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.
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.
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.
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?
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!!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!!
“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!!