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    marye
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    Nuclear power! Carcinogenic cell phones! The Stanley Cup! and the usual parade of kids dancing and shaking their bones, politicians throwing stones, etc. Discuss.

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  • deadhead102
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    Deadheads For Bernie!

    Get on the boat! Health care with no deductibles, co-pays, etc. To any union members who think their negotiated health plan is better, if your employer doesn't have to pay for your health care, THEY CAN PAY YOU MORE!

  • marye
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    this topic
    is getting seriously unwieldy; please post in the new thread here: http://www.dead.net/forum/long-strange-and-trippy-still-more-current-events
  • Mike Edwards
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    With Six You Get Egg Roll
    > The cost of the war to America was roughly one trillion dollars. Where this gets really interesting is that the US borrowed that trillion dollars from the People's Republic of China. Add to this the fact that most of the oil coming out of Iraq these days is headed, not for the US, but to Asia, and you've got yourself a real head-scratcher of a conclusion: the US borrowed a trillion dollars from the Chinese to secure their supply of oil?
  • Anna rRxia
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    10 Year Anniversary of the start of the Iraq War
    There are few people out there who believe this wasn't a war of personal animosity between Dubya and Hussein. All the evidence was forged or made up as far as weapons of mass destruction are concerned. In a place where there was no AQ one came to be established in the chaos of war. The US was ill-prepared, thinking it would be a shorter term conflict and not committing enough resources to it. Not only that, the generals didn't conceive of the IEDs that would be used to blow up convoys. Thus, American soldiers didn't have the body armor they needed or the armored vehicles they needed. Soldiers didn't have the psychological preparation needed to fight an enemy without uniforms, melting into an innocent population, thus causing unbelievable psychological damage to the troops - suicides and PTSD were rampant in the front line troops. Some of them come home to become ticking time-bombs. The whole argument of "So what if there weren't weapons of mass destruction there, Hussein was a bad man who needed to be removed." doesn't hold water. There are a lot of bad dictators out there whom we don't regard as bad enough to go to war over. This war is the result of the neo-cons who were thoroughly disgraced -- people like Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld & Bush. These former leaders of the US don't even dare to travel to Britain as they may be arrested, to this day, as war criminals. Due to this war being the first one where contractors took a large percentage of low-level jobs there were relatively few casualties among US soldiers, about 4000. This should be compared to the most precise count of Iraqis killed, based partly on Wikki Leaks information, that shows that roughly 120,000 Iraqis were killed from all sources of violence, not just American or American hired, during the years of war 2003-2011. The cost of the war to America was roughly one trillion dollars. It was this indiscriminate killing by Americans and their civilian contractors that turned the Iraqi population against the US as the war progressed. The neo-cons are now widely regarded as short-sighted fools and part of an administration that allowed carnage and widespread economic suffering around the world to this day because of lax oversight of investment banks.
  • Anna rRxia
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    Their Walls are made of Cannonballs
    The recent spate of gun violence in upstate NY, about 200 miles to the West of me, is quite frightening. The Governor of that State passed the most strict gun controls in the nation and it seems to be of no avail. And that is because the genie is out of the bottle with no way to put the genie back. 250,000,000 guns on our streets will never be turned in again to any significant degree. This latest episode had an otherwise normal 64 year-old man shoot 4 people in a barbershop in Herkimer and then head across the river and shoot two more at a quick lube in Mohawk before returning to Herkimer and barricading himself in an abandoned building in the middle of downtown. He was fatally shot when he killed a police dog that was sent in by SWAT teams after a 24 hour stand-off. These things happening in small towns are very frightening to those of us who live in semi-rural America. I attribute a lot of these shootings not to people who are mentally unbalanced but to otherwise middle-class people who are slipping into poverty and feel that their lives are embarrassing and useless, on top of which they are continuously bombarded by news stories about Congress about to pull the social safety net out from under them. No subsidized housing, no food stamps, no medical care, no medicine, no social security check. This angst is felt by Millennial also who generally feel cheated that the good things 80% of the population experienced during their lives will not be there for them in a brave new world filled with crushing debt, global warming and helplessness in old age. On TV this morning I saw a commercial for Sig-Sauer Academy. It was cutting- edge gun-nut stuff. It showed people responding to being touched on the arm by quickly whipping out a pistol and emptying a clip into them. Being touched on the arm does not constitute a mortal threat and in more than 75% of the states in this country the person who kills such a person with a legally concealed handgun will go to jail for involuntary manslaughter at the very least.
