Browsing Category Opinion

My Opinion on topics

Viewpoint on the Death Penalty

In light of controversy concerning two pending death penalty cases – the recently stayed execution of Texas inmate Duane Buck and Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis, the following commentary is posted on behalf of an adamant death penalty opponent. For the sake of clarification, some editorial adjustments have been made.

The following is a “Guest Contributor” post by David White

[The rational of using] heinous crimes [as a reason for imposing the death penalty] is exactly why I’m so against it. It’s subjective!!

You could say killing and raping several people is heinous enough, but there have been multitudes of people who have done as bad, or worse, and faced judgment far short of being killed. What makes one person more worthy of being killed than another? The subjectivity of the one with the power.

So, if I have the power and I see black people as more evil or menacing, I’m more apt to see a black who commits the same crime as a white more deserving of death. Or, [say that]I  think the killing or rape of a black college co-ed by a white man is more despicable than the reverse, [on who an I] likely to impose the harshest penalty? We know our justice system is not impartial, we know it is rife with prejudice, inequality and most importantly fallibility. Yet we put the power of life or death into the hands of fallible, sometimes prejudiced people and ask them to play God and determine who’s worthy to live a life that we did not bestow upon them.

We, Americans in particular, have a bloodlust that is, in my mind immoral; and ironically [that is] why we have so many murderers and heinous criminals in the first place. [Did] you hear the Tea Party audiences cheering Rick Perry’s execution record? Did you hear them wishing the death of a hypothetical dying uninsured man? We talk about the “sanctity” of life and go to war in a heartbeat, and call anyone who opposes “unpatriotic”. We talk about murder is wrong, but we hypocritically justify murder whenever we feel someone offends enough to justify it. No wonder we’re so armed and paranoid! Dick Cheney can torture, detain and kill with impunity, yet Davis can be put to death without any physical evidence because
“somebody’s got to pay for this” and he fits the bill.

Until humans become omniscient and all-knowing, I think we should refrain from imposing ultimate punishments – or in the alternative, institute the ultimate punishment uniformly – you kill, you get killed. But guess what? We’d never do that because we can always rationalize and justify some people’s misdeeds as opposed to others – that’s the definition of subjective judgment. Somehow the white lady who drowned all 5 of her children one-by-one in the bathtub should be allowed to live, but the young black thug who just happened to be riding in a car with a guy who killed a store owner in a robbery should be killed.

Are we truly so perfected in judgment that we can and should make these calls? Other “civilized” societies have determined that they can survive without capital punishment. I think we just haven’t evolved as much as they have. To me, it’s as indefensible as slavery was – it’s [the death penalty] just too immoral to stand on its own; it’s just a matter of when we [American society] will mature enough to renounce our darker instincts and advance to our “more perfect” ideal.

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Kardashian – Give It a Rest!

Kim Kardashian is a beautiful woman. She was an even more beautiful bride. Word is that she had three wedding dresses and walked down the aisle in Vera Wang. Reportedly, the wedding cost over $10 million dollars and will be broadcast in October on a four hour TV special.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 13.9 million persons (9.1 percent) unemployed in the U.S. People are continuously losing their homes, their jobs and their minds. It is quite evident that the financial crisis in our downward spiraling economy is fueling murder/suicides; as newly unemployed breadwinners kill their families and themselves.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there are approximately 671,859 homeless people in the U.S. and a huge number of those are veterans.

Seventeen million children in the U.S. go to bed hungry every night.

Long story short. Call me a partypooper. Call me envious. Call me what you want, but tell me is there anyone out there besides me who is sick of hearing about the Kardashians when there are more important matters to be concerned about?

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The Personal Touch

Like the loss of civility, the personal touch seems to have vanished from our society. Once upon a time conscientious mothers’ – mine included – taught their children that it was not only common practice to send a thank you note for a gift received, but it was downright rude not to do so. How times have changed.

Over the years I, as well as many of my friends have compared notes and learned that we have sent birthday gifts, wedding gifts, graduation gifts, and even sympathy cards containing cash to various friends and relatives, and we received nothing in return. Not a thank you note, nor a phone call; and as impersonal as it is — even an emailed “thank you” would have sufficed. An act of consideration deserves to be acknowledged.

We all have busy lives, but we make the time to do what we really want to do. As far as I am concerned, sending an email recognizing an important occasion in someone’s life or extending thanks for a card or gift that was sent to you is a kind gesture, but it is not quite as nice as taking the time to purchase and mail something tangible, especially if you are reciprocating for the receipt of an item that you received.

As Judith Newman wrote, “In a world where thoughtfulness is increasingly rare, any acknowledgement of gratitude is a very good thing.” To that I add — but there is nothing like reaching out and touching someone with the real thing.

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