Free Sample Of Southwest Missouri Culture

For those of you who don’t live around these parts (southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas) I am happy to provide a sample of at least part of the cultural ambiance you are missing.

The following story (which I present in its entirety) came from page 6A of Saturday’s Joplin Globe:

Man to be tried in case involving shots fired into car

A Jasper County man waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday on a charge that he fired several shots from a rifle in the direction of a woman he knows and into the vehicle beside her.

After waiving the hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court, Jeremy W. Bryant, 33, of rural Joplin, was ordered bound over for trial by Associate Judge Richard Copeland on a count of discharging a firearm into a vehicle. The judge set April 9 for the defendant’s initial appearance in a trial division of the court.

A probable-cause affidavit states that Bryant was arrested Feb. 28, 2011, at 1705 S. Central City Road after a disturbance involving gunshots. A sheriff’s deputy who responded to a report of the gunfire located Dana Shafer, who told him she was inside her home when she heard gunfire and went outside to see what was happening.

Shafer told the deputy that she walked to her gate and saw Bryant, her ex-boyfriend’s cousin, standing at the end of her driveway with a rifle in his hands. Shafer said that as she went out the gate to her vehicle, Bryant told her: “You come any closer and I will shoot you,” according to the affidavit.

She said she told him: “Go ahead.”

He allegedly fired seven to eight shots in rapid succession in her direction, with more than one bullet striking the station wagon and breaking out some windows.

When Bryant had finished shooting and Shafer told him that she was going to call 911 and he would be going to jail, Bryant reportedly responded: “I don’t think so,” and walked back to his home at 5473 W. Redneck Lane.

Under The Influence of Zealotry

Now filed under TEC’s Stupid Things Done Under The Influence of Fundamentalist Religion, get this:

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (WHTM) -A 14-year old Dauphin County girl said she thought she was going to die Wednesday night when two men with apparent guns raided a church meeting. She later found out that it was a learning exercise carried out by the church youth group.

The mother of the young girl did not want to reveal their names. The teenager does not belong to the Glad Tidings Assembly of God church in Lower Swatara Township, but she decided to go to a youth meeting Wednesday night with a friend who told her the meetings were fun.

Since church “youth groups” very often use “fun” to turn kids into religious zealots, I advise everyone to politely decline any such invitation on behalf of your children.

Here was the “purpose” of this exercise in dim-wittedness:

Church officials said it was intended to teach students about some of the things people of faith go through in other countries on a daily basis and that it was meant to have shock value.

“There are people in other countries that live under this environment on a regular daily basis,” Pastor John Lanza said. “They’re not warned that their persecutors are coming in.”

I smell a lawsuit, if not prison time for the perpetrators.

Bold Liberalism

It’s time for percolate-up economics for the middle class.”

—Senator Tom Harkin defending the “Rebuild America Act

his post may separate those of you out there who think you are liberals from those of you who really are.

From philosopher John Rawls I learned the “difference principle,” which essentially states that social justice entails creating the kind of society in which the worst among us are as well off as possible. The key to understanding this concept of social justice is to note the phrase, “as well off as possible,” and not mistake it for, “as well off as everyone else.”

My personal application of this idea is that certain social inequalities can be tolerated so long as we have striven to eliminate them in the context of keeping the engine of capitalism running. This implies that restrictions on capitalism are necessary, and that there is a need for redistributive polices, in order to ensure wealth doesn’t become too highly concentrated in the hands of a few.

As a liberal, I’m not afraid of stating that notion openly and defending it not only on the grounds of justice or fairness, but on the grounds that a society whose abundance is not shared by most of its citizens cannot long endure as a stable entity.

Having said that, here is an excerpt from The Nation:

Senator Tom Harkin announced today a broad economic plan that he will introduce shortly in the Senate—one well to the left of the current White House proposal and aimed directly at reviving the middle class.

Harkin’s legislation, which he dubs the “Rebuild America Act,” touches on virtually every area of American economic policy: it revamps the tax code, initiates a wide array of public spending meant to goose the economy, pushes for fair trade laws, and retools laws and regulations that affect middle-class families.

