US Constitution

Those on the right who voice support for the Constitution (many of them) are really voicing support for the Articles of Confederation which was superseded by the Constitution. They want a weak Federal government which is robust only in respect to national defense which they support. All other functions of the Federal government they would leave to the states, including the right to secede.

“The Myths That Feed White Supremacy”: We Need To Let Go Of The Lie Of Scarcity And Replace It With A Sense Of Sufficiency

Originally posted on mykeystrokes.com:

Adrien Schless-Meier has written a thought-provoking article about the ties that bind everything from Nellie Andreeva’s questions about whether or not people of color are currently taking up too much space on television to the shooting of unarmed black men by law enforcement. Her analysis finds that the one thing all of these reactions have in common is that they are based on a “zero sum game” when it comes to the relationship of white people to people of color.

While it’s easy to cast off discussions of pop culture as trivial or inane, Andreeva’s article draws on and reinforces a logic with deep, pervasive implications. It is the axiom according to which white folks organize our histories, our lives, our relationships: In a world based on whiteness, there is only room for one winner-and it had better be us…

The irony of this fear shouldn’t be lost on us…

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Bernard Kerik

From Jailer to Jailed, My Journey from Correction and Police Commissioner to Inmate #84888-054 by Bernard B. Kerik. Bernie Kerik was nominated to the cabinet position of secretary of the Department of Homeland Security by George W. Bush. Then his world started to crumble and he was forced to withdraw his nomination. In this book, he enumerates his life’s accomplishments and advocates reform in how crimes are prosecuted and punishment meted out. The book is worth reading, but it could have been better. It is obviously his first book and could have given less emphasis to his life and more to the reforms he advocates. If he had followed a more strictly chronological order of events, it would have made a more compelling read.

As citizens of the US, we are promised equal justice under the law, but that does not happen. Justice is too often denied to those without the resources to hire expensive legal representation. We must devise a system that is affordable to all. Just as health care is being phased in as a right, so must justice for all be a right, not just for the wealthy few. Kerik decries prosecutorial discretion as leading to abuse. Just as the police are subject to discipline for abuses, so must district attorneys be subject to regulation. Equal punishment for equal crimes.

In times past, Great Britain treated crime as a genetic flaw and exiled its criminals first to the US and then to Australia. Today when we label someone a felon, it is too often a lifetime sentence. We cannot exile our criminals abroad, so we lock them up for excessively long sentences. Then when they are finally released, they live among us. We must shorten sentences dramatically and spend resources in helping inmates and former inmates in re-integrating into society. It will be for their benefit and ours.

“What Makes Us Exceptional”: Our Willingness To Confront Squarely Our Imperfections And To Learn From Our Mistakes

Originally posted on mykeystrokes.com:

This week President Obama did something unprecedented…he took responsibility for a terrible mistake that took the lives of two good men.

Here’s a part of what he said:

But one of the things that sets America apart from many other nations, one of the things that makes us exceptional is our willingness to confront squarely our imperfections and to learn from our mistakes.

In some ways, that echoes what he said at the 50th Anniversary Celebration in Selma.

What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than this, what greater form of patriotism is there than the belief that America is not yet finished, that we are strong enough to be self-critical, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals?

Of course, the events he was…

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