Troy Davis to be executed tomorrow

Tomorrow, the state of Georgia is scheduled to execute Troy Anthony Davis, despite significant reason to doubt his guilt. Several witnesses against him have recanted their testimony. Dave at the Mindful Mission has more on the case and what we can do.

The office of the Board of Pardons and Paroles is open from 8:15 am to 4:30 pm Eastern time. The office of the Attorney General is open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Please call as early as you can.

ETA: If calling makes you nervous, you can fax the Georgia Attorney General’s office at (404) 657-8733.

Oops!

In case you were wondering what that was all about: no, I didn’t get hacked. There was a little web server misconfiguration for the last 18 hours or so, but it’s sorted now.

American values

Some (opposite-sex) couples in California are upset that marriage licenses no longer list “bride” and “groom”:

Bird’s father, Doug Bird, pastor of Roseville’s Abundant Life Fellowship, said he is urging couples not to sign the new marriage forms, and that he is getting some support from congregants and colleagues at local churches.

“I would encourage you to refuse to sign marriage licenses with ‘Party A’ and ‘Party B,’ ” he wrote in a letter that he sent to them. “If ever there was a time for the people of the United States to stand up and let their voices be heard – this is that time.” [emphasis mine –jr]

No, when the United States invaded another country in an act of aggressive warfare – that was the time.

When Clinton and Bush made torture of prisoners official U.S. policy, that was the time.

When the Bush Administration claimed the right to detain people indefinitely without due process, that was the time. When they claimed the right to spy on U.S. citizens without a warrant, that was the time.

I read quotes like the one from Doug Bird, and I’m reminded that we are not living in the same world. My “American ideals” and their “American ideals” describe two completely different countries.

Action alerts

  • Two from Consistent Life:
    • “The September issue of The Progressive magazine has on page 42 an advertisement from Consistent Life on our book, Consistently Opposing Killing: From Abortion to Assisted Suicide, the Death Penalty, and War. If past experience is repeated, there may be some letters to the editor responding to the ad, and some can be quite assertive in a negative way. We ask those who subscribe to this magazine or have a friend who does or who have access to it at a library to pay attention to the letters to the editor in the October issue, and consider if any of these inspire you to write letters of your own into the magazine.”
    • “The research arm of Consistent Life has an on-line survey ready. It’s to help answer these questions: To what extent does the consistent life ethic strengthen the case against issues of violence by being more persuasive? To which kind of people is it more persuasive, and which are more unimpressed? Does the idea of killing as trauma have any impact on people’s understanding of issues involving killing?
      (more).”

    In particular, they are in need of more survey answers from people who identify as pro-choice on abortion, and who favor the death penalty and/or the Iraq war, in order to have more balance as to how many are in each group. This isn’t meant to be a random sample, but they do need participation from lots of different people in order to make meaningful comparisons.

  • Via Nonviolent Choice Blog: the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood is asking for signatures on a letter asking world leaders to make health care for mothers a priority. They are trying to gather 500,000 signatures to represent the 500,000 women who die during pregnancy or childbirth each year. Online petitions don’t do much in themselves, but while you’re there, please read more about the organization and consider joining and taking further action.
  • Depending on the result of Troy Davis’s clemency hearing, there may be another one later today.

“Is it November yet?” — Bristol Palin edition

I’m getting really tired of all the blog comments I’m seeing to the effect that people feel sorry for Bristol Palin because her mother obviously is forcing her to have that child, or that somehow this is what Sarah Palin gets for opposing abortion (because if she didn’t, Bristol would have “taken care of it” in secret, apparently). If you call yourself pro-choice, acknowledge the possibility that people who are not you might not actually want abortions, even when you think they should.

Also, I’m seeing a lot of crowing about the teenage daughter of a sex-ed opponent becoming pregnant. I’m about as pro-sex-ed as they get, but I have a lot of problems with that. First of all, I’d like to think we’re above scoring political points on the back of a 17-year-old who’s going through the hardest time of her life. Barack Obama agrees. Second, we have no idea what the Palins taught their kids about sex. We know that Sarah Palin doesn’t want kids to get “explicit” sex ed in public schools. She may believe that kids shouldn’t learn anything about sex except “save it for marriage”, or she may believe that the most appropriate place for discussions of sex and contraception is the home. We don’t know.

Besides, nobody ever claimed that either abstinence-only or comprehensive sex ed was a foolproof method of preventing teen pregnancy. Kids who’ve had comprehensive sex ed sometimes make babies too, and I wouldn’t want abstinence-only advocates using every one of them as a club to promote their agenda.

The argument for comprehensive sex ed is that people deserve complete and accurate information about their bodies, and that information will help (not compel) them to make healthy decisions. That’s true no matter what kind of instruction the unfortunate daughter of a high-profile politician may have received.