THE NEWSLETTER

Today's Note From a Madman

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

 

A Murderer is a Murderer is a Murderer

 

Eric Rudolph pleaded guilty to the deadly bombings at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and three other attacks, including one at a Birmingham, Alabama clinic that performs abortions. Here are my views:

Eric R. Rudolph is a terrorist monster. He is a monster that terrorizes for the right wing jihadists that live here in the United States. He terrorizes those he feels aren't following the word of
God, regardless of the collateral damage and deaths that might occur. He does not speak or perform work for the vast majority of Americans, be they on the religious right or not.

Mr. Rudolph bombed innocent people at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics; he bombed a gay nightclub; he bombed an abortion clinic; he was going to bomb even more had he not been caught, in part, by the observations of an Alabama college student with unusual perception.

Mr. Rudolph bombs what he either doesn't understand or what he doesn't agree with. Maybe he bombs just because he can.

Mr. Rudolph is a terrorist monster.

For those of you reading this saying to yourselves, "Yeah, what he did was wrong, but..." don't bother continuing. He is not saving the life of an unborn child. He is not stopping 2 homosexuals from having consensual relations. He is using scare tactics to prevent people from living in a free society while they obey the law. There can be no excuse for murder. We have ways of changing the law in this country, and bombing is not one of them.

Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, we should all be anti-bombing.

Mr. Rudolph made a plea bargain agreement. He is not receiving the death penalty although there is no chance he did not commit at least three murders and a dozen serious injuries.

"The punishment should fit the crime. It's just a sickening feeling."
-Emily Lyons, who lost an eye in the bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama abortion clinic, in response to the plea that will allow Rudolph to live

Mr. Rudolph is not a hero. Mr. Rudolph is a monster. He is a Terrorist Monster. No more. No less.

-Noah Greenberg


In response to, "AHA! Robert fell into my trap. Whereas I do believe in the death penalty as a punishment, I do believe it needs to be applied in a 'perfect situation.'" Robert Scardapane writes:

Please define a "perfect situation". Is there any legal precedent in our system for "beyond a shadow of a doubt"? Even a confession is not prove beyond a shadow of a doubt - the person confessing may simply have a death wish. I am an open-minded person. If you can find in American law, support for the notion of beyond a "shadow of a doubt", I would give your position due consideration. Please explain further. -RS

Pat Thompson writes:

Civilized nations, even Germany, have stopped capital punishment. The Scandinavian countries, which I believe lead the world in the evolution of human civilization have long given it up. The conditions that produce criminals should be addressed. Which are child abuse and neglect, primarily. In the case of the rare oddball serial killer, why should we as a country have blood on our hands? Just lock him up. And the prison system should become more humane, so that more people are rehabilitated, educated and sent back out ready for a new life. Yup, I guess I am a real bleeding heart liberal.

Gary Gilmore, to me, is beyond a shadow of a doubt. Osama bin-Laden, to me, will be sufficient enough for beyond a shadow of a doubt. Hitler would have been good enough to be beyond a shadow of a doubt.

But that's just me.

I make no pretenses about it. There are states with many men and women on death row. In these states, a death row inmate can be pretty sure that the state will eventually execute them.

Then there are states that have men and women on death row with little chance that their state will execute them (California averages one execution per year).

You're right. I want to err on the side of caution. Like I said before, executions should be rare because they are final. But I still believe that, in the scenarios I mentioned, it is the correct punishment.

In response to Pat, Germany will always be a day late and a dollar short. Are they doing the right thing now? Yes. But it isn't easy for me to forgive and forget their atrocities of the 1930's and 1940's. All I have to do is listen to my mother's stories about one cousin or another that was killed in various nazi concentration camps.

Yes, by all means, let's do more than address child abuse and neglect. Let's eliminate them! I say spare no expense to do just that. But I still believe what I believe. Locking up the "rare oddball serial killer" might be good enough for some, but it's not good enough for me. making the prison system more humane works for me, but prison isn't only for rehabilitation, it's also for punishment, ergo the word "penal". Prison should be both humane enough to rehabilitate and harsh enough to make those who have been there before never to say it's "okay" to go back. There should never be "easy time" spent in prison. -NG


In response to Madman's response to "Mr. Gaffney is NOT turning green," Robert Scardapane writes:

The imagery of Gaffney turning Green was so entertaining that I couldn't resist it. But, the fact remains that Gaffney *IS* supporting Green projects - i.e., the so-called Apollo Project for hydrogen fuel cells. No doubt, Gaffney's motives are entirely different than environmentalists. The neocons fear that our dependence on foreign oil is a loss of foreign policy sovereignty and puts our national security at risk. The CIA already reached that conclusion several months ago. Personally, I'll take any help we can get on the energy issue. After all, the neocons have more influence over the Repubs than the environmentalists (more's the pity!). Please don't think for a minute, I support neocon imperialist objectives. The energy issue is too important to discard support from any quarter.


In response to," That is why I believe that nobody is really more pro-life than an environmentalist," Pat Thompson writes:

This is all that really matters. Thanks, Ed (Eddie Konczal for the T.A. Barron quote). We can go on about social security and health insurance -- but if the conditions for life on planet earth have been altered to the point where we are all endangered species -- well, we won't need social security and all the health care in the world won't heal Mother Earth.


