I had to turn comments off on my punishment post because my real name was used. If I figure out how to get rid of comments I will turn it back on. But now let me try to answer some of you. Merciful justice is a contradiction in terms. Forgiving someone is mercy plain and simple. Justice is paying the price for what you did wrong. Justice requires that the kid that stole the candy bar goes to the store and pays the 99 cents that the candy bar costs. Mercy is when the storekeeper lets the kid pay 20 cents cause that is all the kid can pay. That is not merciful justice because it was mercy, and justice was not satisfied. It was more just than the kid not paying anything, but that does not make it just.

Ella, everyone that will read this (including me) thinks that we should do more in terms of proactively preventing crime, through education, opportunity blah blah blah. That being said there are still people who commit crime, and will commit crime. Should Ken Lay have gotten community service? Is what he did worse or better than a person who kills another? How about rape? Assault? Child pornography? Who in your world do we punish at all?

So everyone is too cool for retribution. We are only down with rehabilitation and prevention. Fishfrog is cool with societal protection. Does our system, if fully funded, not accomplish all of these things. I can think of no better way short of killing criminals to protect society than to keep them away from society. They have demonstrated that for whatever reason they do not wish to obey the law and so do we need to educate them? Heck yeah. Do we need to do it far from society until they get the lesson so they don't hurt anyone else? Heck yeah. And regardless of what we do with the poor, there will be criminals. Does coming from a poor background give you carte blanche to commit whatever crime you fancy at the moment?

If what we do on this planet has no consequences beyond those that naturally occur while we are on this planet, then we should pursue the path that will give us the greatest pleasure for the least discomfort. That is what rationally should happen. That is not what I see happen from people who believe solely in natural consequences. So either those people have a different definition of pleasure and discomfort that I do, or there is a disconnect between belief and action.



this is the hottest fingering I have ever seen. It just keeps going and going, faster and faster. Make sure you watch to the end though, after taking you all the way up, it brings you back down slow.



one rejects the possibility of divine and/or afterlife retribution, why should people recieve leniency in this life? It seems to me that people who do not believe in a final reckoning would desire a system in which the punishment is on par with the crime, yet I find that to not be the case. Why?

Aetheists (or anyone who does not believe that wrongdoers will be punished by a higher power) who believe in a less harsh system of punishment seem to me to want to deny justice in favor of mercy. Justice would require that person A pays the price for all of the damage done to person B. Mercy understands that in many situations there cannot be a sufficient price paid by the wrongdoer to satisfy the demands of justice and so mercy grants a smaller price. This seems counterintuitive to me because to me, mercy only works without excluding justice if there is a divine reckoning. Since the assumption of this long question is no divine reckoning, it would seem to me that a lenient system of punishment for wrongdoers is merciful and unjust to the wrongdoer and merciless and unjust to the victim. Since on this earth far more of us will be victims than will be wrongdoers wouldnt it make sense that on this earth the wrongdoers recieve a just but unmerciful punishment so that the limited time each of us has on this earth is more fully enjoyed by more people?


you know what sucks. picking up a hot pot off the stove and accidentally grabbing the metal part. yeah that really sucks.

New Post

So the last couple of days I have gotten crap about not posting. One from someone who hadnt posted since April 10th and the other who hasnt posted since August 5, and that was after a four month hiatus. But so you know this is why I havent posted in a while. Its adictive.


Good News from the Dr.

So I had recently developed problems in my hands and feet. With the onset of these symptoms I became worried, and diagnosed myself with arthritis (other more medically saavy people agreed with my diagnoses). today i went to the Dr and was told that through two seperate injuries I had developed tendonitis in both my hands and my feet and the two were unrelated. Let me tell you, that was great news cause if it was arthritis I would have had a very unpleasant life. So now I am under orders to rest up. Any good movie suggestions?

Two new book reviews

So on saturday I finished fear and loathing in las vegas. A hunter thompson book. It was basically the story of an eight day drug binge in vegas and his (the book is written in an autobiographical manner) close calls with the cops. It was described to me as a new look at the american dream, but either I missed the point or the american dream is to do some real crazy stuff and not get caught. If you have never done drugs, at least it is interesting to hear what happens when you mix acid, amyls, ether, and booze.

The second book I finished this weekend is the black tulip by dumas. I really liked dumas other books, but this one seemed a lot more lighthearted. What made it more interesting was that it left you feeling more connected with the flower than with the characters. You want the flower to survive but really dont care much about those that pass through the life of the flower. But maybe if you read it you will have a different impression.


