Thursday, December 8, 2005

Why Do We Have any Right?

With the approaching likely execution of Tookie Williams next week, we're hearing lots of commentary on his worthiness for clemency. Gov Schwarzenegger is the only person who needs to make that judgment. I suggest it's not whether Williams is worthy or not, it's whether we, or anyone can makes the judgment. Are we worthy of the role of taking anyone's life so blatantly.

We can avoid the long litany of his crimes and the work Williams has done to steer our young away from the gangs. We can avoid the debate over whether his future anti-gang efforts will compensate for lives he may be responsible for. Rather, we can ask ourselves how, other than our ever-changing laws, we have any right to pass judgment on his, or anyone's life.

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Support our Troops, Here's How:

I've sent a letter with the following points to my Congressman, Mike Ferguson, and Senator, Frank Lautenberg, and Cousin, Nora Slawik, MN House. I'm suggesting, to the extent possible, they advocate the following "modest proposals":

  • The surviving family of a soldier killed in the line of duty shall pay no income taxes for their life. These include parents, current spouse, current and unborn children.
  • Any wounded veteran shall have all medical expenses paid for the remainder of their life.
  • Any veteran of a combat zone shall have all psychiatric expenses covered for the remainder of their life.
I didn't offer this in their letters, but it is very much in the spirit of the late Senator Paul Wellstone. I'll follow up with his sons' organization.