News Notes for Monday

Livermore News:

  • Deacon Dave’s is open!
    We went on Saturday evening. It’s a really nice display this year featuring the bakeshop at the north pole. I recommend going early or when it’s drizzling. The crowds can be formidable.


The Death Penalty

  • Stanley Tookie Williams editorial
    I’m not against the death penalty. When I look at that issue, I look at it the same way that I would consider the issue of putting down a dangerous dog. A lot of people have told me that’s a really cold, dispassionate approach to take, but the thing is that I love dogs. Unfortunately, there are too many, unwanted dogs, and we just don’t have the resources to take care of the gentle, sweet ones, much less the ones that are so dangerous that they are a threat to people. And I don’t want my tax money to go towards taking care of people who are no more than a threat to other people. But what if they are more than that? What if they are no longer a threat? Further, what if they have managed to do something productive with their lives, a huge accomplishment considering they they live in the brutal atmosphere of prison? What then?

    I feel for the families of the victims, and if killing Mr. Williams would bring back their loved ones or undo the harm of that loss, I’d have him put down without a second thought.

    In my eating disorder group, we have been told over and over to consider this thought before taking an action: “Will this help me, or hurt me?” So I ask myself, does this help me or hurt me and the society of which I am part, if we kill Mr. Williams? My cold, dispassionate cost-benefit analysis says that we will cause more harm in taking his life. Sure, it would serve me if he were dead and I didn’t have to pay for his care anymore, but other than that, I see little benefit from his death. It won’t make me safer. The death penalty is not a deterrent. It might even make me less safe. How many people will be filled with anger and hate at the affluent, mostly white establishment if Mr Williams is killed? And just who will become the target of that hate and anger?

    What if he lives? From what I’ve heard, he has managed to productive things from behind bars. I haven’t read any of his books, so I have to relie on others’ reviews which say that his books are full of positive messages for children. As a middle-aged, overweight, biracial, female engineer who likes to sew, garden, swim, and play with her small children, it’s hard for me to understand how he could be a role model. But there is something to be said for leaving behind the sins of your youth, for accepting yourself as you are, and for doing good things in the direst of circumstances.

    I’d like to see Mr. Williams live to do more good things.



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