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When law enforcement is law and order’s biggest threat

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  • The debacle in Ferguson represents a near-total breakdown of our civic institutions. Here's why that's so scary.
  • All hell has broken loose. 
  • Cops Behaving Badly, June 28, 2014

Simon Maloy, Salon

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ferguson5.jpgA man watches as police walk through a cloud of smoke during a clash with protesters, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson)

Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 | The circumstances leading up to the fatal shooting last weekend of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Missouri police officers are in dispute. Police officers maintain that Brown attacked officers and tried to seize one of their weapons. An eyewitness to the event describes something more along the lines of an execution of a frightened and unarmed man running for his life. All that’s known for certain is that Brown is dead, and he died at the hands of the cops.

Since the fatal shots were fired, all hell has broken loose, leading up to the surreal and horrifying spectacle that unfolded in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, last night as police in military gear transformed an American city into something approximating a war zone. What we’ve witnessed in Brown’s shooting and in the days that followed has been an almost complete breakdown, from bottom to top, of the civil institutions we empower to protect our rights and maintain order.

Simon Maloy is Salon's political writer. 

Full story … 

Related:

Cops Behaving Badly, June 28,2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Search  on the internet "police brutality" or "police excessive force."  If you search YouTube, there are many videos of cops acting WAY beyond their limits.
  • Part 1: A SWAT Team Blew a Hole in My 2-Year-Old Son
  • Part 2: US police departments are increasingly militarised, finds report
  • Widespread Police Misconduct and an Expanding Prison Population

 

Another Botched Execution

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  • As the nation is horrified by another botched execution, a capital defense lawyer in Texas, legal scholar in New York and the former warden of San Quentin work against capital punishment.
  • Rachel Maddow's Harrowing Description Of Botched Arizona Execution
  • Cops Behaving Badly, June 28,2014

Martha Rosenbergopednews.com

18/1284856024_4238/300h.jpg7/26/2014 | There were only three people in the room: Jeanne Woodford, the chaplain and the man strapped to a gurney with tubes coming out of his arms. After hearing the man's last words, Woodford signaled the corrections officer who was "working the chemicals," which means in prison argot that he started infusions of lethal chemicals that flowed into the man on the gurney. As warden of California's San Quentin, Woodford presided over this high-tech ritual of punishment four times. After a stint as Executive Director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, she threw in the towel to become Executive Director of Death Penalty Focus, the abolitionist organization that sponsored the 2012 SAFE referendum seeking to replace the death penalty with life without parole. Though the referendum failed to pass, Woodford is still hard at work in the movement to abolish capital punishment in California.

Meanwhile, across the continent, in the gentility of Fordham University's school of law, Arthur A. McGivney Professor Deborah W. Denno writes scholarly articles about "working the chemicals" that are published in the nation's leading law journals and quoted at death penalty hearings before the United States Supreme Court.

Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative pubic health reporter who covers

justice190v.jpgthe food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random House. 

Full story … 

Related:

Rachel Maddow's Harrowing Description Of Botched Arizona Execution, Catherine Taibi, Huffington Post

07/24/2014 | Rachel Maddow gave a chilling account of the botched execution that took place in Arizona Wednesday night.

Maddow described the disturbing death of Joseph Wood, the inmate whose execution went horribly wrong on Wednesday after the state used the same drugs that caused the faulty executions of death row inmates in both Oklahoma and Ohio earlier this year.

 

Cops Behaving Badly, June 28,2014, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Search  on the internet "police brutality" or "police excessive force."  If you search YouTube, there are many videos of cops acting WAY beyond their limits.
  • Part 1: A SWAT Team Blew a Hole in My 2-Year-Old Son
  • Part 2: US police departments are increasingly militarised, finds report
  • Widespread Police Misconduct and an Expanding Prison Population

 

GM Recalls: How General Motors Silenced a Whistle-Blower

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A week after her appalled husband woke her up in the middle of the night, Beth Kelley ... laughs. “I’m surprised there aren’t more people who stand up for what they believe,” she says. “But am I surprised that they wouldn’t go against General Motors? I suppose not.”

Tim Higgins and Nick Summers, BloombergBusinessweek

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feat_GM26__01__970.jpg In 2006 the wreck of a 2005 Cobalt killed two and injured one. Photograph by St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office/AP Photo

June 18, 2014 | It was close to 3 a.m. on June 6 when Courtland Kelley burst into his bedroom, startling his wife awake. General Motors (GM), Kelley’s employer for more than 30 years, had just released the results of an investigation into how a flawed ignition switch in the Chevrolet Cobalt could easily slip into the “off” position—cutting power, stalling the engine, and disabling airbags just when they’re needed most. The part has been linked to at least 13 deaths and 54 crashes. GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, summoned before Congress in April to answer for the crisis, repeatedly declined to answer lawmakers’ questions before she had the company’s inquest in hand. Now it was out, and Kelley had stayed up to read all 325 pages on a laptop on the back porch of his rural home about 90 miles northwest of Detroit.

The “Valukas Report,” named for former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas, who assembled it at GM’s request from interviews with 230 witnesses and 41 million documents, blamed a culture of complacency for the more than decade-long delay before the company recalled millions of faulty vehicles. It described employees passing the buck and committees falling back on the “GM nod”—when everyone in a meeting agrees that something should happen, and no one actually does it. On page 93, a GM safety inspector named Steven Oakley is quoted telling investigators that he was too afraid to insist on safety concerns with the Cobalt after seeing his predecessor “pushed out of the job for doing just that.” Reading the passage, Kelley felt like he’d been punched in the gut. The predecessor Oakley was talking about was Kelley.

Tim Higgins is a reporter for Bloomberg News in Detroit.

Nick Summers covers Wall Street and finance for Bloomberg Businessweek.

Full story … 

Watch: Is the Supreme Court Out of Order?

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  • "You can't look at the Roberts court and say that they've done anything other than systematically unravel voting rights, women's rights, workers' rights [and] environmental progress," Dahlia Lithwick, a senior editor at Slate,  tells me.
  • Linda Greenhouse, a New York Times columnist, adds: "I think it's hard for anybody looking at this court objectively to come away not thinking that it's a court in pursuit of an agenda."
  • Supreme Court’s out-of-control spiral: Ideologues rewriting their own laws

Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company

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storyimages_1342124650_shutterstock92739334.jpg_640x479_310x220Photo Credit: Matt Snodderly via Shutterstock.com 

07/15/2014 | The latest session of the US Supreme Court was especially contentious, with important decisions on the separation of church and state, organized labor, campaign finance reform, birth control and women's health, among others, splitting the court along its 5-4 conservative-liberal divide.

On the other hand, nearly two-thirds of the court's decisions this term were unanimous -- the first time that's happened in more than 60 years. But there's more to that seeming unanimity than meets the eye: In some instances, conservative justices went along but expressed their wish that the court had gone even further to the right, and many believe that some of the decisions might simply be a preliminary step toward a more significant breaking of legal precedent in years to come.

Bill Moyers is an American journalist and liberal public commentator. He served as White House Press Secretary in the Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967. He also worked as a network TV news commentator for ten years.

Full story … 

Related:

Supreme Court’s out-of-control spiral: Ideologues rewriting their own laws, David Dayen, Salon

  • It may be incremental, but make no mistake: This court is using absurd eccentricities to legislate from the bench.
  • Justice Scalia, Religion, and the Failure of Legal Reasoning

 

Supreme Court’s out-of-control spiral: Ideologues rewriting their own laws

  • It may be incremental, but make no mistake: This court is using absurd eccentricities to legislate from the bench.
  • Justice Scalia, Religion, and the Failure of Legal Reasoning

David Dayen, Salon

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thomas_scalia-620x412.jpg Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia (Credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Jeff Malet Photography, maletphoto.com/photo collage by Salon

Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014 | John Boehner wants to sue the president for pursuing executive authority without congressional input? He may want to file a copycat suit against the Supreme Court, who have executed plenty of extra-legislative rule making of their own.

On Monday, the court established multiple new distinctions in the law, inventing them largely to satisfy ideological whims. If any branch of government is engaging in de facto legislating and overstepping the bounds of authority, it’s the Roberts court. 

David Dayen is a contributing writer for Salon.

Full story … 

Related:

Justice Scalia, Religion, and the Failure of Legal Reasoning, Geoffrey R. Stone, Huffington Post

  • What Justice Scalia seems to be saying is that because the First Amendment guarantees "the free exercise of religion," the government should itself be free to engage in "the free exercise of religion." This is wrong on multiple counts. 
  • Beyond the war on science: Why the right embraces ignorance as a virtue.

 

 

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