December 29, 2005
The Governor Strikes Back
This month, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave Our Betters in Europe
a taste of their own bitter medicine. Angry at the governor's refusal
to stop the Dec. 13 execution of convicted four-time murderer Stanley
"Tookie" Williams, city leaders of Graz, Austria, mobilized
to remove Austria's most famous son's name from a stadium. Schwarzenegger
responded with a "Dear Johan" letter. In it, he revoked
the city's permission to use his name on the stadium and to promote
Graz as a tourist destination. Schwarzenegger also returned a "ring
of honor" bestowed by his hometown in 1999. "It is already
in the mail," the governor wrote in German.
night, to avoid the glare of the spotlight, Graz city workers
removed Schwarzenegger's name from arena. The mayor of Graz is
"disappointed." An Austrian poll showed that well over
70 percent of Austrians supported Schwarzenegger's pre-emptive
takes a European-born American to see what the Euro-elites are
-- so desperate to promote themselves as better than Americans
that they kowtow to thugs.
rights" group, the Association of Christianity and Social
Democracy, proposed that the stadium be named after Williams.
That makes sense: Flaunt how your opposition to capital punishment
makes you superior by honoring a felon who shot an unarmed man
in the back, then later shot a father, a mother and their adult
daughter and left them to die slow, painful deaths.
should note, probably will rename the stadium the American way
-- by selling naming rights.) Meanwhile, the European press had
canonized Williams -- regurgitating the Tookie propaganda about
his "redemption." Agence France Presse called
Williams a "repentant gang leader." London's The
Independent gushed about "the widely expressed sense
that if Mr. Williams were not regarded as an embodiment of rehabilitation
and redemption, then the terms had no meaning in the U.S. criminal
justice system." You'd never know that Williams never apologized
for killing four innocent people.
newspapers dutifully reported on Europeans' revulsion at the death
penalty -- they see it as "a medieval atrocity," as
The New York Times put it. You'd never guess that somehow
Graz kept Schwarzenegger's name on its stadium after he failed
to stop the January execution of triple-murderer Donald Beardslee.
Or that many Europeans aren't thrilled that the European Union
forced abolition of capital punishment on member countries.
former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze regretted his decree
ending the death penalty in 1997, a move he feared contributed
to a rise in crime. "Evidently, we shouldn't have abolished
the most extreme form of punishment, the death penalty. Criminals
used to fear execution, but this factor is gone now," he
said. (Also in 2003, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
reinstated the death penalty because of a dramatic rise in violent
2002 reported that the British people -- as many as 68 percent
-- support the death penalty for child murderers, even if their
betters in the British Parliament and the EU do not.
International Criminal Tribunal of former Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic reveals the insanity of outlawing the death penalty
-- even for genocide. The strongman probably is safer in prison
-- and mocking his critics during a circus-like trial -- than
he would be free in his homeland. Also, the tribunal's insistence
on issuing lesser sentences for lesser killings has prompted the
court to issue sentences like 18 years for a key role in the murder
of some 7,000 Muslim men.
be it noted, also doesn't believe in life sentences. Death penalty
supporter Michael Rushford of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation
in Sacramento, Calif., approved of the governator's response.
Rushford noted that the death penalty is a punishment for which
approval goes up when people look at the offender. Like Williams.
believes Williams "traded his humanity" when he took
his first innocent life. "All the benefits of being a human
being, he traded that away by taking an innocent life."
incident shows a side of Europe that leaves many of us American
rubes cold. Left-wing Austrians -- and Americans -- were quick
to condemn the California death penalty and Schwarzenegger as
barbaric, even as they embraced a man who killed four innocent
people. To condemn an execution while canonizing a killer -- that's
just too civilized.
2005 Creators Syndicate