Here are some proposals in the bill, which is divided into “three basic categories”:

Economy and Job Boosters:

  • $300 billion (over ten years) for roads, bridges, sewer-water systems, levees and rural infrastructure
  • $20 billion (over ten years) in school modernization funding (From Harkin’s summary: “Grants are distributed to states based on poverty and population and States must describe how they will consider the impact of potential projects on job creation and give priority to eligible entities that use green practices and serve the largest percentages of low-income populations, among other things.”)
  • Boosts funding for agencies that regulate trade in order to better enforce fair trade policies
  • Helps states fund the hiring of teachers, public safety workers and other public employees
  • Provides a formula for matching grants to the states for “the modernization, renovation, and repair of early childhood education and care facilities, k-12 public schools, and community colleges
  • Establishes a program to help local communities “in efforts to undertake comprehensive energy systems renovations strategies” for the 21st century which will “enhance energy security and lessen environmental impacts”
  • Provides competitive grants for ensuring that Americans “obtain the skills and credentials needed to enter into and advance in high-quality jobs”
  • Provides loan guarantees so small manufacturers with work orders can get loans to expand

Middle Class Stabilizers:

  • Increases child care subsidies for working parents and grants to the states to “encourage the development of high quality child care programs”
  • Ensures that workers, particularly white-collar workers categorized as independent contractors, earn time-and-a-half overtime pay
  • Raises the minimum wage to $9.80 over two and a half years and then indexes it to inflation; raises the minimum wage for tipped workers “to 70% of the federal minimum wage”
  • Requires employers to offer workers paid sick days
  • Strengthens the National Labor Relations Act, making it easier for workers to join unions and increasing penalties on employers for blocking unionization.
  • Improves benefits “for current and future Social Security beneficiaries” by changing the method of calculating the benefits, which “when fully phased in” would increase benefits by $800 per year; also the law bases future increases on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly rather than the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Wage Earners
  • Phases out the Social Security tax cap on wages

Tax Changes:

  • Raises the capital gains rate (to 28% for higher-bracket earners) and closes the carried interest loophole
  • Institutes the “Buffett Rule,” which ensures that Americans “with annual income over $1 million, pay no less than a 30% effective tax rate”
  • Creates a Wall Street “speculators tax” of three basis points on common financial securities trades
  • Acquires “$65 billion over 10 years from large financial institutions…that received emergency financial assistance” through TARP
  • Ends tax breaks for companies that “ship jobs overseas”
  • Protects workers’ pension funds by strengthening the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and by adding protections for workers who pensions are threatened by bankruptcy

As The Nation’s George Zornick points out, Harkin’s legislation overlaps much of the recently announced “Budget for All” from the House’s Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Now, everyone knows that the chances of getting this or similar legislation passed is exactly zero. But that’s not the point. Too often Democrats start with a compromise and give more and more until we are essentially debating Republican proposals (see: the Affordable Care Act).

It is time we start the conversation on our own terms.

Women Beware

I wanted to call your attention to an excellent post by Katy Hall on HuffPo:

9 Lies Republicans Tell About Women’s Bodies

For the details go to the site and get educated. Here is the list:

1. Birth Control Causes Prostate Cancer.

2. Abortion Causes Breast Cancer.

3. Birth Control Is A Sex Pill.

4. Abortion Industry Is “Selling Abortions.”

5. Women Can’t Get Pregnant From Rape.

6. Prenatal Testing Leads To Abortion.

7. HPV Vaccine Causes Retardation.

8. Plan B Causes Abortions.

9Your Fetus Is Just Fine. (Proposals to protect doctors from “wrongful birth” lawsuits that involve physicians “withholding information that may lead a patient to get an abortion.”)

The Republican Health Care Plan: Too Bad, So Sad

I don’t often post segments from The Ed Show, but he nailed Mittens with this one:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Divide And Conquer Theocracy

The theocrats are getting desperate.

From CNN:

Group sought wedge between blacks, gays to fight same-sex marriage

A national group opposed to same-sex marriage aimed to fight it by driving “a wedge between gays and blacks” and identifying “glamorous” Latino artists and athletes to advocate traditional marriage, according to newly released confidential memos.

In other words, those who always scream the loudest (and falsely) about liberals wanting to divide Americans along racial lines are actively trying to divide Americans along racial lines.

