Paul From Minneapolis

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Miracle at the Star-Tribune

There’s a frequent guest columnist at the Strib named Syl Jones, an African American, a “playwright, journalist and corporate communications consultant.” I’ve never seen one of his plays, because I don’t really go to plays. Nothing against plays, just a fact.

Syl is someone who gets on my wrong side frequently. Like one time he referred to KFAN, 1130-AM, my favorite station, as an "asylum" where there are "inmates" in charge. I took that personally. I like sports. I like listening to other guys talk about sports. To me that’s good fun. Does that mean I belong in an "asylum?" I ask you.

Usually Syl’s a victim-think sermonizer, as I referred to him over at Ann’s site in a comment and that got me going here. But today he writes about Tookie Williams and surprise, surprise, surprise comes down hard on the side of: the man deserved to be executed. And Syl actually delves deeper into underlying and related issues:

"It is fashionable to decry the death penalty as cruel and unusual punishment, as barbaric and even medieval. This is part of modern society's unfortunate propensity to delay or completely obliterate the laws of natural consequences. Endless pleadings -- sickness, extenuating circumstances, born under a bad sign and the devil made me do it -- benefit lawyers and civil libertarians in search of new causes. It makes suckers of the rest of us. Where is Ramsey Clark when you really need him? In Iraq defending another "innocent" named Saddam Hussein, or surely he'd be in Sacramento pleading for Tookie."

Believe me, that's most un-Syl-like. Is it possible that constant harping from harpies like me actually begins to have a mysterious effect, on individuals, on the zeitgeist? “I wish I was a mole in the ground, if I was a mole in the ground I’d root that mountain down:” heck, maybe that approach works.