R.I.P. Ruben "Hurricane" Carter" (Open Thread)

Bob Dylan - Hurricane - 1975 Live by movisfree

R.I.P Ruben "Hurricane" Carter, who died this weekend in Toronto of complications from prostate cancer at age 76.

Carter spent 19 years in prison for a triple killing in New Jersey before a federal judge ruled in 1985 that he and John Artis, who was with Carter on the night of the shootings, did not receive fair trials and released them.

Artis was with Carter when he died early Sunday morning.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Contrast (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 08:31:10 AM EST
    There were more people killed by General Motors in allowing the installation of an ignition switch they knew to be defective than were killed by the bombing of the marathon in Boston.

    There does not appear to me to be the same kind of effort on the part of law enforcement to indict and incarcerate those responsible at GM then there are to indict and incarcerate Dzhokhar.

    Neither is there a similar fervor on the part of the media.

    It stinks.

    I'm listening to Matt Taibbi's book (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:26:51 AM EST
    'The Divide' right now...he tells the story of a homeless young man busted for sleeping on a park bench, and later stopped and frisked and found with a joint in his pocket, getting sentenced to jail time while on the very same day in a courtroom a mile away HSBC was getting a slap on the wrist and no prison time for anyone for laundering drug money for possibly the same cartel that supplied the guy that got busted.

    As Taibbi says, no one asked about his 'collateral consequences'.


    I saw (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:36:28 AM EST
    him being interviewed on Colbert's show about "The Divide".

    What he said started me thinking and led me to what I wrote about GM above.

    We, the citizens, have got to do something about what is going on.

    We may as well still be under King George III.


    I was (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:31:29 PM EST
    thinking the same thing. Isn't this kind of stuff the thing some of our ancestors wanted to get away from and now we've become just like them? People going to prison for stealing bread but millionaires getting no punishment for breaking the law.

    Taibbi's latest... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 10:49:31 AM EST
    is next on my list...it's the largest all-encompassing issue our society faces.  Inequality under the law and different rules/different fools.  And nobody breaks it down like Matt.

    Somewhat related...I hope there is fire to these smokey rumors of the president planning a large batch of clemency for the prisoners of our war on drugs.  They're talking hundreds, maybe thousands...I'm dreaming of tens of thousands.  If that were to happen I'd take back everything bad I ever said about the guy;)


    "Inequality under the law..." (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by unitron on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 11:23:11 AM EST

    "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."

     Anatole France, The Red Lily,


    My thought (none / 0) (#21)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 05:02:01 PM EST
    is to honor the code of the old West and combine it with the edicts of the current Supreme Court.

    To whit:

    The Court has ruled that Corporations are people.

    People get executed for capital crimes.

    Ergo: Let's get a posse together, round up the gents from GM, and hang 'em high.


    I dig the sentiment... (none / 0) (#28)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 07:47:22 AM EST
    but then all we've got is equality under a brutal inhumane law...where everybody gets treated like a serf.  More fair...but hardly what I'd call a society to be proud of.

    iow, I don't wanna hang anybody...I want a code of law chock-full of compassion & empathy, with room for redemption and forgiveness.  Emphasis on rehabilitation...not punishment or revenge.  A code of law where the poor and/or unconnected are treated more humanely aka treated like the 1%.


    I wouldn't want to execute anybody, either, Dog (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Zorba on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 01:28:42 PM EST
    But if a corporation is, indeed, a "person," according to the Supremes, then it might be highly appropriate to "execute" the corporation for the deaths caused, not by executing the executives, but by dissolving the corporation.  Sell off all its assets and distribute them among the victims of their knowingly shoddy products.
    Of course, that also means that a whole lot of innocent, lower-level workers would lose their jobs.  Maybe they could get some of the money generated by selling off the assets of the company, as well.
    There are no good answers to this.  But executives who knowingly allowed faulty, potentially fatal, products to keep on being sold, should face some kind of penalty.
    Lose their jobs, become personally financially liable for some of the damage, and a whole lot of community service?
    As I said, there are no good answers.  
    However, I don't think that the "top people" should get off scot-free.

    I dig (none / 0) (#34)
    by lentinel on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 08:48:58 AM EST
    your sentiment also...

    I know - I don't really relish public or private executions.

    But I gotta tell you - GM -- rehabilitation?  Redemption? I dunno.

    Without a confession from those casual murderers, there can be no rehab or forgiveness. They still are denying wrongdoing.

    So fk 'em.

