April 27, 2011

"Certainly my defense of flogging is more thought experiment than policy proposal."

"I do not expect to see flogging reinstated any time soon. And deep down, I wouldn't want to see it. And yet, in the course of writing what is, at its core, a quaintly retro abolish-prison book, I've come to see the benefits of wrapping a liberal argument in a conservative facade. If the notion of tying people to a rack and caning them on their behinds à la Singapore disturbs you, if it takes contemplating whipping to wake you up and to see prison for what it is, so be it! The passive moral high ground has gotten us nowhere."

Says Peter Moskos, who's written a book called "In Defense of Flogging."

What liberal arguments wrapped in a conservative facade have you seen lately? Is it also sometimes efficacious to wrap a conservative argument in a liberal facade? Examples, please.

115 comments:

Henry said...

I've seen fish wrapped in a liberal facade. You can also use it line bird cages.

Scott M said...

The passive moral high ground has gotten us nowhere.

FINALLY!!!

What liberal arguments wrapped in a conservative facade have you seen lately?

O'Donnell last night on MSNBC trying to make the case that Jesus was all for a progressive tax structure, even going so far as to try and turn scripture into "from each according to his ability".

Hysterical, if sad. Isn't O'Donnell an atheist?

Beta Rube said...

I think Walker has been making the case that his cuts are good for the State and local workers because they will avoid layoffs and staff cut backs.

He is wrapping a conservative arguement in the "it's for the good of the wroking man" liberal mantra.

I think he is doing the right thing, but I don't think his opponents are buying in.

Paddy O said...

Is this a little bit like Rangel (I think it was him) and others calling for the draft because they opposed the war in Iraq?

Henry said...

In reality, I think it's quite common for libertarians to evoke liberal memes in pointing out the threat of concentrated power in government.

For example, one can use the bank bailouts and the kind of corruption that Matt Taibbi highlights in Rolling Stone to illustrate the problem of regulatory capture. The bigger and more powerful the government, the more damage regulatory capture will do.

Triangle Man said...

Hysterical, if sad. Isn't O'Donnell an atheist?

Jesus was not just the Messiah, he was also a political philosopher.

Scott M said...

Jesus was not just the Messiah, he was also a political philosopher.

And he had, gasp, a BEARD!

PoNyman said...

Is he saying that caning is the conservative facade or that the idea of punishment is?

Phil 3:14 said...

anything related to The Middle Class.

Every once and awhile they slip and use the term working families (as if a neurosurgeon isn't working)

Gee, Marx always railed against the bourgeoisie. Now they're like cancer survivors: noble combatants against a evil and relentless ENEMY.

The Crack Emcee said...

I've come to see the benefits of wrapping a liberal argument in a conservative facade.

It's called "lying" again. This variation is labeled "being dishonest". Both are derived from understanding your argument, on it's face, is bullshit and won't survive on it's own with proper vetting.

Gentlemen, flog that man!

Hey, wait a minute,...

The Crack Emcee said...

Scott M,

Isn't O'Donnell an atheist?

He calls himself one, I think, but he's just another NewAge loon. Pay it no mind.

Scott M said...

He's got the same shaped head and face as the "exec" that does the PS3 commercials. I wonder if that guy is out a job in light of some 75M people having their accounts hacked. Just another reason not to be a console gamer, or, "thumbler".

Triangle Man said...

And he had, gasp, a BEARD!

Says you.

t-man said...

The benefit of flogging is that it is more direct and comprehensible to the young, and might be a sufficient deterrent keep them out of trouble to begin with. I don't think it would work on already hardened criminals.

(I'm not saying we should flog children, but that if they saw a flogging, it would be more immediate than the abstract concept of imprisonment.)

I also see a false distinction between the supposed cruelty of flogging versus widely accepted long-term imprisonment, which is also inherently cruel (but not unusual).

Henry said...

@PoNyman -- Good catch. What exactly is the conservative facade in this case?

Later in the article Moskos writes: Prison means losing a part of your life and everything you care for. Compared with this, flogging is just a few very painful strokes on the backside. And it's over in a few minutes. Often, and often very quickly, those who said flogging is too cruel to even consider suddenly say that flogging isn't cruel enough.

Here he seems to be skewering the hypocrisy of his liberal compatriots. Consider that earlier he writes:

Still, I dared not utter the four words in professional company until after I earned tenure.

Moskos is openly mocking liberal pretensions of openmindedness. He hopes to get away with it by pretending that he is really attacking conservatives love of punishment.

Moskos' claim that he is adopting a conservative facade is a facade. He parades the conservative strawman ahead of his subversive ideas knowing that his liberal peers really truly believe in it.

