Thursday, June 20, 2013

Truth of Consequences

“In the last two years, reported sexual assault cases in the military rose from an estimated 19,000 to 26,000. Last year, the number reached an estimated 71 cases a day.” ―Heidi Heitkamp

Consequences? There are all kinds of consequences, some good, some bad, some intended, some not. What are the consequences of raping a fellow soldier? Well, there’s the loss of trust, the loss of comradeship, the loss of unit cohesion, the loss of unit discipline, the loss of respect, the loss of military pride …. So many losses and not a single win. Everyone loses.

The U.S. Military is rapidly gaining a reputation for being a place where the hard-up go to get laid. Until there are real consequences for rape in the military, expect an increase in sexual assaults each and every year; without consequences, bullies with poor impulse control feel free to participate. In the meantime, military rape victims ought not hesitate to frag their rapist at the earliest opportunity. (Note: For the best outcome, this should be done in an actual combat setting to provide cover for plausible deniability.)

Assuming that all of the people who actually have the power to stop sexual assaults on fellow soldiers―the would-be rapists, military commanders and members of the three branches of government―eventually come to their senses and collectively act to end rape within the military’s ranks, what kinds of deterrents might they use to ensure compliance with anti-rape regulations among the rank-and-file? What punishment might they use to bring home the consequences to those who would victimize their comrades-in-arms?

Does life in front of a firing squad sound too harsh?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Growing Pains

''Every nation has both a right and responsibility to keep its population in balance with its resources. The notion that you can grow forever is crazy economics.'' ―Mark O’Connor

In the world outside a coal mine frogs are the canaries, and they are dying.

As we humans change the chemical composition of the atmosphere, the oceans, and of the land itself, the very planet we depend on for life support is rapidly losing the ability to support life. Scientists and other experts warn that we are fast approaching critical tipping points on numerous fronts and that mass extinctions are a likely result.

Few people seem to grasp the precariousness of our situation―the immediacy of the dangers we all face―and fewer still fully grasp the proximate causes of it. Until we acknowledge the human element at the epicenter of environmental degradation and resource depletion―until we stop thinking in terms of resource shortages and start thinking in terms of excess demand due to overpopulation―and begin an honest dialog aimed at resolving these difficult issues, we are condemned to live a “slapstick comedy” kind of existence.