Tag Archives: authority deference
At 6:00 PM CDST this evening, Troy Anthony Davis will die for a crime that he likely did not commit.
All of the arguments are over. All of the pleas have been dismissed. All of the evidence has been filed away. Tee shirts and signs and editorials will focus on a new issue, a new problem, tomorrow. The world will forget about Troy Davis. Few will remember him after today.
Well, some may remember, quite vividly. The seven ‘witnesses’ that testified against Davis that later recanted their testimony may remember him. The police department and prosecutor might think about him now and then. The family of the slain police officer may wonder if they executed the right man.
Redd Coles may think about Troy Davis. Coles was there the night the officer was killed and several eye witnesses say that it was Coles that did the shooting. Coles testified that it was Davis that fired the fatal shots. Coles is one of the two ‘witnesses’ that has yet to recant his testimony. Troy Davis never owned a gun, but Redd Coles did. It was the same caliber of the gun that killed Officer MacPhail.
No murder weapon was ever found. No DNA evidence ever linked Troy Davis to the slain officer. There was no forensic evidence presented at the trial. All that the prosecution had was eye witness accounts, but that was enough to secure a conviction for capital murder against Troy Davis. And now, Troy Davis will die.
And so it is with justice in America. The Right Wing cheers the Texas Governor that brags of executing 234 inmates during his tenure in the Statehouse. Opinion pages are filled with comments from death penalty supporters that claim that Davis has had enough time to prove his innocence. All of the standard arguments for capital punishment have been discussed, refuted and discussed again. It’s all over now. The proper authorities have spoken clearly – Troy Anthony Davis must die.
William Stephenson Clark
Recently, I read a story at one of the online news websites about a man who stalked and stabbed an eight year old boy at an arcade. As is my normal practice, I also perused the comment section of the article. The backstory:
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — A man accused of repeatedly stabbing an 8-year-old boy playing video games at a restaurant arcade had spent weeks stalking potential victims at area shopping malls, police said Monday. “His intent was to kill a child,” Nassau County Police Sgt. Vincent Garcia said of 23-year-old Evan Sachs. Sachs was arrested Friday night, moments after police say he plunged the 4-inch blade of a hunting knife five times into the boy’s back.”
The story went on to state that the accused was undergoing psychiatric care.
Now, lest there be any confusion, I certainly do not have any empathy for the accused, but I was shocked at the comments that I read about him. It would seem that a fair portion of our fellow citizens feel that capital punishment without trial would be appropriate for the accused and that incarceration for the mentally ill should be mandatory.
The anonymity of faceless blogging does tend to bring out the worst in people, but really, capital punishment? I believe I have thoroughly explained my opposition to capital punishment, so it goes without saying that I am not in agreement with that type of commentary, but I have to wonder what drives someone to such levels of hatred.
Perhaps I am a bit naive, but I don’t recall many people with similar points of view in my journeys. Since when do we take a position completely contrary to the right of due process under the Constitution? Have we become so calloused that we flippantly advocate Iranian-style justice in the United States?
If in fact mental illness drove this young man to this crime, it needs to be dealt with accordingly, otherwise, the court system should proceed as it does with thousands of other cases each year. Despite the desires of extremists. we have yet to sink to the levels of barbarians.
I hope and pray that the eight year old boy recovers physically and psychologically. I also hope and pray that justice will be served under the law.
William Stephenson Clark
PS: The mine rescue events in Chile this evening (Tuesday) stand in stark contrast with the thoughts of some of our fellow Americans. It has to make you think about the direction we are headed.
Wichita calls itself the “Air Capital of the World.” That was certainly true during and after the Second World War, but increasingly, Wichita is in danger of becoming the Detroit of the Aircraft Industry.
Recently, after taking a hard line with the Union, Cessna management announced a layoff of 700 employees days after they approved a new contract, through a technicality. Hawker-Beech is going to layoff another 300, all the while working on plans to move to Louisiana. Boeing/Spirit may choose, in the end, not to even bid on the tanker contract.
