After reading a very interesting letter written by Mr. Graden West, published in the Public Forum on Nov. 28, I would like to say that I most heartily agree with his comments on separation of church and state. Anyone with a minimal knowledge of history must realize what happens when the church controls the state. Whenever we Americans are engaged in war, we become more spiritual and tend to look to our spiritual God for answers and we become more churchgoing. Billy Graham often mentions his one true, living God and is anxious to join him in heavenly paradise.
The celebrity rush to save the life of convicted murderer and gang founder Tookie Williams may be the best argument yet for eliminating the death penalty. Dead, he's a martyr; alive and confined for life, he's just another nobody. I have no wish to further elevate Williams in the public eye, but the circus surrounding his Dec. 13 execution date forces reflection. First my bias and other disclaimers: I'm a relatively recent convert from the slow-gas-leak solution to death row crowding to a reluctant capital punishment opponent.
"A Locrian who proposed any new law stood forth in the assembly of the people with a cord round his neck, and if the law was rejected, the innovator was instantly strangled." Edward Gibbon, "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" WASHINGTON -- If Congress had the rule of the Locrians, a people in ancient Greece, it would have been fatal to Sen. Byron Dorgan, the North Dakota Democrat. He recently got 34 colleagues, none of them Republicans, to vote for his measure to punish oil companies for earning profits which, relative to revenues, were unimpressive.
SAN DIEGO -- President Bush was talking tough recently during a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border. At least it was someone who looked a lot like President Bush. I have my doubts. It sounded more like Pat Buchanan. This is the same George Bush who, while he was governor of Texas, defended bilingual education and still delights in addressing Latino audiences in Spanish. And here he was talking about how immigrants had "an obligation to learn ...
Wal-Mart provides jobs and low prices to a lot of people in our communities. CBS Sunday Morning reported that Wal-Mart currently receives 15 cents of every consumer dollar. Wal-Mart is the largest corporation in the world. Wal-Mart seeks to dominate our own communities by building supercenters in Montevideo, Willmar and Litchfield. Wal-Mart Supercenters already exist in Hutchinson and Marshall. Are our communities going to welcome Wal-Mart's plan to take over more and more of our local businesses? It is the season of peace on earth, good will to all.
In response to Graden West, on Nov. 28, does Mr. West really think that our churches don't teach Christian values? They are first taught at home, which then continues in church and extends in the Christian school teaching the children they are made in the image of God. The Pledge of Allegiance says in part "One nation under God," in case you forgot. Florence Tebben Prinsburg
WASHINGTON -- Virginia Gov. Mark Warner's decision this week to grant clemency in a death penalty case will be seen in the coming years as a landmark in the nation's debate over capital punishment. In sparing the life of Robin M. Lovitt, a convicted murderer, Warner was responding not simply to facts that weighed heavily in favor of stopping the execution. He was also operating in a changed political climate. Even supporters of the death penalty now have doubts about how it is administered.
Charlie Company of Company C of the 1st Battalion 151st Field Artillery from west central Minnesota is returning home Sunday. Soldiers from Morris, Madison, Ortonville, Montevideo and Appleton are returning after completing a year-long deployment in Iraq. While in Iraq, they performed security forces missions in Baghdad. This military unit, as all returning units do, deserves an enthusiastic welcome home. Charlie Company is returning without three members: Jesse Lhotka of Appleton, Dave Day of St.
On Oct. 3, the Willmar City Council decided to make it more difficult for many of Willmar's citizens to vote in all future elections, and no one seemed to care. The council, without holding public hearings or otherwise seeking citizen opinion, voted to cut the number of polling places in Willmar from 12 to four. Most will no longer be able to vote at their neighborhood polling places. In Ward 1, on Willmar's north side, Ridgewater College and Lakeview Apartments (the "highrise") will no longer be polling places.
If, as Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill once said, all politics is local, I direct your attention from President Bush's speech on Iraq Wednesday to the District of Columbia and its police department. Back in 1989 and 1990, the city of Washington was under orders from Congress to quickly hire 1,800 police officers or lose a substantial amount of federal aid. The city did what it was told -- and crime on the police force went way up. Within four years, the police academy classes of 1989 and 1990 comprised about one-third of the police force.