Capital Punishment……(Thinking)……

From the VOMITORIUM

WARNING:  This post maybe offensive to some of my readers….read with caution…..

I read this story a couple of times and it got me to thinking about the issue of capital punishment……the below is from an AP report…

Georgia death row inmate Brandon Joseph Rhode is scheduled to be put to death Monday evening; however, after his recent suicide attempt his lawyer says his client is “no longer competent” and is fighting to appeal the decision.After rescheduling his Tuesday execution for Friday, following the suicide attempt, the court decided to move the execution to Monday at 7 p.m. in order to allow time for appeals to process.

And now he is dead….he was executed by lethal injection…….

Okay, they stabilized this dude from killing himself from a suicide attempt so that he could be put to death a couple of days later….is that about it?  Why?  I mean is not dead dead?

I guess it is the “closure” thingy..you know the family of the victim needs to see the person pay for their crime……but people….DEAD IS F*CKING DEAD!  I mean the cost of the execution and the peanut gallery that convenes to watch another person die…..they might as well serve popcorn…..

How sick is it to keep a man from dying so that you can kill him at a later date?  This is just absurd!  Is the state so bloodthirsty that it will prevent a person from dying so they can have the honor of killing them?

Yes, I am an opponent of capital punishment….why?…..it is my choice…so suck an egg!

But if you must have someone die for the crime then use the Chinese method….sit the bad guy in a chair and a guy walks up and shoots him in the head…..the state then collects the expended brass and a CD of the execution and along with a bill for the bullet…send it to the family….closure accomplished….state has revenge…..a perp has paid with his life….and blood lust is satisfied…..it is pretty damn simple…..

And since humans are so fascinated with death….sell the CD of the execution on line and the state turns a profit…it is win-win all around…..

But to spend the cash for the medical attention to save a suicide attempt and then the cost of the execution is plain f*cking absurd!

Another Private Contractor Story

From the VOMITORIUM

These types of stories…horror stories….about the private contractors that the US uses thanks in part to the privatization of certain fields during the Reagan days….just keeps giving us nightmares…….

The most memorable one in my mind is that of KBR in Iraq…a subsidy of Halliburton…..was responsible for the electrocution deaths of several American soldiers while taking a shower….and then there are the killings and fraud and out right theft that is part of the Blackwater (sorry, that is Xe, now) saga…yet another private contractor that is screwing the American people as hard as they can…..

Newser is reporting on another contractor fraud, this time in Afghanistan….

The contractor that supplies the military with Afghan translators is putting American lives at risk by sending out unqualified translators, a former employee charges. Paul Funk—who used to oversee the screening of Afghan linguists for Mission Essential Personnel—tells ABC News that the company inflated grades and tolerated cheating on exams to hit staffing targets. He says some 28% of translators sent out by the company between November 2007 and June 2008 failed to meet the required standard of proficiency. Funk, who has filed a whistleblower lawsuit, says he complained to the company about “corrupt” practices, including candidates who had stand-ins take over-the-phone exams in order to secure jobs that pay upwards of $200,000. Military personnel and embedded journalists say they have witnessed unacceptably poor translators working in Afghanistan. The company rejects Funk’s accusations and says it will answer them in court. The US military has confirmed that the company, which holds contracts worth up to $1.4 billion, is under investigation.

This is a constant thing….my guess it is only the tip of an iceberg that NO one in Washington wishes to confront…….

Privatization has not saved the US much money nor has it been more efficient nor has it made the country safer…..what it has done is allow the private contractors to steal billions….and yet the Repubs still embrace privatization….leads me to ask whose payroll are they really on?  I mean guards at embassies use to be Marines and they made about $45,000 a year and then they were replaced with “security consultants” making $1000 a day…now you tell me where that saves the country any cash….

A Constitutional Conservative?

College of Political Knowledge

Professor’s Classroom

2010/2012 Election Series

Lecture #4

After a series of primaries, the never ending primaries and elections, I was watching FOX News and heard Sarah Palin answer a question about the latest primary in Alaska….

In an interview Wednesday, Sarah Palin told Fox Business that while it makes sense that Massachusetts might “put up with Scott Brown,” the new Republican star senator wouldn’t last in Alaska.

“By the way, is Scott Brown on notice? I mean, he’s gone along with the Pelosi-Reid message for the past couple of votes,” the anchor asked.

Palin nodded. “Well, you know, take the consideration, though, that’s Massachusetts, and perhaps they’re not going to look for such a hardcore constitutional conservative there, and they’re gonna put up with Scott Brown and some of the antics there,” she said.

And her answer got me thinking about what a “Constitutional Conservative” really is…not some bastardized definition to fit a certain issue but the whole thing….first of all, it is over-used and seldom understood….this from the Foundation of Constitutional Conservatism…….

The foundation of Constitutional Conservatism stems from four simple ideas, expanding from one core principle — a return to the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. Both major parties ignore the Constitution when it suits them, and this must not be.

  1. Textual interpretation of the Constitution — The Constitution is not a “living document”.
  2. Fiscal responsibility — If you spend more than you take in, you’re in trouble. All levels of government must balance budgets each year.
  3. Charity — It is not the role of government to take care of people. Each citizen has a moral responsibility to help those less fortunate.
  4. Personal responsibility — It’s time society stops allowing “victims” to shift the blame somewhere else — it’s not the twinkie’s fault[3].

NOTE: The complete article on Constitutional Conservatism is available as PDF.

I am not advocating anything here….I just want people to start talking in realities and leave the political sensationalism in the toilet where it belongs…..

So when people call for a return to Constitutional Conservatism and in the same breath call for part of the Constitution to be repealed….are NOT constitutional conservatives….shall I repeat that for those that are having a hard time grasping the idea…..those people calling for a return to constitutional conservatism call for the repealing of parts of the Constitution are NOT constitutional conservatives!

Shall I go on or have I done my part in making the point?

So, You Are A Conservative?

College of Political Knowledge

Professor’s Classroom

Subject:  Political Philosophy/Government/Conservatism

Paper #33

Well, answer the question?  Why do you think you are a conservative?  Because Dad was?  Or maybe Uncle Bob?  Maybe you like Sarah Palin or you think Cantor is a cutey?  By the way, none of those are actual reason that someone would be a conservative….as much as you may like to believe it is…it is NOT!

A “true” conservative views things in a certain way…but because of the total lack of understanding a classical conservative has little in common with the so-called modern conservative…..

A classical conservative…the conservatism of Edmund Burke, that is holds a special belief in issues and situations…..first let us look at ideology….they view this as a manifestation of the arrogance of rationalism.  The see ideologies as elaborate systems o0f thought that are dangerous and unreliable.

Second, the concept of freedom…..conservs have this weak view of freedom as a willing recognition of duties and responsibilities…..with freedom comes democracy and conservs see this as the need to protect property rights and traditional institutions from the untutored will of the masses or “the many”….and with freedom and democracy there is the human nature…..which they see as limited security seeking drawn to the known, the familiar, the tried and the tested and that human rationality is flawed and unreliable and moral corruption is implicit…..and now the issue of equality….conservs have traditionally viewed society as necessarily hierarchical and dismiss equality as an abstract and unachievable goal……

How about the nation….what would a true conservative think of the nation?  They see it as a an organic entity bound together with common ethnic identity and a shared history; it is the source of social cohesion and a collective identity…..they will see the nation as the most important of all the social organizations.

The state….no not the same thing as the nation…conservs want a strong state to protect us from chaos and disorder with authority and discipline……that brings us to the concept of authority…they see it as rising from natural necessity from above by those of unequal distribution of experience, social position and wisdom And that it fosters respect and loyalty and social cohesion……

More simply put…if you are a conserv then you see the needs of the country (or state) are best met by the elites of the nation and that authority and strong government (does not necessarily mean big government) is essential for the state to survive.

Thoughts Without Posts #8

Once again I have spent way too much time on the news….I make notes on the things that catch my attention….some make it into posts and others are not that fortunate…..these are thoughts that were not enough to make it as a separate post…..

1–First people would talk on their cels while driving, then they went to texting while operating a vehicle and now you can get your cel with movies on them….now that ought to be good for the driving environment….

2–Report says that the employees of the US Congress owe $9.3 million in back taxes…

3– one of the best businesses in Iraq these days is…PORN!

