The Worship of Sports in America

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How The Middle-Class Got Screwed (Video)

A most simplistic explanation of how the economic problems of the middle-class has become an actual threat to their well-being.

Why I'm Not A Democrat...Or A Republican!

There is a whole lot not to like about either of the 2 major political parties.

Whatever Happened To Saturday Morning Cartoons?

Whatever happened to the Saturday morning cartoons we grew up with? A brief look into how they have become a thing of the past.

ADHD, ODD, And Other Assorted Bull****!

A look into the questionable way we as a nation over-diagnose behavioral "afflictions."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How To Fake A Political Issue (And Act "Outraged")...


One of the things that makes me so annoyed with both the political left and right in this country is how they so regularly and transparently try to manipulate our perceptions by either manufacturing outrage over non-issues, or exhibit thin-skinned sensitivity to imagined slights. In the past couple of weeks, issues near-and-dear to both conservatives and liberals—and their political and/or ideologically-based “reactions” to them—illustrate my point.
Last Tuesday the Associated Press (AP), the largest news-gathering outlet in the world, issued a directive amongst all of its journalists that they no longer use the terms “illegal-” or “undocumented-immigrant” when writing a story about the current discourse related to immigration debate. The AP joins many of the major news-related programs on the major networks (ABC, CBS, CNN), as well as many of the nation’s top college newspapers from using those terms, which many defend as “avoiding negative labels.” To this effect, other “non-negative” terms have been likewise designated to avoid labeling other groups and/or individuals; the AP no longer uses the term “schizophrenic” to describe someone with the affliction. They instead now use the term “diagnosed with schizophrenia" ("Associated Press Drops 'Illegal Immigrant' From Stylebook").
Such an uncalled-for move is what fuels the antagonism the political right has in this country toward the idea of political correctness. Now I’m not one to embrace the notion of a vast liberal news media, but such a weak move on the issue of immigration does make it hard to persuade even moderate Republicans that there isn’t some plan afoot to define the political argument of immigration. To be logical about the issue, most of these “undocumented immigrants” (or fill-in-the-blank with your own euphemism since the AP hasn’t provided us with an acceptable term to use to describe these individuals) are illegal; they are in the country illegally, they don’t have legal papers proving they are here legally, and they did immigrate here…”negative labeling” notwithstanding. Trying to avoid hurting someone’s feelings with recognition of one’s status is just overkill on the PC bandwagon. That’s like saying we’re going to no longer call someone convicted of a crime—especially repeat offenders—“criminals.” We’re instead going to refer to them as “those having experienced freedom impairment by virtue of negative choices.” Labels, as long as they aren’t a lame and transparent attempt to obscure the language of a particular political and/or social issue, are as necessary to communication as words themselves. The Left often gets so bogged down in maintaining the notion of political correctness that doing so distorts reality.  Calling an automobile anything else (but a car) doesn’t change what it is or what its function is. People who come to this country without going through the proper and established procedures are illegal immigrants. Furthermore, I have witnessed firsthand the impact their presence has on the employment prospects of Americans who have jobs—unskilled though they are—if not for their being in the country illegally. 
Additionally, we cannot ignore that with the ongoing and nearly unchecked drug-related violence on America's doorstep in Mexico, the issues crime, drug smuggling, and border security are also in the shadow of the conversation.  But these peripheral issues--related to security--on the whole are being ignored as both Democrats and Republicans try gain a foothold within the Latino voting bloc.
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And no, I am not slamming foreign-born illegal immigrants. I actually have a great deal of respect for them (especially after having grown up working side-by-side with them in the fruit and vegetable fields in Michigan). Most unskilled immigrants have a work ethic that most Americans should have. But their propensity to work physically-labor-intensive jobs for only a portion of the amount that native-born Americans (not to be confused with Native-Americans) could work creates an incentive for employers not to consider American workers (at the risk of sounding anecdotal, I have witnessed this firsthand more times than I care to relate).

