The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, October 13, 1997, Image 11

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    onday • October 13, 1997
O The Battalion
aw and order
rew Nixon prepares as first Texas Senator to serve term from behind bars
le laws hai;H lexas State
courts - . I Senator Drew
ogress free JL Nixon is
irgets fortfjjout to try some-
' rs> fitg which has
Sens. Mali lever been done
)sely-Braiif.)efore in the state
Vlont., Bo!: ifTexas: serve his
Chafeejyonstituents from
e last weelMtind bars. Sena-
3, D-Ga, °r Nixon, who was
asure afo ecently convicted
a statemt ,fs o licitin gP rosti -
d to thew» on and
egislature. vea P ons charges, was sentenced to 180
law on t! a y s i n J ad and fines totaling $6,000.
or who; l^ GS ph e this, he has indicated that he
an Medic ^ continue to serve as state Senator,
' support: 1 . a l ing that Uthe honorin g °f [myl obliga-
rsl()|] ions...must continue through this tribu-
|||( , M ation.” People need to honor a man so
Wiling to stand by,
fhe state should declare a Drew Nixon
Day. The scheduling would be tricky,
hough, because it would have to be on a
hlle’s name lay after his release from prison so he
\&M. :onld attend the festivities,
n the Prey. It all began earlier this year when
DraryandtrSen. Nixon was caught on tape negoti-
iting for sexual services with an under-
• statuedur^over Austin policewoman. When he
'{ Bush,st>H s arrested, it was found that he was
ilso illegally carrying a handgun. Con
an spirit dieted of two misdemeanor charges, he
low faces the impending reality of serv-
inta.It\\s n g j a ii time. As Texas law currently
hands, neither of these convictions
itiedbyA%|uld prevent him from continuing his
Irani Hot 5erv j ce j n t j ie Senate,
i theGermifflQ ne t o wonder, though, if his new
point of view should be represented in
Gongress. For instance, who, if not Sen.
tive of le ^ on ’ wa tch out for the welfare of
[hope to ap;
ictives thail
.1 women kI
the ideas til
There need:
hose voices.'
e springsei
the under-represented group now
dubbed “Incarcerated Americans” (who
sometimes prefer to be called the “Free
dom Impaired”)? This is not just about
physical abuse. As people have recently
seen, the press takes care of that. This is
much more serious. Who on the outside
will speak for “Incarcerated Americans”
when their cable TV privileges are un
justly suspended? Who will make sure
that they get the proper nutrition for
their body building programs? These are
the kinds of questions that need to be
addressed by the Texas legislature. These
people cannot be adequately represent
ed by someone who has never been “on
the inside”.
Those members of the other party
who have been repeatedly calling for
Nixon’s resignation are being unfair to
the thousands of “Incarcerated Ameri
cans” in the state of Texas, as well as in
sulting a truly honorable man. It would
be a gross injustice if mere partisan bick
ering were to deprive thousands of Tex
ans of their representation in the legisla
With this expansion of representation
in the Texas Senate, one has to wonder
what new and exciting issues Sen. Nixon
would be able to bring to the floor. For
instance, would he push for the legaliza
tion of prostitution? Or perhaps he
would propose the repeal of the con
ceal/cari-y law in favor of a more lenient
He would be in a unique position to
set an example for the felons of the state,
showing them that just because a person
is convicted of a crime and incarcerated
does not mean that that person is no
longer able to maintain ties to the out
side and remain a functioning, con-
tributing member of society.
As a matter of fact, this could be the
birth of a radical new theory of econom
ics. Instead of keeping felons confined in
cages like animals with nothing to do
but work out and work on their next
round of appeals, people should allow
them to keep their jobs and continue to
contribute to society. After all, they can’t
be taxed if they don’t make any money.
This theory could drastically reduce the
national debt as hundreds of thousands
of new workers nationwide began to add
their “contributions” to the federal tax
Some are even suggesting that Nixon
be allowed to serve his time in small in
crements on weekends. This strategy
could also work well when applied to the
general prison population. This way
there would be no loss of productivity
whatsoever from the incarceration of
these workers.
