Friday, September 30, 2011

Craven is as Craven does

Four fear-stricken white men target Hispanic
children. Scott "They're aborigines" Beason
looks on at far left. (Alabama Governor Offc)
h/t Cartoon Peril

Interim State Superintendent Larry E. Craven said Alabama schools are prepared to check the citizenship status of new enrollees, as required by the state's new immigration law. But he emphasized that no student will be kicked out of school if their parents fail to provide the documentation.

O-I-C, Craven is going to comply with the law before he disobeys the law.

Craven said a memo was sent today to local school superintendents informing them a judge had cleared for implementation the section of Alabama's new immigration law requiring schools to check citizenship status.
"We will comply with the law," Craven said today.

School systems will ask parents and guardians to provide a copy of a child's birth certificate when they enroll in public school for the first time. If none is available, they will be asked for additional documentation and to sign a declaration that the student is a legal citizen or immigrant."

And guess who is paying for this craven (pun intended) folly....WE THE PEOPLE OF ALABAMA that's WHO, all thanks to the cut taxes, cut spending, tough on illegal immigrants gang and their enablers.
Altschuler: Why was the law able to pass?

Rubio: It passed because of the change in the legislative make-up. Our legislature changed dramatically. For the first time in over 100 years in the 2010 elections, it shifted to Republican control. I think previously we were able to keep that kind of law away because of that. But, at the end of the day, this goes back to the reluctance of the federal government to do something about this at the federal level—immigration needs to be dealt with at the federal level, and that’s something that needs to happen. We understand the frustration at the local level with the lack of action at the federal level.

Wright: The legislators really thought that Alabamians would agree with it, and that they would get a lot of political points for doing it. They saw it as equivalent to being tough on crime by being tough on immigrants. And I think they were taking pride in saying they’d passed the toughest law in the nation.

This is our Sweet Home Alabama InJustice system at work and on display for all the world to see.
Numerous sections of the Alabama law challenged by the Justice Department but upheld by Blackburn may take effect immediately. Alabama police may now detain people driving without a license in order to check their immigration status. Contracts knowingly entered into with illegal immigrants will be considered invalid, and illegal immigrants will not be allowed to enter into "business transactions" with the state, including applying for driver's or business licenses.

If you want to understand how bad Alabama's law is, just on the school children alone, you have to get right of next to it and get a good whiff of this rotting carcass of racism

In relevant detail, here's what Scott "Not a Racist Bone in his Body" Beason has crafted in Section 28 (edited for brevity).

Section 28. (a)(1) Every public school at the time of enrollment shall determine whether the student was born outside the jurisdiction of the United States or is the child of an alien not lawfully present in the United States and qualifies for assignment to an English as Second Language class or other remedial program.
(2) The public school shall rely upon the student’s birth certificate.

(3) If it the student was born outside the jurisdiction of the United States or is the child of an alien not lawfully present in the United States, or where such certificate is not available, the parent shall notify the school within 30 days of the date of the student’s enrollment of the actual citizenship or immigration status of the student under federal law.

(4) Notification shall consist of both of the following:

a. Official documentation establishing the citizenship and, in the case of an alien, the immigration status of the student;

b. Attestation, under penalty of perjury, that the document states the true identity of the child. If the parent has such documentation but still maintains that the student is either a U.S. citizen or an alien lawfully present in the U.S., the parent may sign a declaration so stating, under penalty of perjury.

(5) If no such documentation or declaration is presented, the school official shall presume the student is an alien unlawfully present in the U. S.

(b) Each school district submits a report to the State Board of Education, which then is to prepare a report.

(2) The report shall provide data, aggregated by public school, regarding the numbers of U.S. citizens, of lawfully present aliens by immigration classification, and of aliens believed to be unlawfully present in the U.S. enrolled at all primary and secondary public schools in this state. The report shall also provide the number of students in each category participating in English as a Second Language Programs enrolled at such schools.

(3) The report shall analyze and identify the effects upon the standard or quality of education provided to students who are citizens of the United States residing in Alabama that may have occurred, or are expected to occur in the future, as a consequence of the enrollment of students who are aliens not lawfully present in the United States.

"Well, there's a certain mean spiritless that's out there, not only in Alabama but it's in America. And that makes this election extremely important."~Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders

The state of Alabama doesn't want immigrant children to enroll in school, they want them to work side by side with their parents for slave wages. That is what State Senator Hanks Sanders was talking about in his Mad as Hell robo call to DEMOCRATIC voters.

Can you hear him now?
Hello this is Hank Sanders, Alabama state Senator, and I’m still mad as hell. I say hell no! I ain’t going back to the cotton fields of Jim Crow days. I’m going forward with Ron Sparks, Jim Folsom and others who would do right by all of us. I hope you are mad as hell and will not go back, and you have the power to choose. I will stand until hell freezes over for Ron Sparks for Governor and Jim Folsom for Lt. Governor on November the 2nd.

Paid for by Alabama New South.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Real liberal quotes, by real liberals, for real liberals

"Well, there's a certain mean spiritless that's out there, not only in Alabama but it's in America. And that makes this election extremely important."~Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders

Scott Beason is the south end of a northbound mule
He meant it as a slur on African-Americans. He wasn't just "being wrong." He is an Alabama pol in the Sessions/Shelby mold, only with less intelligence. ~LynnK

It bothers me that those statements are allowed to stand as if there is no dispute that Black people are ignorant and illiterate and that our vote can be purchased with free food and a trip to the casino. ~CaliSister

The day we get a million signatures on a petition not just to save an innocent man's life, but to roll back the prison state ---- that will be the day we know we have a movement that can free the next wave of Troy Davises, the day we are close to welcoming them back to help heal and rebuild their own lives, our broken families and our devastated communities. ~Bruce Dixon

African Americans are very proud that there is an African American man who is the most powerful man in the world, and they hold on to that with everything they possibly can,But it’s starting to slip because of the pain of the African American community.” ~Representative Maxine Waters

Every time the black community attempts to verbalize their experiences and air grievances, they're told they're just "whining." Or being "hyper-sensitize." Or "ungrateful." What some of these folks want is for blacks to finally shut the f#*k up about themselves and their troubles, so whites will no longer have to feel uncomfortable about interacting with blacks or feel guilty about NOT interacting with blacks, and so they won't have to hear or see stories of how their parents, grandparents and great-great grandparents treated blacks, or have to deal with the whole "sins of the father" issue. And yes, these are white liberals thinking these things, but they'll never let on to it, even outside of polite company.~Mack Lyons

