Miranda rights
Law . of, pertaining to, or being upheld by the Supreme Court ruling (Miranda v. Arizona, 1966) requiring law-enforcement officers to warn a person who has been taken into custody of his or her rights to remain silent and to have legal counsel.

Let me just say one thing first:

Faisal Shahzad: Worst. Terrorist. Ever.

Now, for those of you who have been following the story, you are aware that Shahzad is a naturalized United States citizen. Born in Pakistan, he moved over here years ago, got married, had some kids, then went on the make the absolute crappiest bomb of all time, which included firecrackers, nonexplosive fertilizer, and a child’s toy clock. Now, despite his Wile E. Coyote idiocy and the amusing nature of his “bomb,” one must not forget the severity of his intentions: he wanted to kill people, he wanted to strike fear in Americans, and he wanted to destroy. And again, it’s easy to chuckle at it all, because he failed so miserably, but this is an issue that must not be taken lightly.

If you want to know anymore about the investigation, you can go to your favorite news website of choice. My purpose is the dissect the comments made by John McCain this morning, who criticized interrogators for giving Shahzad his Miranda rights, calling it “a serious mistake” and that there are “350 different charges he’s guilty off – attempted acts of terror against the united States, attempted murder. I’m sure there’s a significant number to warrant the death penalty.”

Of course, with Shazad being an American citizen, what McCain is saying is nothing short of going against everything that the American criminal justice system stands for – so much so that even Glenn Beck has come to the defense of genuine American rights, saying that it isn’t “the popular answer,” but the right answer.

“He is a citizen of the United States, so I say we uphold the laws and the Constitution on citizens,” Beck said on Fox News’s Fox and Friends about McCain’s comments. “[Shahzad] has all the rights under the Constitution. We don’t shred the Constitution when it’s popular. We do the right thing.”

Wow. I’m left dumbfounded. I find myself in agreement with Glenn Beck. I need a beer. Granted, he rarely agrees with McCain and he may just see it as an opportunity to make a stance, but hey, this is still a rare, rare rational word from the nutjob. As for McCain, it’s frightening to know that he was so close to the presidency, but I can’t say that his comments are surprising. Republicans so often point to the Constitution when making their arguments, yet they only want to use it when it is convenient for them.

You can watch the video over at Huffington Post.

I like how True Slant summed up the situation muchmore eloquently than I ever could, so I will leave you with this:

Everyone ‘gets’ that getting as much information from accused terrorists is important. And the FBI did, in fact, utilize the public safety exception to Miranda to do some preliminary questioning of the alleged bomber, no doubt being careful not to exceed the exception and risk losing the admissibility of Mr. Shahzad’s statements in a court of law.

But both conservatives and progressives alike grasp that there are lines that are not to be crossed if we are to remain the kind of society intended by our Constitution. They also grasp that you cannot swear an oath to defend the Constitution and then turn your back on it when it is convenient – or popular with voters – to do so.

In Miranda v. Arizona 384 U.S. 436 (ironic), the United States Supreme Court ruled that statements made in response to interrogation by a defendant in police custody will be admissible at trial only if the prosecution can show that the defendant was informed of the right to consult with an attorney before and during questioning and of the right against self-incrimination prior to questioning by police, and that the defendant not only understood these rights, but voluntarily waived them.

We can argue over whether or not these protections should be extended to a foreign national who commits a crime or terrorist act on American soil. We can argue over whether the ‘underpants bomber’ should be entitled to these protections when attempting a terrorist crime in U.S.. airspace. These are all credible questions open to debate and, someday, Supreme Court rulings.

But – like it or not – we granted the accused Times Square bomber citizenship. He’s an American. If he is proven guilty, he’s an American we can be ashamed of and one who should suffer the maximum penalty available, but he’s an American just the same.

If Senator McCain doesn’t like law, he can certainly begin the process of amending the law, either via legislation or a constitutional amendment.

Until then, Miranda remains the law of the land and having a United States Senator- who came within a few votes of being President – argue that we should ignore the law, is truly an upsetting spectacle.

Like any patriotic American, we all should want to bring death to all people with opposing political views (aw, hell, and while we’re at it, we might as well call for the death of those with different religious beliefs, favorite sports teams, gingers, and a hipster fashion sense), especially when one cannot even define the term which they throw around to label the opposer.

“Are you a commie? ARE YOU A COMMIE?” asks the passionate Marine veteran in the video below.

“No, no, no,” the man asking the questions replies, probably starting to wonder if the kook he is talking to is about to stab him through the heart with his American flag.

“Then stay alive,” the veteran says coldly, walking away. “Or else you’d be dead.”

You know, this video kind of brings to mind…

A big thank you to our reader Anam for bringing this to our attention. This thought-provoking piece was written by anti-racist writer and activist Tim Wise, who has spoke in 48 states and 400 college campuses on the topic of racism and white privilege and recently released a book titled Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama. His other books include White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son and Speaking Treason. I’ll say no more. Just read it.

Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure – the ones who are driving the action – we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.