But the political Left aren’t alone in manufacturing discontent for political theater. Earlier this week, entertainers Beyonce and Jay-Z made a controversial trip to the island of Cuba, one of the few remaining communist countries in the world. For the last half century, Cuba has been has been-almost unilaterally—on the U.S.’s crap-list based on an outdated policy of isolation. This isolation encompasses a total economic, commercial, and financial embargo by the U.S. on the Caribbean island nation. That means no trading, no vacationing by American citizens, no diplomatic relations (or recognition), and no business with any Cuban entity by American companies and their subsidiaries “so long as the Cuban government continues to refuse to move toward democratization and greater respect for human rights.’” This policy of U.S. isolation of Cuba was enacted after the government, headed by then revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, nationalized properties of American citizens and corporations who had holdings or were doing business on the island nation prior to Castro’s seizure of power. However, this policy of continually to isolate the communist country when 99% of other nations do not is a stubborn holdover of U.S. government policy based on the now non-existent Cold War. This perception was, in turn, based on the now irrelevant reality that Cuba was an ally of America’s Cold War enemy, the non-existent Soviet Union. America’s foreign policy toward Cuba has been rejected by the rest of the world. This is demonstrated every year when the vote on the U.S. embargo comes up in the UN General Assembly. With the exception of Israel and maybe 1 or 2 other countries symbolically, the UN votes to rejects our nation’s policy. We are alone. And when officials on our government are called to justify this outdated adherence to an outdated tradition of isolation, they respond with the ambiguous call for “human rights reforms.” But Cuba is no longer an ally of the Soviet Union. And America has routinely and regularly tolerated human rights violations in some of its own allies and trading partners while conveniently turning a blind eye to this reality of fact. However, when entertainers Beyonce and Jay-Z traveled to the island nation over the weekend in celebration of their 5th wedding anniversary, there were calls from multiple quarters on the political Right for an investigation (“Beyond And Jay-Z’s Trip To Cuba”).

The reality is that  Republicans calling for an "investigation" of Bey and Jay's trip to Cuba are just placating their reactionary (and gullible) constituents.  The fact of the matter is that criticism wouldn't be as vocal if most knew that the Obama Administration had already loosened American travel restrictions to the island nation via it's "people-to-people" initiative.  Under this federal rule--created to open relations with the Cuban people--"Each traveler must have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba." Guidelines dictated by the Treasury Department limits any potential leisure activities by requiring that "tours" (which such trips to Cuba are recognized as) operate under a planned itinerary, with every every moment of the trip, and it's "people-to-people" travel, documented. Sure, those given this request are bound to take vacation-like liberties with such a trip, but who wouldn't given that Cuba is comparatively exotic? And no one called such "investigations when other high-profile celebrities traveled to Cuba.  It's only the connection of support that these two celebrities have with Obama that critics ignore the fact that Sean Penn, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, Jack Nicholson and a host of other high-profile Americans have visited Cuba--some even given an audience with 'ol Fidel himself.
Given the realistic and logical weaknesses inherent in blindly adhering to (and supporting) such an equally blind and outdated policy toward Cuba—just because “it’s always been that way”—is nothing more than a way to manufacture outrage over a policy that has very little bearing on the country’s political and/or economic interests. Fidel Castro is no longer the president of Cuba (yes, his brother is now the de facto head-of-state, but still…). The country is no longer the ally of Soviet Russia. It is no longer exporting revolution and/or communist ideology in the name of overthrowing other governments across the globe. It has diplomatic relations with most other countries in the world, including many of our own allies. And Cuba has been swept up in the tide of globalization within a (more) market-based economy. The world has changed since our government began isolating Cuba. The only two things that remain frozen in time are our government’s policy toward Cuba, and our elected leaders’ propensity to manipulate public policy for personal and political gain. The bottom line is that everything our leaders claim to be an “issue” is not always so.

See also: "Here We Go Again - Ozzie Guillen, Free Speech, & American Foreign Policy"

Monday, April 8, 2013

Did That Internet Father Who Spanked His Daughters Go Too Far?


Before you get started reading, take a look at the video below.

