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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 3,813

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I am reminded of something I heard on TV from an inmate

I am reminded of something I heard on TV from an inmate who was serving a life sentence without the chance for parole: "I'm basically serving a slow death penalty." For a truly evil and hardened criminal, that 'slow death penalty' sounds like an appropriate punishment.

But I oppose the actual (i.- 'quick') death penalty because it is barbaric, because our government should be better than the murderers it punishes, and because it costs more than imprisoning our worst criminals for life sentences. Also, imprisoning our worst offenders for life without parole seems like a deeper, more substantial punishment, giving the perpetrator time to reflect on the harm done by the crime.

But most of all, I oppose the death penalty vs life without parole because if the jury happens to get it wrong, and the wrong guy got locked up for someone else's crime, we can set things to right. The actual death penalty does not allow that.

We humans are imperfect, and we must design our justice systems to be resilient and humane within that imperfection.


I am recognizing historical forces.

I am recognizing historical forces. I am living on land that was probably Cherokee summer hunting grounds prior to the Trail of Tears, a shameful incident in our own nation's history. But as someone born in this country forty-odd years back, I don't feel responsible or individually culpable for this past oppression. Back when the Cherokee were being driven off their own lands, my ancestors were busily trying to avoid starvation in Italy and Ireland. This is the world we inherit.

Like the Cherokee of the 19th Century, Palestinians in the 20th Century lost a number of political and military struggles. They need to come to grips with present 21st Century circumstances rather demanding a return to 1918, or 1947, or 1966. Them claiming land inside Israel now is as pointless as a Cherokee descendant showing up at my house and telling me to leave: it ain't happening.


Do you consider Hamas leadership to be 'the oppressed?'

I agree that no civilians deserve this horror. I agree that Palestinians living in Gaza experience levels of deprivation and oppression I would never want to accept. I agree that these civilians deserve a life of dignity and freedom. However, do you consider Hamas leadership to be 'the oppressed?' I do not. It's hard to find visionary, compassionate leadership on either side of the IP divide, but the Hamas leaders who chose tunnel-digging and arms buildups over electricity and resources for hospitals certainly share in the blame.


Excellent response, Kentuckian, but not the whole picture.

You offer an excellent response, Kentuckian, but not the whole picture. I agree that the truly powerful on the right wing view Israel as their beach head, and that the end-times prophesies are mere red meat for the useful rubes who keep voting them in here in the US.

However, there are also those regular Israelis who just want to live without rockets raining down upon them. They (or their ancestors) were told to move to Israel in the aftermath of one of the more horrible attempts at genocide in recent human history. Yes, some Palestinians were living there, but by 1948 there were not many truly unoccupied regions of the globe. Judea/Palestine/Israel was certainly among the least densely populated back then, and it was also a promised homeland in Jewish texts. Of course, it happens to also be a promised homeland in Islamic texts. As my kid sister used to say: aaawwwwwwkkkwwaaaarrrrd.

These regular Israelis just want to live in the home that was given them by the UN. Many regular Americans (myself included - not a Jew by ancestry or culture or religion, but with many Jewish friends) support them up to and including whatever it takes to prevent existential threats to Israel.

I also support self determination and dignity for Palestinians. Do I have a bright idea about what solution would provide both? Not really. The Clinton Peace Plan of 2000 seemed very fair to this American outsider, for both Israelis and Palestinians. But Arafat walked away from the table and demanded more. Color me unimpressed:


100% of Gaza and 92% of the West Bank, plus sacred sites such as the Al Aqsa Mosque were on the table; all the Palestinians had to do was say yes and do their part to work for peace. Israel also offered monetary compensation in lieu of a right of return to lands within Israel. Instead, Arafat and the PLO held out for more. Their loss.


Wow, what excellent advice for systemic pesticides! /sarcasm

Wow, what excellent advice for systemic pesticides! You're all, like, science-y and expert-y. Phooey on those anti-GMO Luddites!

Hey jeff47, do you even know what 'systemic' means? Systemics travel through the plant. Washing produce does NOTHING to remove systemics. So when squash seed is treated with Admire (imidacloprid - a systemic) or wheat is dried-down using RoundUp (glyphosate - a systemic) or GMO corn & soy are grown under continuous spraying of RoundUp (glyphosate - again, a *&%$*#* systemic), these chemicals are INSIDE of the vegetable or grain. Those Admire-treated squash blossoms have toxic pollen that kills bees. But the squash is surely safe for us because corpo-agri-business says so... (/sarcasm again).

Nice RW trope to blame the individual consumer and their washing habits, btw. Do you always blame the end-user who unwittingly buys and suffers from harmful corporate products masquerading as essential inputs for life itself?

Here's a radical idea: why don't we focus on growing food that, y'know, nourishes us instead of poisoning us if not treated like hazardous waste first? And then maybe the ongoing extinctions of many bees and birds and bats and frogs and Monarch butterflies might just slow down a mite.

No, no, that would be too much trouble. Fuck you, bees. And all you bats? Fuck off and die - Monsanto has a quarterly earnings target to meet. Fuck you too, frogs. I would say fuck you to a Monarch personally, but I can't find one anymore. (Well, sarcasm except not being able to find any Monarchs - I've left every Milkweed plant I can in my garden, but no Monarch caterpillars yet.)

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