Bob_R said...

Do the words "compassionate conservatism" ring a bell?

Bob_R said...

I didn't see any mention of Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers in the article. If it isn't mentioned in the book it would be a big omission.

Sofa King said...

I argued this long ago, at first purely to shock my fellow law students, then somewhat seriously the more I thought about it. Painful (but quick) punishment - at least for first or second time offenders - is a vivid deterrent, satisfies our need for retribution, and offers the criminal a much greater chance for rehabilitation and restitution, as compared to extended prison time. My feeling is that prison ought to be reserved for the unredeemably dangerous, for the sole purpose of removing them from decent society.

Dose of Sanity said...

I support flogging 100%.

Used as Irish-slang though. Not the punishment.

PoNyman said...

What would be hilarious (or not) is if this book were to become the Silent Spring of rehabilitation or correction.

Sofa King said...

Often, and often very quickly, those who said flogging is too cruel to even consider suddenly say that flogging isn't cruel enough.

Indeed. Often, people who were appalled I would suggest something so horrible were taken aback when I put it directly to them: if you had done something bad and could choose between 30 lashes or 2 years in prison, what would you take? After consideration, almost everyone would prefer the lashes. To me, that is the sign it is a GOOD punishment: viscerally repulsive (it has to be, to be an effective deterrant/retribution), but upon reflection, more humane than long-term confinement.

vbspurs said...

Hey, remember that rich kid who got flogged in Singapore, back in the 90s? It was the cause celebre of the day.

Wonder whatever happened to his butt.

Cheers,
Victoria

Sofa King said...

That's what makes prison so BAD as a punishment: from the outside, it *seems* more humane than it actually is, and makes rehabilitation exponentially less likely.

Scott M said...

but upon reflection, more humane than long-term confinement.

Much cheaper, too, in terms of taxpayer resources. We could do it...for the children. Does it take a village to come out and watch a good Saturday night floggin'?

One thing Max Brooks pointed out was that aside from the pain aspect, far more of a deterrent was the public aspect and the shame involved. It's got built-in shame for a society that left shame back in the late sixties.

Removal of shame, it all it's wonderful guises, is one of, if not the biggest, root of all our current problems.

Sofa King said...

And in the context of the original quote, "conservative" appears to be a synonym for "concerned with retribution."

G Joubert said...

How about opposition to the death penalty, not because it is barbaric or cruel and unusual, nor because of the inevitability of arbitrariness, discrimination, caprice and mistake, but instead simply because I'm uncomfortable with my government having that much power, the power to kill people?

O2BNAZ said...

First, it is not the conservative argument that prisoners should be whipped. You're being poorly conned by a sub-intellectual progressive bigot who knows his thoughts are wrong but thinks he can, while maintaining his own righteous sense of superiority, project his immorality onto the right-- actually giving us a peak at his own psyche--- because we all know this is what conservatives think and not the vastly superior progressive.

edutcher said...

I guess Little Zero saying he'll cut the deficit by spending on infrastructure doesn't count.

As to flogging, that, banishment, and hanging were the three punishments meted out in the mining camps during the California Gold Rush.

If you were naughty, you got the first two. If you came back, you got the third.

As they said, "We never needed law until the lawyers came".

vbspurs said...

Hey, remember that rich kid who got flogged in Singapore, back in the 90s? It was the cause celebre of the day.

Wonder whatever happened to his butt.

Cheers,
Victoria


Last seen a Nerf pillow was still his constant companion.

Triangle Man said...

Michael Fay was the teenager caned in Singapore.

vbspurs said...

From Triangle Man's link:

"Michael was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, a fact that his lawyer would later claim made Fay not responsible for his actions."

I understand that ADHD could account for his unruly behaviour, but freeing him from responsibility of his actions?

See, this is why I can't stand lawyers...sometimes.

Carol_Herman said...

So schools were always crappy?

Flogging satisfied the homosexuals.

And, for the nuns, they carried wooden rulers. And, they'd slap kids who were using their left hands to write.

The whole idea is probably best shown by using Abraham Lincoln as an example. He didna't learn much beyond how to read and write. But he had brains. Those with brains are always on their own, anyway. Because the teachers as a general rule, no matter how dedicated, just weren't bright enough.

Still Lincoln chose Shakespeare. And, he was well versed in the King James Bible. After church on Sundays, he'd go out to the fields. To play with his friends. And, he'd "re-do" the sermons, so they were way more entertaining.

Meanwhile, those who think "no child gets left behind," haven't quite figured out how peas are processed according to their size.

The best teachers I had never screamed, yelled or hit anybody. They brought a sense of humor to their work.

