Michael Vick and the Politics of Prison Redemption

Jennifer Graber

Jennifer Graber: While Vick’s effort to turn his life around has won praise from many, it is no surprise that some will remain unconvinced. Since at least the 1820s, Americans have been supremely conflicted about what to do with their lawbreakers. Punish them or redeem them? Or is it a little of both?

Guns, Polls, and Too Many Dead Americans

automatic pistol

Steve Hochstadt: New polls about high capacity magazines show that nearly two-thirds favor banning their sale. A minority of Americans, consistently about a third, favor banning the sale of all handguns, except to police.

Bradley Manning’s Torture Commonplace in U.S. Prisons

Sherwood Ross: Those supporting Manning need to recognize he is an icon for the bizarre, systemic destruction of tens of thousands of other human beings locked away in perpetual silence by their tormentors, often for mere infractions of prison rules, without the review of any judge or jury.

HSPD12 Employees Wait to See How NASA Responds

Supreme Court Seal

In the wake of an 8-0 setback by the United States Supreme Court last week, the JPL plaintiffs in the HSPD12 case said they would now wait to see what NASA does in response to the decision. In a communication released to the JPL staff today the employees said “The ball is now in NASA’s court.

Expanding Gun Rights

gun violence

Carl Matthes: One last thought, Rep. King, to be even more safe, why not amend your bill to say that a gun may not be carried within your congressional district when you’re there?

HSPD 12 Will Stand at JPL

On January 19, 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it had decided in favor of the government in the matter of NASA, et al., v. Robert M. Nelson et al. In a unanimous decision, the court found that the questions the 28 JPL employees challenged were appropriate for the protection of JPL as a federal facility.

The Consequences of Words

jared loughner

Tom Degan: The extremism of 1963 was pretty much isolated to a few southern cities. Forty-eight years later it’s gone national. What happened in Arizona over the weekend is only the beginning.

The Founders Cared about the Majority Principle

james madison

Joyce Appleby: Senators are pondering partial reform of the filibuster, which is now routinely used to block Senate action. Historian Joyce Appleby suggests that if they want to bring the Senate in line with the founders’ original intent they might follow the lead of the Tea Party and go back to the beginning. In its early decades the U.S. Senate operated on the simple majority principle: no supermajorities, no filibusters.

Arizona Goddamn

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik

David Love: The recent assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, which left 18 wounded and 6 dead, is a reminder that all is not well in that state. With anti-immigrant legislation, a ban on Chicano studies in the public schools and lax gun laws, Arizona is ground zero for hate and intolerance in America.

Civility and Political Discourse after the Tucson Shooting

obama-giffords

Walter Moss: President Obama has often been criticized for being too ready to compromise or for not displaying enough political passion for just causes. No doubt, he has not always perfectly calibrated the right mix of passion and compromise. But there is also no doubt, at least in my mind, that he is correct in calling for more civility in politics.

At Least Stand By Your Free Speech

Tina Dupuy: Sarah Palin, stand by your free speech. Minutes after the Arizona shooting, Palin’s “Crosshairs” image was scrubbed from her website without an explanation or comment – a cowardly move. If you are going to say outrageous things, then you are going to have to stand by outrageous things

Jury Nullification: Remedy or Danger?

jury

Wendy McElroy: Jury nullification did not technically occur in Missoula because no jury was seated. Nevertheless, the incident is viewed as a triumph for nullification, and the strategy is reinvigorated.

How to Keep Parolees Out of Prison

liberty

Donna Purdue: We can posture and make demands of corporate America, but we must realize that while there is the occasional bleeding heart Liberal at the helm of some companies, most are run by strict, capitalist business men and reaching out to anyone has to mean there’s something in it for them.

Dear Terminator, Lay Off Our Executioners

David Holtzman

David Holtzman: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger can help. In what very little time he has left in office, he can give his legacy a considerable boost by commuting the state’s hundreds of pending death sentences to life in prison without possibility of release. As a Los Angeles resident on the world’s stage, he should be sensitive to his image at home and abroad.

Wikileaks and Public Key Diplomacy

enigma machine

Jonathan David Farley: What’s surprising about the U.S. State Department/WikiLeaks scandal is that there is a scandal. As a friend reminded me, these days it’s really quite easy to make sure no one can read your messages, unless you want them to.

The Writer, Chapter 4: A Christmas Wish

dennis-danziger

Dennis Danziger: Despite the frequent portraits drawn in film, television and literature of lawyers as thieves in Armani suits, I know most lawyers are tough, smart, and fight like hell for their clients. This is why I was disheartened when someone close to me needed his lawyer to come out swinging, but instead paid a pile of money to a criminal attorney who took a dive.

Freedom of Deplorable Speech

Pastor Fred Phelps

Tina Dupuy: Pastor Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church congregation – also known as the “God Hates Fags” picketers – have no place in a polite society. But we don’t live in a polite society. We live in this one. And in this one we are guaranteed the freedom of speech.

Christian Nation

christian nation

Steve Hochstadt: I don’t want to live in any version of a “Christian nation”. I want to live in the United States, in which religious ideas are a private matter, in which my government plays no role in my spiritual life, and denominational beliefs play no role in government.

Wikileaks and Tangential Truths

wikileaks

Tom Hall: While Faux News and right-wing blowhards fabricate against wikileaks for publishing the truth, the Republican Party voted to reaffirm its opposition to ending discrimination in the military, even if such discrimination hurts the nation’s security.

The Ominous Expansion of Class-Action Suits

Walmart Corporate Welfare

Wendy McElroy: In the largest class-action lawsuit in American history, Walmart v. Dukes, Walmart stands accused of systematically discriminating against 1.5 million women in wages and promotions.

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