05.06.10

Do you look illegal?

Posted in immigration, Justice at 8:43 pm by angela

Do I?

Seriously, now that Arizona has a law that permits police to demand proof of citizenship from anyone who they wish to, how will they decide who looks illegal?

12.01.09

Politicians should not take orders from their God

Posted in Accountability, Justice, Sarah Palin at 2:40 pm by angela

Or perhaps, those who take their orders from their god (or think they do, especially those who brag they do) should not be politicians.

I’ve heard plenty of times before about prisoners who took part in penitentiary bible programs having conversions and getting privileges because of this. But this is the first time I have heard where clemency in murder cases was apparently a result of supposed conversions to Christianity.

Not only did Mike Huckabee give clemency to the guy who is the only suspect right now in the police shooting that killed 4 officers, he gave clemency or pardons to other violent criminals who went out and killed again, granted based on their word and the word of his religious advisors. He completely ignored the advice of correctional officials.

This is a secular country where people are free to practice whatever religion they please or none at all. The Huckster would crack down on all our private lives to force us to obey the rules he is imagining that his god decrees for us, yet he is so gullible he does not even bother to examine the facts when making decisions that impact public safety.

He cares about our souls, but doesn’t give a damn about our lives.

Sarah Palin is on a mission from God, too. She wants to start Armageddon and bring about the End Times.

Mike Huckabee’s Fatally Bad Judgment

05.29.09

Sotomayor and identity politics

Posted in Accountability, Justice at 11:18 pm by angela

The right wingnuts are going after Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor for that statement she made in 2001 that a Latina judge could make a better decision than a white male.

“Was she right or wrong to say what she said in this way?” is the question they are all asking right now, and they are answering it for her, “I’m sure she would have worded it differently”, as though she should have been thinking ahead to what someone would think in the distant future, like when something important came up. Like now.

But first we must ask ourselves, “Was she right or wrong to think it?”

I think she was right. Here’s why:

Let’s indulge in stereotyping. I’ll take an older white male who righteously prides himself on his gender, color, religion, and social class. He is proud that he has no empathy for people who are not just like him, people of the wrong color, gender, religion, or social class, perhaps even someone who was born in the wrong geographical region of the country.

He honestly believes he is a self-made man, even though he may have been born wealthy, gone to the finest schools, and gotten every job in his life through family connections. And he believes that everyone else had the same opportunity, and having chosen not to be just like him, deserves to be exploited and underpaid.

Perhaps this guy is a Southerner, probably he prides himself in being a True Christian, and he looks down on women, blacks, and Mexicans for not knowing their place.

As far as he’s concerned, the fact that he is rich is the way it is supposed to be, just as much as he is white or male. The reason that Hispanics or blacks or women or poor people are not like him is because they aren’t supposed to be. They don’t matter. The only folks who matter are the older rich white guys. They get to make all the decisions about everybody’s life because they’re in power, and they’re in power because God wants them to be in power.

They are rich and imagine they deserve to be even richer, because this must be what God wants, or they wouldn’t be rich at all. It is their destiny.

Who do we know who thinks this way? I’m thinking Cheney, Bush, Rush, Beck, O’Reilly, Newt… The list is too long for me to more than begin, but you know exactly who is on it.

Guys like this do not have empathy. They don’t believe in having empathy. To do so is a weakness. To even want to learn about anyone else’s life experience is a character flaw, which could taint them.

They believe that the elite/rich/Southern white Christian male experience is the only one that matters. It is the default, and it is the natural order of things. To fail to accept this is, well, racist. Not to vote for a rich white male is racist. To presume that a woman, a black man, or even (God forbid!) a non-white woman could be the best, or even good enough for a top position is absurd to their thinking. To them it is obvious that women and minorities who have achieved success would never have done it without affirmative action, by playing the ‘race card’, or by cheating. Their qualifications are empty, meaningless. If there is only one elite white male who wants the job, even if he is not as qualified on paper, he automatically should have it.

A man like this has no idea what happens to a poor woman who gets pregnant and realizes she can’t afford to raise another child, or to a disabled person or minority who is discriminated against. He doesn’t care, either.

An educated Latina like Sotomayor, on the other hand, knows all about the rich white male experience, because she has run into it all her life. She has had it hammered into her all her life as the default experience, the only way to be, which is a lot more than Newt or Tricky Dick 2.0 can say about understanding what women or minorities experience. They have no idea what it is like to be a Latina, whether poor and struggling or a nominee to the Supreme Court with a stellar judicial record.

They have no idea whatever, and they do not care. It matters not a whit if they think that we should have more people just like them on the Supreme Court.

We do not need people on the court who do not care about Americans.

04.07.09

The Ted Stevens prosecution: the sequel

Posted in Bush legacy, corruption, Fascism, Fraud, High crimes and Misdemeanors, History, Hypocrisy, Is Dick Cheney a traitor?, Justice at 3:02 pm by angela

Last week, when the case against Ted Stevens was dropped for prosecutorial mishandling, we heard about evidence that was withheld from the defense. It happens all the time, but rarely is it so severe that anything comes of it, at least not influencing the disposition of the case.

As in the Coleman/Franken case, the judge usually finds out about it and chews out the lawyers. Occasionally the judge will throw out a case.

Now if you were one of those defendants who doesn’t have a lot of money for expensive lawyers, you’d never even know it happened to you. They’d probably get away with it every time, which obviously is not the way the justice system is supposed to work in this country.

But for the case to be completely dropped, rather than merely seeking a retrial of some sort had to mean that the case was so ‘poisoned’ by whatever had been done that it could not be retried.

There was even speculation that the Bush administration was responsible for making sure that the case would inevitably be thrown out on appeal, thus being an embarrassment for everyone involved, except of course Ted Stevens, who is claiming that this is proof he never did any of the things that they said he did.

Not hardly.

Well, of course we assumed that maybe somebody would get a slap on the wrist, or some Bush appointee would get pushed out of their job a bit early and end up getting wealthy writing slanted books rewriting history as fiction and giving interviews on hate radio claiming persecution by liberal fascists.

Not so. It seems that we really will find out wtf was happening.

“In nearly 25 years on the bench, I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case,” U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said.

And then he appointed a special prosecutor to figure out exactly what happened and bring the criminals in the department to justice.

YES!

In case there is any confusion about what “justice” might mean in a case like this, they are looking at disbarment and prison time.

The word is that the Bush administration has salted the employment rolls of the current administration with hangovers who are ‘moles’, undercover operatives waiting to take orders from Bush, Cheney, Rove, and the Republican caucus and sabotage whatever the Obama adminstration tries to do.

Let’s get the criminals out of there. Now.

Stevens case closed, case against prosecutors open