Hoodies on the House floor are verboten, apparently. Rep. Bobby Rush (D) of Illinois was scolded and escorted from the chamber of the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning, when he attempted to give a speech on the need for a full investigation of the Trayvon Martin shooting while wearing sunglasses and a gray hooded sweat shirt. “Racial profiling has to stop, Mr. Speaker,” said Representative Rush while doffing his suit jacket to reveal his hoodie garb. “Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.”
Tag Archives | Justice
John Dwyer writes at the Good Men Project:
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The façade of the courthouse is made entirely of windows. The only entrance is a revolving door, of course, and everywhere you look is steel and glass.
Irony doesn’t exist, for legal reasons.
My brother is 45 minutes early for his court date. He tells me this will be a “discovery,” and we both have no clue what exactly this will entail. His lawyer is 5 minutes late and arrives without any explanations.
Earlier, my brother, Mike, commiserated with his friend and fellow defendant, “We paid fifteen hundred bucks. You would expect this guy to be on time.”
“Yeah,” his buddy agrees, “I want my money back.”
Fifteen hundred dollars seemed like a cheap price to pay for justice to me. I wanted to say that if that’s all it costs, then they’re getting away with highway robbery, and cheaply. Only, they never robbed anyone and they certainly never assaulted a cop.
When it comes to abuses, the government is using severe punishment of high-profile whistleblowers as a method of encouraging silence, TomDispatch writes:
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On January 23rd, the Obama administration charged former CIA officer John Kiriakou under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information to journalists about the waterboarding of al-Qaeda suspects. His is just the latest prosecution in an unprecedented assault on government whistleblowers and leakers of every sort.
The Obama administration has already charged more people—six—under the Espionage Act for alleged mishandling of classified information than all past presidencies combined. (Prior to Obama, there were only three such cases in American history.)
By now, there can be little doubt that government retaliation against whistleblowers is not an isolated event, nor even an agency-by-agency practice. The number of cases in play suggests an organized strategy to deprive Americans of knowledge of the more disreputable things that their government does. How it plays out in court and elsewhere will significantly affect our democracy.
Why do we stick up for a system or institution we live in — a government, company, or marriage — even when anyone else can see it is failing miserably? Why do we resist change even when the system is corrupt or unjust?
A new article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science, illuminates the conditions under which we’re motivated to defend the status quo — a process called “system justification.”System justification isn’t the same as acquiescence, explains Aaron C. Kay, a psychologist at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, who co-authored the paper with University of Waterloo graduate student Justin Friesen. “It’s pro-active. When someone comes to justify the status quo, they also come to see it as what should be.”
Reviewing laboratory and cross-national studies, the paper illuminates four situations that foster system justification: system threat, system dependence, system inescapability, and low personal control …
“What bullsh*t, Liam. If your lot really thought they [i.e., the police] were part of the “99%”, you’d be doing something to protect them, too,” Sorcha Nic Congail
Well, it has to be admitted that my cousin Sorcha has a point. A powerful point. Not the sort of thing that I would have been inclined to explore on my own unbidden. But that’s what friends are for, I guess. To prod you along some paths you would never have even considered, left to your own devices.
Here’s where the hole ugly mess began:
I received a copy of this photo last weekend from an FB friend and as a dog lover was immediately horrified. As a kid I grew up with dogs — lots of dogs. Probably the best, most loving and loyal animals on earth. I’d long ago come to see dogs as man’s natural companion and most trusted comrade.… Read the rest
The saddest part is that I’m not 100 percent certain that something like this could never happen again today. Raw Story writes:
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Over 67 years after 14-year-old George Junius Stinney Jr. was put to death by the state of South Carolina, he may soon be cleared of the crime that people familiar with the case say he never could have committed.
A lawyer and an activist both told Raw Story recently that new evidence will show that the black boy could not have possibly murdered two white girls, 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and seven-year-old Mary Emma Thames.
Stinney, the youngest person to receive the death penalty in the last 100 years, was executed on June 16, 1944. At five feet one inch and only 95 pounds, the straps of the electric chair did not fit the boy. His feet could not touch the floor. As he was hit with the first 2,400-volt surge of electricity, the mask covering his face slipped off, “revealing his wide-open, tearful eyes and saliva coming from his mouth.”
Less than three months earlier, Stinney, who had no previous history of violence, had been accused of the crime after he admitted speaking to the girls when they stopped by a field in Alcolu where he was grazing his cow to ask where they could find maypops, a type of flower.
Reports the AP via CBS News:
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Georgia executed Troy Davis on Wednesday night for the murder of an off-duty police officer, a crime he denied committing right to the end as supporters around the world mourned and declared that an innocent man was put to death.
Defiant to the end, he told relatives of Mark MacPhail that his 1989 slaying was not his fault. “I did not have a gun,” he insisted. “For those about to take my life,” he told prison officials, “may God have mercy on your souls. May God bless your souls.”
Davis was declared dead at 11:08 ET. The lethal injection began about 15 minutes earlier, after the Supreme Court rejected an 11th-hour request for a stay. The court did not comment on its order, which came about four hours after it received the request and more than three hours after the planned execution time.
Though Davis’ attorneys said seven of nine key witnesses against him disputed all or parts of their testimony, state and federal judges repeatedly ruled against granting him a new trial.
The trio of teenage friends were accused and convicted of several child murders in Arkansas in 1993, with the evidence more or less amounting to their interest in heavy metal music and dark-colored clothing. DNA evidence since confirmed their innocence, turning them into a cause célèbre as symbols of legal injustice, ’90s-era hysteria over provocative music, and, more broadly, the human tendency to scapegoat outsiders. The Los Angeles Times writes:
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The three men known as the “West Memphis 3,” who have been imprisoned for 18 years for a notorious 1993 child-murder case, have won their freedom in an Arkansas courtroom.
In an agreement with prosecutors, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin pleaded guilty to the murders of three 8-year-old boys in May 1993, but are able to claim they are innocent, an arrangement known as an “Alford plea.” The three men were released Friday after serving sentences of 18 years plus credit for time served.
Move over Osama bin Laden—I know you already have had in the physical sense —because you now have an emulator who borrows your tactics and inverts your ideology.
Anders Behring Breivik, is Norway’s candidate for the new world’s top living evil-doer and terror supremo having admitted to killing 93 young people and blowing up buildings in Oslo.
While Bin Laden castigated crusaders, Breivik salutes them in a 1518 page manifesto of madness. And his lawyer has rationalized his murder spree in a similar way to those who defended Al Qaeda as defending Islam.
The two are almost carbon copies. The Norwegian posted videos on You Tube while Bin Laden relied on TV communiqués.
One was killing in the name of Islam, the other in the name of Christianity.
Foreign Policy reports, ”Breivik’s lawyer said that his client admitted to the killings, but rejected ‘criminal responsibility.'” He described Breivik as being motivated to carry out the attacks by a desire to force radical change on Norwegian society.… Read the rest