Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, Apr 14 2006

The privileges of being a guest are in the hands of the host

I don't wonder at all that immigrants from Mexico want what the US has to offer, particularly after reading some of the rules (from jacklewis.net) regarding immigrants who head into Mexico. I don't think we want to be that tough with people who come to the US, but I do think people who come here should remember that what guests have are privileges and not rights. I would never think to go to another country and act the way some (not all) of the illegal immigrants in the streets here have been acting lately. They are rudely and arrogantly making their own best case against themselves.

posted at: 10:27 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

Doing time won't pay for victim's extra-needed help in life

It was sad to read about 5-year-old Kai Leigh Harriott sobbing in the courtroom as she tried to talk about Anthony Warren's angry shooting that left her paralyzed 2 years ago. I went back and read some of the feedback from Dorchester, Massachusetts area residents, who hope to find some relief from violence among young people in their home town. When I read that Anthony Warren received a sentence of 13-15 years in state prison after pleading guilty in court, I had mixed feelings. People talk about about wanting criminals to "pay" for their crimes, and while we can't have these people walking around freely among us, it doesn't seem quite right to me that someone whose irresponsible act caused a little girl and her family to have to change their lives, from now on, should not have to pay with more than time in a jail cell. I wish there was a way for incarcerated, able-bodied criminals to at least do some work that would result in some form of income for those who are left in the wake of their bad decisions. What if Anthony Warren worked every day of his sentence and the money he earned went to pay to help Kai study to become a scientist or a teacher? His time would really mean something then.

I don't have any easy solutions for this type of horrible type of situation, but I do know that putting people in cells for years at a time has not worked well up to this point. The recidivism rate is not encouraging. And while some studies show that increasing an inmate's education and job skills contributes to a lower recidivism rate, programs that make this happen are costly and often result in paid personnel and volunteers taking higher physical risks in order to assist prisoners with self-improvement. Since most prisoners will be released at some point in life, society is going to have to decide what the best moves are to make that move back into free life go smoothly for the inmate's sake as well as the community into which they are released.

In the meantime, sweet little Kai forgives. I hope that particular knowledge at least helps soften Anthony Warren's heart and motivates him to want to be more like her. I guess we'll find out, when he is released back onto the streets.

posted at: 09:32 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!