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The Expansionist
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
 
Another Republican Hypocrite. South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford flew 5,000 miles away from his family (four young children) on Father's Day weekend to spend time with a woman not his wife! Wikipedia quotes him as having said, in general, earlier in life:
It is my personal view that the largest proclamation of one's [religious] faith ought to be in how one lives his life.
And so this champion of the "party of family values" abandoned his four young sons on Father's friggin' Day to spend five days "crying in Argentina". At least he admits to crying, which is good for straight men to hear.
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Sanford has resigned as — get this — chairman of the Republican Governors Association, but not from the Governorship. This adulterer, who has had an extramarital affair for about a year, has also abandoned his state at least twice without handing over control of the state government to the Lieutenant Governor. During one of those absences, South Carolina had a major forest fire, and the Governor was nowhere to be found, as to manage the emergency, call out the National Guard, whatever. But he's not resigning!
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George Stephanopoulos of ABC News today observed, and Keith Olbermann of MSNBC echoed, that when Democrats are caught in scandals, they resign, but when Republicans are caught in similar scandals, they hang on, and their supporters permit that. This is another proof of the basic difference between Democrats and Liberals, on the one side, and Republicans and Conservatives, on the other: Democratic Liberals are governed by principles; Republican Conservatives are governed only by tribalism.
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When Democratic Liberals violate an important principle, their fellow Liberal Democrats condemn them for hypocrisy, and the offender shows due shame and remorse, then resigns, in large part because the people they supposedly represent hold them to the principles they ran on and publicly espoused. But Republicans don't operate on principles. They operate on tribe, and the tribe stands in solidarity with its members just because they are members of the tribe. It takes an extraordinary act of betrayal of the tribe to get the tribe to turn against one of its members. Simply violating basic "principles" the tribe supposedly stands for won't do it, because the tribe has few to no principles, only tribal identity and solidarity against outsiders.
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Thus Republican "Conservatives" cannot be believed when they claim to believe in just about anything, be it the sanctity of marriage or anything else. Republican Conservatives insist that it's not the adulterers having heterosexual affairs who endanger the sanctity of marriage. No, it's those goddamned homosexuals who are agitating for the right to marry. That's what is destroying marriage and driving men away from their wives and children. Of course it is. All the way to Argentina.
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Death for Madoff. Bernard Madoff, the most monumental thief in all of history, who defrauded tens of thousands of people out of some $65 BILLION in a brazen Ponzi scheme that victimized CHARITIES and cost thousands of people their entire life savings, is indignant that prosecutors are asking that he be sentenced to 150 years in prison. Madoff suggests that 12 years would be enuf. Astonishing.
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No, what might be enuf is for every person he has cheated to have the right to punch him in the face or gut, or kick him in the head. Short of that, he should be slashed with a white-hot razorblade — as would cauterize each wound, to keep him from dying from blood loss before the punishment is completed — one stroke for each person he victimized plus one cut for each thousand dollars he stole. And only after all those slashes have been administered, only then should he be hanged by a noose fitted loosely around his neck, and by which he is lifted slowly off the ground so he can dance his way to hell.
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150 years in prison? Ridiculous. No one is going to live 150 years in prison. That's a phony punishment, a fraud. Haven't we suffered enuf fraud in regard to Bernard Madoff? He won't live more than a small fraction of that time. The b*d is 61 years old. Pronouncing a ridiculous sentence that means absolutely nothing is not going to send the right message to anyone.
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When someone steals from one person, that's bad enuf. Depending upon the amount and the hardship that theft produced, a prison sentence is appropriate in present terms, tho prison is a crappy and ridiculous way to punish almost anything. If "Let the punishment fit the crime" is the standard, then imprisonment is an appropriate punishment only for the crime of unlawful imprisonment. For nothing else. But since we are at present saddled with imprisonment as the one-size-fits-all nonsense punishment we use, we need to multiply each incident by whatever the term of imprisonment may be for a single such incident. That's what "count" of an indictment is supposed to mean: you count up the number of times a defendant violated each law, then multiply the punishment by that count. So if the punishment is 3 years' imprisonment for each count, and there are 7,000 counts, the punishment should be not 150 years in prison but 21,000 years in prison! That would, however, also be a nonsensical and fraudulent punishment.
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Wikipedia says that Madoff might also be ordered to pay $170 billion in restitution. But he doesn't have $170 billion, so this is again a preposterous fraud on the public.
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When the total length of imprisonment exceeds the convict's expected lifetime, death should always be the automatic conversion sentence. Death makes a real impression. A term in prison that no one can possibly live thru means nothing.
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Physical punishment also really means something: flogging, beating, hard labor, branding, mutilation all achieve real intimidation of criminals. Prison? That is, for much of the criminal class, a long-term vacation, all expenses paid.
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Bernie Madoff richly deserves death. Killing him would go far to restoring the sense of fairness that many people feel is missing from current sentencing, whereby white-collar criminals are treated gently, even going to what we dismiss as "country-club" Federal prison for inconsequential periods of time, whereas people convicted of street crimes are sent up for hard time in miserable state prisons. Killing Bernie Madoff would send the entire world a number of extremely valuable messages: we are serious about white-collar crime; there is no way to make up for mass betrayal and massive theft from masses of people; a life of crime can end in a death sentence, so don't set foot on the road to a death chamber; etc. Merely imprisoning the b*d, be it for 12 years he might actually serve or 150 years he cannot possibly serve would send exactly opposite messages: we're not at all serious about white-collar crime; you can "pay your debt to society" with a loss of liberty but no real hardship; and the worst that will ever happen to you if you take up a life of crime is that you will end your life at leisure in a place where you pay no rent nor utility bills, and all your meals are prepared for you. That's the American way, and that's why we have appalling rates of crime.
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(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,314 — for Israel.)



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