Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Guest Post by Foxy Wizard

I must confess I am perplexed by the indifference of Christians in America to the plight of Christians worldwide. Here in America, Christians seem to be very pro-Israel, which I am as well. But when you actually read up on the subject, it is clear there is a world-wide genocide raging against Christians, with nary a peep about it in the Christian community. I Googled "violence against Christians" and got 28,600,000 hits. In Syria, entire Christian villages are being destroyed. Iraq has seen a mass exodus of Christians since 1990. Many villages in these two countries speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. What a precious group.

Perhaps there is much to learn from them, since Western Christianity has been filtered through many different cultures and languages; Greek, Latin, Old English, and finally, American English, in the case of American Christians. Having read the Peshetta Bible, translated by Dr. Lamsas, a Bible scholar raised speaking the Aramaic language, I can tell you there are many passages that are difficult to understand in the King James Version are clear in that Bible. For example, in Aramaic, the word for camel and for rope are one and the same, providing for much needed clarity in the passage where Jesus says: "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. KJV" If you read "rope" instead of "camel" the passage makes more sense. And no, it wasn't a small gate into Jerusalem.

By the way, I am also opposed to the genocide and destruction of Buddhist temples and culture around the world. Can't we just all get along?

Rand Paul Tells Christians To Fight Global Persecution Step one: Pray. Step two: For the love of all that's holy, stop contributing to the problem.


jim marquis said...

It's very simple...skin color. Conservative Christians here basically see Jesus as a Viking who ate hummus. They could care less about what happens to a bunch of folks who don't live in Murica.

jim marquis said...

I would also add that ignorance is part of the problem. We have a Coptic Christian church down the street here in our neighborhood. It's been there like 5 years and I'm sure the majority of folks who drive by still think it's a mosque.

Bram said...

Project much Jim?

Foxy Wizard said...

So Jim, you're saying that 48 million Hispanics who profess to be Christian are racists? And the 8 million African Americans who profess to be Christian are racists as well? You may be on to something.

CrabbyOldMan said...

You can always count on Malarkey for, well, more malarkey.

Foxy Wizard said...

"It's been there like 5 years and I'm sure the majority of folks who drive by still think it's a mosque."

If this opinion is as biased as the first one, perhaps it is you who are ignorant.

free0352 said...

No one helps because Christians pray, and wring their hand and say Oh Poor People!

The only way you can help is ship those Christians guns, and maybe go yourself as a Soldier. When you get there, you have to win a war.

Don't want to do that? Yeah, nobody does. Which is why nothing is going to happen and all those Christians are going to die. Wave goodbye to them, their ticket is already punched.

"Doing something" means you have to fucking kill some people. Anybody want to go do that?

T. Paine said...

Jim, I know you aren't a bad guy, but that line is about as ridiculous as anything you have ever said.

Foxy, great post!

CrabbyOldMan said...

I'd say that Free0352 has a firm grasp of reality.

free0352 said...

Everybody always wants to "help" people in third world countries - but those same people can never tell you how many body bags they're willing to fill to do the helping.

Foxy Wizard said...

The Christian community typically does much more than pray and say Oh, Poor People. It is a documented fact that American Christians as a whole contribute massively to charitable causes- probably more than any other religion. It simply amazes me that the Christian community isn't more vocal about it.

Foxy Wizard said...

Thanks, T. Paine.

CrabbyOldMan said...

Free0352, they are willing to fill a fair number of body bags provided the bodies are not of their family and friends.

Zelda said...

There was a collection at my Church for Christian refugees from Syria and Egypt a few weeks ago and the priest talked at length about the persecution of Christians in that part of the world. He also talked about the logistical difficulty of getting them to safety. They are not being targeted for exile, they are being targeted for death.

He didn't say this, but I've come to the conclusion that money won't help as much as guns, but no one is willing to go there.

free0352 said...

It is a documented fact that American Christians as a whole contribute massively to charitable causes

That probably makes a lot of sense in normal countries.

