I think I figured out how those "studies" could have come to the conclusion that capital punishment is a deterrent and that as many as 18 murders are prevented by executions:
Pollster: "I am doing a survey on the death penalty, and if I might take just a few minutes of your time?"
Pollee: "No problem."
Pollster: "First off, do you think that the death penalty serves as a deterrent to other people who might commit murder?"
Pollee: "Oh, most definitely."
Pollster: "You sound pretty certain of that."
Pollee: "I am, because, let me tell you, I was considering murdering my boss, but when I heard about that latest execution in Texas I decided right then and there, I don't want that to happen to me. So I decided not to go through with it. I egged his car and left a flaming bag of dog poop on his doorstep instead. I know that's a crime, but hey, it ain't murder."
Yeah, if that's how those studies went, then I guess I can see how they came up with their findings.
On further consideration: if there was anything meaningless or fruitless about what the Ploughshares Three did, it is that their activism will most likely prove to be an isolated incident carried out by a very small and dying breed of political activists. Unfortunately most people today are too apathetic to consider taking part in such demonstrations of civil disobedience, but what is needed is something like what they did multiplied by hundreds of thousands of other angry citizens who want to stop the insanity of our government's maintaining and even increasing our nuclear stockpile.
Mr. Hart should move to Afghanistan. He would love it there. Those Muslim fundies don't pussy-foot around when it comes to the death penalty.
I was wondering the same thing, LibDem. I would like to see some details about those "12 studies" and how they determined that capital punishment in America saves lives and serves as a deterrent. "Some studies concluded that, for every execution, up to 18 murders are prevented." Really?! I want to know how anyone can possibly determine that. Details, please, Mr. Hart.
Oh great. Another "Taxation is stealing!" adolescent adds his wooden nickel's worth of wisdom to the commentary. Look, we all know that there are things that our tax dollars go towards that we might not like. We cannot pick and choose those things that we personally approve of and those we don't. But that does not mean that taxation is "stealing" or that it is even an inferior way of keeping the gears of society turning. We have to have some way of getting the revenue necessary to do so, and taxation has been an integral part of every society and government going back as far as recorded history can go. Any government that left the gathering of needed revenue up to voluntary donations and charities wouldn't last a week before descending into chaos and becoming a dystopian society.
I'm sure that some part of the Ploughshare Three's taxes, just like everyone else's, has helped contribute to the funding of America's nuclear program, and I'm equally sure that they know that. But that does not make them fools for targeting a government facility in their protest. Whom should they have targeted? Individual tax payers' homes? Yeah, that would have made a definite impression on everyone, wouldn't it? Actually, their form of protest, dramatic and dangerous as it was, probably served to make the most impression, and that is what is paramount. So, NedNetterville, for you to say that their protest was folly is folly in itself. It is necessary to make the government AND the tax payers aware of the lunacy and destructive nature of our nuclear program, and I don't know of any other way they could have done so that would have been more emphatic or dramatic.
"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"I skimmed the piece and thought of the wasted hours I could spend refuting Mr. Cook's nonsense." - conservative
Just like those wasted hours you spend posting those Bible verses that nobody reads? Just like those wasted hours you spend every day in adoration of your false God and your fairy tale Bible? Just like those wasted hours you spend every day pointing out everybody else's sins while suffering under the delusion that you are one of the few going to heaven? Yes, best not waste any more precious hours, connie. You waste plenty enough already.
I really wish that, during local campaigns, the TFP would consider devoting separate space in their paper to the many letters to the editor that people write in which they endorse their favorite candidates. I never read them, and I doubt that many other people read them either. They are as useless as the campaign signs that appear around town in clusters. There are so many of them, so densely clustered together, that they merely cancel each other out and nobody can take any one of them any more seriously than the others. They are blight upon the page, just as the proliferation of political signs clustered together are blight upon the landscape - as ugly and useless as roadside litter.
Mr. Orr, since when does the QUANTITIY of Bibles published have anything to do with the validation of its truth? I don't care if 6 TRILLION Bibles have been published, it's still a work of pure fiction, and nonsensical fiction at that. It really is a shame for anyone to reach adulthood still clinging to myths and fairy tales that any 14 yr.-old should have the common sense to realize are not literal or historical.
ayb...I'm so glad you took the time to check it out, and glad that you have found it/her to be enlightening. I go to that website often and always learn something. Have you also visited her personal website, www.truthbeknown.com? It contains all of the many books she has written on the subject of Christ as mythological character. Of all the writers who have written on the mythicism of JC and the nonsense of the Bible in general, she is one of my favorites.
I completely agree with you on wishing we could stem the tide of children falling prey to the insidious brainwashing of Christian fundamentalism. Instilling in young, fertile minds the notion of a literal hell and literal Satan is nothing less than child abuse. Of course, some have the common sense and intelligence to learn to eventually think for themselves, but there are still so many adult fundamentalists among us, pushing their agenda of Biblical literalism, that many never have the courage or the individual will to break out of the insular cocoon of blind faith that they were born into.
Again, I'm so glad you have enjoyed the website. Thanks for letting me know.
Christianity is what is responsible for the massive slaughter, torture, rape, and oppression of the indigenous peoples of America. It was the self-righteous attitudes of the European Christian explorers and early colonists that led them to feel called upon by God to brutalize and enslave entirely innocent people.
Ken Orr, if you think that your God sanctioned the extreme brutality and genocide dished out by the early Christian settlers upon the native Americans then you are one sick puppy and so is your God. You can take your evil dictator of a God and your disgusting self-righteous Christian attitude and stick it where the sun don't shine. With every breath that I take I will fight tooth and nail to keep this country from being the Christian theocracy that you and your perverted Christian ilk think it should be, and there are plenty more just like me who will not let you Christian fundamentalist wackos turn this country into a Christian theocracy. America was never intended to be a "Christian" nation, regardless of what some of the more puritanical early settlers might have wished it to be. Even with the religious and philosophical differences among the framers of our Constitution, in the end they saw the wisdom in maintaining a definite separation of church and state.