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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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"When the person in your death machine requires a booster seat-maybe you should reconsider....."

Pursuing Justice for All
DEC. 21, 2014
Charles M. Blow


He is tried for the murders just a month after the arrest. An all-white, all-male jury is empaneled. That same afternoon, the trial commences. It lasts only a few hours. The white lawyer assigned to Stinney’s defense cross-examines no witnesses and calls none of his own. The jury deliberates for only 10 minutes before finding Stinney guilty. That same day, the boy is sentenced to death by electrocution.

(Note to humanity: When the person in your death machine requires a booster seat, maybe you should reconsider what you are about to do.)


This was a victory of sorts: a 70-years-too-late admission that the justice system failed that black child, and that the failure culminated — in short order — in the taking of his life. Yet something about it feels hollow and discomforting, like the thunder that rolls long after the lightning has cracked the sky and split the tree.

It boldly announces itself in all its noisy nothingness. It was the white flash that did the damage and produced the splinters.

That is all too often what “righting” racial injustice looks like in this country: a hollow pronouncement that follows the damage but doesn’t prevent its recurrence.

the rest:

Where Is Our Humanity?



(sorry for the ad, but video is worth it)


Krugman: "War makes you poorer and weaker, even if you win."

........ there is a still-powerful political faction in America committed to the view that conquest pays, and that in general the way to be strong is to act tough and make other people afraid. One suspects, by the way, that this false notion of power was why the architects of war made torture routine — it wasn’t so much about results as about demonstrating a willingness to do whatever it takes.


Neocon dreams took a beating when the occupation of Iraq turned into a bloody fiasco, but they didn’t learn from experience. (Who does, these days?) And so they viewed Russian adventurism with admiration and envy. They may have claimed to be alarmed by Russian advances, to believe that Mr. Putin, “what you call a leader,” was playing chess to President Obama’s marbles. But what really bothered them was that Mr. Putin was living the life they’d always imagined for themselves.

The truth, however, is that war really, really doesn’t pay. The Iraq venture clearly ended up weakening the U.S. position in the world, while costing more than $800 billion in direct spending and much more in indirect ways. America is a true superpower, so we can handle such losses — although one shudders to think of what might have happened if the “real men” had been given a chance to move on to other targets. But a financially fragile petroeconomy like Russia doesn’t have the same ability to roll with its mistakes.

I have no idea what will become of the Putin regime. But Mr. Putin has offered all of us a valuable lesson. Never mind shock and awe: In the modern world, conquest is for losers.

the rest:

TIME MAGAZINE: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: The Police Aren’t Under Attack. Institutionalized Racism Is.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: The Police Aren’t Under Attack. Institutionalized Racism Is.

The way to honor those who defend our liberties with their lives — as did my father and grandfather — is not to curtail liberty, but to exercise it fully in pursuit of a just and peaceful society

According to Ecclesiastes, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose.” For me, today, that means a time to seek justice and a time to mourn the dead.

The recent brutal murder of two Brooklyn police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, is a national tragedy that should inspire nationwide mourning. Both my grandfather and father were police officers, so I appreciate what a difficult and dangerous profession law enforcement is. We need to value and celebrate the many officers dedicated to protecting the public and nourishing our justice system. It’s a job most of us don’t have the courage to do.

At the same time, however, we need to understand that their deaths are in no way related to the massive protests against systemic abuses of the justice system as symbolized by the recent deaths—also national tragedies—of Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, and Michael Brown. Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the suicidal killer, wasn’t an impassioned activist expressing political frustration, he was a troubled man who had shot his girlfriend earlier that same day. He even Instagrammed warnings of his violent intentions. None of this is the behavior of a sane man or rational activist. The protests are no more to blame for his actions than The Catcher in the Rye was for the murder of John Lennon or the movie Taxi Driver for the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. Crazy has its own twisted logic and it is in no way related to the rational cause-and-effect world the rest of us attempt to create.

Those who are trying to connect the murders of the officers with the thousands of articulate and peaceful protestors across America are being deliberately misleading in a cynical and selfish effort to turn public sentiment against the protestors. This is the same strategy used when trying to lump in the violence and looting with the legitimate protestors, who have disavowed that behavior. They hope to misdirect public attention and emotion in order to stop the protests and the progressive changes that have already resulted. Shaming and blaming is a lot easier than addressing legitimate claims.



George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum


Peace On Earth?

From The Crisis, 1916 (NAACP magazine)...

Pretty much sums up 2014 for me.

North Korea Wins

The one male question, shouted at the very end: "Are you going to smoke a Cuban cigar?"

Ed Henry prepares for the President's next presser

Notably, all the reporters Obama called on today were women, which was really outrageous considering that there have only been 4,529 (or so) press conferences in which all the reporters the president called on were men. There was one as yet unidentified male reporter who managed to shout, “Any new year’s resolutions?”, while another shouted, “Are you going to smoke a Cuban cigar, Mr. President?” as he was leaving. Sadly, America did not get answers to these vital questions.

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