Category Archives: Justice?

Powerful Quote of The Week: the American Future Is In the South

[Sectarian NOTE: The author here does not mention (and why should she?) that the South, especially North Carolina, has been very important in the history of my own small tribe, the Quakers. I didn’t know or expect this when I came here 21 years ago, so far from the self-identified and self-important “centers” of the sect in Philadelphia, Richmond (Indiana) and Newberg (Oregon).  But once here, I learned it was so (as I learned much more that was important yet unexpected). That continuing learning has been the subject of many posts here, and as way opens, likely many more.]

Why I Keep My Eyes — and My Mind — on the South (Excerpts)

Opinion Columnist

Tressie McMillan Cottom
Tressie McMillan Cottom

While the world was watching the former president surrender to authorities in a New York City courthouse last week, I was watching Nashville and Raleigh. I live in North Carolina, and these two seats of government and capital cities in bordering southern states have been roiled with political unrest in the shadow of the Donald Trump Show.

Continue reading Powerful Quote of The Week: the American Future Is In the South

To Be Sure We Remember Dr. King’s Murder, DeSantis Secretly Signs New No Permit Guns-For-All Bill

April 4 is the 55th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1968 assassination in Memphis.

To mark this melancholy occasion, Florida governor Ron DeSantis reportedly wanted to do something very special. So . . . .

DeSantis signs Florida gun bill in secret as activists demand more guns for all

(Only NRA invited to secret ceremony. News of the signing was released to the Fox [Firearms & Shooter Protection News] Network)

(Politico) The new legislation will allow residents to carry guns without a state permit. Gun-rights supporters had sought even looser restrictions permitting open carry.

Image: With Dr. King dying at their feet, his companions point to where the murder bullet came from, Memphis April 4, 1968.

Florida becomes the 26th state to allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit. The new legislation gives DeSantis another victory to tout as he gears up for an expected presidential campaign.

“Here in the free state of Florida, government will not get in the way of law-abiding Americans who want to defend themselves and their families,” said state Sen. Jay Collins, a Tampa Republican and sponsor of the legislation.

While DeSantis and other Republican backers have described the legislation as “constitutional carry,” supporters of gun rights have repeatedly called on GOP legislators to go further by allowing people to carry guns openly.

DeSantis has said he supports open carry, but top Republicans in the state Senate — including Senate President Kathleen Passidomo — oppose such a policy. Passidomo has cited the opposition of many of Florida’s sheriffs as a prime reason for her stance.

“The governor is weak if he cannot even get his own super majority legislature to add part of his agenda, which is open carry, to the permitless carry bill,” said Matt Collins, a gun rights supporter and former lobbyist for gun-rights groups. “It’s embarrassing for him. It’s failed leadership and it hurts his chances in the upcoming presidential primary.”

Democrats, meanwhile, sharply criticized the approval of the gun measure.

“Hiding behind closed doors and standing shoulder to shoulder with the NRA, Ron DeSantis just signed legislation that could make it easier for criminals to carry guns,” Democratic National Committee chair Jaime Harrison said in a statement. “DeSantis knows this legislation could be dangerous for Florida families and that’s why he signed this bill with none of his usual produced fanfare.”

The White House called the governor “shameful” for signing the bill following the Nashville school shooting.

“This is the opposite of commonsense gun safety,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “The people of Florida — who have paid a steep price for state and Congressional inaction on guns from Parkland to Pulse Nightclub to Pine Hills — deserve better.”

Florida law currently makes it a felony if someone carries a concealed weapon without a permit. There are more than 2.6 million people with concealed weapon licenses who must go through training and a background check first.

The new law, which takes effect on July 1, does not end the permitting program but instead makes it optional. Bill supporters contend many Floridians will go through the permitting process because other states recognize the licenses.

State Sen. Lauren Book, the Senate Democratic leader, also faulted Republicans for pushing ahead with what she called a “nonsensical, reckless policy” due to the “governor’s political ambition.”


Dyer: Israel and its Democracy Hang in the Balance

[NOTE: In Israel, there’s a brief timeout. Can the resistance maintain its readiness and its remarkable, unlikely coalition to mount another general strike if needed? Or will Netanyahu outlast them, as he has his other opponents for so long?]

