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Death penalty

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2010 at 22:27

I got this email from a NGO called Secret Prisons for Teens. Normally they send emails out when they find various torture places for young kids. This one was different.

I was about a guy who is going to die July 1. His name is Michael James Perry.

It made me think.

Death penalty is an odd punishment.

First the lesson learned it also the end of the life. When I have listened to former inmates down at our high school warning the high school students about drugs and crime, they can tell that prison is not a nice place. The youth can learn from their experience when they have served their sentence, if they choose to listen. It is not possible when the death penalty has been served.

Second the punishment is hard to the victims or relatives to the victims. Just to make sure that the number of people sentenced wrongly to deaths is minimized you need a number of appeal courts. The problem is that it allows the killer to speak his version or even degrade the victims in court. When can the family move on? If they are lucky after some 10 years. Worst case maybe 25-30 years later. It is easier with prison. Just throw the key away. If people are convicted wrongly then give them a sorry and a bag of money. Then no harm is done. You cannot undo death penalty.

Third it is too expensive a punishment. The appeal courts cost. You cannot house them in larger number. They each have to have their own cell and access to their lawyers.

Forth it is not deterrent. Most killings take place under influence of stress, drugs or mental illness. The number of people in jail who would be better off in a strait jacket is huge.

Enough about why I dont believe in death penalty. I believe that this Perry dude is done for. We are talking Texas. They are among the states which execute the most people. They have not very high standards when it comes to securing that only guilty people are put to death.

I searched a little on the case. I saw at a link that his mental state was judged to that he would be of no danger to the society if he did enough time. I guess that he could function as a pensioner. Still they did choose to sentence him to death.

Second according to the mail a certain Paul Shrode gave evidence. In another case they found out that he lied and he got fired. Still very much of the case against Micheal Perry regarding the time of deaths etc. built on his statements. What is the case worth then?

Then there is the fact that he was high when he was brought in. So high in fact that they had to restrain him. I happened to watch a documentary about some teenagers locked up at Schuberts Minde which is basically a juvenile detention where they try to modify the behaviors of the teens. They restrain the teens at Schuberts Minde, but not in a degree what leaves the restrained person in a condition looking like he had gone 25 rounds with Mike Tyson. It was the case with Michael Perry and during the restraint they were even able to obtain a confession.

I don’t know a lot about cops from America and their standards. What I can read from the mail, especially one of the cops even used his spare time to save troubled teens from crimes. He took them down to the local adult jail where he let inmates undress them and lubricate their behinds before they were let go again. It sounds like another variant of the “scared straight” program. Some did not find it OK and Monte Morast as the cop is named were sentenced to jail.

Then there is the person who had possession of the shotgun used for the crimes. She was given immunity in exchange for her testimony. It is as with the case against Camilla Broe, I wrote some blog entries about. A person can get a free pass, if they sell some out.

Is he really guilty? I don’t know. The medical evidence can be a lie. Another had the shotgun. The confession was obtained from a person under influence not able to differ wrong from right.

Even he is guilty then there is the history of his mental state. He was early diagnosed with ADD and something called ODD, which made me laugh when I looked it up because it basically describes the nature of a normal teenager. Then I got to look at the residential treatment facilities he had been at and one of them caught my eyes.

Even here in Europe we know Casa by the Sea, which operated up to 2004 before the police in Mexico shut them down. Their legacy is well known because they set a standard for treating behavioral problems by teenagers. Their level system is used a modified version at Schuberts Minde.

The problem with places like Casa by the Sea is that they inflict yet another problem to the existing problems. Most of the graduates experience post traumatic stress disorder in more or less degree.

So even if he is guilty we have a very sick person, which should be put in a rubber cell for a decade or two. Maybe he could be saved. If not then the rubber cell is should be the perfect place to warehouse him until death.

But as stated above we are talking Texas. They don’t care about the risk of medical evidence being falsified, the risk of a confession being obtained by beating.

Michael James Perry is a goner. They even demonized him by adding the nickname “Romeo” just as the French police did in the case against Christian Ranucci whose case was made into a movie called Le pull-over rouge.

