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Do it yourself, indeed.

Jane Galt makes what I think is a very good point about punishment in America, although I daresay the people she's calling out probably won't get the point:
But I feel this very deeply. I do not believe the state is morally allowed to do that which individuals are not morally allowed to do; I do not believe that prison sentences should have "off label" uses; and I think that if you are willing for the state to impose a sentence in your name, you should be willing to carry it out. I am not willing to execute a prisoner, or to rape one. Therefore, I don't authorise the state to do things for me. Nor do I want those tasks delegated to some fiendish thug in order to give myself plausible moral deniability.

If you do think that rape is an appropriate punishment for securities law violations, then you should say so. You should pressure your representatives to write these penalties into law. And when volunteers are needed to carry out the sentence, you should be willing to put your name in the hat.

And how, how, my heart cries, can people who profess to be shocked and disgusted by the Bush administration's endorsement of waterboarding suspected terrorists, suddenly enamoured of rape and crippling beatings when the victims are disgraced CEO's?

It's a good question. The simple answer would be that they're God-cursed hypocrites. Speaking for myself, I would have no hesitation in throwing the switch or pulling the trigger to execute a condemned criminal, because despite the Capital Punishment Project, most of the scrotes on Death Row deserve to die, if only so they'll quit sucking off the taxpayers' tits and throwing shit at their guards. At one point in my military career, I aspired to be the executioner at the Fort Leavenworth stockade. It was an E-8 (Master Sergeant/First Sergeant) duty position and looked like the ultimate skate job, since the Army hadn't actually executed anyone since WW2, and even then a firing squad did the job. Obviously that career path didn't work out...anyhow, if you're wondering what led up to that cri de coeur, scope out these posts, which started out as her reaction to the convictions of Andrew Fastow and Jeffrey Skilling, formerly of Enron:

There's no such thing as a stupid question
Why do we treat white collar criminals differently?

Which brings me around to an unpleasant encounter I had this morning with a fellow at the Snelling Avenue Dunn Brothers. He was mocking some rich man who apparently earned more than the mocker thought appropriate, and his whole attempt to wrap envy in the threadbare gown of morality really got up my nose. So I proceeded to ask him, "Well, if we're going to jack up the taxes on people who earn more than $300,000 a year, why stop there? Why not raise them for the people making $60,000? Heck, let's jack everybody's taxes up! Taxation is theft, after all, so why not be thorough about it?" We then had an argument about that, and it seems he'd never bothered to think about what happens to hardcore tax resisters. The government's last argument is always the bullet, after all. Some socialists are more honest about that than others; this guy wasn't one of them.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 27th, 2006 11:03 pm (UTC)
As an aside.
Right before... I think it was Just Cause but it might have been Desert Shield sekhmetdancing remembers testing the "gallows" (aka an elevator shaft) at Ft. Hood...

Sort of put the whole question of what constituted a legal order, military justice, and due process in a whole 'nother light for a number of people.
Sep. 27th, 2006 11:56 pm (UTC)
Re: As an aside.
I'll bet it did. Don't know if things have changed since I went through the language school, but back in the day the Army actually had the interrogators practice some of the more common techniques on each other while going through training. Some people washed out because they couldn't deal with watching what happened to people who were being waterboarded...and others who were washed out for enjoying being on the active end way too much.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )