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 Post subject: DOJO SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 1998 4:58 pm 
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Van sensei:

Its pretty much impossible to make observations without passing some sort of judgement. Lori received no argument from me, nor will you. Nonetheless, my observations are not invalidated. The contrast between our countries is remarkable, considering how much culture we share.

The Canadian experience you described is atypical for the average citizen. But the possibilty of real confrontation does, as Lori and you point out, exist everywhere. I am not seeking to deny that, but I am interested in understanding the spiral of agression that is occuring in the US and building in Canada and elsewhere. Russia is becoming a killing field and the Balkans are as bad as they were prior to Tito.

Incidentally, I have never personally been confronted by a weapon in Canada or during any of my trips to the US. I have no real understanding of the kind of fear and anger that must create in a person, nor do I want to gain that knowledge first hand. Your descriptions of such events are as close as I want to be and frightening enough. I realize that I do not have a choice, however, and short of trying to stay out of places that seem to attract violence, I rely on good luck.

I'm sorry if you have been offended in any way on behalf of the US. That was not my intent. I am still only interested in opinions regarding the societal aspects of such prevalent violence. Such understanding is probably helpful in avoiding it and, when unavoidable, useful in confronting it and surviving. We have already seen many illuminating discussions on the personal, in-your-face aspects of violence. Are its root causes important? Will that information lead to greater success in dealing with violence mentally and physically?

With respect
Hutch

[This message has been edited by Hutch (edited 10-14-98).]


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 Post subject: DOJO SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 1998 6:06 am 
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Hutch,
In retrospect , my post was a bit too strong and emotional and I offer my apologies !

I specialize in investigation and litigation of catastrophic occurrences , many of which are of the mindless violence persuasion upon the unsuspecting ! People have been set upon in the 'safest ' of places with such ferocity for no apparent reason that defies the imagination ! There is no 'safe' place as long as the nature of man lurks in the shadows along with free access to 'liquid' courage ! To feel complacent about safety is to invite disaster !

Paranoia has nothing to do with it ! Again, it boils down to nature's programming as to predator and prey ! Some people , if not most , refuse to even think about becoming victims of violence and are happy to live in denial and take their chances ! That is their prerogative …and deep inside they know that when that time should come for them , they will simply fold up and die with a whimper !

Then you have the serious student of survival , who understands that personal safety is a multidimensional discipline , that in order to be safe he needs a sophisticated awareness of his inner self as well as multifaceted dangers along with a healthy level of emotional intelligence and common sense !

The Us really is not as bad as it seems in comparison to Canada ! Because Canada has a lower homicide rate than the US , gun ban proponents point to the restrictive firearms laws as the reason for the discrepancy ! They compare homicide rates of Seattle Washington [eleven per 100,000 population ] , and Vancouver , BC , [seven per 100,000 population ] . But they are hardly comparable when you consider other historical and cultural factors .

First , gun ownership in Seattle is four times that of Vancouver , so if guns are responsible for crime , surely the homicide rates in Seattle should be 300 percent higher than that of Vancouver , rather than a mere 60% !

Moreover , in the march 1994 journal of the medical association of Georgia , DR A. Suter took anti-gun physician , A.L. Kellerman to task for his faculty conclusions concerning Seattle and Vancouver crime statistics . Kellerman published 'study' results of his examination of Seattle and Vancouver shooting deaths in the New England journal of Medicine in 1988 .
"Kellerman and his co-authors have persisted in their discredited methodology " said Suter who pointed out that Kellerman attempted to show that strict gun control laws in Canada have reduced violence in Vancouver . In order to draw this conclusion , he simply ignored the 26% increase in Vancouver homicide rate AFTER a gun ban had been enacted .

Kellerman also ignored pertinent demographic distinctions .When the study was conducted , Seattle 12.1 % black and Hispanic to Vancouver 0.8% .The minorities in Seattle had astronomical homicide rates -36.6 per 100,000 for blacks and 26.9 for Hispanics. DR Suter reports that , excepting blacks and Hispanics , Seattle homicide rate was actually lower than Vancouver .

DR Centerwall further demonstrated that several Canadian provinces along the border with the US have higher homicide rates that the adjacent states of the US. For instance , New Brunswick and Quebec have higher criminal homicide rates than Maine , new Hampshire and Vermont -States with virtually no controls over the ownership and carrying of firearms by law abiding citizens .

England is totally disarmed and Canada will soon follow in its wake . Switzerland require every male citizen to keep a fully automatic rifle in his home and guns of all kinds are freely possessed . Yet the homicide rate for the Swiss and the English is the same 1.1 per 100,000…What then is the causal relationship between firearms and homicide ??

The Burglary rate in England and Europe is higher than in the US ..why ?? an armed household is obviously a far stronger deterrent to robbery and burglary than a phone call to the cops who are for the most part useless at response action ! "Call for a cop and then call for a pizza and see who comes first "

The bottom line is that crime is rampant because the law abiding citizen , each of us , condone it ,excuse it , permit it , submit to it .We permit and encourage it because we don't fight back immediately , then and there where it happens ..the defect is there , in our character .We are becoming legions of cowards and shirkers !

Countries that have enacted harsh gun laws have done so for political control , not out of fervor to reduce crime . In years past , England 's monarchs disarmed republican thinkers and serfs in order to preserve feudalism and power .

As I have previously pointed out in previous posts , if it is your wish to argue the gun control issue ..better study with fervor before engaging in the 'battle of the words' instead of 'shooting from the hip' !

Regards ,

Van Canna


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 Post subject: DOJO SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 1998 4:13 am 
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Hutch,

You have valid concerns ! The globe today carried an article 'the lessons of Laramie' ! Evil is everywhere …talks about the liberal college town of Laramie ,Wyo., State universities , advanced degrees , sophisticated tastes and what not . Chastity Pasley , look at this beautiful name , one of the women arrested as an accessory to the heinous murder of Shepard , was pursuing a degree in art ! " The educated are as capable of savagery or hatred as anyone else "

The redneck backwater mentality is alive and well even in 'sophisticated' people ' what animates them is hatred, cruelty, sadism , blood lust . Again this our fault because of our bleeding hearts , goody two shoes brain-lock in dealing with the scum of mankind ! The globe makes a case for the death penalty as for some crimes there is no retribution short of the noose or the chair , and goes on to say that only by executing brutal murderers can society proclaim unambiguously it's abhorrence for their crimes ! Sentencing such people to a mere prison term declares in effect that what they did wasn't so bad thereby assuring repeat performances in more heinous forms !

There are conflicting views on why such random senseless violence today . Society soft on criminals , gutless judges , poverty undermining character , punk rock , rap music promoting violence and misogyny , change from heroin use to crack with the user turning violent in response to the constant need to re-up , machismo crap , cheap booze 'I can drink you under the table' manhood statements ..the north American ideal that you are not a man unless you get drunk ..the forcing of oneself upon women caveman style , lack of mannerism , style , class , lack of shared values , depravity in fashion , arrogance , gangs who terrorize at will .

But here is a shocking truth ! the root of the crime problem is the recidivist who makes up 10% of the criminal population but is responsible for three quarters of all violent crime ! The great 'morons' of our society , hiding in their ivory towers , keep on releasing them from prison so we can all continue to look down the barrels of their guns !

Van Canna


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 Post subject: DOJO SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 1998 5:24 am 
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Van sensei:

Thanks for the apology; for a moment there I thought I had tugged TOO hard on Superman's cape. I will now endeavour not to spit into the wind.

Your post was nicely responsive to my inquiry and I appreciate the information. In truth, I am not inclined to argue strenuosly for gun control (although I break out in a rash at the sight of a drawn hand gun). I am certain that if one wants to kill some one badly enough, the absence of a gun will not be much of an inhibition. I am, however, interested in the mindset of the killer and how it is derived. Why are there more and more appparently random acts of violence? What can we do to curb them as a society without stomping on the freedom of the general populace?

Your example of Vancouver and Seattle was interesting. I don't think effective gun control can really exist in any large urban centre where black markets always thrive. Demographically, Vancouver has a large Asian immigrant population, a few of whom seem engaged in gang activity and the drug trade. Perhaps it helps explain the elevated homicide rate in that city.

