Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Save me from my allies...

So there's this Muslim dude on death row in Ohio...

Now, you know I'm pretty ambivalent on the death penalty. On the one hand, there are definitely some crimes from which there's no coming back and being allowed to join society's reindeer games ("Yes, your honor, I killed and ate those kids, but I was feeling a little bipolar that day and I'm all better now...") On the other hand, it depends on us having the right guy, 'cause you don't get any do-overs with capital punishment, and you know as well as I do that the government couldn't pour piss out of a boot with instructions printed on the heel.

But there's no question in this case that the government has fingered the correct dude. I mean, he shot his soon-to-be-ex-wife and his about-to-be-former-brother-in-law right there in the courtroom and was found in the courthouse's basement with his baby daughter in his arms and a deputy's bullet in his chitterlings. It doesn't get much more red-handed than that.

So, anyway, dude's on death row and, like most guys facing the big sleep, he's taken a new-found interest in that ol'-time religion, which in his case means Islam, and he wants halal meals. And I'm thinking "Okay, what's the big deal? They've got kosher meals for Jewish murderers and vegetarian meals for killer hippies, so why not? We tend to go out of our way to recognize religious foibles of convicts, short of providing virgins and obsidian knives on the Solstice. I'm sure they have Mass for the mackerel snappers."

Apparently my opinion is an uncommon one among people who I guess are theoretically, nominally my kinda-sorta allies.

I decided to risk a few IQ points and read some comments. I was not disappointed. Or rather I was, but I wasn't surprised to be.

"james" suggests we:
"Feed him sawdust mixed with pig entrails and blood."
There's the love of Christ shining through for you. Meanwhile "Nat's daughter" suggests:
"You can't make this shit up! The nerve of this POS. Charles M. you are sooo right, they are laughing at us and who can blame them? I say we put him on a hunger strike and for his last meal, have a Rabbi serve him a BLT. Then we soak a bullet in pig blood and have a female soldier pull the trigger and put him out of our misery."
Do you kiss your mother with that mouth, young lady? Jeffery Dahmer didn't spend that much time and effort planning his dinner dates; I'm sure Nat is proud of you.

Finally, I read the comment signed "Florida Infidel", who offered the following
"Oh, good Lord, enough!! Notice how the savage is not worried one whit that he won't go to heaven for murdering his wife and brother in law, only for eating non-halal meals! That's rich! I guess when you are in service to Satan, double murder is just no big deal, but making sure innocent animals suffer the maximum amount possible while being killed for meat is a great way to earn those heavenly brownie points/gold stars!! The only reward this unrepentant double-murderer is getting is a one way ticket to hell, and I say no more coddling of him while he still here as a disgusting parasite on the taxpayers of Ohio! It's enough that he is obviously very well-fed on vegetarian and non-pork meals. Screw him and his demands!"
That was the end of my comment-reading experiment. If I had my way, people who didn't make use of paragraph breaks would burn in hell for all eternity, because they are obviously in service to Satan. Also, we should ration exclamation points.

You know, these are the people I'm going to have to shoot in the back the day after the revolution...


staghounds said...

I laugh at the peta/hardshell baptist alliance.

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered what the response would be if you took that story, changed the religion to Protestant, and changed his dietary requests to "steak and taters" or some such and see what the response would be. Or, take the recent story of the American Muslim "terrorist" that was assassinated, change him to a "good ol' boy" in trouble for cutting a barrel a fraction too short, and note the response.

People are far too comfortable committing atrocities as long as the target is Muslim. I suspect this is how things went in the early days of the Third Reich.


Unknown said...

Well said. Thank you.

w/v: cravin
"I'm cravin some exclamation points; I used up my rations on the first day."

Tam said...


"People are far too comfortable committing atrocities as long as the target is Muslim."

I will be willing to bet $20 American money that the commenter who signed herself "Nat's Daughter" has, at one point in her life, wondered aloud how the evil Germans could stand by and let all those horrible things be done to Jews.

Anonymous said...

Well I wouldn't worry about it kid. The church poses as our moral and intellectual superiors, the socialists do it, the media does it - and most laughably of all - now you are doing it.

Carry on, it is the very soul of high comedy!

Tam said...


"Carry on, it is the very soul of high comedy!"

I'm not sure you'd know comedy if it bit you.

Unknown said...

Aw, Tam, don't be too hard on those Keyboard Kommandos. What they really need is for Mommy to raise their allowance so they can afford an ISP which allows unlimited time online.

