Visual source: Newseum
The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department took an important stand last week, declaring that citizens have a First Amendment right to videotape the actions of police officers in public places and that seizure or destruction of such recordings violates constitutional rights.Yes. And could "held liable" please include some replacement personnel and jail time for the violators? Because otherwise any statement, no matter how clear, is worthless.
The Justice Department made the statement in a federal lawsuit brought against the Baltimore Police Department by Christopher Sharp, who used his cellphone to take video of the police arresting and beating a friend at Pimlico on the day of the 2010 Preakness. The officers took Mr. Sharp’s cellphone while he was recording and wiped the phone clean of all videos before returning it to him. [...]
It is essential that the Justice Department and federal courts make clear that police departments will be held liable for violating this constitutionally protected right.
Paul Krugman takes on a pair of one-tenth of one percenters, the head of JPMorgan Chase and the figurehead of the Republican Party:
[...] it’s not O.K. for banks to take the kinds of risks that are acceptable for individuals, because when banks take on too much risk they put the whole economy in jeopardy — unless they can count on being bailed out. And the prospect of such bailouts, of course, only strengthens the case that banks shouldn’t be allowed to run wild, since they are in effect gambling with taxpayers’ money.Doyle McManus: On the one hand, it would be terrible for President Obama if health care reform were overturned by the Supreme Court. On the other hand, it could good for Obama if health care reform were overturned because it might anger and energize Democrats and liberals. On the third hand ...
Incidentally, how is it possible that Mr. Romney doesn’t understand all of this? His whole candidacy is based on the claim that his experience at extracting money from troubled businesses means that he’ll know how to run the economy — yet whenever he talks about economic policy, he comes across as completely clueless.
Neal Gabler thinks the younger generation may be about to turn things upside down:
Disillusionment with partisan politics is certainly nothing new. Obama's fall from grace [among young voters, according to polls], however, may look like a bigger belly flop because his young supporters saw him standing so much higher than typical politicians. Yet by dashing their hopes, Obama may actually have accomplished something so remarkable that it could turn out to be his legacy: He has redirected young people's energies away from conventional electoral politics and into a different, grass-roots kind of activism. Call it DIY politics.E.J. Dionne:
We got a taste of DIY politics last fall with the Occupy Wall Street sit-ins, which were a reaction to government inaction on financial abuses, and we got another taste when the 99% Spring campaign mobilized tens of thousands against economic inequality. OWS and its tangential offshoots may seem political, but it is important to note that OWS emphatically isn't politics as usual. It isn't even a traditional movement. [...]
The DIY impulse seems to start with the most basic politics of all: individual agency. If it takes hold it will be from the bottom up, translating a way of thinking into a way of doing. Already you can see DIY politics in action, not just in young people camping outside City Hall but in their joining service organizations and NGOs where they can do good and seemingly apolitical — or at least extra-governmental — work. They don't abide endless debate and tit-for-tat strategies that result in gridlock.
I have seen this firsthand in my family. One of my daughters has spent the last few years in the developing world working in healthcare and will be returning to this country this year to attend medical school. My other daughter spent a year in American Samoa in the World Teach program, another year in AmeriCorps, and is now in graduate school in social work. Neither cares one whit about the political system generally or electoral politics specifically. When we talk about their lack of interest in the current campaign or about legislative initiatives, they tell me, "We live our politics."
In this election, we’re not having an argument that pits capitalism against socialism. We are trying to decide what kind of capitalism we want. It is a debate as American as Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay — which is to say that we have always done this. In light of the rise of inequality and the financial mess we just went through, it’s a discussion we very much need to have now.We aren't having an argument about socialism vs. capitalism because that would be unAmerican, or rather, non-American because only those of us on the so-called fringes ever discuss it. Of course, the abolitionists and suffragists and unionists and environmentalists and anti-racists and feminists and gay activists were once on the fringes, too. That didn't stop us from having the discussion they all demanded.
A central problem, long avoided by Washington, is the rot at the heart of the Afghan government. In ousting the Taliban, the U.S. deliberately funded and financed power brokers and warlords, many of whom, such as Vice President Mohammed Fahim, have long histories of complicity in atrocities. Karzai is trapped by these men and dependent on them to remain in power.Chris Hedges:
The surest way for the international community to squander its decade of investment in Afghanistan is to withdraw troops, breathe a sigh of relief and walk away. What is needed in Chicago and thereafter is a renewed and deepened commitment to protect the rights of Afghans through properly trained and vetted security forces.
When civilizations start to die they go insane. Let the ice sheets in the Arctic melt. Let the temperatures rise. Let the air, soil and water be poisoned. Let the forests die. Let the seas be emptied of life. Let one useless war after another be waged. Let the masses be thrust into extreme poverty and left without jobs while the elites, drunk on hedonism, accumulate vast fortunes through exploitation, speculation, fraud and theft. Reality, at the end, gets unplugged. We live in an age when news consists of Snooki’s pregnancy, Hulk Hogan’s sex tape and Kim Kardashian’s denial that she is the naked woman cooking eggs in a photo circulating on the Internet. Politicians, including presidents, appear on late night comedy shows to do gags and they campaign on issues such as creating a moon colony. “At times when the page is turning,” Louis-Ferdinand Celine wrote in “Castle to Castle,” “when History brings all the nuts together, opens its Epic Dance Halls! hats and heads in the whirlwind! Panties overboard!”Katha Pollitt:
Was it just a few weeks ago that Time ran a cover story claiming women were poised to become “the richer sex”—getting more education than men, working up a storm and, in one out of four marriages, bringing home the fatter slice of bacon? That was followed by Katie Roiphe’s fact-free Newsweek cover story alleging that women have become so weary of being in charge, they long for men to dominate them in bed. Well, never mind all that. Now, according to Time, women are giving up on careers to embrace attachment parenting—breast-feeding their kids till age 3 or more; having Baby sleep in your room, if not your bed; and “babywearing”—carrying your baby in a sling every minute of the day and never, ever letting it cry. Corner office? Bondage and spanking? Turning yourself into a human kangaroo? It’s hard to keep up. [...]Larry Kudlow says extending the Bush tax cuts right now would be good for business, good for America.
Child-rearing fashions come and go, but they’re always about regulating the behavior of women—middle-class educated women. If these discussions were really about children, we would be debating the policies that affect them—what to do about our shocking level of child poverty, for example.
Sure , Larry, whatever you say.