Bill Maher from 10/18

 Posted by at 10:30 am  Politics
Oct 202019

It’s that time of week again, so here are three excellent video clips from Bill’s show Friday night.  Enjoy!

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Letters From an Astrophysicist


For your sake, I hope Neil has never studied Uranus. As a Christian, Neil’s perspective on the relationship between religion and science is fine with me. Science and my faith do not conflict. Unfortunately, Bill; is as evangelically atheist in his proselytizing as most Republicans are evangelically pseudo-Christian in theirs.

Ambassador Susan Rice: Tough Love


You know how it is. All those National Security Advisors look alike. However, there’s a hell of a difference in how they act! I agree with her that we will have a terrorist resurgence, thanks to Trump and his Republican enablers.  I agree with mandatory national service, but make it longer than 6 months,  and trade it for education.

New Rule: Prickstarter


I agree that Trump squeezes quarters so hard that the eagle shits. The orangutan should have sued Bill for libel. The bet is a great idea Bill. He might leave, when defeated, just to win the bet! But ‘Prickstarter’? All the money in Fort Knox couldn’t start growing that prick to an inch long.

The channel did did not include Bill’s Monologue this week, but here’s a video of the show that does include it.

Real Time With Bill Maher 10/18/19


I don’t know how long this will last, because it is not the “official” video, but while it works, the opening monologue is hilarious.


Oct 202019

It’s another hectic day here in the CatBox.  First, I checked a link in a political article.  I always do for two reasons.  I don’t want to infect the blog with malware, and I don’t want to infect you with malware. Emsisoft detected the malware, and it took almost an hour to remove it.  As big a pain as that is, I’m glad I caught it.  The blogger has removed the article as soon as I contacted them.  Then I spent over an hour finding an obscure setting in Amazon Prime Video.  It’s a Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos already had their butts reamed this week.  May the divine Orb shine it’s blessed light on your team far better than it did for my Broncos.

Jig Zone Puzzle: Jig Zone did not post a Daily Puzzle today, so I found one I don ‘t recognize as a substitute.

This Puzzle took me 4:11 (average 6:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?


Short Takes:

From YouTube (MSNBC Channel): Consequential Week In Impeachment Inquiry


If you think last week was consequential, wait until this week is over! RESIST!!

From YouTube (a blast from the past): Simon & Garfunkel – Scarborough Fair (Full Version) Lyrics


Ah… the memories! RESIST!!

From NPR: President Trump announced that he’s dropping his plan to host next year’s Group of Seven meeting of the leaders of the world’s biggest economies at his Miami-area golf club.

In a series of late-night tweets on Saturday, Trump blamed the reversal [tweeting twit delinked] on what he described as “Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility,” following bipartisan claims that he’s exploiting his presidency for personal profit.

I do love it, when Trump experiences such a costly and embarrassing defeat. RESIST!!

Vote Blue!!


Everyday Erinyes #188

 Posted by at 3:00 pm  Politics
Oct 192019

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage. These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as “unceasing,” “grudging,” and “vengeful destruction.”

I came across this article which addresses the “cruel” in “cruel and unusual punishment” as regards the death penalty Of course we all realize there are certainly many more objections to the death penalty than simply its cruelty. However, many challenges to that penalty, or even just the the way it is being administered, are founded on our Constitutional (Eighth Amendment) prohibition of cruelty. And I thought the article had an interesting take on the subject.

Why the guillotine may be less cruel than execution by slow poisoning

Could using the guillotine be more humane than execution by lethal injection?

Janine Lanza, Wayne State University

Concerns about the drugs used for executions are being raised again after the federal government announced it will once again execute inmates convicted of capital crimes almost 16 years after the last execution was carried out.

International drug companies will no longer sell drugs for use in lethal injections in the United States. But Attorney General William Barr has authorized the federal justice system to use the widely available drug pentobarbital, despite concerns about whether that method violates the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. In common use, the drug controls seizures in humans and is often used to euthanize pets.

In 2014, several executions carried out by states with untested methods using a mixture of drugs caused suffering and took hours to end prisoners’ lives.

