HA Bible Study: Genesis 4:13-18

Genesis 4:13-18

Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

But the LORD said to him, “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,  east of Eden.

Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.

Discuss.

Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

Mark Fiore: Voter fraud vigilantes.

White House: West Wing Week.

David Pakman: Huckabee threatens to leave Republicans over gay marriage.

Bizarre Rick Scott’s Fan Fobia:

Ann Telnaes: The thrill of feeding the war machine.

David Pakman: Jobless claims drop to lowest level in 14 years. THANKS OBAMA!

Stephen: Party like it’s Iraq in 2003.

Young Turks: The 2014 Miss Hitler contest.

Pap: Obama goes after corporate hyenas.

Thom: A red state privatization horror story.

350.org: Global power shift.

Ebola Bully:

Sam Seder: Nikki Hailey bizarre defense of Confederate flag.

SCTV: White People with Opinions:

Jonathan Mann: What’s going on in San Francisco.

Puppet Nation: News of the week.

David Pakman: $5.7 BILLION drop in hospital uncompensated care costs due to ObamaCare.

Thom: The Good, The Bad, and The Very, Very Ugly.

Mental Floss: 30 Unusual Wills.

Sam Seder: The most amazing and underreported lie of 2014, brought to you by Mitch McConnell.

Columbus Day…or Not:

Honest Gil goes to Brushy Fork.

Chris Hayes: Pentagon declares climate change a risk.

Stephen schools Sean Hannity on how REAL MEN work out.

Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.

Second Chances Don’t Mean You Love Crime

This is a little old, but State Senator Mike Padden is writing nonsense in the Spokesman-Review.

Gov. Jay Inslee’s justice reinvestment task force has met just twice and has until December to produce its recommendations. Already, however, there are signals that it may propose easing up on prison time for drug and nonviolent property offenders as a way to save money and delay building a new state prison. Some outside commentators have called that a “smart-on-crime” approach.

The executive order to form the task force was only signed in June. Then it takes some time to get everything together. They’ve also had another meeting since this was published, that presumably Padden knew was on the agenda.

The task force was created in June through a federal-level initiative that is supposed to take a data-driven approach to increasing and reinvesting in public safety. Yet the data I have, as Senate Law and Justice Committee chairman, fail to support the notion that putting more burglars on community supervision will do much – except put them in a better position to reoffend.

Keeping people in jail for low level property crimes seems like an excellent way to integrate them back into society. Also, are we deriding the very notion of data driven approaches?

“Facts are stubborn things,” John Adams once said. Here are three facts that cannot be ignored:

There was really no value added in quoting Adams there. The guy who signed the Alien and Sedition Acts likes facts. Here are some context free facts about prison in Washington:

First, reports of crimes and arrests have declined across Washington. Since 1990, the state’s population is up 40 percent, yet arrests are down 18 percent, and overall crime is down 10 percent. Washington’s incarceration rate is almost one-half the national average, and its property and violent crime rates have fallen one-third or more in about 10 years. There is no reason to believe these trends will not continue.

So less crime means we need to get tougher on criminals? It’s solid thinking right there.

And not for nothing, but we started doing adult drug courts in 2003 as one way of of moving away from mass incarceration. I’m sure whoever the equivalent of Senator Padden then was complaining about mollycoddling criminals and addicts. But while correlation doesn’t equal causation — and of course there are multiple causes for anything as complex as changes in prison population — I would posit that that’s a more reasonable explanation for a decline in crime in that time than harsh penalties.

The root cause of overcrowding at state correctional institutions is not the number of inmates but a lack of bed space that coincides with the state’s closure of not one, not two, but three prisons in recent years.

How we would pay for keeping more prisons open with the recent spate of austerity budgets pushed for by the GOP is left to the reader’s imagination.

Second, Washington’s prison population contains a large number of serious criminals. Almost 5,000 of those in prison as of June 30, 2014 – or 28 percent of the total prison population – were there for crimes of seriousness level 11 or higher. Level 16 is for prisoners serving life sentences or on death row; levels 11 and 12 include first- and second-degree rape, rape of a child, and intentional assaults causing great bodily harm.

I thought this article was about “drug and nonviolent property offenders.” Now we’re talking about the quarter or so of offenders that are in prison for serious crimes? How you deal with addiction (or for that matter people relaxing after work or however else non-addictively they use drugs) and petty theft should probably be different from how you deal with more serious crimes.

More than one-half of those admitted to prison in 2013 served time at least once before, and more than 40 percent of those admitted were convicted of crimes against persons. While less than one-third were property offenders, even 40 percent of them had prior violent offenses.

There’s no discussion in this if going to prison as opposed to committing those crimes is the cause of future crimes or escalation. But maybe don’t put how Washington’s prisons aren’t doing a good job of rehabilitating people into your article about how we need to send more people to prison for longer in Washington.