In the end it seems to come down to the prevalent standards and mores of a given society. Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are different than New York, California and Florida. Why? Population pressures?, greater levels of poverty and drug use?

In any case, I am happy to end this thread here. Perhaps we can take it up under a separate title.

To Anthony:

Patriotism seems to be a fading virtue, rightly or wrongly. Borders are being blurred, cultures are being transplanted and we are all slowly becoming that mythical global village. Still...there is a lot to be said for having an anchor and North America is the best place on the planet that I have seen so far. Still have many places to go though!

Regards
Hutch


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 Post subject: DOJO SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 1998 10:19 pm 
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Van Canna sensei:

Thank you, I think I have rarely seen a more succinct round up of society's ills. I rarely have the stomach to reflect so frankly on the world. Perhaps that makes me part of the problem...head in the sand, it will go away!

I have always beleived that capital punishment was not a deterrent in "non-underworld" slayings. Domestic violence and other crimes of passion will always be a factor in society and I suspect (you probably already have the statistics at hand) that these homicides and assaults are typically focussed on one victim until that victim dies or escapes. These are not the recitivists of which you speak.

The recitivists(again, I voice my suspicions only) would be underworld types, sadists and other people who practice evil for personal gain or gratification. I agree that they should be executed. They are self-interested enough that they may be deterred from a crime by the prospect of dying for it. And if they are not deterred, then when we execute them we have resolved a future enforcement problem and saved some lives.

Killing people who commit crimes of passion is a tougher question. Perhaps they are a lesser threat to society (not their victims though) and we can have genuine hope for their rehabilitation. My heart is not so much the bleeding type as it it the "there, but for the grace of God, go I"-type.

Anyway, thanks. As always, you are an eye-opener. I still can't seem to retire from this thread though!.

With respect
Hutch


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 Post subject: DOJO SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 1998 12:24 pm 
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Location: Marblehead, MA USA
Dojo complications:
Years ago when I taught at Manny's in Lynn we had an incident preceeding the Monday evening class. I pulled up on time for the class and saw one of my students wrestling with two local gentlemen in the foyer of the Dojo. I looked around and observed that the other students saw me pull up. (Can't use my "flight" of the "fight or flight response") So I stuck a can of Mace in my gi bag and ran towards the action. It broke up as I got there and the two gentlemen started to walk away.
My student got up and yelled "F___ you! You N______s" Man talk about throwing gasoline on a fire. I told him to shut up. They hesitated and I saw about 5 guys now walking towards us across the busy street. One yelled "Get him". I thought that was the leader and went towards him.
I can recall my thinking in a split second "Don't run away from this they'll get you now or later or tomorrow or next month. It's got to be resolved now. One way or another, it can only get worse!" Also "Go after the leader, cut off the head and the body dies." Only problem was, wrong leader, the real leader said "Get that (MF) guy first" and I was then the focus. So I went after him with all my resolve. He hesitated looked me in the eye and said "later" I said "No. There is no need for any of this!" stared at the leader for another second, turned and walked back to the student. I threw him against the wall asked what was the matter with him, then threw the student and his bike into the Dojo. After we started the class I tried to work with him but he was shaking. I gave him some simple exercises and he calmed down but I noticed booze on his breath. After class I gave him a ride home and warned him don't ever come to my class after drinking. I have never seen that student since.


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 Post subject: DOJO SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 1998 4:51 am 
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<quote>The globe makes a case for the death penalty as for some crimes there is no retribution short of the noose or the chair , and goes on to say that only by executing brutal murderers can society proclaim unambiguously it's abhorrence for their crimes ! Sentencing such people to a mere prison term declares in effect that what they did wasn't so bad thereby assuring repeat performances in more heinous forms ! </quote> (Van Canna)


Van-san, et.al.

Well I can no longer resist - in the face of some of the posts on this thread - I wish to interject a few more facts to an already illumined discussion. Specifically I wish to address the capital punishment issue - there are volumes of statistics available that I could quote here - but I will try to limit it to a few major points. I realize this is a potential "can of worms" yet feel that some of the facts are germaine to the discussion. These facts that I will list below are not indicative of my own personal beliefs - they are presented only as topics for consideration.

