More evidence is emerging supporting Ferguson officer Darren Wilson’s claims in the shooting of Michael Brown. The most recent story states that Brown did not have his hands up in the air, as supporters have long claimed, when he was shot. The image of people holding her hands in the air has become the unifying symbol of case and the new evidence represents a new contradiction of the account of Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, who insisted that Brown was not shot in a struggle in the car and was shot with his hands in the air.
The U.S. Supreme Court rarely makes a correction — even when they are clearly called for by mistakes in law or fact. To their credit, opinions tend to minimize such errors (beyond those of judgment). After all, with the failing number of cases, the justices write relatively few opinions and take a relatively long time to generate them. That is what made it so notable this week when the Court not only corrected an opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but did so in one of her most notable opinions of the year: her dissent in Veasey v. Berry, which was heralded by many in its rejection of voter ID changes in Texas. Ginsburg wrongly stated that “Nor will Texas accept photo ID cards issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.” In fact, such cards are one of seven different types of identification that can be used to prove identity.
Having just come back from exploring the Coliseum in Rome, this story captured my interest. Anthropologists have analyzed the diet of gladiators in the city of Ephesus and determined that they mainly lived on a beans-and-grains diet rather than meat. a drink made of plant ashes that was supposed to “fortify the body after physical exertion and … promote better bone healing.”
Recently, a YouTube video caused outrage after two filmmakers showed how they were subject to raw and insulting profiling by a New York police officer as Arabs. They posted the video and called for people to rise up against such profiling. The problem is that it turns out to be a hoax. Adam Saleh and Sheikh Akbar appear to have staged the entire scene. They have now achieved the very opposite of their intentions. They have undermined efforts to show that profiling is a serious and prevalent problem. Instead, many in the future may question the legitimacy of future stories or videos — much like the equally juvenile antics of the National Report that we have discussed previously.
We have previously discussed the outrageous case of Asia Bibi who is the latest victim of a death sentence under the medieval Sharia law system imposed in Muslim countries — sentenced to death for insulting Mohammad. Now, a court in Lahore upheld the verdict and affirmed the death sentence for the 50-year-old motion of five. She said that her nightmare began when she took a drink of water from a bucket being used by Muslim women. As a Christian, she was viewed as unclean and the women assailed her and later accused her of saying something insulting to Mohammad. Not only did leading Muslim clerics in Pakistan support her execution but one offered a reward for any faithful Muslim to murder her.
As a Chicago native, I am often faced with references to dead people voting and rigged elections. Unfortunately, having grown up under the original Daley machine, they are largely true. My parents helped found the Independent Voter movement and documented some unbelievable cases of fraud. I recall on precinct where the captain actually produced more votes than registered voters. In one percent where I was an observer, a voter discovered that her dead husband had voted before her. For that reason, the controversy with voting machines this week could not have come at a worse time or place — particularly with polls showing the Democrats approaching what could be a disaster. When Republican state representative candidate Jim Moynihan went to cast his vote Monday at the Schaumburg Public Library, he experienced a Homer Simpson moment when every time he tried to pick his name, the machine registered the vote for his Democratic opponent.
I have noticed recently that airlines have been ramping up the safety video that most people ignore on flights with some long needed humor. However, I am afraid that Air New Zealand has the competition won.