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Wednesday Features Post

Issue XVI

"The waiting is the hardest part." Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were right. This Baby Number 7 just doesn't want to come out. Last Tuesday, the doctor told Mrs. Scheske that she wouldn't make it through the week. That put Eric on pins immediately, and now he's overly pricked and tired. The doctor is supposed to induce this week.

We might post pictures, but there are few things we find more boring than pictures of newborns. To Eric's trained eye (having gone through six boot camps now), all newborn's look alike, unless endowed with wild hair, a mustache, or other accoutrement.

The blog is doing well. We've had over 10,000 hits this month. Unfortunately, it appears we aren't reaching a lot of new readers. From what we can tell (from e-mails we receive and statistics offered by our web host), once we get people to the site, they come back often. We have a cadre of regular readers who read us daily, sometimes many times a day. This isn't surprising, since we update the blog at least two times every day, sometimes ten times a day. Just this week alone, we've had postings about coprophilia, politically correct sex abuse, immortality, domestic squabbles, facial jewelry, literary hubris, and more. Some fun, some informative, some inane. Nonetheless, we fear that we're not attracting the additional readers we've been hoping to attract. Please help us get the word out (actually, that's a moribund metaphor; we should write, "Please help us disseminate, publicize, trumpet, proclaim") and tell friends about TWE.

Time for Castration?
Prisons are overcrowded, treatment doesn't appear to work, and no one can figure out what prompts someone (besides unadulterated evil) to be a molester. And Jessica Lunsford is dead. What to do?

The obvious answer, of course, is to destroy them. That's what you do with monsters. Heck, at the end of Matthew Broderick's Godzilla, the U.S. government destroyed thousands of monsters before they even got out of their eggs. They didn't even give them a chance to show whether they'd be good or bad Godzillas; they just destroyed Madison Square Garden (Ms. Godzilla's chosen nest) before the eggs could hatch, based on just one test study of the little guys' mother.

But it takes a lot of time to destroy a child molester. Due to all the court appeals, a middle-aged monster's life expectancy doesn't decrease much on death row, leading to more prison overcrowding.

So what do we do? The long-term recidivism rate of molesters is about half, according to this article. It appears we have no idea who will lapse and who won't. Child molesters themselves say they shouldn't be trusted to be alone with children. Modern penal aren't resolving the problem.

So what to do? Here are a few options that ought to be explored:

1. Castration. Of course, that leaves the molester with other ways of hurting the children, but this would eliminate one of the big motivators.

2. Lobotomy. We force psychotically-disturbed criminals to stay on their medications as a condition of parole. Meds are just chemical lobotomies, ways of altering the brain, albeit in a reversible way. Perhaps there's some sort of chemical lobotomy available.

3. Penal colony. This worked great for Britain, and it gave us the 2000 Summer Olympics (which some consider the best Olympics ever) and Crocodile Dundee. We could buy an island or two and store them there. If not, surely we could fence-in a big space in, say, North Dakota and drop food shipments. Good enough for the Afghans, good enough for these fellows. Or we could put a barbed and electric fence around one of those dilapidated federal housing projects and house the molesters there. Most of those apartments are wired for cable and/or satellite TV, so that'd be quite humanitarian of us.

4. Exile. What's it cost to incarcerate a guy? $30,000 a year? Export every child molester to a third world country and give the country $30,000 to take care of him, however they please. They want to kill him? Okay. Make him the king's court jester? Fine. Make him dive for wayward golf balls at a tourist resort's snake-filled ponds? Swell.

5. Slavery. Closely-related to number 4, we could make the guy a slave. Sell him to China to work in a factory. This would lead to further job losses in the United States, but that hasn't bothered us so far. Sound too cruel? He'd be no worse off than millions of Nike laborers.

If we're not going to take more preventive measures, like limiting the pornography that helps nourish little monsters into big monsters, we need to get inventive. The criminal experts are failing us.

Drinking with St. Brigid
Few realize that Eric Scheske's article on normalizing beer (see TWE, Issue VIII) reflects a highly traditional and Catholic view of drinking. We ran across a neat religious history of beer that might help folks understand the normal enjoyment of beer throughout the Christian millennia. Many thanks to A Saintly Salmagundi for linking us to it, along with providing this excellent quote from St. Brigid of Ireland about her wishes for heaven: "I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings. I would like to be watching Heaven's family drinking it through all eternity."

Stoic's Porch
“The things that are essential are acquired with little bother; it is the luxuries that call for toil and effort.” Seneca

It's Holy Week. Hopefully, these stray quotes reflect it.

"In Church while praying it is useful to stand with closed eyes with inward attention, and to open the eyes only when you grow languid or when sleep oppresses you and makes you drowsy." Seraphim of Sarov

"A brother asked Abba Tithoes, 'Which way leads to humility?' The old man said, 'The way of humility is this: self-control, prayer, and thinking yourself inferior to all creatures.'"

"Satan presented himself to a holy man at the hour of his death and said, 'You have beaten me.' The old man answered, 'I still do not know.'"

In the "unseen war all are losers except a man who never ceases to struggle and keep his trust in God." Lorenzo Scupoli

"He who knows not how to command his desires, finds himself hurried away with them." St. Ambrose

"Let us not deceive ourselves. If we have not got humility, we have nothing." St. Vincent de Paul

Last Word
Futilitarian: One who thinks human endeavor is hopeless. "The futilitarian says, 'life sucks and then you die.'"