So let’s begin.

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.

Imagine that a prominent mainstream black political commentator had long employed an overt bigot as Executive Director of his organization, and that this bigot regularly participated in black separatist conferences, and once assaulted a white person while calling them by a racial slur. When that prominent black commentator and his sister — who also works for the organization — defended the bigot as a good guy who was misunderstood and “going through a tough time in his life” would anyone accept their excuse-making? Would that commentator still have a place on a mainstream network? Because that’s what happened in the real world, when Pat Buchanan employed as Executive Director of his group, America’s Cause, a blatant racist who did all these things, or at least their white equivalents: attending white separatist conferences and attacking a black woman while calling her the n-word.

Imagine that a black radio host were to suggest that the only way to get promoted in the administration of a white president is by “hating black people,” or that a prominent white person had only endorsed a white presidential candidate as an act of racial bonding, or blamed a white president for a fight on a school bus in which a black kid was jumped by two white kids, or said that he wouldn’t want to kill all conservatives, but rather, would like to leave just enough—“living fossils” as he called them—“so we will never forget what these people stood for.” After all, these are things that Rush Limbaugh has said, about Barack Obama’s administration, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois in which two black kids beat up a white kid, and about liberals, generally.

Imagine that a black pastor, formerly a member of the U.S. military, were to declare, as part of his opposition to a white president’s policies, that he was ready to “suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do.” This is, after all, what Pastor Stan Craig said recently at a Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina.

Imagine a black radio talk show host gleefully predicting a revolution by people of color if the government continues to be dominated by the rich white men who have been “destroying” the country, or if said radio personality were to call Christians or Jews non-humans, or say that when it came to conservatives, the best solution would be to “hang ‘em high.” And what would happen to any congressional representative who praised that commentator for “speaking common sense” and likened his hate talk to “American values?” After all, those are among the things said by radio host and best-selling author Michael Savage, predicting white revolution in the face of multiculturalism, or said by Savage about Muslims and liberals, respectively. And it was Congressman Culbertson, from Texas, who praised Savage in that way, despite his hateful rhetoric.

Imagine a black political commentator suggesting that the only thing the guy who flew his plane into the Austin, Texas IRS building did wrong was not blowing up Fox News instead. This is, after all, what Anne Coulter said about Tim McVeigh, when she noted that his only mistake was not blowing up the New York Times.

Imagine that a popular black liberal website posted comments about the daughter of a white president, calling her “typical redneck trash,” or a “whore” whose mother entertains her by “making monkey sounds.” After all that’s comparable to what conservatives posted about Malia Obama on last year, when they referred to her as “ghetto trash.”

Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.

In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?

To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.

And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the shit we do, on a daily basis.

Game Over.

New Left Media continues their journalistic brilliance by asking simple questions and letting those answering crash and burn. It’s so beautifully frightening.

As you can see above (click the photo for a better look), I received a Facebook invite to become a fan of something very interesting today.

Before you go getting all huffy puffy and condemning them for wishing the death of the sitting president though, understand that this fan page is alright, folks, because it’s humor. You know, like satire and shit. The creator of the group even clarified this in a comment, saying: “I just wanted to let some people who were wondering know that we are not really praying for the death of obama it is just some humor to show our disapproval of our current president.”

Because, you know, praying to the Judeo-Christian God for the death of a Constitutionally-elected American President just because you disagree with their political policies (even if you probably can’t define socialism, explain a single one of his policies, or even articulate any sort of counter-argument other than shouting something about big government being bad) is funny and not contradictory to Jesus’s teachings at all. Because it’s humor, people. HUMOR. God has a sense of humor, why don’t we? They’re not really praying for it. Don’t you get it?

Seriously though, on a more important note, how dare the creator of the fan page spell Patrick Swayze’s name wrong. Jackass.

UPDATE (MAY 2, 201): This page now has 1,186,112 fans. Disgusting.

Here is the official GOP website.

Here is the official Democratic party website.

By now, you’ve probably heard about Republican California state senator Roy Ashburn, who was arrested for a DUI after allegedly leaving a gay bar. This was of particular interest because Ashburn has been a loud oppositional voice to gay rights in his state, having “voted against expanding anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation, recognizing out-of-state gay marriages and establishing a day honoring gay lawmaker Harvey Milk.” A few years back, he also hosted a rally in favor of “traditional marriage,” which it totally against the California-coined “opposite marriage.”

Today, Ashburn finally spoke about the entire situation on a California radio show: “I’m gay. Those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long.”

I sat here for a while pondering his revelation and have finally come up with an answer. Since Ashburn is gay, it is okay for him to vote against gay rights. Now, I’m a not scientist, but I think it is sort of like how African Americans are allowed to call each other the N-word, even in a derogatory manner, but Michael Richards cannot, because he is not black. So, if Ashburn weren’t gay, he would be a bigot for his stance against gay rights. Since he is gay, it’s okay. It’s just like if an African American senator voted to legalize segregation, that would not be racist. Because he’s black.

Wait… right?

Sources: 1, 2

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