Guilty

Justice was slow, but caught up with him in the end:

Edgar Ray Killen, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, was found guilty today of felony manslaughter in the killings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi four decades ago. The verdict, delivered on the 41st anniversary of the deaths, was less severe than the murder conviction that the state prosecutors had sought.

The jury, which began deliberating Monday afternoon, reported just before breaking for the night that they were spilt 6 to 6 on the case against Mr. Killen, an ailing, 80-year-old sawmill operator who was charged with masterminding the 1964 slayings. The jurors resumed their deliberations this morning, after spending the night sequestered at a hotel on the order of the judge, Marcus D. Gordon of State Circuit Court in Neshoba County.

Mr. Killen, the first to face state murder charges in the case, could be sentenced to up to 20 years on each of the three counts. He did not testify at his short trial, which began last Wednesday, and he was breathing with the aid of an oxygen tube, looking straight ahead, as he listened to the reading of the verdict and the confirmatory poll of the jurors by the judge.

Mr. Killen was immediately taken into custody.

Good.








Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day, everyone.

Project Nothing has his own tribute up.








The Daily Nazi

And now for some real Nazi’s (Bug Me Not password):

Hate groups, particularly Nazi-oriented skinheads, are mushrooming across New Jersey at the same time that anti-Semitic incidents in the state have shot to an all-time high.

Law enforcement officials and organizations that monitor such groups say New Jersey’s increase is extraordinary.

Active hate groups in New Jersey totaled 31 last year, up from five in 1999, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks such groups around the nation.

“They’re popping up all over,” said Brian Christensen, an investigator with New Jersey’s Office of Bias Crime and Community Relations.

Experts say that the increase in the number of groups does not necessarily mean more people are getting involved or that some larger war of the races has gained momentum. They also point out that the overwhelming majority of bias crimes are not committed by those in hate groups.

Just so people remember what real Nazis and neo-Nazis are all about.








Gay Marriage

An enormous 11 page piece in the NY Times on Gay Marriage titled “What’s Their Real Problem With Gay Marriage? (It’s the Gay Part),” which is, on balance, a pretty fair piece on the issue of gay marriage and the political forces aligned to stop it. While the article (at least to me), seemed to be pretty balanced, some passages are bound to create and uproar among some. These include:

But for the anti-gay-marriage activists, homosexuality is something to be fought, not tolerated or respected. I found no one among the people on the ground who are leading the anti-gay-marriage cause who said in essence: ”I have nothing against homosexuality. I just don’t believe gays should be allowed to marry.” Rather, their passion comes from their conviction that homosexuality is a sin, is immoral, harms children and spreads disease. Not only that, but they see homosexuality itself as a kind of disease, one that afflicts not only individuals but also society at large and that shares one of the prominent features of a disease: it seeks to spread itself.

That passage will cause problems for the obvious reasons. Same with this:

Of course, this view of homosexuality — seeing it as a disorder to be cured — is not new. It was cutting-edge thinking circa 1905. While most of society — including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Education Association, the World Health Organization and many other such groups — eventually came around to the idea that homosexuality is normal, some segments refused to go along. And what was once a fairly fringe portion of the population has swelled in recent years, as has its influence.

And then there is this:

Several anti-gay-marriage activists drew my attention to a study showing that since gay civil unions became legal in Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, the rate of out-of-wedlock births in those countries has increased. When I made the observation that, of all things to lay at the feet of homosexuals, the birth rate was surely not one of them, Laura Clark had an answer: ”When marriage can mean anything, it means nothing. Why bother to get married at all?” And indeed, she is accurately reflecting the analysis of Stanley Kurtz, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution whose articles on the topic in The Weekly Standard make the rounds of the activists. Kurtz links rising rates of cohabitation and out-of-wedlock birth to the legalization of gay unions. He follows a British demographer in studying cohabitation rates in three groups of European countries: the Nordics, those roughly in the geographic middle and the southern tier.

Read the whole thing.








Don’t See this Too Often

Here is something you don’t see every day- an ode (well, not really an ode) to WalMart.

Because curiosity got the better of me while I was writing this and because google rules, here is an actual Ode to Walmart:

Ode to Wal Mart

isles and isles
of bargins piled
high–
as eye can
see
triumphant consumers
generals and colonels
march down battlements
armies
clutch toy cars
plastic princess barrettes
ride to battle in plastic baby seats
babies learn to seek
cheapest deals
before they can talk

It goes on. The internets is great.








