Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Innocence Project

The Innocence Project is a collection of defense attorneys that specialize in post-conviction services. They help inmates who have questionable convictions seek new trials or even total exoneration. They do this by carefully researching each case looking for improprieties. These improprieties come in many forms but the innocence project has narrowed them down to a select few that are the most common:

*Bad Lawyering (lazy, ineffective defense attorneys)
*Prosecutor/Police Misconduct
*Junk Science (non-scientific evidence being used as scientific evidence or questionable science)
*Eyewitness Misidentification
*False Admissions
*Questionable informants

The Innocence Project also provides reforms that, if applied would limit or eliminate these improprieties from taking place.

On the heels of Troy Davis' execution many should see the work of the Innocence Project. In Davis' case a large majority of the witnesses either recanted or their testimony was in some other way compromised. All this has lead in the now widespread belief that Troy Davis was indeed innocent. The only people that truly believe he was guilty was the family of the victim and the prosecutor. Davis sat in prison for over 20 years and even though his case never caught national headlines until right before his execution, it has raised a crucial debate about the criminal justice system and capital punishment.

The Innocence Project has had many cases overturned, and the convict exonerated and very few of these cases ever made national headlines. The thought then becomes that anything which raises questions about the belief in the legal system, a belief mind you that must be there if the system is to work, is ignored or minimized. The Innocence Project's work, Troy Davis' witness recants and contradictions are just two of the things that cause great, widespread disbelief.
Despite all the efforts of the ACLU to prevent Davis' execution it still took place, despite all the efforts of the Innocence Project many men and women who are truly innocent are executed or still sit in prison, all for the sake of protecting the sanctity of a disturbingly unbalanced system.

To learn more about the Innocence Project check out their website:

http://www.innocenceproject.org

Pinochet: Capitalist Hero?

In 2006, a blogger for the Von Mises Institute (a very pro-capitalist organization) wrote a blog heralding former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for saving Chile' from their democratically elected President Salvador Allende and his impending communist state.

Allende, a Marxist and socialist won Chile's elections and began a campaign of nationalizing industry to heal Chile's ailing economy. The blogger, compared Allende's agenda to that of former Russian dictator Joseph Stalin. The coup lead by Pinochet, stormed Chile's White House. In what some call a "civil war", others refer to as a coup de grace in the end Allende killed himself and Pinochet took power. After taking power Pinochet punished Allende supporters, trade unionists, socialists etc brutal by using torture and murder.

The argument being made by the blogger is that although thousands of people were murdered, tortured and/or just plain evaporated into thin air by Pinochet's brutal regime, its a small price to pay because death tolls would have been worse under Allende, even though there is no proof to make such a claim.

The writer even goes as far as to say that had there been a Pinochet in Germany to stop Hitler the country would have been better off. Obviously this is to say Allende was Chile's Hitler, or on the road to becoming Hitler-esque leader [despite having zero proof of such]. Now why would they say this? I mean who cares? Well they do.

Pinochet was a capitalist who learned from Milton Freeman and the famed Chicago school of Economics and believed in free-markets and that he "liberated" Chile from Allende's socialism with the help of the United States Government, foreign corporations and powerful foreign economists [all capitalist economists by the way]. The sad part is that If this was a socialist website touting Che Guevara people would hit the ceiling.

To get a sense of how ridiculous this blog is this is a quote directly from the blog itself: "General Pinochet was thus one of the most extraordinary dictators in history, a dictator who stood for major limits on the power of the state, who imposed such limits, and who sought to maintain such limits".

You honestly want people to believe there is a such thing as a benevolent dictator?!  A dictator who limits his own powers? Yet, they willfully admit he murdered and tortured people? How utterly retarded.

The Hit on Gaddafi

Preface--[I am not happy Gaddafi is dead, I don't know enough about him to make a judgment]

Wolf Blitzer on CNN said 2 things that stuck out to me. 1- "Are the American people going to reimbursed for their help in overthrowing Gaddafi" and 2- "Libya is a wealthy country, a very oil rich country and now they have an opportunity to do 'good things' for their people".

What this tells me is that the U.S. government will demand repayment for helping overthrow Gaddafi, effectively putting Libya in their debt [along with the inevitable puppet leader]. This also tells me to expect a raid on Libya's oil by American/"NATO" countries and corporations which will also trash the economy of Libya.

Now I don't know much about Libya but I DO know about America's government and corporations and I don't think the Libyans will like living under the thumb of Western economic colonialism.

Anyway I noticed that NATO was given credit for knocking off Gaddafi and in my personal interest looked up NATO membership.

I happened to stumble across some info about Libya's economy as I was looking to see what could come from Gaddafi's death. And this is what I found:
NATO & The EU each share 21 members. Libya is the biggest exporter to the EU. It supplies approximately 98.5% of the EU's energy. Their agreements came up to 28.8B last year. This year was supposed to be the re-negotiations of their agreements.

Now it came also to my attention that Gaddafi intended to do 2 things: 1-Unify Africa under 1 government (he was voted as leader of the African Union in 2009) and 2-begin trading oil solely for gold. Neither of which is favorable to his trade partners or the world at large. Africa is already very wealthy in gold and oil, so trading solely in precious resources works in Africa's favor.

Well considering it was time to re-negotiate with the EU on trade terms AND his oil for gold plan, it is really coincidental that Gaddafi started having "problems" that lead to the suspension of those negotiations earlier this year.

These "problems" [rebels] began being aided by NATO [the VAST majority of which are his LARGEST trade partners]. France, Italy & Britain who were the 3 major NATO nations involved (also 3 major nations in the EU) killed off their #1 exporter of energy, but for what purpose?

Its obvious right? Why negotiate when they can use force to take the whole basket? Essentially, this is Iraq pt. II and Gaddafi is the new Saddam Hussein. Was Gaddafi a dictator? Of course but so was Hosni Mubarak (former Egyptian Prime Minister) but NATO didn't get involved there. Kim Jong Ill (Prime Minister of North Korea) is a dictator nobody gets involved there. There's a civil war in Bahrain, yet NATO & the United Nations don't get involved...wonder why.

My opinion is that this is a well calculated, mafia style hit. An economic hit to be more precise. Planned by the United States, France, Italy and Britain and their oil corporations looking to take advantage of another oil rich nation that looked to use the capitalist ideology against them (Saddam tried it in the 80s and was invaded in the 90s for his efforts).

Bloodshed over oil must stop. This blog is not about absolving Gaddafi or Saddam from the evil they have done but it is about how the governments of various nations believing that the people are stupid and so complacent that we will rejoice at the death of a dictator even under false pretenses.

Jono's Viewpoints