Listen to a reading of this article:

Joe Nathan James Jr was executed by lethal injection on Thursday, against the wishes of his victim’s family. He was the eighth person to be put to death in the United States so far this year, and the second from Alabama.

In the moments leading up to his gruesome murder by the state, a news reporter was forced to change her outfit by the Alabama Department of Corrections, because her skirt and her open-toe high-heeled shoes were considered too revealing.

Yes, while a man was being strapped down to meet his end in the world’s largest prison system at the hands of a governmental institution designed to serve power rather than justice, Ivana Shatara’s skirt and shoes were deemed by authorities to be the most offensive thing going on in that moment.

And it was arguably the most American thing that has ever happened.

This is the backwater cowboy theocracy that we are all currently preparing to fight a third world war for. This is the knuckle-dragging puritanical regime who rules our planet.

A place where a tiny bit of skin is more of a problem than injecting a Black man with poison in a judicial system that turns the poor into slaves while not even recognizing the crimes of the wealthy.

A place where conservative modesty is a higher value than refraining from state-mandated murder.

A place where the dress code is more important than human life.

Come on, Ivana, this is an execution not Mardi Gras.

Come on, Ivana, you’re dressed like a hooker instead of a witness to a modern-day stoning.

Cover that skin as you see Joe Nathan James Jr poisoned to death by your government; don’t you know Jesus is watching you?

How can you expect to get into Heaven when you can’t even dress properly to watch us choke the life out of a man’s eyes?

Let us all dress like proper servants of the Lord while we execute and enslave those who our systems have failed.

Let us all dress like proper servants of the Lord while funneling impoverished communities into the largest prison population in the history of civilization.

Let us all dress like proper servants of the Lord while turning the gears of industry for God and country.

Let us all dress like proper servants of the Lord while we prepare to show Russia and China what real violence looks like.

Let us dress like proper servants of the Lord while we ride that ICBM straight into Beijing, waving our cowboy hats and giving them commies a taste of that old rebel yell.

Let us all dress like proper servants of the Lord as we march with unquestioning faith into the sweet welcoming embrace of mass extinction.

Let us all dress like proper servants of the Lord as we abandon our humanity and march to the drumbeat of money and empire over the edge and into the loving arms of oblivion.

Let us all become American, with prudish moralism and private porn addictions, with Bibles in our hands and murder in our eyes, with indoctrinated minds and calloused hearts, with proper attire at our executions and pious abandon at our extincion.

Joe Nathan James Jr, I witness your execution, even while the people around you are arguing about open-toed high heels in your final moments.

Joe Nathan James Jr, I see you, even while your death is eclipsed by the madness of our day.

Joe Nathan James Jr, I am so sorry for everything.

I can only promise you that those of us who go on living will keep trying to make things right as best we can.

________________________

________________________

________________________

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69 responses to “In The US You Can’t Witness An Execution If Your Skirt Is Too Revealing”

  1. Laurie De Marco Avatar
    Laurie De Marco

    When ever religion is mentioned it legitimises its existence though used as a metaphor to make a point it still gives religion credence …. To understand the ramification of such action one would be recommended to read Richard Dawkins book the God Delusion …..One could have easily used another word or words instead of religion references to make the point such as megalomaniac worshipping globe spanning mass extinction suicidal empire…..

  2. Thank you, Caitlin, I couldn’t agree more. Whenever anyone suggests who my favorite commentator on world affairs is, I always say you. Keep up the fantastic work.

  3. WOW
    Fantastic scribbling.
    THANKS

  4. Quite a tirade you wrote there Caitlin, and for part I agree. After 28 years of imprisonment, considered by most a life sentence, and against the pleas of the victim’s kin, they went ahead and topped him anyway. One less prisoner to feed I guess.
    I was dismayed that you had to sneer at religion, at those who are Christian believers, while you ranted though. Christians believe in forgiveness and not killing. Maybe you should have checked it with a true Christian before you went there.
    As for the dress code, I would have thought such a somber and awful occasion would have warranted a sober dress code … it certainly would have from me.
    So whereas I usually give you ten out of ten for your articles, it’s a 5 from me, mostly for spelling.

    1. “Whenever…they claim, “I’m a Christian.” I ask, “Real or Fake?”” HT to tjrich

      Most Nominal Christians Act as if they can hide from God, because to them God is only a fantasy, a God that is Dead, one who is incapable of defending against the use of his Name in support of the worst crimes against humanity by humanity.

      Most don’t believe in anything but the charisma of a false leader.

