I have a bit of snarky in my fingertips tonight, it seems. But, I shall start with what I consider the positive news …
The President is doing okay …
Overall, President Biden’s approval rating is quite good, all things considered. Especially when compared to the last guy … Today, Biden’s approval rating stands at 53.8% per an aggregate of polls … a number never once reached by the former guy in four years, and in fact his highest at any point was 45.5%. Check out two recent polls … NBC and CBS respectively …
And even Fox ‘News’ has Biden with a 54% approval rating!
What is it, exactly, that people approve of? He gets the highest marks for things related to his handling of the pandemic, such as vaccine rollout and the pandemic relief package. His lowest rankings are on immigration, as was to be expected, given the huge mess the former president left him with. In light of the messes … plural … that were left to him to clean up, it appears that President Biden is doing a damn fine job so far.
For my own view … I am thankful to have the voice of reason in the White House again. I approve of a president who can speak in whole sentences, who doesn’t engage in wild facial contortions, who doesn’t tweet nasty accusations and denigrations 24/7, and who doesn’t make that weird, inverted fist thing to get his point across. I am thankful to have a man who I believe with all my heart will work FOR the people of this nation and of the world, rather than only for the few who have lots of money and zero conscience. I am thankful for a president who is honest, who has integrity, and whom I trust with my life.
Again, it bears repeating that President Joe Biden has a higher approval rating after just 100 days than the former president ever achieved in 4 years. Speaks volumes, doesn’t it?
But will they be convicted?
Amidst the detritus, the hate, the violence, there comes one positive bit of news. You remember Ahmaud Arbery, the Black man who was out for a jog near Brunswick, Georgia, back in February 2020 when he was chased down by a truck manned with three white men, and fatally shot. His crime? JWB … Jogging While Black. Two of the three men — Gregory and Travis McMichael — claimed to be conducting a “citizen’s arrest” and claimed they had acted in self-defense, even though Mr. Arbery was unarmed and did not threaten them. A citizen’s arrest? Seriously???
For a while it looked like nothing was going to be done about it, but on Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced that federal prosecutors indicted the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery on hate crime and attempted kidnapping charges.
All three men were charged with one count of interference with rights and with one count of attempted kidnapping, and the McMichaels were charged with one count each of using, carrying, and brandishing (in Travis’s case discharging) a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said …
“It’s one step closer to justice. They did the investigation properly and they came out with those indictments. So, my family and I were pleased.”
Next step is to hold these men accountable for their crimes. Will a jury in Georgia find them guilty? I don’t see how they could rule otherwise, but … it is Georgia. No trial date has been set as yet, but you know I’ll be following this one closely.
And speaking of …
The video was everything in prosecuting the murder of George Floyd. NOBODY could watch that video and not see pure evil on the part of ex-officer Derek Chauvin who kept a knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes until finally he died. That video was shown far and wide, and sparked protests not only across the U.S., but around the globe. It was a powerful statement and a powerful tool in the trial, no doubt. One juror said he had to use his face mask to try to hide his tears.
The latest case involves the murder of yet another Black man, Andrew Brown, by deputies in North Carolina. It is reported, by those who have seen the body cam footage of the incident, that Mr. Brown’s hands were on the steering wheel, as he had been ordered, and that deputies shot him in the back of the head.
The judge in the case, Judge Jeffery Foster, is refusing to release the five body cam videos to the public. Why? He claims he thinks that releasing the videos could somehow harm the ongoing investigation or threaten the safety of people seen in the footage. BULLSHIT. He is afraid that the same thing will happen as happened when the video of Mr. Floyd’s brutal murder was made public. Okay, yes, it will likely spark protests, and maybe if those deputies valued their own lives, they should have valued Mr. Brown’s life a bit more. I have a great idea … put all the deputies involved in jail cells … for their own safety, of course. Sorry, I’ve got no sympathy for an officer of the law who shoots a man in the back or the back of the head.
The people of this nation have a right to see how Mr. Brown was killed, and we should be protesting now against a judge trying to hide the evidence. In fairness, the judge did say that the video must remain out of public view for at least 30 days, but he would consider releasing it after that point if investigations are complete. Meanwhile, the family members of Mr. Brown have been allowed to view only a 20-second clip from a single body camera. What’s being hidden? And why?
Attorneys for Mr. Brown’s family issued a statement saying …
“In this modern civil rights crisis where we see Black people killed by the police everywhere we look, video evidence is the key to discerning the truth and getting well-deserved justice for victims of senseless murders.”
There can be no justice, for Mr. Brown is certain to remain dead, his family devastated, but there can and MUST be accountability. THIS MUST STOP!!! Perhaps it’s time we treat every law enforcement officer like Barney Fife, give them only one bullet and they must keep that in their pocket, not in their gun! If they’re going to act like Barney, let’s treat them that way!
Here we go again… Trump challenging Arizona ballots as another recount ensues:
Reblogged this on Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News.
