Wednesday, July 31, 2013

White on white crime! -- Huff Po Headline

THE $14 TRILLION CRISIS

This is WHITE ON WHITE FINANCIAL VIOLENCE! Those too big to fail [fill in the blank] who knowingly perpetrated this -- big banksters, rating systems FRAUD, housing liars loans and lending institutions should be given LIFE times 1000 in a federal prison!


story here or below!




http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Sunday, July 28, 2013

From Angry Red to Pacific Blue – My Letter to the NAACP

Sirs/Madams:   The Supreme Court case neutering Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act means we must fight against those who would try to CLEARLY suppress the minority vote.   Republicans know if those who can legally vote are allowed to vote Republicans will lose overwhelmingly in both state and federal elections. They are a dying party made up primarily of older angry racist whites. We of all races, age and ethnic groups must effectively finish the job of extinguishing the Republican Party by ALL legal means necessary.

These know-nothing racist ghosts emanating from previous American eras are very much alive in this era trying their best to regress this nation to its vicious racist and misogynist past.  We MUST fight this by every legal means necessary.  I believe Attorney General Eric Holder will help us do that; at least I hope he will.

Moreover, we must, on every state and federal level do what needs to be done to ensure every minority who CAN vote is registered TO vote and the efforts to do this must begin now.  Someone I know suggested hiring buses in states like Texas, where the drive for a photo ID would be long and difficult, to transport hundreds if not thousands to obtain the required voter ID and thereby sign up Democratic voters.

We must fight these illegal attempts by Republicans to take away the vote from minorities to ensure Democratic losses and Republican wins. Voting rights were fought for with the blood of black and white patriots over centuries.  It MUST NOT HAPPEN that a Republican Party to avoid its extinction is now allowed to do things even third world nations do not do.  Our nation, an exporter of "democracy," looks like a nation of hypocrites when the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, decided in the Shelby case to emasculate and excise Section 5, the enforcer of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  The five so called "conservative" justices KNEW racism and prejudice in this nation had not gone away but they decided to cut the legs off the Voting Rights Act by neutering Section 5 of that law. 

The murder of Trayvon Martin, if nothing else, proved that racism and prejudice are quite firmly entrenched in the foundational cement of this nation.  They have never gone away and the fight for minority rights is NOT over because we elected a person of color to the presidency.

We must fight these dastardly attempts at voter suppression in the courts, we must fight them at the ballot box, and we must fight them by peaceful protest.  We must fight them any way we can.  In addition, we must beat these haters at their own game and DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO SIGN PEOPLE UP TO VOTE.  I do not care how we do it, whether on foot, by bus or by helicopter it must be done. 

2014 SHOULD be the year the Democrats TAKE BACK THE HOUSE.  It is imperative for our president to do what he has wanted to do all along and that is to concentrate on creating jobs, building infrastructure and developing clean energy the country so desperately needs.  Republicans and Tea Baggers mostly white racist know-nothings OBSTRUCT him because they want this first president of color to fail even if it means the failure of the nation as well.  We must NOT LET THE REPUBLICAN PARTY do their dastardly deeds.  We of humanitarian and progressive thought must in 2014 take back the House, take back state legislatures and the governors’ mansions too.  We must through the only political vehicle we have, the Democratic Party, turn ALL of them from angry red to pacific blue!

N. Rosen
Framingham, MA
 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Op-Ed: Helen Thomas - The Ugly Truth

One doesn't speak ill of the dead, but perhaps there are exceptional circumstances.
By Rabbi David Nesenoff
While serving for decades as a pulpit rabbi, I had the opportunity to hear eulogies offered by family and friends. It is quite curious to see how we speak of the dead. And so it is in the case of Helen Thomas.
As the person who video interviewed Helen Thomas on the White House lawn in May 2010, the famous video that went viral, capturing Helen Thomas saying that the Jews should leave Israel and go back to Germany and Poland, I watched with interest the memorializing of her passing. After all, three years ago, when she delivered her scathing words to me on the White House lawn on Jewish Heritage Day, she was thrown out of her job; the White House press corps banished her, the Nines Agency dropped their representation, her coauthor quit her and numerous speaking engagements were cancelled.
Soon after, the White House removed the plaque bearing her name from her front row seat in the briefing room; her name was removed from the tolerance award at her alma mater Wayne State University and her name was erased from the Society of Professional Journalists’ award as well. President Obama, himself, on camera, said that her words were “indefensible.”
Helen Thomas went on further to tell Playboy Magazine that the Zionists own “Congress, the White House, Hollywood and Wall Street.” Two congressmen, Republican Steve Chabot and Democrat Elliot Engel, even threatened to cancel all funding to the Palestinian Authority specifically because of its award to Helen Thomas.
Certainly one should be able to talk about Israel, disagree and offer various opinions on the White House lawn or any front lawn. But the classic dictionary definition of a bigot and racist is “Blacks go back to Africa” and “Jews go back to Germany.”
Helen Thomas managed 60 years of hiding behind her anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian veil until it was finally removed. And the naked anti-Jewish truth stood before us. Everyone saw it, knew it and threw her out.
But upon Helen Thomas’ death, TV show host Mika Brzezinski announced on MSNBC that Helen Thomas was her “role model.” CBS News decided to just change history and say that Helen Thomas said that the Jews should go back to “Europe.” CBS erased the word “Germany.”
President Obama lauded Helen Thomas as a “true pioneer,” ignoring her vile anti-Jewish words that had her thrown out of his house. Newspaper obituaries trivialized her bigotry, characterizing it as a small controversy stemming from her feistiness, and newscasters’ dimples’ grinned, “Oh that Helen, ha-ha.”
While every news source and the U.S. Justice Department scour information resources and beg, steal and borrow to find a nuance of a glimpse of evidence that George Zimmerman is a racist, Helen Thomas is on video blaring and blazing words that threw her out of polite society.
Yet upon her passing, the truth, facts, videos, quotes, and evidence of Helen Thomas being a blatant proud anti-Semite are all buried even before Helen is. Her original apology is sometimes included, but without mention of her continued post apology anti-Jewish words that have been documented. All the media are very quick to throw stones at Rolling Stone magazine’s cover of bombing suspect Tsarnaev, while they themselves air brush and glorify the life of a banished, video proven, anti-Semite Helen Thomas.
Whatever Helen Thomas may have accomplished for females in journalism and women’s rights, she erased by denying Jewish rights and human rights. And last I checked, women are part of humanity and they should be concerned about her denigrating words as well. She is the antithesis of a role model. If you are blessed to have the front row center seat, you should shine the light on the truth, the whole truth, and not take advantage and use it as a bully pulpit. And more recently she spouted disgusting lies about non-existent Israeli atrocities that I wouldn’t even dignify to repeat.
The world is a scary place and those informing us need to pay attention and report with truth. They can start by telling the truth about one of their own. Being a proven banished video documented anti-Semite should not be a small footnote in someone’s obituary. It is ultimately part and parcel of one’s legacy and it infected the world.
I found out the news that Helen Thomas died when I received an email from someone who wrote: “Happy now Kike?” He called me a “nasty filthy and smelly Jew …one of the ones Hitler missed.” I assume Helen Thomas was also his role model.
(David Nesenoff is a rabbi, film maker and author of David’s Harp. He is the publisher of RabbiLIVE.com and speaks worldwide on topics including anti-Semitism, Israel, media and the Middle East.)


