Mary Anna, the summary of your article is that Racism flourishes in Rochester and in Sanford, Florida and you use the Zimmerman/Martin case as an example of that Racism. Yet, the local police, the FBI both concluded that Racism had nothing to do with this event. The media from day one have attempted to sell this event as a result of Racism and unfortunately have done a great job at it. This verdict does not "set a terrible precedent", "stand your ground" was not used in the trial, if you paid attention. It was a simple self-defense argument presented by the defense. Most Black men sadly die by the actions of other Black men. That is the terrible tragedy. You state this tragedy would not have happened if Zimmerman not been carrying a gun. It also would not have happened if Martin had just gone home. If Zimmerman did not have a gun and Martin challenged Zimmerman in the same manner, it would be Zimmerman who would have been dead as a result of the actions of the "unarmed" Martin. Lastly you attack the jury for doing their job. You want people believe they too were racists. As per their own comments, the jury found it very difficult to deal with the outcome of this event. It took them almost two days because they went over the details of the case and the law many, many times to make sure they made a lawful decision. You assume because there was not a black juror that the jury could not be fair. How dare you suggest that they must be black to make a just ruling. One of the errors in your report was that there were no witnesses, but there were and they testified what they heard and saw contributing to the verdict. Your summary should have read, no matter what you personally thought about this case, justice was done by a competent group of jurors based on the known facts. You also should have acknowledged that as long as the national media continues to make Racism a national issue for their own benefit, it will be a national problem. Lastly you should have called out MSNBC for changing the voice recording of the conversation between Zimmerman and the police to make Zimmerman look like a racist. This was probably the best example of how the media tried to convict Zimmerman before he was tried.
Two lessons learned here:
1.) In states with Stand Your Ground laws, bad guys need to be put on notice that they can and will be shot if they try to harm or kill someone without provocation. The intent is to create a deterrence. I hope the bad guys in Florida have taken notice. Even in states with higher bars for the use of physical deadly force for self defense, such as NY, 1 to 3% of the population around you is armed with a legally registered and concealed weapon at any given time. In states with more relaxed gun laws, those numbers are higher.
2.) The question to black-on-black homicide - which represents around 95% of all homicides with black victims, has yet to be answered. The Martin/Zimmerman brouhaha was nothing more than a side show to detract from the real problem of violence against black people perpetrated by other black people, to which no one can seem to find a viable solution. Going after George Zimmerman and his brethren is a solution in search of a problem that doesn't really exist. The real problems are socio-economics (i.e., inner-city poverty), single-parent households, "ghetto" culture, a generous social services system, and a weak criminal justice system that gives offenders light slaps on the wrist and too many 2nd chances. However, fixing these problems are inherently politically incorrect and goes against the grain of Democrat politicians who rely on the disadvantaged to sustain their political careers.
Oops. Dropped the word Lieutenant before Governor, which is correct for 1979.
Brief correction to an otherwise superb article: Mario Cuomo was not governor in 1979; that was the year Hugh Carey began his second term. Mario commenced his 12 year governorship in 1983.
Thanks for highlighting this, Mr. Johnston. It's a shame that the courts seem to have overruled the constitutional ban. But, I do hope that we all remember that voters can be a powerful force as well. As you said, in 1979, this policy would be considered scandalous. I think with better understanding of the costs of these policies, maybe it will seem scandalous again. That's why a knowledgable voice like yours is so important.
As New York moves to expand gambling, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have quietly deleted a proposed ban on accepting campaign contributions from casino operators. http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2013/…
In the early hours of Saturday, the New York State Assembly and Senate quietly voted on the casino bill that would allow for four Las Vegas-style casinos to be built in upstate New York. Both the Senate and Assembly approved the bill. But missing from it was a provision that would have prohibited casino groups from making campaign contributions. It was a provision supported by many legislators and touted by Governor Andrew Cuomo only a few weeks ago, His press release attached to the first version of the bill highlighted a “Preventing Corruption” section. Which has now been quietly omitted: http://www.13wham.com/news/local/story/Cas…
I'd like to recommend "The Shadow Factory" by James Bamford. Published in January 2008 it details how we got to this point. Bamford's research is very thorough and tells how 9/11 began the process that made America into the surveillance society it is today.
The government has always wanted to be more intrusive and nosey than America allowed... until Al-Qaeda won the war on terror by turning us into a nation of cowardly sheep. We may be able to keep killing Al-Qaeda's number 2, and we may be able to prevent further attacks... but the purpose of terrorism is to terrorize, and we've bought into it 100%.
We have forsaken freedom and liberty for the illusion of security.
We deserve the government we got. We asked for it, and we're reaping the rewards of cowardice. Anyone surprised that the government is hoovering up all of our data simply hasn't been paying attention.
Ben Franklin was right: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
A good joke told by Jay Leno: ‘We wanted a president that listens to all Americans - now we have one’
A joke told by Barack Obama: "This is the most transparent administration in history"
MJN - Good points. Seems that a majority of people are satisfied by the deluge of articles penned by PR firms to justify the spying & to clarify that, anyway, PRISM isn't even what we thought it was. Congress "briefings" given by the intelligence directors consist of sanitized talking points & what laws we do have get broadened widely in top secret court opinions. Meanwhile the news cycle moves on. The only wildcard I see remaining is this Snowden/Greenwald duo and whatever they might have left up their sleeves. Supposedly there are multiple leaked documents and Greenwald is working on a second round of articles.