I suspect these statistics, which came from the task force, understate the dangerous nature of Washington’s prison population. For example, the governor’s group categorized certain burglaries as “nonviolent” offenses. Either way, even the task-force members would be hard-pressed to deny that earning a prison sentence in Washington means committing a lot of serious crimes. That’s how it should be, which is exactly why trading prison sentences for community supervision is no way to increase public safety.

Well it depends on the crime.

Finally, reducing punishment doesn’t reduce crime. Property offenses are the least-punished offenses in Washington, so this year I introduced legislation to increase sentences for habitual property offenders. In public testimony on this bill, law enforcement and lawyers told of offenders with 50 or more prior property crimes who don’t face prison time until after a dozen or more felony convictions. We heard similar accounts at the Senate Law and Justice Committee’s Oct. 3 work session in Spokane Valley – an area that is no stranger to property crime. In such cases, who is looking out for the victims?

I’m sorry, but if someone is committing 50 property crimes and not getting punished for it, they aren’t serious crimes. Or they’re like children or there’s some other mitigating factor.

Some argue that increasing supervision after prison will reduce recidivism. I am not persuaded, especially given a recent Freedom Foundation report that uncovered serious problems with home detention and electronic monitoring in our state, including a lack of adequate service and timely notifications to law enforcement. What’s to discourage a burglar from stealing if being caught is unlikely to mean prison or even effective community supervision?

So instead of having a bill to make supervision work better, Senator Padden decided to introduce legislation for throwing people into prison.

Benjamin Franklin once wrote that “pardoning the bad is injuring the good.” While releasing certain offenders may save money in the short run, doing so stands to hurt the people of Washington in the long run – and in more than their pocketbooks.

That quote is better than the Adams one, but I’d still ax it. Anything you want to say can probably be said better without it. Anyway, congrats on having a copy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations and/or having memorized two vague quotes from Founding Fathers.

Open Thread 10/16

- I haven’t read it yet, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t link to The Stranger’s endorsements.

These reframes of the criminal justice system are good because they focus on the prevention of trauma rather than punishing things after the fact. But there is still a long way to go before we live in a world where women’s bodies aren’t commodified, exploited, and victimized.

– How do we deal with the idea of the mom taxi for people living car free?

Pregnant Texans Are Being Charged With Crimes That Don’t Exist

What’s Up Seattle?

No

A Hoquiam High School football player has been accused of raping two women. You’ll notice the story isn’t former high school football player, because he’s still on the team.

Two women came forward this summer and accused Smith of rape.

One, a former girlfriend, said Smith forced himself upon her when she was 16 in December 2012.

The second accuser, an 18-year-old girl, was described by prosecutors as an acquaintance from Facebook.

In both cases, the accusers said they told Smith to stop and repeatedly said “no” when he made sexual advances.

According to court documents, Smith admitted one of the women was saying “no,” but the detective said Smith told him he “thought she was saying no for pleasure and not to stop having sex.”

Innocent until proven guilty is an important thing in our laws and in society, and it should be respected. But when two different women say he raped them, and when he admits to going forward after one of them said no, kick him off the football team, at the very least.

Open Thread 10/14

- There is still a lot of work, of course. But I think it’s fair to say public pressure on Cherry Point (and legit safety concerns) have produced quite a victory.

– I’m also mostly of the opinion that the ACA is a great accomplishment. Even if I would have preferred a public option or just single payer.

The Whiteness Project: Good Luck with That

– I realize a claim is not definitive proof, but Rosalind Brazel deserves to have her claims taken seriously.

What women like Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu, Adria Richards, Kathy Sierra, and others have gone through, and continue to go through, all for having the unmitigated temerity to be women in gaming and tech, is incredible. And reprehensible. And shameful beyond description. And harmful.

– Congrats to Alaska gay couples, and supporters of the same.

– I keep passing the Pronto Cycle booths. I can’t wait to try it out.

It’s a Good Thing Really Rich People Care About Ebola, or Else We’d Be Totally Helpless!

Hooray for really rich people!

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are donating $25 million to the CDC Foundation to help address the Ebola epidemic.

The money will be used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Ebola response effort in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and elsewhere in the world where Ebola is a threat, the foundation said Tuesday.

The grant follows a $9 million donation made by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen last month. Zuckerberg and Chan are making the grant from their fund at the nonprofit Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Sure, the money is great and all. So thanks. But… um… we’re the United States of America! We put a man on the fucking moon! (Actually, 12 men!) So you’d think the CDC would have the financial resources to adequately address the Ebola threat without begging for money from billionaires!

Seriously, America! How about taxing the super wealthy sufficient to meet our national needs, instead of just kinda hoping they care enough to gift us money when and if they think we really need it? Wouldn’t that be a much more rational way to run a government?

Drinking Liberally — Seattle

DLBottlePlease join us tonight for some more political punditry and electoral prognostication over a pint at the Seattle Chapter of Drinking Liberally.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday evening at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. The starting time is 8:00 pm, but some folks show up before that for dinner.

