"Go not for every grief to the physician, nor for every quarrel to the lawyer, nor for every thirst to the pot." —George Herbert (1593-1633)

Friday, September 18, 2009

On Capital Punishment

The Vatican's position is that it opposes capital punishment. It's the normative Roman Catholic teaching, although as far as I know one can still be a Catholic in good standing if he or she still favors capital punishment.

Me, I think the arguments are stronger in favor of capital punishment, not about justice so much, but especially Dennis Prager's argument that murderers tend to kill again in prison, guards or fellow prisoners. Once you can bring yourself to kill a fellow human being, adding another to you list isn't a big deal.

So, Prager argues, if and when the murderer murders again, the moral responsibility lies with those who kept him from his deserved justice and fate.

I've tended to agree with that unassailable logic.

My best and perhaps only counterargument has been that executing a human being dehumanizes his executioners.

His name is Romell Broom. I could call him a convicted rapist and murderer---which he is---but I think we should call human beings by their names.

In Ohio a few days ago, the state sent Romell Broom to go meet his Maker. Mercifully, by lethal injection. In theory, you just go to sleep. Eternal sleep.

You can read about what happened here
.

In short, they tried to find a usable vein to deliver the lethal injection but couldn't find one. They tried for hours. Hours. In fact, Romell Broom tried to help them find one. He pinched his arm, he rolled over onto his stomach.

No luck.

Finally, the warden called the governor and told him of the difficulties. The governor postponed Romell Broom's rendezvous with destiny for a week, the execution is scheduled for then.

"What Would Jesus Do" is an often-abused political question. But He wouldn't do this or be any part of it, and more importantly, He wouldn't ask his followers to do this, far lesser mortals than He.

He wouldn't put them through it, no way, no how. Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord, and that means vengeance belongs to God, not man. "Vengeance" doesn't mean revenge, it means justice.

No to capital punishment. I guess I just made up my mind, finally. Wish I knew why it took me so long...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Obama Opponents are Racist

Oh, it's Page One of the Obama playbook. The NYT Magazine ran "The Mellowing of William Jefferson Clinton" some months ago:

And the man once called the “first black president” remains deeply wounded by allegations that he made racially insensitive remarks during the campaign, like dismissing Obama’s South Carolina win by comparing it with Jesse Jackson’s victories there in the 1980s.

“None of them ever really took seriously the race rap,” he told me. “They knew it was politics. I had one minister in Texas in the general election come up and put his arm around me.” This was an Obama supporter. “And he came up, threw his arm around me and said, ‘You’ve got to forgive us for that race deal.’ He said, ‘That was out of line.’ But he said, ‘You know, we wanted to win real bad.’ And I said, ‘I got no problem with that.’ I said it’s fine; it’s O.K. And we laughed about it and we went on.”

Well, Bill laughed, I guess, but it was Hillary who took it in the pantsuit.

I was a little surprised the elites and mainstream media didn't pick up on this, but the answer's obvious now---they intended to use the same slimy tactic again, this time at the real enemy, the right. If they pulled it on Bill Clinton, what chance do the rest of us have?

No doubt some people are serious in calling Obama's opponents racist, like that unfortunate puddinhead Jimmy Carter, but for the rest, it's just all part of the game.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Glenn Beck: Caveat Emptor

I share some of my colleague Davy Buck's enjoyment of Glenn Beck, mostly because we have a common enemy, the administration's and this Congress' affinity for statism. And Beck does dig where the mainstream media doesn't---into fellows like Van Jones [whom he got], and into the looming specter of "community organizing" on a national scale by ACORN [which he just took a nice bite out of].

But I would caution the righteous Right against putting too many eggs in Glenn Beck's basket. He's a showy populist, not a genuine and well-grounded thinker like a Krauthammer or a Beckwith. He's already said some stupid things that cross the line:



...that President Obama has "a deep-seated hatred of white people, or white culture, I don't know what it is..."

This simply won't do.

If the great Newton L. Gingrich, who's much less of a hot dog and a much better thinker than Beck, could screw up and hurt conservatism, that Glenn Beck will screw up and hurt it is a near certainty. And unlike Gingrich, Glenn Beck will never resign.

What Beck said in the above video is already enough to discredit him forever to cite him as a source in polite argument.

So, enjoy him while he lasts and scores a few lefty scalps, but keep in mind it's tick...tick...tick...

I'll defend Edmund Burke-style conservatism 'til the cows come home, but Beck's hero is Thomas Paine, and damned if I'm gonna be left holding the bag for either of 'em.