Monday :: Jan 17, 2011

A Couple of Items from the News on MLK Jr. Day

by Oly Mike

From the NYT :

  • An editorial piece about dna exoneration. It's interesting that Dallas County is taking such an interest in justice and not just conviction. That's pretty encouraging. Another interesting bit from that piece is that Texas has the most generous exoneration compensation program in the country, paying $80K per year of wrongful incarceration. It's like winning the lottery in hell. How did this compensation bill get passed in Texas?

  • Governors around the country are looking at some grim budget numbers. Here in WA State Gov. Gregoire has enacted some drastic cuts in social welfare net programs that were already underfunded. We have tax cut initiatives that keep getting passed in the election cycles that have increasingly hobbled the governor and legislators' ability to operate state government. The cuts gets passed down to the municipalities. Lots of county offices are now answering phones on shortened hours. I guess that is one way of making the point that you can only cut government so much before it starts to inconvenience the average citizen voting for tax cuts. I do wonder if Republican governors (there are quite a few of them) are going to need to plead with Congressional republicans to be reasonable and recognize that there are essential public services that require taxes and federal funding. I wish them luck with that task. wikimedia commons - thanks

  • Adam Hochschild has a history piece on Patrice Lumumba and the US/CIA role in Lumumba's assassination. As we reflect on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. today, we can also think back about what might have been in the Congo if Lumumba had not been assassinated. Democracy in Africa? Who knows? We seem to prefer military strong man leaders that we can sway with dollars to statesmen with principles about democracy who are less easily swayed. Just sayin..

My African son David passed through home on Wednesday courtesy wiki commonsnight, home from Portland, grabbed a car and headed to Seattle with some of my other Sudanese sons to vote for secession for Southern Sudan. I have six Dinka sons who have lived with us off and on over the past ten years. I have empty nest these days, my girls are out of the house, living close by, my dinka sons are all out in their own places except for my youngest, who is finishing up CPA masters program in Portland and looking for jobs. I hope that Sudan has a leader in the wings who is afflicted with principles and courage. John Garang may have been such a man but he died in helicopter crash several years ago. Sudan needs its own Nelson Mandela now. I think my son Deng Kuol Anyang has the soul and heart for the task, but he is pretty busy with wife and job here in Western Washington and expecting his first child later this year, so I guess he is opting out. (we do love our own kids, don't we?)

Big souls, dark skins. Thanks for your lives and your work. We have not forgotten you.

Oly Mike :: 10:30 AM :: Comments (4) :: Digg It!