Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
- Pueblo Blessing
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Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004 - 11:52 p.m.
Cost of the War in Iraq
WARNING!!!! if you know me personally, you may read my diary, but if you do, you take the chance of hearing things you don't want to know, misunderstanding what I've written and being hurt by it. If you are unsure if it is ok to read, save yourself and me the grief and heartache, and ask first!!! Please note that this is a DIARY, ie my subjective feelings, hearsay, suppositions, and outpourings of ranting of the moment. It does not represent objective news, the whole of what I think of a topic or someone, or even a thought-out representation of any of the above. Keep that in mind. Thanks. * Here is a Diary Etiquette Read Me.
Fun Loving Felons and Youthful Misdemeanors
sorry people for the tons of political stuff... one would think that I lived in a world where it mattered who was the next president of the United States, and not up here in Canadaland where we only have to see Americans on vacation and they have no more effect on world policy than who is king of the penguins in Antarctica. Silly me.
But I have unfortunately or fortunately for you (chose your pick) told an American friend that she can put me on her mailing list. So I am inundated with the links to articles and writings by not one but TWO American busybodies now. They seem not to have real jobs like most people, since they seem to have tons of time to inform themselves. Silly them.
Now, I am not big on breaking the law. BUT I admit I do it all the time. I cross the street between intersections (jaywalking... could get me killed or cause a twenty car pileup). I let my dog off her leash at the park, risking disfigurement and dismemberment of little old ladies and small children (or dismemberment of me by mothers of small children who think that a dog whose first impulse in any situation is to lie on her side and lift her leg for a bellyrub is an imminent danger to their small child). I have even smoked pot once or twice though I have never bought it. I have walked through the park between the hours of midnight and 6am, when it is strictly verboten. I have parked within 5 meters of a fire hydrant and I have doubleparked, sometimes several times in a week, in front of my house while loading or unloading shit. I am a bad bad person. But I am still not big on breaking the law.
I expect people to mostly follow the dictates of the law, in spirit if not to the letter. I bitch when people drive by the max 35 k/h signs by the playground at 70 k/h (which is verboten in town at all, except on a highway) cuz I know that driving that fast means you can't stop if some little kid chasing a ball rushes out. I bitch when people throw trash out their car windows because I want to live in a cleanish world, not a trashcan . I bitch when they leave piles of confetti macaroni salad on the ground for the pigeons because confetti macaroni salad is bad for the pigeons, gops up their little digestive systems, overfeeds them with junkfood and makes them overpopulate so that people poison and shoot them. And macaroni salad rotting on the ground is really really gross in a park.
So imagine how much I dislike people who are actual convicted felons. Jeesh. Bad people. Send em to jail.
And never let them vote again in their lives, even if they were convicted for something like selling a joint to a nice guy in a business suit who wants to have a toke while watching a Julia Roberts movie with his wife when he gets home. I mean really. A felon is a felon.
Someone does something wrong once, they are a criminal forever. Yup. They may serve a year or two in jail, but we really know they should pay for a lifetime. Youthful indiscretions? Extenuating circumstances? Blech. We don't need those excuses.
Which is why it is a good thing that anyone with a felony conviction should be barred from deciding ANYTHING. I mean, why should they get to vote? They might have done something bad at 25. I certainly think that means they shouldn't have a say who runs the whole country. I mean, it is their damn fault if they did something at 25... If they turn around and go to AA or repent or whatever, after they've served their time, I really don't think they should be able to have a say on who will decide anything. I mean, they will pay taxes. They will be married and have kids. They will buy property. But I mean, they shouldve been good people cuz now they shouldn't have a say on whether their kids get student loans, or get drafted to serve as cannon fodder.
Let's see, what is a felony? I looked it up in the Wikipedia online encyclopedia for ya says:
"In many jurisdictions of the US, a felony is any offence carrying a potential penalty of more than one year in prison. In Massachusetts, on the other hand, a felony is any offence which carries any prison time. Unlike state convictions, persons convicted of felonies in a federal United States district court can not have their record expunged."
