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Modern Witch Trials

Who is Lawrence O’Donnell?

In one sense, O’Donnell isn’t to blame for what he did. He didn’t claim to be a criminal defense lawyer, knowledgeable in the ways we think, act and work. He is what he purports to be, a talking head on a third-rate cable channel watched by insomniacs and people wearing elaborate hats made of tin foil. But then, these tend to be the types of folks who are most easily misled, most impressionable, as they lack the radar that enables them to distinguish reality from the O’Donnells of the tube. These are the people seeking confirmation bias, validation of their wildest imaginings, and if some guy on TV says so, then so it must be. Proof that they were right all along!
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Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a criminal defense lawyer anywhere who would explain that the only reason a defendant doesn’t testify is because he’s guilty. That’s just crazy. I mean, totally batshit nuts. It’s simply not true.

And yet anyone watching O’Donnell will leave the couch thinking they now know the magic secret of the inside world of criminal defense, and carry that stupidity with them as they speak with friends, teach their children and, pathetically, sit on a jury.

It would be one thing for O’Donnell to hold a foolish opinion if it was just something he trotted out at the occasional cocktail party, but when a guy has a television soapbox, with its inherent credibility as an entertainer paid to fill in the voids between commercials, he can do some serious damage. And no doubt he did.

To Talk Inside Baseball, You Have To Be Inside Baseball

We don’t need no stinkin’ bill of rights. “Racists” are the new witches, the new heretics.

It’s like a never-ending onslaught of destroying people’s rights lately! Did no one take civics class in high school?? What is wrong with people lately?! Recently, this little piece by Lawrence O’Donnell from MSNBC started circulating on Twitter. And I saw it. And it made my head almost explode.
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This thought process, this complete and utter shitting on the Constitutional rights we’re all guaranteed, this idea that we don’t have to grant “bad” people–people charged w/ crimes–the full panoply of rights and presumptions because we’ve decided we don’t like those bad people…that’s why we’re all in trouble. Eventually, we’ll erode these precious rights down to nothing and everything this country was founded on–all the things that people fought and died for–all those principles will be meaningless. Because we decided we were going to ignore the right to remain silent because only guilty people remain silent.

And, for what it’s worth, if I were ever arrested even if I did nothing wrong, I would 1) not consent to any searches; 2) not agree to talk to police; 3) immediately demand a lawyer to be present for any questioning; and 4) probably wouldn’t testify. You know why?? BECAUSE I CAN. Because it’s my right to do all of those things. And it’s yours, too, despite what blowhards like Lawrence O’Donnell may think.

Where are we going? And why are we in this handbasket?

Strength in Unity! Forward!

Already this morning, television news has broadcast the twits of New York City politicians and candidates following the verdict. They have the potential to enlighten, to calm, to inform. Instead, they are pandering and inflaming the passions and ignorance of the public, playing the confirmation bias card.

Whether they too lack a working grasp of our legal system, or know better and just don’t care, is unclear. Either way, a million people could end the day stupider than it began. Is it worth a vote? Don’t answer.

Zimmerman: No Appeal From The Court of Public Opinion (Update)

The pro-Trayvon campaign shows how illiberal ‘anti-racism’ has become.
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These accusations of racism might sound radical, but they aren’t. Today, we’re told, the roots of racial conflict are not found in government policy (Obama and others are seen as anti-racist), nor among the elites generally (it is gauche to espouse such views in polite circles), nor even so much among the police. Instead, the blame for racism is put squarely on the shoulders of working-class types like Zimmerman.

There is a terrible irony to the response to the Zimmerman verdict: it is those who profess to be on the side of Martin and justice, who claim to be anti-racist, who are really promoting prejudice and illiberal solutions. The pro-Trayvon lobby promotes explicit prejudice against ignorant jurors, against crazed men carrying guns, against ‘white Hispanics’ and others who fail to appreciate all races. It is also the loudest critic of basic legal principles, such as innocence until proven guilty and reasonable doubt. The whole thing reveals how what now passes for ‘anti-racism’ has become a divisive outlook with authoritarian overtones.

Who’s really promoting prejudice? (emphasis added)

Budding fascists.

Also see “A fool’s competition: who can be more ignorant about the Constitution?

The government should not punish people for their beliefs.
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Double jeopardy.
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Although it was predictable that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People would demand federal charges against Zimmerman after he was acquitted, it is sad to see the American Civil Liberties Union, which should be standing up for the rights of unpopular defendants, jumping on this bandwagon. In a statement issued on Sunday, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said “it is imperative that the Department of Justice thoroughly examine whether the Martin shooting was a federal civil rights violation or hate crime.”

In other words, the ACLU is calling for a federal inquiry into an acquitted defendant’s beliefs with the aim of justifying a second prosecution for the same crime. What part of that says “civil liberties” to you?

4 Reasons to Reject Federal Charges Against George Zimmerman

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