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The video features a woman who calls herself “Carmel Kitten.” She’s developed something of an internet following among urban men because of the way she performs a mostly-urban club dance called “The Twerk.” As you might have guessed, “Twerking” encompasses a woman suggestively moving her backside in a manner that mimics sexual gyrations. Apparently, this dance trend (and those women who perform it with the most sexually suggestive movements) has developed a cult-like following among urban youth and young adults. The above video featuring “Carmel Kitten” demonstrates how, and to what lengths some women will go to debase themselves in an effort to gain a sense of notoriety and recognition performing this dance (I guess it never occurred to her while she was in the library to pick up a book as she was demonstrating how tactless and classless she was showing herself to be).
Also—as you might have guessed—many of those who either like this particular dance or routinely objectify (i.e., sexually) the women who perform it see nothing wrong with doing either. However, there are some parents who find the dance so sexually suggestive and self-debasing that they are willing to do whatever it takes to instill in their children how unacceptable it is. Enter, Greg Horn of Dayton, Ohio. The 35-year-old father of two teenage girls rose to semi-notoriety—or rather infamy in some circles—this week when a video of surfaced online of his reaction to his daughters posting a video of themselves twerking on their Facebook pages. The video has since gone viral, and has been seen by more than 2 million people (LiveLeak.com). According to reports, Horn had instructed his 12 and 14-year old daughters to line up in against a wall (not shown) and began to whip them with a piece of a cable television cord. For some, the video of the father’s choice in disciplining his daughters for their actions elicited calls for his head on a platter for his act of brutality ("UPDATE: Ohio Dad Seen Whipping Daughters in Viral Video is Arrested").  Other applauded the father’s actions. The video is posted below (WARNING: Some might find this video disturbing).
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In the video, the teenage girls were heard pleading with their father, crying and apologizing to her father, “I’m sorry daddy!” The video was apparently taped by the mother of the teenage girls. Their mother alerted the local police to the incident, and to the existence of the video. Horn was subsequently arrested, and has been charged with child endangerment and corporal punishment, authorities said on Thursday
Granted, the father got a little carried away, the daughters were way out of line too. And with all due respect to those who don’t agree with spanking as an accepted disciplinary measure for unruly children, it’s a sure bet that the father of these two young girls was thinking his daughters might be perceived as being the next “Carmel Kitten” when he opted to whip them. More so, one would think that given the negative image and notorious reputation that black males have for being deadbeat dads and/or absent fathers that his obligation to discipline his children as he saw fit would be applauded by more individuals.
The truth of the matter is that spanking is perceived far different and with more acceptance within the black community than among other ethnic communities in America, so there is clearly a cultural element at work here when a father chooses to discipline his children in such a manner. Statistics bear this out; 85% of black men “endorse spanking” (“Attitudes Toward Spanking”). Being an African-American male myself, this is a reality that I can attest to. In fact, as a Generation-Xer, most everyone I knew received spankings/whippings for bad behavior; “beatings” were reserved for the most egregious of behavioral transgressions. The same holds true for many, if not most Baby Boomers before us. These groups include most of the people who run this country—legislators at the state and federal levels, judges, Fortune 500 CEOs, and a host of other policy makers. What’s more, many adults (around my age or older) who were spanked as children often defend the practice. Many will tell you that they suffered no long-term negative effects, and agree that in many cases, spanking was needed.  For the most part, very few instances of what we endured as a generation could be construed as “abuse” (ignoring the fact that in today’s often unforgivably soft social climate, nearly anything constitutes “abuse” to a child).
Most of us adults come from a generation of kids who received direct parenting, and were spanked when it was needed (and yes, for some of it it was needed).  We were seldomly ever "abused" (I say this lightly because of what constitutes "abuse" today by those irresponsibly dedicated to a child's welfare). What's interesting is that kids today, who are part of the "time out" generation, seem the most undisciplined and most disrespectful. There are more apt to engage in actions and behaviors that those of us from previous generations wouldn't even dream of.
Last week's decision from a Washington state court to go ahead with the trial of a two 5th graders charged with the planned rape and murder of a female classmate is a testament to this generational difference ("2 Washington 5th Graders to Stand Trial for Rape and Murder Conspiracy") There is nothing wrong or "harmful" with a good swat on the butt to let a child know who is in charge.
In fact, and at the risk of sounding anecdotal, during my years as a youth counselor, case manager, and teacher, I have seen dozens upon dozens of bad parents—more than I thought were around—who were and are a lot more effective in hurting, abusing and scarring their children emotionally and psychologically than parents who engaged in whipping them (and yes, the overwhelming majority of my cases were those who didn’t spank/whip their children). Spanking, as a supplemental tool under the proper parenting structure shows a child concern by parents…far more than the neglect that I saw witnessed firsthand from parents who not only didn’t spank their children, but engaged in patterns of neglect and emotional abuse that leaves them needing a therapeutic solution to their resulting stunted emotional development than spanking.
My point is that spanking, used in conjunction with direct parenting (that includes talking, listening, showing concern, and being attentive) is just as much—if not more—effective a tool in effective parenting as most of the pseudo-emotional “tools” that New Age overly-liberal child-rearing “experts.” What’s more, used early with direct parenting that includes concern for the child’s welfare, spanking will usually become less needed as a child grows under the proper supervision and concern by a parent. I know this because most of the issues that I dealt with regarding “abuse” were related to emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or just growing up in an environment where the parents were apathetic to the fact that their children had needs beyond simply food, clothing, and shelter. In all my years working with children, I only had a single case where a child experienced physical abuse related to whippings. The opposition I find to cases like the Dayton father all seem to be based on emotional rather rational foundations.
To a reasoned thinker, a rational transaction is that the 30 (or more) seconds an openly disobedient child experiences at the business-end of a hickory switch or belt by a concerned parent is a small price to pay to avoid the far longer-lasting and crippling of their self-esteem and egos caused by debasing themselves as the next “Carmel Kitten” or internet "Jackass" wannabe.  Most parents who spank their children do so with the foresight of staving off the potential damage to their children of their life prospects by becoming prosecuted criminals who failed to receive reinforcement of the difference between right, wrong, and knowing their roles as children, not adults.
To those who think is an exaggerated statement, I offer up the following news item from yesterday’s airing from ABC’s “Good Morning America: Weekend Edition.” It showcases the recent arrest of teenagers who carjacked and kidnapped an 86-year-old woman who was simply trying to help them, locking her in the trunk of her own car as they rode around for 2 days.  It provides an illustration of how badly young people without direct parenting—and maybe the benefit of occasional spankings—can damage their lives (and others) more than the “abuse” of whippings.

