November 8th, 2007

The killing

From Wired News

If the courts decide that strapping some three-time loser to a gurney and pumping a lethal cocktail into his veins is, indeed, a violation of the Eighth, then there’s going to be some serious scrambling to find yet another “humane” way to kill someone.

They won’t find one. As sentient beings we want to live, and we fight for life with the last breath in our bodies. Dylan Thomas was merely stating the obvious when he urged us, “Do not go gentle into that good night…. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Short of croaking in your sleep or while heavily sedated, few people go gently. (Incidentally, Thomas drank himself to death, so maybe the Department of Corrections should consider installing taverns on death row.)

There seems to be no way to end someone’s life deliberately and prematurely without pain or discomfort. So if the courts strike down lethal injection, where does that leave us? With the rope, the gun, the chair or the gas.

And then he fillets all of those one by one, plus some nice medieval additions like drawing and quartering and the guillotine. I won’t quote as you need to be a bit into it to appreciate.

So that’s not for me, either. I don’t want to spend the last 30 seconds of my earthly existence being aware that I’m 5-foot-1 instead of 5-foot-9, you know?

Actually, none of these methods, old or new, are very appealing.

We seem to be all out of options here. Well, there is another possibility, one so obvious that I almost hesitate to suggest it. Maybe the United States should rejoin civilization and just abolish capital punishment altogether.

Mildly related: In Iran, two illegal Afghan immigrants were publicly hanged yesterday for the raping of a woman from my country.

November 8th, 2007

The storm (2)

It’s spring-tide, meaning the moon is closest to the earth, so the tides are most violent. And there is a North-Western storm howling. Not a very powerful storm, about Bf9, but from the North-Western direction (full frontal on the coastline, and pushing up against the United Kingdom). And it will last for almost a full day. For the first time in 30 years, tonight full dike watch will be on throughout the entire coastal line. And the Oosterschelde storm surge barrier will be closed, and probably the Maesland barrier too, the two open dams.

These thingies are MASSIVE. Unless nature will seriously roar its head of course, but that will not happen tonight.

Added: All A-OK.