Saturday, December 24, 2005
Bah Humbug Award
Friday, December 23, 2005
Reporting Child Abuse
I hold skepticism dear to my heart. Usually when I receive an email from a friend containing some story I check it out at Snopes or do a web search. Almost always these are hoaxes. But with posts such as these I find something different.
Sure, it may be a hoax, but why? Many reports of abuse are to gain some sort of advantage or, as the skeptical commenter said, to push a political agenda against feminism. False claims do occur. False claims are so common that some state governments, such asArizona, have made or considered intentionally making false reports illegal. False reports spread child protective services resources thins.
But, with this said, do you want to be the person that suspects some form of abuse and does nothing about it? Do you want to be so skeptical that a child continues to be abused and an abuser continues to abuse because you didn't believe it?
I have known a few women that were sexually abused as children. All stated that they tried to tell someone of the abuse including teachers, priests, etc. All were met with some sort of skepticism and a "don't worry, honey, it'll be OK" type response. In the case with which I am most familiar, several people knew but no one did anything.
While living in married student housing in college, a young girl my daughter's age reported to my wife verbal abusiveness by the girl's father. The girl's father had been grooming her to be a champion tennis player since age 5. At times I had played tennis with her and she was a phenom. I frequently played basketball with her father and believed him to be a really nice guy. But, the girl claimed her father had threatened to throw boiling water on her face if she didn't play tennis harder and better. We felt we had no choice but to call protective services. After spending several nights with us since she refused to go home, the girl's claims were found to be substantial enough that she was removed from the home. Eventually, she was adopted by a local tennis coach.
I remember one of my boyhood friends who lived a few houses up the street having whip marks on his back where his father whipped him. I lived in an upper-middle class neighborhood, doctors, lawyers, professors, etc.
In schools, problem of abuse are not uncommon. Sometimes the abuser is another student. Although in these situations teachers may be complicit by not doing enough to prevent bullying, etc. The most harmful abuse comes from teachers. It may be emotional/psychological abuse, sexual abuse or physical abuse.
There are many sports coaches whose methods are abusive. These are often overlooked or accepted if the coaches teams win. John Grisham's novel, Bleachers centers around such a coach. I knew a coach that would scream at his 11 year old players so loud in the locker room behind closed doors that everyone in the gym could hear him. His teams won games though so it was alright.
My point in all this is, if you seriously suspect abuse, report it. Most states now have laws stating that if one suspects abuse, they must report it. Sometimes it takes several reports for authorities to seriously consider that someone is abusive. Make sure you know the difference between a child being disciplined and abuse however. Be receptive to a child's confidence to you so that communication will continue in the event that the child truly needs help. If you appear too skeptical, the child will think, "Well, he never believes me anyway. I won't tell him anything," and, maybe, resign themselves to the suffering of the abuse with no hope for relief.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
McElroy describes a couple of situations where FIRE helped students under pressure due to not politically correct opinions.
Mandatory diversity tests and training attempt to correct the unacceptable political views of students. The experience of Ed Swan, a self-described conservative Christian at Washington State's College of Education, offers an example.Please note that the issue is not whether of not Swan is correct but whether or not he has the right to express this opinion without reprisal.
Swan expressed the belief that white privilege and male privilege do not currently exist in our society. In 2004 he was given low scores on a "dispositions criteria" by which some universities rank the "social commitment" of students. The university threatened to disenroll Swan if he did not sign a contract that committed him to further political screening and re-orientation. Due to a letter from FIRE and a high-profile protest, the contract requirement was dropped.
If you or anyone you know are entering college or in college, get yourself a copy and read it. Freedom is more important than an education but both is best.
HIV Positive Woman Rapes 13 Year Old Boy
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Children and The Politics of Sex
To expect pre-teen children to understand and accomodate the highly-charged issues of gay and lesbian politics is unrealistic and unfair.Exactly. I hate it when someone concisely says in less that 25 words what I couldn't say effectively in over 250. Thank you, DrJ.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Morgan Freeman on Racism
I especially enjoyed the exchange when Freeman asks Mike Wallace if he wanted a Jewish History month. Wallace replies, "No." Freeman says he (Freeman) doesn't want a Black History month. Plus, he doesn't want Black History relegated to one month a year.