I'll never understand that the party that pretends to care so much for the fetus, cares so little for it once its born. ~ms_teacher

Voters can't be shamed or intimidated into supporting this president or any other. They can only be persuaded.~Gene Lyons

I end tonight where it all began for me: I still believe in a place called Hope.~President Bill Clinton

"I dare to imagine a country where every child I hold in my hands, are all God's children, regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of whether they're boy or girl, regardless of religion, regardless of rich or poor, that every child I hold in my hands, will have the same chance to reach her full potential or his full potential. That is the goodness of our country. That is the essence of the American dream." ~Senator Paul Wellstone

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"The People of All Colors"

I was feeling down after learning of US District Court Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn's ruling on the Beason Hammons racial profiling law. I hope the police officers and teachers will have the heart and soul of havealittletalk's son. ~ Redeye

The People of All Colors
Posted on February 24, 2009 by havealittletalk

When he was 3 or 4, Son brought home a coloring picture of Martin Luther King he had made in school. MLK’s face was nothing short of psychedelic in its whirls and swirls. Son had used every crayon in his box. I made some my-how-interesting remark and learned that the picture was of a man who wanted the people of all colors to be happy.

Of course, how obvious: the man himself must be one of them, that is, one of the people of all colors.

Fast forword: I had been following the debate about whether Black History Month was still needed when the New York Post weighed in.

Ugliness redux.

But here we go again doesn’t mean we have to go along. It’s nurture, not nature, that leads one from the people of all colors to the black people and the white people.

Or so my study shows, limited as it is by its single experimental subject.

When my son was born, I worked at a historically black university. I quit when he turned 2 but after a year was ready to return. The position was still open. My condition was that I’d be back when there was an opening for my son at the Child Development Center (CDC). There wasn’t one in the 3-year-old class, but there was in the 4, and so for the next 2 ½ years, Son was the only Caucasian in a class of 25 children.

Was I the only white person at the University with a pre-K child? Not by a long shot: in my area alone there were at least 6, maybe 8 or 10. But none took advantage of the opportunity to have their child in a university-based program in their building under the care of their colleagues. Why? I don’t know. I thought they were nuts. All I can figure is they thought it would be difficult for their child to be the only one of his color in the room.

So was it hard for my son? I don’t think so. He was willing to get up and cheerful in the morning and happy when I collected him. He never tried to escape and get to my office. Did I counsel him about his unusual situation? Never. Not a word.

Only once was there a problem. I came to get him at the end of the day and Son was standing watching other kids climb the monkey bars. This was unusual, and the teacher remarked that she was worried Son wasn’t feeling well. As we walked to the car I asked him if he didn’t want to play. He responded that one of the boys told him he couldn’t. And why not?

“Because I have blue eyes.”

I have to admit it: I had to admire the excluder’s finesse.

So the next morning I told Son’s teacher why he hadn’t joined in the day before and watched as one of the world’s most beatific people very quietly went ballistic. She said, “We’ll see about that.” And so she did and that was the end of that.

When Son left the CDC he entered kindergarten at a racially mixed school.

Shortly after school began, when I came to pick Son up from after-school care, he said one of the program ladies had a paper I had to sign. Was it Mrs. X or Mrs. Y? He wasn’t sure of the name, but “she wears a whistle around her neck.” I looked over and said to Son, “They both have whistles.” “Well, she’s wearing shorts.” They’re both in shorts.

It’s 90 degress, 5:48 pm and I’m 6 months pregnant. I could end this in a flash: “Look, is it the black lady or the white lady?” But interest beat impatience.

Finally, after going through she’s the one with sunglasses, and she’s the one talking to the kids, Son got around to it: “She’s the one with black skin.”

Not the black lady but the lady with black skin.

They’re different, aren’t they? Or so thought a discerning 5-year old that day.

RedEye's Wednesday Whine

Because it's not a bunch of people calling President Obama a Kenyan/ Muslim/Socialist/Anti Christ, you won't see it on TeeVee or read about it in the newspaper, but Wall Street is being occupied by protestors....
The point of Occupy Wall Street is that the political process and culture of the United States is broken, that a lot of people know that its broken, and that the anger has gotten to the point that folks want to deal with it.

What do you want to bet if it were the Tea Party being pepper sprayed there would be wall to wall outrage? Since it's just a bunch of tree hugging/hippy/liberals it's OK because they deserve it. *snark*
The don't deserve the pepper spray because in the current security state (and New York understandably is more in lock down than most cities), just holding a march in the street is illegal. An event permit to assemble for anything in NY costs $4200. That's a high price for freedom to assemble.

Speaking of Wall Street...the latest media made Great White Hope, New Jersey Governor Chris Christy is a former Wall Street Lobbyist. But that's OK.
Please, Gov. Christie, run for president! I so want to talk about how, as you put it, you never even set foot in the Trenton state house until you were elected -- even though you were the NJ statehouse lobbyist for the Securities Industry Association, the Wall Street trade association, under Bernie Madoff.

What's that you say...White liberals are whining whiners too? I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you. Not.
Racism isn't responsible for the president's drop in popularity. His right-wing policies are

If it's not racism...what is it?

This truth is everywhere. You can see it in black unemployment rates, which are twice as high as white unemployment rates -- a disparity that persists even when controlling for education levels. You can see it in a 2004 MIT study showing that job-seekers with "white names receive 50 percent more callbacks for interviews" than job seekers with comparable résumés and "African American-sounding names." And you can see it in a news media that looks like an all-white country club and a U.S. Senate that includes no black legislators.

Sweet Home Alabama. Where the skies are blue and the people in power care more about what you read than if you can read.
The New York Times reports that Mark Melvin, an Alabama inmate, has sued the state for denying him the right to read “Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II.” Penned by Douglas A. Blackmon, the senior national correspondent at the Wall Street Journal, the book won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 2009.

Melvin, who is serving a life sentence at Kilby Correctional Facility just outside of Montgomery, filed the suit in federal court against the prison’s officials and the Alabama commissioner of corrections, claiming they have unjustly kept a book out of his hands.

Maybe that's why the Huntsville City School System is on the fast road to recovery because they are balancing the budget on the backs of children. But don't whine about it.
11% of the student population is responsible for 61% of the cuts.

RedEye Whine over and out....until next time.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mo Brooks calls democrats "abherrant" and over 300 Madison County Republican Men Cheer!

Read all about it. H/T Reactionary
Congressman Mo Brooks received a standing ovation from more than 300 people at the Madison County Republican Men’s Club breakfast this morning.

