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For Uhmericans, a more acceptable alternative to the squat toilet.
The Parallel Democratic Dilemmas of the Court and the Fed
47 minutes ago
The U.S. does not need to be shackled by the global corporatists to what may happen in Greece or Spain or Portugal. We should be less dependent on financial economies abroad and more self-reliant and independent of the global economy’s dangerously contagious risks.
That is why the more community-based economic activity there is in our country – credit unions; renewable, efficient energy; community health clinics; community food markets, etc. – the more insulated we will be from global seismic ravages. Those same community economies would have helped shield the Greek people from the wily clutches of Goldman Sachs and other aggressive casino creditors.
Whether you're somebody who rejects the very idea of that stigma or somebody who takes it very seriously, it's disturbing to hear it evoked so wantonly. And however we think of the word now, we can't help recalling the casual cruelty of the middle-school lunchroom where we first learned how vicious it could sound, even though we had only the vaguest idea of what it was about.
Here in the enlightened West, we know that the purpose of a criminal justice system is two-fold: to rehabilitate the criminal and protect the public. It was not always so. The ancients believed that a criminal act--murder, assault, robbery, rape--put the universe out of joint. The purpose of punishment was to put it right again. Killers are killed, robbers robbed, beaters beaten.
It was not always so simple as "an eye for an eye," and Roman and Christian law made allowances for motives, circumstances, and appropriateness of punishment, but they never forgot the primary purpose of punishment was retribution or, to use a simpler word, vengeance.
Leftist Christians will howl in protest, citing, "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord," little understanding that the same Lord, according to St. Paul, delegates the power to punish evil to the rulers of the world. Not in vain, Paul declared in an authoritative chapter of Romans, does the ruler hold the sword, nor is it a terror to the good but only to the wicked. It follows that a ruler who casts away the sword on a humanitarian whim is no longer a legitimate ruler. The Church always begged for mercy in specific cases, but never disputed the right and duty of kings and parliaments to execute criminals.
Even Imanuel Kant, who got most things wrong, saw through the lies of all the liberal theories of punishment:
"Judicial punishment can never be used solely as a means to promote some other good for the criminal himself or for society, but instead must in all cases be imposed on a person solely on the ground that he has committed a crime....woe to him who rummages around in the winding paths of a theory of happiness looking for some advantage to be gained by releasing the criminal from punishment or by reducing the amount of it....Even if civil society were to dissolve itself by common agreement of all its members...the last murderer remaining in prison must be executed, so that everyone will duly receive what his actions are worth and so that the bloodguilt thereof will not be fixed on the people because they failed to insist on carrying out the punishment; for if they fail to do so, they may be regarded as accomplices in this public violation of legal justice.”