There’s a lot of moral issues behind the intentional, planned killing of a US Citizen, albeit a terrorist, without a fair trial judged by a jury of his peers. Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born member of Al Qaeda and senior officer within the terrorist group, and the mastermind behind the underwear bomber plot, was taken out by hellfire missiles yesterday in Yemen by order of the Justice Department.
Every United States citizen has a constitutional right a fair trial, and this act should be considered heinous by the American public.
We write to you as former wardens and corrections officials who have had direct involvement in executions. Like few others in this country, we understand that you have a job to do in carrying out the lawful orders of the judiciary. We also understand, from our own personal experiences, the awful lifelong repercussions that come from participating in the execution of prisoners. While most of the prisoners whose executions we participated in accepted responsibility for the crimes for which they were punished, some of us have also executed prisoners who maintained their innocence until the end. It is those cases that are most haunting to an executioner.
We write to you today with the overwhelming concern that an innocent person could be executed in Georgia tonight. We know the legal process has exhausted itself in the case of Troy Anthony Davis, and yet, doubt about his guilt remains. This very fact will have an irreversible and damaging impact on your staff. Many people of significant standing share these concerns, including, notably, William Sessions, Director of the FBI under President Ronald Reagan.
Living with the nightmares is something that we know from experience. No one has the right to ask a public servant to take on a lifelong sentence of nagging doubt, and for some of us, shame and guilt. Should our justice system be causing so much harm to so many people when there is an alternative?
We urge you to ask the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to reconsider their decision. Should that fail, we urge you to unburden yourselves and your staff from the pain of participating in such a questionable execution to the extent possible by allowing any personnel so inclined to opt-out of activities related to the execution of Troy Anthony Davis. Further, we urge you to provide appropriate counseling to personnel who do choose to perform their job functions related to the execution. If we may be of assistance to you moving forward, please do not hesitate to call upon any of us.
Respectfully and collegially,
Allen Ault – Retired Warden, Georgia Diagnostic & Classifications Prison
Terry Collins – Retired Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Ron McAndrew – Retired Warden, Florida State Prison
Dennis O’Neill - Retired Warden, Florida State Prison
Reginald Wilkinson – Retired Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Jeanne Woodford – Retired Warden, San Quentin State Prison
WASHINGTON — Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Sunday that House Republicans would oppose President Barack Obama’s payroll tax cuts for both employers and employees, arguing that the policy had already failed to provide a sufficient boost to the economy. “It hasn’t worked,” Ryan said, suggesting the current temporary tax cut should be allowed to expire, which will amount to a 50 percent tax hike on workers making less than $106,000 per year.
He also said he opposes the president’s proposal to require millionaires to pay the same tax rate as the middle class, known as the Buffett plan. “Class warfare might make for good politics, but it makes for rotten economics,” Ryan said. (Read More.)
Because tax hikes are only okay when they are on the middle class. Right. NOW I understand.
A 50% tax hike on ME!? Are you fucking kidding me? I actually put money into this goddamn economy, you take 50% more of my money and that’s games, electronics, and food I can’t buy! I’m not hiding my money in offshore accounts, I’m putting it into my local retailer! That’s a reduction in everything I waste my money on that keeps this economic system limping along.
They call the rich these illustrious job creators, but you know how most of them got rich? From shmucks like me buying their products and services. You raise my taxes by 50% and they will get 50% less of my business, and not from lack of enthusiasm for their products and services. When their businesses receive 50% less of my money then they cut back production, which in turn cuts jobs. You want to get this economy back on track? Give people like me more money to piss away, that’s how stimulus works! Shit, that’s how economics works!
And he has the fucking gall to say it’s class warfare?
FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!
There is that photojournal of Valdimir Putin going around. And it’s click-worthy, trust me. But this photo has me captivated. Here he is meeting with the leader of Nochniye Volki (the Night Wolves) biker group. The man is question is known as “The Surgeon.”
Some notes and associated questions:
- What do you have to do, as a biker, to earn the nickname “The Surgeon?”
- If I was the leader of a biker gang, what would my nickname be?
- Why are all of the other bikers using canes and walkers? Did they just get out of “surgery?”
- Are any of these men extras from that part of “D:2, The Mighty Ducks” where our heroes had to face off against the team from Iceland?
- Why are all of the men looking at “The Surgeon” instead of their Prime Minister?
- Why are the bikers wearing berets? Are these French foreign exchange bikers?
- How does one become the Prime Minister of Russia? Do you have to be Russian-born? Do you have to speak Russian? Because, judging by these photos, I would make an excellent Prime Minister of Russia.
(Thanks to Will for inspiring some of these questions)
Is this a threat to your personal freedoms?
i hate shots
Brazilians Protesting Political Corruption Don ‘V for Vendetta’ Guy Fawkes Masks
The Guy Fawkes masks worn by V in Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta have taken on new meaning as symbols of resistance — and sometimes anarchy — for hacktivist groups like Anonymous and protest movements around the world, including yesterday’s rallies against corruption in Brazil. A Brazilian CA reader e-mailed us with photos of the event:
“Hello Comics Alliance, let me share with you some news from Brazil. Yesterday we celebrated our Independence Day and we had a lot of street protests against corruption. The Activists wore masks of Guy Fawkes, like the character V, from the legendary Alan Moore’s graphic novel. These protests came out on the main newspapers in Brazil and we believe that the world should know that we are fighting for a better country… We would be grateful if you could show the world our actions.”
The BBC reports that protestors, who have no political affiliation and were also “wearing face paint and clown noses” joined crowds in the capital of Brasilia as the traditional military parade took place. The rallies were sparked by a series of corruption scandals that caused the resgination of three government ministers, and the BBC notes that many of the protestors were students who organized via social networking sites.
In a recent interview with ComicsAlliance, V for Vendetta artist David Lloyd described the use of the V for Vendetta mask by Anonymous as “resisting oppression the best way they know how” and said he hoped that the character V would continue to be a “symbol of protest for all those who feel they need to use it as such.”
Wacky Taiwanese Animators Lend Support to Assaulted Syrian Cartoonist Ali Ferzat [Video]
Best known for reenacting celebrity gossip in comically bizarre videos that look ripped straight out of The Sims, the Taiwanese animators at Next Media Animation recently responded to the horrendous assault on Ali Ferzat, a renowned Syrian cartoonist who was beaten and had both of his hands broken in retribution for drawing cartoons critical of Bashar al-Assad.
As their unusually restrained and tasteful animation explains, the assault on Ferzat produced an unintended Streisand Effect when artists the world over rallied to his defense and created their own cartoons ruthlessly criticizing al-Assad; rather than being silenced by the attack, Ferzat’s message has spread even wider than before. Our feelings are perhaps best summed up by this slightly NSFW cartoon drawn by a supporter, which was erroneously credited to Ferzat in some reports, but nonetheless remains an inspiring symbol of defiance in the face of tyranny and the solidarity that everyone who believes in free speech needs to demonstrate if we would have it for ourselves. We are all Ali Ferzat.
Rise of ‘Anonymous’ Fuels Sales Of Time Warner’s ‘V For Vendetta’ Masks
In a New York Times piece published this week, writer Nick Bilton makes the keen observation that the cultural ascension of hacker group Anonymous has been a financial boon for Warner Bros., the media company that owns the Guy Fawkes image that protesters wear as a mask. Based on the character “V” from Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s classic graphic novel V For Vendetta (as well as the film based on the book),the Guy Fawkes mask sells over 100,000 units a year, with Warner Bros. — the parent company of comics publisher Vertigo — earning a licensing fee for each mask sold.
Read more at ComicsAlliance.
Syrian Security Forces Break the Hands of Political Cartoonist Ali Ferzat
Prominent Syrian cartoonist and human rights advocate Ali Ferzat was hospitalized for serious injuries Thursday morning after being kidnapped near his Damascus home by a group of masked gunmen believed to be part of the government’s security forces under President Bashar al-Assad. The gunmen beat the 60-year-old Ferzat, singed his beard, broke both of his hands, covered his head with a bag and dumped him by the side of the road, threatening the cartoonist that the attack was “just a warning.”
Though they often deal with controversial social and political issues, by American standards Ferzat’s cartoons are visually tame and contain the kind of all-ages gags one might read in a newspaper’s sports or business pages. Ferzat’s latest cartoon compared Assad to the recently ousted Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, depicting Syria’s president as a hitchhiker. The simplicity of the gag underscores both the horror of Ferzat’s attack and also his medium of choice’s power as a tool for mass communication:
According to The Washington Post, attempts by Syria’s government to quash political dissent have escalated over the past several weeks, namely among writers, actors and other expressive professionals. Opposition activists say that more than 2,200 dissidents have been killed since mid-March alone.
The White House condemned Assad’s regime in a recent statement by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, citing Ferzat’s attack and related violations of human rights. “While making empty promises about dialogue with the Syrian people, the Assad regime continues to carry out brutal attacks against peaceful Syrians trying to exercise their universal right to free expression,” Nuland continued. “We demand that the Assad regime immediately stop its campaign of terror through torture, illegal imprisonment and murder.”
“We are all Ali Ferzat,” his Arabic-language Facebook fan page reads, a reminder that freedom of expression is not to be taken for granted in a world where rulers can be easily stirred by the commanding simplicity of a gifted cartoonist’s work.
(people asked me to make a rebloggable version, so here it is)
Michele Bachmann announced her candidacy for president last night at CNN’s Republican Debate. Here is just a sampling of some of her most hurtful and ill-informed statements:
1. DYSFUNCTION AND DISORDERED: “I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgendered. We need to have profound compassion for the people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life, and sexual identity disorders. This is a very real issue. It’s not funny, it’s sad.”
2. ENSLAVEMENT: “Why is it so dangerous? It leads to the personal enslavement of individuals. Because if you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. Personal bondage, personal despair, and personal enslavement. And that’s why this is so dangerous.”
3. CHILD ABUSE: “This message could be very easily misunderstood. Who is he speaking to — 8 year old boys? And so you have a teacher talking about his gayness. He goes home then, and says ‘Hey mom, what’s gayness? We had a teacher talking about this today.’ The mother says, ‘Well, that’s when a man likes other men and they don’t like girls.’ The boy’s 8, he’s thinking, ‘I don’t like girls. I like boys. Maybe I’m gay.’ And you think, that’s way out there. Kid isn’t gonna think that. Are you kidding? That happens all the time. You don’t think that’s intentional, the message that’s being given to these kids? That’s child abuse.”
4. HEALTH HAZARD?: THINKPROGRESS: Do you agree that homosexuality is apublichealth hazard like smoking? BACHMANN: “Um. I — I don’t have an answer on that. I don’t have an answer. Why don’t I have another question?”
5. GOD SAID SO: “And I took a walk and I just went to prayer and I said Lord, what would you have me do in the Minnesota state Senate? And just through prayer I knew that I was to introduce the marriage amendment in Minnesota.”
6. WAR ON MARRIAGE: On President Obama not defending DOMA: “This is just the beginning in our fight to repeal Barack Obama in 2012. Had Barack Obama been on the ballot in 2010, he would have gone down in a fiery defeat. Yet he continues to push his far-left, socialist agenda on the American people. And today, he has declared war on marriage. I will continue to do everything in my power to fight back against Barack Obama’s attacks on marriage and I hope you will join me by adding your name to my ‘Support Traditional Marriage’ petition.”
7. AN EARTHQUAKE: “This is an earthquake issue. This will change our state forever. Because the immediate consequence, if gay marriage goes through, is that K-12 little children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal, natural and perhaps they should try it.”
8. DADT: “I would keep the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.”
9. ENDA: On the Employment Non-Discrimination Act: “No.”
10. IN THE BUSHES: Not a statement, but Bachmann once spied on a gay rights rally, hiding behind some bushes.
this is from an article you can find here.
you should also look at this.
There’s a very distinct event that changed the atmosphere of this country forever.
If you were old enough to remember how life was before September 11th, 2001, you are a member of the “I grew up in the 90’s generation.”
The pre-9/11 childhood was one quite different from the next generation’s.
Man Wears V for Vendetta Mask, Watches London Burn
In this photo by Emily Jackett,
a mansomeone photographs (or videos) a car burning in East End of London during the recent riots while wearing a V for Vendetta mask, which has become a symbol of faceless protestfor hacktivist groups like Anonymous. The photo is a reminder of how easily mindless violence and chaos can graft themselves on to symbols and movements that originate in justified anger and non-violent resistance, hurting not only innocent people in the process but also the symbols and causes they would co-opt. (Via BC)
Jimmy Carter, relevant now more than ever. (via gaywrites)
Jimmy Carter is so BAMFY, it hurts. There’s also this.
Former President Jimmy Carter issued a statement Sunday announcing he is severing all ties with the Southern Baptist Church due to their treatment of women. A devout Southern Baptist for more than sixty years, Carter left the church in 2000 because of ideologically differences where the religion justifies the subordination of women. His announcementcomes after the Elders, a group of world leaders with which Carter is affiliated, released a statement on the issue of discrimination against women and girls by religion. In his statement, Carter calls “on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women.”