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Parents concerned about ensuring that their children grow up to make the right decisions should ask themselves whether or not it is worth the short-term pain a child might feel from a spanking is worth the pain of visiting them in prison or in a cemetery plot.  Do we limit our parenting to just "talking" in the hopes that children might understand the verbally-communicated consequences of their actions, or are we up to using whatever it takes to ensure that our children aspire to be the next internet-based, attention-seeking media whore that others will not respect because of the image they chose to project?
It is not society's place to tell another parent how to discipline their children. The fact that there are still parents in America willing to impose a little hurting on their children in order to save them from a great deal of hurt from consequences of unlearned lessons later in life—regardless of how those of us without the brass pair to do the same judge them—should be applauded and lauded, not condemned. For those who fail at least consider the larger picture, a spanking might be the difference between your own grandmother being locked in the trunk of her car or being killed on the spot by an unruly child without guidance.


See also: "To Spank Or Not To Spank? (Hell Yes!)"



Is Spanking An Acceptable Form Of Punishment?
  
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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Something To (Really) Think About



This sums up the very reason I began blogging in the first place. Most people read and/or listen to ideas, not with an open mind, but with the purpose of defending their beliefs and ideologies.  Most tend to have a counter-argument cocked, loaded, and ready to pull the trigger on as soon as they finish giving their semi-attention to the topic at hand.  Just a little something for you to digest this Sunday morning before you tune into to your favorite weekly television political news roundup or head off to church (See: ”Why I’m Not A Democrat…or Republican” and “Ideology—Something On My Mind”).


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Let's Think (Instead Of Talk) About Gay Marriage...


