Why I don’t believe in Jury Duty

I realize that it’s flat out unpatriotic, what I’m about to say, but I’m going to say it anyway. I refuse to sit on juries.

It’s like the bromide: “If nominated I won’t run. If elected I won’t serve.”

If I get a summons (and it seems like I get one every other month or so, rather, than every three years as authorities profess) I try to respond immediately with a letter proclaiming my hostility to what I describe as the Criminal Injustice System. It’s not a “justice system,” it’s just us, in the system. Continue reading

The fake Trump-for-President campaign

During the 2008 presidential campaign I made a flat-out boast to several acquaintances: former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee would not be elected President of the United States in 2008.

In recent history, Southern governors who have become President have mostly been Democrats: Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton. So Republican Gov. Huckabee (just like Mississippi Go. Haley Barbour this time around) would have had too much Deep South “baggage” in the general election, and unlike the Southern Democrats, he would have had zero support from Black voters. Zilch. Nada. No Soul Brothers.

Don’t tell me Pres. George W. (for Worst in History) Bush was a Southerner. He was a Kennebunkport, Maine (like his Daddy and his Granddaddy), C-average, Yale University student, who adopted Texas later in life so he could deride New England pointy-headed liberals the way conservatives like to do.

And besides, “W.” was “selected” by a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court vote, not “elected” by the voters, who gave more votes to Walter Mondale than to Bush in 2000. And Texas is no way an Alabama, Mississippi, or an Arkansas in its “Southern-ness.” Continue reading

The fake Trump-for-President campaign

During the 2008 presidential campaign I made a flat-out boast to several acquaintances: former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee would not be elected President of the United States in 2008.

In recent history, Southern governors who have become President have mostly been Democrats: Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton. So Republican Gov. Huckabee (just like Mississippi Go. Haley Barbour this time around) would have had too much Deep South “baggage” in the general election, and unlike the Southern Democrats, he would have had zero support from Black voters. Zilch. Nada. No Soul Brothers.

Don’t tell me Pres. George W. (for Worst in History) Bush was a Southerner. He was a Kennebunkport, Maine (like his Daddy and his Granddaddy), C-average, Yale University student, who adopted Texas later in life so he could deride New England pointy-headed liberals the way conservatives like to do.

And besides, “W.” was “selected” by a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court vote, not “elected” by the voters, who gave more votes to Walter Mondale than to Bush in 2000. And Texas is no way an Alabama, Mississippi, or an Arkansas in its “Southern-ness.”

Finally, the world was not ready for the leader of a nuclear-armed Superpower named “Huckabee.” The name itself was ripe for monologues by late-night television comedians, not for diplomatic respect. I still laugh to myself when I think about it: “President Huckabee.” Continue reading

The GOP Sham-A-Lamma-Ding-Dong-Budget

Back in the Day–1980 to be precise–GOP presidential candidate George H.W. Bush referred to fellow candidate Ronald Reagan’s “supply-side” financial theories as “Voodoo Economics.” He was correct. He went on to join the Reagan ticket, became Vice President and then President and so much for his critique of Reagan’s policies.

Today we’re living with Republicans whose economic philosophy amounts to Reaganomics-on-Steroids, and there are probably not enough pejoratives to accurately describe their notion that tax cuts for the wealthy and spending cuts in services everyone else depends on are good for a society trying to crawl out of the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Cut spending. Cut spending. Cut spending. Cut spending. That is the Republican formula for solving the economic crisis that has been decades in the making. Continue reading

Africa, meet COINTELPRO

The cat is now finally out of the bag. U.S. CIA operatives are operating in Libya.

Africa, meet COINTELPRO.

It has long been know that the United States appropriated more than $150 million to finance covert operations to bring about regime change in Iran. But for the last few years this country and Europe‘s major partners–Italy, France, the United Kingdom–had been making nice with Libya. Full diplomatic relations had been restored, embassies opened, full ambassadors exchanged, presidential visits.

For its part Libya renounced its interests in acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and in an internationally supervised process destroyed its capacity to manufacture WMD. Libya also compensated victims of the Lockerbie airline sabotage over Scotland, and stepped back from meddling in Middle East affairs, in favor of greater engagement in Africa.

But Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi (there are at least 400 English language spellings of his name based on transliteration from the Arabic, and I just prefer sticking with the Old School 1990s official Libyan spelling, by the way) has remained in power, seeking to become an African transformative figure in the mold of his North African, socialist neighbor and mentor Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser, and West African icon, former Ghanaian President Osageyfo Kwame Nkrumah. Continue reading