Tina K. Russell

November 27, 2008

Funny money

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 11:36 am

The End of Wall Street’s Boom – National Business News – Portfolio.com
The funny thing, looking back on it, is how long it took for even someone who predicted the disaster to grasp its root causes. They were learning about this on the fly, shorting the bonds and then trying to figure out what they had done. Eisman knew subprime lenders could be scumbags. What he underestimated was the total unabashed complicity of the upper class of American capitalism. For instance, he knew that the big Wall Street investment banks took huge piles of loans that in and of themselves might be rated BBB, threw them into a trust, carved the trust into tranches, and wound up with 60 percent of the new total being rated AAA.

But he couldn’t figure out exactly how the rating agencies justified turning BBB loans into AAA-rated bonds. “I didn’t understand how they were turning all this garbage into gold,” he says. He brought some of the bond people from Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, and UBS over for a visit. “We always asked the same question,” says Eisman. “Where are the rating agencies in all of this? And I’d always get the same reaction. It was a smirk.” He called Standard & Poor’s and asked what would happen to default rates if real estate prices fell. The man at S&P couldn’t say; its model for home prices had no ability to accept a negative number. “They were just assuming home prices would keep going up,” Eisman says.

I read this article after Thomas Friedman recommended it in a column. Anyway, I highly recommend the article. It’s a portrait of financial Cassandras, people who warned of and betted on doom and gloom and wouldn’t have minded being wrong. Moreover, by the end, these valiant wet blankets discover something horrifying: in a way that could only work in the surreal parallel universe of Wall Street, their very skepticism, their bets against the market, provided the money to fuel its downfall. It’s a story of gain and loss, of easy money, of repentance, of forgiveness, of survivors’ guilt, of wondering if you’re the crazy one and realizing it really was everybody else. It’s a story of taking a walk on Wall Street the day after the Apocalypse, and seeing the damage that you, in a perverse, roundabout way, helped wreak.

Four stars! A plus! That crazy GamePro excited head thing! Besides, the last time I read a cynical feature article about Wall Street in Condé Nast Portfolio, about a year ago, it was awesome. This is similarly awesome. It’s a must-read if you have time to kill.

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November 26, 2008

New Experience Required

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 4:12 pm

Tina’s Xbox Live avatarI have tried Microsoft’s vaunted “New Xbox Experience.” Hmmm… I can say that what I was most looking forward to was making my avatar, at right, which was fun. My impression was that Microsoft had found the happy medium between too simple (Wii’s “Mii” system) and laughably overwrought (PlayStation 3’s euphemistic “Home”). The “NXE,” as they call it, made it simple and fun to make an avatar that looked like me and carried a real visual weight. Yes, it has big heads, unlike on PS3, but they also have discernable bodies, unlike on Wii. Here’s a tip: use a “chiseled” chin for some transsexual chic.

I picked the green shirt, plaid red skirt, and “Goth Boots,” but I also enjoy trapsing around (in my imagination) with the yellow spring dress and matching pumps. For once, somebody at Microsoft has my number. (Really, I just enjoy any fantasy in which I look good in anything I want to wear. Eat that, Tina’s body.)

To the service’s shame, only one game so far really uses these avatars for their intended purpose as game characters: the downloadable title A Kingdom for Keflings, which I must admit was amusing. The demo had me giggling with its simple tasks and lovable presentation. That said, it gave me no confidence that this enticement held up over time; as my brother observed, “it’s the economic part of an RTS” (real-time strategy, like StarCraft or something). It’s the build-up, but without any competition… and unless I can customize things to my liking, as in Animal Crossing, there isn’t much to the power fantasy of building a self-sufficient society on my own. …Well, there is, but it wears off. I don’t just want my kingdom to love me; I want to ride through the streets on a human-carried sedan, wearing a bikini and sensually holding a fan, while citizens clamor to catch of glimpse of their beautiful leader.

…I may have issues. In any case, strolling around a forest as a giant, picking tiny people up and putting them down to get them to do work for me, and in time building up a beautiful kingdom for them to live in, is a pretty enticing proposition. I just want to be sure that, in the end, they roll me in shimmering gold dust and proclaim me their golden matriarch.

…I’ve gone too far, again. Download the demo, though; watching yourself pick people up like that and order them around is a sight to behold, as is helping them build beautiful houses for them to live out their happy tiny-people lives in. Awww…

I should discuss the rest of the “Experience,” besides building avatars to fulfill my narcissistic messiah-complex fantasies. (What else is there?) Um, well… I haven’t been using my Xbox 360 in a while, and, given that Sonic Unleashed (breaking my heart!) has had a lukewarm critical reception, I probably won’t use it for a while longer. Meanwhile, hard as Microsoft tries to proclaim its system as some kind of gateway to orgasmically joyful media consumption, it’s difficult to believe they’re doing me a favor when you must pay by the pound at a steep price for everything. I mean, there’s nothing inherently wrong with charging two dollars a single half-hour TV episode laden with DRM on a system with an estimated lifespan of two more years, you just won’t see me clamoring to take them up on the deal. Their movie “rental” service, with its arcane rules, is more sensible to one’s budget ($3 for regular, $4 for HD… I think), in the sense that it does not involve physically going to a decaying Blockbuster outlet and hoping that it is not out of business within the five-day rental period. However, it’s simply not a substantially better deal than other services, and the selection is lousy. Every movie studio is willing to hand over its dregs, and only its dregs, to this experimental Xbox movie service, so you have the second two Matrix movies but not the first one, Shanghai Knights but not Shanghai Noon, etc. This service has been around for two years and its selection is still pathetic. Hmmm, I wonder if Microsoft could score a deal with a hip new (in relative terms) movie rental service to enhance its selection?

That’s where Netflix comes in, at full throttle, you might say. The “NXE,” which I refuse to type unless I can use quotation marks, adds the Netflix streaming service to the Xbox 360. It works if you have a Netflix subscription and an Xbox Live Gold subscription, which are fairly pricey together. Fortunately, my brother has both; a Netflix subscription so that he can watch the TV shows and movies culturally assigned to him in college, and an Xbox Live Gold subscription so that he could play Carcassonne with potty-mouthed 14-year-olds (no doubt trying to figure out how to “hump” your opponent in a board game). I can indulge my brother’s overabundance of free time, then, by using his Netflix account to watch old movies and TV shows. And boy, if you thought the Xbox Live movie rental service had slim pickings…

I think Netflix’s movie streaming service (in which you pay by subscription, as God intended, not by the title) actually has a substantially bigger library, in volume, perhaps by orders of magnitude, than Xbox Live’s movie rentals. However, the Netflix streaming service manifests Netflix’s reputation of having “the obscure stuff” in an unfortunate way… it has an implausibly random selection of completely obscure stuff, and there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason as to what’s on. Seriously, browse the selection.

Oh, wait, you can’t! In an impenetrably stupid marketing move, you cannot see the Netflix streaming library, what titles are in it, unless you have a Netflix subscription. Actually, maybe that’s brilliant; you have no idea what you’re signing up for! I used my brother’s subscription to browse the catalog, and do not worry… you aren’t missing anything. Well, unless they happened to stop the wheel on your favorite obscurities, in which case… auuugh! Netflix’s marketing “logic” is cooking my brain.

As a sample, here’s what I picked out, one lonely night, from the catalog to place on my “Instant Queue”:

  • Heroes, season one (I like ’em cheesy and idealistic, and I hear this show delivers… too bad the exposition appears to be at least a third of the freaking season)
  • Heroes, season two (Back for more punishment)
  • Transamerican Love Story (I have to admit, if there have to be vapid TV dating shows—and after seeing half of the first episode and failing to finish, I can tell you it’s predictably awful—it’s nice to see trans-positive vapid dating shows. Maybe we can see trans-positive emptily pretentious cop dramas, or trans-positive HBO gutter serials. Oh, what a bright future…)
  • Girls’ High (I can’t remember why I picked this one. It’s an anime. Their anime selection is also maddeningly arbitrary.)
  • Some other anime with a strange name. I haven’t a clue why I picked it.
  • Air (I watched the beginning of this anime, and it did seem cool, except that it confirmed that Netflix only streams anime dubbed, gyaaaaahhh!)
  • Justice League: New Frontier (because they didn’t have those Avengers DVD releases, and I like superheroes)
  • Our Brand is Crisis (about American political consultants exporting our, uh, brand of democracy abroad; it sounds interesting)
  • The Beauty Academy of Kabul (I’ve heard of the story before, and it sounds interesting)
  • Yes, Minister (an old British comedy series about politics; it’s funny)
  • Network (I’m mad as hell that I still haven’t seen this movie, and I’m not going to take it anymore)
  • Easy (it’s a cheesy romance movie. It sounds pretty stupid. Hannah, I’m too ashamed to ask this in person: want to come over and watch it? If it turns out to be too awful at the start, we can watch something else.)
  • Sonic Underground, volumes one and two (this deserves its own paragraph… or two)

I can’t blame Netflix too much; they’re excuse for why the pickings are so slim is that they have to go through the arduous process of licensing every movie in their massive stockpile all over again. I’ll extrapolate further: movie studios are loath to “cannibalize” the sales of their good movies, so they prefer dumping their refuse onto any promising new service that asks. Now they can say they’re “with it” and working toward the future, except that the new service can’t survive under the weight of such mediocre titles. Thus, the service remains unpopular, and the existing, increasingly outmoded business models are saved. I think the lesson they’ve taken from Apple’s conquering of the digital music market is simply not to license good content; keep that in the physical realm. (The lesson should be to get the jump on Apple with a superior service, but telling content holders to innovate is like telling overcompensated CEOs to earn their fat paychecks. Oh, wait, it is telling overcompensated CEOs to earn their fat paychecks. My bad.)

Remember that big content holders tried to stop FM radio, tried to stop home video and are furiously trying to stop BitTorrent. Holding back the future seems to be easier than adapting to it, in the minds of the already powerful.

I’ve been using the streaming service, now, to watch entirely too much Heroes at a time (maybe, in the next episode, something will happen!), to watch Yes, Minister, and… Sonic Underground. This is a cartoon that I’m quietly resisting bringing up… it was made in the late nineties (before Sonic Adventure), which is by far the most miserable, most abominable period of Sonic history, surpassing (yes) even the current malaise. This is a cartoon in which Sonic wears a magical medallion that transforms into a three-necked guitar that shoots laser beams… and believe it or not, it’s all downhill from there.

I will say one thing in its favor: Sean Connery makes a guest appearance (at least one, as far as I’ve seen), telling Knuckles “the fate of Mobiush is in your handzsh!”, and I will treasure that forever. If he later speaks of the “Chaosh Emeraldzsh,” I will die happy.

UPDATE: I’m heartbroken to have to retract that about Mr. Connery; I became curious when I did not see his name in the credits to the relevant episodes, and can now confirm his name is no longer listed on the IMDB page for Sonic Underground (I’m pretty sure that was my original source). Instead, IMDB now lists Maurice LaMarche in that role, no doubt doing a pretty good Sean Connery impression. (LaMarche does appear in the credits; however, with the exception of Jaleel White as the three hedgehogs, character and actor names are not matched.)

As it happens, I can’t find any independent source to verify that character’s actor. The closest I can find is an offical press release, from the distributor, for a Sonic Underground boxed set (I didn’t know that show had 40 episodes! Painful), boasting that Sean Connery appears in that role. Since IMDB is so widely used, even in professional copywriting circles, I can’t really accept that as definitive. All that would convince me now of Connery’s involvement in that sorry chapter of Sonic history would be confirmation from DIC, or for that matter, Connery himself. Given that LaMarche is about nine million times more likely, I’m going with that for now.

Remember, IMDB is not an official source. It’s pretty reliable for run-of-the-mill stuff, but if you see something that makes you say “holy $@#!,” you should probably check it first. If you make the mistake of believing IMDB implicitly, you’re not alone; I made that mistake just now. (The same goes for Wikipedia. It’s really a wonderful source; just make sure it’s not your only source.)

November 23, 2008

Our elected officials

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Tina Russell @ 11:47 pm

Via Daily Kos:

US officials flunk test of American history, economics, civics – Yahoo! News
WASHINGTON (AFP) – US elected officials scored abysmally on a test measuring their civic knowledge, with an average grade of just 44 percent, the group that organized the exam said Thursday.

Ordinary citizens did not fare much better, scoring just 49 percent correct on the 33 exam questions compiled by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

“It is disturbing enough that the general public failed ISI’s civic literacy test, but when you consider the even more dismal scores of elected officials, you have to be concerned,” said Josiah Bunting, chairman of the National Civic Literacy Board at ISI.

This is really disturbing. Anyway, you can take the test here, and see aggregate results here. Some of the questions are pretty hard, but most are fairly basic and all represent a good grounding in civic issues. I’m also going to post my results here, but only to show you that I am awesome.

(Actually, it’s a bit scary. I don’t like to think that I’m that much smarter than the people I elect! What do I elect them for, then?)

I just want to feel something

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Tina Russell @ 12:24 am

New Pain-Inducing Advil Created For People Who Just Want To Feel Something, Anything | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source
PHILADELPHIA—Wyeth Pharmaceuticals unveiled a new pain-causing line of Advil this week that will help millions of benumbed, hollow consumers to feel at least somewhat alive for up to four hours.

“Advil Release delivers a soothing burst of pain when cold and listless Americans need it most,” Wyeth CEO Bernard J. Poussot said during a press conference Monday. “Just two capsules can deliver all-day relief in the form of searing, life-affirming agony; the kind of agony Advil users trust when being a pale specter of humanity adrift in a meaningless and uncaring universe is just not an option anymore.”

I sort of know what this article means. There was a time… I can’t talk about this much, but there was a time when a friend of mine died. I didn’t know him well, but… he was so good-natured, and the circumstances of his death so unjust… I just cried and cried. I mean, I’m sure I would have cried anyway, but those elements just made me cry more.

And it was an odd feeling, crying and crying, because, as I told someone… for months before that, I hadn’t been feeling anything, and that chilled me. I was alive, with a feeling rushing through me. Now I felt better and I felt worse.

I remember being finished crying when someone came over to me and said, hey, remember, that’s not really what our friend would want you to feel. He would want you to be happy, not sad. I smiled at this person’s ignorance… crying is all I could do, it’s what I needed to do, and I’m sure my friend would have been okay with me listening to my heart. Crying flushed all the emotions out of my soul… I just didn’t know what to do with them afterward.

By the way, dear Tina’s friends: Please don’t die! There are much more effective and less costly ways to elicit necessary emotions from me…

November 22, 2008

Not That Kind of Christian

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Tina Russell @ 9:58 pm

You really have to read this article. It is brilliant!

I’m Not One Of Those ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ Christians | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source
I’m here to tell you there are lots of Christians who aren’t anything like the preconceived notions you may have. We’re not all into “turning the other cheek.” We don’t spend our days committing random acts of kindness for no credit. And although we believe that the moral precepts in the Book of Leviticus are the infallible word of God, it doesn’t mean we’re all obsessed with extremist notions like “righteousness” and “justice.”

My faith in the Lord is about the pure, simple values: raising children right, saying grace at the table, strictly forbidding those who are Methodists or Presbyterians from receiving communion because their beliefs are heresies, and curing homosexuals. That’s all. Just the core beliefs. You won’t see me going on some frothy-mouthed tirade about being a comfort to the downtrodden.

November 21, 2008

Market failures

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 12:32 pm

UPDATE: The letter-writer responds in a comment below! How cool. Just so you know, people who are addressed, directly or indirectly, in my posts should totally leave a comment, because those comments are awesome.

Letters – Rescuing Detroit – The Great Debate – NYTimes.com
To the Editor:

I agree that letting the Big Three domestic automakers collapse would result in a catastrophic loss of jobs, but find the terms of your proposed bailout counterproductive (editorial, Nov. 15).

Companies as large and complex as automakers simply cannot afford to replace top management in the middle of a crisis. Doing so would also be pointless when the industry’s troubles stem primarily from the temporary spike in oil prices and the continuing financial crisis, not poor management.

After all, the Big Three did not specialize in trucks out of shortsightedness or social irresponsibility, but because that is what the market demanded.

Pah! I found that statement amazing. The trouble isn’t that they were following the market’s demands; the trouble is that they thought, arrogantly, that those demands would last forever. And, when the market stopped demanding SUVs and trucks the size of small moons, the automakers didn’t notice. Now they’re on the brink of collapse, and they want us to bail them out.

Forcing automakers that accept a bailout to produce only micro cars that get 50 miles per gallon would deprive Americans of the larger, sportier vehicles they prefer, while placing the rescued automakers at a competitive disadvantage when gas is cheap.

Oh, my Lord! Has this person seen an SUV dealership, lately? There’s one near my apartment, and its signs now shout loudly, “Fuel-efficient cars here!” (or somesuch) and hope the message is loud enough that you don’t notice row after row of gas-guzzling tanks. The SUV market is a disaster; nobody wants to buy a heavy car in this market. I give that SUV dealership six months, tops.

This brings me to the really depressing part of the bailout, and the whole act of legislating more fuel-efficient cars: it’s a failure of the market. No, not us; we want more fuel-efficient cars, we buy more fuel-efficient cars, and it just so happens that they’re made by foreign automakers (which, by the way, often have factories in the US). In a just world, in a world where the CEOs of the Big Three car companies had more than half a brain, we wouldn’t need fuel-efficiency standards; companies would simply compete on fuel efficiency until America produced cars that ran on little or—get this—no gasoline at all. It’s in vogue; everyone would want to buy a Chevrolet or a GM hybrid. It just so happens that they missed the boat; well, more accurately, they missed the boat, denied there was a boat, and are lobbying the government for their right to continue failing.

That’s the depressing part: we have to legislate that these companies make cars that people will buy. We have to demand that Detroit’s car magnates make money. Why are they so arrogant? Why not jump on the fuel-efficiency bandwagon when there’s so much money in it? I can only imagine it’s sheer obstinance, and if the jobs provided by these car companies are important enough for the government to step in and help the company out, they’re important enough for the government to step in, change the rules, and fire the management.

The federal government must help the Big Three weather the current financial crisis; they are truly too big to fail. But such assistance should not be used as an excuse to dictate the types of cars that Americans can drive.

Karl von Schriltz

Washington, Nov. 15, 2008

Ha! More like we have to force the automakers to make the cars Americans want.

Bygones

Early Test for Obama on Domestic Spying Views – NYTimes.com
Some Democratic lawmakers have said they would like to conduct a more thorough investigation than was possible during Mr. Bush’s tenure, but other Democratic advisers say they see little gain from trying to investigate past abuses and that an investigation risks harming the bipartisan spirit of cooperation that Mr. Obama has promised.

“We cannot be facile and say bygones will be bygones, because they will not be bygones and will return to haunt us. True reconciliation is never cheap, for it is based on forgiveness, which is costly. Forgiveness in turn depends on repentance, which has to be based on an acknowledgement of what was done wrong, and therefore on disclosure of the truth. You cannot forgive what you do not know.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as chair of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1995

November 18, 2008

Animal Crossing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Tina Russell @ 11:25 pm

I thought y’all should be made aware that I’m now the proud owner of a copy of Animal Crossing: City Folk, and that those interested should come visit the town of Elysium at the earliest convenience! Here’s my info:

My name: Tina
My town’s name: Elysium
My Friend Code: 5112-6939-3711

Leave a comment if you’re interested! Bring your town fruit!

November 16, 2008

Baleeted

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Tina Russell @ 12:07 pm

I’ve deleted a bunch of posts lately, and I’ve realized I need to talk about my deletion policy. I write this with a bit of a heavy heart, because I just marked something as “spam” that I mostly agreed with. (I thought it sounded like a boilerplate response… read on.)

A lot of my thinking is influenced by whether or not the post leaves a link, which most do. Now, if you want your blog to have exposure on mine, that’s fine. I always like to have my blog linked to in my comments on other blogs, so that people can follow my name back here. Please just make sure you’re adding to the discussion, though! Don’t post a standard response just so that you can put your link on my blog. That will get your post baleeted. Read my post and write what you think, because I’m always really grateful when people write their thoughts and reactions on my blog.

That said, I don’t have a magic power to divine what’s a legitimate post and what’s copy-and-paste. I should make this clear more than anything: I’m a fallible human being. I’m going to make bad calls. You’re not going to have much luck in challenging my decisions because they are arbitrary. I’m probably never going to spell out fixed rules or a comment policy; I just think I owe it to my readers (and to my puffed-up sense of importance) to write about what’s likely to get your comment deleted and what’s likely to get it through.

…And, it’s pretty easy to get a comment through. I try to err on the side of caution, so don’t worry about what you write, just write something in response to my post that you thought or felt. What I’m usually cautious about is lengthy screeds that seem like they’ve been copied and pasted. But, don’t be afraid to rant on my blog if the spirit calls you to do so; I tend to be suspicious only when it seems like the post was written out beforehand.

Another thing I don’t accept is hate. This is hard to quantify… my feeling in general on comments is that if your comment added to the discussion, it stays, no questions asked. Hate is something that doesn’t add to the discussion, it’s just an attack. But, hmmm. If I write a post complaining about a pundit, and you respond “yeesh, that guy is an idiot,” I’ll probably keep your post because that’s a straight-up opinion (and I always enjoy a bit of commiseration). But, if you write “that guy is a fascist,” I’ll probably be more skeptical (unless you actually delve into what comprises fascism and why it’s so scary, which nobody seems to do these days). I’d probably still keep that comment, though. If you call him a racial slur, it will probably be deleted right away.

That brings me to another point. Another major feeling I have on comments is that there are certain things that I don’t want my blog used for. It’s not for copy-and-paste boilerplate responses, sure. It’s not for advertising. It’s not for hate. At the same time, obviously, discussion doesn’t get anywhere if I don’t allow opposing opinions. Anyway, freedom of speech is that you can get your own WordPress blog and write whatever you want, but I choose what stays and goes on my blog.

There are some gray areas here. If you write something on my blog that is gently ignorant, like if you say that transsexuality is not a legitimate medical condition, it will probably stay. (That could change. If my blog ever became a transsexual hangout, I would probably want it to be a place safe from the obnoxious questioning we get all the time out in the world.) If you say “trannies are sick and should die,” or something, of course I’m going to delete that. It’s bad faith, it’s vandalism. It doesn’t belong on my blog.

I once wrote a post echoing Thomas Friedman’s praise of Denmark for its environmental initiatives, and somebody wrote a post calling some Danish politician a fascist and linking to his anti-Denmark website. It was not a copy-and-paste response, and it was clear that he had read my post. It was also clear that he was looking around for places mentioning Denmark and writing pithy responses with an included link. I thought the site was hateful, painting all Denmark with one brush by picking out the kind of lunatics that are in every country. I deleted the comment right away; I didn’t want my site used for that.

The tough part about this is that, if you are reading this post, and especially if you have read to the end (I’m impressed!), I can give you 99.9% odds that your comments will all stay. Clearly you are thoughtful enough to wonder about the content of your speech and reflect on it, which means that you probably haven’t posted (or ever will post) the kind of things that I delete, such as stock responses and hate. I guess my biggest point is don’t worry, you’re probably not even of the inclination. And if I ever delete a post in error, if I ever misjudge somebody’s honest, thoughtful response (or even somebody’s gut reaction, those are good too), I’m sorry in advance and I hope you’ll forgive me.

“Capital punishment,” in more ways than one

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Tina Russell @ 11:11 am

Letters – Easing the Burden of Public Defenders – NYTimes.com

To the Editor:

Re “Citing Workload, Public Lawyers Reject New Cases” (front page, Nov. 9):

The assertion that despite increasingly overwhelming workloads, public defenders must “tighten their belts” during these times of severe reductions in state and local revenues is an affront to the constitutional guarantee of effective assistance of counsel for indigent criminal defendants.

We must not shortchange our Constitution regardless of our economic woes. There are, however, huge savings to be had that would substantially reduce the financial burden on public defenders’ offices and other components of our criminal justice system while maintaining our constitutional commitment to ensuring that all defendants receive quality representation.

As has been established by numerous studies in numerous states, including California, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and Tennessee, the repeal of capital punishment would save taxpayers many millions of dollars a year.

The time has come for Americans and their elected representatives to seriously consider whether we can afford our error-prone, discriminatory and bankrupting death penalty system.

John Holdridge
Director, A.C.L.U. Capital
Punishment Project
Durham, N.C., Nov. 10, 2008

I’m Tina Russell and I approve this message.

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