Glen Greenwald Gets it Right as Usual

Check it:
It is easy sometimes to lose sight of how extreme a period this is in America's history, how profoundly our national character has been degraded and how fundamentally our country's core has changed over the last six years.

I just have to pull some more:
To the extent that the "conservative base" has split with the President at all on the question of "expanding governmental authority and power," it has been on the ground that they think he has not expanded such power and authority enough. They crave more.

The "conservative base" in the last GOP presidential debate reserved their cheers for Mitt Romeny's moronic call to "double Guantanamo," and for Tom Tancredo's yearning for Jack Bauer. The more enthusiastically a candidate defended torture and lawless detentions, the louder the cheers were. The "conservative base" favors torture, and arbitrary detention powers, and oversight-less surveillance -- even beyond what the Bush administration has embraced.

Oh man, and finally (emphasis mine):
The reason that it is news that the U.S. tortures, but not news that Al Qaeda does, is because Al Qaeda is a barbaric and savage terrorist group which operates with no limits, whereas the U.S. is supposed to be something different than that. Isn't it amazing that one even needs to point that out?

No one pans modern conservatism as well as Glen Greenwald.

Baltimore Mayoral Race on the Web

Please check out my review of the websites of the Democratic candidates for Mayor of Baltimore City in 2007.


Greenwald: Fred Thompson far from a Regular Conservative Guy

Greenwald as usual, is right on target.

There is nothing in Fred Thompson's life that he has actually done that makes him "a tough guy" in the sense Fineman means it, nor is there anything that makes him a "cultural conservative." If anything, what his life actually is -- his behavior in reality -- seems to negate those characterizations.

But the illusion of manliness cliches, tough guy poses, and empty gestures of "cultural conservatism" are what the Republican base seeks, and media simpletons like Fineman, Halperin and Matthews eat it all up just as hungrily. That's how thrice-divorced and draft-avoiding individuals like Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh become media symbols of the Christian "values voters" and "tough guy," "tough-on-defense" stalwarts.

And it's how a life-long Beltway lobbyist and lawyer who avoided Vietnam, standing next to his twenty-five-year-younger second wife, is held up by our media stars as a Regular-Guy-Baptist symbol of piety and a no-nonsense, tough-guy, super-masculine warrior who will protect us all.

Read it all.


Police Reaction to Drug Deaths is Laughable

As usual, the police reaction to drug related murders in Baltimore makes me laugh. The police just cannot understand why men who make money off of trading in illegal goods would not want to bring their business disputes to the authorities. I can't imagine it has anything to do with the fact that these disputes arise out of illegal actions. Why would a criminal risk incarceration to make a complaint to police. If they have lived in Baltimore for more than a few months, they should know how quickly police respond to the complaints of black citizens in bad neighborhoods. Even if the police did have the power to say, question Drug dealer A about his theft of Drug Dealer B's stash, or to take enforcer A to task for his assault of runner B for messing up the count on that morning's pull without having to arrest both for drug activity, it would probably not happen efficiently enough in a city where overtime and unsolved cases are the norm.

Anyway, onto the article:

Two men were killed in separate incidents last night and early this morning, pushing the pace of homicides in Baltimore to an average of one a day in May.

Law enforcement officials attribute at least part of the violence to drug turf battles and an increase in gang rivalries. In many cases, police and prosecutors complain that victims and witnesses are reluctant to cooperate with investigators, and instead settle scores outside of the city's criminal justice system.

Only somewhat? To what else do the police attribute these regular slaughters of young black men in our city? Perhaps we should find this "other" and declare war on it.

I am so tired of hearing new crime plans and new initiatives. None of them will work.

Baltimore's death toll will continue to rise until we end the war on drugs and divert our resources to a war on poverty and addiction. I hope someone can prove me wrong, perhaps someone currently running for Mayor, or maybe even President. I doubt it.


Andrew Smith for Mayor?

I am not even sure if third party mayoral candidate Andrew Smith has gotten himself on the ballot yet, or if he ever will.

I don't know what he looks like, who he voted for in the past three elections, where he lives, anything beyond the 4 simple points on his website, yet I find him to be the most appetizing mayoral candidate for Baltimore yet.

Why? From Smith's website.

Baltimore's failure to invest in our children is a failure to invest in our future. The sorry state of our school system has created generations without hope who see the only way out as a life filled with drugs and guns.


Baltimore's infamous homicide rate is the direct result of the drug war that rages in our neighborhoods. Until we reevaluate the War on Drugs we will never get rid of the gunmen that terrorize our streets.

Simple facts, but powerful in the vacuum of talking points from city pols. One word, REEVALUATE just makes my day. Now whether Smith means this in modest or radical terms, I am not concerned. Here is a man who sees the status quo is no longer working, and that a fundamental change in our THINKING about the "drug war" is necessary before any changes happen.

Its a shame the only one saying it has little chance to win in Baltimore, where the Democratic Primary picks the next Mayor.