Better send for Peter Graves (sorry Tom Cruise) because finding a balance between security and privacy in the 21st. Century is truly a Mission Impossible. The range of opinions is simply too great.
From anti-government, tin foil-hatted paranoiacs on the Far Right, to Libertarians with unrealistic ideas of how to run a society, to Tea Partiers who’re OK with spying on Americans as long as it’s limited to Muslims and other people they don’t like, to middle-of-the-raiders who claim to see both sides of the question but can’t decide which way to lean, to those who don’t give a damn one way or the other, to those who figure that the government is too incompetent to be able to misuse the information they gather, to those who distrust the government (or at least Obama) but feel that the risk of terrorist attacks is greater than the risk to privacy, to those who trust the government to do the right thing.
Now somebody tell me what balance or system of checks and balances can possibly be put in place that can satisfy more than a small percentage of the above groups?
Another example of stone-deaf Cuomo: He touts his 'women's legislative agenda' and yet does NOTHING to get rid of Sheldon Silver who paid off the sexual harrassment victims of Vito Lopez. Cuomo pays nothing but lip service.
More BS from the bureaucrats.....typical.....NYC should be a district capital (DC) like Washington, DC...we need to chop it off and let it stand on its own, all of upstate pays for all the waste that happens down there.....their budgets for security, cameras, rent control, tax abatements and all the other stuff is in the billions of dollars....I used to live down their and some rents and taxes that are charged are still from the 50's, I think it is 2013....no wonder we are broke, we pay for them and all the poor that get better healthcare than my family and they get it for free.....
We need to reform everything in this country from the local to federal governments, the spending, corruption, consistently creating more and more stupid laws that reduce productivity in the country....we need to get back to freedom, life, and liberty and get far far away from these bureaucrats that think they can save us......
We want less government....MUCH LESS......you bureaucrats have only gotten in the way of private progress....you do not solve problems, you are the problem......
Again, Cuomo is bidding for the 2016 election......he will do whatever it takes to look good at the tax payers expense...especially where all the population is, Albany and NYC.....he has done nothing for NY and will do far worse as a president.......
Yep. A man of action. It's how things get done. Pass a gun control bill without allowing any input from anyone. It leaves a lot of mess, anger and uncertaintly to be sorted out later, but it as long as Cuomo's political aspirations are served, he doesn't care.
Keep in mind that Cuomo is responsible to the statewide electorate, not just the few upstate cities. City living is a luxury and should mainly be funded by those people who choose it. People who live outside of the city manage to get along without multiple hundreds of professional police, rec centers, music festivals, etc., and increasingly do not come to a city even for work. As those people manage to mainly self-fund their local governments through their own property taxes, they have a reasonable expectation that cities should do so to the same extent.
I find the selection of the subject of Obama's speech on the US and terrorism as an amazing attempt to look at this past week through rose colored glasses ...... To ignore three separate scandals with this administration over its head in defending its actions for a speech which was clearly an attempt to deflect the attention from the scandals is just amazing even for a liberal leaning paper ..... But lets take the speech, "the destruction of Muslim Extremist terrorism" is anything but close to an end. Right now the US is working on a method to cover their gun running to Syria via Benghazi and Turkey by getting multiple countries to remove the international restriction on aiding any single side to overthrow a government. The US government violated international law by these actions. Gun running is exactly why the Ambassador was in Benghazi in the first place..... Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Syria are all being controlled / disrupted by the Muslim Brotherhood and its associates. The Coptic Christians are fleeing Egypt by the 10s of thousands due to the attacks by members of the Muslim Brotherhood there...... but Mary Anna Towler chooses to do a critique of the President's speech and describes it as " eloquent, principled and rational one"..... She references the need for an "informed public" .... I must suggest that what we need is "a more informed media" at all levels ....... then maybe we would get those who have access to this administration to start the inquiries to expose the tyrannical actions of big government , and specifically this administration.
"Trillions"? Hardly. But, hey, the poor have too much and the rich not enough. How about winding down the right-wing war on the middle class?
"It is time, though, to wind this war - whatever you want to call it - down. It's also time to wind down the war on drugs, now, after how many hundreds of billions of dollars? "
How about winding down the liberal "War on Poverty" that has been in place since the Johnson administration? TRILLIONS of dollars have been spent on that and guess what? We seem to have more poor people than ever.
This would have been a great speech, had Obama made it in 2009 as part of fulfilling his campaign promises, or rather his implied campaign promises. Four years later however it's stale, trite, disingenuous and way too late.
@Reggie: We are neither going home nor declaring victory, although at least this President has decimated al Qaeda. He's also made us more hated in Pakistan than India, an ominous situation with a country that is producing nuclear weapons by the dozens. It is time, though, to wind this war - whatever you want to call it - down. It's also time to wind down the war on drugs, now, after how many hundreds of billions of dollars? And with what results? but is now in 115 countries. 115 countries! That's the definition of insane.
This "war on terrorism" lexicon is nuts, too: Are we really at war with, for example, Shining Path? The military wing of the Irish Republican Army? Does anyone recall Franklin D. Roosevelt declaring war on carrier-based airplanes on December 8, 1941?
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