TRAYVON

I was so pleased when Judge Nelson advised the jury — over the defense’s objection — that they could consider the lesser charge of manslaughter.  Suddenly, a difficult decision seemed easy: surely they would grab this middle ground.  But they didn’t.  P-FAW’s Michael Keegan reflects:

Less than three weeks ago, the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a key enforcement provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, saying that the Act had worked so well that its provisions designed to confront ingrained institutional racism were no longer necessary.

Just this weekend, a Florida man was acquitted for shooting an unarmed African American teenager walking to his father’s house armed with only a bag of Skittles. The verdict was heartbreaking, not just because it left Trayvon Martin’s family without justice, but because it illustrated so clearly what so many Americans already know. Our criminal justice system, like our voting system, is stacked against people of color. . . .

Contrast Zimmerman’s going free — with his gun, no less, after pursuing (and killing) a boy he had been instructed by police not to — with this African-American woman‘s getting 20 years for firing a warning shot (that hurt no one) after being threatened by an abusive husband.

Both in Florida.

Seriously?

HOPE

This three-minute clip makes me hopeful.  Despite Washington’s gridlock, there is a bright generation of young future leaders eager to make progress.  Including the 2013 DNC Hope Institute participants on the clip.  (And while I’m being partisan, can anyone guess, if young Malala — the 16-year-old Pakistani girl whose UN speech I posted Monday — had to chose between the two American political parties, which party she’d favor?)

SIGA

And speaking of hope, our SIGA jumped slightly on this “news” yesterday of an impending $79 million payment from Uncle Sam.  (I put “news” in quotes because the payment was expected.)  That kind of money may not sound like much to you — perhaps you’re considering a bid on this just-listed $190 million Connecticut waterfront home* — but to me, or,  more to the point, to little SIGA, with its current $180 million market cap, a $79 million check is more than a footnote.  My current plan is to hold on for a year or two for a significantly higher stock price.  Though only (cue the chorus) with money I can truly afford to lose.

RIP

Long-time readers will recall that I went through an extended “estimable” phase.  I would frequently refer to many of you, when I used one of your comments on this page, as “the estimable” this or “the estimable” that.  It’s not, by the way, that any of you have become even the slightest bit less estimable — quite the contrary — but at some point the “estimable” thing seemed to be getting a bit old, so I largely stopped doing it.  Well, yesterday morning we lost the estimable Alan Rogowsky . . . as gentle and good-hearted and cheerful and constructive a soul as there was.  So just in case he’s still reading this (giving new meaning to The Cloud), I just wanted to say: thanks for 40-some years of friendship, and numerous contributions to this page.

 

 

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