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I think I’m with the judge on the subject of releasing the video footage. If that is going to be used in a future court case, seeing it now could prejudice the jury. It is always a difficult judgement to make but it is not iunusual in other jurisdictions for evidence to be witheld from the public – though not the defence – in order to protect it from misinterpretation and/or compromising the impartiallity of potential jurors.
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That’s a credible point, I hadn’t considered jury influence.
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Hmmm … while you do make a good point, there has been far too much secrecy by police departments and it is only in the past decade or so that we are beginning to see the blatant racism and utter cruelty that has been allowed to go on for far too long. I keep thinking back to the first time I saw the video of George Floyd being brutally murdered by Derek Chauvin … if that video had not been made public, the public would have largely forgotten the case of George Floyd, chalked it up to just another Black man killed by police. But we SAW what happened with our own eyes. Nobody could see that video and not believe that Chauvin was actually enjoying watching a Black man die! We must know! We must be allowed to see for ourselves what the police whose salaries we pay are doing to us! The jury is going to see the body cams anyway, or so I should hope … let the public see them, keep this fresh in our minds so we cannot forget. Sigh.
I do agree completely that all of the footage should be released, not a 30 second clip to his family but every single second of every one of those cameras. Not only to his family but to the people who pay the salaries of these thugs who think they’re above the law just because they have a ridiculous costume, a badge and a gun.
Though statistically more whites were killed by cops in 2020 than blacks, and you can look it up to verify the claim, a life is a life and no one has a more moral claim over anyone else’s life than the person to whom that life belongs.
I have the same question you do, what is the judge hiding, maybe that these cops were laughing about killing someone?
a similar thing happened where the cops acosted a 73-year-old coming out of a walmart, the body cam fottage is pretty disturbing and you can hear these punks joking and laughing about things.
I am sick and tired of the bad cops who do these things, even when their body cams are activated. Imagine what they do when they think they’re not being recorded?
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Yes, more whites than Blacks were killed by cops in total, but as a percentage of the population, a far higher number of Blacks were killed per capita than whites. But to your point, yes, we have every right to see that body cam footage. We pay these police officers salaries, and I demand to know just what, exactly, happened that left Mr. Brown dead with his hands on the steering wheel and a bullet in the back of his head.
The World view of America and of American policemen and women is one of racism. The view of the Republican Party is pretty much the same with the added idea that they would love to reintroduce slavery and break America up into two distinct countries with one where people of colour will always be subservient. This image and the reality has to change drastically before America can be viewed as they wish, as leaders of the free world.
It’s heartening to see that some progress has been made in that investigations are now being held into the unlawful deaths of black people at the hands of the police. There must be more transparency, more convictions so that the police see they no longer have a free pass to do as they want and that justice will be served.
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Jill, I am going to place my comment beneath David’s, who as a Brit, clearly states what too many non-US people think of too many people in the US. This should matter to us, but it does not seem to do so, as we do little about. President Biden noted our gun deaths are an embarrassment to the world, and they are, but the legislators who fail to act or in my hearts and prayers. They owe it to the victims do something. The Ahmaud Arbery tale is yet one more sad one in a long line of many non-Caucasian men and women who are killed when they should not have been. This story reminds me of a family who moved here from India and were living in a nice home in Birmingham. Her father was in town for a visit, but did not speak English. When he went out for a walk, a neighbor called the police on this dark-skinned man and he is now dead, because he did not understand the police. Not armed, just dark-skinned.
People should not die for no reason. People should not die for petty offenses. Racism exists and we need to guard against it. It exists in police and we need to guard against it. Plus, police must avoid escalation. Author Malcolm Gladwell focused on the Sandra Bland dialogue with a traffic cop. The policeman had multiple opportunities NOT to escalate the situation, but blew right through them. He was presdisposed to make an arrest and now she is dead. She had come to town for a job interview. She made a traffic violation and now she is dead.
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You are right, Keith … to far too many people, our standing in the world does not matter … or at least they don’t care. It does matter, for we are not an island, but rather a part of the global community. Some think they can wear their blinders and ignore globalism and our connectivity with other nations, but they are wrong.
No, people should not die for no reason … people should not be gunned down in a supermarket, their car, their bedroom … but it is happening on a daily basis here. Sandra Bland was another, as was Breonna Taylor, who was completely innocent of ANY wrongdoing … their only crime was being Black. Some days, I have no hope for this nation, y’know?
There was a time I believed that most people in this country were not racists. I took the rose-coloured glasses off a couple of decades ago, and what I see now is a nation where about half the people ascribe to the idea that pale skin somehow makes them superior. Since that portion seems to be increasing (or perhaps we’re just noticing it more), I foresee a time that this nation will divide into two or more separate nations. I won’t be around to see it, but I think that by the end of the 21st century, there will no longer be a single “United” States, for we are far from united today. The current level of divisiveness is not sustainable in the long run.
Yes, it is heartening to see that some are being held to account for their actions, but too late to bring back the lives they took. The only real hope is that it serves as a deterrent to others who might do the same. I’m afraid I have only a crumb or two of optimism that this nation can change. Sigh.