    Part of this society that I am least proud of is that is degrades and humiliates and sometimes kills the poor for crimes that pale next to those entities cloaked behind the mantle of a corporation.

    Perhaps the only way to end serfdom is to treat the rich as serfs as well. Then, maybe it will trickle down to the rest of us.

    "Off with their heads" led to the French Revolution with Liberté, Fraternité and Equalité. (Although that is fast fading there too...)


    I hear ya... (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 08:59:58 AM EST
    it's all so twisted that GM probably can't see what they did wrong, which is a requirement to obtain forgiveness...a recall puts a hurting on the shareholders, and all they give a f8ck about is shareholders and their own salaries and bonuses.  Customers?  Please...

    Tough nuts to crack all, my good man.  Forget a revolution...as Kafka once said "Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy."  What we need is some evolution of conciousness and conscience...and fast, before it's too late.


    Great quotes! (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by lentinel on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 10:14:53 AM EST
    "Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy."  - Kafka

    What we need is some evolution of conciousness and conscience...and fast, before it's too late. - kdog



    lentinel, this is especially for you....... (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by NYShooter on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 11:59:19 AM EST
    None of this is new;
    It's been going on forever.

    And, I don't expect many here will read this long piece, so, I wrote it for you, lentinel, just because you seem to have a special passion for this sort of injustice, and, I didn't want to agree with you using just a couple of quick one liners.

    Years ago, I think it was in the 50's there was a book written by Vance Packard called, "The Waste Makers. Packard was an investigative journalist, and, his book, basically, spelled out how the concept of "planned obsolescence" was formalized by our major corporations. The idea was, as its name implies, for manufacturers to build products with a specific length of service until it turned into worthless junk.

    Now, to your point: The example I remember most was from the story of an automobile manufacturer whose mufflers wore out very quickly. This, in turn, angered the new car buyers, and, the company was taking a lot of heat in the media. (The details are a little fuzzy, it was a long time ago, but, the main points are for real.) Anyway, the President of the Company called a meeting, and all the heads of all the divisions attended. The head of the sales division, naturally, wanted the company to make longer lasting mufflers so they could sell more "high quality" cars. "Look at our High Quality Autos!" But, the head of the replacement parts division thought the crappy mufflers were just great because, naturally, crappy mufflers meant more replacement sales, and, that was good for him. The legal division pointed out that rusting, leaky mufflers were a health hazard, and, any deaths attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning, of course, meant law suits, and, big pay outs.

    As you can see, The President had a real prickly problem on his hands. But, the interesting part was in how they debated a solution, and, how that solution became the industry standard of how business would be conducted in the "United States of Corporate America."

    Now, I don't want to drag this story out, so, I'll just zip to the conclusion. The President decided that his company could not compete with the other, much larger, auto manufacturers on the issue of high quality. So, he decided to carve out a niche in the industry by building crappy cars, but, very low priced ones. What he lost in sales due to the quality issue he would make up in volume because of the low price, and, in the replacement parts which carried a much higher profit margin than the cars themselves.

    Now, here's the part you're gonna love, lentinel:
    Just before the plan was put into action, the President held a meeting between himself, the lawyers, the economists, and, the medical department. Regarding the mufflers, he asked:

    A.    How fast would they wear out, and, how many replacements they could expect to sell?

    B.    How much money would that add up to?

    C.    How many deaths could be expected to result from continuing to make crappy mufflers?

    D.    How much money could they expect to shell out due to the inevitable lawsuits?

    It turned out that "D" minus "B" equaled 47 million dollars. And, that was pure, extra profit. (Their actuaries estimated the mufflers would result in 47 deaths, and, even using their highest estimates for settlements, that was a real lot of money in the 50's. (Billions!)in today's money.

    And, there you have it. What sounds like Murder for Hire actually was (planned) Murder (by planned obsolescence.)

    Like I said earlier, the details may be a little skewed, but, the facts are as real as rain. They figured out how to make extra profits by building  cars, and, parts, designed to wear out, and, break down, much sooner than was justified. And, if a few lost lives were the inevitable result, the extra profits more than covered the expense.

    That was more than half a century ago, and, if you thought that things must have gotten better since then, Boy, would you be mistaken! From the Exxon Alaskan Oil Disaster, to the B.P. Gulf Oil Platform disaster, it has gotten worse and worse and worse.

    "Deaths For Dollars" is more alive, and, thriving, today than ever!


    Wow! (none / 0) (#57)
    by lentinel on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 01:05:23 PM EST
    Apparently, t'was ever thus.