      The God that most Christians believe in is puny and weak, a big Nothing.

      Those who believe in this Nothing are simply Nihilists.

  5. Long ago I read that Iran will rescind an execution to a prison sentence if the family of the victim requests it. So, which country–the US or Iran–is the more enlightened, at least on this matter? In Iran everyone would have had a happy ending: the convict, the victim’s family and the young lady made to change into formal execution attire.

    1. This was framed as a reply to Pascal down below. Danged system mislocates your entry if you have to back click because the “I am not a robot” box did not appear on the first attempt.

  6. For the true servants of the Lord know that all have the right to repentance to reject the evil which has made a home in them. Just seen a poster for an ex- gangster making a living doing speaking tours revealing the machinations of the underworld, Judge not lest you be judged. I rest my case

  7. It is the ritualization of executions that betray the desires of the executioners.

    If it weren’t for witnessing the pain, fear and subjugation of the one to be executed (with the spiffy dress of the executioners, making them appear to have reverence for life) the murder might only seem bestial to the witnesses. Allowing the witnesses to dress down, in jeans perhaps, would lower the act to the status of rope and tree, and make it seem more available to the general population, as it was historically.

    Having a woman present as a woman, might inhibit (and confuse) the sexual arousal of the men running the show.

    If the real purpose of the execution were merely the snuffing out of a life (without the shared attendant covert erections) then why not send off the poor soul to eternity with a heroin overdose?

    1. There was a short story, I cant remember by who about a society where the punishment fit the crime. If I run you over and you are paralyzed from the waist down then my punishment was to be run over and paralyzed as well. If I stab you to death then I am stabbed as closely how you were stabbed. Sounds like something Phillip Dick would write.

  8. Lee Oswald was Innocent Avatar
    Lee Oswald was Innocent

    Where is Michael Moore screaming around these days when the world is on the brink of a world war 3? Ah! He is supporting Bernie Sanders and talking about capitol riot. Charming, isn’t?

    1. And your comment has what exactly to do with Caitlin’s article?

  9. In the name of the father, son and kill all those bastards!!!! If someone dodge our bullets we will allege they are against our way of living! If someone says something we will call it misinformation!!! If they attack our soldiers killing them we will call it terrorism!!

  10. She could refuse to go to any more executions.

  11. This is nothing short of modern day revenge lynching without hanging the black body on a tree. It is a way of life the empire doesn’t wish to see vanishing from the face of the earth even it takes a nuclear WWIII. You see, empires don’t change. They collapse.

    1. BB Benderhaus Avatar
      BB Benderhaus

      The state kills white, asian and hispanic people as well. Even women now and then.

  12. I’m sure the men in charge of the murder were only concerned about the soul of the man they were about to kill. (sarc)

    What if the condemned man had a glimpse of the woman’s provocative display and had a soul besmirching sinful thought right before he died so that he would be condemned to eternal damnation without a chance to repent.

    Ok, this is only a hypothetical about a hypothetical afterlife, but his is what these gruesome men make their sacred money with.

    1. You mean like this?

  13. I had friends from the country whose poor folks gave their spare money to TV preachers who preached politics. Atwood wrote her seminal work in ’85. Ronald Raygun wanted to incinerate commies from space and made his famous joke about hippies. Eisley wrote of the masses of men riding the rails looking for work during the Depression. He wrote that men beat men. A friend’s father had coal imbedded in his face from a beating by anti-union goons in West Virginia. The cruelty of America is not new and is very real. The flash of dot com and silicon valley and SpaceX fuel our amnesia until a botched execution or police beating protestors or a school shooting of six year olds briefly lifts the veil. Oh, it’s one, two, three, what are we fighting for? Tell someone that you love them.

  14. pretzelattack Avatar
    pretzelattack

    i wonder if the spanish inquisition had a dress code. and what the everloving fuck are “revealing shoes”?

    1. BB Benderhaus Avatar
      BB Benderhaus

      The little toe was exposed. Warden has a foot fetish.

  15. Then again, to be fair, there’s a kind of obscenity in the fact that Ivana’s tragedy that day was that she had to change clothes to watch a man die. She tweets: “Despite wearing a pair of waders from a man I have never met and casual tennis shoes, I continued to do my job. This was an uncomfortable situation and I felt embarrassed to have my body and my clothes questioned in front of a room of people I mostly had never met. I sat down, tried to stop blushing and did my work. As women often have to do”.

    Can’t make that stuff up! Nevertheless, I do empathize with her ordeal. At least the man strapped on the table about to be bumped off was not asked to change clothes in front of strangers!

