Say Hello And Open Thread

I'm still hanging out with Jane in Connecticut. I don't know where the hours go, but there hasn't been much time for blogging. We're just now sitting on the couch for the first time all day, turning the tv on to see the news, and logging on to check our e-mails. The poodles are great. By the time I leave on Monday, I'll be able to tell Lucy from Katie (Kobe's easier, he's taller.)

As always, thanks to Big Tent and TChris for blogging while I'm away. And say hello to two new blogs:

A new social justice site with a (nominal) grant from the USC Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism and

The concept of the site is that users submit news and everyone ranks the recent news as having a left-leaning bias, right-leaning bias, or objective. The most active news rises to the top. Users are also given the ability to rate other users as left, right, or objective. (think digg/reddit but for political news)

This is also an open thread.


Also check out Talking Dog's latest interview:

Marc Falkoff now a law prof at Northern Illinois Univ. who with Covington & Burling is co-counsel to 17 Yemenis held at Guantanamo... Marc is putting together a book of GTMO prisoner poetry, he discusses how a number of his clients have been listed as "transferrable" (or "no threat") and eligible for release for years, and he gives some new historical details associated with the US military attacking the wrong column fleeing Tora Bora-- selecting the fleeing civilians while the AQ fighters and leadership was in the other column... and then just capturing a bunch of Arabic speakers as they fled with the wrong column (some of whom still populate GTMO!)
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    All good wishes (none / 0) (#1)
    by dutchfox on Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 05:27:54 PM EST
    to you and Jane. wavey

    Best wishes to Jane (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 05:28:57 PM EST
    Thanks for stopping by.

    re plea deals and abuse (none / 0) (#3)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 11:30:27 PM EST
    Over at cbsnews, it says that part of the Hicks plea deal specifies that he can't or won't talk about his being abused at guantanamo.

    I somewhat think that this establishes a bad precedent.  Suppose we gradually allow foreigners or Americans to be abused while in custody, and then tell them that we have found them guilty or are likely to do so, but will give them a plea deal which permits them to have a "reduced sentence" but requires that they not discuss or reveal or sue the government for abuse.  To me, I could be wrong, but isn't this combination a recipe for both ongoing patterns of abuse, abuse used in questioning, etc?

    fwiw, I heard on NPR (none / 0) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 12:52:54 AM EST
    on the drive home tonight that Shaquandra Cotton was going to be released soon.

    They said she did have a significant number of previous disciplinary issues, but also that she has ADD, ADHD (and maybe something else?,) and that her mother is a local activist who might/probably did annoy the heck out of the local school system for years, and that the judge relied on testimony from others that Shaquandra would be better off away from her mother.

    Tough call, but in the cold light of day, Shaquandra did a year in juvie that she wouldn't have done had her mom let her take the plea deal.

    All of us parents make choices for our children that we feel is the best for them, I only hope I'm never faced with the type of choice Shaquandra's mother was faced with.

    They said the govnr took over the juvie system in response to all the truly sick things that have gone on there, and that Shaquandra had had her sentence extended due to possession of contraband - an extra pair of socks.

    Her mom said she probably won't return to the same school. I can't remember what else the report talked about.

    Seems ridiculous to me that a 15 year-old pushing a hall monitor could even be tried as a felony, but I guess there are pushes, and then there are pushes.

    How do we remove subjectivity from any human interpretation?

    I'm glad she's getting out, I hope she puts all this behind her and rises above it.

    Because (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 08:14:11 AM EST
    The Advertising Liberally headlines are part of an ad that takes the headlines from various blogs in the A.L. network.  I hadn't noticed the profanity.  If it is a recurring problem, I will drop the ad.  The headlines change each time you refresh and aren't a permanent part of the site.

    That explains it (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 11:29:42 AM EST

    jane hamsher (none / 0) (#8)
    by orionATL on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 11:02:58 AM EST
    please convey my best wishes and deepest admiration to jane hamsher.

    in a large cohort of caring people,

    her caring and her great talent shine like blue diamonds.

    Our best... (none / 0) (#9)
    by desertswine on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 11:25:01 AM EST
    to Ms. Hamsher.

    Shaquanda Cotton (none / 0) (#11)
    by diogenes on Sat Mar 31, 2007 at 09:33:45 PM EST
    Wikipedia says that she was offerred probation rather than hard time in the juvenile system but that she and her mother both said that they would refuse to comply with conditions of probation.  In most jurisdictions, when you are offerred probation and don't comply, you end up in jail.  It's not unique to Texas.
    What she may really have needed was therapeutic foster care because her mother basically turned a girl with diagnosed ADHD into one who also had oppositional behaviors and conduct problems.  Cynic that I am, I still think that even if this happened rather than jail, that her mother would have fomented a nationwide protest movement to free her, this time from the "clutches" of the Texas foster care system.

    Never a shortage.... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Sun Apr 01, 2007 at 06:58:00 AM EST
    of apologists and excuse-makers for authoritarian government.

    Better to chain and cage too many than too few, eh?  


    That's not what I read (none / 0) (#14)
    by roy on Sun Apr 01, 2007 at 09:15:19 AM EST
    Wikipedia doesn't cite its source for the claim that the Cottons refused to comply with probation.

    I've read in several stories that she was offered a plea bargain, but she (or her mother on her behalf) refused because she didn't think she was guilty.


    Yeah, her mom was ... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Sailor on Sun Apr 01, 2007 at 12:25:06 PM EST
    ... a thorn in the side of the school system complaining about the racial bias, so of course her child should be taken from her and given to the state.