Another good point on the Confederate flag still being part of the Mississippi state flag.
"That flag has always represented, number one, treason and, number two, a separation of white people from Jews, niggers and homosexuals. And you can't change that. You can't tell me I'm never going to be able to look at that flag and think, ‘Ah, it's my heritage, my, you know...’ Never,” says Freeman.
Freeman is a native of Mississippi and his primary residence is still in Mississippi.
Raping Boys' Minds
This is a fairly extreme case of psychological abuse of a boy. In my observations boys are usually denigrated in smaller, more incremental ways.
When my first son was born, being Catholic, we needed to find godparents for him. For the godmother, we asked a lady that worked with my wife who was Catholic and a good friend. We knew she was a feminist and liberal but she was a good person and did't seem radical. For his first birthday she bought him a story book, a story book about how girls can be fireperson, policeperson, doctor, lawyer, Indian Cheif, etc. Ridiculous. This would be a perfectly fine book to give a girl. A year old boy doesn't need a book on how girls can achieve. Since my son was young, I simply "lost" the book.
While such instances are "minor," over time, just as small drops of water will wear away a stone, the impact builds up and teaches boys they are inferior and worthless which is what the title of Maureen Dowd's book, Are Men Necessary? implies. (And she wonders why she can find a male partner.)
Sunday, December 18, 2005
For over 15 years I've lived in the Maysville, Kentucky area. Tennessee is my "home" and UT my school. A couple of years ago, I watched Chris Lofton lead Mason County High School to a Kentucky state basketball championship and a runner-up championship. In Kentucky, basketball there is only one state basketball champion each year. All schools play for the championship, size does not matter.
Mason County High School consists of less than 1,000 students. The championship team had no player over 6' 3" tall and a coach needing a kidney transplant. During the championship tournament, Chris set records for three pointers attempted and three pointers made, for a single game and the entire tournament. With Chris' leadership, the team set the same records for a team.
Although Chris was Kentucky's Mr. Basketball his senior year (also first team all-state wide receiver), Kentucky and Louisville both failed to recruit Chris and Tennessee ended up with a diamond. As a freshman at Tennessee, Chris earned a starting position. His performance:
Third team selection on the 2004-05 Rivals.com Freshman All-America Team ... Named to the SEC All-Freshman team that is selected by the league's coachesTo top is off, Chris is not only a good basketball player but a good person, quiet, friendly and unassuming. You could find him at the YMCA or at a goal in the street somewhere, shooting baskets and playing with the little kids. His high school GPA was 3.5, maybe better. A good role model for the younger kids.
And the Mason County coach, his wife donated one of her kidney's and he's now head basketball coach at Hawaii Pacific University. For my money, this story, so far, is as deserving of a movie as Hoosiers.
Friday, December 16, 2005
The War Against Christmas, Paul Mirecki and Joseph Campbell
Much debate centers around whether or not there really is a "War Against Christmas." Katrina Vanden Huevel at The Nation thinks there isn't and if there were it wouldn't matter. Michelle Malkin thinks there is. One link shows how the USPS no longer offers religious themed stamps. I agree with Malkin and believe the interpretation of this ""Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion ..." has gone far beyond the intent. There is a tremendous difference between making no law and making a postage stamp. But that's not what this post is really about.
Joseph Campbell studied and wrote about the purpose and function of myth in cultures and societies. While not being well versed in Campbell's works, I read Myths to Live By years ago, I believe that Campbell's work ties all this together. Campbell believed that myths were essential to individuals and cultures. Part of the description of Myths to Live By, at the Joseph Campbell Foundation website, says this:
...we must recognize their (myths) common denominators and allow this knowledge to be of use in fulfilling human potential everywhere.From Wikipedia
He began to look paradoxically at moral systems as both incorrect and necessary. Like the postmodern relativists he believed such things as 'right' and 'wrong' are just contrived ideas, but also like them he understood a moral system is necessary from the perspective of a student of mythology and psychology. In this way he melded also the concepts of modernism and postmodernism, although some interpretations place him as a postmodernist before his time.I find this fascinating. While all this religion stuff maybe "incorrect," it is necessary. Most people probably understand this and believe this on some level although, I believe, at a mostly subconscious level. This explains the strength and vigor of the reaction to attempts to limit the use of the word "Christmas" and other such actions against Christianity in this country. These actions are a threat to the health and success of our culture.