Like the auto plants in SE Michigan, aircraft plants may be a distant memory in Wichita in another decade.
This past weekend, my family and I attended the Wichita Air Show, at McConnell Air Force base. While it was an exciting and enjoyable show (despite the hours-long waits for shuttle buses to and from the base) one had to wonder what is happening to the American manufacturing industry in general and aircraft manufacturing specifically.
Some will try to blame it all on the Unions, but that is hardly the reason that so many manufacturing jobs are headed south, literally and figuratively. The union man has been vilified by the Right for more than a quarter century, for his supposed greed and alleged lack of sufficient work ethics.
In Europe, the union and company work together to a mutual benefit. Japan has recovered from their “lost decade” and is working back to where they were years ago. Despite dire warnings to the contrary, American workers can still provide a productive work force for American companies.
In the end, America has become a nation that produces very little. It doesn’t have to be this way. Greedy company CEO’s and Senior Management have been focused on the wrong issues and now are blaming the workers for their failures.
The Air Show was a great spectacle, but it may be a dieing event.
William Stephenson Clark
(Blog header and thread photos by the author – yes, I will change the blog header back.)
So, what to do? You’re at a BBQ with a mixed bag of friends, some liberal, others conservative, and the conversations are beginning to drag. What to do? Well, you could suggest a game of “pictionary” or some lawn bowling. Or you could just stand in the middle of the patio and loudly make this statement:
“I am a Democrat and I believe in gun control!”
Suddenly, your dull, lifeless BBQ will come to life! Maybe not in a good way, but it will be much more lively.
I am a confirmed liberal Democrat and I earned my bona fides long ago. That having been said, I am a firm defender of the Second Amendment. There are several reasons for this.
One, is that I support the Constitution of the United States. We are to be a “nation of laws” and the COTUS is the supreme law of the land. There are reasons that it is so difficult to amend the Constitution.
Two, virtually every legal gun owner is a law abiding citizen that respects firearms and uses them properly.
Three, gun control laws do little or nothing to reduce gun violence. In some studies, the legal carrying of a firearm has been shown to actually reduce some crimes.
I am a legal gun owner and a legal carrier of a firearm, even though I choose not to carry most of the time.
Truthfully, guns are not the cause of violent crime in America. The high murder rate is due to a “culture of violence” not the “gun culture.”
Guns are tools, examples of fine craftsmanship and even works of art. They are only dangerous when used in an improper manner. Responsible gun owners keep their weapons from the reach of children and teach their children gun safety.
The focus on reducing gun violence should not be on the gun it’s self, but on the culture that breeds gun violence. Gangs, drug trafficking and poverty are the reasons for gun injuries and deaths, for the most part.
Gun control laws generally just become a nuisance to law abiding gun owners. Certainly I am for background checks, but much beyond that, gun control laws are mostly “feel good” laws that do little to achieve their well intentioned objectives.
Cain killed Abel with a club. Today, perhaps he would have capped him with a 9mm. Regardless, he would still be dead. Throughout history, be it a club, spear, sword or a gun, man has figured out a way to kill his fellow man.
Banning guns will do nothing to change that.
Now, the patio is open for discussion………………………………….
William Stephenson Clark
L.B.J., whenever I thought of him during his administration, he had Vietnam hanging around his neck. It was the only thing I actually associated him with: the expansion of the war and the bombing. Perhaps it was because I was coming up on 18 years of age and would face the draft. It could have been the nightly news of the war and it being fresh in my mind.
But there was far more going on involving Lyndon B. Johnson. The Civil Rights bill, the Fair Housing bill and the Voting Rights bill, along with Medicare. Years later after finally realizing all he had done, he [Johnson] was a far greater President than I would have imagined, or realized at the time. Bad on me, for what he did far and away outweighed his association with a war he had inherited. It took a toll on him too, as he put it, to “give the South to the Republicans ” which also meant it took a toll on the Democratic Party. But at the time I did not notice it or think about it.
