I’m posting this for one reason, and one reason only. To be mean.
This is embedded from imgur, so it may not be here forever. May your dreams be ruined for as long as it lasts.
There’s also this: Continue reading
A bunch of libertarians ranked the fifty states based on “freedom.” Fox Nation reported on the results under the headline “Report: Americans Are Migrating to More Free Republican States.” The article contains gems like:
Americans are migrating from less-free liberal states to more-free conservative states, where they are doing better economically, according to a new study published Thursday by the George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.
The “Freedom in the 50 States” study measured economic and personal freedom using a wide range of criteria, including tax rates, government spending and debt, regulatory burdens, and state laws covering land use, union organizing, gun control, education choice and more.
So, if Fox Nation is to be believed, people are departing oppressive states for places where they can stockpile weapons, miseducate their children, and do with their employees as they please. What magical wonderland is this, I wonder…
The freest state overall, the researchers concluded, was North Dakota, followed by South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Oklahoma. The least free state by far was New York, followed by California, New Jersey, Hawaii and Rhode Island.
Oh, I see…
Look, no disrespect to North Dakota, but what. The. F*********.
People are leaving California, New York, and New Jersey for the Dakotas? Does Fox Nation think we’re stupid? Does Fox Nation think at all?
I could link to evidence showing that Californians are not doing a reverse-Steinbeck in droves back to Oklahoma, but honestly, what’s the point?
VP Joe Biden gave a speech today to “families of fallen soldiers” where he spoke about his own experiences with suicidal thoughts. If you learn anything from this, it should be that it can happen to anybody:
Vice President Joe Biden, in a moving speech to families of fallen troops on Friday, recounted the dark days following the tragic deaths of his wife and daughter and talked about understanding thoughts of suicide.
“It was the first time in my career, in my life, I realized someone could go out – and I probably shouldn’t say this with the press here, but no, but it’s more important, you’re more important. For the first time in my life, I understood how someone could consciously decide to commit suicide,” he said. ”Not because they were deranged, not because they were nuts, because they had been to the top of the mountain, and they just knew in their heart they would never get there again.”
Biden was 29 and had just won his seat in Congress when his wife and daughter died in a car wreck in 1972.
[h]e said well-wishers would express their condolences and often tell him that they knew how he felt, something he resented.
“You knew they were genuine. But you knew they didn’t have any damn idea, right?” Biden told attendees at the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp in Arlington, Va.. “That black hole you feel in your chest like you’re being sucked back into it.”
He found a way out of his grief. Not everyone finds that.
I don’t appreciate the suggestion that people who commit suicide are “deranged” or “nuts.” It took tremendous courage to say what Biden said, but he still had to preface his words with assurances that he’s not one of the crazy ones. For having the courage to speak out about this issue, I applaud VP Biden. For still linking suicide to “craziness,” he can bite me.
He is absolutely right that the rest of us cannot fathom how the pain of his loss felt. No one can truly understand another person’s pain, so it is disappointing that he would write it off as “deranged.”
People contemplate suicide for an infinite number of reasons. In a period of six months in 2011, I lost two friends to depression. It scared me, not because it didn’t make any sense, but because it sort of did. For some people, the dark times are bad enough that they will try anything for relief, and no one else can fully understand. All the rest of us can do is live well and try to help our friends who struggle to do so too.
It’s not always a “crazy” thought in and of itself, but unless you’ve experienced depression, it’s impossible to describe or explain. A close friend once described the circumstances and thoughts that led to his suicide attempt: “Let me be clear: I don’t want to die. I just need it to stop.”
Until we can accept that people can have those types of thoughts without calling them “crazy,” this won’t get better.
(For the record, I haven’t had thoughts like that in a long time. But you never forget.)
So I’m reading about the execution of Saddam Hussein, and it strikes me as odd that everyone is concerned about “taunts” leveled at him during the run up to the actual hanging. As if recording the execution for later broadcast isn’t bad enough, people have to remind him he’s about to get whacked. I should note here that I personally am 100% opposed to capital punishment, not out of any particular concern for the rights or dignity of mass murderers, but because (a) I don’t trust government to get it right 100% of the time and don’t like them having the power of God; (b) I don’t buy any of the theories as to why capital punishment is necessary; and (c) even if the rationales offered are true, most executions really don’t fit the crime anyway. Those reasons are ranked in approximate descending order of importance. My libertarian side doesn’t like letting prosecutors and juries have the power of life and death, and death is often too good for the worst of the s***heads on death row. Take Tim McVeigh–the architect of the then-worst terrorist attack on American soil was strapped to a gurney and, as far as we know, given a sedative to go to sleep followed by a chemical cocktail to stop his heart. That was in the summer of 2001, meaning the trousersnake didn’t even live long enough to see his masterpiece get bested by a bunch of Arabs that September. I have no idea, actually, if McVeigh was actually a racist or a white supremacist, but I’m sure it still would have burned to get overshadowed in the history books (damn hindsight). I guess the question is whether executing him or leaving him in jail to face eventual historical irrelevance is the better punishment. I have something of a modest proposal to offer…
Near as I can tell, there are two main rationales offered for capital punishment: deterrence and retribution. As far as McVeigh is concerned, deterrence didn’t seem to work, as there are still white guys trying to blow shit up in the U.S. So how about the retributive theory? Well, if achieiving closure and healing for the victims of a murdered, tyrant, terrorist, etc. is the true goal, how is it really healing to allow someone to relatively peacefully pass into the beyond? McVeigh basically fell asleep, and Saddam Hussein probably only suffered for a second or two (I haven’t seen the video, and I ain’t gonna). If we really want justice, how about this: (1) equip some Kurds who survived the original gas attacks in the ’80s with chemical suits and lock them in a room with Hussein and a canister of nerve gas; or (2) at a pre-announced time, fly McVeigh in on a helicopter to the site of the Murrah building, hover about ten feet up, toss him out, and let the Hobbesian theory of society take over? This latter idea could even have an additional societal benefit, as whatever pieces of McVeigh’s body could be recovered could then be auctioned off to benefit the victims!
On the other hand, maybe we just keep executing people because no one has the cojones to take a stand against it.
Now, this entire post may blow up in my face. It may turn out that the majority of our society thinks this bit a facetiousness is a great idea, and we see a new reality show in which contestants, all victims of violent crime, are given thirty minutes to torture, main, dismember, and otherwise brutalize their assailants in the name of justice. If that’s the case, then at least we’d all be more honest about why we have capital punishment.