Tag Archives: authority deference
At 6:00 PM CDST this evening, Troy Anthony Davis will die for a crime that he likely did not commit.
All of the arguments are over. All of the pleas have been dismissed. All of the evidence has been filed away. Tee shirts and signs and editorials will focus on a new issue, a new problem, tomorrow. The world will forget about Troy Davis. Few will remember him after today.
Well, some may remember, quite vividly. The seven ‘witnesses’ that testified against Davis that later recanted their testimony may remember him. The police department and prosecutor might think about him now and then. The family of the slain police officer may wonder if they executed the right man.
Redd Coles may think about Troy Davis. Coles was there the night the officer was killed and several eye witnesses say that it was Coles that did the shooting. Coles testified that it was Davis that fired the fatal shots. Coles is one of the two ‘witnesses’ that has yet to recant his testimony. Troy Davis never owned a gun, but Redd Coles did. It was the same caliber of the gun that killed Officer MacPhail.
No murder weapon was ever found. No DNA evidence ever linked Troy Davis to the slain officer. There was no forensic evidence presented at the trial. All that the prosecution had was eye witness accounts, but that was enough to secure a conviction for capital murder against Troy Davis. And now, Troy Davis will die.
And so it is with justice in America. The Right Wing cheers the Texas Governor that brags of executing 234 inmates during his tenure in the Statehouse. Opinion pages are filled with comments from death penalty supporters that claim that Davis has had enough time to prove his innocence. All of the standard arguments for capital punishment have been discussed, refuted and discussed again. It’s all over now. The proper authorities have spoken clearly – Troy Anthony Davis must die.
William Stephenson Clark
Recently, I read a story at one of the online news websites about a man who stalked and stabbed an eight year old boy at an arcade. As is my normal practice, I also perused the comment section of the article. The backstory:
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — A man accused of repeatedly stabbing an 8-year-old boy playing video games at a restaurant arcade had spent weeks stalking potential victims at area shopping malls, police said Monday. “His intent was to kill a child,” Nassau County Police Sgt. Vincent Garcia said of 23-year-old Evan Sachs. Sachs was arrested Friday night, moments after police say he plunged the 4-inch blade of a hunting knife five times into the boy’s back.”
The story went on to state that the accused was undergoing psychiatric care.
Now, lest there be any confusion, I certainly do not have any empathy for the accused, but I was shocked at the comments that I read about him. It would seem that a fair portion of our fellow citizens feel that capital punishment without trial would be appropriate for the accused and that incarceration for the mentally ill should be mandatory.
The anonymity of faceless blogging does tend to bring out the worst in people, but really, capital punishment? I believe I have thoroughly explained my opposition to capital punishment, so it goes without saying that I am not in agreement with that type of commentary, but I have to wonder what drives someone to such levels of hatred.
Perhaps I am a bit naive, but I don’t recall many people with similar points of view in my journeys. Since when do we take a position completely contrary to the right of due process under the Constitution? Have we become so calloused that we flippantly advocate Iranian-style justice in the United States?
If in fact mental illness drove this young man to this crime, it needs to be dealt with accordingly, otherwise, the court system should proceed as it does with thousands of other cases each year. Despite the desires of extremists. we have yet to sink to the levels of barbarians.
I hope and pray that the eight year old boy recovers physically and psychologically. I also hope and pray that justice will be served under the law.
William Stephenson Clark
PS: The mine rescue events in Chile this evening (Tuesday) stand in stark contrast with the thoughts of some of our fellow Americans. It has to make you think about the direction we are headed.
Wichita calls itself the “Air Capital of the World.” That was certainly true during and after the Second World War, but increasingly, Wichita is in danger of becoming the Detroit of the Aircraft Industry.
Recently, after taking a hard line with the Union, Cessna management announced a layoff of 700 employees days after they approved a new contract, through a technicality. Hawker-Beech is going to layoff another 300, all the while working on plans to move to Louisiana. Boeing/Spirit may choose, in the end, not to even bid on the tanker contract.
Like the auto plants in SE Michigan, aircraft plants may be a distant memory in Wichita in another decade.
This past weekend, my family and I attended the Wichita Air Show, at McConnell Air Force base. While it was an exciting and enjoyable show (despite the hours-long waits for shuttle buses to and from the base) one had to wonder what is happening to the American manufacturing industry in general and aircraft manufacturing specifically.
Some will try to blame it all on the Unions, but that is hardly the reason that so many manufacturing jobs are headed south, literally and figuratively. The union man has been vilified by the Right for more than a quarter century, for his supposed greed and alleged lack of sufficient work ethics.
