Tag Archives: justice

Weed Should Be Illegal Because It Is So Easy To Obtain

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color picture of marijuanaAn Ohio legislator has decided that it is time to legalize marijuana in the state. Of course some are opposed. In a TV interview, an undercover police officer made the false gateway drug argument and then claimed, without a sense of irony, that it is too easy to obtain marijuana. Yes, a 27 year veteran of the war on drugs basically said it has failed yet he doesn’t support legalization of marijuana.
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Presidential Wonder Twins Make Case For Obama Reelection

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screencap of President Obama speaking at the 2012 Democratic National Convention
President Obama speaking at the 2012 Democratic National Convention

One glaring omission from the Republican National Convention was that President George W. Bush and most of his cabinet were missing in action. The Democrats had no such issue with their past office holder. On Wednesday President Clinton blasted the GOP in a tour de force speech that like the Clinton of old lasted way past the allotted time but he said so much. Elizabeth Warren also had a kick ass speech and then on Thursday night President Obama sealed the deal for his reelection with a great speech of his own.
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Should I feel good that Bin Laden is dead?

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I am strongly opposed to the death penalty. It is a waste of time and money and isn’t justice. I strongly support the rule of law, due process, and the criminal court system. I seemed to throw all that out late Sunday evening when I learned that US Special Forces killed terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

I was concerned when the media started to ramp up coverage late Sunday evening for an unusal statement from President Obama about a publicly unknown topic. Such sudden statements either mean a military operation has occurred, there was a death of a significant figure, or a killer asteroid was about to snuff out civilization. None of those are really good news but the President surprised me. He announced that the terrorist Osama Bin Laden had been killed in a raid on a house in Pakistan by US Special Forces (reports say it was a Navy Seal team).

I fully support due process and the legal system but Bin Laden wouldn’t give up so his death is not a problem for me. He was either going to be dead in a shoot out or dead from old age in a dank dark prison and I am slightly happy about it. The man helped plan, fund, and execute terrorist activities including 9/11 that killed THOUSANDS.

But let me be clear I do NOT support an eye for an eye. I would have been just as happy if he was alive and in custody and on his way to Gitmo or wherever the government would put him.

I have never believed that the death of a criminal in response to the deaths of their victims is appropriate. I also disagree with any policy that would call for targeted killing of “bad guys”. I would like to think, short of evidence to the contrary, that President Obama authorized the capture of Bin Laden and that he forced the fire fight that in the end led to his death.

Sunday night, after the statement, the news channels showed crowds in DC and New York celebrating like their favorite team had won the World Cup. I understand the emotion but it was no better than the scenes on 9/11 of Palestinians dancing in their streets.

The death of Bin Laden wasn’t a victory or justice. It was an end to a chapter of our history. It was 10 years in the making.

I also have some friends who are a bit upset at the use of the military and the killing.

I have always been of the mind that sometimes use of the military is necessary. Using the legal system and police work should be the default but sometimes we have to deal with irrational assholes who don’t subscribe to law and order.

I thought the invasion of Afghanistan after the Taliban refused to hand over Bin Laden was the right thing to do and the use of Special Forces to raid Bin Laden’s compound on Sunday without telling Pakistan was also correct. There have been a lot of questions about the Pakistani response to Bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban. For years it supported Bin Laden and the Taliban as a policy to keep India, their on again off again enemy, off balance.

I also think the burial of Bin Laden within 24 hours of his death as prescribed by Islamic law was much more than he really deserved seeing how his buddies in Iraq and Somalia abused and mutilated dead Americans over the years.

With the final objective of the war in Afghanistan completed with Bin Laden’s death, I would hope we can bring our soldiers home sooner rather than later.

Some thoughts on the Jena 6 protests

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The Jena 6 are a group of black teens who were arrested and charged in the beating of a white student at the local high school in Jena Louisiana. It was the climax of several incidents of a racial nature that started with nooses hanging from a shade tree the day after two black students had sat under it.

The white students who were responsible for what was described as a “prank” were recommended to be expelled (as they should have) but the school board overturned the decision. The students were given 3 day in-school suspensions.

Then other incidents happened:

During the Thanksgiving holiday, someone set fire to the school, reducing the main academic wing to rubble (no one has been arrested, and though a link between what was ruled an arson and the racial discord hasn’t been proved, many suspect there is one). The following day, Bailey was punched and beaten with beer bottles when he tried to enter a mostly white party in town. The white kid who threw the first punch was later charged with simple battery and given probation. The next day, Bailey ran into a young white man who was at the party. Bailey and parents of the Jena Six say that when the man pulled a gun on him, he tangled with him and stripped it away. He was later charged with theft of a firearm.

The tension culminated back at school the following Monday. Justin Barker, a white student who says he is friends with the kids who hung the nooses, reportedly taunted Bailey at lunch (Barker denies this). A while later, an African-American student allegedly punched Barker from behind, knocking him unconscious. Then, say white witnesses, a group of black students that included Bailey continued to assault Barker, kicking and stomping on him. (Jena High student Justin Purvis and other black witnesses dispute this.) Barker, who was treated for injuries at a nearby hospital, was released later that day, apparently in strong enough shape to attend a class-ring ceremony that evening.

A Town In Turmoil

I agree with many who are protesting the unequal justice being applied (the whites involved getting less punishment than the blacks). I just don’t agree with one of the bumper sticker slogans I saw that said “Free the Jena 6”.

The teens have been accused of a crime so just because they may not get a fair shake doesn’t mean we should look the other way in the name of good race relations. The person they are accused of beating was hurt so the event did happen.

Protest the justice system and fight to get them all a fair hearing and see what happens.

The Cucumber Incident: Revisited

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Back in July, 2004, I posted some thoughts on the documentary called The Cucumber Incident.

The film told the story surrounding an incident that made national headlines in 1997. Three women had attacked, stripped, and forced a cucumber in the butt of a convicted child molester. They then drove the man back to his home town of McComb, Ohio and dumped him outside a pizza shop. The women were arrested and served time in jail as well as being labeled sex offenders.

The twist was the man was the husband of one of the women and the other two were the wife’s relatives. The guy had served time in prison for molesting his daughter and had been suspected of doing it again.

Someone posted my article in full on the Indymedia network of websites and comments flooded in to my article.

Most of the comments took me to task because I refused to applaud the women’s revenge. I was also taken to task for not being outraged at the husband’s acts and one person commented that it was no surprise as I was man. Several comments mentioned that if one was a victim of abuse then one would understand.

I reject all of those comments.

Revenge is not justice even if it is for a heinous act. The child was examined by the proper authorities and there was not enough evidence to arrest Randy, the husband.

The fact remains that Jewel chose to allow Randy back into house after he got out of prison. If she had kicked him to the curb then it is less likely another incident would have happened. Even after the alleged incident Jewel had the choice to leave him or kick him out of the house.

I do not look on child abuse of any kind lightly but it still doesn’t trump the fact that revenge is not justice.

My gender has nothing to do with my views on the woman’s acts. Revenge is not justice. I would feel the same way if it were 3 men attacking a female molester.

Although I have not been personally been abused, there was an incident in my family several years ago that still has a negative impact on me and the family.

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”