Dan Friedman
NYC

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hitler's Stationery


Among CIA museum's prizes, an American love letter on Hitler's stationery



John Makely / NBCNews.com
After the Allies formally accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945, OSS agent and future CIA Director Richard Helms wrote a letter to his young son Dennis on a captured sheet of Adolf Hitler's personal stationery.

Inside a glass case in a “secret” CIA museum is a swastika-emblazoned letter written on Adolf Hitler’s personal stationery that was delivered to the museum the day after Osama bin Laden died.
The handwritten letter, sent by future CIA Director Richard Helms to his 3-year-old son at the close of World War II, may not be as ominous as bin Laden’s AK-47 featured in this exclusive NBC News report, which rests in another of the private museum’s display cases. But it too serves as both a trophy of war and a reminder of evil.

NBC's Richard Engel gets a tour of the greatest museum you will never see: the CIA museum, where items like Osama bin Laden's personal AK-47 rifle and some of the agency's most high-tech gadgetry are on display.
“Dear Dennis,” reads the letter from Helms, then a spy stationed in Germany. “The man who might have written on this card once controlled Europe – three short years ago when you were born. Today he is dead, his memory despised, his country in ruins. He had a thirst for power, a low opinion of man as an individual, and a fear of intellectual honesty. He was a force for evil in the world. His passing, his defeat – a boon for mankind. But thousands died that it might be so.  The price for ridding society of bad is always high.  Love, Daddy."http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=32520698#editor/target=post;postID=6989931629993020541

The Understatement: Snowden in Russia--My Letter to Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald is a brilliant civil libertarian lawyer/journalist who writes for "The Guardian." He is the writer who broke the story and interviewed the former National Security Agency contractor systems analyst Ed Snowden who released thousands of classified NSA documents. This is a huge story as Snowden released many classified documents exposing US foreign and domestic behavior and has in his possession allegedly even more embarrassing documents he is threatening to release if anything should happen to him.

Snowden is now holed up in the transit section of the Moscow airport seeking asylum because if he returns to the US he will face, if he is tried, nearly certain long term or life imprisonment and even death for treason. He is currently seeking or has sought asylum from 20 countries including China, Russia, India, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Italy, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Venezuela and others. Many have already denied his request. Russia and a few others are still considering it.

I have remained critical of Mr. Snowden and Glenn Greenwald for what Snowden has done and about which Greenwald has written extensively. My left of center allies often, about this issue wholeheartedly disagree with my opinion but I remain steadfast in it for what I think is good reasoning. The following is the opinion
I wrote to Greenwald (some edits have been made for clarity):

Glenn, one cannot help but marvel at your civil libertarian analyses. I have heard you speak at Harvard and have thought you a national treasure. Usually, while not always agreeing with your opinion, I share with you a basic political affinity. I keep hoping you will change my opinion about Snowden to be as supportive of him as you but I continue to defend the Obama administration's committed efforts to stop more leaks because I am a pragmatist and a realist. Moreover, I not only love but I trust the former civil liberties Constitutional law scholar and our president to know what he is doing.

Our Founders could NEVER have known the dangers we face as a nation nor the existential threat that indeed exists for the entire planet and for us who live in its shelter. Man now has the capacity to wipe himself and everything else on planet earth out. Indeed, many of our adversaries would not hesitate to attack this nation again perhaps worse than 9/11.

