News Roundup – Ebay, VA and Rory

So, can someone explain to me how we have another security breach at a major company? EBay what’s up? I don’t understand.

I’m not sure that we are looking at the right things at the VA. I don’t think that Eric K. Shinseki is the problem. The VA has been a slow and plodding organization for more than 30 years. When we started the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush administration didn’t want to hear about  the large numbers of injured that could potentially be coming back. We didn’t increase the number of doctors, nurses, physical therapists and the like until the Walter Reed scandal. Although Obama has proposed increasing the budget of the VA republicans have not found it in their hearts to go along with these plans.

firing squad

Firing squads? Really? That’s what we need in the US. Firing squads. The US shouldn’t be in the habit of killing its own citizens. The death penalty is simply wrong. Think about it. What is its purpose. The death penalty is designed to exact revenge. Someone has done something so wrong that we, as a society, need to get even. We need to kill that person. I’m not down with that. I won’t get into the recent problems with lethal injection. Let me just say that we want a certain type of death when we use lethal injection. We want one of those soap opera deaths in which the victim simply closes his (her) eyes and dies. We don’t want to see coughing and gagging. That’s ugly. A firing squad? That is beyond ugly. I’m not sure if this idea is just stupid or just sad.

I’m not sure that deploying our troops in Nigeria is a good idea. I’m all for helping the Nigerian government find the missing girls. I just don’t think that I want to see any of our troops killed or injured in the effort. I remember Black Hawk Down. Don’t you?

Maybe Republicans and their Southern strategy ain’t as hopeless and as crazy as we once thought. Maybe they need to simply do more.

More Hispanics are declaring themselves white. No surprise here.

Rory McIlroy just sent out wedding invitations. Now the wedding is off.

7 Responses

  1. ECT: The
    death penalty is simply wrong. Think about it. What is its purpose. The death
    penalty is designed to exact revenge. Someone has done something so wrong that
    we, as a society, need to get even.
    Two
    problems.
    First, your
    underlying premise seems to be that  revenge
    is wrong.  Why is revenge wrong?
    Second, what’s
    the difference between revenge and state punishment?  Wouldn’t jail, financial awards in lawsuits
    or drones knocking out terrorist also be forms of revenge?

  2. The New York
    Times article was interesting for the confusion on display. I would be shocked
    if Hispanics from Spain or Portugal considered themselves none white. Chili or
    Peru has a large group of immigrants from Japan, they probably consider
    themselves Asian by race. In my home state of NM, most Hispanics I knew considered
    themselves to be white. They distinguished themselves from white, none
    Hispanics with the term, Anglo which simply means English.

  3. TBow Don’t mix or lose one of my main points – own citizens. I don’t think that the state should be in the business of killing its own citizens. 

    The problem with revenge is that it never stops. You kill my brother. I kill your sister. You kill my wife and then I have to kill your son. It never stops.

  4. ecthompsonmd TBow
    ECT: “Don’t
    mix or lose one of my main points – own citizens. I don’t think that the state
    should be in the business of killing its own citizens.”

    In 2013, 39
    were inmates executed. Given an inmate population of 2,000,000, it’s hardly a
    habit. Although, I have found exact stats difficult to get, there is about
    300-400 justifiable police killings a year, mostly our own citizens. Civilization
    means the sanctioned use of force, even killing a few of its citizens. We rightfully
    expect state violence to be rare and justified; but, part of law enforcement is
    the business of killing citizens.

  5. ecthompsonmd TBow
    ECT: “The
    problem with revenge is that it never stops. You kill my brother. I kill your
    sister. You kill my wife and then I have to kill your son. It never stops.”
    I think that
    you have stumbled upon a key difference between the death penalty and mere
    revenge. I have yet to see any revenge killings for Timothy McVeigh, Henry Lee
    Lucas or this latest dude in Oklahoma. Their deaths ended those cycles. Revenge
    is personal, often capricious and merely seeks to repay evil with evil.  Punishment by the state does make a statement
    and at least seeks to protect the other citizens and not simply to inflict evil
    for evil. In regards to violent crimes, state sanctioned punishments including
    capital punishment, have the semblance of fairness, due process and justice
    that generally satisfies most people especially in democracies. Unlike mere revenge, I would also add
    that there is an element of restraint in capital punishment  evident in the current debate over the least gruesome
    and painless way to execute someone. Moreover, the fact that capital punishment
    is reserved for the worst crimes sends a message about the value of life.

  6. TBow ecthompsonmd Damn it. Now, I’m going to have to think about this for a little bit. As usual, you have forced me to think. (my brain hurts) Thanks for your comments. I truly appreciate them.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.

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The Thirteeneth Juror

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