Daily Dose of Zaniness

This is pretty bizarre:

Hostettler has been concerned about a court case in his community called Russelburg v. Gibson County, which deals with a controversy surrounding a state-sponsored Ten Commandments display in front of the Gibson County Courthouse in Princeton, Indiana. Local citizens challenged the constitutionality of the local government promoting one faith’s holy text at the courthouse, and, as is usually the case, a federal judge agreed that the display is unconstitutional.

Hostettler, perhaps a little concerned about his re-election prospects, has latched onto the case. In February, he wrote a letter to the president, urging Bush, as head of the executive branch of government, to refuse to enforce the court order. The White House ignored the request.

So Hostettler, this week, took matters into his own hands and introduced an amendment to a spending bill that would “prohibit funds in the Act from being used to enforce the judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in the case of Russelburg v. Gibson County.” In other words, Hostettler would prevent the federal judiciary from enforcing its own court order. Gibson County could refuse to comply with the law and the judge couldn’t send marshals to resolve the problem.

And as if that weren’t insane enough, Hostettler’s amendment passed, 242-182.

So now Congress is writing laws that forbids enforcement of court orders? Is this a first? Even the attorney who repesented the city, fighting to keep the display, thinks he is nuts:

U.S. Rep. John Hostettler’s attempt to defy a federal order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from a southern Indiana courthouse lawn has bewildered even those who want the monument to stay.

Gibson County officials have distanced themselves from Hostettler, saying there was never any intent to defy the federal court order, which could prompt U.S. marshals to descend on the city to remove it instead.

“We’re law-abiding people,” said Jerry Stilwell, the Princeton attorney who defended the county in a lawsuit seeking the monument’s removal. “Whether we like the ruling or not is irrelevant.”

Hostettler’s amendment, which passed though the House on Wednesday, would prohibit federal money from funding marshals in any effort to remove the monument. Hostettler sponsored a similar amendment regarding a Ten Commandments monument in Alabama in 2003 that passed the House but was rejected in the Senate.

Why not wait for the SCOUTS ruling:

Gibson County Attorney Jerry Stilwell says, “The judge in his order never ordered the U.S. Marshals to do anything.” Stilwell defended the county’s efforts to keep the monument in place and says the federal ruling made no mention of US Marshals. “He ordered Gibson County to remove the monument within 60 days of his order, and we initiated the appeal and that is stayed at this point, and we’ll wait for the final decision.”

The final decision now rests with the US Supreme Court, which is looking over two cases that could affect the fate of Gibson County’s monument. Stilwell tells us, “One’s a Kentucky case and one’s a Texas case and if, in other words, depending on what that decision is in those two cases by the United States Supreme Court, will depend on what happens here.” Stilwell says Gibson County residents are law abiding and will follow any judge’s ruling.

The whole thing is just weird.








Just a Quick Question

I really am trying to keep my now meaningless promise to stop talking about Schiavo, but I just have one quick question.

Assume Michael Schiavo did in fact wait 70 minutes to call 911 (instead of just goofing up the time 15 years later in an interview), and through the mystical powers of faith-healing, she was revived. What could he possibly be charged with? Is not calling 911 fast enough even a crime?

Here is a more cynical take than mine (is that possible?).

EJ Dionne:

Nothing in the autopsy report prevents those who opposed removing Schiavo’s feeding tube from continuing to insist they were right. It’s legitimate and honorable to argue on philosophical grounds that every medical decision in a tragic circumstance such as Schiavo’s should be made on the side of keeping the sick person alive.

But those who supported an extraordinary use of federal power to force their own conclusion against the judgment of state courts knew that philosophical arguments would not be enough. Most Americans were uneasy about compelling Schiavo’s husband, Michael, to keep his wife alive if — as the state courts had concluded and as the autopsy confirmed on Wednesday — she had suffered irreversible brain damage and was incapable of recovering.

So the big-government conservatives had to invent a story. They had to insist that they knew, just knew , more about Terri Schiavo’s condition than the doctors on the scene. They had to question Michael Schiavo’s motives and imply that he wanted to, well, get rid of her.

And rather than contrition, now the sad story moves on in a new perverse direction- an investigation in to whether Michael Schiavo called 911 fast enough.