1) Studies have shown that a capital sentence, and the actual carrying out of the execution, is strongly influenced by race. "A black man who kills a white person is 11 times more likely to receive the death penalty than a white man who kills a black person. And blacks who kill blacks have even less to worry about. "It's almost like we kind of say, "Oh, well, he needed killing anyhow." (Don Cabana) These statistics are available in a number of resources - here's one: <url>http://www.aclu.org/news/n060498e.html</url>

2) There are innocent people placed on death row. "The danger that innocent people will be executed because of errors in the criminal justice system is getting worse. A total of 69 people have been released from death row since 1973 after evidence of their innocence emerged. Twenty-one condemned inmates have been released since 1993, including seven from the state of Illinois alone. Many of these cases were discovered not because of the normal appeals process, but rather as a result of new scientific techniques, investigations by journalists, and the dedicated work of expert attorneys, not available to the typical death row inmate." For more on this see <url>http://www.essential.org/dpic/inn.html</url>

3) Politics and elections play a large part in capital punishement laws. "If a judge's ruling for the defendant . . . may determine his fate at the next election, even though his ruling was affirmed and is unquestionably right, constitutional protections would be subject to serious erosion." (Justice Byron White)

"Persons who undertake the task of administering justice impartially should not be required--indeed, they should not be permitted--to finance campaigns or to curry the favor of voters by making predictions or promises about how they will decide cases before they have heard any evidence or argument. A campaign promise to "be tough on crime," or to "enforce the death penalty," is evidence of bias that should disqualify a candidate from sitting in criminal cases. (Justice John Paul Stevens, 1996)

Ok - granted - those are opinions - for facts check out <url>http://www.essential.org/dpic/dpicrkfv.html#politics</url>

4) Ability to afford a better legal defense can almost eliminate the death penalty option. Look at OJ! Consider..."When we execute a capital defendant in this country, we rely on the belief that the individual was guilty, and was convicted and sentenced after a fair trial, to justify the imposition of state-sponsored killing. . . . My 24 years of overseeing the imposition of the death penalty from this Court have left me in grave doubt whether this reliance is justified and whether the constitutional requirement of competent counsel for capital defendants is being fulfilled. (Justice Harry A. Blackmun)
NOTE: "Former death row inmates such as Andrew Golden, Federico Macias, and Gary Nelson, received poor representation at trial and could have been executed, despite their innocence. In their cases, competent counsel later stepped in and were able to reverse the worst damage, sometimes after a decade of legal challenges. Others with equally inadequate counsel already have been executed or remain on death row. Far too often, people are given the death penalty not for committing the worst crimes, but for having the worst lawyers. This problem has been ignored for years as politicians use the death penalty as a stepping stone to electoral success. Instead of establishing an independent body to assure that everyone facing a death sentence is adequately represented, legislatures are concentrating on ways to shorten appeals, expand the death penalty, and limit access to the group of attorneys best qualified to represent them.
<url>http://www.essential.org/dpic/dpic.r02.html</url>

5) The cost of carrying out capital punishment is much higher than the life in prison alternative. "Across the country, police are being laid off, prisoners are being released early, the courts are clogged, and crime continues to rise. The economic recession has caused cutbacks in the backbone of the criminal justice system. In Florida, the budget crisis resulted in the early release of 3,000 prisoners. In Texas, prisoners are serving only 20% of their time and rearrests are common. Georgia is laying off 900 correctional personnel and New Jersey has had to dismiss 500 police officers. Yet these same states, and many others like them, are pouring millions of dollars into the death penalty with no resultant reduction in crime.

The exorbitant costs of capital punishment are actually making America less safe because badly needed financial and legal resources are being diverted from effective crime fighting strategies. Before the Los Angeles riots, for example, California had little money for innovations like community policing, but was managing to spend an extra $90 million per year on capital punishment. Texas, with over 300 people on death row, is spending an estimated $2.3 million per case, but its murder rate remains one of the highest in the country.