    I frequently have thought that these corporations put their products out there knowing that they will result in a certain number of deaths. And they do it anyway.

    You have given me an actual example in chilling detail.

    I think the same can be said of the medicines that are floated our way. Don't ever read the fine print.

    And then there is the way the government goes ahead with its drones and bombing campaigns - deciding that a certain number of civilians - men, women and children - are expendable.

    Thanks again for the detailed post.


    Vance Packard (none / 0) (#60)
    by Zorba on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 01:39:19 PM EST
    Not only warned us about the dangers of "planned obsolescence," but also about the dangers of advertising and rampant consumerism.
    It is indeed still going on today, and it has gotten worse.

    Note to self... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:57:35 PM EST
    Check out Vance Packard's work. Good stuff Shooter & Zorba!

    How many were killed (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 12:44:45 PM EST

    because the feds sat on reports of those deaths and did nothing to cloud Obama'a claim of "General Motors alive?"  

    It appears that NHTSA's priority at the time was to make Government Motors look good.


    Thay (none / 0) (#10)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 12:57:28 PM EST
    is my point.

    Why isn't this as deliberate murder as that perpetrated by the Boston Marathon bomber?

    In my opinion it is.

    There certainly was an outcry to bring the bomber to justice - but for GM's murders there is silence.

    If corporations are indeed people, this one should be given a lethal injection - on live TV.


    Why don't you complain to Eric Holder? (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:04:14 PM EST
    I (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:31:33 PM EST
    have already done so.

    In fact, I had collected over 4000 signatures from people from all walks of life.

    I waited in front of my supermarket collecting names. Then I waited in front of the diner - then the movie theatre.

    Everyone who signed then called friends and relatives and now we have 17,000 thousand names of people willing to board buses to storm the office of the AG.

    I think you will be pleased at the success of our grass roots efforts.

    And we have word that the chairman of the board of GM is quaking in his boots.

    Democracy rules.


    He won't remember you said that (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by sj on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 05:59:19 PM EST
    you know.

    Ultimately the responsibility (none / 0) (#11)
    by jondee on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:00:18 PM EST
    lies with GM yielding to the dictate of the First Commandment of Freidmanian conservative economics as it relates to business practice: a business's only responsibility is to it's shareholders.

    If you have a gripe, taker it up with St Milton.


    What's the point? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:32:23 PM EST

    What is the point of paying NHTSA to cover for GM? St Milton probably would not approve.  

    If its peachy keen with the regulator, should GM be second guessing them?


    Yes (none / 0) (#14)
    by jondee on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:39:57 PM EST
    it's called having a conscience. Having an effing soul. Being a human being.

    "We do what we can get a away with" is the ethos of muggers and pimps who prey on the weak.


    My point (none / 0) (#19)
    by lentinel on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:34:27 PM EST
    is that real muggers and pimps wind up serving time, but rich mfs and corporations like GM live the good life.

    And Obama & Co. pose as representatives of the people.

    In a pig's eye.


    I agree (none / 0) (#74)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:15:40 PM EST

    You seem to have described NHTSA perfectly in this case.

    Fascism baby... (none / 0) (#75)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:28:01 PM EST
    NHTSA is but a subsidiary of General Motors, or vice-versa...the merger of government and corporate power is nearly complete my friend.  

    Rejoice, but mind your wallet and dangerous defective goods.


    Evidence? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:44:12 PM EST
    How many were killed because the feds sat on reports of those deaths and did nothing to cloud Obama'a claim of "General Motors alive?"  

    It appears that NHTSA's priority at the time was to make Government Motors look good.

    O r is this just more of the usual "reading between the lines" when a conservative squints really hard and imagines what something "appears" to be?


    How do GM's numbers... (none / 0) (#44)
    by unitron on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 11:20:48 AM EST
    ...compare with Ford's gas tank deaths?

    Carter was born in Clifton NJ, same town (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:34:32 AM EST
    as my dad was, but 9 yrs later. The crime took place in Paterson, where my dad's grandparents got work when they 'got off the boat'. Both very hardscrabble working class towns.

    It just got my attention this morning during the NPR obituary...rarely hear those towns mentioned. and made me wonder about all the other lives there and how chance determines so much.

    Carter spent his life after incarceration trying to help others in the same situation. I am glad that it seems like he died at peace.