  • Anna rRxia
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    Some corrections
    The Catholic Church's apology last year was for it's role during WWII, not for Cardinal Bergolio's conduct in Argentina. The Catholic church maintains still to this day that it's responsibility was to save Catholics during this time period. Upon reflection, Bergolio has been very outspoken about the responsibility of the rich to the poor. Indeed this is the central to the problems experienced during the time of the disappeared in South America. Bergolio had to know what was going on but he couldn't call a spade a spade or he could have ended up like the Archbishop of El Salvador: Assassinated. It was pointed out yesterday on MSNBC that this retirement of a pope and the election of the first pope outside of Europe in a strongly Catholic emerging continent is not an accident. The bottom line is more envelopes in the collection plate while a European oversees the "colored" pope so he doesn't run amok. At least the last pope gave up the trappings of power such as his red Prada shoes. Jon Stewart pointed out that he could always use those shoes to click his heels three times together and incant: "There is no place like Rome There is no place like Rome"
  • Anna rRxia
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    Furthur Bus
    I guess the Pranksters pulled a fast one on the Smithsonian or maybe a replica was part of the deal, but they drove a bus across the country to be placed in the Smithsonian in or around 1997. I welcome this project by the Kesey family to restore the original bus and certainly hope funds can be raised. Please keep us informed as I will certainly make a small donation to this part of history that could be preserved to at least 2065, the one hundred year anniversary of the Grateful Dead. It could be an attraction at a major festival of jam bands still belting it out and commemorating the scene and one of America's favorite bands. The venue should be UC Santa Cruz, where the archives are enshrined.
  • Mike Edwards
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    But Remember: Nothing Lasts
    At least one member of the Republican Party seems to have suffered a moment of clarity recently. Speaking at CPAC, Newt Gingrich observed that the Republican establishment is "mired in stupidity."
  • wilfredtjones
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    along with the impending return of twinkies...
    ...here's something else to flag down to this summer (well, this summer for the twinkies, next summer for the bus) the furthur bus!
  • Anna rRxia
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    War on the poor
    The Republicans have their guns squarely set on entitlement programs and they are going to get their way. The Koch brothers have set the agenda with their billions and the media has served up this steaming pile of offal like lap dogs. The social contract is about to be broken and for the baby boomers it looks as if those 55 older will be able to keep their Medicare and SS benefits while those under that age will have their benefits cut and delivered two years later. This is not ridiculous, it is a crime. Something needs to be pointed out here before this happens. The stinking mess created by lax regulation of investment banks by a Republican president resulted in massive bailouts that boosted the Federal deficit 1.45 trillion dollars in 2009. As of 2012, the Obama Administration has reduced that debt to 845 billion. The sky is not about to fall. We don't need to declare war on the poor by slashing entitlements and stabbing the middle class baby boomers in the back. This whole dance by Obama seems very well orchestrated. First the big deal of increasing taxes on the rich and then the Republicans refusing to budge an inch on the tax code, closing massive loopholes for special interests you could sail a ship through. Then Obama goes on a "charm offensive" which is nothing but a euphemism for caving on entitlements. Centrist Democrats suck. This rant is far from over. To be continued.
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Nuclear power! Carcinogenic cell phones! The Stanley Cup! and the usual parade of kids dancing and shaking their bones, politicians throwing stones, etc. Discuss.

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you just DID touch it, fluffanutter :D
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You are too quick-witted for my slow, poor addled mind. Your rapier sharp mentality has skewered me. Pardon me while a turn off my mind, relax and float down stream. This is not dreaming.
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An airplane pilot on a Jet Blue flight flipped out and started walking around the cockpit putting his hands on people and asking them if they were all right. He then started raving about AQ. Then, when the co-pilot locked his ass out of the cockpit he started screaming and pounding on the door. He was tackled and then held down by ten passengers. The plane made an emergency landing in Amarillo and the men in the long white coats came with the straight jacket to take him away -- "They're coming to make away, they're coming to take me away Hoo Hoo - Hah Hah - Hee Hee, to the funny farm!" This is another example of the perpetual state of fear that is now taking a grave psychological toll eleven and a half years after 9/11. It didn't have to be this way. We could have pursued a police action instead of war. Now we have to deal with this fall-out with it's many manifestations. Another great day on the planet of the apes. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
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Big soccer night! Barca vs InterMilano and Marseille vs Bayern. Vaya Barca, y Allez Marseille! :D
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Baseball is just a week away: oh boy! Spring skiing happened too fast this year. The melt is on and Colorado is hurting for snow up high, and rain is needed now for the front range folks. Good time to be fishing for trout. Today it's mow, mow, mow the yard after a fortnight in the mountains. Crab apples, ornamental pears, magnolias, daffodils are already done blooming. I still have tulips, snowballs (viburnum?) and redbuds to marvel at. Kansas isn't known for cherry blossoms, but I yearn to see the ones in Japan or Washington, DC someday. The bird feeder crowd of juncos and finches have flown north while the grackles and thrashers have returned to join the ever-present cardinals and doves. Tax prep will be front and center real soon. Listening to the news, I'm bracing for the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Health Care mandate for everyone to have health insurance. I hope it is upheld.
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And we're deciding whether or not you will have to pay a fine if you don't voluntarily buy health insurance! The idea is that if all the healthy people go into the pool then there is enough to pay for everybody. But here is the filthy little secret: Only 150,000,000 of a population of 320,000,000 file income tax returns. So the burden is once again going to be heaped on those individuals. I want universal health insurance. I believe health insurance companies and hospitals and healthcare in general should nationalized. I guess that makes me a filthy socialist. The current system has bred a predatory animal that is out of control. The rich and powerful people get whatever they want, like Dick Cheney with his heart transplant. The poor people get rationed health care (and their providers are in complete denial about this, even as THEY have private insurance). The rest of us with private insurance pay for the people without insurance who walse into Federally mandated care hospital emergency rooms and clinics for free health care whenever they want. If the guv'mint just took over the insurance companies and cut out their 20% margins and ran them as non-profits with reasonable salary structures we could make this work. Dumping it on 150,000,000 taxpayers with for profit health care providers and insurance companies with 170,000,000 still scamming the system is another dog that just don't hunt!
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...so ignorant and hopelessly naive that they actually think the NY Slimes would have referred to George Zimmerman as a "white hispanic" if he had discovered a cure for cancer?
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“This piece of work is a bird’s eye view of the history by scaling down a month length of time into one second. No letter is used for equal messaging to all viewers without language barrier. The blinking light, sound and the numbers on the world map show when, where and how many experiments each country have conducted. I created this work for the means of an interface to the people who are yet to know of the extremely grave, but present problem of the world.” a work by Isao Hashimoto; a time lapse of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May of 1998 (This leaves out North Korea’s two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade, the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear). It’s astounding to see how many tests have been conducted, and where, and when.
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.