In response to Madman's, "A Health Care Plan," Robert Scardapane writes:

You came up with a decent set of proposals. This would have to get state-by-state buy in to create the insurance pools. That's not too different than how it went in Canada with their SPUHC system. They started it by going province-by-province until it had a large enough financial surplus to become a national system. The Canadian system may not be a perfect but if 94% of the population loves it, there must be merit. I would doubt that 94% of Americans love their health care insurance (assuming they had it).

Concerning generic drugs, I have no problem with paying more for the brand name. I do have a problem when the insurance company refuses to pay anything at all for a generic - particularly, when there is scientific research indicating significant defects in the generic. I wonder why the FDA doesn't pursue such issues?

The Doctor writes:

In my view, everyone MUST be covered. I would not at this point specify co-pay levels since you don't have any actuarial data on where to set those amounts. The general idea of tiered co-pays that heavily incentivize generics is spot on. FYI, today's Health Affairs has a nice article on the relationship between premiums and increasing rates of uninsured....
"It's The Premium Stupid" is the title.

FYI, the single largest demographic group within the uninsured population in California and Oregon is:
male
age 20 - 30
single
unemployed
no high school diploma
Non-English speaking

Guess who they are? They are the folks who are the same folks bankrupting California. There are more than 1 million in LA alone and over 350,000 in Oregon. Nationally, there are more than 10 million and their ranks are swelling by the day...increasing 25% in just the past three years...they are illegal immigrants...and we cannot get a handle on health care costs so long as we allow porous borders.


In response to various issues on madman, Jack Kashinsky writes:

If the Doctor, in informing you that the generic was not totally equivalent to the proprietary brand, he was only correct if he was referring to the useless inert ingredients. Chemically the products are not only equivalent, but the same. Introducing inert ingredients is one of the methods employed by the pharmaceutical companies to market a relatively cheap product at an
enormously marked up price. They also employ this method when their patent runs out, ie Prilosac, and its replacement Nexium. Both identical, except for some additional inert ingredients. Any Doctor or pharmacist who informs you differently is either "informationaly challenged," ethically challenged, or both.

This is one of the areas where Medicare could save the beneficiaries and taxpayers millions, simply by using generics wherever possible, and of course negotiating with the pharmaceutical companies on prices for both. It was my mistaken belief that this is how "free enterprise" was supposed to work.

There are growing numbers of Canadian Doctors who migrated South for the expected higher income, but after struggling with the HMOs and other insurance companies, are returning to the single payer universal health care model in Canada.

Guns are a dangerous weapon, especially in the hands of incompetents, mentally disturbed, children, gangsters and convicts. Their lethal damage cannot always be undone. Therefore we need rigidly enforced registration, and gun sales in stores and/or at gun shows. Every gun should be implanted with a computer chip, which would make for more effective tracking, whenever required. Licenses, with the weapon, should be renewed on an annual basis, and be suspended or revoked, with the loss of the weapon upon evidence of misuse.

The constitution may allow people the right to bear arms, but gun owners rights stop where my nose begins.

John Kerry may have referred to "The economic squeeze", but he explicitly proposed nothing to remedy this condition. This, and several other things is the reason he is not President today.

Actually John Bolton, the right wing Libertarian clearly demonstrates our president's regard for the UN. We should actually fight it for the record, but welcome it behind closed doors because the Lipper (GW) has once again handed us an excellent wedge issue. I am totally confident in Bolton's ability to help alienate the rest of the world even more than his boss already has.


In response to, "Physicians who still believe that branded drugs are superior to generics despite all the evidence to the contrary are likely being influenced by industry reps bearing gifts," Robert Scardapane writes:

In this instance, there is medical research indicating the generic drug is not 100% effective. Should the doctor hide that fact from their patient? Should the insurance company be allowed to refuse payment unless the patient uses a generic that is not 100% effective - particularly when the risk is high?

Concerning guns, you missed my point entirely. If a medical bill is encumbered with gun regulations, that already exist, it will be hard to pass the bill. I realize that guns account for a portion of medical expenses. It's in everyone's best interest to make sure that gun owners have safety training and to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

As far as your insurance plan goes, I haven't seen any details yet. How is it any different than what exists today with HMO's, PPO's, Medicaid and Medicare? What exactly are you proposing?


Stupid Quotes

 

Quote 1

The Defense department "doesn't have a system to be able to determine with any degree of reliability and specificity how we spent" tens of millions of dollars.
-Comptroller General David Walker, who heads the Government Accountability Office, to a Senate Armed Services subcommittee

Let's just add that to the almost $9 billion that is missing form oil revenues in Iraq, at least $1.1 billion of it going to Halliburton. In comparison, it's a drop in the bucket.

 

Quote 2

"Be patient; we'll be fine."
-Tom DeLay, after a 90-minute meeting with Senate Republicans


This meeting was DeLay's way of begging the big boys in the Republican controlled Senate to help him keep his job.

DeLay thanked Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) for supporting him on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

Quote 3

There is "an outpouring of support for Tom DeLay." The Republicans think the questions regarding DeLay's ethics, or should I say Lack of ethics "are just partisan political hits organized by all the leftist groups in Washington."
-Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-NC)

 

Quote 4
"My party is going to have to decide whether we are going to continue to make excuses for Tom (DeLay),"
-Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT)

It appears your party is going to do just that, Mr. Shays. And the Republicans ought to be ashamed of themselves.

 

-Noah Greenberg


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-Noah Greenberg