One of the three drugs used in the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in 2014.
AP/File photo

Among them was the botched execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett, who thrashed around in pain for 43 minutes before dying, prompted President Obama to call for a moratorium on the death penalty for federal inmates.

While the death penalty is the ultimate punishment meted out by the state, it is not meant to be torture.

From the stake to the rope to the firing squad to the electric chair to the gas chamber and, finally, to the lethal injection, over the centuries the methods of execution in the United States have evolved to make execution quicker, quieter and less painful, both physically and psychologically.

It wasn’t always so. And there are, perhaps, lessons in history that could provide an answer to current concerns about the unusual cruelty of execution methods in the U.S.

Spectacles of physical torment

Under the French monarchy in the 17th and 18th centuries, execution was meant to be painful. That would purify the soul of the condemned before his final judgment, deter others from committing crime, and showcase the power of the king to impose unbearable suffering on his subjects.

Public executions were spectacles that were part public holiday, part grim warning. Crowds gathered to watch the prisoner endure physical torments almost too dreadful to imagine: hot pokers, boiling lead poured into wounds, dismembering hooks, and of course, the horses readied to draw and quarter.

Not everybody suffered so terribly, however. This parade of horrors was the fate of commoners. For nobles, a quick, relatively painless, and more dignified beheading replaced an hours-long public display.

One of the many goals of the French Revolution, which took place from 1789 to 1815, was to level society, to take away the privileges of the nobility, who lorded over commoners.

Execution by guillotine in France, 1793.
La Guillotine en 1793 by H. Fleischmann (1908), Wikimedia

Medium is the message

The solution to disparate forms of execution and social equality was first presented to the French National Assembly on Oct. 10, 1789 by Dr. Joseph Guillotin, who presented plans for a bladed machine to execute criminals.

It would be easy to use, work quickly and offer the same treatment to all condemned, regardless of social standing. His ideas finally became law in March 1791 and the guillotine was used for an execution the following year.

The so-called “national razor” took off the heads of the royal family as well as the humblest thief. It leveled bodies and society, with all citizens subject to the same punishment. And it ended the capricious torment of the condemned by the monarchy as well as the privilege that nobles had, even regarding the manner of their deaths.

The guillotine was a killing machine that provided not just a convenient method of execution but the proper political and ideological message for the Revolution.

Less cruel and unusual?

Eventually, the French Revolution became more politically radical, moving from a system where the king would continue to govern within a constitutional system to a republic where the people’s representatives would wield political power to a de facto dictatorship. As the Revolution became more radical, and politicians saw plots everywhere, increasing numbers of citizens were sentenced to death.

With the need to execute many prisoners the guillotine was pressed into greater use. The most careful estimate for the number of French executed during the Terror, the height of the radical Revolution, was 17,000. This number included almost exclusively those charged with political crimes.

It was the guillotine’s plummeting blade that took off head after head with just a bit of cleaning and sharpening in between, answering the need of the moment. Thus it came to symbolize state terrorism but also swift and equal justice.

The guillotine remained in use in France well into the 20th century. Here, workmen in the Sante Prison clean and dismantle a guillotine in Paris on May 25, 1946, after the execution of Dr. Marcel Petiot, who was convicted of mass murder during World War II.

Terrifying – but brief

The guillotine remains a quick method of execution – it takes about half a second for the blade to drop and sever a prisoner’s head from his body.

While the moment of execution could be nothing but terrifying, that second of suffering was brief in comparison to the 43 minutes it took for Lockett to die after lethal drugs were administered.

In the same year, 2014, convicted double murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood of Arizona suffered for two hours before succumbing to the jerry-built drug cocktail dreamed up in a warden’s office. In 2018, an Alabama execution had to be halted after 12 attempts to place an IV line in Doyle Hamm failed.

The current technology of execution does not reliably provide the humane death demanded by the Constitution. In requiring an IV line and medical personnel to administer drugs it also involves medical practice with the death penalty.