Our Founders could not have known of nuclear peril when they wrote about due process. Beyond even that, there is NO nation -- none -- on earth which does not have its own embedded hypocrisy. Last evening I had the pleasure of watching Larry O'Donnell who interviewed the noted playwright Harvey Firestein. The subject was Russia's war on homosexuals. My thoughts turned to Mr. Snowden because he is asking asylum in that country and will have to endure Russia under Putin's civil libertarian slaughter. Will Snowden or you criticize Russia or Putin? I think not.

Moreover, I suggest if he is granted asylum in Russia that you or anyone you know who is homosexual NOT go there. You can be fined, jailed, hurt or even killed IF they find out that you are homosexual, you associate with homosexuals OR if you even advocate for homosexuals. Indeed, one could be arrested for wearing a rainbow flag T-shirt. That is a country one would NEVER want to choose for asylum especially if one were gay. You tell me a nation to which Snowden would go and I would be able to enumerate all the civil libertarian violations of that state. Russia surely would be on my top ten tyranny list.

We do not live in a sugar coated world and this nation with all of its faults is still worthy of defending and saving. Indeed, personally, I could NEVER conceive doing what Snowden did no matter how noble he thinks his ends are. In the final analysis I suspect Moscow and other states of his choosing for asylum would NOT accord him the ability to criticize the state and if one is homosexual like you are the thought of what Russia and those states like it could or would do to you is unthinkable and that is an understatement.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Beautiful and Mystifying Earth--The Time to Act is NOW

Since the projections for the eradication of our coastal cities by flooding because of the rise in global temperature relate more to our descendants than to us, those of you who do not care about your children, grandchildren and future descendants will not care about this article. I suspect, however, most who do have children and grandchildren with pictures of them occupying every inch of your home and desks, WILL care mightily about the link of the article here and below.

Those of us who do not have children or grandchildren by choice or nature's design it can serve to make one think that one's choice or fate has worked to one's singular advantage. Unfortunately, those who did make the choice to have them and count on generation after generation promoting their legacy through genetic and cultural heritage then, well, you MAY want to advocate -- strongly advocate -- for the significant decrease or even elimination of fossil fuels that have our planet and homo sapiens (modern man) in its death grip.

Even IF one does not have children the fact that one can count on the magisterial beauty of our planet every day we awaken upon it should be enough to compel us to save it no matter how long it will take climate change to eradicate man's place on this beautiful and spiritually mystifying earth.

The time to influence and elect our minions of power who know science rules is the present. The time to act is NOW before it is too late!

NB: It is why I advocate for the Democratic Party on the state and the national level. You can be assured IF 2014 sees an increase in the Republican racist party of interposition and nullification obstructionism then our country and, indeed, our planet WILL fail.

Make no mistake, whatever critical analysis you may hold for the Democratic Party you will make a monstrous mistake by putting Republicans in office.  I urge you to contribute to the Democratic Party any way and everywhere you possibly can.  There is too much at stake as we have seen what happens when Republicans control it all. 

Republicans will continue to perpetuate rule by oligarchy, the mega rich and usurp racist and misogynist control of the courts even possibly the Supreme Court generally setting our country back a century.  Tea baggers should NOT be fooled.  The Republican Party has been hijacked by the oligarchs of wealth and privilege. The Republican Party is surely NOT about them or you!  Sign up, sign up, sign up (beat Republicans at their own game) all Democrats to vote everywhere Democratic to finally give the president a chance to govern and the country the chance to live out its dream!



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/due-to-global-warming-end_b_3628981.html

Monday, July 22, 2013

Alex Beam for Senate? PERISH THE THOUGHT!

What I wrote Alex Beam in response to his Op Ed in the July 21, 2013 Sunday Globe.

Alex, smoke came out of my ears from the fire in my brain when I read your Op Ed against our newly elected Senator Warren "Lots of noise from Warren but little delivery" pasted here or below. I LOVE Elizabeth Warren, I worked hard for Elizabeth Warren as much as I was able since I am disabled so I take your article as a HUGE affront to the point where I am considering canceling my subscription of The Globe. That is how passionate I am. Yes, I understand it is your First Amendment you are exercising. You have a right to say that you think she is the devil or Medusa incarnate but it does not mean I have to like it.
We are NOT talking about Queen Elizabeth. We are talking about one brilliant senator but ONLY one. She is swimming in a pool of sharks who want to take not only her down but the president himself down as well. We live in the most obstructionist of times since the Civil War. That fact goes on and on and on unless the rancid, mean, racist Republicans can be squashed at the polls. That is what I am hoping will happen.

Until then our WONDERFUL senator is one among 100 and must also know that anything she proposes will be met with House cement-like resistance. The agency for which she fought the Consumer Protection Bureau is a big accomplishment. The president, though, had to pull teeth to have its head, Richard Cordray confirmed by the Senate and then it was only through threat of drowning the filibuster that made those unconscionables compromise.

Give this woman a break. She is still nascent new. What would you like her to have done usher in a stimulus package on her own to jump-start the economy? I am SURE she would wholeheartedly agree. Holding the banks and the economic behemoths accountable for their malodorous mendacity of fraud brought on by decades of Republican rule and which cost the taxpayer trillions would be nice too. She would again agree to that I am sure.

You try and get the other 100 plus a Republican takeover of the House to be united to fix this country. Then I would say how about Alex Beam for Senate. Perish the thought!