4–How much is your ego worth?  Well for Whitman it is worth $119 million of her own money to become governor of California………she wants to be the leader of a bankrupt state …….wait!…I am still working on this……

5–Do you remember the recent oil spill?  I ask because it is NO longer news….but the wetlands are still choked off by oil…..

6–A high school football player from Sacramento was killed in an exercise machine accident. Justin Butler, 16, was found entangled in a Bowflex machine, a strength-training device marketed and sold by Nautilus Inc. Investigators say they don’t suspect the machine is to blame, nor do they believe it was a suicide.

Kinda reminds me of a button I wore back in the 80’s….”Eat well…stay fit…and die anyway….

Info Ink Book Review #4

As most of my readers will know I do not do too many book reviews but there comes a time, from time to time, when I read a book that needs to be promoted and reviewed and a recent book was Poorer Richard’s Almanac by Tom Blair….

Mr. Blair, in the tradition of Ben Franklin, has put together a collection of thoughts on the country and the silliness of Washington……a GREAT read!  The style is clever, insightful and entertaining….and yes done in a style that even Ben would have appreciated….

Mr. Blair covers a wealth of subjects from democracy to republicans and democrats to taxes and even on marriage and children and issues in between in a style that is comparable to the wisdom of Mr. Ben Franklin….

I do not usually recommend many books but in the case of Poorer Richard’s America I will make an exception….it is well worth the time and cash…….and if Mr. Franklin were alive he would be a fan also….

The New Anti-Federalist

College of Political Knowledge

In the early days of the USA there was a debate going on on how the country was to be governed and what rights would the people be guaranteed…..the Federalists were a big government faction….to be brief I used a generalization….and they were opposed by the Anti-Federalists…these were people that wanted the power to remain with the states and territories….again it is a brief generalization…..they argued and they debated and they wrote published essays on their particular points of views….and in the end an compromise was agreed to and the birth of the US Constitution was upon the country….

I apologize for the abbreviated history of the Constitutional Convention….but that is NOT the main point of this lecture…if you want more my I suggest that a good book on American history will assist you in the learning of this period in more detail.

I am becoming a new anti-Federalist….why?  The weaknesses in the system are starting to show and IMO is weakening the country….You know what would those weaknesses be, Professor?

Easy!

The atmosphere in Washington between the two parties is eliminating the compromise system of our founders….the system because of the checks and balances is becoming immobile and in turn is doing NOTHING to solve the problems of the country…….and the electioneering is NOT helping the nation for the voter cannot pin the problem on any one symptom and this leads to the slogans and the obfuscation of the issues……

As long as it is about who wins an election…the problems will NOT be solved in a way that will make the nation a stronger entity….

I know the American people are angry….and they should be….but to try and defend ones position by making accusations that are untrue is despicable….the people can understand facts and truth….but yet some would rather go down a path of libel and slander just to win an election…..sorry to let these people in on a small secret…..ANGER is NOT a governing strategy!  It is a waste of time and counterproductive…..it is that simple.

The American people and their anger makes me think of Aristotle…..”Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

Basically, calling someone names and throwing insults does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to change the situation…….an now that Americans have stopped talking to each other and resorted to flinging insults….federalism is all but DEAD!

And this Irene, is why I am moving into the anti-federalist camp….and I am NOT alone…..federalism is NOT improving the situation in the country….politicians are killing one of the most original governing techniques….ANGER will NOT make America….strong and free……

Our “Pledge To America”….(Yawn)

From the VOMITORIUM

There has been a “Contract with America” and a “Road Map for America” and now we have their “Pledge To America”…..This is just a re-tool of the 1994 document…..apparently, they hope that NO one can remember back 16 years ago…well…they failed on my part….I recall the games that have been played and believe me this is a game and the only loser will be YOU!

For a breakdown of the document, check out “Pledge to America: The New Republican Agenda,” by CBS News Senior Political Producer Jill Jackson. Below are some highlights, and the full document is at the bottom.

Jobs:

– Stop job-killing tax hikes

– Allow small businesses to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income  (This is a good one…since they are NOT talking about real small businesses of 25 employees or less, but rather the multi-million dollar corporations that can claim the title thanx to the massive tax code.)

