Inspection- Of We Will Ask, You Will Tell and the Death Penalty

by Ken Carman

I am not anti-death penalty. I know, and respect, those who are. It’s a principled stand, for sure. I just feel there are those for whom this may be the best option.

Of course we can keep the worst of the worst in solitary for the rest of their lives, but honestly… how humane is that? But I do have a problem with the State deciding who lives, who dies. That’s why war is a sign of the failure of civilized society to deal with problems in a sane way. It is organized insanity. And, yes, on a rare occasion it may be necessary. Just like the death penalty.

Solution?

Let them choose.

I think if I were given the option between prison and solitary for the rest of my life and a humane death, I would choose that last. If they don’t, what’s the problem? Obviously keeping them away from ever being released is another issue. Obviously keeping conditions in prison decent, and humane as possible, is also another issue. If the State is failing in protecting us, or our prisoners, through the justice system the answer is certainly not to hand over more power for them to use and abuse.

It becomes a roulette wheel with those headed to the chamber who there are serious questions about, and the raging maniac to have another chance to rage in the worst of ways.

The system that let’s out the raging maniac who kills again, or that allows rape in prisons, or conditions that make murder in those prisons too easy, certainly can’t be fixed by handing them the power to exterminate a life. The problem here is they already are corrupt, inefficient and mismanaging the system. No life should be handed over to that kind of situation.

My “easy solution” brings up the topic of state sanctioned suicide. Yes, I do believe in very heavily regulated euthanasia. We should have more choices in life, and death, not less. And letting God decide hasn’t been a valid argument for centuries, considering how much we veto that supposed deity-driven decision with serums, life sustaining medical equipment and… electric chairs, needles, nooses, decapitation and bullets.

God doesn’t decide all that much anymore. We decide. And I’m all
for putting that decision more in the hands of the people who are most
affected by any such decision. The condemned.

If they want to continue to “live” under conditions some would never
want to live under, it’s actually cheaper for the State. If they want
to die, why waste the space and risk the lives of others? Neither is a reward, or a punishment. It’s simply keeping dangerous people away from the rest of society.

Give them the power. They can become as productive as they can within the prison population. Or they can opt out and help cleanse society of their nastiness. Those who are innocent, but who are caught in the system: believe they haven’t a chance in Hell of getting out, can fight on, or escape from that Hell.

Whatever happens to any of them after that would be up to whatever deity there may, or may not, be.

We Will Ask, You Will Tell and Exceptional-ism

The recent relief over the death of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell may be more than a bit premature. It may be wrong headed. I believe the historical compromise wasn’t really the problem. As bad as it was, I also believe the perversion of DADT proves there’s a problem, indicating a sickness within the nation’s power structure, deeper and more vast than just the blunt DADT nail laden club that was used against the politically, sexually and theologically incorrect.

If Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell had worked as advertised, yes, it would have been a poor substitute for simply allowing gays and lesbians to be part of the military. But it would also have kicked out of the military those more interested in pursuing their personal theological, or political, agendas than in serving, or defending, their country: those who demand others tell or found some way, any excuse, to ask. Anyone putting any pressure on Gays in any way to tell, or finding ways to ask, would have been booted, hopefully in a very public way.

But that’s not what happened. The guilt here is not within the gay or lesbian community. Not even in Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The problem is that we allow some people to get away with damn near anything in this society, and some must live up to an impossible, wrong, interpretation of any law, any rule. They must jump through hoops with holes the size of the tip of a needle.

I’m sure those who abused DADT believed, and still believe, the pursuit of their agenda was, and is, the best way to serve their country, but they are flat out wrong. If everyone in the military gets to decide the mission, or the what the policy should be, we would have no military, no defense and no country.

In war, for example, those who can serve their country by interpreting messages sent by the enemy are far more important to the cause than any dislike for any sexual preference they may or may not have. As long as no one makes an issue of it, it’s not an issue. End of story. Those who want to make an issue of it need to find some other career than serving their country.

Plain and simple those who decided to twist this policy to their purposes should have been drummed out. The only fanatics that should be allowed to serve are those who fanatically follow orders and policy. Even that statement certainly has its limits.

One of the favorite sayings about Sarah Palin is she likes to “go rogue.” Why this is viewed by so many as an absolute positive way to frame any public servant, or someone attempting to become one, I’ve never been quite sure. That’s exactly what we don’t need, especially when it comes to the military. Obeying orders is crucial to military discipline. Going off on one’s own and to hell with anyone who might be hurt by that… well that is pretty much the opposite of “public” in the phrase “public servant.” It’s also the opposite of “representative.”

And when it came to DADT, instead we allowed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to be turned into “We Will Ask, You Will Tell.” They even added “we will hunt you down and expose you for who you are.” How much of that was mentioned by the mainstream media, or ranted about by our representatives?

Pretty much nada.

No, the media, the pundits and the pols wanted us to blame the policy. The policy, as problematic and disingenuous as it may have been, was, and still is, not the problem. The problem is that we allow certain people to flaunt policy, laws and common decency, while others are held to interpretations of laws and policy that are obscene, absurd and damn convenient for those who like to get elected by inspiring and then dumping gasoline on hate. Held to that standard by those whose closets are often jammed tight with their own skeletons.

Those who after being caught still insist on stating, “I am not gay, I have never been gay…”

The problem here is exceptional-ism. We have decided, legally, or through simple non-enforcement, that certain people are allowed to press and pursue with prejudice their personal and mega corp. concerns at the expense of everyone else.

Police can film us to prove us to be out of control drunken, drugged up, louts… but we can’t film them in their most abusive, rights abusing moments.

Our property can be taken to hand over to mega corps like Wally Mart, along with tax breaks, while they are allowed to under sell Mom and Pop and turn downtowns into ghost towns.

Cheney can admit to crimes that would put us on death row, or have us shot like bin Laden.

I’m sure you have plenty of examples you could add to this list, as do I.

I partially grew up in a very small town. You knew the mayor’s, or the police chief’s son. He was far too often the guy doing all the same things you were doing, and worse. The difference was you were pursued beyond the letter of the law. He just continued doing all that and worse.

On a national scale it’s no surprise that many politically correct scum were allowed defy both the “don’t ask” and “(force them to) tell” in DADT. They are like the rich, spoiled, druggie mayor’s kid in a tiny, corrupt, town. They believe in their own personal exceptional-ism. They are elitists.

So let’s just say I am happy for gays and lesbians. Don’t Ask needed to go away. To easy to abuse. But that does nothing to address the real problem. Those who wish to harass gays and lesbians will simply find another way to harass gays, lesbians and anyone else they deem politically, theologically, incorrect. They will do it because that’s what bullies do. And few, if any, dare stand up to them, or pursue them.

And until we stop enabling, and start punishing, that kind of personal exceptional-ism…

…no one is safe.

-30-

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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