Thursday, June 29, 2006

SCOTUS: Gitmo Trials are Illegal

In a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Bush Administration illegally overstepped its authority when it ordered military trials for detainees held in the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Secret Satellite Launched

The first successful launch of a Delta 4 rocket from the West Coast of the U.S. took place tonight at about 8:30pmPDT. The payload was a clandestine spacecraft for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office and, as such, its actual mission is unknown to the public. But it is said to be a Micro-Satellite Technology Experiment, or MiTEx, probably similar to one launched last week in Florida.

SCOTUS: OK to Favor Death

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday ruled in favor of a Kansas law which requires the death penalty be imposed when aggravating and mitigating circumstances are equal. That is, when there are equal arguments regarding whether a convicted person be put to death, or allowed to live, the person should die.

The court was sharply divided, with Justice Scalia seeing those opposed to the death penalty as "sanctimonious" and attacking the American way of life. Justice Souter disagrees.
"Today, a new body of fact must be accounted for in deciding what, in practical terms, the Eighth Amendment guarantees should tolerate, for the period starting in 1989 has seen repeated exonerations of convicts under death sentences, in numbers never imagined before the development of DNA tests," Souter wrote.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

GOP Cancels Voting Rights Act Renewal

The U.S. House of Representatives today cancelled a vote to renew the Voting Rights Act. It is reported that a "rank-and-file rebellion" by members who believe the law is unfair to Southern states left the leadership uncertain of whether a majority of Republican members would have voted in favor of renewal.

Instead of risking that outcome, the leadership cancelled today's vote, and later issued a statement saying the the Voting Rights Act is "one of our nation's most important civil rights laws", and a vote will take place after the concerned members have time to "evaluate the legislation".

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

RFK Jr. To File Lawsuits Over 2004 Election

PRWeek has a Rolling Stone Q&A with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. saying he is planning on filing lawsuits citing election fraud during the 2004 elections.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Happy Juneteenth!

It's the 143rd anniversary of Emancipation Day.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sanctuary Offered for Military

The First United Methodist Church of Tacoma has declared itself sanctuary for men and women who do not want to serve in Iraq.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Marines Investigating "Hadji Girl" Video

The U.S. Marines are investigating a video of what appears to be a Marine singing to a cheering crowd about killing an Iraqi family. "Hadji Girl" is a four minute video posted to (and later removed from) the YouTube web site. It has since been downloaded tens of thousands of times and has caused much outrage. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on the U.S. Congress to investigate.

According to the CAIR press release:
The song's lyrics include: "“I grabbed her little sister and put her in front of me. As the bullets began to fly, the blood sprayed from between her eyes, and then I laughed maniacally. . .I blew those little f**kers to eternity . . .They should have known they were f**king with the Marines."” Members of the audience, not shown in the video, laughed and cheered wildly for these lyrics.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Not So Brotherly

The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations has filed a discrimination complaint against Geno's Steaks, the famous cheesesteak purveyor, because of their "This is AMERICA ... WHEN ORDERING SPEAK ENGLISH" sign, which was put up a few months ago.
According to the complaint, which was served on Geno's yesterday afternoon, the restaurant is in violation of two sections of the city's antidiscrimination laws: denying service to someone because of his or her national origin, and having printed material making certain groups of people feel their patronage is unwelcome.