In my opinion, anything less than resignations across the board – from Commissioner Goodell on down the line – is an insult, not just to those who are victims of domestic violence but to all of us who believe in the rule of law.
Archive for the ‘criminal justice’ Tag
RICHMOND — A federal jury Thursday found former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty of public corruption — sending a message that they believed the couple sold the office once occupied by Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson to a free spending Richmond businessman for golf outings, lavish vacations and $120,000 in sweetheart loans.
After three days of deliberations, the seven men and five women who heard weeks of gripping testimony about the McDonnells’ alleged misdeeds acquitted the couple of several charges pending against them–but nevertheless found that they lent the prestige of the governor’s office to Jonnie R. Williams Sr. in a nefarious exchange for his largesse.
The verdict means that Robert McDonnell, who was already the first governor in Virginia history to be charged with a crime, now he holds an even more unwanted distinction: the first ever to be convicted of one. He and his wife face decades in federal prison, though their actual sentence will probably fall well short of that.(Washington Post via. Crooks & Liars)
I don’t know what’s worse here: the fact that he was able to exploit the Commonwealth of Virginia’s admittedly weak ethics rules or that Mitt Romney actually considered McDonnell for vice-president back in 2012. Regardless, though, it is good to see that the laws on ethics and corruption are still enforced in this country.
Normally, I don’t like to touch the issue of race directly as NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote about recently in Time Magazine but there’s a blurb about what he wrote over at Crooks & Liars and it is well-worth reading, if not for any other reason than to make you think about the topic at hand. Quoting the excerpt over at C & L:
This fist-shaking of everyone’s racial agenda distracts America from the larger issue that the targets of police overreaction are based less on skin color and more on an even worse Ebola-level affliction: being poor. Of course, to many in America, being a person of color is synonymous with being poor, and being poor is synonymous with being a criminal. Ironically, this misperception is true even among the poor.
And that’s how the status quo wants it…
The U.S. Census Report finds that 50 million Americans are poor. Fifty million voters is a powerful block if they ever organized in an effort to pursue their common economic goals. So, it’s crucial that those in the wealthiest One Percent keep the poor fractured by distracting them with emotional issues like immigration, abortion and gun control so they never stop to wonder how they got so screwed over for so long.(Time Magazine via. Crooks & Liars)
If you think about it, Kareem Abdul Jabbar nails it right on the head and reminds us that one reason why you see politicians and other Americans attempt to demonize people along various lines is not just to keep us divided but also to keep working-class Americans of all stripes from wanting to help and support those at the very bottom of the economic and societal ladder. Put simply, we Americans need to break and shatter the status quo once and for all and that means all of us of good will, all of us who seek to build a better society for our fellow Americans, need to really start working together..and the sooner, the better.
Given the dismal results the Bush-Cheney administration had in capturing terrorist ringleaders, one can only imagine the schadenfreude erupting on the right at the news that the U.S. has finally gotten its’ hands on one of the ringleaders of the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya:
U.S. Special Operations forces captured one of the suspected ringleaders of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi in a secret raid in Libya over the weekend, the first time one of the accused perpetrators of the 2012 assault has been apprehended, according to U.S. officials.
The officials said Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured near Benghazi by American troops, working alongside the FBI, following months of planning, and was now in U.S. custody “in a secure location outside Libya.” The officials said there were no casualties in the operation, and that all U.S. personnel involved have safely left Libya.
Khattala’s apprehension is a major victory for the Obama administration, which has been criticized for having failed so far to bring those responsible for the Benghazi attacks to justice.(Washington Post via. Crooks & Liars)
Say whatever you want about the Obama Administration (and given the fact I was once a conservative critic of the administration), but make no mistake: they will go to the end of the earths to track down and capture terrorists who commit attacks against the United States…unlike the prior administration.
You know, it smarts whenever I come across an article over at the conservative website American Thinker and come to realize that they’re right on something….in this case, they may actually be right.
A little background: in August 1982, a man named Anthony Porter was arrested for the murders of Jerry Hillard & Marilyn Green; Porter was later convicted and sentenced to death for those murders. In 1998, a state judge granted him a mental capacity hearing on the grounds that he was not mentally competent to be executed; now, it was during this hearing that a Northwestern journalism professor, David Protess, along with a group of Northwestern journalism students and private investigator Paul Ciolino, announced that they had uncovered evidence not only contradicting Porter’s guilt but also pointing to another individual, Alstory Simon, who later confessed (under duress, if reports are to be believed) to the murders and who now currently is serving a 37yr. sentence for those murders.
