Friday, November 09, 2007
Try walking a bit
Chelsea Collonge is at it again. Recall that Collonge "can't even imagine walking for an hour." This time, she argues that protesting and refusing to leave at a Regents meeting was community service, and she shouldn't have to do further community service as punishment, unless it's more of the same kind. The following implications are included, and are totally safe and would never lead to any kind of oppressive government if applied generally:
1) If law enforcement officials agree with your cause, they should not enforce the law against you.
2) Criminals should be able to set the terms of their own punishment if doing so agrees with the ideology of law enforcement officials.
I wonder if these folks ever abstract at all to recognize the consequences of their approach. Do we really want law enforcement to be done in an arbitrary way in accordance with the personal ideologies of government officials?
In a letter to the District Attorney:
I refused to leave because the regents had not sufficiently considered the students' proposal to sever ties from the weapons labs.... so? What the hell does that have to do with criminality or punishment? In fact, what does refusing the leave have to do with ties to weapons labs? It's not like she accomplished anything, so I have a hard time seeing how it could be considered "community service."
In fact, the nuclear weapons program has already had horrific consequences. Just ask the hundreds of thousands of Japanese who were incinerated, or the countless thousands who've suffered from cancer and death due to prolonged nuclear weapons testing.I think I see a feasibility problem with that suggestion.
I can imagine few more significant forms of community service than actions aimed at the abolition of nuclear weapons.Perhaps actions that actually contribute to the abolition of nuclear weapons? The fact that you want to do something doesn't make your actions service towards that goal unless you accomplish things.
To the reader of this letter, I ask: Do you want a world free of nuclear weapons? Do you want your children and grandchildren to grow up in a world without the fear of nuclear holocaust? If so, if you agree that this is the goal, then I implore you to recognize the action we took as laudable and legitimate community service.The flawed nature is that people are prosecuted for crimes independent of the opinions expressed. This flawed nature is often referred to as "respect for free speech."
If, however, you believe that there is anything legitimate at all about the existence of nuclear weapons; and if you believe that the University of California, a "public" institution of higher learning should be managing nuclear weapons development, and if you think that the purpose of education is compatible with the purpose of nuclear weapons laboratories then I believe you have no choice but to attempt to prosecute and punish me for my actions, given the flawed nature of our dysfunctional retributive justice system.
If you desire, I am willing to attend community court or other venue to discuss the matter. If you desire, I will continue my community service work toward the goal of nuclear weapon abolition. However, I am unwilling to do any further community service as a form of "punishment" for the community service already done.A criminal unwilling to be punished? Stop the presses.
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