Michael Maiello's picture

    Strange Verdicts, Casey Anthony and Murder Trials

    I don't follow murder trials closely and I can't stand Nancy Grace, a former prosecutor who seems to think that no innocent people have ever been accused of a crime in America ever.  When juries acquit in what we outsiders are assured are "slam dunk" cases, I don't get angry about it.  It's pointless, after all, and the jury generally knows better than anybody whether or not a prosecutor has surmounted the "reasonable doubt" hurdle.

    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Thanks, Marcelo

    Note: Will Kohl over at Back2Stonewall asked me if I’d write him a guest post about some of my experiences in Brazil. Here is that post, originally posted at Back2Stonewall.com

    I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t Gay friendly. But it took coming to Brazil for me to become a full-fledged Gay ally. That change started almost immediately upon my arrival.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Last White Gangster

    The FBI has caught Whitey Bulger, after a mere sixteen years. The arrest made national news because of the FBI's well-earned embarrassment and because of the mythology around Bulger. As a crime boss, Bulger was not nationally significant. He was a formidable gang leader with firm control over one slice of Boston's organized crime, but it was only a slice.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    No Privacy. Just Privilege

    The media can't resist talking about Congressman Weiner's penis. That's no surprise. The American entertainment industry exists to talk about penises and the things various penises like. And our news media is only a minor subsidiary of that entertainment empire.

    Donal's picture

    You Don't Turn Your Back on a Cop

    The Truth About Cars  carries this story of a pair of local police officers beating up an old man on a bogus-sounding speeding charge, but there's more info in the source decision, a PDF

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Revisiting LeBron (and Retaining Employees)

    So, last summer LeBron James decided to leave Cleveland, leading to a massive outburst of Clevesentment and a widespread belief that Cleveland had burned down among my friends and family who don't live there (and not just among them, judging from the search terms that old post collected). A year later, he's gotten himself to the NBA Finals for the first time in his career.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Jared Loughner Is Insane (And We Just Noticed)

    So, Jared Loughner, who tried to murder Gabby Giffords, has been found unfit to stand trial because he is too mentally ill to insist his defense. Loughner, among other things, is apparently loudly insisting that Giffords is actually dead, because he succeeded in murdering her. That's pretty much the definition of "unable to assist in your defense" right there.

    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Want a U.S. Passport? Not so fast, tell us about your Mom and work history

    In the United States of America - where only 75 people have ever traveled abroad (note: possibly not a factual statement) - the State Department has decided to pepper new passport applicants with questions that are both increasingly private in nature and, well, just plain annoying.

    From Consumer Traveler:

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Codes of Silence

    There's sad news from Princeton where a lecturer who was apparently in danger of losing his job has taken his own life. That's a terrible thing.

    Ramona's picture

    Women and Children and the Choices we Make

    "I think everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives," [North Dakota governor] Daugaard said in a written statement. "I hope that women who are considering an abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices."
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Libya, Obama, and the Just War Theory

    Barack Obama's decision to join the attack on Libya is very much of a piece with his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. There are various grounds on which a reasonable person could object to the Libya strikes (diplomatic reasons, military reasons, pragmatic reasons, reasons of consistency, even Constitutional reasons). But the decision absolutely fits within a coherent and very traditional moral philosophy. Obama walked through most of the key points of that position in his Nobel Prize speech, with one important omission.

    Donal's picture

    International Women's Day and Mardi Gras

    The Vandellas and Martha

    International Women's Day coincides with Mardi Gras this year.

    Interesting juxtaposition.

    Donal's picture

    Lion in the Lobby



    Tonight on WEAA FM, the Anthony McCarthy show profusely lauded Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr., a civil rights leader who was born 100 years ago. I had never heard of him, but McCarthy and his guest said no one surpassed Mitchell's work for civil rights, and that he was not well known, even among African-Americans, because so much of his contribution was behind closed doors.

    Donal's picture

    Right of Way


    Larger photo here

    Most news outlets carried the story of the car plowing through a Critical Mass bike event in Porto Alegre, Brasil. 15 were injured, eight severely. There are some very graphic videos posted on youtube if you search for Massa Critica Porto Alegre.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Dear Oscar: The Depression Was Not That Pretty

    I went to see The King's Speech, because it was nominated for all those awards and because Monday is Five Dollar Night. I like the actors in it a lot, but I'm glad I didn't spend more than five dollars. The King's Speech may well win the Oscar for Best Picture, but that just goes to show that you don't need originality, drama, artistic perception or a compelling story to win an Oscar.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Your Neighbor's Paycheck Is Your Paycheck

    Here's the deal: how much money you get paid is based on how much other people get paid. This is a fact of life. Your paycheck is based on what other people get in other jobs like yours, and what other people in your area make, and what other people with your qualifications make. The price of those people's work sets the price of replacing you if you quit your job. If you make less than they make, it can only be so much less. If you make more than they make, it's only realistically going to be so much more.

    Donal's picture

    What does it mean when you don't find something to eat?



    I tuned into The Takeaway at 7:10, while waiting for the bus. The topic was food inflation, and the hook was whether common American breakfast foods would be luxuries in a few years. Coffee, orange juice, grains, sugar all have risen sharply. An analyst from the NY Times, Louise Story, noted that common measures of inflation exclude food and energy, which amused the radio hosts, but said that was something economists debate a lot. She discussed whether Bernanke's Quantitative Easing 2 was to blame for rising food prices, thus for the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and unrest throughout the Arab world. Bernanke denies that, claiming that a weaker dollar means a stronger Egyptian currency for buying food. Story blames, "a little bit global warming, a little bit economic recovery, a little bit politics." 

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Martin Luther King's Civility

    We've been talking a lot lately about civility, for obvious and painful reasons. And our public conversation on that topic tends to go astray pretty quickly, because we don't all mean the same thing when we say "civility," and often aren't even sure what we mean by the word ourselves.

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