frightened: (karate)
So Troy Davis is dead, despite significant doubt as to the safety of his conviction. Turns out human rights and good sense can't stand against racism and the death penalty.

All throughout this case I have been wondering: what are they scared of? Why are they so desperate to have him killed? Pig-headedness is one thing; pig-headedness that gets someone dead is another. When you're blocking emails from Amnesty International, does it not cross your mind that you might be the bad guys here? Two of the five people who were supposed to be witnessing his execution received last-minute phone calls telling them they couldn't. Was Georgia ashamed? It should be.

I remember in July 2008, when the Georgia Parole Board and the Georgia Supreme Court refused to grant clemency or a stay of execution even though his case was currently before the US Supreme Court and he hadn't had a hearing yet. What drives that kind of decision? I want to say "sheer cruelty", but I'm trying to understand. Fear of the irregularities of the case coming out? We already know. Troy Davis was named as a suspect by the other major suspect, the one witnesses have subsequently named as the real killer, and since that rather dodgy accusation, they just haven't bothered to investigate further. Several of the witnesses who changed their testimony say their original words were as a result of police coercion, and that they signed statements that they couldn't read. We know.

Maybe it was burnout. I get burnout; maybe they did to. Yeah, everybody says they didn't do it. Yeah, every cause gets protesters. Blah blah blah. Show must go on. Well, if you're getting that way about a process that is allowed to kill people, then it's time to stop using it, because you cannot be trusted to act with basic humanity. I think it was the Plaid Adder who said that the decision to end a life should not be easy. It should upset you. You should burn out and you should stop doing it.

And yes, let's use the L word, because I think it applies. A black man was accused of a crime against a white person - a high-status white person - and that accusation was enough. There was no real attempt to determine who was guilty, and attempts to get the case reopened were treated as so much annoyance. In 2008, 42% of death row inmates were black men. This was a lynching.

One of the people Democracy Now interviewed put it best: in America, you have no actual right not to be executed if you are innocent. If you have been convicted, if you have had due process, then even if you have conclusive proof it was not you, DNA or something, then legally, they can still execute you. Once the killing machine gets going it really doesn't like to be stopped. As of 2010, America has dropped from the third to the fifth most execution-happy country - oh, well done, what a great achievement - and still should be ashamed of itself for the company it keeps in that list.
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
Bet you never thought you'd see that sentence.

It was the system the Conservative Party used to choose David Cameron as leader. Cameron's Conservatives are now campaigning against it. I see two possibilities:

1. They honestly think it's not up to scratch. In which case, Cameron should stand down and they should re-elect their leader using First Past The Post.

2. They think it's awesome, but in a wonderful combination of hoarding and hypocrisy, don't want you to have it. It's their precious. You're not good enough for it.
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
Via [personal profile] skibbley: Equalities Act is being debated on the Red Tape Challenge website. Because ensuring equality for the vulnerable and stigmatised is OMG RED TAPE BUREAUCRACY POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD.

Particularly since the Equalities Act, er, pulled together all the different pre-existing legislation. It was not, in fact, a brand new Act bringing in a bunch of new stuff. Fucking morons probably should not be talking about scrapping something if they don't know what it is.
frightened: (karate)
Big anti-cuts demo in London yesterday; contrary to media reports, it was not an orgy of violence and there were not widespread pitched battles with the police. On these legs? Darling. I could sit on the floor and snarl, maybe. My feet and knees don't like me right now.

Wife was full of preparation and planning and sandwiches and earplugs. Earplugs make large noisy crowds vastly more pleasant. [personal profile] barakta got us on the coaches. Our Unison steward was also a saint of organisation and looking-after-people.

I hate it when the clocks go forward. Very strong coffee this morning. Lost an hour's sleep and am not happy about it. That was mine, dammit. I was using it for sleeping.