Tam said...

Also, if you spend time dreaming up exotic tortures for people you don't even know and you can't spell, then I am you moral and intellectual superior. Sorry if that fact makes you sad.

At least I'm not telling you what you can and can't do, other than "Keep your hands off me or I'll bust a cap in your ass." Other than that, you're free to go to hell in your own way, as far as I'm concerned.

Bram said...

"Here's your halal meal. Since your special treatment is kind of an expensive hassle, your execution has been moved up to Friday. Enjoy"

Ruth said...

Gotta go with Bram on that one.

But really, if the prisons provide kosher meals for jews, and a vegi diet for those who want it, then they pretty much have to provide a halal meal for the Muslim who wants it. Either that stop providing special meals at all. (yah right)

the pawnbroker said...

Just saw where Texas has ended the old "anything you want for your last meal" foolishness after being dicked around and wasting taxpayer money so many times. You get what the general pop gets, eat it or don't, your choice.

Good policy for all; it's prison, you get basic sustenance not a menu. Keep your religion, whatever it may be, in your heart but otherwise outside the big iron gates and away from my wallet.

Bram said...

Tam: You don't shoot pawns in the back. You send them out front to see who shoots them in the chest.

Tam said...


"Good policy for all; it's prison, you get basic sustenance not a menu. Keep your religion, whatever it may be, in your heart but otherwise outside the big iron gates and away from my wallet."

I could agree with that, too. End all the kosher and vegetarian and fish for Lent and stuff like that.

Paul said...

"then I am you moral and intellectual superior"

I think you are missing an R there.

Tam said...

Even us mental titans can miss a key every now and again. ;)

Anonymous said...

"You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Anything else that you get is a privilege."

Alcatraz Rule 5. Why should a biker shotcaller live better than I do while he's doing LWOP? Take away his TV, his iPod, his phone privileges.

The reason it's funny Elmore Leonard had a US Marshal in Out of Sight going to Glades Correctional to serve process on an inmate suing for being served macaroni and cheese too often is because it's true.

I get so tired of people. All people. I'm about five years away from buying some land near Ted K's old cabin and coming to town once a month for groceries.

St Paul

Anonymous said...

It's because of all that dust on her keyboard. *ducks*

But seriously, these are the kinds of people who shake their heads at the evil the government does, and can't understand why. The government is made up of people just like you and me, except their evil thoughts turn into government policy.


different anonymous said...

Ms Tam, you are right. Many people forget the Constitution's prohibition of "cruel or unusual punishment"; this is exactly the sort of thing the Founding Fathers meant. Capital punishment is final: the permanent removal of the offender from society or any chance of return to society. Retribution they left(as we should) for whatever Judgement Day may be to come. Thank you for blogging thoughts and not just "vents".

Anonymous said...

They never order out for the condemned person's last meal in Texas. Apparently they made do with what they had in the kitchen mess. So ordering a stack of food like that probably has more to do with trying to beat the odds than anything. I really can't blame the guy since he's probably been on prison food for decades. (Prison food shouldn't bend over backwards to be good, but it does deserve to be, you know, not rancid and not spoiled)

I tell you what, next time, offer the guy anything reasonable from the prison mess, or instead offer up to $20 worth of food from KFC, Taco Hell, Burger Fling, or Mac&Trash. I'm pretty sure which one he'll pick.

And is it too much to ask to be compassionate enough to give a brutal multiple murderer who's been on death row for 15 years a triple whopper value meal with extra bacon and cheese for his last meal?


Joel said...

For years and years we were taught that it's wrong to hold your own tribe as inherently superior to any other, even if they are vile heathens. While cussing all the emphasis on "diversity" as a principal virtue, I wasn't really sure it was all bad.

Then suddenly we discover a tribe that we're allowed to vilify. A certain class of intellect has jumped on that chance like it's the last bus out of Toledo, and here we are. I, for one, welcome our new bigoted overlords.

DaveFla said...

" I, for one, welcome our new bigoted overlords."
I think I've just developed a desire to buy 80 acres next to Matt from St Paul's place... meh.

kishnevi said...

Tam, don't mistake the people at that place for "allies". Apparently they're all convinced that Obama is personally conspiring with Rev Wright and the imam from the WTC mosque to impose burkas on all American women sometime before 01/19/12, and that the only good Moslem is a dead one, and we need to beef our military and torture operations towards that end.