    I did not know that the crime took place (none / 0) (#5)
    by vml68 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 10:40:58 AM EST
    in Paterson.
    I go there whenever I need my middle-eastern groceries and food fix. Paterson has a sizeable Arab and Turkish population. And, now a large Hispanic population too. Many Peruvian restaurants.

    If I am not being too nosy, what country did your dad's parents come from.


    Not too nosy at all (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 12:48:32 PM EST
    All sides of his family settled there, the English, Irish, and German, in the mid-late 1800s. On the English side they were already from a mill town near Manchester, and back in the late 1800's Paterson was a big mill town too, so I guess it was the natural fit. Possibly the same thing on the German side.

    His parents left Clifton for Chicago when he was a baby, but my older aunts remembered it.


    Thanks, Ruffian. (none / 0) (#12)
    by vml68 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:14:01 PM EST
    As someone who has family and friends in countries all over the globe, I find the subject of immigration fascinating.

    Especially here in the US, where the feel of a town/ city can change so much over time depending on where the latest wave of immigrants are from.


    Me too VML (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:53:45 PM EST
    I'm glad my dad took an interest and did a lot of research. Gives me a spark of interest when I hear things from various places I have a distant connection.

    Paterson seems to have changed with the various waves of immigrants. Would be an interesting place to visit. Burnley was the town in England where my folks were from, and when I was in England a few years ago I took a train from London to Glasgow and was able to get off for a couple of hours at the Burnley stop, which as good luck had it was right near the neighborhood they were from, AND the local historical society museum. I was able to talk to some very friendly people there and they told me they keep connections to historical researchers in Paterson since so many people from that area emigrated to Paterson because of the mill connection. Check out the link, very interesting.

    Oh - and it is the birthplace of Sir Ian McKellan!


    The Organization for the (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:53:49 PM EST
    Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the UN Joint Mission announced that the Syrian government is nearing the goal of removing and destroying its chemical weapons by April 27.  

    On September l, 2013, President Obama was ready to bomb Syria with or without Congressional approval "to punish and send a message" to  Bashar Assad for use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war.  Secretary Kerry re-assured the nation that the bomb would be "unbelievably small", but the President reminded the nation and world that the "US military does not do pinpricks."   This was the debate: the size of the bomb. (Sort of like parents  telling children that we are having hot dogs; your choice is mustard or catsup, but we are having hot dogs so get over it.)

    September 9, 2013,  President Obama changed course and engaged with Russia to arrive at "something."  But, of course, we needed a credible threat of military pressure to get what we wanted.  

    While ancient history by media standards, it does give hope that diplomacy will bring us through the Ukraine problem and that we can avoid diplomats hot dogging.

    Apocalypse Cow (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 06:32:51 AM EST
    Jon Stewart takes down Sean Hannity for his hypocritical support of Cliven Bundy.

    Deadbeat in a Cowboy Hat (none / 0) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 09:34:07 AM EST
    it won't win a Grammy but it might make you smile

    The first verse, about hiding behind women, they actually did that.  The day of the standoff one of the leaders was on TV saying they put all the women up front so if shooting started they would have video of BLM shooting women.


    Here he is (none / 0) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 09:37:55 AM EST
    Seriously??? (none / 0) (#68)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 04:15:58 PM EST
    I think that tells you all you need to know about these clowns.

    Have a positive thought for Donald today (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 09:14:31 AM EST
    He is probably under the knife right now.

    We know education is heresy, but...... (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by NYShooter on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 12:39:13 PM EST
    is there no limit to stupidity?

    Like Inhofe wasn't enough?

    "Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill Monday that would allow regulated electric utilities to establish a new customer class for users of rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines.
    In signing Senate Bill 1456, Fallin also took the rare step of issuing an executive order directing its implementation."

    So, instead of getting credits for reducing fossil fuel usage, in Oklahoma you pay a surcharge.

    Civil rights victory (none / 0) (#8)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 12:47:58 PM EST
    FYI, Abdul, "civil rights" ... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:00:08 PM EST
    ... is defined as the rights of citizens to full socio-political freedom and equality under the U.S. Constitution, as established by that document's 13th and 14th amendments and various congressional acts, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    As such, while one's right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment, it is not a civil right. It could only be considered a civil rights issue if an applicant's Second Amendment rights are abridged by the authorities due to that person's race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability status or religious faith.

    In this particular case, the persons in question were both denied a firearms permit because of their respective prior criminal convictions for marijuana possession in other states. Because Massachusetts' refusal to issue them permits was not based upon the applicants' race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability status or religious faith, but rather upon their criminal records, therefore their civil rights were not violated.