That “national group” is called the National Organization for Marriage and here is a couple of the memos:

The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so in the future because of demographic growth. Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We can interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity.

The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African-American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party.

As damaging as that stuff is, CNN reports what I consider to be the most damaging:

NOM argued “gay marriage is the tip of the spear, the weapon that will be and is being used to marginalize and repress Christianity and the Church.”

You see? Gay marriage is, and always has been, a religious issue for right-wingers. It features culturally fearful conservatives, drunk on Iron Age theology, who want to cram their anachronistic religious beliefs down the throats of an increasingly resistant public.

And we are lucky the zealots are at present only trying to drive metaphorical wedges between gays and blacks and Latinos. I suppose the Rack is not practical these days.

Don’t Worry, Be (Somewhat) Happy ACA Fans

With all the defeatist talk out there about how it is over for the individual mandate and likely over for the Affordable Care act, I want to offer a word of comfort: It’s not.

Famously now, Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s legal analyst, said after oral arguments on Tuesday:

This was a train wreck for the Obama administration. This law looks like it’s going to be struck down.

After hearing that and after hearing similar remarks coming from several talking heads on the TV box, I waited until 1:00pm Central time and listened to the arguments myself. Better yet, I followed the transcript as I listened, stopping when necessary to analyze the arguments being made (much easier than yesterday) and the questions being asked.

What I found was that Solicitor General Donald Verrilli did get off to a horrible start. A really horrible start. He soon got help from Justice Ginsburg and Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan and by the end he had pretty much righted himself.

As expected, the conservative justices (except for Clarence Thomas who was likely texting Rush Limbaugh during the proceedings) executed an attack on the law, but nothing we hadn’t heard before and nothing that couldn’t be refuted.

Justice Scalia, who gets a lot of credit for being such an unassailable thinker, was not particularly good in his remarks* and it appears he will find a reason to vote against the law no matter how far he has gone in the past to justify an expansion of the government’s powers (when the government’s position happens to correspond with his own position on, say, the legality of medical marijuana) under the Commerce Clause. It appears to me that Scalia and the conservatives want to find a “limiting principle” on the government’s power under the Commerce Clause only when it is convenient.

Obviously, everyone was listening for clues from Justice Kennedy. Was he hostile to the government’s case? Hardly. He asked some tough questions, expressed some doubts, but in the end he also pressed former Solicitor General Paul Clement, who argued most of the case for the other side. At one point Kennedy said:

The government tells us … the insurance market is unique. And in the next case, it’ll say the next market is unique. But I think it is true that … the young person who is uninsured is uniquely proximately very close to affecting the rates of insurance and the costs of providing medical care in a way that is not true in other industries. That’s my concern in the case.

This should be seen as a good sign because those conservative judges who have upheld the mandate have said that the healthcare market is not like buying broccoli or cell phones (to mention a couple of examples used by the conservative justices during oral arguments). Everyone will eventually participate, either accidentally or on purpose, and the cost-shifting involved (because most hospitals are mandated to provide treatment) is unique.

There is not only a good possibility that Justice Kennedy will find a way to uphold the individual mandate, there has been some speculation that Justice Roberts might follow him. I was particularly surprised that Roberts stepped in to restate the government’s argument, when he thought the other side had miscast it, but that is a rather thin string to hang a hope that Roberts might make it 6-3 to uphold the law.

Finally, Paul Clement did do a very good job of presenting his case, but he knows that oral arguments are not necessarily the decisive part of a complicated case like this:

I’m a big believer that oral argument makes a difference, but I’m also a big believer that comparably the briefs make even more of a difference.

We shall see. Prediction: 6-3 to keep the Affordable Care Act whole.

__________________________

*Here is one silly offering from Scalia:

Could you define the market — everybody has to buy food sooner or later, so you define the market as food, therefore, everybody is in the market; therefore, you can make people buy broccoli.

Or how about this one:

Necessary does not mean essential, just reasonably adapted. But in addition to being necessary, it has to be proper. And we’ve held in two cases that something that was reasonably adapted was not proper because it violated the sovereignty of the States, which was implicit in the constitutional structure. The argument here is that this also is — may be necessary, but it’s not proper because it violates an equally evident principle in the Constitution, which is that the Federal Government is not supposed to be a government that has all powers; that it’s supposed to be a government of limited powers.

