I Wanna Be A Macho Man: The Prosperity Gospel According to Eddie Long

eddie long and george bush

Sikivu Hutchinson: In America being a macho man and a professional homophobe is big business, one that jeopardizes the lives and mental health and wellness of thousands of gays and lesbians. Regardless of whether the allegations against Long are true or not, his prosperity gospel of gay-bashing and robber baron profiteering at the expense of poor black people is another indictment of the moral injustice that happens on “God’s” watch.

Rewriting History

billie-holiday

Tom Degan: So let’s all take a deep breath, shall we? These silly Republicans (in their present incarnation anyway) are about as much responsible for the gains of the civil rights era as I am for the invention of Cheese Doodles. Get a grip.

Losing the Drug War

Adam Eran: Criminalizing drug consumption, rather than bad behavior, leads to enormous corruption–both domestic and international–and disrespect for the law.

Marijuana Initiative Challenges Costly, Bloody Drug War

Tom Hayden: I support the November ballot initiative because our country’s long drug war is a disaster and there is an alternative that is better for our health, safety and democratic process.

The Possible Prosecution of WikiLeaks

wikileaks

Ivan Eland: The U.S. Justice Department is apparently considering prosecuting Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which is a Web site that publishes classified documents from governments, under the rarely used Espionage Act of 1917. Such a prosecution would have adverse effects on the American people’s right to know what their government is doing in a republic that is supposed to be run by them.

Bell Officials Earned Thousands for One-Minute Meetings

bell meeting

Marian Wang: More revelations in the city of Bell overpaid officials controversy. On top of it all, the state has found that Bell illegally raised property taxes. Legislators are considering plans to refund some $2.9 million to residents.

National Take A Muslim To Lunch Week

Muslim Americans

Tom Degan: How are we going to appear when historians look back on this era? Honestly, our chronic Islamophobia is gonna make us look awfully silly, don’cha think?

End the Silent Segregation in the U.S. Military

Don't Ask; Don't Tell

Tracy Emblem: Compare President Truman’s proclamation of equal opportunity and treatment in the military to today’s efforts to repeal the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy imposed by Congress. This discriminatory practice is tantamount to silent segregation of gay and lesbian personnel and puts them at continued risk to lose their jobs and all of their benefits.

Corporate Rotten Eggs

chicken farm

Robert Reich: A national database of corporate crimes and settlements would tip off federal, state, and local inspectors to rotten eggs like Jack DeCoster’s agribusiness, Massey Energy, BP, Bridgestone Firestone, and other serial corporate offenders.

America “Refudiates” Rights When Used

easy rider

Ed Rampell: The controversy over building an Islamic community center near Ground Zero shows that in America, you have constitutional rights – until the second you try to use them.

Proposition 8 Appealed – Gay Marriage Ban Extended

Proposition 8

Many same sex couples were planning to be married this week but yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals extended the ban on same sex marriage while the Proposition 8 case is being appealed. View the two page order granting the stay.

The Use and Abuse of the Fourteenth Amendment

John Peeler: Many conservatives are now pushing to amend the Constitution to change the provision of the Fourteenth Amendment that allocates citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States. Unlike many examples of creative interpretation, this proposal would formally amend the amendment. Liberals learned in the 1970s, with the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, how hard it is to amend the Constitution; here is our chance to teach the same lesson to conservatives.

Mitrice Richardson: Blame the Victim

mitrice richardson

Jasmyne Cannick: With accusations as serious has the ones currently lodged at the Sheriff’s Department, if I were Baca, I’d do anything I could to clear my Department’s name, even if it meant subjecting my deputies to a polygraph for the sake of good faith and good will towards the community.

Supreme Court Will Hear JPL – Homeland Security Case

The Supreme Court of the United States has scheduled October 5, 2010 to hear argument on the matter of open-ended background investigations of federal contractors arising from Homeland Security Presidential Directive #12 (Nelson et al. vs NASA, No. 09-530).

Beyond the Grim Sleeper: Cut Death Penalty to Fund Criminal Investigations

Aqeela Sherrills

Aqeela Sherrills: Why do we continue to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on the death penalty even though it has never been proven to deter murderers and even though 1,000 killers get away with murder each year?

Killing Prop Hate: What Republicans Fear

prop hate

Tom Hall: A conservative Republican judge, appointed by George H.W. Bush has done what the Tea Party activists have been demanding – he restored the Constitution. Judge Vaughn Walker held that the U.S. Constitution, and its provisions requiring equal protection of the laws, required that Proposition Hate be stricken down.

How Empathy Makes Superior Judges – and Justice

elena kagan  barack obama

Joel K. Goldstein: Critics ridiculed President Obama’s statement that judges should be empathetic. But as the Senate prepares to vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan, legal historian Joel Goldstein argues that senators should be looking for that very quality.

“Facts are Stubborn Things” – The Value of Judge Walker’s Decision

Judge Vaughn Walker

Paul Hogarth: What taking this case to trial – rather than expedited summary judgment hearings – allowed us to do was to set up a factual framework, which cannot be reversed on appeal.

Checks and Balances

Ron Wolff: Government is simply the institutionalization over time of the collective will of the people at any given moment, established with at least one essential objective in mind: the prevention of the inevitable chaos that would result in its absence.

Should Citizens Be Human Beings?

children fighting.jpg

Citizens United Case Disenfranchises Human Beings I was talking to a friend one day about how to teach children to be fair with one another.  He told me that when he was a kid, his mother had a great way of squashing fairness disputes between him and his sister. When an argument arose around someone [...]

Ready or Not. Here They Come! Youth Reentry from Probation

father greg boyle

Diane Lefer: As our Probation Department moves in the direction of reform, the good news is that the department recognizes the need for reentry services for kids coming out of the system–often traumatized, unable to read and write, set free on the mean streets in an abysmal job market while carrying the stigma of lockup.

Cut Death Penalty, Save California $126 Million a Year

Ramona Ripston: The California Supreme Court ‘sentenced’ our state’s taxpayers to an additional debt of $180,000 more per year last week.

DNA and ‘The Banality of Evil’

Janecia Peters, 25-year-old "Grim Sleeper" victim

Sikivu Hutchinson: Because Franklin and Turner are black male killers of black women, it is safe to say that there will be no cable-ready film made psychoanalyzing their childhoods, no Lifetime channel melodrama on the lives and last days of their victims trumpeted in flashy national billboard campaigns, and no pathos inspiring media blitz chronicling the anguish that these murders elicited in South L.A. communities.

Mehserle-Grant Verdict Aftermath: Oakland Lives Another Day

Mehserle Verdict

H. Scott Prosterman: Regardless of the verdict, some element of violent protest was inevitable. Ironically, most of those arrested were white, suburban anarchist, rather than black activists.

Oscar Grant Case Verdict – Involuntary Manslaughter

The Oscar Grant verdict has been handed down. Johannes Mehserle has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, the lesser of the three charges he was facing.

Jury Deliberates: Oscar Grant’s Family Speaks Out

oscar grant family

Jasmyne Cannick: Oakland and Los Angeles residents are preparing for a verdict in the Johannes Mehserle shooting of Oscar Grant. Family and friends are filled with apprehension and hope. In this exclusive interview, members of Oscar Grant’s family talk frankly about the case, politicians, community activists and life without Oscar as they wait to hear the verdict.

The 4th of July

Clockwise: Frederick Douglass, Malia Obama, Thomas Jefferson, Ron Kovic

In 1852, legendary abolistionist and former slave Frederick Douglass  was asked to give a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Known for his extraordinary oratory skills, that speech became one of his best known pieces and stands as a reminder that the 4th of July does not hold the [...]

Supreme Court Hearings: What’s at Stake

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama)

David A. Love: I don’t know about you, but after watching the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, I was given the distinct impression that Thurgood Marshall was being subjected to a criminal trial, post-mortem, by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

What’s Wrong With Kagan’s Confirmation Hearings

gronnerud

Kathleen Gronnerud: Elena Kagan now faces a Senate Judiciary Committee intent on getting her to reveal how she would decide as a Supreme Court justice. Historian Kathleen Gronnerud explains how todays inquiries are far from the process envisioned by the Founders.

Senator Orin Hatch: Judicial Activism Cuts Both Ways

thurgood marshall

Tracy Emblem: Speaking of judicial activism – both United States Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia are members of a Federalist Society – an organization that advocates a roll back of civil rights.

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