Can’t make it to Seattle? Check out another Washington state chapter of Drinking Liberally over the next week. The Tri-Cities, Vancouver, WA, and Redmond chapters also meet on Tuesday. The Lakewood chapter meets this Wednesday. On Thursday, the Tacoma chapter meets. And next Monday, the Aberdeen, Yakima and Olympia chapters meet.

With 201 chapters of Living Liberally, including seventeen in Washington state, three in Oregon and three in Idaho, chances are excellent there’s a chapter meeting somewhere near you.

NRA, Eyman Shoot Blanks in Latest PDC Report

Sometimes no news is big news, as was the case with Friday’s monthly PDC filing deadline for campaign contributions and expenditures. The National Rifle Association, potentially facing a momentous defeat at the polls, reported raising and spending absolutely nothing during the month of September in opposition to Initiative 594, which would impose background checks on all private gun sales. Assuming they’re actually obeying Washington’s campaign disclosure laws (and that’s merely an assumption), it sure does look like the NRA has turned tail and fled rather than shoot it out with I-594’s well-heeled backers.

Cowards.

As for professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman, he’s never been one to run away from certain defeat—although that sort of boldness is easy for a guy who has only ever played with other people’s money. But what happens when the well runs dry? Irrelevance. As in the zero dollars raised in September for his yet to materialize statewide anti-minimum wage initiative.

Eyman had kicked off his campaign to personally profit from the minimum wage debate with a neat $50,000 each from two Seattle real estate baronesses, but has yet to raise another dime to toward the $1 million he says he needs to buy enough signatures to qualify his initiative by the end of the year. I suppose it’s possible that a deep-pocketed backer like, say, the International Franchise Association could dump in the necessary cash all at once. But why bother with Eyman? He’s just a middleman. And an expensive one at that.

It’s now been two years since Eyman has managed to qualify an initiative for the ballot. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, Tim, I hear The Stranger is hiring.

Open Thread 10/13

- I look forward to future groundbreaking judicial decisions such as, “Yes, ‘finders keepers, losers weepers’ does apply to your PIN at the gas station.”

– Those of you who read Dave Neiwert’s book And Hell Followed With Her will remember Oin Oakstar (and those of you who haven’t should). He has died in Everett.

– What Seattlish said. This has been What Seattlish Said.

3 reasons why I wish I could tell you to vote for none of the above in the Clerk race, but I won’t

#TWIBnation on the Ground in the Aftermath of the #shawshooting

The Counter-Intuitivist

HA Bible Study: Judges 11:29-40

Judges 11:29-40

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites. And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD : “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the LORD’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the LORD gave them into his hands. He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.

When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of tambourines! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh! My daughter! You have made me miserable and wretched, because I have made a vow to the LORD that I cannot break.”

“My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the LORD. Do to me just as you promised, now that the LORD has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites. But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”

“You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and the girls went into the hills and wept because she would never marry. After the two months, she returned to her father and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.

Discuss.

Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

Stephen is horrified by Boehner’s support of gay Republican.

Funny or Die: Here’s how you’re getting fucked!

Thom: The Good, The Bad, and the Very, Very Ugly.

David Pakman: Obama outperforms Reagan on jobs, growth & investing.

White House: West Wing Week.

Ed and Pap: Rick Scott can’t shake his criminal past.

Bill Clinton Returns to Arkansas to save the Dems.

Maddow: GOP-driven voting laws hurt turnout report.

Sam Seder: Republican Scott Brown thinks nobody cares about equal pay for women.

Jon to AIG: Go fuck yourselves.

Young Turks: Obama to close Gitmo…Republicans freak out.

Lewis Black says fuck voter suppression:

Thom: Boehner admits Republicans have no jobs plan.

Sam Seder and Janeane Garofalo: Why the climate crisis is getting worse.
Mental Floss: 100 Amazing Facts.

Pap: What Republican obstruction has cost.

Political Ebola:

Rubin Report: Doing this in Seattle will get you fined $1.

Jon has a problem with Obama’s “Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad war”.

Young Turks: Jon Stewart for Meet the Press host?

Stephen defends Columbus.

David Pakman: Joe the Plumber goes full racist with misspelled slurs:

Maddow: Tasteless GOP political ad still online.

Sam Seder: Rand Paul was insane and hated the poor as a college student.

Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.

Open Thread 10/10

- Good work Jean Godden, and boo for Seattle for taking so long to get maternity (and paternity) leave for city employees.

– The bike signals on 2nd Ave are great, but I’m glad the city is also dealing with garages mid block.

Despite about a million technical issues, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange has gotten some people covered — at least here at home. Despite low enrollment in rural counties, in King County, 1/4 of residents are covered.

– Given the Seattle Metro Area’s worst in the nation pay gap, it’s particularly galling to see the CEO of Microsoft saying women shouldn’t ask for a raise. He apologized, and we can all decide for ourselves how sincere he was. But I hope it leads to some sort of concrete action because this region most pointedly needs to do better.

– I’m more of a fan of remakes than I think a lot of people, especially people on the Internet. The Ghostbusters with women as the main cast seems awesome.