The bottom line is that there are too
few politicians nowadays that can be
truly held up and admired for their trust
worthiness and virtue. Citizens need
more Senators like Nixon, servants who
will boldly break the law and then boldly
face the consequences.
Robby Ray is a senior speech
communications major.
atellite technology shows
merican aggression
efense Secretary
William Cohen, at
tempting to prove that
second .i usl because a man is a secre-
i Foruminc ^y doesn’t mean he isn’t
brmerStucfardcore, gave the go-ahead
e Club, tlifbst week for the army to fire a
and the StJaser beam at an Air Force
Ha source close to this writer
about 35 feet away) ex-
imed, “Whoop, bout
kin’ time we kicked the Air
ce’s butt — thinking they
high and mighty with their fancy air-o-planes.”
The test is designed to help develop satellite de-
ses against lasers used by potentially hostile na-
I ns, possibly the Canadians, or maybe even those
D< nmark people — I hear they’re all hopped-up on
goof balls.
| Such a use of lasers is not prohibited by the 1967
Oi iter Space Treaty, though the 1987 Innerspace
I :aty does strictly prohibit Martin Short and Den-
I; Quaid from appearing in any more movies to-
■The test also isn’t outlawed by the 1972 Anti-Bal-
/are Supp‘feji c Missile Treaty, which prevented President
Reagan’s “Star Wars” Plan in the 1980s. It must be
noted that this same treaty failed to stop Reagan’s
'rip off the working class” Plan of the same decade.
|The real (and admitted) reason the military
^ants the capability to disable satellites in space is
!o|deter other nations from seeking such a weapon
for use against the United States.
■So if the United States builds this laser that can
destroy satellites, no other country will want to build
e Station.
a tors
Obviously this is asking to start another arms
race, just like the one in the 1980’s between inner
city youth and Charlton Heston.
But just how necessary is this test? We’re talking
about protecting satellites (commonly found in
outer space) from extremely powerful lasers (the
kind you can’t get from Sharper Image.)
This means the aggressor would have to be an
other country, yet the only people crazy enough to
attack the United States are terrorists (which are
not countries.)
That’s right, we’re bad. Even when we attack a
country like Iraq under the guise of “interested
third party”, they barely fight back. So who exactly
in this day and age are we protecting ourselves
Not to mention there are other, less antagonis
tic, ways of protecting our satellites than develop
ing a weapon to destroy them. And don’t think this
test is anything other than proving we can destroy
a satellite. The test could have been easily duplicat
ed in a laboratory and without a press release.
And under the heading of “Things used less of
ten than ”, here are some options for
defending satellites: install a form of armor against
high-energy bursts, make the circuitry redundant,
make them smaller and thus harder to hit, and de
velop quick-relaunch capabilities to minimize the
amount of time a satellite is down.
Not that losing one satellite will cripple the na
tion — the United States has around 220 of the 500
satellites now operating in space.
But since they are going to go ahead with the
test anyway, I have one suggestion: Please, please,
forget about the weather satellite and aim at the
one that relays the signal for “The Jenny McCarthy
New form of punishment
serves to benefit society
I n the
oly, the get
out of jail
free card is
a small, or
ange piece
of card
board. In
the get out
of jail free card may be your liver.
In news that can only be con
sidered weird, Judge David
Brand of Johnson City, Tenn. is
offering reduced sentences to
criminals who agree sign organ
donor cards. The innovative
move presents an unconvention
al, yet positive approach to pun
ishment. Offering perpetrators
the opportunity to donate or
gans addresses a serious prob
lem, and it might even work here
at A&M. *
This organ donation scheme
is not a judicial game of “Let’s
Make a Deal.” Perpetrators do
not have the option of offering a
kidney for less time in the slam
mer. Brand offers them this deal
— people placed on probation
for misdemeanors can get up to
12 days of community service re
moved from their sentence if
they become organ donors.
The organs for community
service bargain does have its de
tractors, though. Heidy Wein-
burg of the American Civil Liber
ties Union of Tennessee does not
approve of the deal.