New song

So in the last few weeks, squishy and I have "discovered" a new TV show that we really like. It is grey's anatomy. Kind of like an early ER before that got super crappy. Anyway, they have a video teaser for the show with the song chasing cars by snow patrol. Since last night, I have had the song stuck in my head over and over. Today I bought the song on itunes. I am now listening to it for the 6th time straight. I like the song sure, but it is just such a mental relief to not have to sing it over and over when I dont know the words. I am in mental nirvana right now.

Lets see if this works

Maybe you remember the game in which you are stranded on a desert island and can only take one book, one cd and one person. This is kind of like that. But with a twist. I want you to tell me one book, one cd, one person and one food that you think I would take on the island. Whoever presents what is in my opinion the best combination will win. So if you happen to get exactly the book I would take, but then pick as the person nick lache, you will probably lose. You have until tomorrow when I first look at my blog, probably around 9 or 10. Winner gets ... a surprise.


The Great Stem Cell Debate

Recently Pres. Bush got much flack for vetoing the embryonic stem cell research grant bill or whatever it was actually called. Lost in the outcry was the fact that a similar bill which would give research money for stem cell research but without embryonic stem cells never made it out of committee. First, I admit a certain amount of ignorance to the science behind stem cell research, but my understanding is that there is no significant difference between embryonic stem cells and other stem cells other than availability. So my question is this, if we accept that in terms of research capability there is no difference between embryonic and other stem cells, isnt it better to research using nonembryonic stem cells? nonembryonic stem cells do not have the capability to ever become a full grown human being. Embyonic stem cells do have that capability. The honest truth is that we do not know for sure when life begins. Is it not better to err on the side of caution if there is no greater chance of curing disease by using embryonic stem cells?

Again, I admit that this may be moot if there is a substantial difference between embryonic and nonembryonic stem cells, but at this point it is my understanding that there is not. And if there is not, then wasn't it congress who dropped the ball by forcing a showdown with a president who has repeatedly shown that he really doesnt care what anyone else thinks. I am not backing the president, but I think you have to know your opponent.

Congratulations Squishy

For being ahead of your time


Today is squishy and my third aniversary. I never thought I would be married for this long, though I didnt think I would live this long either so lots of good surprises.


My problem with the world part 2

Upon further reflection, here is what it comes down to. You have your opinions of how things should be run. I have my opinions of how things should be run. Doesn't it make sense to allow the greatest number of people have things run as they see best, even if that means that a few miles away things are different? Is different really that bad? Are we really that intolerant of other points of view?

My Problem with the World

A few hundred years ago a group of people decided that their government was not listening to what they wanted and decided to go off and form their own country. Once they won independence, they started the country off with the articles of confederation which was basically that the states had all the power, and the national government was neutered and ineffectual. Realizing that the federal government needed some power if the union of states was to stay together as a cohesive body, they wrote and enacted the constitution. The constitution is a document which specifically grants the federal government certain powers and states that if the power is not listed then the federal government cannot govern in that area. The state is supposed to govern that area in accordance with the will of the people of that state.

So here is my problem. There is great national debate and movements by parties on both sides to get congress to pass legislation that either prohibits or allows certain actions which are not areas in which the federal government should regulate. I will give two examples. No where in the constitution does it grant congress the right to regulate marriage. Marriage must be regulated, but since congress should not be able to, each individual state should make the decision on what it is going to regulate. Now, for the sake of presenting both sides, activists for gay marriage say that all states should be required to allow gay marriage as part of the fourteenth amendment's equal protection clause. Second, abortion. There is no provision that grants the federal government the right to regulate reproduction. Any regulation in that area should come from the states. Again, for the sake of presenting both sides, supporters of abortion rights say that it exists in the right to privacy which is not specifically numerated but is kind of encompassed by all the bill of rights.

So this problem has led me to wonder, our founding fathers choose to limit the reach of the federal government for fear that a federal government with unlimited power would cease to be able to represent the desires of the people. They felt that a state which did not have as diverse a population could keep more people happy more of the time. I think we can see the same thing today with abortion. While the country is fairly evenly split on abortion, on a state level there is a much clearer consensus in every state.

Now to preempt your comments. I dont care if you are in favor of abortion rights or not, this isnt about that. Ditto for gay marriage. Also I understand the state of current supreme court jurisprudence and I know what they think about the issue I am raising. I simply want the answer to my question, "Why should the federal government be allowed to govern areas of our lives in which they have no specific power to govern? Why shouldnt they first be required to get our permission by amending the constitution so that they can legally govern in that area?"