In Europe, the union and company work together to a mutual benefit. Japan has recovered from their “lost decade” and is working back to where they were years ago. Despite dire warnings to the contrary, American workers can still provide a productive work force for American companies.
In the end, America has become a nation that produces very little. It doesn’t have to be this way. Greedy company CEO’s and Senior Management have been focused on the wrong issues and now are blaming the workers for their failures.
The Air Show was a great spectacle, but it may be a dieing event.
William Stephenson Clark
(Blog header and thread photos by the author – yes, I will change the blog header back.)
So, what to do? You’re at a BBQ with a mixed bag of friends, some liberal, others conservative, and the conversations are beginning to drag. What to do? Well, you could suggest a game of “pictionary” or some lawn bowling. Or you could just stand in the middle of the patio and loudly make this statement:
“I am a Democrat and I believe in gun control!”
Suddenly, your dull, lifeless BBQ will come to life! Maybe not in a good way, but it will be much more lively.
I am a confirmed liberal Democrat and I earned my bona fides long ago. That having been said, I am a firm defender of the Second Amendment. There are several reasons for this.
One, is that I support the Constitution of the United States. We are to be a “nation of laws” and the COTUS is the supreme law of the land. There are reasons that it is so difficult to amend the Constitution.
Two, virtually every legal gun owner is a law abiding citizen that respects firearms and uses them properly.
Three, gun control laws do little or nothing to reduce gun violence. In some studies, the legal carrying of a firearm has been shown to actually reduce some crimes.
I am a legal gun owner and a legal carrier of a firearm, even though I choose not to carry most of the time.
Truthfully, guns are not the cause of violent crime in America. The high murder rate is due to a “culture of violence” not the “gun culture.”
Guns are tools, examples of fine craftsmanship and even works of art. They are only dangerous when used in an improper manner. Responsible gun owners keep their weapons from the reach of children and teach their children gun safety.
The focus on reducing gun violence should not be on the gun it’s self, but on the culture that breeds gun violence. Gangs, drug trafficking and poverty are the reasons for gun injuries and deaths, for the most part.
Gun control laws generally just become a nuisance to law abiding gun owners. Certainly I am for background checks, but much beyond that, gun control laws are mostly “feel good” laws that do little to achieve their well intentioned objectives.
Cain killed Abel with a club. Today, perhaps he would have capped him with a 9mm. Regardless, he would still be dead. Throughout history, be it a club, spear, sword or a gun, man has figured out a way to kill his fellow man.
Banning guns will do nothing to change that.
Now, the patio is open for discussion………………………………….
William Stephenson Clark
L.B.J., whenever I thought of him during his administration, he had Vietnam hanging around his neck. It was the only thing I actually associated him with: the expansion of the war and the bombing. Perhaps it was because I was coming up on 18 years of age and would face the draft. It could have been the nightly news of the war and it being fresh in my mind.
But there was far more going on involving Lyndon B. Johnson. The Civil Rights bill, the Fair Housing bill and the Voting Rights bill, along with Medicare. Years later after finally realizing all he had done, he [Johnson] was a far greater President than I would have imagined, or realized at the time. Bad on me, for what he did far and away outweighed his association with a war he had inherited. It took a toll on him too, as he put it, to “give the South to the Republicans ” which also meant it took a toll on the Democratic Party. But at the time I did not notice it or think about it.
FDR, foresaw the threat of the Nazis to the point he pulled a G. W. Bush or perhaps Bush pulled an FDR. Roosevelt wanted the American Nazis and those expressing either sympathies or anti war ideologies to be wire-tapped. This was at a time when we were not at war and did not look to be going to war against the Nazis. The Supreme Court refused to allow FDR’s wiretap, so FDR simply told his A.G. to go ahead and order the wire-tapping on the authority of the Office of the President.
Who does not think of FDR as a great President or knew at the time he willfully violated the orders of the Supreme Court and the Constitution? As it turned out, he was right in his suspicion of the Nazis and otherwise was justified in his actions. But still it is alarming to find out he did not hold up to the law.
As of yet I am not so willing to give G.W. Bush the benefit of the doubt as to his presidency. But it does give me pause, to wonder what will come out in ten or more years that will give far more insight then I had during his administration?
Perception and reality of a Presidency often are not the same, it would seem.
Please vote for us to be your government, we’ll show you just how bad bad can be!
This cartoon reminds me of those who complain how very bad the government is, then beg to be elected so they can prove it! Why do the Republicans both hate government and want to be government? I understand that they still think they make government smaller, but they’re not fooling anyone but themselves! Then there are the Libertarians who have taken hating government to a new level even the Republicans couldn’t have imagined.