Whew! The Football Team is Safe!

I have a very busy day ahead of me, so let me jot down a few thoughts for you before I head out the door and into what I hope is my future. Wish me luck!

Yesterday’s attack at The Ohio State University has the entire world of pundits a twitter. It was almost funny yesterday waiting for the confirmation of the attackers identification, which most on the left hoped would be John Taylor Smith but turned out to be Abdul Razak Ali Artan. As many suspected, he is from a PLRI country and is, of course, a Muslim. In fact, when interviewed by The Lantern, the official student newspaper of The Ohio State University, he explained:

Mr. Ali Artan sits "pensively" on the OSU Campus (The Lantern)

Mr. Ali Artan sits “pensively” on the OSU Campus (The Lantern)

“I wanted to pray in the open, but I was scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But, I don’t blame them. It’s the media that put that picture in their heads so they’re just going to have it and it, it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable. I was kind of scared right now. But I just did it. I relied on God. I went over to the corner and just prayed.” – The Lantern, August 25, 2016, Pg 5

As Mr. Ali Artan is now taking an eternal dirt nap, we cannot really ask him today if part of the “media’s perception” of Muslims is due – at least in part – to actions taken by individual Muslims such as himself?

I realize that we do not (as of this writing) know Mr. Ali Artan’s specific motives in the attack, but since I don’t believe in coincidence and since ISIL has called for individual Muslims to make attacks such as this and since Mr. Ali Artan clearly had an issue with how he and other Muslims are “perceived,” one is left to connect a few dots and come up with probabilities. Is it possible that he accidentally pulled the Fire Alarm and then unintentionally ran over evacuating students and then in a fluke of nature attacked them with a butcher knife? Sure… it’s possible. But is it probable?

osu-football-team-safeGood news, though! The entire OSU football team is completely safe and sound! Look, I love sports and football (not the OSU version), but how in the world do the managers at ESPN let a headline like this pass muster? I mean, I know that ESPN is losing money like crazy and all, but at what point do even they have to realize that ratings for NCAA football games aren’t as important as life? 

In our nation today, we hear a lot, and I mean a lot, about racism. Depending on your point of view, either the nation drips with it or it’s just overreactions to a few isolated incidents which some people profit from over hyping. Whichever you believe, or if you are somewhere in the middle, there are moments when you come face to face with the reality of three things. First, there is racism in our nation. Second, it rears its ugly head in our justice system, which is where you would expect those involved to be most aware and most defending against it. Thirdly, the benefits of a republican form of government with its Constitution and Bill of Rights combined with the 14th Amendments protections, mean that when that happens, there is oversight and correction. The sad part of a recent case in South Carolina is that happened at all.

bennettjrjohnnyolandis_caro_original_56257-480x300In the same State where Dylan Roof will act as his own lawyer while facing charges for his racially motivated attack on a church, a local DA decided to impress an all-white jury hearing the penalty phase of a murder case with clearly racially charged descriptions of the defendant, who is black. Describing the defendant to the jury as “King Kong,” and “caveman” and even a “beast of burden,” wasn’t enough for the DA, who went on to inform the jury that the defendant was also accused of having sexual relations with a white female prison guard.

Surprise! The all-white jury sentenced the defendant to death. What makes this so egregious to me is that the very people who have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution are the very people – the government – who ignored that oath and charged ahead with a case weak enough that they felt the need to revert to racial epithets and innuendo to deprive a man of life and liberty.

If that doesn’t outrage you, you’re not really standing up for the Constitution.

The Fourth Circuit Court wasn’t having any of this. Whether the man was guilty of the crime or not wasn’t up for discussion. But an effort by the government to take his life as a punishment for that crime had damn well better abide by the limits that We the People have placed on the governments ability to do so. The 4th Circuit Court overturned the death sentence and sent the case back for sentencing again.

But the bigger question we should be asking ourselves is how in the name of all that we hold dear does this happen in the first place? Did not one of those jurists feel like this was too much? Did not the DA himself think that he was going too far in emphasizing the racial characteristics of the defendant and playing upon the potential (and as it turned out, obvious) biases of the jury? Is getting a conviction and a death sentence more important than justice? And before you send me an eMail telling me about the victim, I GET THAT. But the system is supposed to be about justice, not revenge. And certainly not revenge based not on the facts of the case, but the racial biases of a man who swore to defend the Constitution.

Those of you who hold the belief that the Federal Government should hand over land to the States should be aware that on occasion the Federal Government does just that. Particularly when that land can provide benefits to the entire community and by extension to the entirety of the American people who actually owned it in the first place. But understand this one truth – IF, for whatever reason you get the Feds to hand over the land which all of Americans own, those who don’t share your viewpoints are going to go to the ends of the world to make sure that you can’t use it as you decide. In 1949, the Feds deeded some land to the State of Ohio for the purposes of flood control. Now, this benefits the local population since they now don’t get flooded away. And it benefits all Americans, like you and I, because we don’t have to spend FEMA bucks to provide flood relief and infrastructure repairs. All’s well, right?

Fast forward to 2016 and the State of Ohio decided to allow fracking on the land, which appears to be in violation of the original deed. Environmental interests sue. Now the Feds either have to stop the fracking or take the land back. Trust me, even if you manage to Bundify the public lands of your particular choice, you’re going to face a whole lot of legal actions that will keep you busy for a hundred years.



Posted on November 29, 2016, in 14th Amendment, 1st Amendment, Constitution, DA Office, Execution, Federalism, Race, Religion, Religion, Violence and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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