Saturday, November 21, 2009

Age and Crime

Apparently a husband and wife admitted to spying on the US and reporting to Cuba for 30 years. They've even spent some time with Fidel Castro giving him intel. The husband has been sentenced to life in jail, while his wife will serve no less than 7.5 years. Here's the kicker for me, they are 72 and 71 respectively. The BBC site doesn't say when they stopped spying, but they spent their evening with Mr. Castro in 1995.

They committed treason against their country, but are aging. Does the punishment fit the crime? Should they be stuck in jail for something they did (potentially) a decade ago? Did the wife get a lesser sentence because of her gender? (Sexism can work in one's favor too).

I, of course, don't have any of these answers, but these questions struck me as I was reading. I think that since our punitive system is that, punitive instead of corrective, their age shouldn't matter. If we had a corrective system, then I don't think they should be corrected, because their ability to commit the crime has been greatly diminished.

Whether or not sexism played a part, I'm guessing yes. She could have been the brains behind the whole match, but most are reading this article thinking, "He was an official in the army. Oh, that poor woman getting stuck with that." Either way, I think 7 and a half years in jail are going to irreparably damage her health, and they will most likely be separated. That might be more damage than the actual jail time.

What I'll never know is why someone would actually do this.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cafeterias and fun

I'm sitting in the cafeteria at Luther Seminary and someone dropped some glass shattering into a plethora of glass shards. This reminded me of a similar situation that happened to me.
When I was at Normandale, I dropped a bottle of pop which as-ploded. Deeply embarrassed, I helped clean it up, grabbed a new soda, and moved to the cashier to pay.
Pointing at the spot where my mess had been, I say, "I'd like to pay for that." "No," he replied,"you have to pay for that." Confused, I said, "That's what I said, 'I'd like to pay for that.'" Looking quite pissed off, he said, "You still have to pay for that." Realizing my defeat, I gave up trying to pay for it. "OK?!" I said as I handed him the money covering my mistake and my purchases.
I avoided his line for the rest of my tenure. He was an angry man.

Yet another pointless post. I hope all is well with you all.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Nouns and Verbs

I am sick of people misusing the English language.... part 1.
I understand that taking a noun and turning it into a verb can strengthen the sentence. However, when it happens consistently, it cheapens any use of the word entirely.
I have been to too many weddings where the couples "covenant" each other. For crying out loud, MAKE a covenant. Do they not think that by creating a bond they are doing something more important than screwing up the English language? I know that covenant is officially a verb now in newer dictionaries, but I wholly refuse to use it that way. Another verbed noun is to gift. I hear this and I cringe.What's most interesting to me is the fact that I "text," "friend" people on facebook, "re-gift," and "verb" various other nouns, but for some reason "gift" and "covenant" are verboten.
With neologisms abounding in this post-modern world, I'll either have to adapt or be pissed off. It's obvious which I've chosen.