FDR, foresaw the threat of the Nazis to the point he pulled a G. W. Bush or perhaps Bush pulled an FDR. Roosevelt wanted the American Nazis and those expressing either sympathies or anti war ideologies to be wire-tapped. This was at a time when we were not at war and did not look to be going to war against the Nazis. The Supreme Court refused to allow FDR’s wiretap, so FDR simply told his A.G. to go ahead and order the wire-tapping on the authority of the Office of the President.
Who does not think of FDR as a great President or knew at the time he willfully violated the orders of the Supreme Court and the Constitution? As it turned out, he was right in his suspicion of the Nazis and otherwise was justified in his actions. But still it is alarming to find out he did not hold up to the law.
As of yet I am not so willing to give G.W. Bush the benefit of the doubt as to his presidency. But it does give me pause, to wonder what will come out in ten or more years that will give far more insight then I had during his administration?
Perception and reality of a Presidency often are not the same, it would seem.
Please vote for us to be your government, we’ll show you just how bad bad can be!
This cartoon reminds me of those who complain how very bad the government is, then beg to be elected so they can prove it! Why do the Republicans both hate government and want to be government? I understand that they still think they make government smaller, but they’re not fooling anyone but themselves! Then there are the Libertarians who have taken hating government to a new level even the Republicans couldn’t have imagined.
No country can expect to reach its full potential by leaving half its citizens behind.
No state shall…
deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
Although women have come a long way, we don’t yet have equal rights for all citizens in America. There is work to be done.
Congress is all home telling their constuiency we will, or we won’t, have health care reform. The Republicans are telling their supporters, with a straight face, that they aren’t worthy of what the person they elected to represent them is worthy of (s/he doesn’t come out and say these words and their supporters have bought into the hate mongering so they don’t realize it). Then they’ll all nod their heads and everyone will yell, “socialism,” and go on with no clue at all.
The Birthers is a group of right-wing conspiracy theorists committed to undoing the 2008 presidential election by trying to prove that Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
Some in the Cast of Characters:
Alan Keyes — an American conservative political activist, author and former diplomat, and perennial candidate for public office. Keyes lines include these: “Christ would not vote for Barack Obama. Obama is a radical communist, and I think it is becoming clear. That is what I told people in Illinois and now everybody realizes it’s true,” Keyes told a reporter from local station KHAS-TV. “He is going to destroy this country, and we are either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist.”
U.S. Army major Stefan Frederick Cook — made news when he refused deployment to Afghanistan on the grounds that President Barack Obama might not be a natural-born citizen and therefore is constitutionally ineligible to give orders as commander in chief.
Dr. Orly Taitz — Cook’s lawyer and she refers to the Obama administration as the “Gestapo-SS establishment” on her blog. She extends the metaphor with an ugly call for investigation and execution: “They all should and would be tried in Nurenberg (sic) style trials for harassing, intimidating, blackmailing and terrorizing fellow citizens, for defrauding the whole country. Patriots of this country didn’t fight and defeat Nazi Germany to end up with Obamas, McCuskill (sic), Soros, Brunner and the rest of this squad.”
Orange County Baptist Pastor Wiley Drake — served as Keyes’ VP nominee in 2008 and Taitz’s first plaintiff in the Birther lawsuits. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because a few months ago Drake announced that he was praying for Obama’s death after his prayers for the death of Kansas abortionist George Tiller were “answered.” He has been offering “imprecatory prayers” against “the usurper that is in the White House…B. Hussein Obama.”
A recent scene:
Dr. Orly Taitz, and her frequent plaintiff, Ambassador Alan Keyes, appeared on CNN to debate the issue.
Before going on air, Keyes had his eyes closed as if in prayer while Taitz was jumpy and pie-eyed, like a patient off her meds. Anchor Kitty Pilgrim then went through a thorough 3-1/2 minute dismantling of the Birther arguments, including the long-ago issuance of Obama’s August 1961 certificate of live birth, its validation by Hawaii’s Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, and two birth announcements published in Honolulu papers. (Both FactCheck.org and Snopes have published detailed investigations and refutations of the non-scandal.)
Asked what more he needed to be convinced, Keyes’ response was an instant classic in the clueless overconfidence of conspiracy theorists: “Some evidence.”
All this might be laughable, if there weren’t deadly serious hyper-partisan hatred behind it all. Read more here.
Okay this pisses me OFF!
May 16 at 1:30 a.m. a drunk hit my daughter’s car parked in front of my house. Not just a fender bender, it shoved her car into and UNDER my car. The wife and the neighbor both went out and saw a car leaving. We called police who took a report. We heard nothing from them. Last Friday, reading the paper we find in the police notes that they found the car, owned by Wendy L. Long (driver unknown). So since Friday I’ve been trying to get the police report. Seems the filing clerk was on vacation and nobody else knew anything. Sheesh.
So I read over the report, which basically describes my damages and then restates some apparent lies. Wendy L. Long tells the cops that she sold the Car to a Suzanne Diaconeslu. Now the report states that Diaconeslu says the car was stolen by person unknown. Google up the name Diaconeslu. ZERO HITS. WTF?
Wouldn’t there be a record somewhere on the net with that name? Sounds pretty phony to me. So I talk to one of the officers. He basically tells me that it’s up to me to go after Wendy L. Long. WHAT? I was provided NO information other than the address for Ms Long, which I got from the newspaper.
Should the cops have been in touch with me when they found the car?
Shouldn’t Ms Diaconeslu have filed a stolen vehicle report?
Shouldn’t the police be doing an investigation and trying to arrest somebody?
Wouldn’t your average Joe go confront Ms Wendy and risk being assaulted?
Is it really up to me to find these people and politely beg for their insurance information? What if anything is to be done here?
What is the deal with Rush and the race card.? He said today that nominating Sotomayor is the equivalent of nominating David Duke.
Rush believes Sotomayor hates white people you see, and he is convinced she’s a racist.
Recently he was imagining that Democrats were garden tools. Seem strange? Yes, but it allowed Rush to call Hillary a “hoe” and Obama a “spade”.
And now, the man has the unmitigated gall to call others racist? Rush either has absolutely no shame, or he is going certifiably crazy. I am not sure which…
Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction:
I was reading the nominations for what TIME magazine calls, “Your TIME 100.” It’s a list of 203 nominations for the world’s most influential in government, science, technology and the arts — according to those who took time to nominate, vote, rank…
The entire list is available here.
We’re completing the fourth month of 2009, so it seems with so much of the year left a bit premature to be determining who and what was influential for the year. Reading through the list I find names I don’t recognize. How can they be on the short list of most influential in 2009, and I not recognize them? Others that I readily recognize make me wonder what kind of society would think they should be influential? Should we denote whether they make a positive or negative influence? Probably other than selling a special edition of TIME, this list has little value. Or maybe we need to look at the list very closely, reflect on our society, and who and what influences us most.
Paul Krugman was commenting on the Tea Parties that the Republicans have been setting up for this upcoming Wednesday. He seems unsure as to whether he should laugh out loud at the GOP’s shenanigans or to be worried. Such astroturf tricks have worked well in the past for the Republicans; Krugman recalls the efficiency of the faux riot in Miami-Dade county that stopped the vote in Florida during the 2000 election. This was not a real “grass roots” protest, but one carefully manufactured by GOP strategists to achieve an end – which they did. Astroturf activism seems to be big on corporate (or other powerful interests) money, and low on average citizen participation. The tea parties have been backed by Murdock owned media outlets.
To drive home his point about his mixed feelings on the current embarrassing displays by the Grand old Party, Krugman states:
“But here’s the thing: the G.O.P. looked as crazy 10 or 15 years ago as it does now. That didn’t stop Republicans from taking control of both Congress and the White House. And they could return to power if the Democrats stumble. So it behooves us to look closely at the state of what is, after all, one of our nation’s two great political parties.”
My hope is that Krugman is wrong, because while the GOP may remain crazy after all these years, I sincerely want to believe that the electorate has not.
What do you readers think?