From Tanya: The author of this post invites League bloggers to write for the The Contrary Perspective.
I was appalled by Jeffrey Toobin’s analysis of the decision of the grand jury in the Darren Wilson indictment hearings. Toobin, a legal analyst for CNN is a former prosecutor as well as defense attorney. The reason the DA, Robert McCulloch, did not prosecute Darren Wilson during the hearings was because, Toobin says, he could not have convinced a trial jury that Wilson was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, even of involuntary manslaughter, the least of the possible charges. What good is an indictment—which is based on probable cause—Toobin would have us believe if there is no or little chance of winning at a trial?
So for Toobin, and who knows how many other extraordinary legal minds, it’s win or don’t bother. The legal proceedings in the wake of Michael Brown’s shooting death were all a game, to be won or lost…
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Reblogged from Sinking Ark.
“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created, that they endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and Property.”
Because that’s how it originally read in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. When they decided that “property” wasn’t sufficiently lofty verbiage for the country’s ideologically defining document, they changed it to “pursuit of happiness.” Why? Because property protection is a basic expectation in free societies, and in such societies it is the government’s role to protect the peoples’ right to property. Despite all that Republicans and Democrats disagree on, this is one of those “yeah, well, duh” points on which almost everyone sees eye to eye. In fact, so important are property rights, that when our country’s founders – people who were unusually well-educated in political theory and well-suited even in their time to lay the rules for a steady government – decided to write the declaration of government for the newborn Republic, what did they talk about in the first sentence? 1) the right to live 2) the right to be free and 3) the right to control one’s property.” When the government can take your property at whim with weakly justified laws that don’t pass the “Is this fair?” sniff test, people start to get pissed off.
Reblogged from Sinking Ark:
Note: In order to provide some context to my argument I will first be summarizing and referring to many of The Intercepts’ remarks from their report on the US terrorist watch list, which I highly recommend reading. My original commentary will then follow below.
What is the watch list, and what did we learn in this leak?
About a month ago, The Intercept posted the unclassified but nonetheless “secret” government document that outlines that internal procedures to place someone on the terrorist watch list. This is the watch list that is shared across agencies that basically prevents you from ever flying if you end up on it, among other things.
September 1, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
The following letters between two legendary figures of world history – Leo Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi – represent one of the most important historical documents ever published. The thoughts shared between these towering spiritual personalities – over 100 years later in 2014 – still deeply resonate and offer profound, timely, essential wisdom to humanity.
Thanks to the editors at nonresistance.org for their efforts. This is Public Domain literature so feel free to place in your personal files and disseminate widely.
With the extraordinary nature of this material – in addition to the significance of it occurring shortly before the passing of Tolstoy, as well as Gandhi’s later major involvement in India’s independence – every human being who is not aware of these writings will miss out on an extremely consequential relationship between two of the world’s greatest spiritual leaders.
Joanna Rothkopf reports in Salon:
The United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has recently concluded its 85th Session during which time it considered seven state reports, including one on the United States.
The report praised many progressive steps the U.S. has taken to ensure equality, including the termination of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, the adoption of the Fair Sentencing Act and the adoption of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
However, the number of issues the report raises is pretty abominable. CERD expressed concern over the following problems:
- Lack of a national human rights institution
- Persistent racial profiling and illegal surveillance
- Prevalence and under-reporting of racist hate speech and hate crimes
- Disparate impact of environmental pollution in low income and minority communities
- Restrictive voter identification laws leading to unequal right to vote
- Criminalization of homelessness when homeless people are…
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A beautiful blog called KindnessBlog.com recently posted an article and pictures of a mother and daughter from Iran who were attacked with acid by the mother’s abusive husband.
I decided to blog about the article because despite suffering a cruel attack in which acid was poured on their faces, hands and bodies, leading to severe pain and disfigurement, the daughter and mother are clearly glad to still have each other. This is captured through one of the pictures in which the daughter kisses her mother. They are survivors, and that is inspiring.
Also inspiring is an organization called Acid Survivors Trust International. Here’s a bit about them from their website:
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Reblogged from SinkingArk
“How could something like this ever happen?”
“Why didn’t the people do something?”
“How could a whole country go crazy?”
“If I had lived then, I would have done something.”
Introduction and brief apology
First off – no, the repetition in the title is not an error. And – I’ll get to the quotes above, below. Promise.
Those following my still nascent blog (thanks, by the way!) may have noticed a decrease in frequency over the last two weeks. I took a few weeks off to travel through Europe, and since I had limited internet access anyways figured I’d try to stay somewhat disconnected (try it sometime, it’s refreshing).
First off, apologies. I know that part of the responsibility – if you want to call it that – of running a blog is maintaining consistency. That said, time away from the monitor’s gradual erosion of my corneas actually allowed for a bit of time to reflect on some of the issues I’ve been writing about.
The first result of this contemplation is the article you’re reading now. It’s a big longer than my usual posts, and requires a touch of historical context, but ultimately ends with an appeal to you, my dear readers. I have a handful of these “reflection” topics I intend to post, and while they will not entail action items, I believe they will lay out more fully the rationale for the moral duty carried by citizens of a democracy to maintain constant vigilance in the form of participation in their self-governance. In other words, why I’m writing this blog at all.
Those that defend deportation of political, economic, and environmental refugees, those that stand next to busses of frightened and detained children along our borders, those that literally rock the busses and threaten to set fire to them, are either ignorant of the US role in the economic exploitation of these cultures and the resulting impact on climate change, or are deliberately set upon the poor people of the earth in a genocidal campaign to eliminate humanity from this earth. Look into the lives of these children and their families and understand what we have done.