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Jonapi. Reminds me of the world population video that I used to use when discussing the concept of "sustainable growth" during environmental awareness training in our company some years back. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BbkQiQyaYc (Sorry, haven't attempted to embed videos on this site, no time to figure it out right now.) It was always a controversial piece, and what always seemed like a "holy crap!!" moment to me was often interpreted much differently depending on the mix of folks who viewed it. Very unsettling to watch what happens during the Plague years, and then I was always interested in watching the population explosion that has occurred during my lifetime. As is illustrated by some of the comments about the video on the youtube site, many are of the belief that the unfettered natural growth of the earth's human population is a good thing.
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first attempt here using phone. sorry not topo related. miss all of you!!
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:) :) :) How fantastic to see your post! You've been missed!!!!!!!!!!
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2053 Nuclear explosions on that shiny ball of blue that we call our home? That is the very definition of shitting in your own nest... Our planet has gone through a nuclear war without having one. Strontium 90 in mother's milk? Anybody remember that? Now the nuclear generating station at Fukushima has been found to be thousands of times hotter than previously thought. And that's the good unit -- there are five others in worse shape. But, don't worry, the Japanese government assures us that it's "all good". Don't you feel reassured? No wonder the aliens have been doing fly-by's since 1945. They are trying to warn us without violating the "Prime Directive" against directly contacting the lesser evolved species in this galaxy. We are the uni-brows of the universe.
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For those of us who still eat meat, and eat hamburger, we have to deal with the newest processed product from the meat industry: Pink slime. Using a centrifuge they separate the lean from the waste that also contains feces and urine which they then use a solvent (ammonium nitrate) to kill the harmful bacteria with. The resulting product is disgusting. Making hamburger patties with a a couple of pounds of this stuff results in your hands being covered with slime and fat. Then, when you fry it in a pan on the stove, there comes the strong odor of amonia. Judging by the shrink in the pan I would say that a full 30% of the product is pink slime. The story on this went viral and in a week people were recoiling from this product in horror. In droves people stopped buying it. The result is that in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska and other beef processing centers people are being laid off and the politicians are lining up to eat slime burgers and pat their tummies saying "Yummy!" for the camera. Disgusting on top of disgusting. The moral of the story is: You shouldn't be eating meat. If you're eating meat, you shouldn't be eating hamburger. If you're eating hamburger it shouldn't be pink slime, it should be organic (doesn't cost but $1 more a pound). The only thing I feel bad about is that 1.5 million more cows will be led to the slaughter because this processed product is not being used. A graphic example of why we should all be vegetarians.
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so happy to see you. Best current event we could ask for!!
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Dedicated to: Bashar al-Assad Idiot wind blowing every time your move your mouth Blowing down the backroads heading south Idiot wind blowing every time you move your teeth You're an idiot babe It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe. Idiot wind blowing through the flowers on your tomb Blowing through the curtains in your room Idiot wind blowing every time you move your teeth You're an idiot babe It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe Idiot wind blowing like a circle around my skull From the Grand Coulee Dam to Capitol Idiot wind blowing every time you move you teeth You're an idiot babe. It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe. Uhhh, Bashar? Could you please stop slaughtering your own people? We know the Russians, Chinese and Iranians support you, so by some freak karmic happenstance you get to sit upon your throne, the head of a ruthless family bent on power at all costs, and murder your people by the thousands while we watch on our big screen TVs. We need to detonate an EMP weapon in the geographic center of Syria that will allow the Syrian people to rise once and for all and put an end to your tyranny! An idiot wind is indeed blowing through the streets of Damascus...
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fluffanutter! The guy's gotta go!!!!
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Palm Sunday again!