Congressman Brooks spoke about the “Obama Kill Jobs Bill” and the futility of trying to compromise with people who have an “aberrant ideology”. Mo may have said “abhorrent” – either adjective is correct when describing the left…

The futility of trying to compromise with people who have an abhorrent ideology??? Po Mo must have the the democratic party confused with the republican party.
"I mean has anybody been watching the debates lately?" Obama said. "You've got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change. "It's true. You've got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don't have healthcare. And booing a service member in Iraq because they're gay."

And Mo calls democrats abhorrent? I wonder how many of those cheering republican men work for the Government or are Government Contractors?

Mo said what?
Congressman Brooks contrasted the 4.5% national unemployment rate in November 2006, before Democrats took the House (Nancy Pelosi) and Senate (Harry Reid), with the 9.8% unemployment rate in November 2010, saying that the “philosophy of government changed radically”. Brooks blamed “Obamacare, class warfare, and extreme environmental regulations” for the “seven million jobs lost” under Democrat rule.

Brooks said “three straight years of trillion dollar deficits… risk government insolvency”. Brooks favors cutting “consumptive, not productive” programs, such as “unearned wealth transfer programs”. Brooks pledged to “do everything I can to protect national defense”.

Brooks noted that the “Obama Kill Jobs Bill” includes “tax increases on oil companies”, which would result in “domestic oil jobs lost” and “raise gas prices”. Brooks said that the “Obama Kill Jobs Bill” would “add to the national debt”, ”increase lawsuits” (due to unemployment status), and “create two government agencies”

So, according to Mo, it's those abhorrent democrats fault his pals Bush and Dick borrowed money from China to spend on all war all the time. I guess It's also democrats fault Bush and Dick raided the surplus to give their rich cronies a tax break.

Brooks favors cutting “consumptive, not productive” programs, such as “unearned wealth transfer programs”.

Translation- tax the poor, raise taxes on the middle class, cut taxes for the rich.

Brooks pledged to “do everything I can to protect national defense”.

Translation-Money for bombs, but not one dime for books, health care, Social Security and Medicare.

“Free enterprise versus Socialism”.

Translation-The rich get richer while the rest get the shaft.

And Mo says democrats are abhorrent?

Yay Mo.

A RedEye Rant about Whining Complaining

The people in that picture... Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

And so it begins...the marginalization and minimization of African Americans and the issues affecting us.
Political Animal's Steve Benen (5/12/09) notes a recent Rush Limbaugh broadcast (5/11/09) that makes the racist subtext of the right's critique of Barack Obama virtually explicit:

The [economic] deterioration reflects lower tax revenues and higher costs for bank failures, unemployment benefits and food stamps. But in the Oval Office of the White House none of this is a problem. This is the objective. The objective is unemployment. The objective is more food stamp benefits. The objective is more unemployment benefits. The objective is an expanding welfare state. And the objective is to take the nation's wealth and return to it to the nation's, quote, "rightful owners." Think reparations. Think forced reparations here if you want to understand what actually is going on.

So Limbaugh thinks Obama is intentionally creating unemployment in order to boost food stamps, unemployment and welfare as a form of "forced reparations"; he's wrecking the economy, in other words, in order to benefit black people. If Limbaugh is the voice of opposition to Obama, no wonder that opposition is so concentrated in the states of the old Confederacy.
Obama falls for the Okey Doke
President Barack Obama is quietly moving forward with a plan for black America. He’s just not talking about it.

It’s probably a good idea.

Obama has been criticized recently – particularly by commentator Tavis Smiley – for not speaking out directly on behalf of African-Americans and failing to specifically address the needs of the black community through a symbolic “black agenda.”

That’s nonsense.

Obama is the nation’s first black president, and, while he was elected with overwhelming support from African-Americans, he’s not a president just for black folks. Critics like Smiley won’t be able to strong arm Obama into publicly announcing some sort of black agenda. The president is resistant to bullying tactics, no matter who is doing the bullying.

Smiley appeared on "The Tom Joyner Morning Show" early last week and chastised black leaders, saying Obama had not been pressed hard enough in a White House meeting - one with Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, National Urban League's Marc Morial and the NAACP'S Ben Jealous - to act in the interest of African-Americans.
And therein lies the problem, critics like Tavis Smiley were accused of trying to "strong arm" the President of everybody into publicly addressing issues affecting African Americans like that was a bad thing. Velma Hart tried to tell President Obama we were tired of defending him, but did he listen...NO.
The GOP Noise Machine was in gear the minute he got elected. The Prez needs to recall the fable of the Frog and the Scorpion. These people have an agenda. The terms are NOT negotiable.

The Kochs spent billions financing the Tea Party and other Right Wing astroturf groups. Obama should take note:

The Tea Party elected candidates. The Tea Party is pushing the GOP into a corner. Why? They are masquerading as a Populist movement. They got the People to believe in their agenda and their cute little hats.

Does the current Washington wisdom seriously think there are no leftists in America?

I believe Obama could have had an OCEAN of people for free, simply by doing an FDR and letting the GOP scream. Because, as you say, they were going to be screaming anyway.

I'd rather he'd given them something to scream ABOUT
Instead of giving the TeaPublicans something to scream about, President Obama tells black folks to stop whining and complaining and start fighting. With all due respect, black folks never stopped fighting Mr. President, Sir, and we never will.
Yes, there are political reasons that Obama can't directly address black joblessness, and no, I'd never suggest that he do anything to validate some trite and delusional right-wing narrative that he's in office only to aid blacks. Even if agreeing to that austerity-inspired debt-ceiling deal -- which will do little to generate growth or really chip away at our debts -- was a political necessity, it was another example of the president giving off the impression that he's not fighting hard enough for those in greatest need of assistance.
To tell people who are in the greatest need to stop whining is insulting and demeaning. It's the oppressors way of telling the oppressed they are not going to listen to or address their concerns because they don't deem you an equal.
And yes, I'm whining about it and will continue to whine about it as long as you continue to give me something to whine about. I was raised to fight for my rights, to stand up to injustice to protest double standards and to encourage others to take the same just stand.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined President Obama tell African Americans to stop whining and complaining. To be honest, I'm surprised and hurt by his actions because I believed him when he said CHANGE had come to America. Things are changing allright....for everybody but African Americans.

In regards to actually getting policies passed, the President's political repertoire is pretty transparent at this point: He gives the Republicans, the rich and the corporations a large amount of the tangible victories they want when it matters, and tosses nothing but an empty, often victim-blaming, "tough-love" populist message towards his supporters when it doesn't matter.
President Obama is the President of black folks too.

