November 26, 2004

Death Penalty

How do CountryCrats feel about the death penalty? I think many people have reservations about the Death Penalty, even if they support it. My personal opinion is that only the ultimate crimes would ever deserve the ultimate penalty. I believe the issue is a state's issue, however, I think there should be a Federal moratorium for one year so that all cases can be reviewed. Why? Because about 120 prisoners on death row have been released. That means 120 innocent or not guilty individuals were once destined to be killed.

Texas appears to be the worst of the worst with public defenders that SLEPT through the trials. As a father, I can't imagine explaining to my children why I would support killing someone who MIGHT be innocent.

What are your opinions?

November 24, 2004

Children's Health

This is an issue that I think Democrats need to push to the forefront. Republicans do nothing to improve the circumstances of children. Children are innocent, they are born into a family with no choice. They are not lazy or corrupt or criminals, they are little babies just like ours. They deserve our support and the support of our nation. Yet, here are the simple facts:

Infant Mortality - U.S. ranks 40th in the world, behind such super powers as France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Hong Kong, Luxenbourg, Sweden, and the Czech Republic.

Uninsured Infants - There are between 8 and 9 million uninsured infants in this country.

Immunizations - Somewhere around 80% of our children are immunized against preventable diseases, with that percentage being as low as 55% in some areas.

Children in Poverty - Rose from 15.8 percent in 2001 to 16.3 percent in 2002. This increase followed a period of decline from a recent peak of 22.0 percent in 1993, it declined during the Clinton years and now increases under Bush.

Children are not a priority in the United States right now, wealth is. We need to change that.

November 23, 2004


Republicans say Democrats are weak on Law & Order Issues. We need to respond with a strong plan that represents our beliefs. I believe one aspect of Law & Order that is often ignored is prison. Prisons have three purposes - deterrent, punishment, and reform. What plan do Democrats offer to deter others, to punish crime, and to reduce recidivism?

I believe there are several avenues that should be approached.

1. Deterrent and Punishment. Today's prisons offer little in the way of a deterrent. We must make the entry into prison life uncomfortable and hard if we wish it to become a deterrent. At the same time, I feel very strongly that no human deserves to be raped or tortured in prison. One major tactic for accomplishing this would be the transformation of all prisons into working prisons. This should include the transformation of all rural prisons into working farms. In Great Britian, agricultural prison farms have been converted into horticultural farms. The main idea being that prisoners with skills in horticulture are more apt to find work than prisoners skilled in milking cows. Farming is hard work that can't be described as cruel and unusual punishment. Prisoners should get up at 4am, eat breakfast and head out to work. Work until dusk, then back into the prisons for cleanup and dinner.

2. Reform. All prisoners must perform physical labor for the first one-half of their minimum sentence. The next one to two years of the inmates sentence should be focused on gaining a high-school diploma. In state prisons, 79% of inmates are dropouts, while in federal prisons 59% of inmates have no diploma. Whether this is causative or not is up for argument, but learning to read, add, and do basic class work couldn't hurt when an inmate is released.

3. Reform. The remainder of the sentence could then be served in a community release program working to learn a trade. This could include day-release programs, halfway houses, or house-confinements for the prisoner. We must put inmates back into society with the tools to succeed. It is cheaper to train them than it is to imprison them.