I'm talking about the middle east. Whatever you send can be appropriated by the "rebels" or government doing the slaughter - I'm sure they appreciate the free shit. You make them stronger while they get on with the killing. I have watched this happen first hand so many times I can't begin to explain why aid for most of the third world is the fucking worst idea. I've seen it happen all over africa and the middle east. You might as well take all those charitable donations you send over seas and just flush it down the toilet for all the good it does. Actually, if you flushed the money down the toilet at least it wouldn't end up in the hands of despots.

Nope, the way you protect Christians in Iraq, or Saudi Arabia or Syria or Egypt or China or North Korea or whatever, is you send them AK 47s. That is what is going to save them. Fuck charity, its useless. An American welfare check or bag 'o rice isn't going to help a guy getting his head cut off. He needs a fucking automatic weapon, and then he can help himself. But that's out, since our dumb ass country just signed this UN treaty, which makes that impossible.

So with that, just wave goodbye to the Christians in Syria. They are all going to die.

free0352 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
free0352 said...

provided the bodies are not of their family and friends.

I'm not even talking about friendly bodies, I'm talking about bad guy bodies. You can't even get the American public to get down with killing, let alone dying themselves.

I double dare anyone to walk into any church in this country, and say

"Hey, I got a boat that can cross the ocean. I need as many of you that are willing to go to the gun store, buy an assault rifle and about 4000 rounds of ammunition. We're going to go sneak into Syria and defend these Christians. Maybe extract a few and get them somewhere where they can be refugees. If you can, buy a few extra assault rifles and you can hand them out when we get there."

You will get zero people signing up. Until you are willing to do that, these Syrian Christians are fucked. They are as good as dead. Thats what these Jihadists do, exactly what I told you above only they are sneaking in to do drastically different shit - stuff like cleanse the land of Christians. Until we have Christians willing to kill and die, then Christians will just die. When you are an inherently peaceful religion, you have to expect the sharks of the world to feed on you, and being a Christian in a third world country let alone a Muslim one is like jumping into a great white feeding frenzy covered in chum and dead animal parts. What do you expect?

Foxy Wizard said...

I see your point.

CrabbyOldMan said...

I have said for a long time that brutes only respect brutality greater than their own. I think that is consistent with what Free0352 has been saying.
I say that this always has and always will apply to dealing with both domestic and foreign criminals.
The idea that one just needs to reason with criminals, try to alleviate their anger, provide them a free living, refrain from offending them etc. is beyond stupid. Of course, that is why liberals wholeheartedly support such policies.
There is a lot of wisdom in ther Roman expression "they do not love us, so let them fear us."

free0352 said...

I'd say fighting terrorism and criminal justice are two different animals that need different strategies.

The point is, Americans don't want to help, because helping gets their precious little hands dirty.

free0352 said...

I'm not religious but I grew up in the church. I know the bible. There are passages in the New Testament about self defense. Hell, Jesus told his disciples to sell their cloaks to buy swords. And they did, as one of them cut off a palace guard sent to arrest Jesus ear. Christians have gone overboard with the peace kick becoming international hippies. Time to remember that Christian Warrior Tradition. And I don't mean "spiritual warrior" I mean a killing dudes warrior. The Pope told Christians getting their heads chopped off the be peaceful. Fuck that, he's saying that surrounded by the Swiss Guard. I'm sure if they were coming for his head, they'd be shooting in their pantaloons.

CrabbyOldMan said...

I entirely disagree with I'd say fighting terrorism and criminal justice are two different animals that need different strategies.
I am thinking in general terms. Of course one does not go after burglars with tanks and cruise missiles.
Thieves steal because their desire for cash is stronger than their moral inhibitions, if they actually have any. They similarly commit rape, assault etc. Groups of people have behaved in the same manner.
The commonality is that it requires the fear of unwanted consequences, like going to prison, having one's country destroyed or loosing one's own life, to curb the world's predators.

free0352 said...

The commonality is that it requires the fear of unwanted consequences

I'm not suggesting we shouldn't protect people from criminals, but we have to have our assumptions straight to do that effectively.