One man stood up and strongly defended the president and criticized members of the Congressional Black Caucus who questioned the President’s strategy. Moderator Martin strongly resisted the notion that being critical of the president was off limits for black public officials. “Blacks voted 95 percent for this president, and we should expect a return on the investment,” Martin said.
When the audience member pushed his point further, Martin reminded all of the episode in late 2009 when the 10 black caucus members on the House Financial Services Committee went up against the Obama administration regarding $40 billion they wanted in the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The 10 caucus members withheld their votes as they faced off against the Obama administration and pushed for access to capital for minority-owned banks and for consumer protections. Martin asked the audience member if he’d rather have the $40 billion or no one criticizing President Obama.
Are Black voters Obama's political mistress?
If Barack Obama were a white man, that would mean that there would be collective outrage over speeches like the one he delivered at the Congressional Black Caucus Convention, where Black people were told to “stop complaining” about the highest unemployment in nearly 30 years. It would mean that we’d expect the same things from President Obama that we would have expected from Bill Clinton or anyone else during their time in the White House. I would dare to say that if Black unemployment had risen to 17% under Clinton, he would be hammered by the Black community for refusing to consider targeted economic policy.

This is not to say that President Obama is not deserving of the Black vote. But it does say that Black America must cease to make itself into the political mistress of the Obama Administration. For a man whose loyalties lie elsewhere, the mistress is often the woman from whom he expects preferential treatment, but only offers second-class status. The love is often one of secrecy because he may be ashamed of the relationship and fear the reputational consequences of those who may judge him harshly.
This is exactly why I didn't want an African American President, I knew if black folks dared complain we would be accused of wanting preferential treatment and be told to stop whining because America is post racial. *Snark*

So, if the White House expects Black America to treat Obama differently from the way they would treat a white politician, it is only logical that we expect the same. One of the tenets of racial inequality is the idea that Black people should be complacent with being treated worse than others treat us: For example, whites are allowed to moan to President Obama all day about 8.1 percent unemployment, but Black people are told to “stop complaining” about nearly 17% unemployment. Do we realize how sick it is that we allow others to say and do things that we cannot do ourselves? So, when President Obama gives a speech before a group of white folks and says “stop complaining,” then I’ll be satisfied. But until then, we might want to reconsider accepting our role as President Obama’s political mistress.~Dr. Boyce Watkins

My sentiments exactly.

Monday, September 26, 2011

About that "stop whining and complaining" thingy

I was away from the TeeVee over the weekend, so imagine my shock and awe when I tuned in this morming to hear the Talking Pundit Heads mock outrage over President Obama scolding black VOTERS to get off their lazy donkey's and stop whining and complaining. Promethus 6 notes, that's not ALL he said, and of course the Chattering Class didn't put the remarks in context, but whoever advised President Obama to give that speech needs to join the 16% of African Americans who are currently on the unemployment rolls.

Dr. King once said: “Before we reach the majestic shores of the Promised Land, there is a frustrating and bewildering wilderness ahead. We must still face prodigious hilltops of opposition and gigantic mountains of resistance. But with patient and firm determination we will press on.”
So I don’t know about you, CBC, but the future rewards those who press on.
With patient and firm determination, I am going to press on for jobs.
I’m going to press on for equality.
I’m going to press on for the sake of our children.
I’m going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I am going to press on.
I expect all of you to march with me and press on.
Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off.
Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We’ve got work to do, CBC.

Huh? I mean, what exactly are black folks supposed to stop whining and complaining about? Massive unemployment? Lack of access to quality affordable health care? Underachieving and underfunded public schools? More black children living in poverty? Injustice and legalized lynchings?

How come when black folks pull do off their bedroom slippers and fight back against the right wing they are accused of whining and complaining, like that's a bad thing?

How come when the Tea Party organizes to take their country back from the socialist socialism, they are called a Grassroots organization, but when black folks try and organize they are called effing retarded and Professional Lefty's. I mean, Why can't the CBC be like the Tea Party?

How come when black folks tell the President to stop compromising with the righty's and fight we are told he's doing what he has to do, give him time, the republicans are obstructing, blah, blah, blab, blab? I mean, how much time does he need to do the right (no pun) thing? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result.

Mr. President, Sir, with all due respect, and not speaking for all black folks, but I will stop whining and complaining when I don't have anything to whine and complain about. K?

I found myself wondering about a couple of things this weekend, like, just who cheers when they're being told "Stop whining"? Who thinks telling their constituency to "Stop whining" is a good idea, and how do they come to think that?~Promethus 6

Friday, September 23, 2011

RedEye Around Alabama

I wonder what part of separation of church and state don't Bay Minette Police Chief Mike Rowland and Pastor Bruce Hooks understand?

An Alabama city is turning to churches as an option to keep criminals out of jail.
"It's not a crime prevention program,' Bay Minette Police Chief Mike Rowland said, "It's a crime intervention program."

Pastor Bruce Hooks says he's ready to give it a try.
"Oh, yeah! I'm excited, man. I'm eager, anticipating!"
The new initiative would allow some first time offenders to wind up in church rather than jail.
56 churches have agreed to take part in Operation ROC: Restore Our Community.

Uh, NO. It's called forcing the religious beliefs of Rowland and Hooks on *cough* first time, non violent offenders. I wonder what rock (pun intended) head came up with this idea? Evidently I don't know as much about the justice system and the United States Constitution as I thought I did. The constitution couldn't keep an innocent man from death by lethal injection, but first time offenders can either go to church or go to jail. These crazy, compassionate, Christan, conservatives crack me up. It would be funny if it weren't so sad. Paging the Alabama ACLU.

Speaking of the ACLU, I wonder if they can help me get my privileges back at Left in Alabama? There are some many discussions going on over there I would love to be able to participate in, number one being this little nugget...Al-07 Representative Terri Sewell a "Breakout Star"?
A glowing article in the Washington Post's Entertainment section yesterday spotlighted Alabama's freshman Democrat, Terri Sewell. Considering that Sessions, Shelby, & company all seem to be poster children for the failures of the country's mental health system, it's refreshing to see positive stories about Sewell:

Sewell, who won her seat in November with more than 70% of the vote, is the first African-American woman elected to congress from Alabama, the only Democrat currently serving from the state, and president of this year’s tiny Democratic freshman class. No wonder she’s the breakout star of the CBC this year.

