Thursday, December 15, 2005

Lookit me, I'm tough on crime!

So today I called in sick for the second day in a row. they were like “are you on vacation?” Sadly, no, but thanks for discouraging my staying home and keeping me germs away from you.

Being that it’s just before Christmas, I wish I weren’t sick, so I could call in and use my time off for important Christmas things like figuring out what to give the people in my life. What is exactly the right thing to tell you how important you are to me, how well I know you and your quirks and dreams, that I thought of you all year? Shit, I don’t know, in many cases, but the meaning is still there? I thought I would make all the gifts this year, but in the end, didn’t find the time to do that at all. I’m lame. I’ve felt fairly frantic, hardly any down time to just be at home, take care of the things that need to be done.

The Chinese class has been a challenge, and I’m not sure I rose very well to the challenge. I could have been a better student. It’s fucking hard. Tonight it will be over. I’m still not sure what to enroll in for next semester. Conversational Chinese B? Chinese (written and all) A? Something entirely different? I scoped out classes about Islam and American Government, and some ballroom dancing class.

But I think I ought to stick with the Chinese. I don’t want another thing I started but didn’t follow through. I would like to get a strong basic grasp on some of this. But I can’t decide if that needs to include characters or not. That seems like all too much sometimes. Anyone have any suggestions?

I think whatever class I take will be alone. Paul was a great help in getting through the semester, but I don’t think he can fit it in next semester. Besides, there are other things that make more sense for him to take, for his career and all that.

What’s in the news? We put another man to death this week. I can’t say anything new about this that you haven’t already heard before. I’ll just say I don’t believe in the death penalty. It’s barbaric and pointless, and REALLY. FUCKING. EXPENSIVE. I’m a pragmatist at least. If you want to argue about the morality (which is difficult, since I don’t think arguments can change people’s morals) fine, but one thing we do know, is it costs a LOT more to do the death penalty than imprison someone for life. I don’t think Tookie Williams was innocent, and I wince to read that the witnesses to the execution shouted that when they left the execution. I don’t even know that he was “reformed” especially. It’s all media and conjecture. He belonged in prison. But I don’t need the blood on my hands, and the state could sure use the money we’d save by just housing the guy.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT “CULTURE OF LIFE” that I heard so much about last year? The entire fucking government gets involved in keeping a vegetable propped up on a feeding tube, and those same people are glad to kill someone else? I do not understand it. Fuck you. Jesus was VERY clear about the death penalty. There are a lot of things that are open to interpretation in the bible, but where is the interpretation in “he who is without sin may cast the first stone?” Where is the interpretation in a story about Jesus coming forth to spare a woman who is about to be stoned to death? There’s no mention of whether she’s reformed or not, that’s not the point. The point is for each of us, not dependent on the criminal, to look into our own hearts and lives, and become more human by treating others with compassion and forgiveness.

Well, anyway, it’s upsetting, but didn’t exactly surprise me. Politicians like to pretend to be tough on crime. I’m curious how killing a man who’s already locked up actually cuts down on crime.

Also in the news this week: a report that SFPD has a really shitty record for dealing with homicide. The homicide rate is up this year. (which may have to do with another story about how the poor are getting left WAY behind in San Francisco, or possibly the story about the appalling conditions in public housing in SF) Meanwhile, SFPD has only made arrests in 20% of homicides. Great job, guys! Now I know SFPD has a lot to do. It’s big ugly city, but we need to get more done here. 20% leaves pretty good odds. It’s better than going to vegas!

The flak about the videos, well, the only thing I find REALLY offensive is the fact that these cops are morons. The FIRST rule of doing stuff you’re not supposed to do, is DON’T TAKE PICTURES. I can’t tell you how many times this has gotten people caught. It’s idiotic to document something that is going to bite you in the ass later. Sorry, but I’ve known that since high school. The videos were borderline offensive (at least what I saw) but what really bothers me is how dumb you are. You’re dumb, and you haven’t arrested any murderers. Please try again.

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