Back in the 1800s they used to hang people in London for as little as pick pocketing. And the crime rates went up. I for one, don't buy into the deterrence aspect of criminal justice because I didn't see it work within the criminal justice system. And that makes sense if you think about it.

Bottom line, bad guys never think they'll get caught.

You could give people the chair for shoplifting and I don't think it would make any difference, which I know you're not suggesting - but I'm taking this to an extreme to make a point.

There are two fundamental people you encounter in the criminal justice system - people who have that one stupid brush with the law and they'll never screw up again, and then you have career criminals. Believe it or not, most people are the first kind. Crime statistics show us that about 1% of the population commits about 90% of the crime. So the way you fight crime is figuring out who is in that 1% and locking them up forever. The odds of deterring that 1% are fairly low - because they are mostly deeply stupid people. The vast majority of criminals I came into contact with while I was in law enforcement were really, really, really stupid. They were people who couldn't make informed or uninformed choices. They just wanted instant gratification right now, and never even took the time to think about what they were doing or what the consequences would be. It never even occurred to them.

As for the non-career criminals, you can actually take it pretty easy on them because their lapse in judgement usually will not be repeated. Now I'm not suggesting we take a rapist and say "Oh don't do that again." No. I'm talking about the kind of crimes that take up the vast majority of law enforcement. Thinks like DWI, bar fights, petty theft, bad driving, minor domestic violence, drug possession. Violent criminals or home invaders deserve little mercy. But that should only be for true violent criminals, not some idiot who gets in a fist fight with the neighbor over cutting down a tree (for which I saw a guy get five years once.)

As for terrorism, they're religious fanatics. You can't deter someone who actually wants to die and lives to take you with them.

CrabbyOldMan said...

Free0352, sit down, have a smoke and scratch your balls. You need to do those things to withstand the shock of my saying that I agree with 98% of your comment.
I would like to add that I think there is a calculus that balances the rewards and the adverse consequences of getting caught (i.e. a cost of doing business). They used to hang thieves by the roadside or chop off a hand because the probability of being caught was so low. It was a matter using terrible, but rarely suffered, consequences to balance the rewards of robbing. We catch more people now, even though I think it still a minority of the offenders, so terrible punishment can be replaced with more certain (and much less severe) punishment.
I think a practical approach to the 1% problem is via attrition. We should incarcerate repeat offenders for much longer periods than we do and under much harsher conditions, with the idea of extracting as much of the cost of incarceration as is practical from the incorrigible themselves.
I also think that the death penalty should be broadened and the process of using it streamlined. To address the very legitimate concern of possible judicial error, no one should be subject to the death penalty unless they have had (two?)(three?)felony convictions. Since I think we agree that criminals commit many more crimes than they are convicted of anyway, an error would be of very little consequence.
A question: Did the idiot fist fighter get five years because he had a habit of getting into fistfights?

free0352 said...

I would like to add that I think there is a calculus that balances the rewards and the adverse consequences of getting caught (i.e. a cost of doing business).

You're giving the vast majority of criminals too much credit here. Every minor offender or felon I ever met basically either forgot to do a cost/benefit analysis or more often in the case of the 1% was incapable of doing one.

Then of course after being caught - it was "the man" you know. Its NEVER their fault! There is always a totally irrational extenuating circumstance or mitigating factor - in their mind - that totally justifies their actions. And you only get to that point when any question as to their guilt is removed... like video evidence. Without that... they didn't do it. 20 credible witnesses and video evidence? It wasn't my fault, you're picking on me for (insert lame excuse here.)

As for nailing the 1% of society that are repeat offenders, we do indeed get them through attrition in most cases. They can't afford to fuck up once, law enforcement only has to be right once. Repeat offenders understand this and just don't care. "They system is against me and life is too hard, I'm screwed anyway so might as well rob this liquor store. Only god can judge me." I can't tell you how many times I heard that last sentence.

But we do get them, and all 50 states have repeat offender laws. They go to prison, they stay for even "minor felonies" 15+ on the second offense and get mandatory life on the third. Its hard to get more serious than that.