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News Analysis from Nationofchange.org: "It is now very obvious to the world community: something is very wrong and very bad in Tibet to make these peaceful monks and nuns set themselves on fire. The whole world is watching in sadness and shock, and every time another Tibetan dies from these acts, the collective heartbreaks, but the world's eyes are also opened. Why, why, why? What is happening? The Tibetan hunger strikers (who just ended their 30 day fast outside the United Nations) pointed out that "undeclared martial law" is in effect. Obviously the immense concern is a reality: Chinese officials conducted a formal closure to all foreigners (and journalists) to the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) from February 20 to March 31, and have many monasteries locked down. It is during this time period that the majority of protesting Tibetan monks and nuns has been setting themselves on fire. Thirty Tibetans are confirmed to have self-immolated since the first on February 27, 2009. But alarmingly - and most important - it is over the past two weeks (since March 16) that most of these self-immolations have taken place. These suicides are occurring in the blackout period happening right now, during the crackdown by Chinese authorities on all monasteries of Tibet. Many monasteries are in lockdown, and all communication to the outside world has been shut down." (end of partial story) *********************************************************************************** *********************************************************************************** There are several inaccuracies in this story about Tibet. The monks and nuns who do this are FORMER monks and nuns, having given up their vows beforehand. Lay people have also done this who have never been ordained. Of the 30 who have self-immolated, most have come not in the last two weeks, but previous to that. Other than these inaccuracies, it is a relief to see the truth of the current situation in Tibet here in NationOfChange. The reality is that China is an economic powerhouse and they have always considered Tibet to be their "Western Treasure-house". They have raped and looted the country repeatedly and have settled so many Han Chinese in the area that they now comprise the majority of the population. Lhasa has now become just another Asian concrete jungle. There is nothing the US or other Western countries will do to offend the Chinese hand that props up their depleted economies as long as they continue to buy Euros and Dollars. The Chinese know that by repressing the Tibetans culture, not allowing them to learn and read and speak Tibetan and sterilizing Tibetan women they will, eventually, totally wipe out Tibetan cultural identity right down to the gene pool. They have done it to other cultures in the past. The big time for the Tibetan movement was in the mid to late 90s when Hollywood put out several major motion pictures and it was a "cause celeb" for awhile. But then the trend faded and so did hopes for Tibet. Obama will make nice noises through Hillary but in reality nothing will be done. So the poor Tibetans are left to fend for themselves. It is a humanitarian tragedy of epic proportions. The Tibetan culture has much to teach us about love and compassion. Unfortunately, their leaders in the last century chose to isolate themselves at a critical juncture when they should have been forming alliances. British colonial rule would have been far better than Mao's designs. Six million Tibetans now have to pay the heavy price. The Dalai Lama looks in utter misery, unable to even visit Nepal, never mind his homeland. Such is the power of the Chinese government.
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It is so had to hear about the Tibetan struggle.... One thing for sure -- When you have the Buddha of Compassion for an enemy you know you're in trouble. He keeps coming back again, and again, and again. There is no getting rid of him!
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sorry, ted
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You bet?If so...how much? Why... you ask? Is a kitten a cat? If so...then- It is indeed>>> a delicious meal. "May I have another peanutbutter fluffanutter sandwich, please,xO" Love you,xo
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Indeed Fluffanutter, I need a mint julips with some vintage Kentucky bourbon to clear my groggy head this morning. Larrytown is very quiet.Rain is moving-in from the west. Much of Colorado is getting rain and snow after the driest March ever.
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praise the Lord.too beautiful to see your words again johnman. please don't be a stranger too long. the forums are not the same without you.
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don't be a stranger, johnman, you are sorely missed.
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The network evening news, surprisingly, gave time to the Afghan general in charge of investigating the massacre by Sgt. Bales and other Special Forces operators from Fort Lewis/McCord. Bales was whisked out of the country after the crime scene was totally compromised and Karzai made serious noise about trying Bales in Afghanistan. The Afghan general said he was repeatedly rebuffed by US officials who told him that it wasn't their responsibility or their jurisdiction or whatever to get him off their back. Given the medieval system of justice in Afghanistan I don't believe Bales would have gotten a fair trial there. Neither do I believe he will get a fair or serious trial here in the US. The fact that military authorities collared him is evidence enough that he is ONE of the guilty parties. His lawyer's talk of forensics and ballistics and weapons and other types of evidence in a war zone is ridiculous and makes the military look silly. He should be treated according to military law and represented by a military lawyer in a courts martial. The Afghan general alluded to eye witnesses within the village who saw more than one military person completing the operation. He alluded to the number of killed and the distances involved as making it highly unlikely that only one person carried out this attack. If there is no way to get a fair trial for Sgt. Bales then they should just give him a medal (and 3 purple hearts decoration), an honorable discharge, a full disability pension and send him home to his family. Perhaps that sounds strange but if the US is going to stand behind it's prosecution of this war and it's chosen method to terminate the campaign then it should honor this hero accordingly and not make him suffer even one more day at Ft. Leavenworth.