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2013/07/20/the-big-noise-senator-elizabeth warren/iCPYI1tOK1g03bcgZQENEJ/comments.html

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Another Take: Explaining the Rolling Stone Cover, by a Boston Native

Another take. Is Rolling Stone Magazine correctly attacked for the DzhokharTsarnaev cover photo or is this yet another unwarranted media no news news hype?

NB: I have read the left of center Rolling Stone Magazine from its inception in the radical left late 1960's. It has become serious journalism at its best. Matt Taibbi is one of the most excellent and entertaining tell-it-like-it-is journalists I have ever read. His many exposés of the financial fraud debacle of 2007/8, his book Griftopia, and his revelatory article about General Stanley McChrystal Commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan have been brilliant.

The article responding to the Rolling Stone cover by him is here or below.


Explaining the Rolling Stone Cover, by a Boston Native

By MATT TAIBBI


http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/explaining-the-rolling-stone-cover-by-a-boston-native-20130719?utm_source=dailynewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kaddish – a Prayer for the Living said at Services for the Dead

I wrote a small opinion on an MSNBC story reporting that a juror from the Trayvon Martin murder case has now come forward to talk of the acquittal. It reported about some jurors who wanted to convict the perpetrator whose name I will not utter. This is what I said:

I am a white Jewish woman. There is NOT a day that has gone by since the not guilty verdict that I do not think about Trayvon and his family. I wake up thinking about them. I go to sleep thinking of them and I dream about them. I see his mother's BEAUTIFUL countenance before me. All of them are in my heart and this travesty of justice inflames my being.

I will think of them now when I wake up, when I go to sleep and when I walk along in the day I will think of them. They are frontlets between my eyes. I am not a religious person BUT there are some times in life that are SO hard to take my soul cries out for the help of a higher power. I know Trayvon's family is very religious so I prayed this morning for them and all of us who call ourselves human to know peace. Trayvon is seared into history. His memory and the entire dastardly experience will be thought of, talked about and taught for generations to come.

I prayed today the Jewish mourners Kaddish that is a prayer for the living said at services for the dead. We of good conscience and humanity mourn Trayvon's passing. I offer my prayers for his family, for the late Trayvon and for all of us who care about this egregious act and unjust verdict that somewhere somehow we all find peace and that JUSTICE, as remote as it may seem now, for his murder prevails!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Low Hanging Fruit

Billie Holiday's poignant heart wrenching song "Strange Fruit" about, of course, the many many lynchings of innocent black people hanging from the poplar trees in the south hung there by southern whites. The not guilty verdict of Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon brought me to it. I urge you to listen to this short first broadcast of this sad but beautiful and meaningful song. Then think just why persons of color and those of us who support this cause are so passionate.


It's here or below



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Web007rzSOI

Zimmerman: WHEN IS Cold-Blooded Murder NOT MURDER!

I have a relative who is politically very left of center, very smart and a professionally credentialed person. We do not always agree on everything but on some things there is no doubt he is utterly correct and the not guilty of murder Zimmerman case is such a time.  I paste it for your consideration.  NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER GIVE IN AS LONG AS WE DRAW BREATH WE MUST FIGHT WITHIN THE SYSTEM.  SOME OF US MAY NOT LIVE TO SEE THE CHANGES WE WANT BUT CHANGE CAN AND DOES HAPPEN.  LOOK OUT AND SEE AND KNOW WHY OUR SICKENING OPPOSITION  REPUBLICANS WILL DO ANYTHING EVEN UNETHICAL TO ROB ALL OF US OF POWER AND INSTITUTE A NATION WHERE ONLY THE PHYSICALLY FITTEST AND WEALTHIEST WILL SURVIVE.  THE REST OF US WILL NOT MATTER.  PROMOTE DEMOCRATS EVERYWHERE.  IT'S NOT PERFECT BUT IT'S OUR ONLY HOPE!
Zimmerman: WHEN IS Cold-Blooded Murder NOT MURDER!

by Stephen Lendman

When is killing a non-threatening unarmed teenager not murder? When civil rights don't matter. When Jim Crow justice prevails. 

When the victim is black. When mostly white women jurors call cold-blooded murder self-defense. 

(Note: Juror B29 was the sole Hispanic. Zimmerman's white. He's  Hispanic. His voter registration form identifies him that way. His father calls himself white. His mother's Peruvian).

Killing Trayvon Martin's not murder when a jury of peers representing both sides fairly is verboten. When killing black males in America is OK when whites do it. 

When a culture of violence prevails. When institutionalized racism is longstanding. When conventional wisdom says black males aren't victims. They're prone to violence. 

When equity and justice are four-letter words. When human life has no value. When society doesn't give a damn if a black male dies. When lawlessness is part of the national culture.

George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin. He did so in cold-blood. He's free to kill again. Wrongfully claiming self-defense saved him. It's the American way. It's always been this way. 

Cold-blooded murder's not self-defense. Not now. Not ever. 

The ACLU responded to Trayvon's killing saying:

His death "once again laid bare the reality that, too often in our nation’s history, police actions have been motivated by racial bias and that crimes with an undeniable racial motive have too often been overlooked or swept under the rug."

Florida's Seminole County Court Judge Debra Nelson concluded proceedings telling Zimmerman: "You have no further business with the court."

Benjamin Crump represented Trayvon's family. He expressed their outrage saying:

"Trayvon Martin will forever remain in the annals of history next to Medgar Evers and Emmet Till as symbols for the fight for equal justice for all."