Even if you aced the tests, you don't remember any of that stuff!

t-man said...

The author makes a big concession, for a liberal, that the concept of punishment is legitimate and not merely a facade for bloodlust.

All the while, the public's legitimate demand for punishment has created, because we lack alternatives, the biggest prison boom in the history of the world.

In law school, our crimial law prof simply assumed that no enlightened person would agree that punishment of the individual criminal was a legitimate motive when considering criminal penalties. The only permissible motives were (1) rehabilitation; or (2) community safety from those who were dangerous and could not be rehabilitated.

Henry said...

I'm not convinced that Singapore's excess of government persuasion is all that defensible.

Scott M said...

I'm not convinced that Singapore's excess of government persuasion is all that defensible

Two things I would want to know. 1) what is the crime rate under such practices and 2) if knowable, what is the police corruption or improper use of that kind of power like?

MarkG said...

I understand that ADHD could account for his unruly behaviour, but freeing him from responsibility of his actions?

I wonder if it cured his ADHT?

gerry said...

I prefer keelhauling.

MikeDC said...

Conservative facade: Pro corporal punishment.
Liberal reality: Prison is very bad and we should imprison folks less.

Liberal facade: I'm so smart and humane and conservatives are dumb and cruel.
Conservative reality: Conservative Economist Gary Becker wrote pretty much the same thing, in much more scientifically rigorous terms, nearly 50 years ago.

Triangle Man said...

Conservative reality: Conservative Economist Gary Becker wrote pretty much the same thing, in much more scientifically rigorous terms, nearly 50 years ago.

Perhaps, but "law and order" types weren't buying.

John said...

I am not sure how locking someone in a cage for years is any more humane than just flogging them once and having it over with.

EK said...

An example of wrapping a liberal argument in a conservative façade—appealing to “fiscal responsibility” in the defense of confiscatory, highly-progressive tax rates, as in “you can’t cut taxes—you’ll increase the deficit!”

EK said...

Another example of wrapping a liberal argument in a conservative façade—promoting more government spending by labeling such spending “investments.”

MikeDC said...

Liberal law and order types definitely weren't buying either

EK said...

Another example of wrapping a liberal argument in a conservative façade—promoting the welfare state as a means of empowering the less fortunate and expanding economic opportunities for them so that they can become self-supporting and make their own way. LBJ often spoke in these terms in promoting the “Great Society,” for example.

MikeDC said...

Liberal facade: Great society programs (Medicare, Social Security, massive subsidization and/or unionization of food, housing, and education) are all about the poor

Conservative reality: At best, it's largely a transfer of wealth from the upper and middle classes to the upper and middle classes. In practice, most of what goes on is protection of privilege and status.

windbag said...

I understand that ADHD could account for his unruly behaviour, but freeing him from responsibility of his actions?

When I taught school, I had parents remind me during parent-teacher conferences that their precious snowflake was ADHD, to which I would reply, "That explains his behavior, but it doesn't excuse it." That always went over like a fart in church.

windbag said...

I am not sure how locking someone in a cage for years is any more humane than just flogging them once and having it over with.

Prison is adult time out and clearly doesn't work. We spanked our kids instead of sending to prison. It worked.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

What liberal arguments wrapped in a conservative facade have you seen lately?

Tax increases referred to as 'cutting spending in the tax code'.

Any and all spending called 'investment'.

PaulV said...

someone deserves a good old fashion horse whipping.

PaulV said...

I would think renting something in the mall and putting juveniles in a comfortable equivatent of the stocks on Friday & Saturday nights would be effective punishment for misbehavior.

Robert Cook said...

Steven Colbert's whole shtick--and most often very funny and cogent it is, too--is based on presenting liberal arguments in a conservative facade.

Scott M said...

Even if we decided, as a society, that flogging was a good idea, worked better, and was a more desirable punishment than prison terms, more than that would have to be fixed.

Otherwise, we would constantly be assaulted with the claims that this group or that group was being sentenced to flogging way out of wack with demographics.

You just know it.

Econophile said...

You're exactly right, O2BNAZ at 10:34.

Ill-defined political categories allow for a lot of imprecise, confused, and bigoted arguments like Moskos' to escape scrutiny.

Franklin said...

One of the major misunderstandings Liberals have about Conservatives is that they think that Conservatives want to reform government payment programs because we’re mean, selfish, or evil. Liberals don’t understand that Conservatives want to reform the welfare state because, if alleviating suffering is your goal, it’s actually much more humane and effective to have a relatively limited government in that regard: people will legitimately suffer less if there are fewer government welfare programs.

