So all of you who’ve been frustrated by your inability to give away more than $123,200 in each election cycle, your day of liberation has arrived.

That’s Alec MacGillis, in his piece “The Stunning Chutzpah of the Supreme Court’s New Elimination of Campaign Contribution Limits.”

All I can say is, “Finally, a Supreme Court ruling for me, the little guy.”

# politics # Supreme Court # corporations # news

reblogged from The New Republic

Jonathan Pollard, an American who admitted to spying for Israel in the mid-1980s, would be eligible for parole at the end of 2015. But it’s possible that he could get out of prison sooner if the Israeli government agrees to a series of concessions needed to keep negotiations open with the Palestinians.

There’s a major debate about whether spying for an ally is actually a crime and, of course, a major debate about exactly how damaging to U.S. interests was the information that Pollard passed to Israel. The side on which you find yourself in these debates determines whether you think Pollard should have been imprisoned at all, whether you think he should ever be released, and whether you think he’s some sort of hero or an obvious criminal.

The whole thing is a confusing ordeal until you remember that, when it comes to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the one thing on which everyone agrees is that they love finding new ways to free prisoners while accomplishing little else.

Personally, I’m pretty curious to see the discussion this post generates amongst readers of my blog since writing about Jonathan Pollard is generally akin to touching the third rail.

For more information, here is Haaretz’s guide to the perplexed.

# Israel # Palestinians # Pollard # politics # news

reblogged from
Glenn Ford is living proof of just how flawed our justice system truly is. We are moved that Mr. Ford, an African-American man convicted by an all-white jury, will be able to leave death row a survivor.

That’s Amnesty International USA’s Thenjiwe Tameika McHarris, in a statement on the release of Glenn Ford yesterday after nearly 30 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Apart from the obvious problem of innocence highlighted by this case, the death penalty more generally is racist, arbitrary, unfair, immoral, and a violation of human rights. It is bad public policy and ought to be abolished in the states that have, to this point, stubbornly maintained it on the misguided belief that vengeance and justice are the same thing.

(Source: CNN)

# death penalty # criminal justice # Louisiana # politics # news # human rights # racism

With this story front and center on the website, CNN is obviously using the news to promote its upcoming “Death Row Stories" show … and now I am too.
I’m not sure the death penalty has really been on the national radar since the execution of Troy Davis back in 2011, but I’m pleased to see CNN producing a show on the topic. My hope is that it sparks a conversation about the many ways in which the death penalty is a miserable failure and why our society is better off without it.
Judging from the comments [don’t read the comments!] on the stories on CNN’s website right now, though, I think death penalty opponents are going to need more than an hour-long CNN special report because people who love the death penalty don’t really know much about it, but they definitely know they love it when someone gets executed and they don’t much care about anything beyond that.

With this story front and center on the website, CNN is obviously using the news to promote its upcoming “Death Row Stories" show … and now I am too.

I’m not sure the death penalty has really been on the national radar since the execution of Troy Davis back in 2011, but I’m pleased to see CNN producing a show on the topic. My hope is that it sparks a conversation about the many ways in which the death penalty is a miserable failure and why our society is better off without it.

Judging from the comments [don’t read the comments!] on the stories on CNN’s website right now, though, I think death penalty opponents are going to need more than an hour-long CNN special report because people who love the death penalty don’t really know much about it, but they definitely know they love it when someone gets executed and they don’t much care about anything beyond that.

# CNN # television # criminal justice # death penalty # politics # media # news

Well, this has occasioned a whole lot more discussion than I’d anticipated (especially given how little anyone said about yesterday’s post on the very same topic) …
But, seriously, we all know the whole religious freedom argument is just an attempt at an end run around all manner of anti-discrimination laws and court cases, right?

Well, this has occasioned a whole lot more discussion than I’d anticipated (especially given how little anyone said about yesterday’s post on the very same topic) …

But, seriously, we all know the whole religious freedom argument is just an attempt at an end run around all manner of anti-discrimination laws and court cases, right?

# religion # Arizona # lgbtq # politics # news # Facebook # internet

Florida: Where the Stand Your Ground law will always agree that a white guy had a good reason to murder a black teenager.
Seems like this guy would’ve been in the clear if he’d managed to kill everyone in the car since the jury couldn’t decide on the one murder charge but had no trouble with all the attempted murder charges.
The whole situation is so incredibly disturbing for so many reasons. Not the least of which is how often this kind of thing keeps happening.

Florida: Where the Stand Your Ground law will always agree that a white guy had a good reason to murder a black teenager.

Seems like this guy would’ve been in the clear if he’d managed to kill everyone in the car since the jury couldn’t decide on the one murder charge but had no trouble with all the attempted murder charges.

The whole situation is so incredibly disturbing for so many reasons. Not the least of which is how often this kind of thing keeps happening.

# justice # criminal justice # Florida # Dunn # Davis # politics # news

When I was 10 years old and a smiling Dennis Rodman gave me his autograph after the players’ shoot-around before a Pistons game, I certainly never could have imagined he’d end up here, an irate (and possibly ill) man blathering incoherently from Pyongyang in response to questions about an American citizen who has been detained without charge in North Korea:

Defending the behavior of a genocidal regime is the strangest and lowest point in what has been a troubled, troubled life.

When I was 10 years old and a smiling Dennis Rodman gave me his autograph after the players’ shoot-around before a Pistons game, I certainly never could have imagined he’d end up here, an irate (and possibly ill) man blathering incoherently from Pyongyang in response to questions about an American citizen who has been detained without charge in North Korea:

Defending the behavior of a genocidal regime is the strangest and lowest point in what has been a troubled, troubled life.

# Rodman # North Korea # politics # human rights # genocide # basketball # sports # Detroit # NBA # news

I really want to be knowledgeable about current events, especially world news, but I feel like I have to know so much background to really understand what's going on and make an informed opinion. Is wikipedia a good resource for this or are there better ones?
Anonymous

My recommendation for anyone with an interest in global affairs is to start with a few newspapers, specifically ones with good international reporting. That will give you the basic news.

When you want to get some depth on a given situation or a particular country, then you can turn to Wikipedia for the basics. But you should regard Wikipedia as a first pass, rather than as the conclusion of your journey.

As an example, take the unfolding situation in the Central African Republic. You might see the CAR in the news, then search Wikipedia for the basics, and then go to the experts for analysis. Human Rights Watch has a lot of detail on the situation, as does Amnesty International. And, of course, don’t forget to see what the experts have said. If you want more information, or information on a specific topic, you can also find a lot of good reporting on the CAR online; there’s this piece by my friend Hayes Brown, for example, about Samantha Power and the U.S.’s involvement in the crisis.

Finally, find reporters — international or not — whose work you trust and follow them on Twitter. They’ll keep you updated, not only the issues that originally brought them to your attention but on whatever’s developing.

# questions # Central African Republic # Wikipedia # news # global affairs # media # Human Rights Watch # Amnesty International # human rights

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