He appealed for calm, adding: "For Trayvon to remain in peace, we must all be peaceful."

NAACP President Ben Jealous issued a statement saying:

"I know I am not alone in my outrage, anger, and heartbreak over this decision." 

"When a teenager's life is taken in cold blood, and there is no accountability for the man who killed him, nothing seems right in the world, but we cannot let these emotions alone rule."

"In these most challenging of times, we are called to act. There is work left to be done to achieve justice for Trayvon." 

"The Department of Justice can still address the violation of Trayvon's most fundamental civil right - the right to life, and we are urging them to do so."

"We continue to grieve the loss of Trayvon with his parents, his family, and all who loved him. Do not forget what brought us to this day."

"(W)e have a choice. We can be felled by our sorrows over the jury's decision, or we can turn our frustration into action. We can demand the Department of Justice address the travesties of this tragedy. We can take a step forward in our efforts to finally end racial profiling in America once and for all."

Legal proceedings against Zimmerman's wife remain active. Shellie Zimmerman faces perjury charges. She lied last summer. She did so during her husband's bail hearing.

She wrongfully pled poverty. She did it after she and her husband raised $130,000 through online donations.

Nationwide protests followed Zimmerman's acquittal. Public anger is real. It's visceral. Twitter messages read:

"My heart is aching with disappointment."

"My tears haven't fallen this hard in years."

"The justice system in America is RIP."

"US jury acquits on black teen death!! Makes me sick to my stomach."

"It's now legal. You can chase someone, start a fight…pull out a gun, kill him & walk away scot-free."

San Francisco protesters marched down Mission and Valencia streets. They called for justice. They held signs saying: "The people say guilty," "No justice, no peace," and "The whole system is racist."

Riots erupted in downtown Oakland. Chicago protesters shouted "Who killed Treyvon Martin? The whole damn system!"

Washington, DC protesters blocked a busy intersection. Marchers in Seminole County's seat, Sanford, Miami, and elsewhere demand justice.

Trayvon was aged 17. He was an African American high school student. He lived in predominantly white Sanford, FL.

On February 26, 2012, Zimmerman murdered him in cold blood. He faced second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.

Trayvon was unarmed. He carried a can of iced tea and some cash. He threatened no one. Neighborhood watch captain Zimmerman claimed self-defense.

Critics called killing Trayvon a hate crime. Police tapes showed Zimmerman obsessed with law and order, suburban life minutia, and black males. He called them "assholes who always get away."

A 2011-established Neighborhood Watch group appointed him captain. It was set up to help local police. He's a former altar boy turned killer.

In 2005, he faced assault charges. He accosted a police officer during an altercation. It was over a friend's underage drinking arrest. 

He was a first-time offender. He avoided a felony conviction. The same year, his former fiancee accused him of domestic violence. He counter-charged in response. In 2006, the case ended when both injunctions expired.

Stand your ground laws facilitate anything goes. They legitimize vigilante justice. They permit killing. 

Most US states have them. So does Florida. They wink and nod at murder. They do so if authorities or individuals fear assailants pose serious threats. They expand on the so-called Castle Doctrine.

US Legal.com defines it as follows:

"In criminal law, (it's) an exception to the retreat rule. The retreat rule allows a person the use of deadly force while protecting his/her place of abode, its premises and its inhabitants from attack such as from a trespasser who intends to commit a felony or inflict serious bodily injury or harm."

"This defense justifies such conduct constituting a criminal offense. This is also termed as defense of premises, defense of habitation and dwelling defense."

According to Jacksonville, FL State Attorney Angela Corey:

"The stand-your-ground law is one portion of justifiable use of deadly force." 

"And what that means is that the state must go forward and be able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt."

"It makes the case in general more difficult than a normal criminal case."

Florida's law states:

"A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."

Law Professor Jonathan Turley calls Stand Your Ground, Make My Day, and Castle Doctrine laws abusive and unnecessary.

They "address a problem that does not exist," he said. There are ample protections under the common law for individuals to use the privilege of self-defense, including reasonable mistaken self-defense."

"Legislators are now feigning complete shock at the potential for abuse under these laws after refusing to consider" clear warnings about passing them.

Shoot first laws assure trouble. Needless deaths follow. Killers get off scot-free. Wild west justice prevails.

Zimmerman wasn't initially charged. Public outrage forced Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to act. She appointed a special prosecutor. She pressed second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.

Under Florida law, second degree murder is lawlessly killing someone. It excludes premeditation. Proving it requires prosecutors show defendants evinced a "depraved mind" without regard for human life.

They must convince jurors that they acted with enmity toward victims or that both parties had an ongoing interaction or relationship. Proving an intent to kill isn't required.

Second degree murder's mandated if victims die while committing a felony. They include burglary, home-invasion robbery, kidnapping, sexual battery, and other offenses.

Prosecutors must show victims died as a result of an act committed by a non-participant in the felony. If the defendant or other criminal participant caused the killing, state law requires first degree murder charges.

Second degree murder defenses include:

  • justifiable use of deadly force to "prevent the commission of a forcible felony," or using it "to prevent death or great bodily harm;"

  • excusable homicide committed by accident; or

  • spontaneous or negligent killing qualifying as manslaughter.

If found guilty, Zimmerman faced up to 30 years imprisonment. Life sentences may be imposed if defendants had other felony convictions, including murder.

Acquitting Zimmerman reflects Jim Crow justice. Killing a nonthreatening unarmed black teenager doesn't matter. Stand your ground laws make it easy. It's the American way.


