Guest Post: The Machine

tom1One of my bud’s Tom Nardone of I Am Tom Nardone sent me something he wrote and said he thought of me when he was writing it. I read it a couple of times; I understand why he thought of me so asked if he would like me to publish on my site.

Tom is a funny guy with ambitions to be Awesome, I think he already is. He writes mostly very funny stuff. He also writes about growing up with undiagnosed ADD and how this affected him and his family. He is a great advocate for the ADD community, thought I think he hides his light all too often.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to Tom Nardone and his thoughts on society, crime and punishment.


Welcome to the Machine

Some people think it is our value of Human life that defines us as a nation. I don’t hear about the Capital punishment debate so much anymore because I do not watch the news, or discuss the issues with those that do. What if we took some lessons from the American manufacturing community concerning the merits of this issue? What would that be like?

A part is born. It is a wonderful day. It makes its first trip down the assembly line. It is treated with care, just the same as all the other parts, of its kind. It goes through the various cycles, processes, and changes, and then onto the next phase in its development. This part will find other parts on its journey that are different than it is. Shortly after this union, they will now head down the assembly line being cared for again at yet another stage of their growth. All of these parts will make up the end product. All of these parts will have a function. It is this end product that the part was built for. This end product is the purpose for which all the parts exist.

Now! The end product is here. It has been a long journey for them all, they have changed so much, and been exposed to different parts and on this glorious day, they are sent out into the world to do what they were born to do.

But now there is an end product, there are expectations. All of the parts will have to work together and get along. There is no room for a part that doesn’t work. They are all expected to function, and while there is some degree of tolerance for errors, in the end it is about the whole machine. This is something that every part knows.

I suspect some of you made the comparison to a child growing up and entering the world as I told this story of parts. While I am pleased with myself for having written this beautiful analogy, I won’t say it is perfect, but for our purposes, it will do.

So this machine (earth) is going along fine and then one of its parts (you) decide to rob a liquor store. Well that is certainly not the function of that part. This cannot be tolerated by the machine because it effects too many other parts and hurts the machines ability to function.

Earth has been having a short period of error free operation, and then one of its parts decide to damage or rob the resources of another random part so that its job will be less strenuous. This is also not within the tolerance level of the machine. The machine needs all its parts to function properly.

Earth is rotating as usual without incident for a few days and then one of its parts decide to sabotage itself while still in the process of doing its job, and endangers the performance of any or all of the parts in the whole machine. This is not within the machines operating tolerance either. This is unacceptable behavior from a working part.

Let’s explore what the American manufacturing community does with the defective parts in their machine

Well there is really no need to explore this. It’s simple. All of their defective units get “SHIT-CANNED!” Let me tell you what they don’t do with their defective units. They do not put them back in the system to rework them for admittance to the assembly line where they can try again. They don’t lock them in a warehouse for a specific period of time with other bad parts. They “SHITCAN” them. They disregard their presence and never consider them again.

Is that what we should do?

In my examples we had represented by “The Machine”, three people who committed three separate crimes; armed robbery, breaking and entering and a DUI were introduced. In this country, we currently do not execute people for these crimes, but we are only aware of what they did from our narrow point of view.

If we look at the armed robbery guy, that person caused a man to be afraid for the rest of his life. Nightmares could possibly render him unable to sleep for who knows how long.

If we look at the people who had their home broken into, they have lost the comfort of peace of mind. They will worry for the rest of their life if someone is in their home while they are away.
In these two examples something was taken that can never be restored not ever.

The worst of the bunch, the DUI guy; Drinking and driving. Well what form of justice would you give to man who took a revolver and put four bullets into it, and then spun the wheel and fired into a daycare center where children were playing? Are their crimes not the same?

I hold human life as dear and as precious as the next guy. It is truly a tragedy when people die at a young age, or when people have to have a life of fear placed upon them. It is hard on the families, and friends.

In our current system, the good guys have more to fear than the bad guys.


  1. Ironic.
    I was just at his site! FABULOUS stuff! Xx

  2. Very interesting analogy, and so true. We are all parts in a “working” machine, and we all need to do our bit. Because I made a conscious choice to try to respect life in ALL it’s forms, I can’t support capital punishment, but I’m tempted to when I hear the details of some crimes. Sorely tempted.

    Thanks for getting the old brain clicking today.

  3. Great analogy however somewhat flawed in that human beings are not machines and not inaminate objects. We are depending on your school of thought influenced either by” nature or nuture” and yes we are a small part of the larger sum. My concern is where do you draw the line regarding forgive me but unfortunately I won’t use your choice of words for disposing of every person who commits a crime in this country. The severity or lack of the crime perpetrated doesn’t mean that another person is not traumatized to what degree no one knows only that individual.
    The answer is education not incarceration! Thank you for providing me this opportunity to express my opinion.
    Respectfully yours,
    Nancy Ward

    • Nancy, Hi and thank you for adding your thoughts. You are right, people are not machines and our responses are certainly in large part predicated upon our experiences. Tom thought of me when writing this because he has read much on my experiences as a victim of violent crime, how those experiences affect me and my family over the years. He has also spent time reading about my volunteer work in the Victim Impact Program, where I spend time working with both adult and juvenile offenders, usually violent offenders and often sex offenders.

      While we might wish education to be the answer all the time, it is not.

      • Valentine,
        May I sincerely express my sorrow and in no way intended to offend you or Tom by my remarks. I am a victim of paternal and family friend sexual abuse but by saying this it is not my intention to negate or attempt to understand your feelings and the impact on your family. May The Lord continue to Bless your work with the the victims. Respectfully yours,

      • Hi Valentine,
        My sincere apologies for not completely understanding the circumstances surrounding Tom’s post. May God Bless you in your work with the Victim Impact Program and if I have offended you or Tom that was not my intention.
        Respectfully yours,

        • You did not offend at all Nancy. I only wanted to give you the background. Thank you for adding yours, I think when we understand each other it is easier to see perspective. I am so sincerely sorry for your hurt, if I was abrupt please forgive me.

  4. Gray Dawster says:

    I think everything we know about that has negativity attached has to be simplified in order for the rule makers to sit up and listen, it is unbelievable that in the 21st century we are still living under the fears and tribulations of those defective parts that you have so clearly identified in your write up.

    Indeed somewhere along the road of expansion there needs to be conventionality so that the machine may function to its optimum standards and that any waste products that materialise are quickly despatched. Well written Tom, and of course you are absolutely right.


  5. Love this post. The metaphor, in its simplicity, paints the perfect picture which anyone can understand. Wonderful writing, Tom.
    Thank you for sharing, Valentine.

  6. Excellent metaphor. I live down the road from the warehouse of bad parts. Hard to remachine them with no electricity in the building.

    • Hey Red, I have heard a lot about you from Val. I am going to sign up for the flash in the pan thing you do. Val has been trying to teach it to me. I think I got it now though. You actually have a prison with no power

      • No metaphorical power. There is nothing inside the walls which resembles anything beyond a mint.

        We would need to discuss prisons in a separate forum. Both my mother and my daughter work in corrections in different entities. I have a lot of inside knowledge into the workings of prisons.

        The one of which I speak is one of the largest employers of the third circle of hell (where I live in SC). Based on the views from the diverse people who are employed (some do not work) there, I have a healthy respect for how little is truly done behind the walls.

        I am thrilled you will be flashing with us! Whether you bring wit or darkness (or even sanity) to the Pan, I am looking forward to your entries.

  7. Now that’s definitely a fascinating metaphor, and one I had never thought of. Good for you, Tom, for coming up with it! And thanks, Val, for sharing Tom’s piece!

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