If I ever read something there, by the end I feel the need to wash myself off with whatever the Hazmat teams use to wash themselves off.

That said, I have to agree with most of what "Florida Infidel" says. Not worried about committing a double murder in your own family but worried about how the cow that provided the meat for your hamburger was killed suggests a rather twisted perspective. But from what I know halal-slaughter causes less pain for the animals than your normal commercial slaughtering methods, so he's wrong on that; and I'll leave it to the One Who Judges in Truth to decide if this guy has really punched his ticket for The Other Place.

Though it is funny how a guy who signs himself "Infidel" is so sure that someone is going to Hell.

Anonymous said...

Joel, not all cultures and tribes are equal. Some actually are superior to others. What's wrong with calling a spade a spade?

Doesn't mean we get to treat them like crap, though. How you treat others is a reflection of the kind of person you are, not the kind of person they are.


RL said...

I've recently come to the conclusion that the whole last meal thing is really just a condemned prisoner's last futile opportunity to make someone clean up their sh*t.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Just a few simple questions: If he's been on Death Row for 20+ years, and he's now demanding Halal meals, wouldn't the previous decades worth of food he ate already have condemned him to Hell? Or is there some sort of rule in Islam that says if you eat this special meal today, all your sins go away? If he was so serious about his Dietary Laws, why didn't he complain about it back in the day and go on a Hunger Strike when he was first sent to the Pen?

Just asking.

Jeffrey Quick said...

The guy has a right to practice his religion. But note that there is no requirement in Islam to eat meat of any sort, but if you're eating meat, it has to be halal. Since there are nutritionally equivalent vegetarian options on the menu, that's what he gets.

But this guy is still a Child of God, even if he is a murderer who believes in a false and Satanic religion...one that believes in the sort of vengeance that those commenters were into. Why should people lower themselves to that level?

Crotalus (Don't Tread on Me) said...

You do realize that there's a reason for all the porcine talk, right? It's not just vengeance; it's letting the rest of the Jihadis know that we can send them to hell according to their beliefs.

Owen said...

i could not agree more Tam, thank you for this post.

breda said...

No meat for anyone in prison. There, problem solved.

eeky said...

I also think there are plenty of non-Muslim hating folks out there who simply have an knee-jerk aggressive reaction toward what they perceive as kowtowing to the whims of killers.
In other words, if you're on death row and there's something in your mind that will cause you mental discomfort during the act of eating a safe and nutritious (non-Kosher, vegan, halal, free-range organic, etc.) meal that other prisoners eat daily without ill effects ... good. Choke on it, you picky murderer.

Also, I'd imagine the feelings of righteous powerlessness and rebalancing blocked karma are on display with some of the imaginative "mental food torture" crowd.

But hey, what do I know ... I'm all about the love!

Anonymous said...

"You know, these are the people I'm going to have to shoot in the back the day after the revolution... "

I may be wrong, but I suspect that most them are just venting their dislike of horrible man.

And it's not a muslim thing, thankyouverymuch, I'm sure if you revealed that some nasty WASP'y chap who had - insert atrocity here - and was sitting on death row had asked for a elegant french meal, fine wine and 3 piece chamber ensemble to lull his nerves, you would have the same people baying for his blood in similar manner.

I know that, usually the soul of restraint, have had occasion to express my disdain for a particularly nasty murderer in Connecticut in rather blood curdling terms, right here! on the internet! but I later allowed that frankly speaking, I just wanted him taken out and professionally shot and his remains ground up and poured into the sanitary sewer.

global village idiot said...

"Here's my wisdom for your use, as I learned it when the moose
And the reindeer roamed where Paris roars to-night:—
There are nine-and-sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
And every single one of them is right!" - Kipling

If the grub I had in the Iraqi Officers' Mess was any indication, the prison kitchen didn't have to put that much extra work into making a special meal for the condemned man. Halal food is pretty plain. Probably cheaper than normal prison food.

Tam, I think you've helped me find another reason I'm not generally in favor of the death penalty. The other complaint I had about it is our national squeamishness toward it. But the evil vicious animal scum to death, by God...but would you be so kind as to do your disagreeable work after I've gone to bed and ain't looking, pretty please?


WV: sessee (n) he who has tax leveed against him, opp: sessor

Mikael said...