Necessary does not mean essential, just reasonably adapted“? Huh? Necessary means “of an inevitable nature.” And essential means “absolutely necessary.” You see how easy it is to bend words to fit your ends?

And although Scalia worries about violating the “sovereignty of the States” these days, he did not worry much about that in 2005, when he found it necessary to stomp all over California’s right to allow its citizens to grow marijuana for their own medicinal use:

As we implicitly acknowledged in Lopez, however, Congress’s authority to enact laws necessary and proper for the regulation of interstate commerce is not limited to laws directed against economic activities that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce. Though the conduct in Lopez was not economic, the Court nevertheless recognized that it could be regulated as “an essential part of a larger regulation of economic activity, in which the regulatory scheme could be undercut unless the intrastate activity were regulated.” … This statement referred to those cases permitting the regulation of intrastate activities “which in a substantial way interfere with or obstruct the exercise of the granted power.” … As the Court put it in Wrightwood Dairy, where Congress has the authority to enact a regulation of interstate commerce, “it possesses every power needed to make that regulation effective.”

How Obama Will Sell Out The Country

I suggested yesterday (Obama’s Planning On Selling Out the Country…) that someone on Fox’s evening lineup would question the “intelligence and patriotism” of Obama and that someone might wonder “what else is Barack Obama not telling us he’ll do after he’s elected.”

Sean Hannity did not disappoint last night. He played Obama’s “private” conversation with Dmitry Medvedev:

OBAMA: This is my last election, and after my election I’ll have more flexibility.

MEDVEDEV: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir [Putin].

Now, everyone knows that the term “more flexibility” means “more flexibility to screw the American people who just elected me,” right? And if you didn’t know that, then you did after Sean’s guest, Newt Gingrich, explained it all:

Well, it raises two questions. The first is, what other countries has he had this conversation with and who else has he said—to the Iranians to the North Koreans, to a variety of places—you know, give me a little time, give me some space, let me get reelected and then I’ll sell out.

And the second is, my interpretation of an American president telling a Russian president about our missile defense clearly indicates he’s going to sell out our defense system as soon as he gets reelected, which would fit his whole policy of weakness and appeasement…

He’s a hard-line left-winger…none of this is a surprise. The question is does the United States want to reelect a president with the worst economic record since the Great Depression, the highest deficits in American history, the rising cost of gasoline, a weak foreign policy, and he really wants to destroy the American defense system. That’s essentially what Obama-ism is.

Those aren’t the words of some obscure know-nothing in the bowels of movement conservatism. Those are the words of a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, who once was considered by many to be a viable contender in the GOP presidential primary.

And if that wasn’t enough entertainment for one night, the opening act for Gingrich was the toesucker himself, Dick Morris.

Hannity had played a Santorum ad the theme of which was: If we reelect Obama, the world will grow dark and the birds and Mitt Romney will stop singing. Asked to comment on the ad, the toesucker said it “understated” how bad things will be, should voters put Obama back in the White’s House.

He then outlined Obama’s second term for the lucky viewers, which I will quote at length because one has to plumb the depths of this Mariana Trench delusion to fully appreciate it:

First of all, I believe he’ll proceed to a single-payer system on health care.  I think Obamacare was just an intermediate step in his mind.  And if he’s reelected, particularly if he has a Democratic Congress, he will eliminate the private health insurance industry and all insurance will be from the government and it will all be according to one plan.

Secondly, I think that he will completely reverse the initiatives of the Bush 43 administration in opening vast new forms of oil drilling in the U.S., and will eliminate this incredible opportunity we have to dominate the global oil markets and put the terrorists out of business.

But thirdly, I think that his big focus will be to make the United States a vassal state to a globalist entity. I think that the G20 and the IMF will acquire sovereignty over our economy. I think that he will sign the international criminal treaty—Criminal Court treaty—that would oblige the United States to get U.N. approval, which is to say Russian and Chinese approval, before going to war.

