1. The Death of Norman Borlaug. Borlaug invented modern high-yield agriculture and has probably saved more lives in poverty-stricken countries than any other person in recent history. As Radley Balko put it "If one way of measuring a life is by the number of other lives a man saved or bettered, Borlaug was certainly one of the greatest human beings who ever lived."
2. The murder of abortion clinic protestor James Poullion, by Harlan James Drake, a guy who went around murdering people he didn't like. Because, you know, if a guy waving signs with fetuses on them in front of a high school pisses you off, the obvious thing to do is murder him in front of said high school.
I didn't say anything about the death of George Tiller because there wasn't much to say and the political footballishness of the treatment of his death bothered me. I feel the same way about James Poullion. Yes, killing a protestor because of his beliefs is wrong. Killing the other guy that Harlan James Drake killed is also wrong. Harlan James Drake has now tried to kill himself. Make that three wrongs. A third guy who pissed Harlan James Drake off has moved out of town because he was found to have been on Drake's enemies list and the next in line for murdering. Four wrongs.
There are stacks of wrongs and there's no right here and it never even makes any sense.
The anti-abortion movement is all "we condemned killing people for their beliefs, now you should condemn it too" which makes more sense than most aspects of this story, but is still sort of ridiculous. I think we're all against killing people for their beliefs, at least as far as press releases are concerned.
Because, like most people, I read a story and what jumps out at me best are things I believed already, I'm left with the following overall impressions:
1. Norman Borlaug spent his life making discoveries, feeding the hungry and helping the poor.
2. George Tiller spent his life helping desperate women and ending the lives of unwanted fetuses.
3. James Poullion spent his life waving signs at high school students.
I don't think the lesson to be learned here is a political one. If anything, it is an anti-political one.
Next time you're thinking about insulting people into do what you want or demanding that the government or any other large organization help somebody else out, why not do something for other people yourself instead?
Ps. Please note what Jess has to say in the comments about Dr. George Tiller.