Tuesday, October 27, 2020

444 Words ABOUT WHETHER MATTINGLY SHOULD BE MUZZLED

Kent Wicker, LMPD Sgt. John Mattingly’s lawyer, recently rebuked Courier Journal columnist Joe Gerth for suggesting that someone needed to take his client aside and tell him to be quiet. Although I generally revere Gerth, I think he was wrong on this one. Not because I’m on Mattingly’s side, either.
I welcome Mattingly’s comments because they help clarify what happened, and why, in the Breonna Taylor shooting, in which Mattingly was directly involved and in fact was shot himself.
I wish more cops—and politicians—would come forward and speak to the public about this heinous incident of police misconduct.
If the authorities had been honest immediately and had begun to make amends, it’s possible that Louisville would not have had to endure all that it has ever since. Instead they covered it up. And without diminishing an innocent citizen’s tragic death at the hands of police, it is obvious that the coverup has proven even more damaging than the crime itself. What happened?
1) The coverup began with the cop who obtained a no-knock warrant apparently lying about having evidence of drug related activity going on at Breonna’s address. Why lie? Because otherwise the warrant request likely would have been denied.
2) In serving the warrant, police did not follow their own guidelines by not having their body cams turned on. Why not? Obviously, to keep anyone from seeing what they did. That alone should be a firing offense and a basis for criminal charges being filed.
3) Police, Mayor Fischer, federal officials, and Attorney General Cameron all dragged their feet unconscionably in revealing the truth of the investigation to the public. We still do not know all the facts. Meanwhile, Cameron is doing everything he can to silence grand jurors who are outraged by his secrecy.
Why did all this happen?
If we ask ourselves the purpose of the raid in the first place, the answer is to catch a drug dealer. Instead of decriminalizing drugs, we continue the so-called war on drugs that began with Ronald “just say no” Reagan. This has resulted not only in needlessly imprisoning hundreds of thousands of black and white Americans, but also creating Mexican drug cartels whose enormous profiteering causes incomparable damage to our country. Even conservatives like the late William F. Buckley advocated decriminalization.
And finally, just a thought, but if Walker had not been armed, probably no one would have been shot. What does that tell us about our gun laws and how much protection a gun actually provides?
None of this had to happen. But since it has, by all means let’s hear what the other cops involved have to say.
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Friday, October 16, 2020

100 Words: The Threat Posed by Barrett To Our Survival

Recently I argued here for President Biden adding four new Supreme Court justices. As The NYTimes’ Paul Krugman puts it, “Never mind all the talk about norms (which only seem to apply to Democrats, anyway.) What’s at stake here could be the future of civilization.” He refers to a G.O.P.-stacked Supreme Court blocking effective climate policy, which will be at the core of a President Biden’s economic agenda. Right wing super bagman Charles Koch is investing millions in Barrett’s confirmation to create “a court that will block government regulation of business — and above all a court that will hamstring a Biden administration.”

Saturday, October 10, 2020

100 Words: Should Democrats seek to pack the Supreme Court?

If they do, what is to stop a future Republican majority from expanding — or shrinking — the courts in turn? The answer is nothing. That is the problem. While I agree that Republicans must pay a price for the dangerous risk they took with the country, we desperately need to preserve the stability of our wavering democratic institutions. Only in the direst circumstances should an act like packing the Supreme Court be contemplated. Alas, we are in such circumstances. A 6-3 Trump majority court will doom every effort to save us from climate change, economic ruin, and catastrophic injustice. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure,” Lincoln says in his Gettysburg Address. That’s where we are now, too. I say, in for a penny, in for a pound: add four justices to insure a 7-6 majority.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Hundreds Of Words: On Trump’s Latest Mad Rant

 The blockhead-in-chief's latest Alice in Wonderland tirade against Kamala Harris (a communist, he fumes), Biden and Obama (indict them!), and his own AG (he's right about Barr, but for the wrong reasons) is a true testimonial as to the soon to be former president's mental state. Trump's lashing out at his other aides reminds me of the Queen of Hearts' gardeners:

“The Queen of Hearts wanted to have a red rose-tree ... but these poor little gardeners had made a great mistake, and had put in a white one instead: and they were so frightened about it, because the Queen was sure to be angry, and then she would order all their heads to be cut off!

She was a dreadfully savage Queen, and that was the way she always did, when she was angry with people. “Off with their head!” They didn’t really cut their heads off, you know: because nobody ever obeyed her: but that was what she always said.

 “Now can’t you guess what the poor little gardeners are trying to do? They’re trying to paint the roses red, and they’re in a great hurry to get it done before the Queen comes.”

Ed Wong (on Facebook)

Where does Mitch fit in here?

 "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" Why indeed.

I nominate the Mad Hatter for the role of Mitch McConnell. As we all know (those of us who have Wikipedia anyway), Alice becomes a guest at a "mad" tea party where many riddles and stories are given, including the famous "why is a raven like a writing desk?" When Alice gives up trying to figure out why, the Hatter admits "I haven't the slightest idea!" I think this reflects most of Mitch’s thinking on just about everything.

Also, the Hatter reveals that they have tea all day because Time has punished him by eternally standing still at 6 p.m. (tea time). This reflects Mitch’s political positions, which belong back around 1850. Alice becomes insulted and tired of being bombarded with riddles and she leaves claiming that it was the stupidest tea party that she had ever been to. This would describe Mitch’s entire tenure in the Senate, especially his attempts to justify the ways of god (Trump) to man (us). A Mad Hatter if there ever was one.