The death penalty is escaping the decisive cost-benefit analysis to which every other program is being put in times of austerity. Rather than being posed as a single, but costly, alternative in a spectrum of approaches to crime, the death penalty operates at the extremes of political rhetoric. Candidates use the death penalty as a facile solution to crime which allows them to distinguish themselves by the toughness of their position rather than its effectiveness.

The death penalty is much more expensive than its closest alternative--life imprisonment with no parole. Capital trials are longer and more expensive at every step than other murder trials. Pre-trial motions, expert witness investigations, jury selection, and the necessity for two trials--one on guilt and one on sentencing--make capital cases extremely costly, even before the appeals process begins. Guilty pleas are almost unheard of when the punishment is death. In addition, many of these trials result in a life sentence rather than the death penalty, so the state pays the cost of life imprisonment on top of the expensive trial."

The whole article is at <url>http://www.essential.org/dpic/dpic.r08.html</url>


Ok, I know this is getting pretty long - just one more point - and this one will bring a lot of argument I'm sure.

And now as for capital punishment being a deterrent...

<quote>The recitivists(again, I voice my suspicions only) would be underworld types, sadists and other people who practice evil for personal gain or gratification. I agree that they should be executed. They are self-interested enough that they may be deterred from a crime by the prospect of dying for it. And if they are not deterred, then when we execute them we have resolved a future enforcement problem and saved some lives.</quote> (Hutch)

6) The death penalty is NOT an effective deterrent against crime! Many law enforcement officials agree on this point! Consider the following quotes:

"The death penalty does little to prevent crime. It's the fear of apprehension and the likely prospect of swift and certain punishment that provides the largest deterrent to crime." (Frank Friel, Former Head of Organized Crime Homicide Task Force, Philadelphia)

"Take it from someone who has spent a career in Federal and state law enforcement, enacting the death penalty . . . would be a grave mistake. Prosecutors must reveal the dirty little secret they too often share only among themselves: The death penalty actually hinders the fight against crime." (Robert M. Morgenthau, District Attorney, Manhattan, NY)

"I am not convinced that capital punishment, in and of itself, is a deterrent to crime because most people do not think about the death penalty before they commit a violent or capital crime." (Willie L. Williams, Police Chief, Los Angeles, CA)

"In January, 1995, Peter D. Hart Research Associates conducted a national opinion poll of randomly selected police chiefs in the United States. In that poll, the chiefs had the opportunity to express what they believe really works in fighting crime. They were asked where the death penalty fit in their priorities as leaders in the law enforcement field. What the police chiefs had to say may be surprising to many lawmakers, and to much of the public as well. The Hart Poll found that:

Police chiefs rank the death penalty last as a way of reducing violent crime, placing it behind curbing drug abuse, more police officers on the streets, lowering the technical barriers to prosecution, longer sentences, and a better economy with more jobs.
The death penalty was rated as the least cost-effective method for controlling crime.
Insufficient use of the death penalty is not considered a major problem by the majority of police chiefs.
Strengthening families and neighborhoods, punishing criminals swiftly and surely, controlling illegal drugs, and gun control are considered much more important than the death penalty.
Although a majority of the police chiefs support the death penalty in the abstract, when given a choice between the sentence of life without parole plus restitution versus the death penalty, barely half of the chiefs support capital punishment .
Police chiefs do not believe that the death penalty significantly reduces the number of homicides.
Police chiefs do not believe that murderers think about the range of possible punishments.
Debates about the death penalty distract Congress and state legislatures from focusing on real solutions to crime .
In sum, while many police chiefs support the death penalty philosophically, a strong majority do not believe that it is an effective law enforcement tool in practice. In the report below, the various findings of this poll will be explored in depth, along with a broader analysis of what really works in reducing crime. The results of this opinion poll are confirmed by the statements of individual leaders in the law enforcement community, by research in the field of criminology, a nd by the recommendations of many of the nation's leading law enforcement agencies. "

If you made it to the end of this post you are either ready to debate this or have nothing better to do! Remember, much of the above does not constitute the personal opinions of the author - just observations - so be gentle in your counter attack!

Peace,
Lori


[This message has been edited by Lori (edited 10-19-98).]


