Archive for justice

Ferguson or Fallujah?

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Nicole Sandler Ferguson Fallujah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two images are shown above. One is courtesy of  Cpl Mike Escobar, taken in Fallujah, Iraq in 2005.  The other taken by reporter/photographer Danny Wicentowski of St. Louis' Riverfront Times two days ago in Ferguson, MO. Can you tell which is which?

It's getting increasingly more difficult by the day to tell the difference. Americans' civil rights have eroded to the point where we have to question whether the First Amendment exists as anything more than a historical reference any longer.

In case anyone needs a refresher,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

Although there may be no written law establishing an official religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, the Supreme Court of the United States, just made it a whole lot easier for religious fanatics to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. There may be no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, but both have been seriously hampered in recent days, months and years, with no let-up in sight.

As for our "right of the people peaceably to assemble," that was excised from the Constitution - figuratively, anyway - when the peaceful Occupy Wall Street encampments were forcefully, forcibly and, in many cases, violently, destroyed and their occupants harassed, brutalized and arrested.

Finally, regarding our supposed right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, all one need do is some research into the plight of whistleblowers in the US today.

Either we fix the First Amendment or we need to just scrap the whole thing once and for all and start over again.

As for those pictures at the top of the post, the first one was from Fallujah, the second from Ferguson. Perhaps we should just realize that there's not much difference any more. Maybe we should just call them Fergustan.

On the show today

After listening to Huffington Post reporter Ryan J. Reilly and Washington Post reporter tell the stories of their arrests last night on MSNBC,

I was joined by Joshua Holland, senior digital producer at BillMoyers.com to help navigate the madness.

Stephen Goldstein, author of the Dictionary of American Political Bullshit joined in for his weekly No More Bullshit Minute. In light of the day's news, today's Bullshit term of the day was "Justice."

And finally, it's always an honor and a pleasure to talk with Harry Shearer. From playing Derek Smalls on This is Spinal Tap, to a litany of characters including Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders and more on The Simpsons, to more serious pursuits including blowing the lid off the reason New Orleans flooded from Hurricane Katrina by directing and narrating the documentary The Big Uneasy, and for so much more, Harry Shearer is one of our most talented American treasures.

I don't really need a reason to invite Harry on to the show, as I could easily talk with him for hours. But with the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon's resignation just behind us, and the US premiere of Shearer's take on Richard Nixon in Nixon's the One - lifted directly from the transcripts of his Oval Office recordings - coming soon, it was a perfect time for another chat.

Unfortunately, we were sidetracked a bit by the mess in Fergustan, so Harry will come back on for another conversation when the show is ready to premiere over here.

Tomorrow, we'll wrap up our week with the return of Greg Palast. And for Flashback Friday, it's back to 2000 for my interview with Chrissie Hynde of Pretenders ... radio or not!

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The Supreme Court Caught With Robes Down On Hidden Cam

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The United States Supreme Snort, er, Court-- are they for real? Well, just take a look at the hidden camera footage Funny or Die gathered for this "expose" on the Chief Justice and his all-boy's club. If you don't crack up watching this, you're not breathing.

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Who Hurts GOP Women The Most, Men Or Women?

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"Why, I do declare," Miss Elmers said," how awfully hard these men folk make it on us demure ladies. Seems so burdensome, doesn't it now, with all those fancy big numbers and those complicated words they use. Why, it's all a woman can do to not take to the salts and feel the vapors without a man at her side to tell her what she should think. Another Mint Julep?"

If you think that awful made-up dialogue is from some old MGM costume Civil War piece, it certainly could be. But this kind of talk is actually being spewed right now as we speak. And it's being done by a North Carolina congresswoman, Renee Ellmers, who believes that the Republican Party would make more headway with women voters if it could bring policy discussions “down to a woman’s level.”

Raw Story:

The problem, she said, is that male politicians are making the policy discussion too complicated for women to understand.

“Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level,” Ellmers said. “Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that.”

“We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go,” she said.

Can you really believe this woman was elected to her office in Congress? She's about as contemporary as a hooped skirt and a whale bone corset. What is going on in this country that backwards thinkers like this are being allowed to ruin the lives of other women?

North Carolina by its mere antiquated, backwards and restrictive actions has a lot to apologize for -- but Renee Elmers's election to Congress might take the cake.

Wake up people. Your votes count. Make sure you use them and use them for your best interests. You don't need someone to tell you what's right nor do you need someone to talk down to you. You deserve better than this.

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Republicans Graham & Labrador Lead Charge Of Anarchy

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IncarceratedImmigrantChildrenKOMOw292h212image:  KOMO News

The law is the law. If you don't like it, change it, but don't break it.

Sadly, the cry from the confused right wing is two-fold. The first is a given. Whatever the issue is, it's Obama's fault. The second is, only follow the law when you like it. Look at Cliven Bundy as an example.

We are now facing a critical time on our borders. Vast numbers of undocumented immigrants, many of them unaccompanied minors, are crossing our border in order to seek refuge and asylum. Others just looking for a new start, being sent by their families to stake out a new start for a more promising future.

Regardless of the reason they are here, we have laws and they must be followed or else we have anarchy -- something the right wing of the Republican party is wont to commence. They're losing their grasp on the control of the country and will do everything within their capacity to not fall into obscurity. Even if it means our system must fall along with them.

The law is quite simple in regards to this immigration crisis. There's a legislative process set up and it must be followed until such time as it's changed. Sadly GOP mouthpieces like Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), two loudmouths without brains, are leading a charge of anarchy. They want due process of law ignored. Law that their party passed. In 2002 it was the Homeland Security Act and then in 2008 it was the Human Trafficking Act -- both bills signed by Republican George Bush. Both laws spell out exactly how children are to be dealt with who arrive across our borders as undocumented immigrants. 

Congressman Luis Gutierrez, (D-Illinois) spelled it out quite simply and clearly with Chris Hayes last night during All In. Please take a look and you'll understand what the Republicans and right wingers refuse to accept.

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