No doubt many will quickly disagree with me. People such as Robert Jensen consider our society and culture evil and not deserving of perpetuation. Others think that modern man has, or should, rise above such things as myths. The work "myth" is more often used in the negative as shown by Huevel in her column.
So complete is their martyrdom-like passion for this myth that you'd think we lived in a time when Christians were regularly being fed to Coliseum lions.One, of many, things I can't fully understand about modern man (mostly Americans in this case) is how they feel they should somehow be immune or free from the laws of nature and any constraints however necessary for the survival of the individual and a society.
Watching the lack of preparedness for hurricanes and the slow poor rescue and relief efforts combined with the huge public outcry impressed upon me that many think that, somehow, because we have better technology, better communication, better education, or whatever we should be able to take a hurricane in stride with no more inconvenience than a maybe a bad thunderstorm. Yes, the preparation, relief and rescue were poor but much of the outcry did not seem to be well grounded in reality.
In the same vein, many think that we, as a society, should be able to discard religion, etc. as easily as we shed a winter coat in the spring. But to carelessly discard the myths that our culture and society is built around can be a very risky business. No society has survived for long without its myths in place. Those who are resisting the "War Against Christmas" and most likely feel very real threats.
A story a religious studies professor told in a class I took:
A tribe worshipped watermelons and forbade that they be eaten. One year an outsider came and saw all the watermelons being grown but not eaten. Thinking this stupid, he promptly took a watermelon, cut it open and began eating it to show the natives that watermelons were simple a food. The outraged natives killed the man immediately.Deep in our psyches we are not far removed from the ancients and pre-historic man. One should always remember this.
Later, another outsider visited the tribe and saw all the watermelons. He asked about them and learned of the watermelons' religious significance. Believing that watermelons are good to eat but understanding the religious importance, he created a complex religious "ritual" which he showed to the natives and told them that if they performed that ritual when the watermelons were ripe that it was good to eat the watermelons. The natives performed the ritual, ate the watermelons and declared the man to be a great prophet.
BTW - Paul Mirecki is not getting much support from the other religious studies faculty at Kansas University.
Sugar and Candy Industry Problems
But, via Instapundit, I came across article on how government sugar subsidies, paired with rising prices is hurting the candy industry and threatening American jobs. Due to the law of unintended consequences, the short term government support of the sugar industry may very well hurt it in the long run, as well as, cause candy makers to move out of the country in order to remain competitive.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Young was arrested on November. 23 after she crashed her pickup truck into parked cars at a Red Bluff lumber store. Police found her covered in blood from self-inflicted chest wounds.No mention is made of the child's father or other family members. This case further demonstrates the danger some of the mentally ill pose to themselves and others as we saw last week with the mistaken terrorist case. It appears this woman was largely unsupervised.
She later confessed to killing Ruby by suffocating her with her hand, police said. She led Red Bluff detectives to an area near the Sacramento River, where Ruby's body was found.
Young had practiced both Voodoo and Santeria, the affidavit said. She told detectives that she had paid religious practitioners in California and Florida to "cleanse" Ruby.
Treatment for the severely mentally ill is critical for preventing violent acts. Mentally ill persons under going treatment are not any more dangerous than the general population while those are more likely to commit murder and/or be a victim of murder. This link also compares mentally ill persons under treatment vs. those who are not.
Several early studies in the 1970s suggested this fact but were not well controlled. For example, a 6-year follow-up of 301 patients discharged between 1972 and 1975 from a California state hospital reported that their arrest rate for "violent crimes" was 10 times the rate for the general population.Many other studies are cited, interesting reading.
