The Executioner’s Last Songs

Posted: July 25, 2014 in Humanity is a virus, Shovels

Link to title reference.  Jon Langford and an AMAZING roster of fellow travelers banded together to create albums that funded the efforts to suspend the death penalty in Illinois, and it worked.  The gubblemint is not killing people in Illinois anymore.

Yeah; there’s still work to be done.  The recent horrid appalling torturous executions by experimental drug concoctions are pointing out how inhumane and yes, cruel this whole idea is.  Drug companies have refused to make the drugs that are used in executions; American companies don’t do it because they are appalled and there’s no money in it, because it’s low volume especially when compared to the market for boner pills.  Overseas companies are just appalled, and refuse to make the drugs because it is an atrocity that they refuse to be part of.  And so, the states that like to kill people are forced to use strange mixes of street drugs that may or may not kill the subject, like a downmarket cable channel version of Breaking Bad except there’s no good acting and actual real people are tortured and killed.

But after all, I agree with this judge.  Although he supports State Killin’, he says that we should go ahead and allow firing squads, blood brains and all. The drug cocktail death penalty methods were enacted because the other methods were ugly and horrific; but I maintain that state-sponsored murder IS ugly and horrific and if some states are going to do it, make it just as blatantly horrible as it is. In fact, if I were writing laws, I would require states that want to murder people to have the wronged person kill the dude personally.  strangulation, breaking his neck, or smashing his skull with a tire iron. It’s ugly at it’s base; how would those approaches be any more terrible that what happened in Arizona?

john Oliver recently pointed out that America’s prison grift is inherently fucked up.  We imprison WAY more people than any other industrialized nation, and we have actually surpassed China

….Wait.  WHAT THE FUCK?  America, the Lighted Lamp Of Personal Freedom, is imprisoning more people than China, the supposed epitome of authoritarian crackdown?

Well, for those of us who pay attention to news sources other than Fox (News), we know that we have several contributing factors; the racist laws and racist enforcement, the extraordinarily destructive sentencing laws, and the  stupidity of for-profit management of prisons.  We kill the (supposedly) violent offenders, and fill the backend with non-violent and low-level drug offenders.


You know, once upon a time Christians were opposed to killing other people at any level.  Somehow, that has changed to the Vocal Christian Assholes are now the most vocal pushers of the idea that murder of other people somehow does not contradict the whole “thou shalt not kill”

As a former Lutheran, now atheist, I find conformance to the “thou shalt not kill” directive to be not only worthwhile but also an impelling moral directive.  And I am perplexed by the supposed followers of Christ who want to do things like deport helpless and desperate children, and remove health care from millions of fellow citizens, not to mention thrilling when the State murders on of our fellow citizens.

It’s fucking wrong.   every other developed nation in the world has abolished the death penalty.  America used to be considered the Shining City On The Hill; an ideal, that other people could aspire to.  Now we are becoming a horrible, violent, regressive nation that can’t support its own infrastructure.  But GUNS!


I am inherently an optimist, and that is part of why I would up in the profession I did.  I am predisposed to working toward progress and solving problems, and I have done that in my career.

But fuck me, I see developments on the worldwide stage that spend tremendous efforts toward green development that makes our meager efforts toward energy efficiency seem crazy.  I want to incorporate all of that into the work I do, and it is resisted by developers and bankers at aver level. In fact I will now commit to introducing solar and other elements will be included in our developments, and it will all be cut out.

But here is the point.  The death penalty is savage and wrong and irreversible.  It is something that America should not allow, if we claim to be a civilized nation. It’s savage and ugly.  The recent travesties point out how wrong and twisted it is.

Between the racism in the front end, and the savagery at the back end, there’s no way it can be considered just, or justice. It makes me barf.

It can’t be considered justice.  It’s not considerate and if you watch the videos, it’s  hardly even humane.  We should not be doing it.  It’s not justice.  At best, it’s vengeance.  And it it is disgusting and appalling and we have to stop it.

We really need to stop murdering people.

  1. The Clint Eastwood impersonator in AZ, Governor brewery, trotted out the usual
    “Well, his victims suffered toobloodBloodBLOOD!”

    If we must have the death penalty, and we don’t, full stop, what is with that argument? Don’t we theoretically want to be better than the homicider? “Oooh, well if you want gay rights so bad, go argue in the Middle East…” DON’T WE WANT TO BE BETTER THAN THAT?

    What is with the lowest fucking common denominator bullshit?!?! Unless we are talking television, which fuck it, load of crap, save Firefly, Farscape, and Fringe. I want us to be better than the redneck vampires. The ‘Pubs want a ‘Shining City On A Hill’? Great let’s do it, make us a model to look up to, quit trying to make us the United States of Assholes. Take care of the refugee children! “Oooh, but paleo, we can’t even take care of our own children…” YES, WE FUCKING CAN. WE JUST DON’T. There’s a damn difference.

    I am so angry and depressed at everything, I don’t fucking know what to do. Keep yelling? Keep voting? Yes, of course. I have problems at home that are more personally troubling and immediate to me than the refugees. But if good hearted people, even the Baptist church that tried to make a dorm in Houston for the refugees before the Dumbeast Man On Teh Internests opened his glory hole, want some of my taxes to TAKE CARE OF KIDS, go for it! We can chop it out of Israeli aid, howsabout.

    Fuck everything, man. I need a beer but its 830 and I have to work until sometime Tuesday. Fuck it all.

  2. mikey says:

    It’s interesting that there are only a few nations in the world still executing people. And most of them are our geopolitical ‘adversaries’. If the ‘axis of evil’ does it, maybe we should consider NOT doing it.

    And much of the American incarceration problem is a result of the nexus between a corrupt political system and a population suffused in tribal hatred, sectarian doctrine and racial bigotry. When the slightest suggestion of a rational approach to criminal justice can allow your political opponent to spend money making commercials announcing you are ‘soft on crime’ and nobody is interested in actually thinking the matter through, all the changes run in the same direction…

  3. Woody Peckerwood says:

    SCOTUS, which is the arbiter that we have all agreed to abide by, looked at this issue more than once has determined that ‘death’ in itself is not a cruel nor unusual punishment.

    That being said, hanging or firing squad seems a lot more desirable in light of the botched drug stuff.

Go ahead, tell me how I fucked up this time.

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