In an interview with the Asso
ciated Press, Weinburg said, “I’m
not sure it is the appropriate role
of a judge to say, ‘We will de
crease community service if you
donate you organs.’ It doesn’t ap
pear to fit into the appropriate
role of jDunishment and rehabili
Leave it to the ACLU to try to
deflate a genuinely good idea.
Substituting organ donation for
community service is appropri
ate because it is a community
service. Organs are in short sup
According to the United Net
work for Organ Sharing, as of
Oct. 1, there were 37,468 people
registered for kidneys, 9,085 peo
ple registered for livers and 3,820
people registered for hearts.
Considering that there were only
11,099 kidney transplants, 4058
liver transplants and 2,342 heart
transplants in the United States
in all of 1996, this constitutes an
organ shortage.
Brand’s style of justice offers a
unique solution to addressing
the United States’ organ needs.
Moreover, there is even a rehabil
itative aspect to organ donation.
Frankly, some people need to
learn to share, and there is no
better way to learn that lesson
than by sharing one of the few
things that one can truly call
their own — their internal or
gans. Too many criminals spend
their lives only taking from soci
ety. Perhaps, it is time to compel
them to give.
Besides, the organ donation
option is exactly that — an op
tion. The deal is purely voluntary.
Defendants do not have agree to
become organ donors. It could be
worse. In some countries, crimi
nals are punished by removing
appendages. Donating a kidney
after one dies beats living the rest
of ones life missing a hand.
Furthermore, this punish
ment philosophy could be effec
tively applied other situations.
Consider, the Senate campaign
fund raising investigations. Sure,
Bill Clinton probably violated the
Pendelton Act by soliciting con
tributions over the phone from
the White House. But, the law is
old and has not been enforced in
years. Perhaps, a fair punish
ment, after impeachment, would
be to compel Clinton to become
an organ donor. Of course, Re
publicans would demand that
Clinton donate his organs now.
The philosophy would work
exceptionally well here at A&M.
Believe it or not, Aggies do occa
sionally break University rules
and regulations, which leaves
them subject to the student ju
dicial process. Certainly, Aggies
could agree to sign organ donor
cards as part of their sanctioning.
Medical science, though, may
not be interested in the livers of
students found guilty of under
age drinking.
Another option could be to
have students agree to donate
blood for their violations. After
all, there perpetually seems to a
blood mobile on campus beg
ging students to drop off a pint.
Surely, they would appreciate
some business from the student
judicial system.
Brand’s organ donation
scheme offers a positive solution
to an often overlooked problem.
It is a practical solution that al
lows criminals to make what is
perhaps the only valuable contri
bution they can make to society.
Besides, criminals are just
putting those organs to waste.
Silly criminals, organs are for
law-abiding citizens.
John Lemons is an electrical
engineering graduate studen t.
Mail Call
God guides humans
toward true fulfillment
This past week we have seen
quite a few examples of taking a lit
tle bit of truth and then twisting it
to our convenience. One column
referenced how Christianity notori
ously is the “Religion of Hypocrisy.”
Given that all Christians are im
perfect and have sinned, this
could be true. The Crusades were
referenced as an example of this
hypocrisy. True again.
This truth highlights how im
perfect we are as humans and
Christians. This further justifies
the need for the love of a perfect
God to forgive us.
However, it is much easier to
create our own convenient stan
dard and ignore our imperfection.
If God really is perfect, complete
and lacks nothing, then wouldn’t it
make sense that God has nothing
to gain and everything to give. I be
lieve this is the definition of love. If
we are designed in God’s image as
The Bible states, then it is no sur
prise that I am more fulfilled when
I do something for my wife than
when she does something for me.
My children, the products of
the most intimate expression of
love, are treasured beyond belief,
loved beyond logic they are and
the greatest source of fulfillment
ever experienced. The procreation
of this love I have depicted physi
cally and spiritually could not oc
cur with a homosexual couple.
By accepting Christ and his
omnipotence in your heart, you
share in the power of His gracious
love. Only by this love are we en
abled to actually live beyond a hu
man standard and experience true
fulfillment in life.
Giancarlo Newsome
Class of’95