Here are the references I got with mail. You can judge for yourself:
With life or death consequences, former Lubbock official scrutinized, by James Clark, KCBD, June 23, 2010
Ex-officer sentenced for official oppression, by Lucretia Cardenas, The courier of Montgomery County, April 27, 2009
Save Michael Perry InfoThe Little Fishes that Got Away, Associated Contents, February 19 , 2008
Datablad vedr. Casa by the Sea – Secret Prisons for Teens
Datablad vedr. High Impact – Secret Prisons for Teens
Media Advisory: Michael Perry scheduled for execution, Attorney General of Texas, June 24, 2010

Harsh reality awaits our new high school students

In culture on June 20, 2010 at 09:23

I found this blog in Danish from a much respected poster, who had some of his blog-entries posted in a Danish newspaper. He wrote a blog-entry as personal speech to the high school students, who are graduating as we speak. I will quote and translate it:

Jeg vil starte med at ønske Jer tillykke med huen efter en hård indsats.
Forhåbentlig når I nu at nyde den. Forhåbentlig har I ikke fået en dårlig rådgivning i forhold til Jeres videre valg i livet, så I går glip af at fejre den med Jeres venner og familie og i stedet må bruge sommeren på lange kurser, så I har det krævede niveau i de forskellige fag i forhold til den uddannelse I har sigtet hen imod.
Jeg vil ønske at der var flere positive ord jeg kunne give Jer med på vejen. Desværre er det ikke tilfældet.

First he graduates the new high school students. Due to poor counseling some students cannot celebrate that their graduation. Despite their grades are high, some colleges and universities demand a different level than the one they have taken, so they must continue on special summer schools. Then he wishes that it was possible to add more positive words to the new high school students – a wish which is not possible.

I er den første voksne generation, der skal ud på arbejdsmarkedet efter at vi har påbegyndt nedtagningen af vores velfærdssamfund. Det er med Churchills ord kun en vej belagt med blod, sved og tårer I har foran Jer. Der vil være nogle som med disse fremtidsudsigter vil vælge at feste de næste 10 år væk som om at verdenen ikke står i morgen. Til Jer skal I ikke høre et beklagende ord fra undertegnede. Jeg tilhører med beklagelse den generation, der om nogen er ansvarlig for det rod, Danmark befinder sig i dag fordi at vi ikke i tide sagde fra før at vores forældre drog fra deres aktive tilværelse med efterløn, skattebegunstigede pensionsopsparinger af en kaliber verdenen aldrig vil se igen og nedsparingslån.

The statement is that the new students will enter a society which was once a welfare society. Then Churchill’s Blood, toil, tears, and sweat speech is quoted. Whether they choose to party by the prospect of a grim future or choose to struggle for survival, he won’t judge them. All the money in our society was removed the previous generation due to a tax system, which favorites the elderly in our society.

I har oplevet nogle teenageår, hvor at 80′ernes forbudssverige måtte fremstå som det forjættede land. I har oplevet et liv med store begrænsninger. Nu kan I feste uden restriktioner og når der samtidig ikke er en belønning i bytte for tro tjeneste på arbejdsmarkedet som efterlønnen egentlig er udtryk for, så hvorfor starte.

Then he speaks about how different the conditions Danish teenagers endure today are from the free life teenagers enjoyed just 20 years ago before the wall fell down and opposite what most people it was the restricted way of living seen behind the iron curtain which was put upon our youth. There are now a lot of restrictions on even normal things like purchase of tobacco and alcohol preventing them from living the life of a teenager to the fullest. Because the early retirement is removed the motivation to work hard during their adulthood is gone.

I min generation har vi begået mange fejl. Vi har på en gang været for åbne overfor omverdenen og samtidig ikke været i stand til at stille krav på global plan. Det er f.eks. en illusion at tale om frihandel, når produktionsstederne i Asien mere end nogle er så langt fra fortolkningen af ordet “frihed” som det om muligt er. Der tales så meget om sociale klausuler. Det lyder så smukt, men er så urimelig for Danske arbejdspladser. Hvad er rimeligheden i at Danske arbejdspladser tager sig af de svage i samfundet, når de samtidig taber arbejdspladser til lande, hvor at medarbejderne ikke må organisere sig, hvor at arbejdsgivere stadig har tilladelse til fysisk afstraffelse og hvor at der ingen omfordeling af disse samfunds goder findes?

He admits the mistakes of his generation speaking about the choice to be open to the surrounding world destroyed Denmark. Then he speaks about how free trade is an illusion as long as we in the western world don’t put pressure on the third world countries so they will allow democracy and trade unions beyond government control. I am shocked to learn that some of the countries Denmark trade with have no tax systems which ensure that all pay half of their income so the people poor and in need can get help.

Kære studenter: Jeres generation skal slås for lukkethed. Den skal slås for handel med begrænsninger og betingelser. I skal lære at se med mistro på nyheder udefra og arbejde for at vi igen får et samfund hvor at en persons anseelse i høj grad bygger på familiens generelle renommé. Der skal ikke flere jakkesæt-klædte management typer til at byde på finansielle pyramidespil med Jeres penge blot fordi at de kommer med en fin eksamen fra det ypperste universitet fra det ydre Mongoli. Papirer fra læreanstalter som ingen kan bekræfte eksistensen af, men papirer som har bragt personer frem til høje stillinger i samfundet.

