Thursday, September 22, 2011
DAILY NEWS - September 22, 2011
DATELINE: ON DEATH ROW, OUTSIDE LOOKING IN – Troy Davis died last night. He did not die of natural causes, he did not die of old age. He was executed for a crime that no one is even sure he committed. While I understand, and yes, even sometimes succumb to the urge to want retribution for those people so brutally, heinously tortured, abused and killed, and for their families as well, there comes a point when you still have to question the whole process. Yes, there are appeals, yes, there are processes… BUT even that is flawed. Rick Perry, GOP leadership candidate, stated that he sleeps just fine at night knowing the number of people he has ordered executed, and that he does not worry about any one of them being innocent. Well, there is every possibility that Troy Davis was innocent. The witnesses who recanted over the years said so. The forensics, when reviewed also said so, but still there was no a mechanism in place to even re-open the case. While I understand that we have all taken great strides towards equality, you still have to wonder if, had Troy Davis not been black, would he be dead today. This was a black man accused of killing a white cop in Georgia, a case with more holes than a block of fucking Swiss cheese. So, while I willingly jump naked into the muddy waters of discrimination and capital punishment, let me ask some questions that are perhaps not asked enough in these situations. Where is the justice in this? If Troy Davis did not commit the crime, or if it was accidental or if it was a wonderful job of the lame evidence offered being planted in order to secure a conviction in a hot-topic emotionally-charged case, did he deserve to be put through years of this emotional torture, the appeals, the stays, and did he deserve to be strapped to a table, left there for an excessively long time, then injected so that he would die a slow death? Is that justice? For one second, put yourself in his place, on death row, on your way to that chamber, knowing you are wrongly accused. What the hell does that feel like? What about Troy Davis’ family and friends? How would it feel to watch as your loved one, someone you know is not guilty, someone who you have been working hard to vindicate, who you have evidence of his innocence, but you can get nowhere for it. Those are people who, for their lives may have believed in the ideal of innocent until proven guilty and guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, those who believe that good and right will overcome, and the true killer will be caught. Do they deserve that hell? At least while he was live, there was hope that the system could be corrected, but now there is nothing. What about the victim? If Troy Davis did not do this, and there is every possibility that he did not, there is another murderer out there, wandering the streets with the people of Georgia, but this one is even more despicable because he has now taken one more life, indirectly, and is fine with that. Does the family of the victim, in this case officer MacPhail, not deserve to know without any doubt that the person who killed their loved ones is someplace where he cannot hurt anyone else, where he is paying for his crime? What about the person who has to actually push the plunger on that syringe or flip the switch or trip the door? It’s a job, something he is ordered to do. What the fuck does this do to his mind? What nightmares does he have? Execution is barbaric, a tool in the arsenal of despots and dictators, something we cringe at in movies about the French Revolution, but that is to be warmly embraced under our own flawed terms? Yes, there are some who are so hideous, so dangerous, so proud of the lives they have taken and the pain they have caused that we want them gone. They are the few, however. Yes, there are Bible thumpers who would cling to, grapple to the old ‘an eye for an eye’, but that same book says to turn the other cheek. Neither is a sound premise for dealing with justice.
FYI – a look at some statistics courtesy of Wiki… The following 23 countries carried out executions in 2010: Bahrain (1), Bangladesh (9+), Belarus (2), Botswana (1), China (2000+), Egypt (4), Equatorial Guinea (4), Iran (252+), Iraq (1+), Japan (2), Libya (18+), Malaysia (1+), North Korea (60+), Palestinian Authority (5), Saudi Arabia (27+), Singapore (1+), Somalia (8+), Sudan (6+), Syria (17+), Taiwan (4), USA (46+), Vietnam (1+), Yemen (53+).As of 5 May 2011 executions have been reported in the following 9 countries during 2011: Bangladesh, China, Iran, North Korea, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, USA. That's some pretty upstanding, stalwart, reasonable, rights-respecting crowd there, ain't it.