In my opinion, death row should be a very brief place to stay. But the burden of proof to put people there should be extreme. Red handed works, extensive physical evidence works, not much else, barring perhaps extensive confiscated photo/video evidence when it comes to pedophiles(should definitely be capital offense). Basically only if the question of guilt isn't even in doubt.

Mikael said...

PS: Didn't texas just execute a man who was most likely innocent last month?

the pawnbroker said...

Breda said: "No meat for anyone in prison."

Meh. What they do behind closed bars is their bidness...;)

As to capital punishment, it's best administered at the scene by the vic. After that, probably better to warehouse 'em and provide the bare necessities 'til they get a new trial or die of natural causes like aids or shanks.

Justthisguy said...

There you go again, Tam, being all reasonable and cool-headed. Are you quite sure that you are an actual human?

Roberta X said...

I should point out that there already exist "Humanitarian Daily Rations," meals designed so that no matter what your religion or ethnicity, you can eat them. They cost about a fifth as much as an MRE and have very long shelf life. Problem solved.

Kristophr said...

Pointless and mean.

The State is saving a bundle by just putting the murderer down.

We can afford a last meal. Just set a maximum price tag of a $1000 and two hours to eat it, and Abdul can have his Halal sheep, or McViegh can have his buckets of Mint Chocolate chip ice cream.

It's not as if they are going to be costing us much more in the near future.

At some point you need to just get over it and move on. Any revenge is served by just outliving the asshole in question.

Anonymous said...

Same goes for a lot of the strict Constitutional libertarians over on INGO and some other gun forums I've visited, who are nonetheless perfectly OK with government surveillance, phone tapping, search/seizure, indefinite detention, and even execution without any kind of due process - so long as the target is someone the government has labelled a 'terrorist.'

Makes for a mighty big loophole in the Ol' Bill of Rights there, if all the .gov has to do is say "we got this guy/gal on our terrorist list" and suddenly all his/her rights go 'poof.'

Carmel IN

Gnarly Sheen said...

Just be glad he didn't ask for the Neverending Pasta Bowl from Olive Garden. It's practically a death row pardon!

The "last meal" thing has always intrigued me. After all, what gives the person the right to demand anything after what they've been convicted of? Do we comply out of pity? Do we comply because we feel it serves as a balance against what we are about to do, a small courtesy to balance out the fact we are about to mete out some medieval justice?

Bear in mind I'm not against capital punishment, provided that there is no shadow of a doubt that the right person was convicted. I'm just curious about the last meal thing. Is it tradition?

MSgt said...

"You know, these are the people I'm going to have to shoot in the back the day after the revolution..."

I knew there was something I liked about you Tam.

Sabra said...

PS: Didn't texas just execute a man who was most likely innocent last month?

Nah, ours was pretty well guilty. He was one of the guys who dragged James Byrd, Jr to death. Guy you're thinking of, Troy Davis, was in Georgia, & the likelihood of his innocence varied greatly depending upon whom you asked. Either he was innocent because 5/7 eyewitnesses recanted or guilty because he'd already shot someone with the same gun that night.

As for the murderer in question, I'm in the "everyone or no-one" camp. I am given to understand (by a World Religions professor whom I strongly suspect was Muslim, although he declined to say) that Muslims unable to obtain halal food may eat Kosher meals. So it would certainly mean no extra effort.

I may be wrong, but I suspect that most them are just venting their dislike of horrible man.

And yet, when was the last time someone suggested forcing a strict Baptist to drink a shot of whiskey? Or a Jehovah's witness to drink coffee?

Anonymous said...

Quick rule of thumb - vegetarian is generally Kosher (dairy if you add milk and butter) and halal. Kosher anything but meat and wines/beers are halal. And yeah, the emergency "edible by everyone" meals would work easily.

Torture? Good gads people, please go play with the Wall Street protesters. Too bad the deputy didn't finish the job in the courthouse basement but enough. This is not the Northwest Frontier in 1854 or 1900 - you're not trying to discourage the "Pathans" et al.


Ian Argent said...

My position on capital punishment is pretty much: the attempted victim gets his shot (or stab or whatever, subject to the guidelines for use of deadly force), and that's it. After the fact, it's mortal memory and modifiable Memorex (and you can edit without changing a single scene) and "reasonable doubt."

In this case, sure, we know he did it. But I'd rather warehouse a couple guys we really do know did it, than kill someone who is on death row because a slick-talking prosecutor buffaloed a jury.