for the showers

Baptist Center for Ethics
Nashville, TN
April 21, 2006

Dear Fellow Baptists:

The time has come for Baptists to speak positively about public education and to take proactive initiatives that advance a constructive future for America’s public school system.
We recognize the need for reforms in public schools, as all organizations need reformation, including churches and corporations. Reforms to improve all facets of public education should be a constant goal of our nation.
While every family is free to decide the course of their children’s education, we believe it is wrong for Baptist leaders to urge Baptists to exit the nation’s public school system for homeschools and Christian academies and to equip that cause.
We decry the anti-public school statements that identify public schools as “the enemies of God,” that label the nation’s school system as “a dark and decaying government school system” and that claim public schools are converting Christian children “to an anti-Christian worldview.” We urge a halt to the demonization of public schools.
We believe Baptists should recommit themselves to public education, not as a means toward converting school children, but because it is the right thing to do. We believe public school children are God’s children who deserve the nurture of a good society, the prospect for a good education and the equal opportunity for a good life.
We call on Baptists to recommit themselves to the separation of church and state, which will keep public schools free from coercive pressure to promote sectarian faith, such as state-written school prayers and the teaching of neo-creationism (intelligent design).
We call on Baptists to recommit themselves to a just society. A just society will ensure that every American child has an opportunity for a good education and that public schools have the resources necessary to provide such an opportunity, achieving the highest standards possible.
We call on Baptists to recommit themselves to the nation’s founding principle of “E Pluribus Unum.” A society based on unity out of diversity will embrace every child and recognize the vital role public schools play in achieving national unity.
We, the undersigned, pledge therefore to

pray for public schools;

show our support for public schools through worship services that affirm all school-related personnel;

advocate for a high wall of separation between church and state that is critical to good public education;

pursue a just society that benefits every child;

speak up for the role public education plays in democracy, especially the unity it creates in the midst of diversity so necessary in our society;

challenge religious voices who demonize public education; and

share this letter with others.

Well, it’s nice to see that the Episcopalians, Methodists and Lutherans will have some company in their slouch towards total cultural irrelevance. And for the record, I think it is unnecessary to demonize the public schools, as they already contain no shortage of evil and destructive spiritual beings also known as “teachers”.

I suddenly feel so pure

Carrie Lukas attempts to count up the victims:

One in four women is the victim of rape or attempted rape.

This familiar statistic comes to mind as the rape indictment of two Duke University lacrosse players dominates national news. It may be a fitting backdrop for this scandal, not just because the statistic reminds us that all women are vulnerable to this terrible crime, but also because the evidence behind the number is dubious.

“One in four” has been repeated so often on college campuses and in the media that many people accept it without question. Few know how it was calculated. Few ask, because asking implies questioning its veracity, and, in this post-feminist era, it’s taboo to question sex-crime data or the claims of any alleged rape victim.

Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute delved into these uncomfortable waters in Who Stole Feminism. The one-in-four statistic, she found, was derived from a survey of 3,000 college women in 1982. Researchers used three questions to determine if respondents had been raped: Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs? Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man threatened or used some degree of physical force… to make you? And, have you had sexual acts…when you didn’t want to because a man threatened to use some degree of physical force… to make you?

Based on women’s responses, researchers concluded that 15 percent of women surveyed had been raped and 12 percent had experienced an attempted rape. Therefore, 27 percent of women — more than one in four — were either the victims of rape or attempted rape. This is the origin of the one-in-four statistic.

27 percent. Or 3 percent. Why not just announce that there is no such thing as rape, ergo, problem solved. Zero is within the range of error, after all.

As regulars know, I find the constant fixation on rape as the evil of all evils to be tremendously amusing. This is not because it’s usually an uncrime, which is to say, the supposedly criminal act is based solely on the self-proclaimed victim’s feelings, but because a) rape has seldom been less common than it is in the modern United States, and, b) its frequency, whatever the actual rate might be, is largely thanks to those very women who are loudly screaming their heads off about their right to do whatever they want wherever they want, and to do it unarmed.

Right. Try dressing like a Jew in Saudi Arabia and let us know how that goes…. Oh, but that’s not a modern and enlightened Western culture. Okay, then, try it in Londonistan or Amstarabia, then. Now you’re just blaming the victim!

The childishness of the female perspective on rape, even on the part of the less silly commentators, can be summarized in the following statement: “Regardless of the exact figure, rape is a terrible crime too prevalent in our society.” Such outrage, such soaring rhetoric, how very lovely, Miss Lukas. Now, do try naming a historical society where it has been significantly less prevalent… and please delineate three primary differences between those societies and our own.

And then there’s this gem: “It certainly is possible that this revised estimate understates the frequency of rape — women may be reluctant to admit having been violated even in an anonymous survey.” Or maybe they are too eager to admit it, given how often they are proven to recant. Picking a number out of the air would be as meaningful, that certainly seemed to work for the author of the “women beaten on Super Bowl Sunday” fiction.

Fortunately, our ever-doughty feminists have provided us with solution to ending this terrible crime once and for all. As a potential rapist myself, I can do no less than my part in bringing this terrible scourge on our society to an end:

If you have the opportunity and ability to rape a woman, just don’t do it!

That should take care of that! Because, as everyone knows, the only reason people do bad things is because no one ever told them not to. If 50 years of murderous and totalitarian government couldn’t eliminate guns in Communist China, what are the odds that a country that can’t locate 12 million people who can’t even speak English can Take Back the Night on behalf of drunk and stupid college girls?