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 Post subject: DOJO SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 1998 5:56 am 
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Lori-san ,

Extremely well said and very informative ! Actually I have been always on the fence on the death penalty ! When we really think about crime and punishment , what worse fate to a murderer than to be deprived of his freedom for life and die a thousand deaths in a squalid prison ! Often I think what should be done with the killers of my twelve year old cousin snuffed out in a home invasion , if they are ever caught !

Peace ,

Van Canna


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 Post subject: DOJO SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 1998 11:44 am 
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Lori,

>>The death penalty was rated as the least cost-effective method for controlling crime.
Insufficient use of the death penalty is not considered a major problem by the majority of police chiefs. Strengthening families and neighborhoods, punishing criminals swiftly
and surely, controlling illegal drugs, and gun control are considered much more important than the death penalty. <<

Well done in getting the opposing views about the death penalty. I personally have no problem with applying swift and sure justice to some of truly sadistic criminals among us. The problem, as you cited, is that our criminal justice system is not swift and is most certainly not always "just" in how punishment is meted out.

The latest "rage" in the "political" justice system is to try juveniles as adults and to send them to the "big house". Just what need... Send a kid up river, to live in the midst of the worse criminals in our society, have him raped and brutalized, and otherwise taught all the tricks of the various "trades", and have him come back out to society in 10 - 20 years. Do we truly expect that kid, now a man, to be able to function peacefully and productively in society?

The problem is that folks want the quick solution, the one dimensional approach, the fast black belt, etc. They don't want to spend the time and effort on approaches that take too long, are too complicated and do not have easy visible representation of so call effort. Building more and more prisons is like "immediate gratification". Doesn't matter that we can't build them fast enough. And, we still don't feel any safer in some of our communities.

david


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 Post subject: DOJO SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 1998 1:04 pm 
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Lorri,
Nice to theorize. I have heard all kinds of studies (like Clinton polls and just as skewed) 51% said that they don't feel that it would be effective to use capital punishment but the reality is capital punishment is a deterrent.
I worked in Saudi Arabia for 3 years where they have capital punishment and it is a deterrent, virtually no crime there. I understand some states have unlimited appeals where it can cost up to $1million to execute someone. In those states it may be claimed not be as effective a deterrent but I feel it is.
Just like when a dog attacks a human and has to be put down because it will attack again. If someone murders once it becomes easier they have crossed the line. Do you personally know any murderers? Sorry I didn't have time to read your whole post.
Mike


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 Post subject: DOJO SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 1998 4:45 pm 
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Van-san,

I cannot say how I would feel if I had been touched so closely within my family as you have by such a horrible crime...and it still continues with their threats...as a parent of a child that age the story strikes terror into my heart - I certainly hope that they now have more defenses in their home. My heart grieves over the needless loss of such a brave child...

David-san,

Thanks - and you add some other points that are frightening to think of - the trying of children as adults can have all kinds of terrible consequences - not that there aren't some very scary and vicious young people out there - but as you say, the "quick-fix" is not a long term solution - especially with our youth!

And now Mike-san, (sorry, this could get long again!)

With respect - polls, (Clinton or otherwise) are a different animal than facts and statistics. Granted - statistics can be
presented in many ways to enhance a point - but it is hard to refute the cold fact that 69 people were later proven to be innocent after landing on death row. How would you feel about capital punishment if it was you or a loved one wrongly accused? Is the "greater good" worth the death of a few innocents? I'm not saying yes or no - only raising the question.

I did cite a few opinions and polls amid the statistics - but I did so to provide a range of opinion from people generally purported to be strong advocates of the death penalty. Again, I'm not trying to change anyone's view here - only explore different sides of the story. I believe in questioning my own opinions for what they are: am I accepting this because of dogma and emotional reaction to a tough issue or do I have some basis for believing as I do?

I do not personally know any murderers - they are not exactly within my social circle...

