Depending upon your political bent, you either saw justice served or justice denied tonight when the St. Louis County Grand Jury returned their no-bill tonight. You’d like to think it’s more complicated than that, but really, sadly, it isn’t. The RWNJ© are all calling Mike Brown a thug and a rabid animal. The Libtards© are all screaming about lawless lawmen. Who’s right? Who knows, we will never know for sure what happened on that street corner. Well…we DO know that an unarmed young black man was shot by a white police officer. Again. We DO know that police officer fired twelve shots. Beyond that, eyewitness testimony is conflicting, as eyewitnesses are wont to do.

Yes, Mike Brown was walking down the middle of the street after having committed a crime (caught on tape) when confronted by Officer Wilson. Does that mean that he deserved to be shot to death? Not according to the laws of our land. It is an oft-quoted statement that a good attorney can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich if they really want to. But apparently they can’t get an indictment on a cop. There are laws that protect the work that cops do. These are necessary laws. It’s ugly work that they do. I don’t think I could do it, could you? However, that does not mean that peace officers should be above the law. In listening to DA Robert P. McCulloch, describe the evidence, one is struck by how all of those contradictory statements were only on the side of those people who thought Officer Wilson should be indicted. Seemingly all those who felt he acted in a justified manner were in lockstep. Odd that, isn’t it? McCulloch abdicated his duties by not presenting the case, but rather doing a data dump and letting the twelve citizens figure it out. We need to stop right now and write laws, at the federal level if need be, that state that anytime a police officer shoots a citizen there will be a jury trial. With a judge. And Prosecuting Attorneys who are trying to prosecute a crime and Defense Attorneys who are trying to defend their client. No more DAs who just dump and tell a grand jury to sift. Don’t like that idea? Too expensive? Fine. Put body cameras on every single police officer every single time they step out of the station house. If the NSA can watch what the citizens are doing, then the citizens have the right to watch what are police are doing.

Funny title that, “Peace Officers.” How many of them are really committed to keeping the peace? Well, I’d say a lot of them, otherwise our streets would run with blood. And it would be the kind of blood that some people would actually care about. You know,white blood. There is no denying that crime is endemic in the inner cities. The system is set up that way. Youth (of all colors) are warehoused in “schools” until they are old enough to leave, and then what? Even if they stay long enough to graduate, the “education” they receive is for shit. There are no jobs for which they are prepared that pay more than minimum wage. There is no family that can survive on minimum wage. One in three black men in this country will end up doing time in the pen. Are you seriously going to tell me that means that a third of all black men are criminals?This is the system we set up in 1619 when the first black slaves stepped off the boat in Virginia. It’s the system that we set up in 1877, when we, as a country, threw up our hands and decided to let the losers of the Civil War win Reconstruction. It’s the system that we set up in 1896 with Plessy v Ferguson. It’s the system that we DIDN’T fix in 1954. Or 1964. Or 1968. It’s the system that we gave up on trying to fix after 1968. We have allowed those who shout hatred to win. We have allowed those who would destroy this country to preserve white supremacy to win. Again.

What is it that the NRA and overcompensating gun-owners like to say? When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns? That would be your police forces, Fellow Americans©. Welcome to Amerikka.

Burwell v Hobby Lobby (or Welcome to the New Regime)

You can read the full text of the decision here at, including Justice Ginsburg’s dissent, which starts on page 60. The issues that have been raised in the dissent are crucial. This decision has literally opened the way for for-profit corporations to practice religious discrimination. You might say “Hey, we’re a Christian nation, I don’t have a problem with that.” But guess what, this ruling sets a precedent that singles out some religions, including some denominations of Christianity, as being more deserving of rights than others. Don’t forget, there are Christian women who can now be legally discriminated against because of this ruling. How long until it is your denomination that is no longer being protected?

But all that is really just a side show, this case really isn’t about religion, as is obvious from the fact that Hobby Lobby has no problem investing their employer-match 401k funds in the very companies that manufacture and market the contraceptives they claim to abhor. This case is about control. How much control over your life, and your own body, are you willing to cede to corporate entities? For everyone who has railed against ACA as a gross infringement of the government into their private health decisions, while waving the “Get your dirty government hands out of my health care!” placards about…well, Congratulations! You are now celebrating the government intrusion into health care. Just remember, it’s a double-edged sword.

Altering the Blueprint: the Ethics of Genetics taught by Alexander McCall Smith

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Altering the Blueprint: the Ethics of Genetics is a “course” taught by Alexander McCall Smith as part of the Portable Professor series published by Barnes and Noble. This one was not nearly up to par with some of the others I have encountered. It was really just an extended philosophy/history of reproductive science. Nothing new or groundbreaking. There was very little to the ethics, just a recitation of the opposing camps…


Lying by Sam Harris

English: Sam Harris


This was a short e-work, free on Kindle. Free was a good choice. There was nothing really new or interesting; Harris’ entire argument seemed to boil down to “don’t ever lie, you’ll feel better about yourself.” I thought there might be some sort of psychological approach to why people lie, but alas not. Do you really need to read a book to know that lying is bad?