Saturday, 30 July 2011

Capital Punishment

(expanded version of a comment on Guido Fawkes' blog)

After the IRA pub bombings (in fact after every outrage of this sort in, or even nowhere near, the UK) there are repeated calls for the death penalty to be restored. The Birmingham 6 and the Guildford 4 would have been dead long before the problems with their convictions were brought to light (if that ever would have happened)

a) How many miscarriages of justice does it take before you realise that Capital punishment isn't such a good idea?

b) it's revenge. That is not a reason for killing someone, though some people seem to think so. They need to show us why the death penalty is the correct response for murder or whatever. The burden of proof is with them and they can't do it.

c) We KNOW it doesn't work as a deterrant,

d) the drawn out appeals process in the US. People (usually blacks or people with low IQs or poor education) spend years on Death Row with the prospect of a gruesome death hanging over their heads. Lethal injection is definitely an improvement on gas chambersr and electric chairs*

Please don't tell me there are cut and dried cases. The concept of proof in the law is much much much more fragile than anyone realises. We're talking about "beyond reasonable doubt" which is NOT the same thing as proof.

Half of what we think we know is wrong anyway, or we have nowhere near enough evidence for. And for every case like this, where there is a confession (and maybe in some cases clear footage) there are hundreds where it's one person's word against another's.

Still convinced about the death penalty? Let me know, and I'll tell you why you're wrong

*for Christ's sake, who dreamt that up? I don't think Edison directly, but I think he was involved in discussions

Friday, 29 July 2011

This is supposed to not be about me....

...but I've transgressed that rule already. This blog is an unthemed mess, and noone really reads it :)

I seem to be a different person every few weeks, which makes planning for the future a little difficult. Actually it just goes round in circles between 3 or more personalities. It can be very uncomfortable, especially when I go through days, possibly weeks, feeling as though I am emotionally dead. But I know that it all goes in circles, a sine-curve, and sometimes I play music on stage and there's an audible sigh after I've finished before the applause starts, and I feel the way I do (or used to) when a beautiful woman shows unmistakeable strong interest , or more.

For some reason, Born Slippy seems to express this mood quite well, especially the euphoric slow chords between the manic madness.

I hope to be coming out of the malaise soon...

Friday, 22 July 2011

Sharon Osbourne: "I do think it’s quite fabulous"

What does Sharon Osbourne reportedly think is fabulous?

It's the story of a  "California woman accused of cutting of her husband’s private part and disposing of it in a particularly gruesome way after he asked for a divorce"

Fabulous eh? If you say so. And if a man mutilated a woman in some way would that be fabulous too? Is someone going to convolutedly argue that while (for example) rape is an evil crime,  mutilating a man's sexual organs is just fine!

The audience apparently shared the joke

Thursday, 21 July 2011

BBC on the Murdoch story

The BBC have been focusing on this story since it broke, to the exclusion of all else in the news. I feel tired of saying this - but it has to be said again:

a) The BBC's claims to 'impartiality' are a joke,
b) All news sources make decisions about what to print or broadcast. These will necessarily be a kind of bias, but what we have here is a battle between news giants, being conducted at the expense of bringing the public news about Libya, Greece, problems with the Euro etc.

Here is one of many excellent posts on the biased-BBC blog showing how this story of questionable importance is attracting several times as much space and time fro the BBC as all other issues put together. And over and over, BBC journalists are using the story to try and put the Prime Minister's judgement into doubt, because of their own political leanings

This is irresponsible reporting and editing. People believe the BBC is impartial (including some who work for the organisation, bizarrely), as it has a written obligation to try to be.

In fact exactly the opposite is the case, and its entire news agenda has been dominated by a a story fuelled by inter-journalistic rivalry and schadenfreude.

The Murdoch papers are running scared - the Telegraph is also run by anti-Murdoch elements (by being successful and ruthless, he's just made too many enemies) and are not doing enough - apart from an excellent piece by Janet Daley

Spread the word. Everyone needs to understand this.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Will Self attracting amusement again

A ludicrous piece of writing appeared in the Guardian very recently written by Mr Will Self. It is his commentary on the closure of the News of the World and one of such pretentiousness that I almost achieved Nirvana reading it. At least I was aware of being on quite a different level of consciousness after reading it, to the one I started off with before I was unsuspectingly drawn to this abomination.

The subtitle of the piece will give you a clue:

"We are in a strange interregnum of titillation between cultural hegemonies, before familiar hierarchies appear online"

Now I quote the late, great George Carlin here: "that is what is known as being STUNNINGLY, EMBARASSINGLY full of s**t". There's plenty of it, too :) Here is some more

"key to an understanding of how this interregnum is eating holes in the British social fabric"

Which led the way for my personal favourite from the 100s of bewildered comments. This from someone calling himself DannyKen:

"Blimey, Will. You don't so much mix your metaphors as put them in a blender"

I too commented on the images this put in my head. Someone is having a laugh here, surely?