Saudi Arabia! HA! Now here is where I will give my opinion - the Middle East and their treatment of women's rights is enough to make even me want to become an activist! Death penalty as a deterrent - damn straight - men can also kill their wives and female children if they feel like it! Sure, there are so-called "laws" governing the practices - but MEN write them and MEN carry them out and MEN decide if they are justified in beating the life out of a woman because she let her hair show from underneath her veil! Think that it doesn't happen? There are plenty of first-hand accounts available! They kill women for "thinking" about adultery! Do you think that is not murder? Do the perpetrators get put to death for THAT? Not quite!!

Lest you think I'm predjudiced against Middle Easterners - know that I have great friendships with men and women from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and more. Actually came close to marrying a Middle Easterner once! It is from first hand accounts and research that I have come by this opinion! The Quran is one of the most beautiful works ever written (again my opinion - after reading it) - it is the interpretation and implementation of the Quran into an indivisible bond between religion and law that is so messed up in some places! Much like the Bible when it's laws are tried to be implemented on a literal basis.

Regardless, the capital punishment issue can certainly be debated without any of the religious implications - Saudi Arabia's use of capital punishment is solely rooted in religion - but the facts can still stand on their own - my purpose in my prior post is solely for people to question their own convictions and to see how and why they arrived at them.

I am neither advoctating nor dissenting the abolition of capital punishment - I do have close friends who have been the victims of violent crime - the question for me is law enforcement vs. revenge in the name of justice. I truly believe that if we untied the hands of our law enforcement officials, and law-abiding private citizens who seek to exercise their right to bear arms and defend and protect life and property - then capital punishment would not be needed as an after the fact way to assuage our own sense of outrage and give a feeling of vengeful justice served to the victims left in the wake of the worst of humankind.

Peace,
Lori



[This message has been edited by Lori (edited 10-20-98).]


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 Post subject: DOJO SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 1998 2:46 am 
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Tony-san,

I like to think that at least the intent behind our law enforcement agencies is that of prevention of crime - not just "mopping up" although that comes into play also.

Unfortunately law enforcement personnel have their hands tied all too tightly by too much beaurocracy and political posturing...Is it not possible that less legal retribution for those acting in self-defense, either professionally or personally, could lessen the need for this type of vengeful system?

Yes we do need a social structure with checks and balances if we choose to live a "civilized" life...but it is how we design the system that defines the worth of it in the long run. Revenge is too often a quick fix that does not eliminate the long-term problem, and, as a "civilized society" isn't that what we are working for?

Your other post was good too - consider adding it back in!

Peace,
Lori


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 Post subject: DOJO SHOWDOWN
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 1998 3:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
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About ten years ago` , the parents of a very good friend of mine , both in their eighties , living in a single family home in a nice neighborhood , came under vicious attack by a home invader on crack cocaine !

Think about it >> little after twelve noon and in front of terrified neighbors , the bucket of scum wielding a baseball bat in ferocious swings at the front door trying to break it open and yelling at the top of his lungs " you f@^! Old F&*% ,open the F*& door and give me all your money or I'll kill you both " The elderly couple was so terrified they could not move , not even to call the cops [ fat chance for quick help ] and just sat there in their living room in frozen panic awaiting their fate ! Just as the punk was about to enter through the smashed door , one brave neighbor on shaking knees came out of the house with a shotgun and was able to thwart the assailant who ran away but was eventually identified and arrested and sent to jail …he was a recidivist !

My friend's dad suffered a stroke a few days later and the physicians felt that the mental trauma of the assault could have been a contributing factor !

My friend is a friend of "friends" and funny thing happened to the punk in prison !
For some reason he was violently sodomized , then beaten to a pulp , and then killed with a 'shiv' through his left ear !

Back in Italy some "family friends" are lying in wait …as long as it takes , for the killers of my little twelve year old cousin to make some blunder and give themselves away !!..

Brave little girl she was ..going against a gun with an umbrella >> The killers, never caught, live, in fear of ending up in a line up at some point and , in an effort to intimidate my family in not identifying them , call the parents on the phone [no matter if unpublished number ] every anniversary of the little girl's death and remind them ' don't forget you still have another daughter' !

"Personal vendettas" are still king to settle this type of score in the Old Country ; some distant day they will be in the "bag" and cut to pieces and buried in lots of little holes .. the useless cops will never know …. Now that is justice !

Van Canna


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