Conservatism is inherently compassionate.

That’s why I’d say that there’s no need to couch Conservative arguments in Liberal facades. For people with an IQ of 105 or more, Liberalism is thus an antiquated, disproven, invalidated, and unnecessary ideology. Only a stupid person could be Liberal. (and for the record, Conservative is equivalent to small-el liberal. Big-el Liberals are equivalent to small-ess socialists).

Sigivald said...

If he's going to demand we abolish prisons, I want to know what he has to offer as an alternative.

And it has to be more than "passive moral high ground" wrapped in "just don't have prisons".

(Yeah, he talks about the failure of rehabilitation - but the problem with "well, just punish 'em and let 'em go" is that punishment itself doesn't seem to make a lot of criminal sorts not-a-danger-to-everyone-else.

Prisons don't rehabilitate. And sometimes they don't even really punish.

But by God they do keep the mad dogs away from decent folk.

Until he can offer a way to solve that little issue - which I didn't see in the article - he's wasting his time.

Granted, too many people are imprisoned for too minor of offenses - but that does not mean "abolish prisons" is the answer.

And his talk about the incarcerated not being able to hold jobs or be good parents is true... but he should ask himself how many of the "habitual criminals" he was arresting as a cop were capable of that in the first place; people with that level of poor impulse control and present-value favoring ain't gonna become model citizens just because you abolish jails.

He doesn't seem to have even mentioned that little problem.)

PaulV said...

George Allen abolished parole in VA and crime rate went down. There were so many empty prison cells other states paid to have their inmates housed in VA since they had overcrowded prisons

LilyBart said...

I think Walker has been making the case that his cuts are good for the State and local workers because they will avoid layoffs and staff cut backs. He is wrapping a conservative arguement in the "it's for the good of the wroking man" liberal mantra.

Maybe small government and capitalism IS good for the working man. It provides the most opportunity for him to work hard and succeed. Big Government, in the end, fails the worker. It turns them into little "workers for the state" with little control or say over their lives. Sad.

Coketown said...

The example that always strikes me is the liberal argument that we should use less oil wrapped in the conservative facade of decreasing our dependency on foreign oil. Essentially, they're arguing that we should bankrupt some of the poorest and most politically unstable countries on earth, casting hundreds of millions into even worse poverty than they're already in, destroy the Norwegian social model that depends on their oil revenue, and then ramp up exploration and drilling at home. All to decrease our dependency on foreign oil!

At least, that's if we took them seriously. We all know that if they had their way they're lose faith in their plan somewhere between bankrupting Nigeria and opening ANWR.

Methadras said...

So throwing criminals in prison doesn't work and yet flaying them and letting them return to society to do it again will? Isn't prison life hard enough?

Methadras said...

Leftard arguments wrapped in a conservative facade? Is this a joke? Leftards have no arguments. They only present pleas of wish fulfillment and emotional cases for all of their so called arguments.

William said...

Flogging is associated with conservatives because of the Duke of Wellington. Long after it was obvious to most fair minded people that flogging was a cruel and ineffective punishment, he supported it. He also did not believe in promoting from the ranks. He felt that enlisted men did not know how to hold their liquor and could not be depended upon to behave like officers and gentlemen....The more egalitarian Napoleon did not use flogging, and several of his most distinguished field marshals started their careers as enlisted men.....It should be noted, however, that Wellington's troops marched in good order and did not resort to pillage and looting. When his army crossed the Pyrenees, they were welcomed by the French peasants for the relief they afforded from the French army.... It should also be noted that Wellington was very sparing of his troops' lives. He declined battle on several occasions because he thought the losses would be heavy. Napoleon was profigate with the lives of his solders. He abandoned several armies in the field. He shrugged off the casualties on one battlefield by saying that his men only needed one long weekend in Paris to generate replacements.....I offer these historical notes in support of the thesis that although all men are wrong, somme men are more wrong than others.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"Hey, remember that rich kid who got flogged in Singapore, back in the 90s? It was the cause celebre of the day.

Wonder whatever happened to his butt.

Cheers,
Victoria"

ROFLMAO!

Robert Cook said...

Franklin said:

"balderdashbalderdashConservatism isinherentlycompassionatebalderdashbaloney."

Hahahahahaha!

Now, I come from a conservative family--I being the only heretic--and they are mostly compassionate people. I don't deny that some conservatives are compassionate and some liberals are selfish shits, but the reverse is true, as well. People can be every kind of saint or jackass while holding disparate political, philosophical or religious beliefs, or none.

However, the sort of rigidly obdurate "free market" (sic) ideology that is considered to be conservatism today is really just age old selfishness using the same old excuses to explain away the disparities in incomes and living conditions that are a permanent, if fluctuating, feature of human societies. More to the point, this farago of self-justifcations for ignoring one's fellow humans allows those persons or corporations of persons who aren't "compassionate" to stripmine societies of whatever wealth is there to be stripmined.

If one is going to argue against stringent regulation of banks, investment houses, and all large corporations, one might as well argue against law enforcement tactics intended to mitigate the plunder and other crimes of the Mafia. The only material difference is that the crimes of the banks and investment houses and many other large corporations cause more harm and steal more money than the Mafia.

Thorley Winston said...

I argued this long ago, at first purely to shock my fellow law students, then somewhat seriously the more I thought about it. Painful (but quick) punishment - at least for first or second time offenders - is a vivid deterrent, satisfies our need for retribution, and offers the criminal a much greater chance for rehabilitation and restitution, as compared to extended prison time.

That’s pretty much my analysis as well along with the high cost of prisons and jails (although I generally prefer home confinement with an ankle bracelet for a lot of non-violent offenders).

Mitch H. said...

Go ahead and beat your mad dog, and see if it gets any saner once you've let it go.

The sick, sad truth is that in those cases where prison works, long prison sentences "rehabilitate" by restraining the young thug until he's either aged out of his impulsiveness, or has become "institutionalized". Strangely enough, there are liberal types who find the latter case to be some sort of failure, or direful event.

Personally, the fact of prison rape is a much, much better argument in favor of flogging than any bollocks about recidivism or deterrence. A brief, public flogging is morally preferable to private years of violation.

Cedarford said...

Methadras said...
So throwing criminals in prison doesn't work and yet flaying them and letting them return to society to do it again will? Isn't prison life hard enough?


The simple fact of things is that to many thugs, especially black thugs, doing time is a badge of honor. It adds to street creds.
Whereas, no thug, especially a black thug, would be able to brag "getting to stand up to The Man" was easy and no big deal - if it meant The Man was going to pulverize their screaming asses with a cane then put them to work in chains for food for a month or two (food rations based on how many tons of rocks a day they busted up).

Even the most ignorant thug knows that 20 blows with a cane to the buttocks had them screaming and voiding themselves, breaking a ton of rock for two slices of bread and raging hunger for two months on a chain gang would not be something they cared to repeat. Especially if the next time meant 40 lashes.

A lot harder to pretend "what the Man did was no real deal" than sitting in a 60,000 a year prison watching TV with other cons for 5 years - each talking how bad and tough they were.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Flogging would appear to be more humane than straight jail time - the option for flogging should be for first time offenses only.

William said...

Sidenote: Wellington was an abolitionist. At the Congress of Vienna, against the opposition of both the Bourbons and the Bonapartists, he successfully held out for the abolition of slavery in the French Empire. The Bonapartists felt that France in order to have sufficient economic vitality to spread the cause of equality needed to continue the institution of slavery.

cokaygne said...

The most powerful state employee unions are the correctional officers. No governor, no matter how fascist, wants to send in the National Guard to run prisons, patrol the streets in lieu of cops, sure, because the cops don't prevent many crimes anyway. Closing prisons would really piss off one of the Democrats' most important constituencies.

In the XVIII Century, criminal wrong doers were usually either hung, or branded, or flogged, or exiled to a far away place like the 13 colonies or, later, Australia.

The only prison was if you owed someone a lot of money you were put in a fetid cell until your relatives paid your debts. Until they could come up with the money, the debtor's relatives were responsible for feeding. Pickpockets were hung in public before rowdy crowds who were preyed upon by uncaring pickpockets. Liberal reformers of the XIX Century thought those punishments were cruel. Liberals dreamed up the penitentiary where criminals would spend some time reflecting upon their lives and doing penance for their evil deeds.

I attended Boston Public Schools in the 1950s. The rattan, a sliver of bamboo, was the preferred method of discipline. The miscreant kid would have to get up in front of the class and hold out his hand (never saw a girl do anything worthy of corporal punishment) while the teacher swatted it with the rattan. There were some rules about the number of hits related to the seriousness of the offence, but I don't remember. More serious offenders were punished with a paddle on the buttocks. Whatever punishment you received in school was nothing compared to what your parents did to you when they heard about it.

Some teachers were sadistic. The worst I ever had was Miss Conley, a beautiful blonde who loved to paddle bad boys with such force that her face turned red and they cried out. Bad kids had a code of not flinching or crying out when struck. The baddest kids would smile or even laugh. Miss Conley was able to make even these kids cry.

Corporal punishment in the schools was abolished and they came up with the idea of detention after school or suspension for really bad kids. Suspension or even outright banishment to a "special school" worked pretty well because it got rid of the kids who were disrupting things for everyone else. One of my friends was a bad kid who got sent to a school that was a farm on an island in Boston Harbor. I envied him and sometimes was tempted to be so bad that I would get sent there.

Schools suspended too many kids, especially too many minority kids, and there was lots of litigation. So nowadays in MA there is the spectacle of the kids who tormented an immigrant girl to the point where she took her own life. The local DA called a press conference and threw the book at the kids, including lots of criminal charges. A couple of years later, the DA has retired, the kids, except one who is being charged with statutory rape, have plea-bargained away the criminal charges and pleaded guilty to misdemeanors.

What lesson do you suppose the other kids have learned from that?

Thorley Winston said...

How about opposition to the death penalty, not because it is barbaric or cruel and unusual, nor because of the inevitability of arbitrariness, discrimination, caprice and mistake, but instead simply because I'm uncomfortable with my government having that much power, the power to kill people?


I wish somebody would tell that to all of the environmentalists who support CAFE standards that result in an additional 2300-3200 Americans being killed in traffic accidents because the government has the power to force automobile companies to make lighter (and unsafer) automobiles. Or the tens of thousands of people who die every year because the government has the power to forcibly prevent companies from selling life-saving drugs and devices through delays in the FDA approval process. If you’re worried about governments having the power to kill people, the criminal justice system is probably one of the last places to look.

windbag said...

...conservatism today is really just age old selfishness...

Your charge comes from the centuries-old fallacy that wealth is static. During the age of exploration, nations raced to find the gold and silver, thinking that there was only so much wealth in the world, and it was for the fastest and most ruthless to grab and hold. It resulted in horrible actions worldwide.

iPhone applications can earn developers up to $10,000 per DAY!! From what mine did those developers extract that wealth? What new world did they visit and discover this new source of wealth?

Edison demonstrated the practical application of electricity, thus opening a vast array of wealth-producing industries. We are still witnessing the evolution of Bell's simple invention through the Internet.

Who knows what new wealth will be discovered in the next twenty minutes or twenty years? Conservatism, capitalism, and the notion that people should contribute to their own maintenance is hardly ruthless. It IS freeing. Anyone can be the next Edison, Bell, Gutenberg, Gates, or Buffett.

Wealth is like an expanding pie; everyone can have a bigger slice if the pie expands. Rampant welfare shrinks the pie. Those advocating shrinking the pie are the cruel, selfish ones.

Pogo said...

Peter Moskos is into flogging.

NTTAWWT.

EDH said...

"I have whipped him. His father has whipped him.

He is very sorry. We are very sorry.

Your friend,

Mrs. Ward Cleaver"

Scott M said...

...conservatism today is really just age old selfishness...

Your charge comes from the centuries-old fallacy that wealth is static.


Cook,

Please tell me you don't hold to the extreme left notion that there's no such thing as job creation.

Pogo said...

People who start out their statement with Certainly or Clearly are using the logical fallacy of proof by assertion, which deserves a public flogging.

Clearly.


("No, spank **me!**)

gerry said...

"Ward, you were awfully hard on the Beaver last night."

Robert Cook said...

"Please tell me you don't hold to the extreme left notion that there's no such thing as job creation."

I've never heard that notion before, but no.

Sofa King said...

The simple fact of things is that to many thugs, especially black thugs, doing time is a badge of honor. It adds to street creds.

More to the point, prison is essentially the *source* of gang culture in America today.

John Lynch said...

Robert Heinlein wins again.

If I had a choice between flogging and prison the flogging would be the way to go. Get it over with, get on with life. Seems pretty obvious to me. Of course, it wouldn't work for society because...

Prison isn't about punishment anymore. It's about protecting society. It physically removes proven criminals from the rest of us. If someone has a better idea for protecting the weak from the evil, let's hear it. Ultimately society owes the public more than it owes the criminal.

Sure, prison sucks. It could be less barbaric (and we should try). But it's not the system that makes it so bad. It's the prisoners. There's no way to make a place housing criminals into a nice place. In prison hell really is other people.

That's the fundamental problem.

Eric said...

"I understand that ADHD could account for his unruly behaviour, but freeing him from responsibility of his actions?"

I wonder if it cured his ADHT?


One can assume they managed to get his attention.

Eric said...

Prison isn't about punishment anymore. It's about protecting society.

Punishment is about protecting society as well.

bagoh20 said...

Illegal immigration goes both ways:

Liberals say it's good because they want the votes and dependents, but wrap it in freedom and right to pursue upward mobility (conservative wrap)

Conservatives say it's bad because of the costs, but wrap it in displaced American labor (liberal wrap).

Fred4Pres said...

For small crimes, there is something to be said that flogging vs. jail time makes a lot of sense.

It does not cost a lot. It is definitely a form of punishment. Constituionally it is permissible (it is neither cruel or unusual). It is probably safer than spending time in jail.

Frankly, I think it should be brought back as a voluntary option (you can either do the time or get some caning, your choice).

Pogo said...

The US is a burrito of refried policy beans, wrapped in the ideology of their opponents.

Fred4Pres said...

And I am not talking cat o' nine tails flailing the flesh off ones back, I am talking caning on the buttocks. There is a big difference.

Fred4Pres said...

Prison is for serious crimes. Felonies by definition, with time over one year.

Jail is for misdemeanors. Caning should be an option for the later when it makes sense.

Robert Cook said...

"For small crimes, there is something to be said that flogging vs. jail time makes a lot of sense.

"Constituionally it is permissible (it is neither cruel or unusual)"


Mmmm...how do you figure that? Is this just your opinion or has this been established through judicial decision or legal precedent?

Pogo said...

Flogging???

Ooooooh....
I thought you said blogging.

Never mind.

The Crack Emcee said...

Wasn't Synova just asking me about enforcing goodness recently?

Well, here you go!

Flogging and public shaming - bring 'em back!

And for politicians? Our old friend tar and feathers!

Jesus, can you imagine how fast things would change around here?

Ralph L said...

Closing prisons would really piss off one of the Democrats' most important constituencies
And allow a much larger one to vote and pay taxes.

Revenant said...

"Constituionally it is permissible (it is neither cruel or unusual)"

Mmmm...how do you figure that? Is this just your opinion or has this been established through judicial decision or legal precedent?

Flogging was used as a punishment in the United States up until 1850. It was eliminated by act of Congress; the courts had no problem with it.

The relevant text of the Constitution hasn't changed since then, so...

Robert Cook said...

Slavery was also a legal and widespread business practice in America until slightly later than the 1850s, yet I don't think one would find any substantive or convincing arguments from anyone that might allow it to be reinstated today...although there are some employers who would no doubt welcome its return. I think if anyone tried to re-implement flogging as a punishment in modern day America, we would see a flood of arguments that it is cruel and unusual. Despite the presence on the Supreme Court of Scalia, Alito and Roberts, I doubt the Court would find flogging to NOT be cruel and unusual.

Big Mike said...

I used to be opposed to flogging. That was before Lindsay Lohan.

Coketown said...

..."yet I don't think one would find any substantive or convincing arguments from anyone that might allow it to be reinstated today."

Yes. Perhaps the 13th amendment has something to do with that.

It must be satisfying having a moral paradigm that allows you to reduce anyone who disagrees with you to either racists or sadists.

tim maguire said...

A liberal argument wrapped in a conservative facade is a laughable notion. No conservative would bother and no liberal has enough of an understanding of conservatism to pull it off.

William said...

Wellington believed in flogging and the class system. Napoleon believed in egalitie, libertie, and indiscriminate mass slaughter. To say that something or someone is cruel is not to say that something or someone cannot be crueler.....The people here who speak approvingly of flogging are not the sort who think that flogging would ever be applied to them. I think if flogging was extended to income tax cheats and speeding violations, they would change their minds. If flogging were restricted to hate crimes, liberals would probably get behind it.

vbspurs said...

I wasn't flogged, or caned, but I was smacked with a ruler, both on my bottom and on the palm of my hand (the palm hurt worse).

Many times, I've wondered if I would send my daughter, should I have one one day, to my old school, which still practises some forms of corporal punishment. I don't know. I think so, but I don't know.

I would hate anyone beating my kid, even if it formed their "character".

cahlmeeishmael said...

PaulV said: "I would think renting something in the mall and putting juveniles in a comfortable equivatent of the stocks on Friday & Saturday nights would be effective punishment for misbehavior."

I agree. I have long thought that, for many non-violent crimes, public humiliation might be an effective deterrent. For example, to deter graffiti "artists," use some sort of indelible ink to tatoo VANDAL on their foreheads. Then just let them go through their lives for the next six months or however long it takes to wear off.

Revenant said...

Slavery was also a legal and widespread business practice in America until slightly later than the 1850s

Irrelevant. The Constitution was amended to ban slavery; that is why it is unconstitutional today. It was not -- as I noted -- altered to change the constitutionality of flogging.

You're correct that the courts would rule it unconstitutional today. That says more about the courts than it does about the Constitution. :)

James said...