“I feel like it’s a coming-out of sorts,” a beaming Sewell told us Wednesday at the Library of Congress where she was honored by her Alpha Kappa Alpha sisters (included her mom, Nancy Sewell), as well as special guests Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Now isn't that special? Psst Terri, it's not about Y-O-U remember? A search of your website has lots of pretty pictures, town halls,statements and appointments, but not one piece of legislation to benefit the people you were sent to Congress to represent. Remember them?
Today, Alabama's Black Belt includes some of the poorest counties in the United States. Along with high rates of poverty, the area is typified by declining populations, a primarily agricultural landscape with low-density settlement, high unemployment, poor access to education and medical care, substandard housing and high rates of crime.

The residents of the 7th district don't care about cool factoids or hearing about your pop-corn eating slumber parties with your roomies. In case you've forgotten African American Poverty and unemployment is at an all time high. While you're munching pop corn with your roomies get some advice on writing some bills and creating some J-O-B's in the 7th district. OK?

While I'm on the topic of Left in Alabama, mooncat is of the misguided opinion Dr. Paul Hubbard and Dr. Joe Reed got the Governor wanted. Seriously? WTF would Hubbard and Reed want Bentley to be the Governor? Bentley is for everything Reed and Hubbard spent a life time fighting rights, the rights of immigrants, public schools and public school employees, and access to health care for everyone. Reed and Hubbard weren't the ones asking why on earth they should vote for Ron Sparks.

And about that segregation at the University of Alabama The African American Greek system does not discriminate based on race, as a matter of fact they were formed in part to combat racism. They are also not social organizations, they are public service organizations. Almoderate said:
AKA... (4.00 / 1) a black sorority. And while there were member who were hassling the poor black girl who joined our white sorority, I can't say for certain (and in fact I doubt) that this was behavior that was encouraged by the chapter itself. I can certainly say that the national AKA organization does not condone such.

That's why this isn't going to be easy to crack down on. The University of Alabama when it was integrated had previously had an official policy of discrimination. The Greek organizations have no such policy and in fact are very diverse in some chapters (though this is rare). Plus, there's not exactly a stack of complaints from people who have wanted to cross over into other organizations and feel that they were discriminated against. And even if there were, you'd have to still be able to show that there were not other factors (GPA, conduct, etc.) that contributed to not being accepted.

Affirmative action scenarios are insulting to all parties and are in fact a polar opposite of the very purpose of the Greek system-- which is to be grouped with similar interests. If you're bringing in a black girl who plays no sports into a white sorority filled with jocks just because she's black, it's going to be miserable for everyone.

The last paragraph hits the nail on it's head. The purpose of the Greek System for African American is public service, not jocks and debutantes.Black Greeks can cite examples of recruiting whites. Can white Greek organizations do the same?
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- As a dialogue continues over the integration of the University of Alabama's traditionally white fraternities and sororities, the student newspaper reports that black organizations can point to instances of recruiting whites.

The article focuses on Eve Dempsey, a white woman who joined the historically black sorority Zeta Phi Beta during the spring 2007 semester because she felt the organization shared her own values. Dempsey was the sorority's only white member at the time, though the organization had previously integrated in the 1980s, the report says. And another white joined Zeti Phi Beta in 2008, Dempsey said.

National Pan-Hellenic Council President Xavier Burgin told the CW that white students join black fraternities and sororities on a "somewhat" regular basis, estimating that NPHC organizations have accepted five to seven white members in the last 10 years.

I will close with my big RedEYE on the South Huntsville Civic Association School System H/T Geek Palaver for exposing the double standards in hiring and firing.
It would seem that the school system currently has two sets of hiring policies: one for senior administration and a second one for basically everyone else.
This is wrong.
Back in June when the board announced that they had reached a decision and agreement with Dr. Wardynski concerning his contract, I asked two of the board members (two of the three who voted for him), how they could justify paying a man with 11 months experience a salary that was $55,000 over the minimum salary of $120,000 when teachers’ salaries were set at the state minimum. According to the 2010 Superintendent Salaries, Dr. Wardynski is the fourth highest paid superintendent in the state.
Both of these board members separately said the same thing to me: “He’s the best man for the job, and he wouldn’t come for anything less.”

Oh really? The principal at Davis Hills came here from Mississippi where he was principal of an elementary alternative school. Uh, isn't Mississippi behind Alabama in in terms of student achievement? I'm just saying...

RedEye over and out...for now.

"Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing."

"Well, there's a certain mean spiritness that's out there, not only in Alabama but it's in America. And that makes this election extremely important."~Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders response to CNN's Anderson Cooper when asked what evidence he had that the Republican opponents would take Alabama back to Jim Crow days.

The prophetic words of Senator Sanders and the scripture of Luke haunt and console me in the after math of the state sponsored killings of Troy Davis in Georgia, Derrick Mason in Alabama, and Lawrence Brewer in Texas.

For the record, I oppose the death penalty under any circumstance. As a Christian I cannot decry the crucifixion of Christ, and support the death penalty. If Jesus were on earth today he wouldn't be nailed to a cross. He would be put to death by lethal injection, hanging, firing squad or the electric chair.

In the words of Coretta Scott King, the widow of murdered Civil Rights Leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."For too long we have treated violence with violence, and that's why it never ends."

At the time Anderson Cooper was asking Hank Sanders for evidence of things unseen, but over time Sanders prophecy is revealed.
They cheer at the thought of an uninsured person dying. They cheer at the thought of state-sponsored murder. In all, the 2012 Tea Party Republican debates have revealed that they are a death cult.

Some observers were shocked and surprised by the behavior of the Tea Party Republicans and their supporters during the primary debates. Others have complained that CNN's surrender of air-time to the Tea Party is a compromise of journalistic ethics. I would suggest to the latter that CNN performed a public service by providing a window into the Tea Party Republican soul. And to the former, there should be no surprise here: in the age of Obama, contemporary conservatism has surrendered to a virulent, dystopian and pathologically hyper-individualist state of nature, "all against many," type of populist right-wing ideology.

It's not being reported on TeeVee, but the audience at last night's gop Presidential debate booed a gay soldier. How mean is that?

I had no idea that the Constitution of the United States of America doesn't prohibit the execution of an innocent man/woman.
Beyond the emotional punch in the gut of Troy Davis' execution - and the echoing cheers of a GOP debate audience for Rick Perry killing so many people - it is worth remembering the role of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in the Davis affair.

Because it was during an appeal to the Supreme Court in 2009 on behalf of Davis that Scalia - and BuzzFlash is not making this up - actually wrote a dissenting opinion that there was nothing in the Constitution that prevented a state from executing an innocent man (or woman).

Quoting GrannyStandingforTruth
Never in a million years did I think I would live to see a black man become President of the Divided States of America. Nor did I think I would live to see Jim Crow and lynching revived under the leadership of a black President either, but well there are some folks in America that are longing for those nostalgic days.

I want to take the time to extend my sincere condolences to Troy Davis's family and friends. I will continue to pray for you and for the future of our country.

"Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders.~Acts 3:17

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"1 death row inmate down and many to go!"

"Troy Davis was a MURDERING THUG and he got what he deserved!!"

These are comments the resident right wing Troll FED UP had the audacity to post in response to the execution of Troy Davis.

Real classy huh?

But it got me thinking...this is the mindset the Georgia Board of Clemency, The Georgia Supreme Court and eventually the United States Supreme Court heard instead of the activist around the world who cried in vain to stop the state sanctioned murder of an innocent man.

This is why elections matter. It's not about abortion, gay marriage, affirmative action, or illegal immigration or some other wedge issue.

It's about electing people with the power to exercise racism.

It's about electing Governors who make appointments to the Parole Boards.

It's about electing Presidents who make life time appointments to the Supreme Court. Can you a Rick Perry/Sarah Palin/Michelle Bachman/Rick Santorum/Ron Paul/Newt Gingrich/Herman Cain/Mitt Romney/Jon Huntsman Supreme Court? Shudder

If we are going to engage in collective murder, we need to be sure beyond any doubt. What gets me is gopers, and the people who pander to them, don't see the hypocrisy of their beliefs and subsequent actions.

How can they be compassionate, Christian conservatives and pro death penalty?

The last words of Troy Anthony Davis were "May God bless your souls” . Are those the words of a MURDERING THUG? I think NOT.

Georgia Rep. John Lewis perhaps put it best. “Do not weep for Troy Anthony Davis, he will be with God, weep for Georgia and for our Nation. Capital punishment is barbaric.”

When did we we become a nation of Barbarians?

"The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia"

Lyrical story

A young woman tells the story of her unnamed older brother who returns home after a two-week trip from a place called "Candletop." The brother meets his best friend, Andy Wolloe, at Webb's Bar ("Andy Wolloe said hello, and he said, 'Hi, what's doing, Wo?'"), and Andy informs the brother that his young wife (who is later described as "cheatin'") has been seeing another man in town, Seth Amos. Andy then reveals that he, too, has been sleeping with his friend's wife. The brother is understandably upset, which scares Andy, who leaves and walks home. The brother assumes his wife has left town, gets his gun, and heads out to the back woods to sneak up on Andy and confront him. When the brother arrives at Andy's house, he finds tracks outside ("tracks that were too small for Andy to make") and discovers that someone has already killed Andy. The brother, in a moment of panic ("he started to shake"), fires his gun in the air to summon a passing sheriff. When the sheriff approaches the scene, the brother is immediately accused of murder. A "backwoods Southern lawyer" doesn't keep the sheriff and a judge from convicting the brother in a kangaroo court ("the judge said 'guilty' in a make-believe trial / slapped the sheriff on the back with a smile"), and hang him that same night, effectively lynching him. This was apparently the same night of a statewide electrical blackout, although the phrase "the night the lights went out in Georgia" could refer to the fact that the "light" of justice went out that night as an innocent man was killed by the law.

The "light" of justice went out for real last night as Troy Davis was killed by the law. What is the difference between killing your own people and the death penalty? Isn't that the excuse, I mean justification, our country used for regime change in Iraq and Libya?

The decision of the United States Supreme Court to deny a stay of execution for Troy Davis will join The Dred Scott Decision, Bush v. Gore and Citizens United in infamy as one of the stupidest decisions ever. How could the voices of millions of people be ignored?. I guess they showed us who was Boss.
Huge numbers of people all over the world are begging them to reconsider but it seems to be falling on callously deaf ears. This is a travesty.

The execution of Troy Davis illustrates all the flaws in the death penalty, and why it should be abolished. H/T Booman
The debate about Troy Davis should have been about whether he had been wrongly imprisoned for two decades, not over whether he could prove his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt.

How did we arrive at a system where so much discretion is stripped away from the decision makers?

This case highlights every flaw with the death penalty. Even from the point of view of advocates of the death penalty, it took 20 years to get 'justice.' Whether we abolish the death penalty or not, this case proves that it is in need of an overhaul. Georgia might have killed an innocent man last night simply because the system didn't allow people to save him, despite the obvious doubts about his guilt.

It's time for America to stop condoning cruel and unusual punishment.
According to Amnesty International, 137 countries have abolished the death penalty. Argentina, Chile, and Uzbekistan outlawed the death penalty in 2008. During 2007, 24 countries, 88% in China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States alone, executed 1,252 people compared to 1,591 in 2006. Nearly 3,350 people were sentenced to death in 51 countries. More than 20,000 prisoners are on death row across the world.

Ask yourself the following, "What kind of society do I want to live in?". What kind of society do I want future generations to live in? What if Troy Davis were my son/brother/father/uncle/cousin/friend?
Do you want to live in a society where people, prideful, imperfect, deceivable people reserve unto themselves the right to kill other people?

Because I guarantee you that so long as we think that people en masse under the guise of The State have the right to kill they are going to find ways to exercise that power.

We must not let the lights of Justice be extinguished.
Defiant until the end, Troy Davis was executed Wednesday night for the murder of an off-duty police officer. He convinced hundreds of thousands of people around the world, but not a single court, that he was innocent.

As he lay strapped to a gurney in the death chamber, the 42-year-old told relatives of Mark MacPhail that he was not responsible for his 1989 slaying.

"I am innocent. The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun," he insisted.

"All I can ask ... is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth," he said.

Davis was declared dead at 11:08 p.m. The lethal injection began about 15 minutes earlier, after the Supreme Court rejected an 11th-hour request for a stay.

Let us march on until victory is won. The movement continues.
This movement couldn’t stop Davis’ execution — but it’s a movement that won’t die with Troy Davis. There’s no better way to honor Troy’s memory than to keep fighting for justice.

You know my friends, there comes a time when people get tired of being trampled by the iron feet of oppression ... If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. And if we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never came down to Earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie, love has no meaning. And we are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until "justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream." Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What a difference a Judge makes

As activist plead with Butts County Superior Court Judge Penny Freesemann to halt the execution of Troy Davis, A Federal Judge in New Orleans has ruled that a white man is mentally unfit to stand trial on charges he fired a shotgun at three black men who were trying to leave New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I kid you not.
On Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Louis Moore Jr. ordered Roland Bourgeois Jr. to be taken into federal custody and hospitalized for up to four months before the Mississippi man is re-evaluated.
Bourgeois was freed on bond after he was indicted last year on charges stemming from the 2005 shooting, in which at least one of the men was wounded. Prosecutors called it a racially motivated attack.
A doctor who evaluated Bourgeois last month determined he has psychiatric and medical problems that impair his competency and the he shouldn't stand trial until he has a liver transplant.

Meanwhile,U.S. District Judge John Bates tossed Shelby County, Alabama's challenge to election monitoring. Thank goodness.

U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled against Shelby County, Ala., which sued Attorney General Eric Holder to stop the monitoring required since the Voting Rights Act's initial passage in 1965. The county argued the monitoring is outdated and that it should no longer need federal approval before changing even minor election procedures such as moving a polling place or redrawing school district lines.
Section 5 of the law relies heavily on patterns of past discrimination to determine which state, county and local governments must obtain "preclearance" for election changes. Bates noted that this section has been alternatively called the centerpiece of the country's most effective civil rights law and an impermissible federal encroachment on state sovereignty.
Bates had appeared somewhat sympathetic to the county's arguments at a hearing in February and he questioned whether evidence of racial discrimination from four or five decades ago justified the continued election monitoring.
But he wrote in his 151-page opinion that after reviewing 15,000 pages of records in support of lawmakers' 25-year extension of the law in 2006 that Congress was justified in finding that discrimination in the covered jurisdictions still existed.

Which doesn't explain why Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange by passed the DOJ and went straight to the courts for redistricting approval. Or does it?
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is taking the state’s redistricting plan straight to federal court.

Following remarks at Jacksonville State University Monday, Strange told a reporter the court case – an unusual move – is something he did to save time.

“It’s the quickest route, the most logical route for us,” Strange said.

Maybe he knows the Judge.
I'm just saying....

Vengeance is mine sayeth the State

I type with a heavy heart this morning because I've never felt so helpless. Unless there is divine intervention, Troy Davis will die tonight despite the fact he may be innocent.
Troy Davis' petition to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied for the second and last time on March 28. Today, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles may have sealed his fate by denying him clemency in his capital punishment case. Davis is scheduled to die Wednesday at 7 p.m. by lethal injection.
His most recent bid for clemency could be the final chance for Davis to avoid execution. Defense attorney Jason Ewart has said that the pardons board was likely Davis' last option, according to the Associated Press. But, Amnesty International, the NAACP and the National Action Network are drawing attention to one last effort to keep him alive. The groups say the man who prosecuted Davis could ask a judge to block the execution.

It doesn't look like that's going to happen because the DA who prosecuted Davis says the doubt, recantations are manufactured, and the present DA says it's out of his hands.
Sister Jackie Griffith with Savannah for Clemency for Troy Davis, announced Tuesday evening her group would deliver 240,000 signatures on a petition to Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm at 9 a.m. calling on him to ask Superior Court Judge Penny Haas Freesemann to vacate the death warrant for Davis.

A press release issued at 7 p.m. Tuesday by Chisolm’s office said the Superior Court, not the district attorney, has the only jurisdiction in the execution and that “this matter is beyond our control.”
What can we do? From jackandjill via Facebook
Call Judge Penny Freesemann at 912 652 7252 to save Troy Davis. She has the power to pull the death warrant. The DA can ask her to rescind the warrant or she could rescind it directly.
*GEORGIA PAROLE BOARD; (404)656-5651
*GA STATE SENATOR & SOUTHERN CTR. FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (Ask them & all execution staff to take off tomorrow or not participate in Troy’s unjust execution);(770)692-4750/ Fax (770)692-4754
*GOVERNOR; (404)651-1151
The Field Negro and I both note the absence of any mention of Troy Davis in the so-called mainstream media today. Out of sight, out of mind?
Still, this too will pass, and they know it. As I write this post the name Troy Davis is not even trending on Yahoo. Sarah Palin, Brooke Burke, Jeff Conaway, Cam Newton, the Boston Red Sox; all of them are getting more play in the American psyche than some black man in Georgia charged and convicted of killing a police officer many years ago. Hey, if the state of Georgia didn’t kill him, some other black man would. Or, maybe high blood pressure, diabetes, or any one of those other diseases that Negroes tend to get. He lived to the ripe old age of 41, which is more than we can say for other men who look like him in A-mery-ca. So what’s the big deal?
So what's the big deal indeed? It's just another day in the United States of America. Where vengeance is mine, not liberty and justice for ALL.

Please God, hear the words of Langston Hughes and Let America Be America Again

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

The Field Negro says it best-Those of you (black and white) who advocated and fought on this man’s behalf should be proud of yourselves. I know that it’s hard to see a person who might be innocent of the crime for which he was charged put to death, but your conscience should allow you to sleep tonight, which is more than I can say for Terry Bernard, Robert Keller,Albert R. Murray,James E. Donald, L. Gale Buckner, Steve Hayes, and the rest of you in A-merry-ca.

RedEye tip toeing away from the computer to go pray.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Three Strikes You're Out! Die Boy Die!

Troy Davis has three major strikes against him. First, he is an African-American man. Second, he was charged with killing a white police officer. And third, he is in Georgia
The Georgia Clemency Board denied clemency for Troy Davis. The legal lynching will continue.
Early Tuesday morning, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles elected to deny clemency to Troy Davis, letting his original punishment stand. His date of execution by lethal injection will take place September 21st as scheduled. The fate of Davis, 42 rested in the hands of the five board members. They are the only entity in Georgia with the power to convert Davis’ death sentence, outside of a last-minute appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Well, I guess they showed us.
The Internet community has also been buzzing in support, with Twitter promoting the hashtag #toomuchdoubt bringing attention to the idea that Georgia may potentially execute an innocent man. Also, close to 1 million signatures have been collected in a petition supporting Davis attempt at clemency. Protesters have also been holding demonstrations outside the board meeting in Atlanta with posters saying “Justice for Tray Davis” and “I Am Troy Davis.” Demonstrations were also held in 300 towns across the globe, which perhaps shows a changing attitude towards executions.

The Georgia Clemency Board shines a harsh light on the American legal system for the world to see.
Davis’ case has garnered international attention, since his impending day of execution this week. While Davis was sentenced to death 20 years ago for the murder of Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. During the course of his time incarcerated, his case has caught the attention of various dignitaries, such as former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher and former FBI Director William Sessions, who all believe that Davis should receive clemency.

