Welcome to the life of an American female. Aimlessly wandering the road of youth and adulthood, she shares her tales of growing pains, discoveries and ideas. There might also be a pinch of happiness, a dash of light, and a micro-amount of wisdom within. The author is not liable for any psychological damages you may incur while reading this blog.

The author put it best when she said, "My humor is like a good martini - extra dry and sometimes served dirty."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

War

Hmmm...good ol' war.

I was watching the Tudors the other day, and they were showing a torture scene. That got me thinking, when did people become so cruel and twisted as to want to cause another person pain? The first weapon was hardly a weapon to begin with, rather, they were tools used as defense against creatures trying to eat them and to slay creatures they wanted to eat. If you go by the Bible, the first weapon was a rock that Cain used to slay his brother, Able, out of jealousy of his sacrifice to God. That's a whole other story.

It's my guess that man started killing man for things like jealousy, greed, anger, and transgressions like theft, murder, etc. When swords were invented, a swift thrust to the heart or a clean beheading was the most humane way to go. What gives me the creeps is that people not only continued to develop and improve "killing machines," but they also invented ways of torturing their fellow human beings.

Torture was introduced as a means to control people, give them a punishment to fear, encourage them to confess things in interrogations that may or may not be true and more. I just cannot fathom the joy a person could find in inventing and/or using these things to cause pain in another human being. Doesn't it make you cringe inside? What sort of monster would get off on someone else screaming in agony? The downfall of society, that's who.

I think the more people are out of touch with their true selves, the more they are prone to turn to things like violence to get their "point" across. You don't really hear about the American Indians torturing people. When someone committed a grievance, they were usually banned from the area and had to fend for themselves. That sucks, yes, but it's not like pulling their fingernails and teeth out!

Here's a list of the Top 10 Gruesome Medieval Torture Devices:


The Head Crusher - This device featured a cap that fit over your head with a type of screw attached to it. Your chin rested on a bar, and the cap was screwed down tightly and slowly so that your head was literally crushed. The pain was excruciating and slow.

The Cat's Paw, AKA the Spanish Tickler - Often attached to a handle, this device was used to rip and tear flesh away from the bone.

The Knee Splitter - Aretty easy to imagine, it was two spiked wooden blocks linked together that were used to split people's knees. It could also be used on arms.

The Scavenger's Daughter - An A-frame shaped metal rack in which the head was strapped to the top point of the A, the arms at midpoint and the legs at the lower points. It was essentially the opposite of the Duke of Exeter's Daughter (AKA the Rack) because, while the Rack stretched the body, the Scavenger's Daughter compressed it.

Judas Chair - Essentially a very pointy block of pyramid-shaped wood on a stool frame. The person is lowered so that his/her weight rests on the point, whether it's in the vagina, anus, under the scrotum or under the coccyx. The pressure could/would be increased from zero to total body weight, and the person might also be rocked on it. 

Spanish Donkey - Really looks like it sounds - a wedge-shaped board connected to two cross-beams. The person was placed naked on the board with various amounts of weight attached to their feet. Sometimes, as a result of the amount of weight put on the feet, the person would be split in two by the board.

Choke Pear - Something like what your GYN uses, only metal with three VERY point prongs and a larger opening capacity. It was used in the mouth, anus or vagina and often resulted in death as it ripped through whatever it was placed in.

The Lead Sprinkler - Something that looks kind of like and evil baby rattle, but was filled with molten metal, often lead, and was then sprinkled or shaken over the tied up person.

The Breast Ripper - It was used red-hot to mark the breasts of unmarried mothers. Otherwise, it was used hot or cold to turn women's breasts into bloody masses. A variation called the Spider consisted of metal prongs attached along a wall that a woman was dragged across repeatedly until her breasts were torn off. 

Crocodile Shears - These were used to rip the penis off of men who had attempted or were accused of attempting to assassinate the king.