Sosowsky, L. Explaining the increased arrest rate among mental patients: A cautionary note. American Journal of Psychiatry 137:1602-1605, 1980.
Suicides rates for bipolar and other mentally ill persons (requires free registration) rank much higher than for the general population.
Bipolar disorder is associated with the highest suicide rate among all major psychiatric illnesses, with an international incidence averaging 0.31% of patients per year. This rate may slightly exceed the suicide rate of patients with major depression, which averages 0.29%/year.This reference contains a very enlightening table:
|Suicide risks in selected psychiatric disorders* Condition|
|Relative risk||Incidence (%/year)||Lifetime risk (%)|
|Prior suicide attempt||38.4||0.549||27.5|
|Mixed drug abuse||19.2||0.275||14.7|
|* Estimated relative risks compared with the general population,2 with recently updated information about bipolar disorders.6 Annual rates are based on international general population average (14.3/100,000/year) × standardized mortality ratio; lifetime estimates are based on annual rates × 50 years as an estimate of lifetime exposure for years at major risk.|
Obviously, the severely mentally ill need more help.
While I abhor further governmental control over private lives, the severely mentally ill need more support from families and community. Should we be freer with court ordered treatment? Maybe, but this has potential for abuse. While we search for better answers, do your part in making sure family members, friends and acquaintances that suffer from mentally illness obtain and continue treatment. Psychosis and disorders are treatable and manageable but not curable. The severely mentally ill need treatment and support throughout life.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Paul Mirecki Beating: Hoax or Reality
The intriguing aspects is that while Mirecki unquestionably sports bruises, he does not seem to be able to recall where the attack took place. This article in the Lawrence Journal-World on Dec. 7 states:
Key facts about the reported attack remained unclear Tuesday, including exactly where it happened. A report released by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said the location was "unknown" and listed it as south of 31st Street on either East 1400 Road or East 1500 Road.Lawrence, Kansas is a fairly small community of about 80,000. According to Yahoo Maps, Dr. Mirecki lives less than 3 miles for his office at the University of Kansas. The roads mentioned are not on the direct route from Dr. Mirecki's home to his office. For Dr. Mirecki not to be able to identify the road on which the attack took place seems illogical.
On Dec. 10, the LJW printed a story in which Mirecki threatens to sue the University of Kansas for not supporting his free speech rights and, so he claims, forcing him to resign as head of the religious studies department. (He continues to be a tenured professor.) He also expresses his displeasure with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
"The University penalized me and denied me my Constitutionally protected right to speak and express my mind," he wrote in a statement prepared for the newspaper. "I've become radioactive and the University's administrators won't support me."He appears to be speaking his mind quite freely. I don't see how the university's administration has a responsibility to support him. The Constitution protects us from the government infringing on our free speech rights. It doesn't say it has to agree with us. Common sense tells us that if we say a few choice words at our place of employment we will be job hunting the next day, whether our employer is governmental or not.
This more recent article has a Mirecki of Mirecki with his two black eyes and a bruise on his arm. When playing basketball in high school, I collected two black eyes for each of the four years I played. Fighting for rebounds can be rough. I had a friend in college black both of his eyes by landing in the water wrong from the five meter diving platform. While Mirecki's wounds are painful, they don't look that bad.
The earlier article explains that Mirecki planned his college course to discredit Intelligent Design.
Mirecki, the chairman of the religious studies department, caused an uproar recently with his remarks on the Internet about an upcoming course in which he planned to teach intelligent design as mythology. He said the class would be a "slap" in the "big fat face" of religious fundamentalists.
In the later article, Mirecki also paints this as a battle against the right:
"The University has a duty, as a protector of intellectual honesty and debate, to support its teaching staff when controversial issues are raised," Mirecki said. "Now those on the right are emboldened and feel they can take this a step higher.He hardly sounded like someone interested in "intellectual honesty" in his earlier comments.