Wow, anything more than a year in prison. Or any offence which carries any prison time. Wow. I guess Nelson Mandela would be out eh. Shit.
***mmmm I just looked up. Here is the official US felony information for 2000 (which tells us the types of sentences felons get... incredibly 32% didn't do something bad enough to go to jail or serve prison time... but are still barred from voting for their president, and 35% were drug convictions) and the 1998 statistics of US felonies, where we can see that the average age of convictions is 31. Interestingly ol Dubya was 30 when he was arrested for DIU. And we can see that the average sentence to prison was almost 5 years; to local jail, 6 months; and to probation, 3 years and 4 months. So 32% of convicted felons didn't do any jail time, 24% went to a local jail where the AVERAGE time was 6 months, meaning that many did way less. Hardened bad criminals who probably raped and murdered small children by the dozens while shooting AK-47s into old folks homes. Yeah, that would get ya 6 months jail time.
Well, yeah, I don't think anyone with a felony conviction should ever get to vote ever.
No second chances.
No "learning your lesson and changing".
No say in the future or how the world is run.
Cuz we know that those with no respect for the law shouldn't be making law. And those who disrespect the law will of course affect the laws made and the rulers elected to be in their selfish interests.
I know that I disrespect the law. I jaywalk. Gleefully. I let my dog run wild in the park every evening. I have accepted to smoke a joint within the past year. Out! Out! The rights of responsible citizenry were not made for the likes of ME!!
And we know that even those who have a name SIMILAR to someone who broke the law should be struck off the voters registration lists.
Unless you want to run a country.
And make international decisions, and be a big player and get everyone to do your bidding, with no checks.
And yeah. We know who I'm talking about.
And of course his right hand man isn't that much different.
"Bush is now the first person to be elected president after being convicted of a crime.
.......In fact, Bush' running mate Dick Cheney now admits he had two drunk driving offenses in 1962 and 1963, giving the Bush -- Cheney ticket a new world record of 3 DUI's on one ticket. "
Yup, if you are going to run a country of 294 million people you can flout the law, endanger people with reckless behaviour, lie about it in public and say "oh that was back in my youthful days". But if you are going to be one voice among 294 million other ones, then you better be spotless for life.
Maybe if we started asking for some accountability of the representatives first. Or at least evening out the relationship of charges/ responsibility/ punishment so that they are a little fairer to all. It is totally fascinating how someone can be so hard on crime and so soft of themselves.
Hey has anyone besides me noticed that instead of P inserts to automatically break up our paragraphs in the entries there is now a double BR??? Weird. Andrew has been tinkering.
Appendixes: or Appendii or something like that.
ps, if you really are into reading about this issue, here is a whole website about it, called Losing the Vote: The Impact of Felony Disenfranchisement from Human Rights Watch.
Furthering the festive atmosphere is the unfortunate fuss over the felons' list. You may recall that in 2000, thousands of Floridians were deprived of the right to vote because they have the same names as someone, somewhere who was once convicted of a felony. If, for example, a "Bill Smith" in Kansas City had done time for burglary 20 years earlier, any "Bill Smith" in Sarasota, Seminole or Solana also found himself knocked off the voter rolls.
In 2000, a firm with GOP connections was hired by then Secretary of State Katherine Harris (also chair of the state Bush-for-Prez campaign) to scan felon records nationwide and then purge Florida voters with similar — or almost similar — names. Bush officially carried Florida by 537 votes that year. Florida newspapers later found 8,000 of the blacklisted voters had been convicted of misdemeanors, not felonies.
This year, same song, second verse. Gov. Bush tried to purge 47,000 supposed ex-felons. A Miami Herald investigation of the new list found it named Democrats by a three-to-one margin and wrongly listed 2,100 people whose citizenship had already been restored through a clemency process.
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previous meanderings - future past
Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009