Letters To The Editor
From Issue #80
I just love your magazine. It’s the only way I’ll ever be able to live in a “backwoods home,” because I have serious health problems. While I can’t move far from civilization, I truly enjoy Jackie Clay’s columns and hints and can put many of them to use even in my country-suburban home. I also enjoy the articles regarding edible vegetation, cooking, etc.
Proposal for ending violent crime
Dear Mr. Silveira,
I recently read the article “A proposal for ending violent crime” that appeared in issue #79 with your name listed as the author. As I enjoy your writing, I can only hope that the imposter who wrote this abomination is swiftly caught and brought to justice. He had the audacity to put your name on a proposal endorsing the amputation of criminals’ limbs. After having read the objections to the death penalty that you stated in “Why I Will Not Vote for a ‘Law & Order’ President” (very similar to my own objections)—that we have a fallible court system and stacked juries, and that innocent people are very often convicted—I can’t imagine that you would like to see our government have the power to mutilate and permanently disable us based on a court conviction.
Due to the changes in domestic violence laws, police now often arrest all parties involved in an altercation, regardless of who the actual aggressor was. Victims of violence swept up in such arrests could become subject to amputations. If the courts are later found to be at fault in the case of someone who was crippled by order of the court, what are they going to do? Sew it back on at the state’s expense? This should be especially troubling in light of the popular hysteria over guns. If someone tried to break into your home, and you either captured that person or ran him off at gunpoint, how would you feel about a court deciding that your pointing a gun at somebody qualifies you as “dangerous,” especially if that decision meant getting your arm and leg chopped off?
Moreover, it just wouldn’t work. The fact that murders still occur in Texas despite the number of people on death row tells us that the death penalty doesn’t work. Why should maiming people be any different? Most criminals commit crimes because they don’t think they’ll ever get caught, or if they do think they’ll get caught, they just don’t care because their lives are already so empty and desperate. The author of this piece made mention of an amputee criminal being a “pathetic invalid sitting on his front porch.” Now how in the world would a man who is no longer able to be productive in society, who is denied government aid, and who carries the stigma of being a violent felon going to pay for a house with a front porch? This fake goes on to say that he doesn’t care who takes care of the convicts just so long as they don’t receive any public money. He is deliberately blinding himself to the real-life world of cause-and-effect. If we start littering our streets with bitter, unemployed, outcast, one-armed, one-legged, homeless people who have proven themselves to be violent, I guarantee you we’ll start seeing a bunch of suicidal wheelchair bombers rolling into public buildings to get revenge.
The thing that most clearly indicated that the article wasn’t really yours, though, was the following:
“We change the Constitution, amending the prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment” and we institute some exceptions.”
As much as you have written about the Constitution, alerting us all to ways in which the government ignores it, and as much as you have stressed that the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights are inalienable, basic, human rights, your readers know that the real John Silveira would never suggest compromising these basic rights for a little security. I wish you luck in apprehending the imposter and clearing your name.
I read “The Last Word” (page 87, Jan/Feb) with great interest. While I find little to admire in Islamic culture, there is no arguing with the profound effect their medieval methods produce in crime control. As an ardent student of history, I read a discussion regarding eunuchs many years ago which prompted me to do a lengthy study on the subject of ancient crime. As a result of that study I wrote a brief essay (almost 30 years ago now) which I’m still fully convinced is the “CURE for Crime.”
For the sake of brevity, I’ll just give you a brief outline of my findings: Eunuchs (castrated males) lose their interest in crime; it’s like brain surgery! Castration actually seems to INCREASE their intellectual ability, hence they make excellent stewards, bookkeepers (they became amazingly honest), they even became military leaders (due, apparently) to their even-tempered ability to deal with situations which would lead to panic or hasty decisions in those still “suffering” testosterone “poisoning.”