I’m no fool. I realize that given what seems to be a widespread pro-gay sentiment in America that dissenters of gay marriage (in particular) and gay rights (in general) are going to be looked down upon in pretty much the same way that gay people were once looked down upon. But either way, it’s simply a sign of our divisive times that those who cannot—for whatever convictions they hold dear—allow themselves to be swept up in the tide of popular opinion are going to be berated and looked down on. I suppose long-time readers of my blog can (and probably will) accuse me of doing the same thing. However, my personal dissent with those who don’t agree is based on logic and reason alone…rationales I find so much superior and reliable than those who based their opinions on weaker and less reliable notions of feelings, passions, and personal beliefs alone.
But given all of the recent conversations regarding gay rights—the recent U.S. Supreme Court cases on various aspects of the issue, Erving “Magic” Johnson’s son going public with his homosexuality, and apparent changing public attitudes about gay marriage as a right—I thought I’d take a brief moment to interject some logic and reason (rather than the usual passion-driven, emotional, religious, or ideological rhetoric) into the topic. In approaching this issue, I was kind of motivated to discuss it by the 180-degree about face that Republican Ohio Congressman Rob Portman did earlier this year on his own stance regarding gay marriage. Portman, as you may or may not know last month endorsed the idea of gay marriage after years of being against it. He was, in turn motivated by his own gay son’s “coming out” to his conservative Congressman father and mother two years previously.
Not being a parent, it might seem on the surface somewhat difficult for me to place myself in the shoes of Portman, who was obviously torn between support for his son’s happiness and his own moral and political party’s convictions. In fact, I’ve witnessed the same phenomenon of torn loyalties between family and beliefs about homosexuality take place in my own personal life. Back in college, I had an older female friend with whom I shared a lot of time with. We laughed, joked, and helped each other out while we were in school. Part of the time we spent together was done so making light of the gay students on campus. We got a lot of chuckles out of the jokes…up until her own then 18-year-old son came out to her that he was gay. She was devastated for a short time, crying as she confided that she feared his being persecuted for being “different.” Eventually, she came around to accepting him for who he was, and got some community-group support for the both of them. My eventual maturity halted my making fun of gay people in such old-school thinking. But it was one of those experiences that made me see that things are often not as black-and-white as we would like to think. However, I find that such considerations for the shades-of-gray that surround many social issues like gay marriage are usually the concerns of those who’s thinking and perceptions are tainted by other considerations outside of reason and/or rational thinking.
For someone like myself, personal convictions, understandings, and experiences trump even family…and I couldn’t see myself going against them, even to support what makes my loved ones “happy.” To me, the issue of someone being against and then for gay marriage simply because they realize they have a gay relative is somewhat analogous to my own siblings doing something that I understood to be wrong and/or against my own convictions—I may love them, but I wouldn’t be supportive of what they were doing. And I simply have no respect for anyone—on the Left or the Right—who cannot stand on their personal beliefs and/or convictions come hell-or-high water. This brings me to my personal observations about the notion of gay marriage.
Many supporters of gay marriage opine that it is a “Constitutional right.” Logically-speaking, this is totally inaccurate. Marriage—gay or straight—is not a Constitutional “right.” Aside from the fact that the concept of marriage is neither implicit nor explicitly embedded language of the Constitution (unless you count “the pursuit of happiness” as being part and parcel of that such a “right,” in which case you’d have to consider the myriad of other unorthodox practices we have that make us “happy”), there is simply no “right” to be married in this country. In fact, there is no right—Constitutional or natural—that that we should even find a partner, find love, or even be loved…it is an expectation, not a “right.” It’s an indulgence in self-righteousness and self-deception to elevate personal expectations or desires to the level of “Constitutional Rights.”
In addition to the rhetorical argument, there is the purely logical argument against gay marriage. Simply stated, there is no way that anyone with a grain of intellectual reasoning could think that the Framers of the Constitution could have conceived that 2 adults of the same sex would want to freely engage in sexual relations (sodomy laws were still on the books during this period, which was what laws against homosexuality were codified under), yet alone want to marry each other (See: "Homosexuals And the Death Penalty In Colonial America"). The social and religious taboos of that period were so strong that the act of homosexuality was punishable by death. Even yes, the Founding Fathers had a great deal of foresight, but they were not seers. The inclusion of same-sex unions into the partnership of marriage was a level of thinking beyond even their ability to anticipate and legislate. Another reason why it stretches credibility to call gay marriage a “Constitutional right.”
Lastly, let’s look at where the growing support for gay marriage seems to be coming from. According to most recent polls, the overwhelming majority of support for gay marriage tends to come from those younger than 30 (See: “Young People, Flip-Floppers Fuel Surge For Gay Marriage”). But let’s not forget who these young people are; most of them are born to a generation of Americans who were born mostly to single parents. As a matter of reason, most of them have no frame of reference for the predominance of (the importance) of the heterosexual, two parent household dynamic. To them, any family regime outside of that particular traditional dynamic would not be considered a static, sacrosanct institution, and would likely impact their thinking insofar as their attitudes toward the notion of two people of the same sex being legally recognized as a marriage. This would explain partially why the support for gay marriage tends to fall off in older adults…those who were more likely to grow up under the heterosexual two-parent dynamic.