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Votes to repeal the state's death sentence. Looks like easy passage through the House and will be signed by the governor. From my seat, good news. I personally think that killing people is wrong (aside from honest-to-goodness my-life-or-yours self-defense), and that state-sanctioned-and-implemented execution is still killing and still wrong. In what looks to be a compromise gone haywire, if you're already on Death Row in CT, the passage of the bill does not mean that your sentence will be commuted. Apparently there are some folks already in the system who REALLY deserve to die, and to ensure passage the bill was written to make sure that they DO get put to death. So read this back to me again. If you committed capital murder before the implementation date of the law and are still alive, you still get executed. If you do the exact same crime -- just as heinous, no mitigating circumstances whatsoever -- after the law goes into effect, then you live. Huh? Tell me that I misread what's going on here...
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That the repeal of the Death Penalty is a good thing, but that the guys already condemmed still must die. Very odd!
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I'm unclear. Can they write the law whatever way they want? Does that mean convicted criminals under then standing law could be pardoned from death row? I think the laws in all states have changed several times over the last 237 years. Have laws been changed in the past that freed convicted prisoners or executed them by instating or abolishing the death penalty? I am not speaking of amnesties or pardons here, but a law being changed by the State's legislature. I am against the death penalty. I don't think we can punish people who kill by killing them. It kind of sets the wrong example. It horrifies me that the "eye-for-an-eye" crowd is definitely a percentage of the GD scene, albeit a small minority. Nationally? OMG! I don't even want to THINK about what percentage of Americans are in favor of capital punishment. The Red states especially, though the Blues have their majorities in certain areas.
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Written the bill as a "going forward from this day" starting point, and for some state senators, because of a specific home-invasion case. The senators certainly could have just abolished the death penalty altogether, which presumably would have voided the death sentences for all of those currently on death row. But, hypothetically, if you were convicted during a no-death-penalty period in your state's history, and the state subsequently instituted execution as a punishment for your crime, I'd think that you'd serve whatever time you were originally sentenced to. I would have to believe that any attempt to enact a retroactive death sentence provision to the law would result in your original trial and verdict being set aside, if for no other reason that in a capital case, each potential juror's opinion on the death penalty figures into both jury selection and their subsequent guilty/not guilty decision. As a prospective juror, I'd certainly be more than willing to put someone away for life without parole, but I would balk at convicting if the death penalty was in play. In a no-death-penalty state, the prosecutor wouldn't object to my inclusion on the jury, whereas I'd likely be shown the door in a death penalty situation. Interestingly, it also sounds as if those convicted under the new law will be subject to harsher imprisonment terms if their cases rise to the level of capital-punishment crimes under the old statutes -- essentially, you'd be living a death-row-like existence for the rest of your life, rather than being held in general-population conditions. Unless, of course, DNA or other evidence eventually exonerates you...
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Very to the point. Very well thought out. No argument from me.
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The Boston Globe reports this last Sunday that American workers paychecks have gone up just .04% since 2009 while the boss's paycheeck has gone up an average of 10%. This while the company is squeezing more productivity of their workers by making them multi-task or just do additional work. Time to fight back.
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Is always a pretty flower, Sher Bear! Blessings to you like a shower of roses!