Gwynne Dyer. — Apr 01 2023

Gwynne Dyer is a UK-based Canadian journalist and historian who writes about international affairs.

OPINION: Imagine that Donald Trump had been the president of the United States, in office and out and in and out and in yet again, for more than half of the past 25 years. What would the US look like today? Continue reading Dyer: Israel and its Democracy Hang in the Balance

This is NOT a Day for Schadenfreude!

Who am I kidding?

There’s an old Zen koan, that goes like this:

”Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

Substitute “indictment” for “enlightenment”, and it might be the most proper motto for today:

As I write, the sun is coming up, just as it always has.

A neighbor is warming up his big pickup, as usual, before heading out to work.

The cat is mewing to be fed.

A credit card bill, open on the table, still needs to be paid.

And the New York City District attorney issued an indictment for falsifying business records, just as he is reliably reported to have done more than a hundred times since his re-election.

Which makes it time to celebrate. (I don’t usually chop wood here, enlightened or not; but I’ll carry some water later.)

The party was on before I got “woke” yesterday, this time from an actual afternoon nap. The Queens Daily Eagle gets the blue ribbon for the best headline:

And who could surpass the barbed sweetness of spirit that A. A. Milne brings?

Already, HRC, in her finest Methodist drab, is planning a mission of mercy . . .

Which reminds me, over at Rikers, 45’s bean counter Allen Weisselberg is already busy as his advance man.

They’re especially concerned about an inmate down the cellblock hallway, Dave Somebody. He’s doing a long stretch for reading “Mockingbird” to fifth graders, and now refuses to wear clothes.

Due to staff shortages, they’ve had to call in reinforcements, and the effort has been dogged by artistic differences:

The New York Story-reading Brunch look wowed some critics, but there were dissenters.

Personally I thought the hair was okay, but the gown —well, it showed a bit more leg than necessary.  Tho for Pete’s sake, the ensemble wasn’t so problematic that it justified calling in Bernie . . .

But look, count on a cranky independent Vermonter to skip the glam, stay warm, and get the job done.

And if that’s not enough to keep up 45’s morale, there’s always the chaplain, direct from the Greater Queens MAGA Tabernacle, who visits regularly, bringing messages from his old pal JC . . .

“No, Donald, there’s no ‘e’ — it’s spelled ‘p-A-r-d-o-n’. That’s better.”

Yes, like He said in his book, we must all enter the Kingdom like little children, or maybe undocumented migrants, so he’ll bring 45’s own special version, which goes something like this. . .

What more could I hope to add?

Maybe that, after breakfast, perhaps I’ll go out and chop some wood.



Yikes! The Next President could be A Gitmo Torture-Meister & Human Rights Shredder

[NOTES: I protested Gitmo and the U. S. torture program for years during the Iraqi-stan wars. There were a number of names from that horrible and still unaddressed period: Rumsfeld, Cheney (Dick, tho Liz agrees) W and more.

Now there’s another one: a newbie Navy lawyer, aggressive, all-in, ambitious. Also unknown.

But not unknown anymore: Ron DeSantis.

This Washington Post deep-dive fills in his record as a key cog in the Gitmo machinery, and later, in Congress, a staunch defender of all that it represents. (He is now a presidential aspirant who is, among other things, completely ignoring questions from the Post.) the piece shows that he could truly add a new campaign cap to his growing collections, beyond “Don’t Say Gay” and, “Up Yours, Mickey!” With  this new boast: “Proud Vet of Gitmo: Where Human & Constitutional Rights (Still) Go To Die.”

We just thought you ought to know.

DeSantis’s pivotal service at Guantánamo during a violent year

Washington Post — March 21, 2023

‘Hey, you can actually force-feed,’ Ron DeSantis said he advised, endorsing a practice detainee lawyers described as torture
By Michael Kranish
 –  March 19, 2023

Ron DeSantis was a 27-year-old Navy lawyer fresh out of Harvard Law School when he arrived in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, amid an escalating crisis at the U.S. military base.

Continue reading Yikes! The Next President could be A Gitmo Torture-Meister & Human Rights Shredder