The pieces of this puzzle don't fit together. A simple Google search produces results of numerous hoaxes, some true, some not. People create hoaxes and lie for God knows what reason. What really happened in Lawrence, Kansas on the morning of December 6 still remains to be seen, but I'm very curious.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Katrina, Death and Racism
preliminary figures compiled by the morgue in St. Gabriel, Louisiana, which is the primary facility handling the bodies of Katrina deceased, show that a majority of the dead in New Orleans and surrounding parishes were actually not black.
Once again the race card has been played when it shouldn't have been. And the civil rights
It was just last week that African-American Katrina victims were complaining to Congress about how the "red necks" treated them.
More Fun With Dick and Jane
The 58 year old, Monti, is accused of having sex with a 14 year old girl during the time span of June thru December, 2004. He could get up to 5 years jail time for each count. The girl was living in his home as a foster child.
Charlie Rittgers, Monti's attorney, described the case as "ridiculous" and "the poster child of why people should not take troubled youth into their homes."I doubt anyone is laughing.
At least these two have less than a ten year age difference. Matthew Koso could get up to 50 years.
Matthew Koso legally married the girl in Kansas, which has no minimum age for marriage, after she became pregnant. The girl, Crystal Koso, now 15, gave birth Aug. 24 to a 7-pound, 1-ounce girl named Samara.Prosecutors claim they have evidence that Koso had sex with Crystal when she was 13 years old. Fifteen is awful young to be burdened with the responsibilities of parenthood. Just ain't right.
Nebraska, however, requires people to be at least 17 before they can marry and prohibits people 19 or older from having sex with anyone under age 16.
My Favorite:She just couldn't say "No" to a 15 year old.
The 37-year-old Georgia woman who is seven months pregnant by her 15-year-old groom says she actually prefers older men. Lisa Clark says she told the boy "no" several times but says he aggressively wooed her and was just "so nice and so sweet."Although I'm tall, dark, handsome, swave and deboner, plenty of women say "No" to me. There must be something about a 15 year old that is "simply irresistable." I wonder if the boy will be expected to pay child support like this kid or this one? Looks like the guys get screwed in more ways than one.
Clark is charged with child molested, statutory rape and enticing a child for indecent purposes
You can bet I'm keeping an eye on my kids.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
The Hollywood liberals need to forget about Tookie Williams and his heinous crimes and take up the cause of Corey Maye.
TalkLeft urges everyone to publicize Corey Maye's plight. So do I.
More here at the Agitator.
Thanks to Instapundit.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Katrina Victim Testimony
Leah Hodges, a community activist, recalled trying to help a group of stranded senior citizens. The military took them to an evacuation point on a highway where they spent the night, awakening to a "bunch of hard red necks scowling and growling at us in military uniforms ... pointing guns at us and treating us worse than prisoners of war," she said.Is it only me or does the use of the term "red neck" seem racist in this context? Sounds like a racial slur. If not why wasn't this comment more widely reported? I searched Yahoo, Google, MSN, CNN, FoxNews last night for 2-3 hours and couldn't find this comment in any article. I had seen it via a link at the Drudgereport and when I tried to find it again using the above search engines, I couldn't. Appears the MSM are covering up for Ms. Hodges.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Probe of PBS Anti-Father Film Continues
On Dec. 2, PBS' own internal ombudsman offered a separate analysis, "I thought this particular program had almost no balance...turning it...into more of an advocacy, or point-of-view, presentation."Here is the entire sentence in case you think it has been distorted, "But I thought this particular program had almost no balance, and went too far, turning it, at least in my mind, into more of an advocacy, or point-of-view, presentation."
Given PBS' reputation for left-leaning, a statement like this from an internal source is damning.
More from McElroy's column:
For example, Sadia Loeliger is featured as a heroic mom and survivor of domestic violence. But the extensive court documents, findings and reports reveal Loeliger to be guilty of multiple acts of child abuse which led to her losing custody of two daughters.Hmmm.
Police documents reveal she was arrested and jailed for felony domestic violence. No similar documents exist regarding the accused father.
The documentary also brought these often used, grossly misleading statistics:
They found that "fathers who actively seek custody [8.75 percent of fathers] obtain either primary or joint physical custody over 70 percent of the time."Cathy Young shows the truth regarding these statistics here.