Studies have shown that 95% of all felons commit criminal acts for “the hell of it,” not out of poverty or desperation. They do it because it is exciting! The remaining (almost) 5% are certifiable psychopaths. The conclusion of my study indicates with great certainty that the following means will (as they always have in the past) reduce crime to near zero: For misdemeanors, apply the lash; public floggings of varying intensities and public humiliation in the stocks is effective. The second felony conviction such as robbery, burglary, and drug dealing warrants surgical castration. For heinous offenses, such as murder, rape, child molestation, etc, castration for the FIRST offense (or the death penalty)…and let me add that ANY judicial decision should NOT be subject to endless appeals; any appeal should consist of a brief but careful review by a panel of judges to make sure the trial was conducted properly and then punishment carried out forthwith. Justice delayed is justice denied.
Our founding fathers believed that it was “cruel and unusual” punishment to force a condemned man to wait more than 24 hours to be put to death. Castration has a sociological effect as well; other criminals tend to see eunuchs as some kind of “freak” or even a “queer” and refuse to associate with them, this tends to isolate them from “bad company” as well as serve as a warning to others. In a few instances (including the 5% psychopaths), castration is NOT enough. For any repeat offense following castration, surgical BLINDING is called for. It is painless and utterly effective. It’s almost impossible to rob, pillage, or plunder when you’re blind. They can’t even write bad checks or deal dope without good eye-sight. AND…they can still earn their keep making brooms or some such in a sheltered workshop.
As I’m sure you know, castration has been proposed and “tested” in VERY limited terms in a few states in recent years. I feel that if the public was well aware of the actual psychological effects that castration produces in “mellowing out” criminal types, the public would be for it 1000%. It is still common practice to use castration to “settle” bulls, stallions and other domestic animals that prove too unruly. What about female criminals?? Statistics show that virtually 95% (same figures) commit crimes in concert with, at the behest of, or through influence of criminal MALES. The remaining 5% are almost always psychologically deranged, just like the males.
Hope you can find space to print this. Keep up the good work…and check out the stats for yourself.
I love your magazine and I’ve been reading it for years!
I’m glad to finally see you speak your mind regarding the Colin Powell issue and about your perceptions of black folk in America.
I am a African American woman who, although amused by your editorial, thought it best that I jot down a few thoughts regarding it.
The same media that you discuss so eloquently in previous issues distorts not just the truth for some Americans but for all. I can assure you that the soundbites that you are basing your opinions on do not speak for the majority of African Americans anymore than the trampling on the Constitution speaks for most White Americans. The question to ask yourself is who benefits from the kind of ideas you’ve come to take as truth—that blacks were excited by OJ’s acquittal, that Colin Powell is a house slave, etc. The African Americans who disagreed with the positions that you point to as proof positive that we ‘blacks’ should be ashamed of are just as silenced by the media as you would be if you didn’t publish your your own magazine.
Why don’t you visit www.issue-views.com.
Don’t believe the hype Dave. You are too bright for that. The reflection you see of ‘blacks’ in the media
doesn’t serve very many people. The more folks go around believing that blacks don’t value self-reliance (this would be the funniest part of your editorial if you weren’t so adamant about it…) the more it benefits the few who profit from our polarity.
If we are going to make it through these next few ‘challenging’ years we have got to move beyond these types of stereotypes, both blacks, whites, and other folk too, to look at the real challenges we have to overcome and to overcome them together.
Blacks, as you say, have assimilated just as others. We could look at the Irish Travelers and presume that Irish folk haven’t assimilated…if that was all that the media focused on incessantly. Come on….move outta the view of that little bitty box called the tv and the mass media and think about it…what makes you think that the mass media speaks more fairly to the issue of ‘blacks’ than anyone else?
By the way I don’t think you are racist for speaking your mind. It’s refreshing. I hate the liberal tendency to pretend to want ‘diversity’ while all the while perpetrating some of the most backward and hateful policies ever seen. I must prefer to know where people stand and why.
And yes I believe in and practice self-reliance, I don’t believe that Clarence Thomas nor Colin Powell are examples of self-reliance in the least bit. I love living in America and I am a proud and strong African American Woman.
As a African American when I hear a statement such as this it causes me to perk up my ears and become more alert because most assuredly what will follow will be filled with negative statements concerning African Americans as a whole. You did not disappointment me, nevertheless I will answer a few of your questions from a personal view.
In the real world, blacks and whites criticize each other every day with their peers, co-workers, family, etc. So do Mexicans, Koreans, Puerto Rican and many other races. I know of no AA who resent Colin Powell’s climb out of the slums of New York. On the contrary I myself sincerely appreciate the discipline and respect he has exhibited in his life and use him as a motivational point in the lives on my children and myself. Many African Americans, Caucasians, Mexicans and………(well you get the picture) do.
The “Black Leaders” who did not come to Clarence Thomas’ defense but did come to Clinton’s defense do NOT represent African Americans as a whole, contrary to popular belief. Insofar as Clinton becoming an honorary member of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, the board members must have seen something about him that I did not.
O.J. Simpson, now did you really want to go there? Apparently. Personally, I could not believe it when Simpson was found not guilty. I walked around in a daze until an elderly AA woman explained it to me. “White folks, honey, have been freely lynching and robbing us negros since we set foot here,” she said. “They have raped our bodies and denied our minds, and for the most part they have always gotten away with it, always.” Then she told of a recent story where somewhere in Texas a black man had been cut in pieces or torn in pieces by a group of whites.
That was when I understood why the black crowds hooted and hollered, because yes, one of America’s Boy Kings had smashed his crown by killing two white people and got away with it. It had nothing to do with right or wrong….it was tit for tat, but you knew that didn’t you?
Let me bring this to a close because I do not have time to “answer” more of your questions……”successful” assimilation depends on many things and the closer one culture/race resemble another the more chance of a “successful” merge. African Americans are beginning to stand up on their own two feet mentally and financially. We are, more and more, seen in places you once did not see us. We are being heard where we once were not heard. The potential has always been here and today by the masses, we are utilizing it.
We have reached outstanding levels and will continue to climb.
With all do respect you are certainly entitled to your opinion about “Black People” i.e. African People born in Amerikkka in captivity.
Your Irish grandmother did not arrive in amerikkka in the bottom of a slaveship as my ancestors did, furthermore, Mr. Duffy, your arrogance in assuming that you are somehow authorized to identify “Black People” in amerikkka, is a good example of why when you decide to grace us with your worthless opinion of us, be advised, no matter how much you want to forget the past, we will never forget it. Your Irish family history is yours, our History is another matter all together.
You say we are amerikkkans, NO, Mr. Duffy, Citizenship is not something that can be imposed on others, it requires mutuality, No one has ever asked us if we want to be Citizens. What other Citizens in amerikkka have their voting rights renewed every 6 yrs by congress, Mr. Duffy?
How many Irish votes were not counted in Florida?
How many citizens in amerikka had laws passed against the education of their people for hundreds of years?
How many Jim Crow laws have your Irish ancestors had to contend with in amerikka?
How many Irish were and are being lynched in amerikkka?
How many Irish people are profiled by the rogue police and harassed, maimed, and killed, just for driving while black?
Hell, the Irish are the rogue police!
How many Irish are in prison, with the 2 million “Blacks” locked behind bars in amerikka?
How many Irish are the subject of Genocidal special virus programs?
The next time you decide to grace us with your Irish, white Anglo Saxon worldview, just remember, you’re white, meaning you don’t have a clue, because we are not YOU.
REPARATIONS & REPATRIATION FOR AFRICAN PEOPLE BORN IN CAPTIVITY IN amerikka, NOW!
We sure do love Backwoods Home and read it cover to cover. Always enjoy Dave’s MY VIEW and especially the last one regarding the attack on Colin Powell. I don’t think it could have been written any better. How do we get this published in some of the newspapers around the country? Can I just make a copy of it and send it on????
…Thanks for a wonderful magazine. I’m believing with you that you will expand to a greater audience of readers. You have got the goods and talents.