September 25th 2011
The main problem with the Troy Davis execution wasn’t that the man was almost certainly innocent of the crime he was being killed for; the problem was that no civilized nation should have the death penalty in the first place.
I’m not going to discuss the particulars of the Davis case. If you somehow haven’t heard about it, there’s a million places on the web to find thousands of different opinions, pro and con.
Instead, I’m going to discuss the guilt or innocence of the people who murdered him. That would be you and me, since it was done in our names.
Troy Davis is far from unique. There are 140 men walking free today who had been on death row, found guilty of a capital crime by twelve peers on a jury and sentenced by a judge. Through the work, not of the justice system, but legal volunteers, mostly in the Innocence Project, all 140 men were saved from execution by proof that they did not commit the crime. Witnesses lied. Cops fabricated evidence. In some cases, everyone was simply mistaken. Cops, anxious to close a case that was stirring public passion, arrested someone who might plausibly by the suspect, and witnesses, anxious not to have to spend months on the case, testified with far more certainty than they felt.
No longer just under the eyes
September 19th 2011
It was a sign of the times. Even as they ignored demonstrations in the Wall Street area of Manhattan, CNN breathlessly reported that in a totally meaningless straw poll in California, Ron Paul was the winner! Nearly 834 votes were cast (833, actually), and Paul got 44.9% of them, or 374 votes. Rick Perry was second with 29.3%, or 245 votes. Mittens was a distant third with 8.8%, or 73 votes. The poll didn’t break down the rest of the votes (141) but I would be very surprised if Jon Huntsman, the only other GOP candidate who isn’t a whirling loon, got ten votes. So, assuming that Mittens and Huntsman can qualify as sane, that means that out of 833 GOP delegates, 10% at most voted for candidates who are possibly sane.
Slow news day. No mechanical-orchestra type ‘debates’ from the GOP in flag-bedraped caverns that Jon Stewart memorably described as “looking like Betsy Ross’ vagina”. No Democratic politicians caught in minor sex scandals. And they didn’t care to discuss actual news stories, like the unfolding Greek debt crisis, or the UN vote on Palestine, or that Obama wants to tax capital gains like regular income.
Mixing the sublime and the outlandish
September 8th 2011
Time to take a break from Politics. Ron Paul is the leading GOP candidate this week, Obama is giving a speech on labor that has unions ready to bolt the Democratic Party, it doesn’t get much crazier than that, so let’s take a break.
Have you ever had a situation where you encounter two new things in your life that both strike your fancy, and even though they have little or nothing to do with one another, they become inescapably wedded in your mind, so that you can’t enjoy one without thinking of the other?
In my instance, the two items are a folk album by a Danish artist virtually unknown in the United States, and a comic book. About the only thing they have in common is that the central person involved in each is female.
Posted in American Psyche, Humor
Tagged Agnes Obel, comic, Danish, female, Foglio, Girl Genius, Hugo Prize, jägrmonster, music, On Powdered Ground, Philaharmonics, Riverside, serial, vocalist