The board members, with their dates of appointment, are:

-- Gale Buckner (January 2005), a former GBI agent

-- Bob Keller (January 2007), a former Clayton County district attorney

-- James Donald (January 2009), former commissioner of the Department of Corrections

-- Albert Murray (May 2010), former commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice

-- Terry Barnard (May 2010), former state Representative

If I were a member of the Board, I would want to make damned sure that whomever is sentenced to death actually did the crime.I would not want to execute someone only to find out later that the condemned person was innocent. An execution does not allow for “do-overs” to get it right.

Troy Davis's fate is now in the hands of the United States Supreme Court and, President Barack Hussein Obama.
While Davis is set to go before the state board of pardons and paroles for a final review on September 19th, President Obama should consider granting clemency.
There are several arguments to support Obama's intervention in this case, not the least of which is salvaging the U.S.'s reputation with regard to the integrity of its justice system. We learn in school that the fair administration of justice is a fundamental value in our democracy. We speak of our justice system as if it sets us apart from other leading nations and reflects, at its the core, the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven and the guarantee of a fair trial, if someone has been accused of breaking the law.

And before the righty's start whining, two words, Terri Schiavo.
The legislative, executive, and judicial branches, of both the United States federal government and the State of Florida, were involved in the case of Terri Schiavo. In November 1998 Michael Schiavo, husband of Terri Schiavo, first sought permission to remove his wife's feeding tube. Schiavo had suffered brain damage in February 1990, and in February 2000 had been ruled by a Florida circuit court to be in a persistent vegetative state. Her feeding tube was removed first on April 26, 2001, but was reinserted two days later on an appeal by her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.

I HOPE and PRAY someone will stop the judicial lynching of Troy Davis.
Despite evidence that he's innocent, Troy Davis faces execution on September 21. With a culture that cheers Rick Perry's execution record, what chance does he have?

What chance does anyone have? What will we tell our children?

And if the clemency bid fails, and Troy Davis is executed next week, I will tell her (and I will pray that it is so) that her message and all the other messages and all the well wishes of all the tens-of-thousands of people who have supported him these many long years were in his heart as authorities gave him those drugs -- that as his life ended, Troy Davis at the very least knew he was being held by tens-of-thousands of loving hands.

Amen and Amen.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Reasonable Doubt for Dummies!

A broke clock is right twice a day, and every once in a while our resident righty FED UP gets it right(pun intended), as in this comment regarding the pending execution of Troy Anthony Davis, even though the case against him as fallen apart.

FED UP said;

You DO NOT know that he did not commit that crime and I do not know that he did!

This my friends is REASONABLE DOUBT for Dummies. This is why Troy Davis should not be executed. This is why Troy Davis should be granted a new trial. This is why I am against the death penalty.

Troy Davis and the politics of death.
Troy Davis has three major strikes against him. First, he is an African-American man. Second, he was charged with killing a white police officer. And third, he is in Georgia.

More than a century ago, the legendary muckraking journalist Ida B. Wells risked her life when she began reporting on the epidemic of lynchings in the Deep South. She published “Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases” in 1892 and followed up with “The Red Record” in 1895, detailing hundreds of lynchings. She wrote: “In Brooks County, Ga., Dec. 23, while this Christian country was preparing for Christmas celebration, seven Negroes were lynched in twenty-four hours because they refused, or were unable to tell the whereabouts of a colored man named Pike, who killed a white man ... Georgia heads the list of lynching states.”
None dare call it racism, but the fact remains there are more blacks than whites on death row, because they're

Barring some miraculous intervention by Gov. Rick Perry, Duane Buck will become the 11th person to be executed this year in Texas’ death chamber and the execution will be wrong—not because of some anti-death penalty view I may have but because his death sentence was definitively the result of race.
Buck, an African-American, was convicted in 1997 for the 1995 double murder of his girlfriend and her companion. During Buck’s 1997 trial, his defense attorney called a psychologist named Walter Quijano who testified during the punishment phase of the trial and who, upon cross examination by prosecutors with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, stated he believed that because Buck was black, he posed a greater risk of “future dangerousness” in the prison setting. Future dangerousness is a critical factor a capital jury must consider in deciding whether the death penalty is appropriate in a given case.
In 2000 U.S. Senator John Cronyn, then Texas’ attorney general, said that Buck’s case was one of six his office had identified in which Quijano had introduced race into jury deliberations. Then Attorney General Cronyn said that all of the condemned inmates were entitled to a new punishment hearing. Five of those inmates was given new punishment hearings by various federal courts which resulted in each being re-sentenced to death. One of the five has been executed.
Neither state nor federal courts ever ordered a new punishment hearing in Buck’s case. Why Buck’s trial attorney would call a psychologist who had a history of injecting race in the trial process is not readily available in the public record. What is known is that state and federal courts over the last few weeks have rebuffed the determined efforts by Buck’s current attorneys, David Dow and Katherine Black, to secure a new punishment hearing. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday denied Buck’s last legal opportunity to get a new punishment hearing.

Is Duane Buck guilty of the crimes he was convicted of? Yes. Should he be executed because he's black? No. And FED Up, before you tune up your spin machine, just because I oppose the death penalty doesn't mean I want rapist and murderers to go free, or live among civil society. It means I want them to spend the rest of their natural lives in behind bars. I oppose the death penalty because I'm pro life. For real.

Under Politics 101, a conservative governor, especially in Texas, would not intercede in a case that has been rejected by the courts and the pardon board. But these are not normal political circumstances. Gov. Perry is running for the presidency of the United States and has already faced serious media questions about his refusal to stop the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, despite compelling evidence indicating the condemned inmate was innocent. The Buck case offers the governor an opportunity to redeem himself, especially among African-Americans who believe the death penalty in Texas unfairly targets blacks. A thirty-day reprieve would not cost the governor a single point among his conservative political base because chances are the courts would not order a new punishment hearing during the reprieve period and the pardon board most certainly would not. Thus, the only thing a reprieve would probably accomplish is a few more months of life for Duane Buck—an insignificant price considering the good will the governor would benefit from granting the reprieve.
As I said in my opening, barring some miraculous intervention by Gov. Perry, Buck will be executed tonight.

Thou Shalt not Kill. That means everybody.
The primary reason God hates murder is that out of all creation, only human are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:4-6). Even before the codification of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai the murder of other human beings was wrong (Genesis 4:8-12; 4:23-24; 9:4-6; Exodus 1:16-17). While on earth, Jesus spoke out against murder (Matthew 5:21-26; Mark 10:17-19). We also see in the writings of Paul (Romans 1:18, 29-32; 13:8-10; Galatians 5:19-21), James (James 2:8-11; 4:1-3), Peter (1 Peter 4:15-16) and John (Revelation 9:20-21; 21:7-8; 22:14-15) that murder is wrong.