DATELINE: IN A CAGE IN A PUB IN ENGLAND – Picture it: the beer is flowing, the crowds are screaming, pumping their fists in the air, hollering for that massive take-down punch. The women prance around in their almost altogether, egging the spectators on. In the middle of the room, inside a cage, are the combatants, neither wearing anything but their shorts, fists raised, both murder and panic in their eyes. Sorta takes you back to those good old gladiator days, until you consider the sick twist this now takes. The two in the cage are aged 8 and 9. Yes, there are children fighting to entertain the frenzied adults. That night, before a crowd of over two hundred, children received the screamed requests to ‘kill em’ and ‘knock ‘is bloody teeth out’. The children were the subject of bets and bookie hard-ons. Am I the ONLY one who sees something incredibly fucking sick and perverted with this? How is it possible for authorities to look at a blood sport like this and say it’s sport and there was nothing wrong? It was in a pub, they were in a cage, they were wearing no protective gear – hell, they were wearing practically nothing – there were women wearing the same amount of clothes prancing around, there were adults grunting and screaming like fucking behemoths as they got their rocks off and their pockets lined, and yet there was nothing wrong with this? What the fuck sort of animals are we turning into. They were 8 and 9. What the fuck lessons are they and their friends learning from this bullshit, this abuse, this hideous treatment of those who are among the most vulnerable. That the Brits can’t find a fucking thing wrong with this, says a mouthful.
DATELINE: ON THE AUTOBAHN, ESCAPING THE POOR HOUSE – Pity Angela Merkel – seems that for many, the future of the world is landing on her shoulders. Germany is being implored to save Greece’s economy, save Italy’s economy, bail out those countries in Europe that cannot afford to pay their bills. Germany has become the eldest sister in a family of ‘live for today’ siblings as the doom and gloom predictions regarding the European economic union come to pass. Remember the flack the UK took for not jumping on the Amazing Technicolor Euro Bus? Bet they aren’t one bit sorry for the flack they took. They recognized the potential for problem, a potential we are just now starting to see. The Euro is, was, and always will be a rudderless ship. They are like the Corleone family with Fredo at the helm. They have a currency for all, but no one body with any teeth to control it or maintain it, that takes the needs of the majority into consideration while passing measures to protect, bolster and grow the economy. The system that involves Congress in the US is, as we have seen, VERY far from perfect, but at least, in essence, they will live or die on their own terms (as stupid, stubborn and partisan as those terms are, the jury is still out as to which way it will go), but Europe has nothing, and now it comes to Big Sister Germany to show pity and bail them out. This is not a situation Merkel or the hard-working tax-paying German’s want to be in, and it is a situation they should not be in. As economies the world over teeter on the brink, Germany has to decide if they open that can of worms and save Greece or let that country flounder in its own excrement. If they save Greece, can Italy be far behind? Spain? These are all big countries with big economies to consider. If they don’t bail out their neighbors though, if Greece falls, that could well precipitate a run on the banks in those other countries as the stark realization sets in that yes, the sky really could fall. A run on the banks would be a harbinger for economic death for all of them. The stakes are high, the fallout, either way, is not good, and the irony is that they world is turning to Germany to save it.
As if poor Angela doesn’t have enough on her plate, the demonstrations and protests begin today as the Pope, that bastion of justice, peace, tolerance and sound logic, arrives for his four-day tour. Yes, this is something else for which the Germans will be footing the bill, arbitrarily, and it will not be an insignificant amount.
DATELINE: WATCHING THE LOONEY GO SKY-DIVING – How the mighty have again fallen. In the course of one night, the beloved Looney, the only currency in the world named for a bird AND for the idiots who regulate it, fell a full two cents, and that was at market open. This comes on the heels of the US Federal Reserve announcing their new plan, Operation Twist. You have to fucking love when they come up with these kitschy names for crazy ideas. Operation Twist puts no money into the economy to help encourage it along, and maybe that’s the thing to do. Basically it equates to selling short and buying long (a theory I fully embrace in many aspects of life). While the theory was offered in an attempt to show something is being done, innovative ideas are at work to right the abysmal situation with the economy, investors saw it as a fucking Hail Mary pass and balked at the premise that this was a good thing. With news that Chinese factory activity is down, and Germany’s business growth has started to dig in its heels, we could be in for a bumpy ride. It amazes me though that even yet, no one looks at the way banks have bled the economy for decades, building ivory towers to house their multi-million dollar earning execs, or the self-aggrandizing, pocket-lining pork-barreling done by politicians as something that could have contributed to this clusterfuck, or as something that still needs to be addressed. No worry, though. Chubby Checker weighed in on 'Operation Twist', because the 24 hour news media knows how to dig out those pertinent positions on the issues that matter. "The Twist has always meant money for everybody," the aging twister is quoted as say. Well, then, how can it fucking fail, right?