But the 70 percent figure was not limited to domestic violence cases. It is also highly misleading, since it doesn't separate custody disputes from cases in which the father gets custody by mutual consent. In contested custody cases, mothers are two to four times more likely to prevail.McElroy also stated:
Bode wondered whether PBS had been used as "the launching pad for a very partisan effort to drive public policy and law." If so, the documentary violates PBS' mission statement to be non-partisan and "provide multiple viewpoints."Despite the likelyhood of violation of PBS' mission statement "According to PBS statistics, the program has been aired by 235 stations, about 69% of all PBS stations, some 387 times between its Oct. 20 debut and Nov. 20."
And they wonder why so many attack and criticize PBS.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
What Do Liberals Understand?
How does New Orleans say "thank you" to BellSouth? Undercutting BellSouth by offering free WiFi. New Orleans motivation for offering free WiFi is to stimulate resettlement in New Orleans. One has to wonder how great an incentive free WiFi would be for resettlement. Maybe if you want to attract cheapskate yuppies.
BellSouth's primary goal is to make money as should be every business. A not-for-profit agency I once worked for had this hanging on the wall: "A non-profit company is a management failure, a not-for-profit is a management decision." BellSouth is legitimately upset at being undercut by the very governmental body it generously offered to help. Liberals and government agencies that sustain themselves by taking our money don't seem to understand this.
Additionally, Mr. Kromm at Facing South seems to ready to jump on BellSouth's case. BellSouth has this to say:
BellSouth spokesman Jeff Battcher disputed the city's version of events.It would seem reasonable that if New Orleans officials were truly thinking that they may have thought: 1)Gee, free Internet access might help resettlement of New Orleans, 2)Who provides Internet access in our area? (Make a list.) 3)Gosh, BellSouth, who has offered us a building worth millions, provides Internet access. 4)Let's talk with BellSouth and work something out.
"Our willingness to work with the mayor and the city is still on the table," Battcher said. "We've been working for over two months on this building . . . we are a little surprised by these comments."
It appears none of that occurred. Maybe we're seeing why New Orleans and its evacuation, rescue and general plight before Katrina was such a mess. And we're seeing why the liberal assumption that government and socialism is the answer to all our problems is wrong.
Monday, December 05, 2005
9/11 Final Report - Border Security
Better terrorist travel strategy Incomplete
The first Terrorist Travel Strategy is in development, due to be delivered by December 17, 2005 as required by PL 108-458.
Comprehensive screening system C
We still do not have a comprehensive screening system. Although agencies are moving ahead on individual screening projects, there is lack of progress on coordination between agencies. DHS’ new Screening Coordination Office still needs to establish and implement goals for resolving differences in biometric and traveler systems, credentialing and identification standards.
Biometric entry-exit screening system B
The US-VISIT system is running at 115 airports and 15 seaports, and is performing secondary screening at the 50 busiest land borders. But border screening systems are not yet employed at all land borders, nor are these systems interoperable. The exit component of the US-VISIT system has not been widely deployed.
International collaboration on borders and document security D
There has been some good collaboration between US-VISIT and Interpol, but little progress elsewhere. There has been no systematic diplomatic effort to share terrorist watchlists, nor has Congress taken a leadership role in passport security.
Standardize secure identifications B-
The REAL ID Act has established by statute standards for state-issued IDs acceptable for federal purposes, though states’ compliance needs to be closely monitored. New standards for issuing birth certificates (required by law by December 17, 2005) are delayed until at least spring 2006, probably longer. Without movement on the birth certificate issue, state-issued IDs are still not secure.
Comment - Doesn't address our porous southern borders directly enough to satisfy me. An army could infiltrate our country with the present state of our border with Mexico. Is almost slave labor so important to our country that we won't secure our borders and protect ourselves from terrorist attack?
Saturday, December 03, 2005
A Mother's Prerogative
The Supreme Court of Hawaii has ruled that unborn children are not "human beings," and therefore women cannot be prosecuted for causing the death of babies by harmful behavior during their pregancies.Even though the boy died two days after birth, since the mother's actions were taken before he was born and he was not yet a human her actions don't count.
