In his address to the nation Thursday night, President Bush made several impassioned pleas for Americans not to blame Arabs or Muslims for the terrorist attacks. "I ask you to uphold the values of America and remember why so many have come here," he said. "No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith." His appeals were more than called for at a time when Arab immigrants and their descendants have been facing harassment, threats, and even death at the hands of wrathful Americans.
Bill Clinton recently spared Juan Raul Garza's life -- at least for a little while. On August 5, Garza -- a drug trafficker convicted of ordering the murder of three people -- would have become the first person executed by the federal government in almost 40 years. Though few question whether Garza is guilty, Clinton wants to give him time to request clemency under new guidelines, which are still being drafted.
Some Republicans have suggested that Clinton did this to make it easier for Al Gore to attack George W. Bush as the murderingest politician (137 served, and counting). But the real story here may be how Bill Clinton has morphed from an opponent of the death penalty to an avid supporter to a near agnostic -- and the lessons it may offer for execution's opponents.
Benbrook Lake near Fort Worth, Texas, is the kind of place where fishermen catch sandbass and lovers wake up to a tequila sunrise. But on a December day in 1983, violence came to Benbrook Lake in the person of Ronnie Dale Gaspard. He was affiliated with the Bandidos, a motorcycle gang whose members snorted methamphetamine off the tips of knife blades, and he was going there to settle a score. Which is why he was in a car and not on his bike. Which is also why he had been drinking a large amount of whiskey.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this year, this Bud's not for you," the American Reform Party (ARP), a Reform Party splinter group, announced in January, telling members to stop drinking Anheuser-Busch beers, including Budweiser and Michelob.
Why boycott beer? After all, Donald Trump, the famously teetotaling tycoon who briefly contemplated angling for the nomination, has withdrawn. And this was, until recently, the party of regular guy Jesse Ventura. Shouldn't beer be, like, part of the platform?
It's not that the Reform Party has anything against beer. What it objects to is Anheuser-Busch's corporate sponsorship of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).
Last September AT&T approached the financially struggling First Christian Church in Alexandria, Virginia, with this bargain: In return for letting the company erect a 130-foot-tall cross doubling as a cellular phone tower, the congregation would receive $18,000 annually. Residents were split: Was the money--in the words of the Reverend Tim Mabbott, who supported the idea--a "blessing from God" or simply a Faustian kickback?