Column: Lightning round

By Elie Dvorin

My final column at the Daily Illini has arrived much sooner than I thought it would. As graduation is quickly approaching, I’d like to take this time to send the traditional final column message by dropping names and “thank-you” messages. But seeing as I’m never one to miss an opportunity to let you know what I’m thinking, I’ll skip the formalities and trot out my opinion. Here comes the lightning round.

n John Kerry on Face the Nation: “And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children.” So that’s what we’ve been doing in Iraq- terrorizing people. Clearly, the guys blowing people up every day are not terrorists; we are. The more this guy talks the more I realize how lucky we are he lost the presidential election.

n Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad just doesn’t know when to stop running his mouth. His country is under international scrutiny for its development of a nuclear program. Meanwhile, he’s called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” and moved to Europe. He’s also publicly denied the Holocaust. If he doesn’t tone it down, somebody’s going to consider wiping him off the planet. And we’ll all be better off for it.

n The McCain amendment outlawing “cruel, inhuman or degrading” treatment of any prisoner passed the Senate overwhelmingly. Yet, the Bush administration is at odds with proponents of the bill’s passage. McCain has made convincing arguments, both moral and practical, against the use of torture, and his arguments come from the experience of a man who endured torture in Vietnam. Nonetheless, there seems to be a need to allow for that occasional use of torture if the circumstances dictate it. Consider the following hypothetical situation: A terrorist is captured in New York City after planting a nuclear device set to detonate in one hour. He refuses to disclose the location of the device. Not only can you use torture, but you’re morally obligated to do so. Hence, the problem with this absolute statement.

nThe investigation into the Midway Airport runway accident that killed a six-year-old boy will take up to a year to complete. That seems rather unacceptable. Nobody’s asking for the National Transportation Safety Board to find a cure for cancer. They’re asking them to explain why a plane skidded off the runway. If this takes a year, it’s because the NTSB doesn’t view it as a priority.

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n Tookie Williams killed four people and founded one of the most notoriously violent street gangs in the country. He is indirectly responsible for the death of thousands of people and the degeneration of inner city youth. The fact that the Hollywood liberals are pleading to save him from his execution date is further evidence that they’ve all lost their damn minds (if they had any functioning ones to begin with). Critics of the death penalty argue that it demonstrates a lack of respect for human life. This is misguided reasoning. We use the death penalty, only in the most extreme cases, because we strongly value human life and exact the harshest possible punishment when somebody takes the right to life away from another individual. Even if you do oppose the death penalty, to support Tookie Williams as a result, is morally reprehensible.

Remember my name. You’ll be hearing from me again in the near future.

Elie Dvorin is a senior in LAS. He is graduating at the end of this semester. He can be reached at [email protected].