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Another 'Idiot Wind" dedication for the Kim family dynasty in N. Korea. The pictures on the news were incredibly grim. Workers dressed smartly in show factories praise the Kim's almost as if reading from a script. N. Korea is a Stalinist totalitarian country that perpetuates a cult-like following of it's leaders, The crazy Kims are at it again. This time they are launching a missile with a 1000lb payload capacity that is capable of reaching Hawaii or Alaska. At the same time they are building a tunnel to test another nuke. The third in four years. because of these actions the US is holding up shipments of 240 million tons of food for N. Korea's starving masses. This is such an insane situation. The S. Koreans are going crazy, the Japanese are going crazy. The Taiwanese are quaking in their boots. N. Korea is a rook of China on the international chessboard and nobody believes Kim is playing with a full deck. He's more than a little "toys in the attic" Sleep tight, America. This is another flashpoint for WWIII.
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Kim Jong Un is sacrificing the nutritional needs of over 3 million North Koreans so he can rattle his nuclear saber and irritate the Chinese, Japanese, South Koreans and the USA. He's even sent his meager fleet of diesel-electric Sang-O-class and Yono-class submarines out to stir up trouble with the South Korean naval fleet. I wonder how far away US subs and destroyers are?
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Thanks for the correction Ted. I'm sure that country could really use 240 million tons, but they're not getting any at all. I don't think N. Korea should be rewarded for their scary behavior but in all god conscious I can't support my government's decision to withhold food to starving people. It is beyond the pale. As are the Kim's with their crazy-talk sword rattling. What kind of world do we live in where maniacs like this can rule with nuclear weapons capability? It is like Kim is the crazy cousin in your family. The one who doesn't own a house and drives a beat-up car but has 7 automatic assault rifles and ten thousand rounds of ammunition and is manic depressive but won't take his lithium!
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The Opus Dei candidate gave up the fight for the Repulsivecan nomination for president after Mit Romney threatened to dump bucket-loads of money into the Penn. race, Santorum's home state. If Romney had laid waste to Santorum there and then salted the ground so nothing could survive, Santorum's political career would have effectively ended. Poor Rick. If he really had cojones he would have hung in there with his message of being the "true conservative" alternative to Romney. Now the Mitster can shake up the etch-a-sketch and tell us that he really has the working man's best interest in mind. Right. And if you believe that I've got an island in the middle of the Bay Area called Alcatraz that I happen to have inherited from my uncle that I could let you have for a really low price. The place is a mess but it does pull in a lot of tourists... Special discount o if you belong to LDS!
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For 2nd degree murder. The special prosecutor bypassed the Grand Jury. How scary is that? She claimed she could handle this herself and there was no outside pressure or petition by the public to prosecute the case. Hello? Ms. Prosecutor? That is the clearest case of denial I have ever seen by a person of your rank and importance in the justice system (at that level). Obviously there was a tremendous amount of pressure on her to get a charge laid on Zimmerman's head. She knew she couldn't trust a Grand Jury in Florida with the responsibility of bringing that charge so she had to do it herself. Its not that the Grand Jury would be racist (though there is a high probability that the majority of those making that decision would not be peers of Trayvonn Martin), there would also be the probability that Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' law would have been interpreted the same way the police interpreted it -- letting Zimmerman go unprosecuted. There are many questions in this case. More than met the eye. It seems that young Trayvonn fought back against this guy following him. it seems that a camera caught Zimmerman without his face being beat on but after he emerged from the police station he had cuts and bruises. We begin to see the face of Florida justice emerge here. I think it is possible to say that the prosecutor brought a charge of 2nd degree murder to get a plea conviction of manslaughter here so that the foregone conclusion by many comes to be the reality. Justice will not be properly served in this case, though Zimmerman will likely get what he deserves -- Jail-time for a manslaughter conviction. Meanwhile, Stand Your Ground laws all over the country are being looked at and probably will be struck down in many blue states and amended in the red ones. We can only hope. Otherwise? An employee may some day claim that he shot his boss because he felt that he was being threatened with being sacked and that he had to protect himself and his family... Etc., etc., etcetera.