My overall point is that whenever we apply reason, rational thinking, and conviction of such thinking to a particular issue, the outcomes tend to either change based on the soundness of the challenging idea, or remain fixed despite popular attitudes. The practical application of this is that if one of my own siblings were gay, I would have the testicular fortitude to stand my ground based on my understanding of the issues as well as my personal experiences as it relates to that understanding…not bail on my convictions and my understanding of sound reasoning just because someone I know and love manifest the opposing view. Gay marriage, like most other social and economic issues should be approached based on the use of our heads and our higher reasoning, not base feelings and emotions for the simple fact that emotions can and do often impair both our critical reasoning skills and our ability to reach constructive addressing of the issues.  The fact that we have people in our lives who engage in practices that don't mesh with our individual convictions shouldn't be an influence...if you have a belief, stand firm on it...and don't be afraid what others think, or what  the masses believe.

See also: "What's Wrong With Gay Marriage And The Traditional Family" and "The Death Of The American Marriage!"

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Colorado Theater Shooter, The Death Penalty, And Real Punishment

Yesterday in a packed Colorado courtroom, family and friends of victims—as well as surviving victims—of the Aurora theater shooting listened and then applauded as prosecutors announced that they would be seeking the death penalty against the alleged perpetrator of that horrific crime, 25-year-old James Holmes. A fully-bearded Holmes sat and reacted with almost contemptuous casualness as the decision was read. Holmes’ rugged appearance in court was a long way from the orange and red dyed Joker-inspired-hair he sported the night he pushed into the nearly-packed movie theater in Aurora last July. Donned in a get-up reminiscent of the fictional Batman villain, he barged into a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises” and began opening fire on the crowd watching the movie with an assortment of weapons, killing 12 and wounding at least 58 people.
Accused Aurora, Colorado theater shooter James Holmes, shortly after his first courtroom appearance last year and more recently.


In past court appearances, Holmes has appeared to be what can only be described as “detached” in his concern for both the proceedings and his apparent actions.
In an action that contradicted Holmes’ cavalier attitude toward his actions, his lawyers last week indicated that Holmes was willing to “plead guilty and spend the rest of his life in prison in order to avoid death row.” His offer was summarily rejected by prosecutors.

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In a perfect (in not imaginative) world, executing Holmes would bring both closure to the families of his victims, as their departed loved-ones back from The Great Beyond. But as it stands, putting perpetrators like Holmes to death does nothing but perpetuate a cycle of violence as well as demonstrate how inconsistent we can be by way of our collective behaviors. We have no problem killing to demonstrate that killing is wrong, but we cannot spank/hit our unruly (and oftentimes deserving) children to demonstrate to them that hitting/disruptive behavior is wrong. Are we “civilized” or aren't we? A couple of years ago, I wrote posted a piece calling for a different way of punishing repeat violent offenders. The punishment was based on the premise of the old John Carpenter 1981 sci-fi flick (one of my personal guilty pleasures), “Escape From New York” (See: "A Hollywood Approach to Crime And Punishment"). The thesis of that particular piece was that the death penalty was neither a true deterrent to such offenses, nor has it even invoked a sense of fear or even concern in the minds of those charged with committing such heinous crimes—especially the way it is administered inconsistently and disproportionately. And for those who invoke the “justification” for capital punishment that “taxpayers shouldn't have pay to support such criminals,” these individuals ignore the fact that it actually costs taxpayers more money to execute those charged with capital crimes.
My suggestion was that a true level of punishment for unrepentant, repeat, and incorrigible criminals should illicit fear. In that previous posting, I suggested that criminals be allowed to live in a society of their rules, where only the strongest survive, and where there is no rule of law and enforcement for the laws they hold such concept for. Due process would still apply, but such criminals would truly get to see and live the consequences of their own thinking and actions.
My point is that punishments should hurt, and they should instill fear of consequences as well as that of punishment itself. A true system of punishment would create an environment of such apprehension of consequences that those like James Holmes who knowingly commit crimes of such magnitude against others would rather die—or simply not engage in such behavior—than experience the consequences. Death is seen as a punishment by some, but wishing for death would be a better lesson.

See also:  "Time To Rethink The Death Penalty"