 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I Stand My Ground!


Clearly, I am disappointed by the verdict of not guilty in the Zimmerman case. I again post what I iterated BEFORE we knew the not guilty moment. Yes, I stand my ground and WHY Democrats MUST be elected not only in the Congressional House but throughout state legislatures as well!
The media has hyped the Zimmerman trial to the apex of Everest and, yes, I have fallen prey to watching much of it. No one in this nation arrives at their own personal verdict of acquittal or guilt of George Zimmerman without the animus of race being a pertinent part of one's conclusion. No one comes into this life in this country as a tabula raza that is a clean slate on the subject of race. Most have probably reached a conclusion based in part on the trial’s racial component.

When polled after the O.J. Simpson trial the opinion of the American public broke on the lines of race. Whites in large numbers thought O.J. guilty and persons of color either thought he was innocent or loved the miscarriage of justice acquitting him. Whites, mostly, were incensed that a black man got off for a murder he most likely committed. I remember rationalizing this as I saw it miscarriage of justice as payback to whites for the eons of eras in US history people of African descent have gotten the jackboot of justice crushing their necks. They have, I thought, had long standing grievances against this nation which prides itself on its egalitarian ethos. It has as, Martin Luther King said, written a check to African Americans returned to them marked insufficient funds.

The violence perpetrated in this country against people of African descent since the first slave ship arrived on the continent is well documented. For over 350 years white violence against African Americans by their white masters has been legion; translated over time it has been incomprehensible. Even though I disagreed with the verdict on the evidence in the OJ case I justified it as long overdue payback for the many egregious perpetrations of injustice this besieged group of humanity had to and still does experience in this land. Finally, it was not the business-as-usual white man getting away with literally murders of many innocent black men and women.

How many whites supremacists have historically gotten off for the murder and rape of Africans? How much violence over that period has been perpetrated unjustly against the black man even to this day? Our history is clear no matter how fervent the white denial. The KKK and other white nationalist groups planted their many flaming crosses to ensure the black man would never escape slavery, live in fear and when freed would never hold power. We KNOW this to be true in our own era.

The black man need only walk out his door to know he will be judged more harshly, more unjustly and treated more inequitably because he is black and for no other reason. The history of white malevolent behavior against blacks is ever so long, the rectification of this injustice moves ever so slowly and the arc of justice is shorter than it should be. Indeed, there at times seems to be a reversal of fortune for the black man as the right wing perpetrated regression to another era has begun in our time. Racism in this nation is on a slow burn; it simmers on a seemingly eternal boil waxing and waning depending on the historical moment.

We see it now everywhere even in those states not part of the old Confederacy. It stretches into every corner of our culture from the courts to the voting booth. There is a systematic attempt by most especially those in the Republican Party to insidiously subtract the black vote rather than to inclusively add to it. A Supreme Court has by one stroke of a rancid decision nullified the most important paragraph of the 1965 Voting Rights Act with the hutzpah (nerve) to say there is no longer racism in the south and other states of the nation. Tell that to minorities who had to wait for hours to vote. Tell that to African American males who are jailed twice as much as whites for crimes which are perpetrated by whites at twice the rate. No wonder African Americans are angry. I am angry too.

The State of Florida v. George Zimmerman is saturated with our historical racist animus. Here is what I think occurred: George Zimmerman wanted to be a cop. He wanted it so much he reported many times the threat of crime in that predominantly white gated community where he neighborhood watched. He carried a gun and felt secure he was protected. His profanity laced 911 calls show in clear decibel tones the extent of his anger and determination to get the alleged criminal. He saw Travon Martin, riding a bike with “something in his hand” wearing a hoodie. That something in Travon’s hand turned out to be as lethal as package of Skittles can be. The man he followed instead of returning to his car as directed by the police turned out to be a teenager on a bike who had every right to be where he was riding to his father’s residence. George Zimmerman has lied not once but many times when he retold his story of what occurred that fateful night. He was caught in a whopper on the right wing station, Fox News. He was on friendly turf and he lied, showed no emotion, said he would do everything all over again if he had the chance and OF COURSE attributed it to God’s plan! The malevolence of the man Zimmerman, the mendaciousness of the man Zimmerman, the utter gall of the man Zimmerman to think that he could shoot Trayvon in the heart, kill him and get away with it simply by claiming self-defense. Zimmerman carried the gun and was loaded for bear. The defense counsel’s final argument was theater of the absurd ridiculous carrying around a block of cement dusting off his pants thinking that argument would resonate. Like Lady Macbeth he could not wash the blood and the dust as metaphor all off. 

Zimmerman was simmering that night. He was testosterone infused and dedicated to taking someone down. Travon Martin was a picture perfect fit for that desire and after all it was God’s plan. God’s plan? I think NOT. George Zimmerman, in my opinion, will get the justice he never gave Trayvon. A teenager is dead and George Zimmerman killed him.

If our country has a shred of decency left GUILTY OF MANSLAUGHTER will be the final verdict for George Zimmerman and as John Guy counsel for the prosecution, said in his brilliant and impassioned closing argument, Travon Benjamin Martin will get the truth the dead so rightfully deserve. That is one truth that cannot be erased.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Zimmerman Verdict

Shocking but not totally surprising given an ALL white jury in very conservative Sanford!!

The Simmering Zimmerman

The media has hyped the Zimmerman trial to the apex of Everest and, yes, I have fallen prey to watching much of it. No one in this nation arrives at their own personal verdict of acquittal or guilt of George Zimmerman without the animus of race being a pertinent part of one's conclusion. No one comes into this life in this country as a tabula raza that is a clean slate on the subject of race. Most have probably reached a conclusion based in part on the trial’s racial component.

When polled after the O.J. Simpson trial the opinion of the American public broke on the lines of race. Whites in large numbers thought O.J. guilty and persons of color either thought he was innocent or loved the miscarriage of justice acquitting him. Whites, mostly, were incensed that a black man got off for a murder he most likely committed. I remember rationalizing this as I saw this miscarriage of justice as payback to whites for the eons of eras in US history people of African descent have gotten the jackboot of justice crushing their necks. They have, I thought, had long standing grievances against this nation which prides itself on its egalitarian ethos. It has as, Martin Luther King said, written a check to African Americans returned to them marked insufficient funds.

The violence perpetrated in this country against people of African descent since the first slave ship arrived on the continent is well documented. For over 350 years white violence against African Americans by their white masters has been legion; translated over time it has been incomprehensible. Even though I disagreed with the verdict on the evidence in the OJ case I justified it as long overdue payback for the many egregious perpetrations of injustice this besieged group of humanity had to and still does experience in this land. Finally, it was not the business-as-usual white man getting away with literally murders of many innocent black men and women.

How many whites supremacists have historically gotten off for the murder and rape of Africans? How much violence over that period has been perpetrated unjustly against the black man even to this day? Our history is clear no matter how fervent the white denial. The KKK and other white nationalist groups planted their many flaming crosses to ensure the black man would never escape slavery, live in fear and when freed would never hold power. We KNOW this to be true in our own era.

The black man need only walk out his door to know he will be judged more harshly, more unjustly and treated more inequitably because he is black and for no other reason. The history of white malevolent behavior against blacks is ever so long, the rectification of this injustice moves ever so slowly and the arc of justice is shorter than it should be. Indeed, there at times seems to be a reversal of fortune for the black man as the right wing perpetrated regression to another era has begun in our time. Racism in this nation is on a slow burn; it simmers on a seemingly eternal boil waxing and waning depending on the historical moment.

We see it now everywhere even in those states not part of the old Confederacy. It stretches into every corner of our culture from the courts to the voting booth. There is a systematic attempt by most especially those in the Republican Party to insidiously subtract the black vote rather than to inclusively add to it. A Supreme Court has by one stroke of a rancid decision nullified the most important paragraph of the 1965 Voting Rights Act with the hutzpah (nerve) to say there is no longer racism in the south and other states of the nation. Tell that to minorities who had to wait for hours to vote. Tell that to African American males who are jailed twice as much as whites for crimes which are perpetrated by whites at twice the rate. No wonder African Americans are angry. I am angry too.

The State of Florida v. George Zimmerman is saturated with our historical racist animus. Here is what I think occurred: George Zimmerman wanted to be a cop. He wanted it so much he reported many times the threat of crime in that predominantly white gated community where he neighborhood watched. He carried a gun and felt secure he was protected. His profanity laced 911 calls show in clear decibel tones the extent of his anger and determination to get the alleged criminal. He saw Travon Martin, riding a bike with “something in his hand” wearing a hoodie. That something in Travon’s hand turned out to be as lethal as package of Skittles can be. The man he followed instead of returning to his car as directed by the police turned out to be a teenager on a bike who had every right to be where he was riding to his father’s residence. George Zimmerman has lied not once but many times when he retold his story of what occurred that fateful night. He was caught in a whopper on the right wing station, Fox News. He was on friendly turf and he lied, showed no emotion, said he would do everything all over again if he had the chance and OF COURSE attributed it to God’s plan! The malevolence of the man Zimmerman, the mendaciousness of the man Zimmerman, the utter gall of the man Zimmerman to think that he could shoot Trayvon in the heart, kill him and get away with it simply by claiming self-defense. Zimmerman carried the gun and was loaded for bear. The defense counsel’s final argument was theater of the absurd ridiculous carrying around a block of cement dusting off his pants thinking that argument would resonate. Like Lady Macbeth he could not wash the blood and the dust as metaphor all off.

Zimmerman was simmering that night. He was testosterone infused and dedicated to taking someone down. Travon Martin was a picture perfect fit for that desire and after all it was God’s plan. God’s plan? I think NOT. George Zimmerman, in my opinion, will get the justice he never gave Trayvon. A teenager is dead and George Zimmerman killed him.

If our country has a shred of decency left GUILTY OF MANSLAUGHTER will be the final verdict for George Zimmerman and as John Guy counsel for the prosecution, said in his brilliant and impassioned closing argument, Travon Benjamin Martin will get the truth the dead so rightfully deserve. That is one truth that cannot be erased.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Brain

I put this site here or below for your enjoyment.
I DID notice this was put on by the AEI which is a conservative forum and right wing think tank. Obviously, I am NOT an AEI fan. BUT sometimes there are discussions that may be apolitical. I listened to the introduction and thought this an interesting topic. Admittedly, I do not know what the hour program is like. The moderator, David Brooks, is NOT one of my favorites although at times he utters an intelligent thought.

He began by asking a question as it relates to God so he lost me BUT the man answering the question I know not who he is makes for what SEEMS a very interesting discussion to those of us who are fascinated by the brain's construct.


http://fora.tv/2013/06/17/Brainwashed_The_Seductive_Appeal_of_Mindless_Neuroscience/What_Does_the_Mind_Have_That_the_Brain_Doesnt

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Headline: Fukushima Groundwater Shows Record Radiation Levels--NUCLEAR POWER IS UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED



I wish I could get paid every time I predict a current event accurately!! Here is a copy of the Fukushima article entitled:

"Fukushima Groundwater Shows Record Radiation Levels"


or below


The article says "Tepco also announced that the plant's manager at the height of the crisis, when three reactors underwent meltdowns, died on Tuesday of esophageal cancer - unrelated to his duties."


Right, unrelated to his duties? I suspect that is a lie!





Monday, July 08, 2013

GAS LAND PART 2 -- A MUST VIEW



Dear Natalie

Long before there was fracking, the natural gas industry
was lavishing campaign contributions on elected officials 
as part of its efforts to get America to frack first, ask questions
about fracking's dangers later.

Tonight on HBO, see the nationwide premiere of Gasland 2,
the new documentary film by Josh Fox, which cites Common Cause's
ground-breaking research showing how the natural gas industry has
gained extraordinary access and influence with lawmakers in
Congress and many state capitols.

Through hundreds of millions spent on lobbying and campaign contributions,
and through model legislation advanced by the
American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, the natural
gas industry has fought to keep secret the chemicals used in fracking.

Find out what fracking means for your community and
state -- tune into HBO at 9 p.m. Eastern tonight!
 


Thanks for all you do.

James Browning
and the rest of the team at Common Cause

P.S. You can also see a preview of Gasland 2, and an interview
 with Director Josh Fox, in this clip from "The Daily Show." 

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Haywire or Full Faith and Credit

The article "Independence Day Blues" by Philip Giraldo of Opednews posted here or below makes some startling points to ponder concerning the eradication of the nation's civil liberties and due process hallmarks of our nation. I agree with some of the author's points but not all.  I believe part of our past 9/11 constitutionally eviscerating legislation a necessary evil but will spare you a dig deep into the weeds to illuminate that point. 
 
Suffice it to say there are those who internationally and nationally want to do us great harm and, worse, nuclear, chemical or biological materials disseminated in guerrilla-like fashion could be in the mix.
 
As usual, though, whether it is the relaxation of social mores of the late 1960's or the electorate's free pass given to power after 9/11, our people and our government have gone, in my opinion, haywire.  The government with electoral acquiescence is in some cases compromising and/or eliminating the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Constitutional Amendments.  It can do so, now, if it wanted, with impunity even to us.
 
I especially hope, however, at the end of the article when the author calls the president an "empty suit" he is especially NOT correct.  That would be my greatest noir moment because I have given my full faith and credit to the 2008 and 2012 election of him!
 

Thursday, July 04, 2013

“Should Republicans Just Focus on White Voters?” -- Whites on the Right

The Title of the NYT article “Should Republicans Just Focus on White Voters” see link here or below, caught my eye. Much had to do with the oft talked about changing demographics of the nation as it becomes less white and the apoplectic stroke the Republican Party is having as well as the hand-wringing it is doing to obviate this fact to win power. There are different opinions, of course, among Republican strategists as to what the Republican Party needs to do. Some “conservatives” think the Republican Party should not change its message at all but should simply mount an effort to corral whites which Republican Utopians think will amass millions more votes for them since they believe more whites will flock to the polls if the Republican Party reaches out to snag them. I think otherwise.

The Republican Party has many more problems than simply demographic numbers. It has become, as some have said, the party of stupid. That is, as I see it, its major problem. Thankfully, there are significant numbers of smart whites in our electorate who would not vote Republican as it ideologically stands now even if someone paid them off at the polls to do it. The Party’s moronic anti-science stand on a host of issues makes it impossible for many whites of cerebral substance to support it. The Republican Party stands now for the advancement of its mythology and its – usually Fundamentalist Christian – religious belief system.  They want to mix their religion with things political.  That is just what most of our Founding Fathers did NOT want as they clearly and thankfully embedded the all-important separation of church state Constitutional clause within our founding document.  Nothing can kill a nation faster than dogmatic uncompromising religion in extremis.  Religion tied to politics is the oil and water mix of our time.

One cannot deny evolution, one cannot deny the warming of the climate with its plethora of catastrophic weather events, and one cannot deny sexuality has a DNA genetic component Republican know nothings say it does not.  They say one can change the gay by praying it away. Praying away the gay does not work.  The Fundamentalist attempt of the Exodus movement realized it did not work nor help those coming to terms with what nature bestowed; to the contrary, this insipid movement did significant damage including contributing to suicide of those who could not change no matter how hard they prayed.  

Moreover, when this party of stupid promotes its anti-choice stances and says things like a woman’s body shuts down pregnancy when she is raped or that god intended a pregnancy to exist through incest, or a woman becomes less fertile when she receives a legal abortion one staggers away from such idiocy unable to accept the Republican Party once known for its Goldwater intellectual rigor.  Within what fantasy world does the Republican Party now live that allows them to think this kind of irrational and mendacious Republican Party will win high office?  It will not.

More whites than any other group may have voted for Mitt Romney but many more whites stayed home. Whites I know would NEVER vote for anyone in the Republican Party of dumb. If one denies learning and the science that comes through it sooner or later one will lose the evolutionary game of life.  Science always rules. Until the Republican Party changes its social message, ultimately, it will lose smart whites too!