He makes a personal appeal that the graduates to look out for people from the outside. You have to set this statement into a historical perspective. Danes around Copenhagen are easy to impress. Unlike the communities at the countryside where the status of people very much built on the status of their parents, they tend to judge people upon their appearance. In a lot of cases people have obtained doctored exam papers from a school abroad and lured money from ordinary people. His statement is that the citizens in the larger cities should learn from the people at the countryside.

Ingen skal kunne forlange at en arbejdsgiver skal kunne vide noget om uddannelsessystemerne uden for Danmark. De er ofte af tvivlsom karakter og selv store lande som USA har ikke et federal organ, der regulerer hver eneste skole. Der skal også være plads til ureguleret undervisning som støtte til 3. verdenslande. I Danmark er der skoler, der har uddannet hele centraladministrationer i Afrikanske lande uden at de er akkrediteret herhjemme. De dækker et behov, som akkrediterede uddannelsesinstitutioner ikke kan imødekomme. Her i landet har vi dog højere krav og når udenlandske uddannelsespapirer kun vanskeligt lader sig verificere, så bør der ikke lægges vægt på meriter opnået uden for Danmark. I stedet bør vi i højere grad ligge vægt på de menneskelige kvaliteter.

While unaccredited education institutions are necessary to support the governmental institutions in the third world where doctor titles are handed out as candy, Danish employers should not use even seconds on validating school papers obtained abroad and focus on the papers achieved in Denmark only. It is not a ban on employing foreign employees. But instead of qualifications the focus should be on whether they fit into the organization.

Der er her at I kan gøre en forskel. Allerede nu har I lært værdien af at vedligeholde et netværk dyrket gennem 3 år i fredagsbaren. I har lært at være kollegaer rummer mere end blot at få en lønseddel fra samme arbejdsgiver. For at et team skal fungere skal det være homogent og dele basale værdier. Man kan med rimelighed hævde I vil bevæge Jer ud i et samfund hvor at det er mere vigtigt end nogensinde at kampen om at få genindført traditionelle normer og værdier bliver gennemført. Ryk sammen og støt hinanden. Sørg for at engagere dem som ikke deler Jeres normer og værdier med høflig tavshed, samt sund skepsis.

He wants the youth to make a difference. He wants them to expand the network they have founded at the Friday bars in the high schools as it is custom in Denmark and continue to use them when it comes to making business deals and hiring employees in the future. It is a question about sharing values and he predicts that the battle for Danish values will be of the outmost importance in the future.

Kære studenter. Jeg missunder Jer ikke opgaven. Jeg vil håbe at I kan løfte den. Men uanset om I vælger at gå ud i livet hver dag med bitterhed men determineret på at gøre en forskel eller vælger at feste det næste årti væk i afmagt over rigets tilstand, så har I min respekt. Det eneste jeg ikke vil respektere er at I begår samme fejl som vores generation med vores naive åbenhed. Sker det vil vil vore engang så stolte nation for alvor gå under.
Endnu en gang tillykke.

He doesn’t envy them. I happen to agree. I would not start over again under the conditions our youth face. Once again he states that he won’t judge them if they choose to party instead. All he asks is that the graduates refrain from being naive and being impressed when learning of stuff abroad. He appeals to them that they don’t make the same mistakes as his generation did because it would be the end of Denmark as an independent nation.

This is Trane Joergensen’s final words. I have to ask:

But is that enough? Will Denmark once again become a welfare society instead of a country where the graduates face challenges measured beyond anything found on this planet if we just find our path into a isolation?

I will doubt that Denmark could do this on their own. I think that it is time for all western countries to built up a custom wall unlike anything seen in our past history. Of course we cannot intervene in internal matters of other countries like demanding that the allow trade unions and stop killing of trade union activists when killing system critics is a core component in their culture. What works here may not work abroad.

Brazil is one of the new strong economies. Back in 1960 they set new standards regarding architecture. Few know that a Dane named Henning Boilesen was heavily involved in this matter. His kindness and humanitarianism was a crucial aid to the Brazilian society. Sadly he was killed by criminals and then the Brazilian society collapsed into despair which they only have recovered from recently. But the methods used to archive the positions Brazil had in the international society back in the 1960’s was far from the methods we use in Denmark. Some might even criticize them, but I just have to say that they found their way to add a positive impact on a society in so much need of a change. It is time for us to allow the third world to find a path on their own by not aiding them so much that we kill the local economy. We can redraw all aid and use it on the people in need in our own country, so we all benefit in the end.

Until the western countries unite and demand their old privileges in the world back, I am afraid for the future our high school graduates will face.

Early retirement – the next battle ground

In Uncategorized on June 14, 2010 at 19:46

I am saving up for retirement. In fact my contact person down at my bank suggested it when I turned 25.

At that time I had fulfilled the full potential regarding my career. In Denmark you only have 5-6 years befire the rest of your working life is to remain in your job, while waiting to retire. All that time you have to wait trying to the junior staff in place. No firm is prepared to have people employed who want to push forward their career for their entire life. Their co-workers would be tired of them in a couple of years and it could challenge the existense of a firm if people start quitting because they were afraid of a co-worker who is ambitious all the time.

It used to be a fine settlement for all parts. People came in happy in the morning and left at least as happy in the afternoon because they had removed focus from the firms to their families. All this system demands is a certainty that the state will pay out the pensions in the end. The problem is that we cannot be certain that the state will keep up their end of the bargain.

Now nothing is safe because the early retirement called “Efterloen” in Denmark was the core of our welfare society. It is difficult for us going to sleep every evening because we don’t know what to expect the next day.

Everything we believed in are gone thanks to our government. I find it hard to locate a country anywhere on the planet where people are having it as hard as it is the case in Denmark.

However, we will fight the removal of the “Efterloen” all the time. The betrayal of our people by the our government will no be left unnoticed. We must demand that they resign.

A possible solution in the Niels Holck case

In International justice on June 6, 2010 at 08:51

This week there was a hearing in court in the Niels Holck case.

A lot of evidence has not been released to the defense so the case is not even started at this point.

But regardless of the verdict of the court a general concern about the fact that India use torture as they did when Abu Salem was extradited from Portugal.

We need to address this problem because we all want to bring those persons who destabilize other countries by their actions to justice.

When I took my weekly tour around Danish blogs I found one which gave me awareness about the fact that France last year in cooperation with Iran did set some standards third world countries should apply to when they want to prosecute citizens from a European country.

Down in Iran a French woman according to the charges brought against her by the government in Iran did involve herself into activities which were a threat against their form of democracy.

Her cell during the trail in Iran was the French embassy. She was only allowed to leave the embassy when she should attend court hearings. Once she was convicted they put her on a plane to France where it was up to the French government how she should serve her sentence.

Some claim that France gave Iran something in return for her. I would not judge whether this is true.

But I believe that a similar arrangement could be made with Niels Holck. The guidelines for a French citizen should apply for a Danish citizen also. They are both citizens in an EU member state. They were both charged for participating in activities which could destabilize a local government.

I know what you are going to say. Why should citizens from European countries be treated so much different than a local person charged with a crime? The simple answer is that the local person should be treated as good as the European citizen while waiting for the result of the trial because we must agree upon the fact that every person is innocent until proven guilty.

And the difference in treatment is not that big anymore. I happen to watch a program about the conviction of Cholmondeley in Kenya. He was given a rather harsh sentence for a shooting incident. Such a trial could not have taken place just a few decades ago. We have moved in the right direction. While the general picture of justice systems in Africa still looks very little improved compared to the descriptions given in George Remi’s book from around 1930 I have to say that I was impressed in a positive way about the way the justice system in Kenya handled Cholmondeley’s case.

We must all agree about that the days where citizens from Europe could travel around the world considering them above the law. The need to bring stability to foreign countries like people Cecil Rhodes and James Brooke did does not exist anymore. The population must endure life on their own without us interfering all the time. In daily life based on the recent economically demands by the European Union we ordinary citizens are as challenged as any population in any country outside Europe. I have started simply to shut off my television whenever news from outside Europe appears in the news.

But there is a second opposition against the French solution. Some claim that Iran practice a different form of democracy than India which should lead to demand to different treatment of European prisoners than local prisoners.

The Niels Holck extradition case does based on several sources build on the possibilities of possible export. For some time India has played a huge part in the renewal of our merchant fleet. Old ships are disposed off very professional so we can build new ships. If Denmark had maintained strong no to this extradition case, our export could risk damage.

Also Iran is working close together with Denmark so we can provide updated public transportation. Just as few decades ago worn-out train sets did meet their destiny in the middle of Copenhagen where they were burned down because they were built of materials which can damage people if they worked with it. Now the old train sets ferry people down in Iran. It is a win-win situation for both nations.

Because India and Iran are very alike when it comes to the general treatment of minorities inside their country we must set the same level of demands when it comes to put citizens from Europe before trial in either country.

I hope that Denmark and India can agree on terms similar to the standards which were agreed upon between France and Iran, so we can move on in this sad case.

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