    The sartorial aspect of executions is something we don’t think about enough though. One of the last French guys sentenced to the guillotine for instance was asked to put his shoes on as he was getting dressed for the party but objected that they hurt his heels and was allowed to attend in his slippers. That was nice.

    Yet there’s no rule… Henri-Désiré Landru, on the other hand, who was sentenced to the guillotine on circumstantial evidence for allegedly killing eleven women, asked to wash his feet before being taken to the scaffold but was refused because they feared a suicide.

    You’ve got to track the logic there! Wasn’t the general idea to get him whacked?

    When a society denies you even the freedom to commit suicide, you can without a second thought call it a tyranny. And a paranoid one at that because why would a guy commit an inevitably painful suicide in a bathroom when the state provides him with a lovely sharp blade to do the job swiftly and painlessly at taxpayers’ expense just next door? I’m asking you…

    He wanted to hurry the process too, not delay it! Asked by a priest if he believed in God, he replied: “Father, I’m gonna die and you want to play charades?” Then he refused the traditional last glass of rum and cigarette saying: “No thanks, it’s bad for your health”.

    Some people don’t want to die though… I always wonder if it’s because they like life (in this case, life on death row) or fear death, which is of course an illusion since nobody knows what’s beyond, if anything, and why we should fear it. Truth is people are not very adventurous generally…

    The globalists who have taken our fates into their hands probably do fear death since they want to live forever, like Yuval Noah Harari’s guru Ray Kurzweil, who asserts that in the future, everyone will live forever and plans to have his body cryogenically frozen until the technology to reanimate him has been developed.

    When your life is run by dudes who haven’t understood that life and death are two sides of the same coin, like night and day and have never heard of overpopulation and limited resources, you can tell you’re up Shit Creek without a paddle. And it doesn’t matter which shoes you wear…

    1. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn L Zaremba

      Great comment.

    2. Long ago I read that Iran will rescind an execution to a prison sentence if the family of the victim requests it. So, which country–the US or Iran–is the more enlightened, at least on this matter? In Iran everyone would have had a happy ending: the convict, the victim’s family and the young lady made to change into formal execution attire.

  16. Ted Christian Avatar
    Ted Christian

    The two issues presented are capital punishment and the unbridled power of brainless asshole government employees. I’m against both, and for substantially the same reason. And I know my way around Alabama and I can assure you it’s not especially puritanical, but any spot on Earth has exactly whatever standards the unbridled brainless asshole government employee standing on it decides it has.

  17. Susan Mercurio Avatar
    Susan Mercurio

    “Don’t you know Jesus is watching you?”

    I have learned to despise Christians and they taught me to do it.

    1. Hey Susan – whenever I meet one, they claim, “I’m a Christian.” I ask, “Real or Fake?” LOL- throws them right off.

      They usually get a bemused look on their face and say, “What do you mean?”

      “Do you follow the teachings of Christ – love, forgiveness, empathy and kindness?” “Or do you run around saying you are pro-life yet support the death penalty? Do you support social programs to help young mothers, better child care, health care for all or are you simply pro-birth?”

      1. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
        Carolyn L Zaremba

        Right on.

  18. I loved this one:

    Let us all become American, with prudish moralism and private porn addictions, with Bibles in our hands and murder in our eyes, with indoctrinated minds and calloused hearts, with proper attire at our executions and pious abandon at our extincion.

    Pure poetry.
    That said – i personally hate heels, those who wear them immediately lose a good amount of respect in my eyes. But it remains their personal choice, not mine.

    1. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn L Zaremba

      I used to call high heels “slave shoes” because of the fact that the heroines in the “women in jep” films always tried and failed to run away from their attackers in high heels. Finally, in one film, the actress took off her heels and ran like hell and the audience cheered. (Confession: I wore them myself and could run in them, too, but am now paying the price.)

  19. I dont have the right to take another person’s life with the one exception, self defense.

    Therefore, the state, just a collection of us, also has no right to take a life, no matter how horrendous the crime. Acting as a group does not give us authority to do what we could not do individually. The state needs to stand down.

    Seems like the Bible and the ten commandments might apply: thou shall not kill!
    War is wrong for the same reason.

    1. Ah yes but an American prisoner costs an average of $30,000 a year… How do you want to give the “self-licking ice-cream cone” billions of dollars to send weapons to the Garden Gnome in Kiev so that he can have more of his own people killed for nothing if you don’t save on that kind of budgets?

      1. According to redacted government financial records recently obtained by the ACLU, the Federal Bureau of Prisons spent nearly 4.7 million dollars on the first five executions carried out by the Trump administration in July and August 2020.

    2. Remember what Christians in the USA did. They changed “Thou shall not kill” to thou shall not murder.” That way (much of the US military is from the Bible belt because economically, it’s a basket case), these born-again soldiers can kill (mainly Muslims) with impunity from Jesus.

  20. Step O'Rafferty Avatar
    Step O’Rafferty

    Watching the fall of an empire is like experiencing an excruciatingly slow motion nightmare. Can’t we just have another good old fashioned sinking of a continent?

    1. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn L Zaremba

      I hear you.

    2. Me too, I hear you !!!!!

  21. I will send a letter to Joe Biden suggesting to repatriate Americans living abroad. I have already thought about sending all of them to live in one of these places – Connecticut (pretty much christian, racist, xenophobia, Russophobia, etc), Massachusetts (same shit as before), Rhode Island (shit), New Hampshire (worse shit), Maine (shit beyond anything you have seem before). Optional shit places to live and to witness mass shootings caused by social environment restraining mobility, freedom (Texas, West Virginia, New York, Delaware, North and South Dakota, Colorado, Ohio, Montana.

    1. … and Big Pharma shit like anti-depressants and probably MK-Ultra type CIA experiments too…

      1. You know, today you cannot find a psychiatrist neither a psychologist in America unless you have shitloads of money to pay a small fortune for an appointment months ahead? It is a hard task to find one available.

        1. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
          Carolyn L Zaremba

          Not true. I had no trouble getting psychological help ten years ago. Saved my life, too.

          1. 10 years ago? You are adding right? I live here. Since the pandemic we cannot find one accepting insurance as it was 10 years ago.

  22. Leonard R. Schmidt Avatar
    Leonard R. Schmidt

    “In the moments leading up to his gruesome murder by the state…” Hypocrisy seems to be Mrs. Foley’s stock-in-trade. Joe Nathan James, Jr. was not murdered by the state, and it most certainly wasn’t “gruesome” as was his premeditated murder of Faith Hall, leaving her two children orphans. James was justly executed for his brutal murder. What was gruesome was those thirty years wasted on James that Faith Hall didn’t have. But Mrs. Foley is of that sad class of miscreants who believe ‘peace, love and happiness’ should rule the day… despite evil. How then are the perpetrators of Capital Crimes to be treated Mrs. Foley… with a wagging finger and a “Tut, Tut. Please don’t do that agin” sort of thing? No Mrs Foley, murders, rapists, kidnappers and the like are to be publicly executed to both rid us of their evil, and to dissuade others. THAT is called, Righteous Justice! Ahh, bleeding-heart liberals… the ban of society.

    1. Yes, yes, and you pay taxes to buy weapons that take people of every age and of every moral adjective apart like lobsters at a Golden Corral in the service of capital. When the state does it, hang a medal. When a lunatic does it, caging isn’t good enough. Ignore one committed en masse but tear the sack cloth and spread the ashes for the other. Grab the stones! Don’t you know that the special monkeys have sanctified their own bloody hands?

      Mrs. Foley is still dead, just so you know.

      Monkeys are fun to watch in a sick sort of way. Thanks for the dark chuckles, monkey.

      1. Thought “Mrs. Foley” was the woman killed by the executed man from the LBS’s rant. It was late.

    2. You are natural born murderers

      1. @Leonard R Schmidt: I don’t think Caitlin Johnstone is actually married to Tim Foley. In any case, it’s not the way she identifies on this site. Therefore calling her Mrs Foley is a misconception that pretty well sums up the issues you’ve got with facing reality, starting with your palpable hatred for a guy you don’t even know, who committed a passionate crime in a moment of insanity – as opposed to a cold-blooded one like his executioner – 26 years ago and is now just as different a man mentally and physically as you yourself are from the person you were 26 years ago. Look for photos and ask yourself if you would recognize the guy you were 26 years ago if you met him in the street and if you would agree with all he thought and did back then…
        But the best part is that the victim’s own family has forgiven him to the point of asking the state not to proceed with his death sentence, stating that his execution would now revive their pain instead of relieving it.
        What kind of bloodthirsty son-of-a-bitch do you then have to be to ask for his execution regardless?
        If you like capital punishment that much, why don’t you move to Saudi Arabia? They’ve got a lot of those over there and it doesn’t seem to deter anybody, so the future is bright. And you might even be lucky enough to get your own head chopped off, which is the best place to watch the show and get a real feel of the action!

