- February 06, 2012 - 17:42
Like many soft-on-crime advocates, Wangersky uses the phony argument that judges should be given more latitude to determine what sentences are appropriate. Following this argument to its logical conclusion, I assume Wangersky and his ilk are just as opposed to maximum sentences as they are to minimum sentences. If not, then their argument is dishonest. In my view, the only people who should determine what sentences are appropriate for particular crimes are voters. And when a party is elected to government after campaigning on a platform that clearly commits to tougher sentences for certain crimes, then that government should follow through and implement its platform despite anything the nattering nabobs of negativity in the media have to say.
- February 06, 2012 - 17:25
Wangersky is ignoring logic and facts, and spouting purely partisan/ideological rhetoric - exactly what he accuses the Conservatives of doing. Whether or not the crime rate is decreasing is nothing but a red herring. The question to be answered by parliament is this: How should we handle each serious criminal? Is Wangersky saying that if there are fewer murderers, pedophiles, rapists and drug traffickers then we should treat each of them more lightly? That's just absurd. Wangersky also states as fact that any move toward heavier sentences is "revenge-based." But actually, in some cases a heavier sentence is logic-based and public safety-based. A criminal cannot repeat his or her crimes while behind bars.
- ed power
- February 05, 2012 - 17:16
Ms Bainbridge, in totally missing the point of the column, and my comments, demonstrates a selective memory of recent history. She appears to be unaware of the fact that Saddam Hussein had ties to the US government that dated back to his participation in the attempted CIA backed coup against Gen. Qasim in 1959. Upon his return from Egypt in 1963 after the Baath Party took power, Saddam's rose through the party hierarchy until he deposed Pres al-Bakr in 1979. In 1980, with the support of the US, Iraq invaded Iran, and for the next ten years the US supplied weapons, intelligence, classified satellite photos of Iranian defences and, through Kuwait an Saudi Arabia, billions of dollars to finance his war. It was during this period that the now infamous photo of Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam was taken during a meeting in Baghdad at around the same time as Saddam was using poison gas attacks on Kurdish citizens in the north. In 1991, after receiving mixed messages from US officials, Saddam invaded Kuwait over a dispute concerning war debts and a shared oil field. From this point on Saddam became "an evil dictator" in the words of Bush the elder, and an "evil doer" in the words of Bush the younger. That is a brief summary of the past 50 years of US/Iraqi relations. As for Ms Bainbridge's assertion "that Geo Bush, the younger, made their lives safer, by getting rid of Saddam", the facts speak for themselves. In the 1970s, Iraq had the highest standard of living in the Arab world, the highest literacy levels and the highest life expectancy. In 2003, after two wars - with Iran and the US - a decade of US imposed economic sanctions and constant attacks by US and NATO aircraft, Iraq had been reduced to third world status. Still, Iraq made for a convenient post 9/11 boogeyman. The fact that it sits atop the largest untapped oil reserves in the world was...coincidental. Ironically, after the devastating air attacks of Desert Storm in 1991, Saddam was able to get electrical power restored to Baghdad in a few months while the US, after nine years, still hasn't been able to fully restore the electrical grid that they destroyed. They do, however, have the lights on at the Oil Ministry. I suggest that Ms Bainbridge conduct a little research into this topic before she makes any further comments. It would seem from her comments, that the "perception is reality" message developed by the Republican Party and Fox News, and now adopted by our own Conservative Party and Sun News, is an effective one. We can expect more of the same as the Conservatives get better at it. Oh, Brave New world....
- Molly Bainbridge
- February 06, 2012 - 16:13
Mr. Power, I wasn't necessarily asddressing all the points inh your column; I was merely pointing our the atrocities Saddam committed on his own people. Whatever the relationship between Sadam and the USA (and indeed the rest of the world) in the past does not detract from MY premis that Hussien was 'a weapon of mass destruction' once he got into power. Unfortunately, the USA, great as we are, do not YET have any powers that would enable us to see 'the end from the beginning'. A simple analogy would be; A person marriers a sweet and thoughtful mate and they love each other 'till seath etc...' Unfortunately, according to the divorce rate, one or both of them become unasuitable and/or unlovable. On a much more disasterous scale it could apply to the Sadam case. History should have told you that, before WW2, Neville Chamberlain went to Germany to 'kiss up to Hitler' and came back to Englans reassuring the world thzat Hitledr was a 'good guy'; and meant the world no harm. Hopefully. you DO know how Hitler fooled Mr. Chamberlain and the world? Thank God for Winston Churchill! Thank God for George W Bush
- Molly Bainbridge
- February 05, 2012 - 13:52
Saddam Hussien, himself, was a 'weapon of mass desatruction'. Are you forgetting, or did you ever know, about the death and destruction caused by and ordered by this monster? Maybe the killing of his own ppl was not dramatic enough for the media to jump all over it,but I would bet that the families involved gave thanks to whatever God they believed in, that Geo Bush, the younger, by getting rid of Saddam, made their lives safer. Don't be so quick to pass judgement on things that you are obviously not 'educated' about.
- W Bagg
- February 05, 2012 - 10:41
increase in unreported crimes, is that like sightings of the invisible man
- ed power
- February 04, 2012 - 19:53
It seems that our "New Conservative Government" has taken a page from the Republican Party south of the border, or George Orwell, or possibly both. It reminds me of the infamous comment made by a Neocon thinker - which one escapes me right now - during the disinformation campaign being waged in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. When an observer pointed out that the US had no evidence of Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction, nuclear weapons program or support to Al Qaida, the observer was chastised for living in the "old reality", that the Bush Administation was creating "new realities" and were doing such an effective job that when people had "adjusted to the new reality" it was already too late as the administration had "created another new "one. To Orwell's "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength" we can now add Harper's "No Crime is Real Crime, and "Non-Existent Crime is Unreported Crime". The beauty of it is, we can still use "Ignorance is Strength".
- February 04, 2012 - 09:39
Excellent article. There's FAR too much spin these days. (And not just in government.)