The unanimous decision overturns the manslaughter conviction of 32-year-old Tayshea Aiwohi, who was found guilty in connection with the death of her newborn son by smoking crystal methamphetamine shortly before his birth.
"I'm extremely happy and grateful," said Aiwohi. "I believe [the case] changed me into a better person and I just hope to share that with others."Yeah, right. I bet she's become a regular Mother Teresa.
"My son can finally lay to rest," her husband, Kimo Aiwohi, told reporters. "And I'm very happy for my wife."Must be true love. Maybe he made the meth.
If you read further down the article, you come to this:
In June, Gerardo Flores of Texas was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison after kicking his pregnant girlfriend repeatedly in the stomach to cause her to lose the couple's twins. The girlfriend, Erica Basoria, did not want the babies to be born and allowed Flores to kick her, but she was not charged with any wrongdoing by the state of Texas.Different state and the action was committed by a man. The outcome may have been different for Aiwohi had she committed the acts in Texas but this does show the inequity between males and females.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures 34 states have fetal homicide laws. I have always found these laws paradoxical. A woman can kill her child (fetus) at will before he/she is born provided she does it through an official act of abortion in these states but can be charged with homicide of some sort if she kills it by some other method. Others causing the death of an unborn child would also be open to homicide charges. Funny, when is a child not a child or is it when is a non-human a human?
I wonder what will happen in Hawaii the next time the death of a fetus is caused by someone other than the mother. Will the non-human become human? As I interpret this ruling if a person does something to a pregnant woman that causes the death of the unborn child that person may be charged with assault or a related charge for what they did to the mother but not for anything that happened to the unborn child.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Death Penalty Debate Continues
Being an absolute, irreversible punishment, capital punishment is certainly a serious subject. Williams case has attracted much attention with celebrities championing his case, and he has even been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Such absurbities aside many of the arguments surrounding capital punishment simply don't hold up.
Over at Facing South, we find our old "friend" SKB making this argument,
But, it is not society's duty to exact revenge, which is all the death penalty is. It certainly isn't a deterrent.SKB confuses punishment with revenge. Using his logic, society has no right to mete out punishment for any crimes. While there may be an element of revenge in the death penalty or in any sentence handed out by the justice system, revenge is not the aim, the aim is punishment.
For many years now, people like to talk about recidivism, deterrents and rehabilitation. Effective deterrents and low recidivism would be very nice but success in these areas has been minimal. Should the consequences for committing a crime be measured by its deterrent effects or how well it reduces recidivism? What if we discover some sort of treatment or medical procedure that would render on incapable of committing a violent crime, as in Clockwork Orange? Should we let murderers and rapists free to walk the streets? If a person kills others in cold blood but becomes "rehabilitated", should they be given a lesser punishment?
I am not a strong supporter of the death penalty but it does not bother me that a person like Tookie Williams or this guy are put to death for their crimes. If I felt sure they were guilty, I would pull the lever. What does bother me about the death penalty is the possibility of an innocent person being put to death. This alone may be enough to abolish the death penalty. Over zealous prosecutors may be more interested in a conviction than the truth. There are many cases of innocent people sentenced to death.
Lastly, many of those arguing against the death penalty are the same people that support abortion. In some places abortion is legal virtually up until the moment of birth. Full term is 40 weeks, but with modern medicine "even babies born as early as 23 weeks now have a good chance of survival." What is it to kill an innocent baby that has a "good chance of survival?" An adult rightfully convicted of capital murder made a conscious choice to wrongfully and purposefully take the life of another but the baby is fully innocent. Abolishment of capital punishment is a favorite position of the left who lambaste the Pope on abortion, women's rights, etc. But they quickly move to him when he speaks against capital punishment.
When the anti-execution crowd shows more interest in protecting the lives of the most innocent among us, I'll start showing more interest in whether death is a fair fate of the most heinous and guilty criminals. In the meantime, I'll try to find a cure for that schizophrenic malady called liberalism.
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