no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Who Killed Troy Davis?

September 22nd, 2011

I don’t know why I was holding out for some last-minute miracle, but I was…

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has previously said: “People who are well represented at trial do not get the death penalty.” Well there you have it. If you don’t want to be sentenced to death, stop being poor and black.

Davis at trial, c. 1991

Although we may never know with certainty whether Davis was responsible for the 1989 murder for which he was executed, there are many people who are responsible, for ending Davis’ life at 11:08pm on September 21, 2011. This list starts with every prosecutor who was more concerned with getting a “win” in court than serving justice, depending on whether you believe the coercion angle it may also include the police, and every judge or magistrate presiding over the case/appeals, as well as the parole board, which consists of:

Gale Buckner, a former Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent . . . . Robert Keller, the ex-chair of a Georgia prosecutors group . . . James Donald, the former head of the Georgia Department of Corrections, Albert Murray, who led the state’s juvenile justice program, and Terry Barnard, a former Republican state lawmaker…

As well as the nominally private firms to whom the State of Georgia outsourced the execution, the executioner (or whatever they call that macabre profession these days) in their employ, the Supreme Court of the United States, and last but certainly not least, my man the President, Barack Obama who could have prevented it, but didn’t think it would be “appropriate”.

Jay Carney, White House press secretary, issued a statement at about 10 minutes before the scheduled execution, saying “it is not appropriate for the President of the United States to weigh in on specific cases like this one, which is a state prosecution.”

Rationalization, the hallmark of a sociopath. In other words, “I don’t have to make the difficult or unpopular decision to do what’s right, because of some arbitrary rule.” In other words, “I am just doing my job.” But I guess this is not particularly alarming, as Barry has the distinction of “most murders among all Nobel Peace Prize recipients”.

POTUS was just doing his job. SCOTUS were just doing their job. The appeals courts, the parole board, the prosecutors — just doing their jobs. Whoever pressed the button or pulled the trigger or depressed the plunger or however it is that they deliver the lethal chemical injection: just doing his job.

These men were also “just doing their jobs”.

The defendants at Nuremburg trials await verdict


Some tangentially related thoughts:

The death penalty is a form of “justice” that has been all-but-abandoned by every other first- and second-world country. Yet this barbaric practice is one that the United States shares with such esteemed nations as North Korea, China, Somalia, and Iran. Look on the map. Practically every country you would want to live in does not use capital punishment for any crime.  Then look at the countries colored red…

One of these things is not like the other...

Albert Camus: “But what then is capital punishment but the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal’s deed, however calculated it may be, can be compared? For there to be equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life.”

Petty Tyrants in Oak Park, MI

July 8th, 2011

I do not generally read or watch the local news, or even the national news. So when I heard a story out of Oak Park (MI) on Balko’s site via facebook this morning, I had to check it out.

Sure as shit, there’s a petty bureaucrat in a city not 3 miles from me, who’s intent on enforcing his standards of aesthetics even if it means pursuing criminal charges (up to 93 days in prison) against a woman who had the audacity to plant tomatoes in her front lawn.

Julie Bass' front-lawn garden

Aside from the City Planner’s questionable interpretation of the word suitable (round which this entire brouhaha revolves, apparently) I think it’s pretty obvious that anyone willing to press criminal charges against someone for growing a couple of plants is clearly mad. It’s not like she is breeding dogs or livestock or something that could conceivably pose a threat to her neighbors.

The city official’s name is Kevin Rulkowski, and his email address is Feel free to send him an email and let him know how retarded it is. I did.

copy of the letter sent to Oak Park city planner Rulkowski

Here is a transcription, in case the print is too small.

I just read about Julie Bass and the vegetable garden she’s planted in her front yard (here).

I would think that the City of Oak Park has dozens of better ways of spending its very limited resources (financial and otherwise) than to harass a woman who is doing something useful and productive, and whose actions are not hurting anyone. The fact that you are seriously willing to push a criminal penalty of up to 93 days in prison ought to be taken as prima facie evidence that you are unfit to wield whatever small amount of power is bestowed upon a city planner.

It is people like you who make this world worse, every day.

What can I say? I calls ’em like I see ’em, and this one is as retarded as a football bat.

Does the TSA Really Keep Us Safe?

November 16th, 2010

Do you really believe that the threat level is “elevated” or that there are imminent threats from all sides at all times and only the grace of god and the high-school dropouts in the royal blue TSA clown suits at the airports have been able to keep us safe? If so, hopefully you have more faith in the grace of god than you do the TSA.

bright blue clown suitsThe last time I flew, I arrived in my hotel only to discover that I hadn’t remembered to separate my toiletries (cologne, toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream) from the rest of my luggage for the security screening at DTW. I wasn’t pulled aside, so either the TSA goons were asleep at the wheel, or they didn’t care, or it doesn’t matter that you bring a 3oz bottle of cologne on an airplane. I think it’s probably a combination of all three.

Proponents of the new porno scanners and aggressive grope searches like to point out examples like the underpants bomber at Detroit last year. But he was thwarted by more or less conventional techniques: the porno scanners and dick-fondling didn’t exist as a matter of procedure last year. These procedures didn’t exist last month. And the historical record is pretty much the same: nobody has successfully smuggled a bomb on to a flight originating in the US in over 50 years.

I love being treated like a criminal by the TSAI’ve maintained all along that the threat of terrorism is — to be quite frank — not unlike the bogeyman or any other folklore monster, contrived to keep people frightened, timid, and complacent. I’ll admit that the theatric value of blowing up an airplane mid-flight is unrivaled by pretty much anything a would-be group of bad guys could possibly hope to accomplish. In actuality, the only means less discriminate and more extravagantly destructive are available only to state militaries.

The fact of the matter is, as I’ve said previously, if these threats are real, then mathematically speaking there should have been many more successful terrorist acts on US soil.Maybe “many” is three, maybe it’s a dozen, maybe it’s 20 or 100. That’s for some actuary to work out.

Not just airports — although those are certainly soft enough that a coordinated attack could raise serious hell, like a dozen dudes with suitcases packed full of C4 or something in a dozen airports across the country — but shopping malls, sporting venues, etc., where any organization with the will and a relatively minimal amount of firepower, could kill hundreds of people in a few minutes. And comparatively easier (than bombing an airplane) to pull off successfully.

The smart money says that there is no credible threat, because soft targets haven’t been hit, and they’re as ripe for the picking today as they have ever been.

So all this extra “security” isn’t making us any safer.  It might make you feel safer, they’re “protecting” you from a threat that doesn’t really exist.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics