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What is State Sponsored Murder?

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We've all been well aware of "programs" carried out by other governments like Germany of the 1930's for example, who first utilized euthanasia to get rid of her sick, those who were unable to chew the leather in Hitler's new Reich. Those who could not contribute to the new world order were killed by the state, then their families received letters of condolence that their loved ones had suddenly and unexpectedly died. Then shortly thereafter came the death camps. These were all deliberate acts by the state to murder members of their own citizenry. We all rightfully see these acts as state sponsored murder. They were intentional and deliberate crimes against humanity.

Now what if we take another approach, a scenario where a state budget is strapped and it's political leadership decides to make drastic cuts to state funded social welfare systems and safety nets that will in some cases lead to the deaths of the most vulnerable? Suppose that leadership could have rolled back tax breaks to the rich for instance to avoid such a scenario, but instead willfully decides not to accept that option? Could that then be construed as state sponsored murder? I'll let you be the judge. 

The slashes to California's state budget intended by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger could, if enacted, kill some Californians.

After reading an apocalyptic article in the LA Times from George Skelton titled:  "Nightmares Come True for the Neediest,",0,7790749,full.column

about the governor's proposed budget cuts to supplement the massive shortfall in the California state budget, some might consider this as far more then a tough decision. What the governor proposes will undoubtedly kill people and surely he must know that! Even if only some of what he proposes comes to pass, the most vulnerable of our state, who are already in precarious and often life threatening situations, will be further jeopardized and in some cases--yes, they will die! Another point the governor ought to consider is that people with debilitating illnesses don't last long on the streets.

The governor of Kali-for-n-i-a has decided to slash SSI-SSP which will reduce funding that pays the salaries of in-home care providers. It's a program that is a crucial, life-sustaining service to hundreds of thousand of the state's disabled citizens. People with AIDS, MD, paralysis, liver and kidney ailments, cancer and other afflictions who depend on this already strapped program, will find themselves even more on the brink. As the article by Skelton points out, this will take essential care away from those who need it the most and will force many of them out of their homes and onto the streets. It could and probably will lead to suicides in some cases.

And who are these people? They are in many cases, and who to no fault of their own, born into these debilitating situations, though many others worked hard and paid into these safety net programs for most of their lives until a catastrophic health event forced them into their new roles. Those people lost their jobs, their savings, their homes, their health insurance. For them, all of their state funded needs are now on the governor's chopping block while other options that could possibly avoid or at least ease this potential catastrophe apparently aren't even being considered by the governor!

Arnold proposes a complete slash of state funded general assistance programs, including food stamps which will ultimately lead to widespread hunger in the state and perhaps even starvation for the homeless and the soon to be homeless. In a time when so many people have lost their jobs and exhausted their unemployment insurance, these cuts could not have come at a worse time.

For those who have been waiting to see how far this might go, well here you are! "Apocalypse Now," is perhaps but a heartbeat away for the poor, sick and disenfranchised in the state of California.

Meanwhile, the governor just recently gave the rich the biggest corporate tax breaks in state history that will take roughly 2.5 billion dollars a year from the state coffers.
Let's not forget the tax loopholes for the the yacht and jet class either.

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Then comes his refusal to use "the rainy day fund," which he described as, "kicking the can down the road," something we might have considered doing to him had we known he would have such disregard for the most helpless of his constituents.

So this article again poses the question, could these proposals by the governor to slash aid to the sick, poor and disabled (if enacted and causing deaths), be construed as a form of state sponsored murder when we consider this might all be avoided or minimized by rolling back those immense corporate tax cuts and perhaps adding some new taxes to those who can afford them? Again, I'll let the reader chew on that..... for as long as they can.

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I'm a concerned, middle aged blogger and member of the ACLU. I hail from the Bay Area. I Lobbied congress with the ACLU over the more unconstitutional elements of the USA Patriot Act. Marched in peace protests, lost a former school chum in the world (more...)
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