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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Death Penalty again

Susana Martinez, our governor, has started the crusade to reinstate the death penalty. When everything in the state is falling to pieces because of her mismanagement this is a convenient way to blow smoke up the electorates tailpipes.
About a week ago when Martinez brought the subject up, to deflect our multi-million dollar budget deficit due to her cutting taxes on corporations. TV polls showed the state split down the middle.
Two days ago a ten year old girl was brutally murdered. It's about as bad as it gets. Three people were arrested, one being the girl's mother. Yesterday in her grandmotherly pose, Martinez in one sentence gave the usual politician's lament about a tragic loss of life and in the next one called for reinstating the death penalty. That day's poll showed 97% were now in favor of the death penalty.The police chief was interviewed and mentioned that four police officers have been killed in the state in the last three years and the need for the death penalty as a deterrent.
I work as a legal assistant. Politically the attorney I work for, he and I, are polar opposites. He voted for Susana. The one thing we are in agreement on is the death penalty.
One of his heroes and friend was an attorney who defended members of a motorcycle gang on death row in the 1980's. His investigation found the man who committed the crime and they were released. The person who committed the crime was not given the death penalty, he didn't even get life.
Naturally in over six years working together this topic has come up many times. When I was writing my Fan Plan Trilogy a sub plot dealt with the death penalty so he gave me invaluable advice.
We both have different reasons to be against it. The one argument against capital punishment we both agree on as the most compelling is found in Scott Turrow's book Ultimate Punishment.
My advice is to get the audio book. The prose is rather dry for reading for more than a thirty minutes at a stretch.
In true Sophist fashion he gives the arguments for both sides on every issue remaining neutral until the last page. All weighing in on this issue should read it.
In researching this book Turrow traveled the world and interviewed politicians and law enforcement in numerous countries for their reasons to have or not have the death penalty.
It was Germany that gives the most compelling of all reasons; when he asked why they don't have the death penalty the person answered: "We will never give the government the right to kill people again."

Seems to me with the nastiness in government going on at local, state and federal levels wouldn't it be nice to take the power to execute people out of their hands. I would definitely never want to see Susan Martinez with this power.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Shell Game

Joseph Badal has a five book series of spy suspense novels I've read recently., Evil Deeds, Terror Cell, The Nostradamus Secret, Lone Wolf, Death Ship.  Praise Amazon Unlimited. The Danforth novels are full of suspense, stupid politicians, evil terrorists and heart racing action where the world is on the brink. I'm hooked on his books.
Ultimate Betrayal was a fun read with a new hero similar to the Danforth saga .

He also has murder/mystery book named Bordeline set in Albuquerque. I love the fact he at least mentions New Mexico in about every book. Two women detectives fighting bad guys and the sexist egotistical bigots co-workers make for fun read.
Having said all that I want to focus on by far his best book.
The Shell Game is scarier than Edgar Allan Poe, Harlan Ellison, Robert Block, and Stephen King combined. It doesn't have ghosts or goblins, no rabid dog, no one is walled up alive or tortured. There is a real vampire existing in the world today. It's not Dracula or Nospheratu.

Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged says, "Money is the life blood our economy."
Only someone like Badal who worked many years on Wall Street could be able to write a book that explains how our economic "life blood" is being drained out of our country, states, businesses and lives.
There are people out in the world that suck this "life blood" out of ordinary human beings trying to survive: The Federal Reserve Board and Bankers.
There are sociopaths and psychopaths who legally get away with destroying people's businesses and their lives, not only of the owners, but their employees and their families. The blood suckers who buy up banks, liquidate the loans and make a killing before finding another victim.

This book explains in plain and simple terms just how our banking system has become so corrupt and is destroying the very fabric of our society. Fostered by both political parties. He writes a simple history explanation of what happened to small businesses with the 1986 Tax Reform Act, the crash of 2008 and how small business that are thriving are ruthlessly destroyed by the Fed, FDIC regulators and the sweetheart deals they give predatory speculators.
The novel focuses on a family with a thriving franchise of restaurants and out of the blue the bank gives them two weeks notice that they are calling their 20 Million dollar loan. Their fight to stave off the financial wolf, who bought the bank at a fire sale and will make three times by liquidating the company's assets should frighten every small business person in the country. A really good read and very enlightening.

Personal point here:
I remember reading a review that in The Princess Bride, the Count who hooks Wesley up to the year sucking machine is an analogy of the Fed. Badal in this book explains the avalanche effect that happens when the Fed takes of banks and practically gives them away to leaches. What happens to ordinary citizens when credit is cut off without reason or explanation. How our entire economy is dependent of credit and what happens with it is shut off.
I remember when Obama came out with his stimulus package that included the "Cash for Clunkers" program. I had an old F150 worth about a thousand bucks and thought I could trade it and one of my cars in on a new one and the cash from the truck would lower my monthly payments. I couldn't get a bank to approve the loan. The salesmen in 2009 were the most despondent I've ever seen them. I went to numerous dealers they all said the same thing. "We sell the cars, but the banks won't finance them, no matter how good a person' credit is." How many people had years of their lives sucked out of them since 2008? How many young men and women in this country over the age of 30 are still living with their parents because they can't find a job where they can afford an apartment and a car, even with a college degree? How many years have been sucked out of their lives? Answer: over 33%, or at least that's the statistic Bill Maher gave on his HBO show, and I've heard it from other sources as well.