Did the idiot fist fighter get five years because he had a habit of getting into fistfights?

Nope. First offender. He went from battery to aggravated assault because he kicked his victim while he was down breaking victim's nose. He refused a plea bargain, and aggravated assault is a five year minimum. That is the law and it was followed and he got the minimum sentence. With truth in sentencing he had to do all five years.

As to the death penalty, that's a bell you can't unring. So I go back and forth on it. I once saw a jury convict what I knew to be an innocent man because playoffs were starting. As a court bailiff, I knew what every jury I was a part of was saying behind the jury room door and I'm here to tell you... it isn't a perfect system. I can think of numerous cases where the death penalty was probably justified. Its not that I don't think we should kill violent felons. I just recognize that no system of justice is perfect and mistakes do more to erode criminal justice than anything. So for example in the case of Nidal Hassan? Sure, there was never any question as to his guilt. But if there is any doubt let alone reasonable doubt the court and society should pass on it.

CrabbyOldMan said...

Free0352, I'm having a problem working up any sympathy for the fist fighter based on what you have told us so far.
How deserving of a beating was the other guy? That could change my mind.

I agree that you can't unring that bell. That is why I suggest making the death penalty apply only to those whose passing we would not mourn anyway. And yes, Nidal the follower of The Prophet would be exempt from the death penalty unless he committed a capital crime while serving his life sentence.
My support for the death penalty comes from my desire to rid us of 1%ers. Frankly, I think being in prison for the remaining decades of ones life would be far worse than a death penalty.
My opinions are not based on the idea of punishment/retribution. I am simply seeking the most efficient way of dealing with a small but dangerous segment of the population.
I add that believing that someone used to making six figures robbing can be rehabilitated by being counseled and taught carpentry or shoe repair is beyond ridiculous.

free0352 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
free0352 said...

I agree that you can't unring that bell. That is why I suggest making the death penalty apply only to those whose passing we would not mourn anyway

That's not how our system works or should work. Law should not be a popularity contest.

As for the punishment aspect of criminal justice - I'm not a believer in it, because firstly its petty and second its impossible. There are plenty of cons who fucking love being in prison. Its the world in which they grew up. For many, it just puts them back in the cage with the "girlfriend" being released separated them from, and drugs are actually cheaper in prison than on the street. For the 1%, prison isn't so bad. Its home.

I look at it the same way I look at dog rescues for aggressive dogs. A nice clean cage to keep these people to protect society. I'm not bothering to punish them, because you can't punish them. Not legally. You can't really deter them. What you can do is separate them from society so they can't hurt it. Of course they will probably negatively effect prison society, but I really don't care about that.

As for the death penalty, I'm not against killing criminals, I'm against killing innocent people. So it should be used very, very judiciously. If we had a 100% method of determining guilt for violent criminals, I'd be for killing them too. The same way we euthanize other dangerous animals.

Criminals who make six figures? That's very rare. Your average home invader or burglar is beyond broke. That's why they're stealing. Usually because they're too stupid to figure out how to make money legitimately. Your average drug dealer can't keep 2 dimes to rub together. People don't make the "BIG MONEY" people think - and that includes the dealers themselves who always wonder why they aren't driving a BMW. You might see a kid with a wad of 20s equaling 1400.00 and think "wow" but really you can make that working overtime at wallmart a month. Being a street drug dealer is a lousy, low paying gig that will get you shot or sent to prison. Sure there are guys who deal weed to their buddies on the low who bring in some nice supplemental income, but its not pablo escabar money. With the rise of the medical week clinic and the inevitable fake prescriptions even that is drying up.

As for the tree guy, he punched a dude in the face and kicked him in the gut. Hardly a crime worth prison. Let alone a guy trying to make some bucks selling even heroine. Drug addicts are going to do drugs because they're committing suicide on the installment plan. Criminalizing their extended suicide is pointless, and locking up the suppliers is even more pointless and needlessly expensive. Let the dirt bags be dirt bags, and if they commit related crimes because of the addiction lock them up in prison where there are today more drugs than on the street and they can happily shoot up or smoke out till they die.