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17 years 1 month
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I try to avoid criticising the USA here as it is too easy to make generalisations and offend nice people. But I am at a loss to understand how a country can be so super sensitive on the one hand ( 'NYC schools ban ‘birthday,’ ‘crime,’ ‘dinosaur,’ and ‘divorce’ from tests' see www.davidmcelroy.org/?p=11966) and on the other hand apparently allow its citizens to murder eachother with impunity, surely about the most insensitive thing you can do. Weird.
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There are many contradictions within our society. In Europe, a country this big would have split into 50 countries. That we have banded together as the USA has given us great strength and dominance throughout the planet. But as far as culture and social mores are concerned? We are pretty fractured. That is why you can see such anomalies. There is no doubting there is a nasty streak of violence and vindictiveness running down our backs like the bolt on your snout, Badger (I've always admired the creativity of that picture). Maybe that has something to do with the way we settled our country. We, the invaders, had to displace a lot of people and create our own laws and enforce some type of justice when there was none. To be very fair, Americans can be kind and loving and compassionate to the extreme, as you have pointed out a small example in NYC. The middle of our country is very well known for it's kindness to those in need as recent tornado victims can attest to, as well as many who are just run-of-the-mill unfortunate. In my own town I see panhandlers begging for food being swamped with in-kind and cash donations (perhaps because we are lucky enough to be a prosperous lot and can't stand to see the sight of the less fortunate, at least I like to think so). So, for good or ill, here we are again with our peculiar style of justice being served, no matter what the law says... It is hard to feel sorry for George Zimmerman. Racial profiling is odious and is a sad fact in our country, as is class profiling -- the police harassing those without nice cars and clothes. Lose your step, fall out of grace...
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> a nasty streak of violence and vindictiveness...Maybe that has something to do with the way we settled our country. We, the invaders, had to displace a lot of people and create our own laws and enforce some type of justice... That's part of it, but what's also quite significant is the way in which the US republic was formed. Many US citizens still refer to the war for independence as a revolution, which it was not; British rule was rejected by the colonies, but the British government was not done away with. This rejection took the form of a sequence of illegal acts, which many of the Founders acknowledged were treasonous; hence, the US was illegitimately born. Add to this the subsequent illegal replacement of the original Articles of Confederation with the US Constitution, and you've got a formula for a national neurosis that plagues us still today. We're not legit and we seem to sense this. We stole this place from the people who first stole this place, after which we established the law of the land, which we then illegally replaced with a new law of the land. There's an old Randy Newman lyric that fits here: "It takes a whole lot of medicine for me to pretend I am somebody else." Violence and vindictiveness seem to be our preferred panacea.
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Too much reality there! That is usually my job. Glad you usurped it. Great observations. Noam Chomsky would be proud of you! I'm not happy about our panacea, the big V&V. I just got the updated statistic the other day -- If I remember correctly: 1 in 13 Americans between the ages of 18 and 65 will be incarcerated at some point in their adult life. One thing I would add to your observations. Our forefathers did a lot of the original stealing from the Indians and the Mexicans. The French, Spanish and Brits were the people who stole from those people and we then stole from them. The US cavalry invented the original biological warfare. Planting smallpox in Indian blankets. It's hard to believe that the USA pays for so many good and worthwhile social and humanitarian programs around the world with it's foreign aid budget (that many people regularly lament). The US would seem to have a very schizophrenic personality if it were a person. I guess even countries can't escape their origins.
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That is a perspective I have never heard before, Mike E. Real food for thought.
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17 years 1 month
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I really can't get my head around all this fuss over the Titanic anniversary. Yes it was an awful tragedy, but one among so many in the last hundred years or more that are not obsessed over in this way. Why do people find it so alluring? I just don't get it.