I got caned many times as a kid and as a teen in high school. The tool of choice was a "wild cane" which as a reed-like stalk about 4 ft long and about 3/4 inch in circumference. It smarts like hell but then you forget about it in an hour. The punishment for tardiness or not doing homework was usually six strokes of the cane.

Sofa King said...

Irrelevant. The Constitution was amended to ban slavery; that is why it is unconstitutional today. It was not -- as I noted -- altered to change the constitutionality of flogging.

This is like the third time in a month someone seems to have believed that the Supreme Court abolished slavery. Astounding. Appalling.

Ralph L said...

no liberal has enough of an understanding of conservatism to pull it off
Not for conservatives, but they can and do fool the mushy middle, most of whom aren't paying attention most of the time.

KenK said...

Fuck Moskos. He worked as a cop for one year and now thinks he knows everything. Bullshit. In most departments you have to serve your "rookie" year under the direct supervision of a senior officer/FTO before the other cops will trust you or you can work on your own. Dumbass academic shit for brains is more like it. I doubt he would even make it to senior patrolman rank on midnights given a twenty year try.

Fred4Pres said...

My opinion that caning should be constitutional. Corporal punishment in schools was almost univeral until a few decades ago and that was with kids and with no criminal stuff.

Frankly I would rather take a beating than go to jail. Then again, I would rather avoid both.

Titus said...

I am a gay and I don't want to be flogged.

That is offensive and I am furious.

Robert Cook said...

"A liberal argument wrapped in a conservative facade is a laughable notion. No conservative would bother and no liberal has enough of an understanding of conservatism to pull it off."

As I pointed out above, Stephen Colbert does it masterfully every night, never failing to produce great hilarity.

Cedarford said...

Titus said...
I am a gay and I don't want to be flogged.

That is offensive and I am furious
_______
Easy! People like you and Andrew Sullivan should be in a gay prison with all the black thug rapos and buckets of KY jelly - if that is the alternative you prefer to having your butt whipped by some gay in leather.

Last I knew, gays paid for that.

Revenant said...

Two examples of conservative ideas wrapped in liberal facades are (a) the war on drugs and (b) bans/restrictions on porn and the sex trade.

The underlying motivation is hostility to vices and the people who indulge in them -- a conservative mindset so old it is literally prehistoric. But the bans are sold using language indistinguishable from left-wing nanny-state nonsense if you swapped "crack" with "trans-fats" and "prostitutes" with "non-union labor".

You've got the hostility to the free market. The hostility to personal choice. The belief that the government is better qualified to decide for you than you are to decide for yourself. The belief that a person who freely makes a choice YOU think is bad for him or her is being "exploited", especially if somebody's earning money on the deal. The belief that "dangerous for the people who do it" equates to "should be banned by the government".

Etc, etc.

rcocean said...

I say bring back the dunking stool and the Scold's Bridle.

First customer, Amanda Marcotte

rcocean said...

I think we should get the government off the back of criminals. Let the free market take care of them.

We need to privatize the police and make them more efficient. Why should the "winners" have to subsidize the poor and helpless? Let them hire their own security guards.

Titus said...

I am not a leather queen either Cedarford.

They are generally fat and gross.

azmountaintroll said...

Those of you who believe the Thirteenth Amendment completely abolished slavery need to go back and read it again. There is a "little-known, seldom used" clause that permits involuntary servitude to be imposed as punishment for crime. With the appropriate enabling legislation, Federal Marshals could set up an auction block and start knocking off drug smugglers and bank robbers to the highest bidder.

Cedarford said...

Titus said...
I am not a leather queen either Cedarford.

They are generally fat and gross
==============
I know, Titus, and at your best, you are one of the most interesting and fun posters here. Your esssay on stadium layout was remarkable and memorable.

So the gay hysterionics about how awful it would be to cane the ass of a black thug that mugged and knifed a gay couple, or two, is crap. As is the gay crap vapours about torture and precious defense of Islamoids and their Qu'ranic queer stoning.

tim maguire said...

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

Maybe, depends on what you do with that comma. Are there any Supreme Court decisions saying that dependent clause applies to slavery as well as involuntary servitude?

Revenant said...

Those of you who believe the Thirteenth Amendment completely abolished slavery need to go back and read it again. There is a "little-known, seldom used" clause that permits involuntary servitude to be imposed as punishment for crime.

It is neither little-known nor seldom-used. Forced labor was and is an accepted form of punishment; that's what the amendment refers to. The government could sell convict labor to private citizens, but could not sell the citizens themselves.

But while the above is an interesting bit of legal trivia, it is irrelevant to this discussion.

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