– Require congressional approval for any new federal regulation that would add to the deficit

– Repeal small business mandates in the new health care law.

Cutting Spending:

– Repeal and Replace health care

– Roll back non-discretionary spending to 2008 levels before TARP and stimulus (will save $100 billion in first year alone)

– Establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending going forward

– Cancel all future TARP payments and reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Reforming Congress:

– Will require that every bill have a citation of constitutional authority

– Give members at least 3 days to read bills before a vote

(None of these will reform Congress…it is more of a delaying game than a fix…besides sounds good in the bites they release to the media….a game)

Defense:

– Provide resources to troops

– Fund missile defense

– Enforce sanctions in Iran

(Now here is the telling part of this “Pledge”……3 little mentions to the industry that depends on the GOP for its massive profit from lucrative contracts…this one was purposefully avoided)

Buried somewhere in the 21 pages was the traditional GOP stands….

The GOP pledge reiterates the party’s opposition to abortion rights and gay marriage, and promises to keep trials of suspected terrorists off U.S. soil and in military, rather than civilian, courts. Republican leaders are also vowing to boost funding for a missile defense shield and allow state and local law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws.

There you are…the “new” ideas from the GOP….the only problem is that it is a re-hash of the 1994 “Contract With America” and another re-hash of the same “Contract” was last year’s GOP “Roadmap For America’s Future” and now we have their “Pledge”…

This should worry the Repub faithful….why?  There is NOTHING new in their ideas…it is the same lame, vague promises they always make and somehow never get to the point where they implement them…..

Personally, I want to see new ideas…..anyone and I mean ANYONE can re-hash from the past…..IMO, it shows a serious lack of imagination or will to actually make things better in Washington…..

Another One Bites The Dust (Again)

In the beginning there was a person that the people wanted to lead them into a new world….and this person brought with him his advisers….and soon after the man took his rightful place in the halls of governance…his advisers started falling like flies….

The Obama team is losing people quicker than a Hair Club for Men….first it was his National Intel Director and then his budget dude, Orzag and shortly after that came the resignation of Romer, an economic adviser and now (may I have a drum roll, please)…..it is time for Summers to turf out in a dead run……

Summers, In my opinion, should NEVER have been allowed anywhere near economic policy…why?  It was his policy with Clinton’s help that de-regulated Wall Street and set the stage for the biggest financial crisis sine the 30’s….I ask at the beginning of the Obama strategy, why he would allow this man to help make economic policy, considering his track record……

With all that said…the departure of Orzag, Romer and Summers, how long will we have to wait until Geithner is shown the door or better yet shoved through it…..I question any thinking that puts the very people that helped cause our economic crisis in any position of authority or to influence policy….

Strolling For Dollars

It began a little over a year ago….three friends working in Iraq in or near the Kurdish area that borders on Iran…decide to go for a stroll in the mountains and valleys for a little R & R……then while marveling at the beauty of the area they were arrested by the Iranians for they had strayed into a no-no zone….into Iran…and accused of spying…..

After much international exposure and the promise that one of the crew was ill and needed medical attention…..one of the wayward hikers was released and returned home to their loved ones and a country that was so concerned about their welfare….it seems that some Omani potentate was the go between that got the person released after someone (no one knows who) posted the $500,000 dollar bail…..and the person left Iran for the West and freedom…..and after a clean bill of health and a massive debriefing the person is now on just about every network telling the world what was what…..

And now the world can worry and fret over the fate of the two remaining prisoners in Iran……

Now that I have covered most of the events of this saga, even though it is a bit simplistic, I would like to comment on what started this whole magilla……the promise of a stroll in the country………

Okay….for one, the border between Iran and Iraq is NOT clearly marked, especially in the area that these people wanted to take their stroll…..actually, it is pretty much a no-man’s land since the days of the war between the two countries……with this known and almost everybody who is in the area knows this, why would someone want to tempt fate and hike along this area?

There are two possible answers to this quandary….one…these people were just plain STUPID, if this is the case then maybe whoever they worked for should be a little more selective in their employees and the mental capacities….. and two…..they were actually spying or at least on some sort of probing action…..

There you go…..you choose which…..BTW, the sound you here is the cashing in on the experience…..