I think he’ll sign—I write about all this in my book coming up in two months called “Screwed”—I think he’ll sign the Rights of the Child treaty, which would create a legal basis for suing to increase foreign aid to poor countries.

I think that he’ll sign the Gun Control treaty…I think that he’ll sign the global ban on small arms—back door arms control in the United States. I think he’ll sign away our royalties for offshore oil drilling by going along with the law of the sea treaty. I think that he’ll ban U.S. weapons in outer space, which will eliminate an anti-missile capability fiasco…

But the most important thing I didn’t get to: He’s gonna transform America into two countries. A small number of people who pay taxes and a large number of people don’t work and are dependent upon the government to create a permanent leftist, socialist base in the United States.

As you can see, Mr. Obama will have his hands full in his second term, as selling out America is no easy task.

And by the way, don’t forget to pick up a copy of Dick Morris’ book in a couple of months.

Obama’s Planning On Selling Out the Country To The Ruskies—Tune In To Fox Tonight For Details

Taking time out from paling around with the money she has made fleecing fellow Foxish-conservatives, Sarah Palin said this about Obama’s chit-chat with Dmitry Medvedev (the more-flexibility-after-the election comments):

Whoever chooses to merely dismiss the significance of today’s exchange between our president and Russia’s president should have their intelligence and patriotism questioned. Let this exchange be a warning to voters: President Obama will have ‘more flexibility’ to weaken us if he’s re-elected in November.

Question the “intelligence and patriotism” of Hussein Obama supporters? Of Hussein Obama himself? Now, who would go and do a thing like that?  I guess we’ll just have to wait for this evening’s Fox lineup to find out.

Stay tuned for the details.

Oh, one more thing. What else is Barack Obama not telling us he’ll do after he’s elected? Huh?

I’m guessing that question will come up a time or two tonight on the Fair and Balanced Network.

What Do We Make Of It All?

There it was. The headline many around here had hoped they would see:

From the beginning of his trial, delayed for years, there was no doubt as to Chris Collings’ guilt. He had confessed to the rape and murder of 9-year-old Rowan Ford of Stella, Mo., crimes he committed in November of 2007.

His lawyers admitted in court that he killed the little girl, after he had brutally raped her. Collings had confessed that he tried to keep his identity hidden from his victim, but the fourth-grader turned and saw him and for that he said he murdered her and threw her body down a hole, no doubt hoping the earth would swallow up his wickedness.

The only thing that his trial would ultimately decide was whether he would serve his impending sentence alive or dead.

I was reading the article in the Joplin Globe, awkwardly satisfied that justice had been done, thinking that Collings got what he deserved, despite my own misgivings about the death penalty, particularly those times it has victimized the innocent. This case was different, I kept telling myself. This man admitted he raped and killed the innocent little girl, and he deserved to die.

He most assuredly deserved to die.

Then I kept reading the story. I came to the part where the police chief of Wheaton, Clint Clark, who had known Collings since he was a boy, said this about the imposition of the death penalty in this case:

Either way would have been difficult,” Clark said of the jury’s two choices in the penalty phase, either life without parole or the death penalty. “I believe in God, and I believe what the Bible says, ‘An eye for an eye.’” He said it would have been a difficult decision for him to make, knowing Collings as well as he does, just as it was no doubt difficult for each of the jurors who made the decision. He said he can hate only what Collings did, and not the defendant himself, whom Clark has known most of his life.

“But I can’t look at my children without thinking of Rowan,” Clark said.

When I got to that part about the Bible and the “eye for an eye,” I cringed. Are we still meting out justice according to Iron Age theology? I asked myself.

It so happened that MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell discussed on Thursday the death penalty on his show, The Last Word. The gripping segment centered on the murder last April of James Craig Anderson in Jackson, Mississippi.  The 47-year-old African-American was intentionally run over by white, hate-filled racist teenagers in a pickup truck. The driver of that truck, Deryl Dedmon, pleaded guilty Wednesday to murdering Anderson and to the commission of a hate crime.

Amazingly, James Craig Anderson’s family had asked prosecutors not to pursue the death penalty for Dedmon, saying in a letter:

Our opposition to the death penalty is deeply rooted in our religious faith, a faith that was central in James’ life as well. Our Savior Jesus Christ rejected the old way of an eye for an eye and taught us instead to turn the other cheek. He died that we might have everlasting life and, in doing so, asked that the lives of the two common criminals nailed to the crosses beside him be spared. We can do no less.

There you have it. Good people citing “eye for an eye” in completely different ways, in the midst of horrific circumstances. What is one to make of it all?

O’Donnell, a fierce opponent of the death penalty, said this on Thursday:

The only way to completely prevent the possibility of executing the innocent is to oppose the death penalty in all cases. If you oppose the death penalty just for the innocent, that means you’re willing to leave the death penalty in place. And if you leave it in place, mistakes will be made. The real test of your opposition to the death penalty is the hard case.

No doubt, if you are an opponent of the death penalty, the rape and murder of little Rowan Ford here in southwest Missouri is a hard case. If ever anyone deserved to be executed by the state—by we the people—it is Chris Collings.

That is why the defense argued during the penalty phase that there were mitigating circumstances the jury should consider, before it pronounced the ultimate sentence on him.  Among those alleged mitigating circumstances, according to the testimony of a human development specialist that interviewed Collings, was emotional neglect both before birth and immediately after, as well as a number of “stressors” throughout his life that left Collings with a “disorganized attachment disorder” and “stuck at an emotional age of 14 or 15,” as the Globe’s Jeff Lehr reported it.

Lehr began his story on the first day of penalty-phase testimony this way:

The birth father of Chris Collings testified Thursday that he was drunk every day of the week about the time his son was born in 1975.

Dale Pickett, of England, Ark., admitted…that both he and Collings’ mother, Barbara, had issues with alcohol, although she was not as heavy a drinker as he.

“She couldn’t stand me drunk, and I couldn’t stand her sober,” Pickett summed up the relationship from the witness stand.

Chris Collings’ father spent time in prison for shooting a man he thought was having an affair with his wife.  Collings’ teenage step-brother testified that he took care of his younger sibling during that time and that their mother worked more than one job and drank and “beat on him for not keeping their house picked up and went after a guy who had been drinking with her with a butcher knife,” in Lehr’s account of the testimony. That led to placement of the two kids in foster homes, and then into other foster homes.

Seven-year-old Chris Collings was eventually adopted, but soon after that his adoptive parents separated and he “began getting shuttled back and forth between his adopted mother and father.”  Eventually an eighteen-year-old Chris Collings would resume a relationship with his birth father—then out of prison—who, as Jeff Lehr reported,

said his love for Chris endures despite alleged sexual contact of his son with his stepdaughter when she was between 11 and 14 years of age.

Asked about the murder of the Ford girl, Pickett said he knows his son made a mistake, but everybody makes mistakes.

What does one make of a man—whose son brutally raped and murdered a fourth-grader—who can summon from his mind only the word “mistake” to describe such crimes?

A few months before he raped and murdered Rowan Ford, Collings’ birth mother died. A few weeks before he raped and murdered Rowan Ford, his adoptive mother died. What was the jury to make of this and of all the other testimony meant to keep Chris Collings alive and in prison for the rest of his life?

As I said, what are we to make of it all? Are there any circumstances that help to explain such crimes?  Are there any adverse nurturing conditions that would convince a reasonable person to spare Chris Collings’ life?  Just what are the elements in one’s upbringing that conspire to create a murderous monstrosity like he most certainly is? And how much can we blame him for what he became?

I wish I knew the answers to all those questions. I wish this jury knew the answers. But what they did know, what we all know who have followed this case, is that “slender, brown-haired” Rowan Ford, who loved Hanna Montana and Jesus; who traveled the roads of Stella “on her blue-tinted Blossom Quest bicycle”; who “read voraciously, worked hard and was well-behaved,” suffered an unspeakable—and unimaginable—end to her life.

She died a most painful and terrifying death. She died sharing her last few minutes on earth with a perverted monster, the likes of which she would never have confronted in her worst nightmare. And the horror she faced, the absolutely dreadful savage that tortured her and murdered her, will one day, absent the suffering she endured, be put to death by our hand—yes, by our hand because we still approve of the death penalty—and I confess I can’t find it within me to protest.

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