Ayn Rand in the Hood

I’m at the bar with this girl the other night and having a good conversation. She’s getting ready to leave because she’s out of beer and money. I offer to buy a pitcher and split it with her. She says thanks but no, she’s an independent woman and doesn’t accept charity. Stealing from Hank Reardon in Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged”, I say this isn’t charity. I’m doing this of my own self interest. I’m having a good time with you and I give you the beer for my own sake, to keep me entertained.” She accepts and everyone ends up happy.

Another evening we’re ready to call an end to the night. We’re both starving and I invite her to my house for enchiladas I cooked earlier in that day. She says “No, then I”m going to ‘owe’ you and you’re gonna use that against me to try to get me into bed.” I say “Listen, I don’t play the blackmail game. Anything people do in this world should be done of their own free will and for mutual benefit. I’m hungry, you’re hungry. I have food. I like your company. Let’s go.”

Yesterday I go to her place to help hook up her computer. When we’re at the computer place I tell her I have lots of software I can give her as soon as I get my CD drive fixed (my kids broke it somehow or another a while back.) Money’s kind of tight so I tell her I can’t get the drive today. She finds out the price of the drive, gets it, pays for it, and gives it to me. Later that night she tells her daughter that she just bought this for my computer. Her daughter looks confused for a moment, then says “Why?” She says because Mike’s gonna hook us up with all sorts of software and a bunch of games from his computer as soon as his drive is fixed!” The daughter brightens up and says “Ohhhhhhh!” I get this warm feeling and smile at the benefit of free trade, capitalism, and Ayn Rand in the hood.

Islamic Law

Regarding the murder of 11-year old Carlie Brucia by ex-convict Joseph Smith in Florida this week, I have to say that it takes a lot for things to get to me but I was shaken this morning when I read that they’d found her body. I’ve had more religious debates in my life than I care to remember but I can’t think of a better example than this to advocate for the application of Sharia (Islamic law) rather than secular.

In American jurisprudence, the death penalty is carried out by a disinterested third party. Under Islamic law, in cases of murder the family of the victim is given the choice to either opt for the death penalty or to forgive (and they are told that to forgive is better.) For those who choose to apply the death penalty, the actual sentence is to be carried out by the closest male relative of the victim. In this case that would be Carlie’s father.

There are some who would opt for mercy, but for those who would choose the latter I would remind them that mercy always comes at the price of justice. As God’s viceregent on earth, it is man’s duty to extol what is right and to condemn that which is wrong. While most people don’t share my particular religious viewpoint, I think 95% of us can agree on the need for justice, not simply as a visceral reaction, but as a societal necessity, to deter crime with swift and certain retribution. And of all crimes that need to be stamped from the face of the earth, what can rank higher on the list than child abduction and murder?

I can’t say I know what it’s like; I don’t want to imagine what Carlie’s father is going through right now or what life will be like for him from now on. Neither can I maintain that punishing the killer in any form will bring his daughter back. But speaking as the father of an 11 year old girl myself, if I were in his shoes right now I know exactly which system of justice I would want applied. And I’d want a baseball bat and the killer in shackles in the middle of a packed soccer stadium. There is both justice and a deterrent.

Testing

This is a test. This Nobody look at this. I know it’s wack. I’m just trying to see something. Look over there. Away from here.