Archive for states rights

Guilty Till Proven Innocent



The scales of justice are horribly unbalanced.

Ever since learning about the fate of Troy Davis, a man who was convicted of murder and, despite new evidence that would have exonerated him, was executed anyway.

I started learning about The Innocence Project, co-founded by Barry Scheck (of the OJ Simpson trial fame), an organization "dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted criminals through DNA testing, and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice."

Today, I spoke with Mark Godsey is the Carmichael Professor of Law and Director of the Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He serves on the Board of the Innocence Network, and has been a leader in helping the the Innocence Movement expand around the globe. A former federal prosecutor, Mark is considered a an internationally-recognized scholar, lawyer, and activist on the subject of wrongful convictions. He is the editor of the Wrongful Convictions Blog, and is a frequent commentator on the subject in the national press.

We discussed the case of Mark Morton, a man wrongfully convicted of the murder of his wife who was freed after serving 25 years after DNA evidence that had been hidden by police and prosecutors was finally tested and cleared him of the crime! He's just published his story in a book called Getting Life: An Innocent Man's 25-Year Journey from Prison to Peace.

After a news update from Bob Ney at the Talk Radio News Service, it was on to our regular Thursday morning guests.

She's History's Amy Simon filled us in on the fight for women's contraceptive rights, beginning around a century ago with Margaret Sanger.

And Stephen Goldstein, author of The Dictionary of American Political Bullshit was back with another "No More Bullshit Minute," today talking about the bullshit phrase "State's Rights."

Tonight I hop a plane to Los Angeles, where I'll spend the weekend covering the AFT convention. I'll be doing some live broadcasts from there, so check back regularly for updates on days and times.

Tomorrow, a special double header Flashback Friday edition of the show with Don Henley and Toad the Wet Sprocket. At showtime, just click on the new Radio or Not 24/7 stream player (embedded on the home page, upper right hand corner and on the live broadcast page just below the Youtube embed) to listen. And stay tuned for details on a live show tomorrow afternoon...

Until then... radio or not!



Rand Paul Turns To Felons To Boost GOP Voter Registration


Rand Paul

You gotta hand it to Rand Paul. He marches to another drummer. That doesn't make him a bad person. His politics do.

One thing Republicans (and calling Rand Paul a Republican is misleading-- he's a self-professed Libertarian) are fearful of is that as voting registration increases, the GOP is becoming more and more irrelevant. As if the Tea Party branch hasn't already destroyed any unity of message that could be considered Republican tenets, immigrants, people of color, and women are becoming the bane of its existence.

The GOP solution has been voter restrictions. Making it harder they make it for legal voters to reach the polls or vote absentee is the only solution they have been able to come up with until now: From Raw Story:

CNN host Candy Crowley noted during an interview with [Sen Rand] Paul that he had proposed restoring voting rights for non-violent felons, and wondered if it was an effort to gain minority Republican voters.

“Republicans have been unfairly tarred as, oh, trying to suppress votes,” Paul asserted. “Here’s a Republican who wants to enhance the vote. This is a much bigger problem than anything else limiting voting right now. Nearly a million people can’t vote, and I want to help people get the right to vote back.”

Okay, a little trip down Fact Check Lane. First off, as he himself pointed out “Three out of four people in prison are black or brown for non-violent drug use."

That being the case, why would the minority population after jail want to vote Republican? They're the party that put the bills in motion that placed them in jail in the first place. As a voting block, Blacks and Hispanics are registering in overwhelming numbers as Democrats because the GOP consistently legislates against these oppressed people. So the thinking by Sen. Paul is specious.

Rand Paul questions whether or not it's institutionalized policy that the Republicans are pushing to limit voter registration and access to polling places.

According to the Brennan Center, at least 92 bills restricting voting were proposed by largely Republican-controlled state legislatures during 2013. And that trend has continued

So, it looks like the Junior Senator from Kentucky once again has some faulty thinking going on in his head. It's not surprising.


Afternoon-Evening Links



Makers, takers and fakers at Nevada's Bundy Ranch

Conservatives want to make divorce more difficult for your freedoms and stuff

Koch Brothers Back Right-Wing Militia Terrorists in Nevada Land Dispute

MUST-SEE: Bill Maher explains abundance of right-wing radio

Feds To Continue Efforts To Ends Dispute With Nevada Rancher

Quitter Sarah Palin Endorses Quitter Karen Handel Based On Something Neither of Them Did

Jeb Bush Crashes and Burns Already as His Name Gets Booed By Conservatives

Christie accused of meddling with state ethics agency

How to Put that Nevada Rancher and his Right-Wing Supporters behind Bars

CBO: Affordable Care Act getting even more affordable

Another Republican Goes Down as Rick Perry Is The Focus Of a Criminal Investigation

Can’t We Just Say the Roberts Court Is Corrupt?

Louisiana lawmakers make holy push


Circumcision, No. Chop It All Off


boys and girls rooms

As a guy writing about this, I can only cringe. This post is about bathrooms, obstinance and ignorance-- oh, and penis removal. The focus of this week's wackatude of the week is a member of the school board in Colorado. It seems she's got the Wizard of Oz's Scarecrow deficiency which has led her to making perhaps the most outrageous statement since Michele Bachmann died.

Oh, she didn't die? My bad. I thought with all those stupid remarks attributed to her, if she was still living, she'd had denied them. I guess that's what happens when you're not fully informed.


A Colorado school board member is facing criticism after she said that transgender students would need to be castrated before the student could use the school bathrooms that fit their gender identity.

Talk about holding it in when you need to go.

According to Delta County School Board member Katherine Svenson a person born transgendered should be put under the knife. For what? I understand for religious reasons Jews are snipped in the bud, but now a person's sexuality is the determining factor? And Svenson's not just talking about a little snip from the tip. She wants the entire plumbing removed. What planet are we on?

I'm not sure when we're talking about Delta County. My map says it's in the Grand Junction area of Colorado. Though I know they've voted in some districts to secede, the entire state of Colorado is still part of the US.

“I don’t have a problem if some boys think they are girls, I’m just saying as long as they can impregnate a woman, they’re not going to go in the girls' locker-room,”she [Svenson] said.

Somehow Board Member Svenson isn't aware of her own states laws.

Back in June, Colorado's Civil Rights Division ruled in favor of a transgender students having the right to use the restroom for the gender that they identify as.

Seventeen states, including Colorado and the District of Columbia, now outlaw discrimination against transgendered people.

So, if you're up for some total wackiness, listen to Ms. Svenson defending herself. Close your eyes and you'll think you're hearing the late Congresswoman Bachmann. Oops. Sorry. I did it again. Well, watch this anyway: