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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.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

For Gilbert and Sullivan fans

Good friend and blogger has an interesting post, if you're a Gilbert and Sullivan fan check it out.

Private Bafoon has a great video

Russ Sype, who I was campaign manager of his Presidential run in 2012 is back to blogging and has some interesting stuff. Check him out. http://privatebuffoon.blogspot.com/

One Phrase Song

A One Phrase Song
By Patrick Prescott

I wrote a one phrase song,
Yes a one phrase song,
No really, a one phrase song.

On the radio all the songs are:
One phrase songs.
On tv song shows they're all:
One phrase songs

That's why I wrote a:
One phrase song
That's right a
One phrase song
Yes a one phrase song
Really, a one phrase song

I'll say it again
A one phrase song.
Everyone sings:
A one phrase song.
Will you sing along on my:
One phrase song?

One phrase song
A one phrase song
One phrase song
A one phrase song

That's all I have is a:
One phrase song
One phrase song
One phrase song
One phrase song
One phrase song

Sing it again, my:
One phrase song
One phrase song...

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Farewell to a good blogger

For many years I've blogged with Michael, whenever I left  a comment on his blog he always faithfully left one on mine. Since retiring and turning to serious writing along with facebook I've not blogged very much. Now one of my few blogger friends is shutting his sight down. It's a shame as blogging was great in it's heyday. You could truly speak your mind and others would either support it or discuss it a few trolls crept in from time to time, but it was a wonderful sharing of minds. Michael, you will be sorely missed. Live long and prosper my friend.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Casca books

A long long time ago while teaching summer school the bookcase in the teacher's room had this book. I read it and was hooked. I bought and read all 22 books in the series before the author Barry Sadler died. He wrote the first four books and turned the others over to ghost writers.
Casca is the Roman soldier who stabbed Jesus on the cross. The gimmick used here is that Jesus curses Casca Rufio Longinus to never die until He comes again. This makes him immortal and he is a mercenary throughout the last two thousand years of warfare. From ancient Rome, the Vikings, Chin, the Mongols, to the present day. Each book takes you to a different part of the world and covers most of world history. There is meticulous detail concerning the commanders, strategy, tactics and weaponry on each battle.
Casca also has a group of radical monks who know about him and cause him grief. They cut off his hand and he's able to sew it back on and it works good as new. He dies a number of times in each book and no matter what he comes back to life.
When I was teaching middle schoolers I found girls didn't need much encouragement to read. All books written for this age group are designed for girls. The publishers for the most part won't accept a manuscript written for boys. A few exceptions are The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and of course the Harry Potter franchise, but even those books are written by women.
It is really hard to get boys around the ages of 12 to 15 to read outside of what's required. This is called Alliteracy. I tried getting the boys to read a number of the books I liked at that age. Edgar Allan Poe was too hard vocabulary wise. Those rascals wouldn't go more than a few pages into Mickey Spillane. Then I hit pay dirt with Casca books.
I scoured all the used book stores in town picking up as many copies as I could get to put on the SSR book shelf and a number of the boys who boasted at the beginning of the year that they've never read a book, finished that year getting through two or three of them.
The beauty of Casca books in that they only take me around six hours to finish. For slower readers, like middle school boys it takes longer, but the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter.
After Barry Sadler's death the series stopped at 22. Over the years I picked up a couple of books on tape or CD at truck stops. I image they'd be popular with truckers. Eventually I downloaded all 22 books on tape to my computer and still enjoy listening to them at the gym while I'm trying to break a 20 minute mile on the treadmill. I used to run it in less than 4:30, those were the days.

Then to my delight I found that another author, Tony Roberts,  has picked up the Sadler mantle and has started writing new ones. He follows the tried and true formula. His books pick up with volume 25, I don't know about 23 and 24. He's now into the 40's and thanks to Amazon Prime I've been able to read them on my trusty Kindle for free, just have to send them back when through.
For my faithful readers who would like a quick read in an historical setting, lots of fighting and tragic love stories to escape this world give Casca a try.

For more information about the whole Casca series go to the Wikipedia page.