So Obama's NYC mega-rally tonight may prove a meat-market. Sweet! Events like that, along with similarly sexy possibilities in groups like Drinking Liberally, leave me confident in the future of the Left. At the end of the day, the strength...[...]
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Prison Nation continues to grow.
The number of inmates in adult correctional facilities in the United States has topped two million for the first time, the Census Bureau said yesterday.
It isn't exactly cheery news that there are more people residing in prison than in nursing homes, or that there are slightly fewer living in prison than in college dormitories. The most shocking comparison is this one:
Among people living in group quarters, whites were almost twice as likely to be living in a dormitory than a prison, while Asians were nine times more likely to be in a college dorm than in prison. But blacks and Hispanics were about three times as likely to be imprisoned than to be living in a dormitory.
A September 25 Associated Press article on Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) first presidential campaign stop in Maine reported that "Republican National Committee spokeswoman Summer Johnson said Obama shouldn't talk about 'moral standing' when he sat out a Senate vote on a measure to condemn the liberal interest group MoveOn.org for a newspaper ad criticizing Gen. David Petraeus" -- referring to the vote on Sen. John Cornyn's (R-TX) September 20 amendment. The article quoted[...]
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The Senate passed the Children's Health Insurance Program bill by a rather large, veto-proof margin this morning. However, not a single uninsured child will benefit from the program, because there are not enough votes to override in the House. Ultimately, all the bill did was take an issue off the table for GOP senators up for re-election next year.
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While I'm hating on various modes of transit, let me give the big raspberry to bike riders in Philadelphia. Increasing numbers of them have decided that all traffic regulations don't apply to them and have abandoned common sense and decency. I'm quite happy for bike riders to bend the rules a bit at times, but they shouldn't act like they own the place any more than SUV drivers should. Things like riding the wrong way down one way streets are stupid, and riding on sidewalks as if pedestrians don't belong there make you an asshole.
A couple of blogging friends of mine, both a conservative and a liberal, have crossed the political spectrum to join forces in order to raise ten thousand dollars in memory of Sgt. Yance T. Gray and Sgt. Omar Mora, who paid the ultimate price for serving their fellow Americans. If those names sound familiar [...]
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Eddie G. Griffin
The Eddie G. Griffin (BASG) Blog
Congressman John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, will hold a forum next week during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference on Friday, September 28 at 3 p.m. in room 209C of the Washington Convention Center . It will feature Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Harvard professor Dr. Charles Ogletree, a family member of one of the Jena Six students, Louisiana ACLU representatives and others. From The Judiciary Committee, Chairman Conyers Announces Forum, Hearings on "Jena Six", The Gavel
House Committee on the Judiciary
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Attn: U.S. Representative John Conyers
Dear Mr. Chairman:
In light of what may seem like good news today coming out of Jena, Louisiana, Governor Kathleen Blanco may be too late to mend race relations in that small town. The cat is already out of the bag.
Even though LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters announced that he will not pursue the case against 17-year old Mychal Bell in adult criminal court, the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis have crept into the festering situation feeding on racial tension.
The Chicago Tribune reports that a neo-Nazi Web site posted the names, addresses and phone numbers of some of the six black teenagers and their families at the center of the Jena 6 case and urged followers to find them and drag them out of the housesť.
It seems almost banal and anticlimactic theatrics for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to hold a forum or Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on the Jena Six situation in light of these recent public threats made against these black children and their families.
In a town that can manufacture criminal charges out of thin air against local black kids, how can the criminal justice system ignore these terrorist threats? Is there a double standard when such treats made by people of olive skin color compared to white terrorism? In the case of Middle Eastern terrorists, they can be immediately snatched off the streets, confined without counsel, with no recourse to due process, sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into isolated exile, held incommunicado, and forbidden any human contact, not to mention tortured- not for actually being a terrorist, but simply for be suspected.
Now we have an irreverent verbose barrage of KKK threats and late-night terrorizing phone calls, and somehow nobody in the Justice Department can seem to find an appropriate law to bring charges against these instigators and conspirators. The criminal justice system would rather react after a 9/11 terror incident before they can assert the validity of the threat. But they will not hesitate to throw the book at a suspicious olive skin Arab or a black person who makes an off-the-cuff comment about the president.
The KKK has always been classified by the FBI as a terrorist organization. Therefore, what is the difference between the KKK and Al Qaeda? And, why should we fight terrorism aboard when we are plagued with it at home? It was the same after World War I, in 1918-1919, where black men fought overseas, only to return home and fight against lynch mobs. Likewise in 1945-1946, black men came from war only to have to fight for desegregation and equal rights in the US.
Now, tell me, what does a black soldier coming home from Iraq to Jena have to look forward to?
Terrorism is terrorism. And, these racial terrorist threats against black people of Jena is a national security issue that rises to the level of Homeland Security, which has all the capabilities of tracking down these culprits. Until then, none of us can feel safe until danger is suppressed and the conspirators apprehended and prosecuted. If we are to put an end to terrorism, we must begin by ending white terrorism at home first.
Eddie G. Griffin (BASG)
The purpose of the Black Accused Support Groups (BASG) is to publicize cases of unjust treatment of Blacks at the hands of legal systems while building on this advocacy to promote fundamental and systemic change, so that Blacks will, for the first time, be treated equally before the law. Reference the Jena Six.
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The Bureau of Prisons has never been responsive to groups that advocate for prisoners' rights, but it turns out that BOP listens to Republicans and evangelical talk show hosts. The Bureau reversed its decision (reported here) to purge prison chapel libraries of all religious texts that aren't on a government-approved list. The new plan seems to be a selective purge.
In an e-mail message Wednesday, the bureau said: “In response to concerns expressed by members of several religious communities, the Bureau of Prisons has decided to alter its planned course of action with respect to the Chapel Library Project. The bureau will begin immediately to return to chapel libraries materials that were removed in June 2007, with the exception of any publications that have been found to be inappropriate, such as material that could be radicalizing or incite violence. The review of all materials in chapel libraries will be completed by the end of January 2008.”
What standards will govern the determination that a religious text is "inappropriate"? Will those decisions be free from religious bias? Don't expect BOP to answer those questions.
Oddly, this paragraph appears in today's national print edition of the New York Times but is omitted from the linked online version:
[BOP spokeswoman Judi] Garrett declined to elaborate on the progress of re-stocking the prison libraries. She said the effort "is beginning immediately," but she would not say when it would be completed or which titles are being kept off the shelves or identify the criteria for such decisions.
"The use of private military contractors appears to have harmed, rather than helped the counterinsurgency efforts of the U.S. mission in Iraq," Peter Singer writes in the executive summary of his new Brookings Institution policy paper examining the growing US reliance on hired guns.
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I know this is more ?echo chamber? time, but we need to keep beating the drum in support of the State Children?s Health Insurance Program, especially in light of this propaganda from Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt that appeared in USA Today (particularly this excerpt)?
Ideology is really behind the Democrats' plan. They trust government more than the free choices of American consumers. Some in Congress want the federal government to pay for everyone's health care, and expanding SCHIP is a step in that direction.First of all, you nitwit, the SCHIP legislation is not ?the Democrats? plan.? It was arrived at through a bipartisan consensus (I realize, though, that those two words aren?t in Bushco?s vocabulary, so I guess your confusion on this is understandable).
?It?s disappointing, even a little unbelievable, to hear talk about Administration officials wanting a veto of a legislative proposal they haven't even seen yet - because it isn't even finalized yet. The President ought to give Congress a chance to offer a proposal first. As Republican leaders on the committee of jurisdiction, we?ve been working day and night to reach an agreement on children?s health insurance legislation because it is imperative that this important program, which has helped so many children, be continued.And Grassley expressed his frustration and disappointment recently in this story.
There is only one way to describe the condition of Utah's Division of Child and Family Services during Leavitt's tenure as governor: reprehensible. From 1993-1996, ten children who were under DCFS care died. Ultimately, the case came to head when the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland, Calif., filed a class-action lawsuit "on behalf of 17 children who had been horribly abused and neglected in Utah's foster care system." The court eventually ruled that "the state had violated the constitutional rights of every child in custody." Though Leavitt's supporters defend him by saying that he had simply been unfortunate enough to inherit the quagmire, the near decade-long period that it took for the state to fall in line with the court settlement ? which demanded an overhaul of foster care and an increase in training and case oversight ? fell squarely during Leavitt's time as governor. The state's child protection service continues to be monitored to this day.A prior post from yours truly on this subject, among others related to the ruling cabal, appears here.