Now I have to bike to work (public transport so bleeding unreliable of a Sunday) and get everything done quick. Then I have to bike over to the main dojo so I can do a two-hour black-and-brown-belt course on a kata I barely know (enpi) and certainly can't perform (there's a 360-degree jump out of kibadachi into kokutsudachi. HAHAHAHAHAHA).
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
Ah, yes. Because bombing people into peace and freedom worked so well when we tried it in Afghanistan and Iraq. With its past record of resounding success, it is the obvious and indeed the only option.
frightened: (sigh)
One of the firms bidding to run it is Capita.


Right! Someone set up a safer alternative. I'm A-positive and I have a sharp object and a bucket...
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
But he really has perfectly summarised the problem with the right-wing objection to funding public services. (Most worryingly-for-the-squeamish seen in plans to privatise the National Blood Service. Because letting gay men donate blood is insanely dangerous, but leaving it in the hands of people who'll cut corners for profit cannot possibly go wrong.) They say "Big Society" but they actually have no sense of the bigger picture, no sense that sometimes you have to suck it up and make a loss and even give money to horrible chavvy people if it makes the world a better place. No sense that there might be motivations more noble than short-term profit.

Anyhoo. Charlie Brooker on tuition fees:
Which leaves us one final option. Let's simply give up. You know, as a species. Put an end to this weird "progress" experiment we've all been taking part in and actively revert to the level of farmyard animals. They look happy, don't they, with their tails and their mud? Let's join them.
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
In Cameron's generally ludicrous article about how if you want essential services, you'd better provide them yourself for no wages Big Society is coming like Jesus to save us all, one bit was particularly egregious:
And if someone wants to help out with children, we will sweep away the criminal record checks and health and safety laws that stop them.
Wait, what? WHAT?!?!?!?!

Now I'll grant you, there's room for discretion in criminal record checks. I don't give a damn if someone shoplifted ten years ago or possessed cannabis ever. But is he seriously saying that if someone wants to work with children (or vulnerable adults, for that matter, though they're generally a lot less photogenic than the darling little kiddies), someone shouldn't check to make sure that they don't have a history of violent or sexual crime?

Oh, but they're volunteers, you see. Because in Conservative Land, nothing is serious unless a profit is to be made from it. So if there's no money involved, then it happens in a magic special bubble where there are never any consequences. It's not a real thing, so we don't have to apply real-world rules. They talk up the importance of volunteering, but they betray their real feelings: we don't need to apply the usual rules, because it's voluntary, so it doesn't count. There's no money. How could it matter?

Okay, that's the easy one out of the way. On to the dreaded Health and Safety. Read more... )


Dec. 10th, 2010 01:51 pm
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
If your family epitomises a world in which the rich-but-thick succeed and the rest of us are screwed, don't go driving (oh, sorry, get driven by your chauffeur) through a student protest against tuition fees.

Hey, maybe they had to get in to work - oh wait, that's right, they don't do any fucking work.
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
Higher tuition fees went through.

Students - good on yer. Hope you all make it out okay. If you can't win, at least give the bastards a headache they won't forget.

MPs who voted for this - fucking shame on you. Not everybody has a rich daddy to help them shrug off debt.

Flat what.

Nov. 19th, 2010 08:32 am
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
Via [personal profile] snakey, UN decides extra-judicial killings of queers aren't worth condemning.

They have been for the past ten years. But no, now we've been taken off the list of people it isn't okay to randomly kill. Hooray!

[personal profile] scattermoon provides a handy map of places that think it's okay to kill you for being queer.
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
I hope Chris Grayling gets a lifelong, invisible, highly-unpredictable, stigmatised, potentially-fatal, FUCKING MISERABLE illness. I genuinely do. Give Major Depression a whirl, you arsehole.
frightened: (v governments should be afraid)
Via [personal profile] palmer1984, excellent article by Zoe Williams on the reality of benefit fraud.

Fuck the Tories and fuck their fucking Lib Dem lackeys.


frightened: Photo by Jason B (Default)

August 2012



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