punishment

a piece of news on sunday’s nytimes really struck me.

it was a two page article about how 3 old men, around 60 years old, were arrested after four decades of mistakenly killing a teenage friend after trying to “teach him a lesson”.

So here’s my question. is it necessary?
as i ask myself that question, i’m going back and forth between the two sides, thinking of why.
yes, justice is now served to the kid’s father who has been living in a shadow of his son’s death for four decades
yes, old men who have been trying to hide this secret for four decades will be spending years before they die rotting in a prison for a crime they did not want to commit but did.
is it necessary or even right to go back down into the past and try to judge someone from their previous actions?

it’s basically the same discussion as last time’s.
it may be a relief for families of sept 11 victims to know that bin laden is now dead. but should we celebrate in retribution, in the belief that justice has been served?

yes, my position is controversial.
does this mean that i believe that murderers and rapists should all be set free? no, not all should.
which ones should be then? drink drivers who murdered, involuntary manslaughter criminals.
why?
i think the important word here is intention. no one feels good about killing. if they do, they should probably be not within close proximity of human beings.
but drink drivers. think of the cases where the court sends a kid to jail after he drink drives and kills three of his friends. true, he killed because of his actions. true, he also probably didn’t want to. true, he could have been dead too. true, his soul is probably rotting inside for his actions.
http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/south_king/fwm/news/121013774.html
http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/young-life-lost-mum-slams-sentence-20110418-1dkmy.html

can i forgive my son’s friend who killed my son in a car crash? yes, i can. i think if anything, the friend needs so much more love and support than this judging world will ever give him. i understand we want justice. but why do we firmly believe in the idea of justice. hasn’t the meaning of this word lost so much meaning already, even if we glance back into the 20th century? justice involves right and wrong. who are we to tell who is right and who is wrong?

what’s the point of this you ask? i say we start loving more.

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open letter to troublemakers

Dear Reader,

so here’s my problem. Every morning I open the newspaper, I read about more problems in the world. and even when older problems fade out of eyesight and disappear from the the last page of the paper, it doesn’t mean that they were solved.

So here I am living in a college dormitory. Weekends are respite from coursework, from reality. That much I understand. But why do you break exit signs, wreck things, leave a mess for other people to clean up? What satisfaction does destruction give? Janitors are hired as a privilege, not a necessity. There are many other things that should be destructed: racism, sexism, tyrannies. Why do you need to focus your attention on breaking exit signs? This is my problem with you. You are creating more problems when you don’t have to, in a world where there are already too many fucked up problems. Please, I beg you, become a better person.

Sincerely,
me

so i don’t know if this represents my frustration with the world or with this country. The greatness and faults of this country start and end with the culture, the culture of “me”.

There have been lots of celebrations on the death of Osama bin Laden within the US. This man’s place in history I won’t discuss. But I want to discuss the effects of this operation.

You proved to another country that you had the power and military expertise to drop a team of people and break into one of the safest compounds and kill people. No I don’t understand the effect of 9/11 on American people, having been an outsider. But I still don’t see how this is not analogous to terrorists coming to your country unknowingly and killing important people if you look from their point of view.

You call terrorists terrorists but you are the ones carrying guns walking around people’s backyards in their country. If you are trying to understand why there are still insurgents, look at the situation from their point of view for a second. I think the US ought to rethink the discussion on the definition of terrorists. If terrorism is spreading fear among people, I feel like an American military capable of complete destruction in an instant, with bombs and bullets should also be defined as such.

I insert as a post script this link to a CNN article about a proposal written by military representatives in the Joint Chief of Staff: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/25/what-in-the-world-the-militarys-secret-plan-to-shrink/

Peace.