The Watering Hole: Wednesday, June 20, 2012: Does it really Matter?

Ok, so for the next few months, if you’re in a “swing” State, you’ll be inundated with SuperPAC commercials designed to get you to vote against your own best interests. We will also be systematically bombarded with messages from the Mainstream Media designed to influence our thinking.

IT’S ALL A SHOW. IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER.

If the Powers That Be really want Obama out, all they have to do is raise gas prices to about $5.00/gallon. Instead, gas prices are going down, heading into the summer vacation season. That’s not to say they won’t go up between now and the election – but they are an accurate predictor of where our economy will head. So, pay attention to the pump, not the talking heads.

Ok, that’s my $0.0199 cents. And you?

OPEN THREAD
JUST REMEMBER
EVERYTHING I SAID
DOESN’T REALLY MATTER

 

Sunday Roast: Do we deserve to kill?


Earlier this week, The Rachel Maddow Show played a portion of the above TED Talk by Bryan Stevenson.  The Maddow Blog introduces Mr Stevenson:

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and part of his Big Idea is about kids in prison, and the country that keeps them there until they die (that’s us).  America is the only country in the world with kids serving life in prison without parole (LWOP) sentences for crimes they committed as children.  And that, Stevenson says, changes our identity as a country.  It changes us.

Rachel’s interview so moved me, that I had to hear him speak more fully, hence the above TED Talk, which was provided on Rachel’s blog.  Please watch the whole video, you won’t be sorry.

Part of this country’s identity is that we have the fifth highest rate of incarceration in the world, behind such countries as China and Iran, and the incarceration rate is abnormally high in this country among people of color.  We lock up children as young as 13 years old for life, for things they did before their brains are finished developing.  And please, to anyone reading this who thinks that because my bleeding liberal heart doesn’t believe in locking children up for life, then that means I believe no punishment should be given at all — get a friggin’ grip on reality, okay?

In this country, we are “treated better if we’re rich and guilty, than if we’re poor and innocent.”  He who can hire the best lawyer (or team thereof) has the best chances of getting that “not guilty” verdict, or at least a lighter sentence.  Wealth shapes outcome, that’s true, but it could also be said that social class and the color of one’s skin shapes outcome as well.

But we don’t like to think about those kinds of things in this country.  Hey, if it’s not happening to me or my family, why should I care?  America, love it or leave it!  We’re number one!!  American exceptionalism rules!!

Except when it doesn’t.  As long as there is inequality, suffering, discrimination, poverty, and hate in this country, none of us are free — let alone exceptional.

We are, above all, human.  Our humanity is the only thing we bring into the world, and our humanity (or the shreds thereof) are all we take out of this world.  Our humanity is all we have and all we are, and if we want to find a solution to the terrible social ills afflicting this country and the world, we should start there.

This is our daily open thread — Discuss amongst yourselves.

Pat Buchanan Gets Schooled on Religion

Tonight on Hardball, Lawrence O’Donnell pwns Pat Buchanan over the debate about Obama speaking at Notre Dame.  First, O’Donnell corrects Buchanan on the Pope’s view on the death penalty, then he shows Buchanan’s hypocrisy on hs approval of Bush speaking at Notre Dame because of Bush’s views and use of the death penalty.

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Wayne’s Brain on Capital Punishment

Our Critter Wayne has a great post stemming from the Supreme Court’s baffling ruling in a Kentucky capital punishment case.  Start reading it here, and then finish it up at Pick Wayne’s Brain.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that execution by lethal injection does not constitute “cruel and unusual punishment”. (Side note, would it not have been “unusual” the first time it was done and, to the uninitiated, a tad “cruel”, too?). Oddly enough, while they felt that Kentucky’s Strap-Right-Up-Get-Yer-Three-Shot-Monte Lethal Injection system of capital punishment was constitutional, “a majority could not agree on the proper standard with which to judge execution practices.” But whatever that standard was, they felt Kentucky had met it.
Before continuing, I’ll cut to the chase and state up front that I oppose the use of capital punishment for reasons on which I shall elaborate later. And, yes, I do agree that the Constitution’s specific mention of terms such as “capital offense” clearly and undeniably proves (yes, “proves”) that the Framers found no problem with the use of capital punishment per se. So, no, it is not, in and of itself, unconstitutional. I shall stipulate all of that up front, so there is no need to rehash any of it. Capital punishment is, in and of itself, constitutional. (There, I said it and I’m mad.)
What I feel is unconstitutional is the way in which the sentence has been administered, and upon whom, throughout our justice system. Let’s face facts, white people out there (and you know who you are), if a black man and a white man are convicted of the same capital offense, the black man is statistically far more likely to get the death penalty than the white man, even if all the circumstances and justifications for it are the same in both cases. You know it because it is a fact. In what way, then, is this administration of capital punishment “equal treatment under the law”?

Finish reading Wayne’s post here.