March 31, 2008
By Ken Krayeske • 5:30 PM EST
M uch of what has crossed my desk today is of interest, a strange occurence, almost a defeat of Sturgeon's Law.
First, I got my quarterly newsletter from the great folks at the Hartford Catholic Worker. Sarah Karas' piece about Frances Crowe and Juanita Nelson offers inspiring words from writer Marianne Williamson:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us...As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Liberation, then should apply to our burgeoning prison populations. The Catholic Workers suggest that with crime and punishmentrestorative justice is an answer.
Next, a friend sent me an email about Brian Toolan, the former editor of the Hartford Courant. He is now the business editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer. When a head honcho like Toolan takes a lower job in the journalism hierarchy, one wonders: he either needs work (which is fine), or he wants to work and can't find anything to suit his prior experience (which is bad for journos).
Elsewhere, Heather over at Urban Compass went to Hartfprd City Hall this morning for the conference by watershed maven Mary Rickel Pelletier and Nancy Stoner of the National Resources Defense Council.
And Christine Stuart at CTNewskunie quizzed John Larson a question or two about Benedict Lieberman. Colin McEnroe goes to town on Lieberman's statement yesterday about the hyperpartisanship of the Democratic Party.
And if it is a home invasion, expect M. Jodi Rell to swoop in and make political gain of it. She said it is a "random act that has absolutely no rational reason behind it." Aside from the redundancy of "rational reason," McEnroe on his radio show made a fine point: can't the Governor even give the victims a few minutes to collect themselves after the tragedy?
She's furious, she says. That's great, Jodi. I'm furious, too. The bumper sticker says if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention, right. But to call it random and insane is to fail to account for any number of societal stimuli that helped create the monster who committed the atroicty. Are we responsible for prison conditions, the failure of parole to reintegrate felons, past racial discrimination, poverty, etc?
A three-strikes law won't solve the situation, nor is it palatable for her to use the personal pain of another to make political points.
In the West Wing television show, such behavior is unpalatable to our visionary leader Josiah Bartlett. I've been watching a bunch of West Wing from the second season lately. It's quality relaxation and an entertaining escape from law school, even if it is eight years old.
And the headline for this post comes from a situation in the show. Bartlett, a Democrat, has hired Ainsley Hayes, a Republican operative, to work in his White House counsel's office. Hayes, in explaining her decision to work for the opposition, tells her friends not to denigrate the people in the White House. Don't say they are bad people, she said. Say that they don't understand the constitution. Say they fail to fix problems. Say that their approach to public policy makes you want to tear your hair out. But don't attack them personally.
And we have to remember that. I don't think Gov. Rell is a bad person. I may think Joe Lieberman is a bad person (his approval of torture may have stepped over a line of decency for me). But I think people in public service generally want the best for our country. We just disagree on how to get there.