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Monday, December 19, 2005

Oba Saint Stanley Tookie Williams Stadium, Here We Come 

Those of you with a memory longer than a slug (a large red slug) (with pink pajamas) will remember that there was a move to rename the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium in Graz, Austria, with at least one suggestion (from Richard Schadauer, chairman of the Association of Christianity and Social Democracy) that the stadium be renamed for Oba Saint Stanley Tookie Williams. The citizens of Graz aren't into the death penalty, you see.

It turns out that the stadium will have a new name - at Schwarzenegger's request. Actually, at his demand:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday told officials in his hometown in Austria to remove his name from a sports stadium and stop using his identity to promote the city.

The governor’s request came after politicians in Graz began a petition drive to rename the stadium, reacting to Schwarzenegger’s decision last week to deny clemency to condemned inmate Stanley Tookie Williams. Opposition to the death penalty is strong in Austria.

In a letter that began “Dear Mister Mayor,” Schwarzenegger said he decided to spare the Graz city council “further concern” should he be forced to make other clemency decisions while he’s governor....

“In all likelihood, during my term as governor, I will have to make similar and equally difficult decisions,” Schwarzenegger said in the letter. “To spare the responsible politicians of the city of Graz further concern, I withdraw from them as of this day the right to use my name in association with the Liebenauer Stadium.”...He asked that the lettering be removed by year’s end....

Schwarzenegger also said he would no longer permit the use of his name “to advertise or promote the city of Graz in any way” and would return the city’s “ring of honor.”...“Since, however, the official Graz appears to no longer accept me as one of their own, this ring has lost its meaning and value to me. It is already in the mail,” the governor wrote....

As a lover of the phrase "Bush to California - Drop Dead," I had to admire the title of this blog post - Schwarzenegger to Graz, Austria : Drop Dead:

Well, he didn't say that. But he did break ties with the city of his birth....

I believe Arnold when he says that the decision not to commute [Oba Saint Stanley Tookie Williams' sentence] was difficult. It also must have been difficult to ask them to take his name off the stadium....

I respect this Governor, I think he is a man of principle. He's had a rough patch lately, with the voters of California turning down four initiatives that he supported. His poll numbers are down. And if you don't think that the recent clemency decision was tough on him, you're nuts.

And now the city of his birth, which had honored him so profusely was perhaps on the way to undoing the honor. They'll never do it now. He's beaten them to the punch, with an irrevocable act. And it's Austria's loss.

So, when will the joint be renamed Tookie Memorial Stadium? Probably soon enough so that Walter Ferk can get over his annoyance. Before Arnold sent his fax, Ferk (Deputy Mayor of Graz) felt really really bad:

It is annoying that we are being criticised because of Schwarzenegger's actions in California.

It is not exactly admirable for us to be connected with the death penalty. Therefore, I am in favour of renaming the stadium.

Well, whatever else you can say about Ferk, he is not a puzzle. Actually, he is.

Meanwhile, Richard Schadauer's suggestion that the stadium be renamed for Oba Saint Stanley Tookie Williams has resulted in another suggested renaming:

Big45Iron Says:

December 16th, 2005 at 12:35 pm

Perhaps we can compensate by getting George Foreman to rename the Lean Mean Grilling Machine to the Ted Bundy Frier!!

And perhaps there will be a monument to Oba Saint Stanley Tookie Williams in Rome:

Rome's Colosseum, once the arena for deadly gladiator combat and executions, has become a symbol of Italy's anti-death penalty stance. Since 1999, the monument has been bathed in golden light every time a death sentence is commuted somewhere in the world or a country abolishes capital punishment. "I hope there will be such an occasion soon," Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni said. "When it happens, we will do it with a special thought for Tookie."

Awww, Tookie. Poor Tookie. It looks like Ye-Chen Lin is [WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT] crying.

See Love, a teacher with L.A. Unified, said, "I hope Stanley's spirit continues to live in the name of peace."

But See Love, Ye-Chen Lin, Albert Owens, et al, are not important, because they are not Bloggers. And Bloggers are Influential:

National Journal blogger Daniel Glover has written an interesting post about people blogging about the death penalty, particularly in light of the Stanley Tookie Williams and Cory Maye cases. He takes note of groups that are blogging on the death penalty, including Amnesty International, Campaign to End the Death Penalty and NCADP. He also notes some of the NCADP affiliates that have launched their own blogs....

"However American views of the death penalty evolve, blogs are sure to be a factor in that intellectual shift. And bloggers' musings over the execution of Tookie Williams and the death sentence of Cory Maye could prove to be the catalyst for that shift."

Reminds me that someone unimportant needs to write an essay:

I'm looking forward to a self-referential essay on the importance of Nose In The Air Media in the evolution of the blogosphere. Kinda like when TV airs a special on Nielsen families. (I'd write the essay myself, but you know that I have more important things to do.)

Where's Tim? Whoops, this one is in Irvine:

Tim from Irvine, Calif., writes: “How tasteless is it when you don't even mention the names of the victims that Tookie killed? I don't understand how a person can have so much compassion for a monster and so much disregard for the innocent victims … Instead of waiting until the last moment to write an article protesting death and supporting evil, try doing some investigative journalism to seek out the truth. Because Tookie is not the man you should be defending during your pitiful attempt at grandstanding.”
Karen Breslau responds: “If you take a closer look at our coverage of the Stanley (Tookie) Williams execution, you will see that I am well aware of the names of his victims: Albert Owens, Yen-I Yang, Tsai-Shai Lin and Yee-Chen Lin. The story on his execution was posted alongside several stories mentioning his victims, including an interview in which I asked Williams to name them and the full text of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision to deny clemency, also naming the victims, and outlining their murders in great detail. I must disagree with your assertion that my reporting expresses `disregard for the innocent victims.’ It is unclear where in the story you find anything `supporting evil.’ I waited `until the last moment’ to write about the scene at Williams's execution because that is when the scene took place, not earlier. You may not agree with the sentiments of those who protested Williams execution, but in this case you are shooting the messenger.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

People overblow our support for torture, secret jails and spying on our citizens. The people in the photos aren't so bad when you get to know them, if you've had 'em over for beer and billards:
John Rendon
, Tom Delay, Karl Rove Frank Luntz and John "Nothing Wrong with Korematsu" Yoo. The worst we have is running the country, and that should make you feel better - no holocaust! So calm down.
Arnold's a Legend., Long live bodybuilding
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