Now, the name Anthony Porter should be familiar to death penalty opponents; after Porter’s death sentence was commuted by then-Gov. George Ryan (who later commuted all death sentences in the Illini State), Porter was later released from prison following Story’s confession and plea agreement on the murders in question. However – and this is where I think American Thinker gets it right – it may indeed be that it was Anthony Porter and not Alstory Simon who committed those murders…
If this is the case – and you can click the AT link to see what the current state of affairs on this sordid tale are at present – then frankly heads should roll; this is precisely the kind of malicious misappropriation of justice that screams for federal investigation. To be fair, though, for all the above, let us not forget the victims in this case – Jerry Hillard and Marilyn Green – who may never get the justice they deserve.
…an obscenely rich, rock-star of an idiot, but an idiot nonetheless…why? This:
Gene Simmons, the legendary rock star and frontman of KISS, came to Tim Tebow’s defense, saying the press has treated him unfairly because of his religious beliefs.
“He’s got a religious passion, as well he should, we’re in America,” Simmons told Radio.com this week. “He’s proud to be a Christian, what’s wrong with that? And yet, with sports media and pop culture media, they make fun of his religion. Really? In America? If he was wearing a burqa, they wouldn’t dare say anything. But if you’re a Christian, you get to be picked on? What the hell?”
He continued on his pro-Tebow rant: “The guy’s got family values. I never saw the media picking on Michael Vick for torturing dogs. Or this other football player, who’s alleged to have killed, committed murder. That’s ‘cool.’ But a guy who’s religious and has got family values isn’t ‘cool?’ He’s cool to me.”(The Blaze)
To borrow a quote from Generation Kill…”there’s multiple layers of idiocy in Simmons’s words here.” For starters, most of Tebow’s critics (myself included) could honestly care less about Tebow’s religious values…the fact of the matter with Tebow’s football career is that the guy can’t play worth a damn; he was a great collegian but other than that stint with the Denver Broncos’ in late 2011, his pro career has been a Heisman-sized bust. And the thing with Michael Vick has me confused as well: does Gene Simmons not know how to use Google? I know I’m not the sharpest tool in the damned toolshed but even I seem to remember no one referring to what Michael Vick did at the time as “cool”…I also seem to remember a lot of people who complained vociferously when Vick was released from prison and came back to the NFL; I also remember defending Vick when he came back to the NFL (my defense of Vick was simple: Vick paid his debt to society for the crimes he committed, so quite frankly, he doesn’t owe society a g–damned thing..) and some of the verbal blisterings I got for defending Vick’s return to the NFL. (Ironically, it looks as though I was right to defend him; by all accounts, Michael Vick’s actually honored his end of the plea agreement that he entered into following his arrest and trial back then).
Like I said, Gene Simmons is an idiot…maybe he should just, to borrow an oft-used phrase of the Right, “shut up and sing”…then again, I never really was a fan of KISS, so he can go jump in a lake for all I care.
Is the pope Catholic? Just when you thought
the NYPD New York’s Worst couldn’t stoop any lower, they go and prove there are new depths to which they will go in order to shred whatever’s left of the Constitution…quoting:
As part of its widespread surveillance of Muslims and Arabs, the New York Police Department has classified entire mosques as terror cells to monitor them, paid informants to “bait” Muslims into crimes, and spied onMuslim student associations at area universities. Those are only part of the program that has been criticized by politicians on both sides of the aisle and the FBI, produced no actual terrorism leads, and bred political and religious suppression of Muslims around the New York City area.
Now, it seems the NYPD may have stooped even lower, using area sports leagues it promoted as a gateway to spy on Arab, Muslim, and South Asian families, as The Nation’s Dave Zirin reported Tuesday..(Think Progress)
Here’s the relevant part from Dave Zirin’s column….
In 2009, the Arab American Association of New York sponsored the Brooklyn United, a team in the New York Police Department’s youth soccer league. “We were trying to engage with law enforcement, get kids off the street and it was kind of putting out our hand to the NYPD,” said the organization’s Executive Director Linda Sarsour. That first year, the Brooklyn United won the tournament trophy and even posed for the above photo with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. But by 2011, the AAANY withdrew their sponsorship after learning that the league was also being used as a way to monitor the Arab, Muslim and South Asian players and their families. […]
“What we know is that they did set up soccer and cricket leagues from youth to adults,” said Apuzzo. “We also know that they encouraged their detectives to join the adult cricket and soccer leagues. I don’t know if we can say they created the leagues for the express purpose of surveillance as opposed to outreach. But we do know from their own documents that they do see these sports leagues as an opportunity to keep tabs on conversations. Either way, we certainly can say that any effort at actual legitimate community outreach can be undermined by the surveillance aspect because it makes people suspicious of motives.”(The Nation)
In other words, instead of using these sports leagues as an opportunity to actually do outreach into the Muslim & South Asian communities in order to protest the broader society from potential terrorist attacks, the NYPD instead infiltrated said groups for the simple purpose of profiling them, setting up discord within those communities and using the groups as surveillance fronts…and people wonder why I wish someone would disband the NYPD, gut it to the ground and rebuild it to constitutional standards; here’s another reason why.
h/t to Think Progress