Freemom said...

Getting back to the beginning, I do receive a magazine called Voice of the Martyrs which is quite informative about Christian persecution. It is pretty bad, as bad as anything in Nazi Germany 1946: When Pastor Niemöller was put in a concentration camp we wrote the year 1937; when the concentration camp was opened we wrote the year 1933, and the people who were put in the camps then were Communists. Who cared about them? We knew it, it was printed in the newspapers.
Who raised their voice, maybe the Confessing Church? We thought: Communists, those opponents of religion, those enemies of Christians - "should I be my brother's keeper?"
Then they got rid of the sick, the so-called incurables. - I remember a conversation I had with a person who claimed to be a Christian. He said: Perhaps it's right, these incurably sick people just cost the state money, they are just a burden to themselves and to others. Isn't it best for all concerned if they are taken out of the middle [of society]? -- Only then did the church as such take note. Then we started talking, until our voices were again silenced in public. Can we say, we aren't guilty/responsible? The persecution of the Jews, the way we treated the occupied countries, or the things in Greece, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia or in Holland, that were written in the newspapers
I believe, we Confessing-Church-Christians have every reason to say: mea culpa, mea culpa! We can talk ourselves out of it with the excuse that it would have cost me my head if I had spoken out.. ~Martin-Niemöller

Foxy Wizard said...

Freemom, thanks for that contribution.

I have a friend who spent a large part of his teaching career instructing multi-handicapped students. These included mental handicaps, as well. He said in every case, although the kids would never be "normal", it was the parents who transformed. They came to see the "special" children as blessings, ironing out the wrinkles of their personalities, teaching them compassion, joy, love and acceptance.

CrabbyOldMan said...

I have long been in favor of the death penalty, but no one can say that I have ever advocated eliminating the protections the accused has under our legal system.
However, I do favor reforming the appeals process for all criminal cases, not just capital cases.
An appeal should be limited to questions of actual guilt (is the finger print really that of the accused) (did a witness lie).
Appeals involving only process (clerical errors) (failure to read the accused their rights) should, not be allowed. Bill Ayers "Guilty as sin, free as a bird" should have never happened.
I think that we agree that the 1%ers commit most of the crimes. I think that we also agree that it is actually cheaper to take them out of circulation, as expensive as that is, than it is to let them run free.
I, too, am strongly opposed to killing innocent people. "Popularity contest" is a distortion of my argument. I admit that it is inevitable that someone will be convicted of a capital crime that they did not commit, since there is no possibility of a perfect judicial system. If you agree that someone with, say, (two?)(three?) felony convictions most probably has committed a string of other felonies for which they have not been caught, that person is a genuine 1%er. Using the 1% hurdle to be liable for the death penalty at all seems very reasonable.
My argument is: a)We have a legal system that is often incompetent and corrupt, (b)Because of "(a)" people who should not be let out of prison do get let out and then victimize more people. (c) It still costs a lot of money that is better spent elsewhere to incarcerate, so we should be looking for ways to reduce that cost. (d) We can reduce the total cost by reducing the cost of housing the prisoners along with reducing the number of prisoners.
I will anticipate the reaction that is sure to come from some quarters: Where is your sympathy for all the direct victims? Where is your concern for all the indirect victims?
The social contract is one of compromises, and we have gone too far in one direction. Our concern for the rights of the accused and the convicted has become excessive, trampling the rights of everyone else in the process.

free0352 said...

Appeals involving only process (clerical errors) (failure to read the accused their rights) should, not be allowed

Really couldn't disagree with this point more. The fruit of the diseased tree evidence rule ensures law enforcement respects the constitution - and respect for the constitution outweighs any possible benefits. Without it, you'd have certain departments running rampant over citizens rights.

it is inevitable that someone will be convicted of a capital crime that they did not commit, since there is no possibility of a perfect judicial system.

This is why in the vast majority of cases I oppose the death penalty, and support the current appeals process. You can take back a life sentence, you can't take back an execution.

free0352 said...