        1. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
          Carolyn L Zaremba

          Hear, hear.

    3. does the dissuasion work, actually?

    4. Susan Mercurio Avatar
      Susan Mercurio

      And of course facts don’t matter. The death penalty isn’t a deterrent; that’s been proven over and over again.

      1. BB Benderhaus Avatar
        BB Benderhaus

        No but it does put a stop to repeat offenders.

        1. They don’t seem to be in a position to repeat much if they’re in jail for life without possibility of parole.

      2. No, but it makes a whole new class of murderers (the State) who are increasingly more numb to the scaling up from few to many murders.

  23. “To be clear I don’t actually care whether Beijing has a legitimate claim to Taiwan. Do not give a fuck.”
    Lmao … That’s twice in two days you got me.
    I think this is the 17th time in my life I’m being forced by a “crisis” to consider “the true status” of the little island nation-non-nation. Perhaps it’s why I think China should just take it already. This topic is starting to bore me.
    “Let us all dress like proper servants of the Lord as we march with unquestioning faith into the sweet welcoming embrace of mass extinction.”
    If Americans weren’t in such poor shape, we’d be marching at the quick step. More like were panting and weazing out way to this existential finishing line.
    While still doing it with “unquestioning faith.” I am by no means making light of this aspect of the movement.

    1. I agree that huffing and puffing might be a more accurate description :o)

    2. Susan Mercurio Avatar
      Susan Mercurio

      “Wheezing,” not “weazing.”
      We aren’t the Weasleys.

  24. The prison system in the U.S. is definitely messed up Caitlin, needs a complete reformation!

  25. BB Benderhaus Avatar
    BB Benderhaus

    I think all executions should be open to the general public like a lynching. Put it on television so everyone can see. Right before it happens show their crime so all can see what brings death by this society. Then let them see the body being carried away. Also point out the screwed up justice system that takes 30 years between the crime and execution. It does not even have to be live. Just a weekly show of all executions nationwide. Afterwards some words from the victims family about how justice was served. Above all no dress code required.

    1. Lovely world! What about having them hanged, drawn and quartered on TV while nubile pom-pom girls wiggle around the gallows to the sound of a brass band, street vendors sell beer and pop-corn and a televangelist with a dancing bear in leash explains through a Marshall amp how putting all your money in the Lord’s piggybank will bring it back to you a hundredfold?
      Or do you prefer impalement?

    2. Agree. All the weeping-heart liberals want to portray criminals as victims. Politically correct b.s. Small wonder crime is going out of control.

      1. pretzelattack Avatar
        pretzelattack

        executing innocent people does not do a lot to deter crime. pretending that does not happen and sweeping it under the rug is politically correct bullshit. and letting brutal lawless cops get away with murder just encourages other cops to do it, or corrupt themselves by becoming complicit in it by maintaining the blue wall of silence. meanwhile, in Uvalde, 376 “good guys with guns” let one bad guy with a gun slaughter 19 kids and 2 teachers. how much does that encourage the next maniac?

        1. BB Benderhaus Avatar
          BB Benderhaus

          If every adult was required to carry a gun, crime would plummet. Of course there would be a lot of shootings until all the hotheads and rude people are taken care of by the rest. Bad drivers too.

        2. Executing innocent people deters a lot of crime. Keeps people away from even the smell of crime. How it is, is not a recommendation, however.

  26. Such a powerful take on a shameful episode, thank you for being a shining light on the horrifying stories of injustice happening every day in the U.S.A.

  27. Somehow, Caitlin, this strikes me as one of the most powerful pieces you have written, as if all sanctity was swirled into a circus with incomprehensively evil clowns.

  28. Now if they required her to wear sackcloth and ashes I can agree to that.

  29. Didn’t Jesus wear sandals?

    1. Ahistorical question. Did his mother wear sandals? Good chances are that socks were not known back then, underwear was a relatively new invention — not known in the Classic Greece, adopted in Hellenistic period.

      As a more contemporary example, few years ago there was a vacancy in a city council in Iran, and by the rules, the next person from the party list should replace the departed councilman. HOWEVER, that next person, a female, was voted out by the council as “too pretty” and thus distracting. I must remind you that under Shia rules, women cover hair, elbows, and I guess feet, but not faces, with quotations from Holy Quran proving, according to Shia theologians, that the latter is an un-Islamic invention, and ridiculous at that.

      The summary is that when a woman who is too pretty is present, councilmen and prison officials may be too distracted to perform their duties properly.

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