Other notorious devices included thumb screws, the Iron Maiden, and holding people under water. Psychological torture has also been used, and, while leaving the person physically unharmed, their mind is in deep pain. Rape and other sexual methods have often been used for torture. Tickle torture (don't laugh) is less known, but is a valid form of torture. 

What causes people to do things like this? I'm really not sure. I don't know how war is supposed to be any less humane than these sick devices. War is like a race to invent the machine that will do the most harm and "win the war." No war is ever won when there is death. 

I almost wish we could have a redo, a chance to start over. Rid the world of the evil and the stupid and just start afresh. I know it isn't possible, but we can all dream, can't we? 

The war in Iraq? Useless. The conflicts overseas? Retarded. I know that sometimes you have to go to extreme means to stop a monster, but if war and torture and the drive to hurt others didn't exist, WWII wouldn't have happened. 09/11 wouldn't have happened.

Look into your heart. Could you really take a knife and stab someone else? People aren't natural killing machines. I almost believe the people that invent torture devices and use them, along with war machines, have no heart. As that engineer puts the final touches on the new tank design, does he not think about the father and the mothers and the babies that machine will kill? 

Ugh, rant!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Minimum Wage and America

I've been reading a lot lately through Liberty Pen and The American Thinker...and I've come to the same conclusion they have - minimum wage is bad for our economy. To better address this, let's start from the beginning.

Minimum wage was first enacted in New Zealand in 1894. The ideas driving the minimum wage law was to control the proliferation of sweat shops in factory settings and to pay people fairly for their work. The pros and cons of minimum wage are still argued heavily today.

George Stigler said, "Forbidding employers to pay less than a legal minimum is equivalent to forbidding workers to sell their labour for less than the minimum wage. The legal restriction that employers cannot pay less than a legislated wage is equivalent to the legal restriction that workers cannot work at all in the protected sector unless they can find employers willing to hire them at that wage."

Unemployment is currently very high. Workers should be able to sell their labor for what they feel it is worth, and employers should be able to pay workers what they feel they are worth. Let's look at a couple of job scenarios:

Fast Food Worker - This is considered an unskilled job, light labor. Light labor means lifting 20 lbs occasionally, 10 lbs frequently. Job duties include making sandwiches, operating fryers, drink machines, filling orders based on instructions called out to them or on a ticket or screen. It takes 30 days or less to learn the job. Some workers are given specific duties, such as only operating the fry station or grilling station. There are timers on the machines, and the tasks performed are simple and repetitive. Why should this person make $7.25 an hour? Because that's minimum wage. That amount of money isn't much, no, but it's actually enough to live off of, though very poorly.

Receptionist - The description varies widely for this job, but it's considered an unskilled to semi-skilled job...usually sedentary. Some places hire their receptionists at minimum wage, then may/may not pay more depending on performance. Receptionists are usually required to know about the business, answer customer questions to the extent of their knowledge, file paperwork, use a computer and type.

Animal Shelter Worker - This is also considered unskilled work. Shelters often operate off donations and limited income from taxes. Here's an example of minimum wage laws hurt the economy - and the job world itself:

Worker 1: Makes minimum wage, so he says he will do "minimum work." He does the bare basics and then sits around for the rest of the day. He still gets the same amount of pay whether he excels at his job or not, so he feels like it's useless to do more.

Worker 2: Makes minimum wage, but he is proud of his work. He tries to do his best every day, even though his coworkers discourage him from it because it "makes them look bad." Worker 2 cares about doing his work and doing it right, so he continues to work hard.

If there was no minimum wage law, Worker 1 could be paid less for his less-than-satisfactory work. Yes, he may quit, but you'd be rid a poor worker. Worker 2 could then be paid more and possibly promoted for his hard work, making the work rewarding. Why pay 2 people minimum wage when you could just pay one worker more and get the same amount of work done?

Minimum wage also discourages employers from hiring unskilled workers. They want to get the most "bang for their buck," so to speak. Why hire a highly unskilled worker when you can get a better skilled worker and pay the same? Unskilled workers need jobs, too. If employers were permitted to pay less, they would be more inclined to hire unskilled workers.

Think about it.