Although the guillotine may be the bloodiest of deaths – the French used sand bags to soak up the blood – it does not cause the prolonged physical torment increasingly delivered by lethal injections.

Should the U.S. consider using the guillotine to administer capital punishment?

It has advantages – no secret recipes for lethal injections, no botched placement of IV needles, no conflation of medicine and execution.

While the guillotine provides a death that is not easy to witness, the death it delivers to the condemned is quick and does not cause the extended pain of bespoke lethal injections.

Could such a death, as bloody as it is, pass muster with the Eighth Amendment’s mandate against cruel and unusual punishment?The Conversation

Janine Lanza, Associate Professor of History, Wayne State University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Professor Lanza does not go into any detail about the background and intentions of Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin. Perhaps she didn’t feel that it was germane, and maybe it isn’t, but I am also interested in persons from history who have reputations different who who they actually were. Sometimes the impression attached to them is unfairly unfavorable (Nero, Richard III, Marie Antoinette), sometimes it is unfairly favorable (Christopher Columbus), but unfair is unfair. Dr. Guillotin is associated in many minds with blood and death. It may surprise you to know that he was a lifelong opponent of capital punishment – or that he didn’t even invent the machine which bears his name. A medical doctor did work with the actual inventor (a fellow named Tobias Schmidt), but that doctor was not Dr. Guillotin. He did propose that such a machine be invented – “a machine that beheads painlessly.” He hoped that a more humane and less painful method of execution would be a first step toward complete abolition of the death penalty. If it did (and it may have done, as many nations today have prohibited it), it was a very small and slow step indeed. Totally unrelated, Dr. Guillotin was also one of the first physicians to support vaccination.

Would the guillotine be less painful for the person being executed than any other method of execution for which we have the technology? You bet. Will it ever be re-adopted, or adopted for the first time here? Of course not. Because the feelings of the condemned are far less important to the public than the feelings of the public. And executions by guillotine might make the public uncomfortable. Especially the Republican “pro-life” public. And we couldn’t have that.

Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone, it would be wonderful if you could arouse our collective conscience to abolish the death penalty once and for all. But I fear that even you cannot rouse a conscience in a person who has none.

The Furies and I will be back.

Oct 192019

It’s a busy day here in the CatBox.  WWWendy will be here shortly to destink the decaying TomCat.  She  said to thank all who wished her a safe trip and welcomed her home, when she returned.  We have lots to do.  This is my only article today.  I’ll put the Bill Maher videos up tomorrow.  Weekend hugs to all.  I’ll finish this later.

I’m de-stunk and WWWendy is cooking.  My Pepcid didn’t come today.  That stinks!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:51 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?


Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Calling it a “once-in-a-lifetime incredible deal,” Donald Trump on Friday offered recently-escaped isis fighters a group rate at the Trump National Doral Miami.

“I am giving isis a group rate that entitles them to the full run of the golf course, the spa, you name it,” he said. “This is going to make the isis people very, very happy.”

The fighters can qualify for the group rate by presenting proof of isis membership and their recently freed status, Trump said.

Trump declined to say whether he would extend the same group rate to Kurdish fighters in Syria. “I’m not a fan of the Kurds,” he said. “Where were the Kurds in 1776 when George Washington took control of the British airports?”

Really, Andy?  Do you think he’ll give the Squad a free stay,or at least a steep discount, so those fighters [R-Daesh] will have targets? RESIST!!

From YouTube (MSNBC Channel): Trump Syria Deal: ‘A Colossal Mistake At Every Possible Level’


“Cleaned-out” reflects the Republican wet-dream for the violent ethnoc cleansing near our border with Mexico.  The terms of the so-called cease fire is what Erdogan planned to do weeks before the invasion. It was NOT Trump’s idea and he and his lackeys, Pence and Pompeo, did nothing to bring it about.  He set the house on fire and is bragging about putting it out, while it’s still burning. RESIST!!

From YouTube and YouTube (Full Frontal Channel): Canada, It’s Voting Time


Canada, Don’t Make America’s Mistakes


Canadians, Vote Orange!! RESIST!!

Vote Blue!!, except in Canada!