    The federal court ruled yesterday that the specific provision of the Massachusetts Gun Control Act which disqualifies those permit applicants previously convicted of possessing a controlled substance is unconstitutional, as it applies to those persons whose convictions under another state's applicable statutes come into conflict with the commonwealth's own laws on the same subject.

    Thus, if you were convicted of possessing a joint in Idaho, that conviction is henceforth to be considered irrelevant under Massachusetts law with regards to one's right to keep and bear arms, because you would never have been convicted of criminal possession for the same amount under commonwealth law.

    Therefore, it was their rights under the Second Amendment that were violated by the commonwealth's refusal to grant them permits, by virtue of the fairly recent decision by the Massachusetts General Court (the state legislature) to decriminalize marijuana possession.



    I didn't know Jeralyn played the violin... (none / 0) (#16)
    by magster on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:26:21 PM EST
    for Bob Dylan back in the 70s.

    Obama Clemency (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 07:40:07 AM EST
    The Obama administration is beginning an aggressive new effort to foster equity in criminal sentencing by considering clemency requests from as many as thousands of federal inmates serving time for drug offenses, officials said Monday.

    The initiative, which amounts to an unprecedented campaign to free non­violent offenders, will begin immediately and continue over the next two years, officials said. The Justice Department said it expects to reassign dozens of lawyers to its understaffed pardons office to handle the requests from inmates.

    "Once these reforms go into effect, we expect to receive thousands of additional applications for clemency," Holder said. "And we at the Department of Justice will meet this need by assigning potentially dozens of lawyers -- with backgrounds in both prosecution and defense -- to review applications and provide the rigorous scrutiny that all clemency applications require."

    White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler said Obama has directed the department to improve its process for clemency recommendations and try to recruit more applicants from the federal prison population of low-level drug offenders.

    "When a worthy candidate runs out of other options," she said, "the president has the power to correct an injustice that no one else has."


    Hope this has legs... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 07:49:18 AM EST
    salvage that legacy Obama...make it tens of thousands of pardons.  A hundred thousand even!  Make your mark on history trying to reverse this awful Incarceration Nation trend...be the man that turned the tide to the good side of the force on this most important issue.

    Derail (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 08:04:19 AM EST
    The only thing I can see derailing this huge promise, is Hilary or whoever gets the Democratic nomination for POTUS.

    Soft on drugs, soft on crime....

    not a winning message...  


    Yes... (none / 0) (#31)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 08:07:43 AM EST
    the party will surely be none too happy if Obama does what is necessary and right...I hope he finds the courage to ignore the party.

    Let the heir apparent rag on it all they want in the 2016 campaign...it's still the right thing to do.


    Considering (none / 0) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 08:21:40 AM EST
    what has been happening in states like CO I dont think this kind of thing is controversial anymore. The only people that would care about this kind of thing are the old tea partiers and it's not like they are going to vote for any Dem anyway.

    Hmmmm (none / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 08:26:45 AM EST
    MJ is one thing, but the solid Dem citizens living in suburbia, and other insulated places, may not think that crack heads or heroin dealers, meth makers etc should be anywhere near their children.

    Who knows, maybe prison nation has woken up, but I really doubt it. The punishment policies that our government enforce are by in large popular.


    Amen (none / 0) (#46)
    by sj on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 11:34:54 AM EST
    I hope this comes through because he has some catching up to do when it comes to Presidential pardons. And he took some real risks in some of his choices.
    . James Bernard Banks, of Liberty, Utah, sentenced to two years of probation in 1972 for illegal possession of government property.

    . Russell James Dixon, of Clayton, Ga., sentenced to two years of probation in 1960 for a liquor law violation.

    . Laurens Dorsey, of Syracuse, N.Y., sentenced in 1998 to five years of probation and $71,000 in restitution for conspiracy to defraud by making false statements to the Food and Drug Administration.

    . Ronald Lee Foster, of Beaver Falls, Pa., sentenced in 1963 to a year of probation and a $20 fine for mutilating coins.

    . Timothy James Gallagher, of Navasota, Texas, sentenced in 1982 to three years of probation for cocaine possession and conspiracy to distribute.

    . Roxane Kay Hettinger, Powder Springs, Ga., sentenced in 1986 to 30 days in jail and three years of probation for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

    . Edgar Leopold Kranz Jr., of Minot, N.D., who received 24 months of confinement and a pay reduction for cocaine use, adultery and bouncing checks.

    . Floretta Leavy, of Rockford, Ill., sentenced in 1984 to 366 days in prison and three years of parole for drug offenses.

    . Scoey Lathaniel Morris, of Crosby, Texas, sentenced in 1991 to three years of probation and $1,200 restitution for counterfeiting offenses.

    Okay, maybe not. Pardoning sentences of probation where the convictions are decades old? I mean, that would be awesome if it were part of some massive commutations/pardons sweep. But so far his total is a meagre 61.

    On the other hand that link yielded this interesting little tidbit.

    Democratic President John F. Kennedy pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 575 people during his term.

    Among them are:
     First-time offenders convicted of crimes under the Narcotics Control Act of 1956 - pardoned all, in effect overturning much of the law passed by Congress.

    Wow... (none / 0) (#47)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 11:50:51 AM EST
    triple-check mark in the JFK plus column...did not know that.

    Um - o-kay (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 09:02:39 AM EST
    Sex and the Single Man: What If Your Partner Has a Kid

    But it's not. Since the 1970s, 33 states have created Putative Father Registries, designed as a way to link unmarried men to the mother of their child. States expect men to report--voluntarily and honestly--information about all their sexual partners; otherwise, they forfeit their right to be contacted if a partner pursues adoption. The registry is not a petition for custody or a determination of paternity--only a right to notification. Without registry, the wishes of the biological father are irrelevant.


    State governments see this as the simple solution to the logistical problem of keeping track of unwed fathers. The Supreme Court agrees--in 1983, it ruled in Lehr v. Robertson that registering is as easy as "mailing a postcard." Most states also have free registration, so cost shouldn't prohibit any man from participating. So when a man fails to register and subsequently loses a child, courts uniformly respond, "Your loss."

    But this system has some big flaws. For one thing, it's relatively unknown. In Florida, only 47 people registered in 2004, but there were 90,000 nonmarital babies born. And even for the few people who seem to be aware of their right to register, the process can be hard to navigate. Some states require men to indicate their partners' height, weight, social security number, and more. You had a one-night stand? Don't wait three days to call--better to register, and quick. New relationship? Verify her identity and get a social security number. Just moved in with your girlfriend? Bed, Bath, and Beyond isn't the only place you should register. As Michael Higdon, a law professor at the University of Tennessee has argued, the burdens of registering are rooted in suspicion and mistrust. `Lest the mother get out of his sight," he writes, "nonmarital fathers are being sent the message...to keep tabs on where she is at all times."

    Very strange... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 09:20:50 AM EST
    the sentiment may be good...preserving a father's parental rights.  But it's just creepy...."registering" sexual activity with the government, with social security numbers?  wtf?  

    I think I'll just continue to have blind faith that a paramour will do the right thing...I don't even wanna register my car, never mind getting lucky!


    Seems to me the need for this, (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 11:55:38 AM EST
    if there was a need, has been overtaken by events with the advent of DNA tests. I suppose there is a question about the ability of a man seeking to claim parental rights (and obligations)being able to get a DNA sample from the child?

    Also... (none / 0) (#49)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 11:58:53 AM EST
    DNA testing is no help if you have no idea you even fathered a child.  

    That's true... (none / 0) (#53)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 12:26:38 PM EST
    I am assuming if you are seeking parental rights you at least have a suspicion you have fathered a child...

    The gist I got is... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 12:46:31 PM EST
    it's primarily a tool for men who don't know they have fathered a kid...but I could be getting it wrong, I had a real hard time wrapping my head around it...at all.  I couldn't get past the question in my head "who in their right mind would ever take advantage of such a government program?".  Weird, weird, weird.

    I mean if you're so worried about it, being abstinent, or at least choosing a better class of lover, makes a lot more sense than registering your coital seed-spillage with the government to protect your parental rights.  

    But maybe that's the libertarian in me talking...statists might like the idea, I don't know.  Anti-registration is my default position...as long as I won't get a ticket for not registering, I ain't f*ckin' registering for shit;)


    Yeah -that's what I thought (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 02:15:27 PM EST
    This would allow any potential fathers to be informed if a child is put up for adoption - it would create a match and give the biological fathers the chance to object to any adoption before it could go through.

    I like the sentiment, but it's just a bit weird.


    And the requirements! (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 02:33:33 PM EST
    Crazy weird.  "Excuse me young lady, I don't trust you enough to tell me if you get pregnant, but will you trust me with your social security number so I can file a complete report of our romp to the proper authorities?"

    If we need a solution to this "problem", me thinks we need to go back to the drawing board.


    I would be a little creeped out by that! (none / 0) (#65)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 02:53:29 PM EST
    As long as you (none / 0) (#66)
    by Zorba on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 02:58:22 PM EST
    Use a condom, every time, and if the condom doesn't break, you should be fine, kdog.
    The whole registration thing seems very creepy to me.
    Either use a condom, remain abstinent, only sleep with people you absolutely trust, or, if you are sure that you never want to have kids, have a vasectomy.
    And frankly, even if you have a vasectomy, there are still STD's you can get, if you don't trust your partner.  So condoms may at least help in that regard.
    OTOH, I suppose that I am an old f@rt, but if you don't trust your partner, maybe you should think twice before having sex with them.  Just my humble opinion.   ;-)

    Dawkins.net b!tch slaps Whole Foods (none / 0) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 09:54:42 AM EST
    What Whole Foods Markets Doesn't Tell You
    by Jann Bellamy posted on April 18, 2014 03:28PM GMT

    Selling Flu Ease and like products certainly exhibits a lack of appreciation for scientific evidence, not to mention basic science. But I recently saw a product in the checkout line that was so filled with over-the-top quackery and so shocking in its disregard for the public's health that I haven't been back to Whole Foods since. And I won't be going back.

    I've always had mixed feelings about (none / 0) (#51)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 12:02:42 PM EST
    Whole Foods, for a lot of those reasons. Love the food, but that whole homeopathy aisle seems out of place and I believe hurts their credibility. I'm sure it is quite profitable however.

    Fourth Amendment case at the SC (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 10:20:24 AM EST
    Navarette v. California handed down today.

    A California Highway Patrol officer stopped the pickup truck occupied by petitioners because it matched the description of a vehicle that a 911 caller had recently reported as having run her off the road. As he and a second officer approached the truck, they smelled marijuana.They searched the truck's bed, found 30 pounds of marijuana, and arrested petitioners. Petitioners moved to suppress the evidence, arguing that the traffic stop violated the Fourth Amendment. Their motion was denied, and they pleaded guilty to transporting marijuana. The California Court of Appeal affirmed, concluding that the officerhad reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigative stop.

    Held: The traffic stop complied with the Fourth Amendment because,under the totality of the circumstances, the officer had reasonable suspicion that the truck's driver was intoxicated. Pp. 3-11.

    (a) The Fourth Amendment permits brief investigative stops whenan officer has "a particularized and objective basis for suspecting the particular person stopped of . . . criminal activity." United States v. Cortez, 449 U. S. 411, 417-418. Reasonable suspicion takes into account "the totality of the circumstances," id., at 417, and depends"upon both the content of information possessed by police and its degree of reliability," Alabama v. White, 496 U. S. 325, 330. An anonymous tip alone seldom demonstrates sufficient reliability, White, 496 U.S., at 329, but may do so under appropriate circumstances, id., at 327. Pp. 3-5.

    (b) The 911 call in this case bore adequate indicia of reliability forthe officer to credit the caller's account. By reporting that she had been run off the road by a specific vehicle, the caller necessarilyclaimed an eyewitness basis of knowledge. The apparently short time between the reported incident and the 911 call suggests that the caller had little time to fabricate the report. And a reasonable officer could conclude that a false tipster would think twice before using the911 system, which has several technological and regulatory features that safeguard against making false reports with immunity. Pp. 5-8.

    (c) Not only was the tip here reliable, but it also created reasonable suspicion of drunk driving. Running another car off the road suggests the sort of impairment that characterizes drunk driving. While that conduct might be explained by another cause such as driver distraction, reasonable suspicion "need not rule out the possibility of innocent conduct." United States v. Arvizu, 534 U. S. 266, 277. Finally,the officer's failure to observe additional suspicious conduct during the short period that he followed the truck did not dispel the reasonable suspicion of drunk driving, and the officer was not required tosurveil the truck for a longer period. Pp. 8-10.


    THOMAS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and KENNEDY, BREYER, and ALITO, JJ., joined. SCALIA, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined.

    Opinion here.

    Suprising to see Scalia... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 12:14:41 PM EST
    on the right side in a dissent...but all for naught.  The 4th gets kneecapped in yet another 5-4 squeaker.  Bummer.

    But if current trends continue, driving in a truck with 30 lbs. of sacrament will be no different than driving in a truck with 30 cases of beer.  So we got that going for us;)


    And, in that crucible of enlightenment, Texas (none / 0) (#55)
    by NYShooter on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 12:46:21 PM EST
    "Texas' gay marriage ban may have banned all marriages"

    "Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Houston lawyer and Democratic candidate for attorney general, says that a 22-word clause in a 2005 constitutional amendment designed to ban gay marriages erroneously endangers the legal status of all marriages in the state.

    The amendment, approved by the Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by voters, declares that "marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman." But the troublemaking phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:

    "This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

    How awesome... (none / 0) (#58)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 01:15:52 PM EST
    would it be if every Texas marriage since 2005 was legally considered null and void, due to hate-based legislative sloppiness.  That would just be que rico man.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 334 (none / 0) (#61)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 02:04:22 PM EST
    She's got mettle. And even more metal. (link)

    v. 333
    v. 332

    Only 31 more comics to go until my goal of 365 in less that a year is reached. Then, my OCD mind takes a long comic break. Peace, y'all.

    And what a long strange trip... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 02:22:25 PM EST
    it's been...home stretch homeboy!

    Regarding the Easter 'toon, somewhat related...the crew over at Vice did an interesting piece on the evangelical christian rapture people's economic support of Israel, and illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.  They're raising more money than AIPAC now...buku bucks.  Israeli settlements are hosting tours and sh*t now for these maniacs who are giving them money in the hopes that the lord wipes them out in a flash of armageddeon.  Literal "here's money hope you use it well and die soon!" sh*t.  So f*ckin' surreal...


    Surreal is right (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 04:48:20 PM EST
    These are the folks I finished high school with. The folks who have to believe dinosaurs were aboard Noah's Ark, and who support Israel only because they believe it is part of God's plan to send all the resistant (to Christianity, that is) Jews to hell. It's beyond absurd, whatever that would be called. Hyper-absurdity?

    Peace out, my mang. Go Nets.


    Absurdiosity.... (none / 0) (#72)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 06:11:45 PM EST
    Hello with the Nets...when's the lottery? Oh that's right the Knickerbockers have no pick! Larvely.

    Go Warriors!


    It's the theory (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 07:01:47 PM EST
    of the useful idiot and it's pretty much what evangelicals think Jews are. Jews are needed to bring about the apocalypse in their view.

    You know its bad when (none / 0) (#67)
    by KeysDan on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 03:53:51 PM EST
    McDonald's closes.  The NYT describes the new Crimean state, as a state of confusion.   As many suspected, Putin needed to enjoy his annexation while he could, because he really has a tiger by the tail.

    The lighting decoupling from Ukraine would be expected to bring with it a tough  transition.  However, if my experience with Russian authorities is any barometer of efficiency, it would, in contrast, be enough for  the Tea Party to proclaim a "take a bureaucrat to lunch" day.

     Essentially all government offices and banks are closed.  Passport offices are clogged. Businesses are off 90 percent, court cases are frozen since judges do not know what laws to apply, flights go only to Moscow, and food is scarce and more expensive. A large German supermarket chain has closed.

     Of course, gays are in danger, and heroin addicts being treated with methadone are in jeopardy since methadone is banned in Russia.  Ukrainian Orthodox priests are fearful what with the vilification of the Ukrainian Orthodox bishop by his Russian Orthodox counterpart and his armed retinue.   The costs to the already troubled Russian economy will be great, if the pledges to double pensions and improve infrastructures is to be met.  

    Only Lovers Left Alive (none / 0) (#70)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:47:43 PM EST
    this looks amazing

    Played by Tom Hiddleston (whom fans of The Avengers know as Loki), Adam yearns for his Eve, who lives halfway around the globe in Tangier and is played by a delicate, downright translucent Tilda Swinton. Eve, sensing that her hubby is sulking more than usual, plans a visit (night flights only). And in a room lined with portraits of long-gone buddies -- from Buster Keaton to Lord Byron -- they lament the mess we humans have increasingly been making of the world: contaminated blood, contaminated water ...

    What's really on their mind, and pretty clearly on Jarmusch's in this gorgeously shot mood piece of a movie, is the way recent generations have contaminated art and literature, music and philosophy. Why so down on the "now"? Well, picture a boomer trying to explain The Beatles to a millennial, then imagine that the gulf between them isn't decades, but centuries. How could Jarmusch's Adam and Eve not be swooningly, rapturously in love? They're the only ones who get each other's references anymore -- the Only Lovers Left Alive.