Please note Martin-Niemöller died in a concentration camp largely because he didn't fight back.

Perfect examples of what a peaceful religion gets you. Killed in a death camp for nothing. There is no heroism in pacifism.

Zelda said...

I think people have different roles to play and that's a good thing. It's when we start demanding that everyone be pacifists or warriors that we start to have problems. We need both. But part of this is understanding your role.

I watched Jon Stewart interview that brave little girl from Pakistan who was shot by the Taliban. She made a brilliant and articulate stand for her own pacifism in the face of mortal danger. But all I could think was that Jon Stewart, instead of fawning all over like some gooey fag, should have grabbed his nuts, then grabbed a gun and protected her with all his worthless life.

I realize I'm being a little contradictory demanding that Jon Stewart become a warrior, but I don't understand how he could see and talk to that beautiful child and remain a pacifist.

CrabbyOldMan said...

You have some argument with this, but not a compelling one.
An allegation that a conviction was obtained because of a confession extracted by torture is clearly a question of actual guilt. Ditto an allegation of false testimony, and ditto an allegation of faulty evidence like, say, a bad DNA test.
The failure to read a suspect Miranda rights and suppressing evidence of possessing illegal drugs discovered pursuant to a search warrant covering stolen tires are both process matters that are unrelated to actual guilt or innocence.

You can take back a life sentence, you can't take back an execution is a very poor argument. How can you possibly "give back" time spent in jail? For that matter, perhaps you can explain how it is possible "give back" ANY punishment. Someone help me if I am wrong. Wouldn't we have to have a time machine to undo ANYTHING that has already taken place?

Zelda said...

You you can't give THE time back, but you can give some time and make monetary restitution. You can't do that when someone is dead. Put yourself in the place of one who is falsely convicted, Crabby. Would you want to get life in prison or the death penalty?

Zelda said...

You are very simple, Jim.

Conservative Christians have been sending aid to foreign countries longer than the government has. It's the progressive left wing that wants to hand the responsibility over to the government which ends up supporting dictators more than they help people. But as long as the white progs feel good about themselves, I guess the dark people can just suffer.

free0352 said...

Would you want to get life in prison or the death penalty?

Would you rather a life sentence be commuted or be dead is the point.

CrabbyOldMan said...

Free0352 does not leave the impression that he has any sympathy at all for the 1%ers either.
There are those who will always argue against the death penalty because they oppose it on moral grounds. Since they cannot leave it at that, they come up with all sorts of other reasons for their opposition.
My idea is to weaken the moralist's position by sugar coating the death penalty for those who are so inhibited. Make it apply only to those who are by common agreement already both useless and dangerous to everyone else.
Nearly every time I have heard about a capital crime, the perpetrator has a record of committing felonies. Accordingly, very few of those capital criminals would slip through the noose as a practical matter.
Remember that a capital criminal who is also a first time felony offender would not be liable for the death penalty. I say that is the group in which wrongful convictions, if there are any, would be most likely found. I think it very unlikely that wrongful convictions would be found among the habitual criminals.
Speaking for myself, if I thought I actually would have to be in prison for decades, I would rather be dead. I said before that I consider the death penalty the lighter of the capital punishments.
My aim is to save the taxpayer money.

CrabbyOldMan said...


I talked to a woman Friday who said her seriously ill husband had to wait for a transplant because the next person on the list was a convict serving a life sentence in the state pen.
Ah, liberal judges! There was a ruling in recent years that the state had to provide convicts with high end medical care.

Zelda said...

No offense, Crabby, but that is bullshit. No one knows the names or identities of anyone on the transplant lists. It would be a huge HIPPA violation for anyone to give that info away.

Secondly, the rare occasion that this might occur does not automatically justify the death penalty.

CrabbyOldMan said...

Not requiring the state to pay for a transplant is an issue unconnected to the death penalty.
This is a very poor use of limited public funds. Let the convict or his family pay for the operation. Perhaps he can sell his story to the media to raise the money if he has to. I really don't care.