Texas man who lost wife and daughter to rich kid gets zero justice
Watch the interview with CNN above. The Raw Story reports the father and husband, Eric Boyles, saying the following when asked what should Americans take away from his loss:
"There are absolutely no consequences for what occurred that day. The primary message has to absolutely be that money and privilege can’t buy justice in this country, that it’s not okay to drink and drive and kill four people, and severely injure another, and not have any consequences. That’s not the American dream that we grew up to participate in.”
Ethan Couch, the defendant, was essentially acquitted of four counts of manslaughter, and was subsequently placed on probation where he will spend his rehabilitation period in a 500,000 dollar center, more spa than prison.
I want to leave you all with these thoughts: We know this boy largely benefited from not only his family’s wealth, but also from the fact that he is white. The disparity between black and brown sentencing and whites is enormous in the United States, and it is because our legal system is predicated on an adversarial competition of who is right and who is wrong, whereby racism and money bring a stacked deck against any poor or minority.
Given these sorts of outcomes, how could anybody ever call this right, even if the 15 year old boy served a life in prison? What would have been justice?
A few observations from the perspective of 2013:
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka the Mormon Church, seems to have heeded Mark Twain’s advice: ”Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” In November the Mormon Church bought 2% of Florida.
- The Bible Belt, comprised mostly of Southern Baptists, is on full display and informs the strong social conservative strain that runs through American politics.
- Catholics barely beat out the Southern Baptists for the highest number of counties with the most adherents.
- Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, and West Virgina appear to have the most diversity when it comes to dominant religious groups. On the other side is Vermont and New Hampshire, which are considered the Godless states.
We don’t call it the Deep South for nothing. Notice how there are no non-Christian faiths even approaching dominance anywhere in the US. What does that say, do you think?
Security forces attacking students again at Azhar University 12/11/13
"Security forces attack female students, slap one on the face and detain male students."
The moment security forces and thugs broke into the university.
The latest budget deal would cut deficits instead of paying for extended unemployment insurance.
As the world focuses on Tuesday’s historic handshake between President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro, we look back at the pivotal role Cuba played in ending apartheid and why Castro was one of only five world leaders invited to speak at Nelson Mandela’s memorial. In the words of Mandela, the Cubans’ destroyed the myth of the invincibility of the white oppressor … [and] inspired the fighting masses of South Africa.’ Historian Piero Gleijeses argues that it was Cuba’s victory in Angola in 1988 that forced Pretoria to set Namibia free and helped break the back of apartheid South Africa. We speak to Gleijeses about his new book, “Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria, and the Struggle for Southern Africa, 1976-1991,” and play archival footage of Mandela meeting Fidel Castro in Cuba.
“…egalitarianism is an essential requirement for healthy human life; hierarchy is an utter rejection of everything that makes us human.”
King Hannibal is said to be the greatest military leader and strategist of all time. Hannibal was born in 247 B.C., during the beginning of the decline of Carthage, then a maritime power near present-day Tunis in North Africa. The Carthage population was a mix of Africans and Phoenicians who were great merchants, trading with India, the people of the Mediterranean and the Scilly Isles.
When he was very young, about 8 or 9, Hannibal accompanied his father Hamilclar in a battle against the Romans. Seventeen years later in 221 B.C., he succeeded his brother-in-law Hasdrubal, and became supreme commander of the peninsula.
Hannibal had 80,000 infantry, 12,000 cavalry, and 40 African war elephants. He conquered major portions of Spain and France, and all of Italy, except for Rome.
Hannibal marched his army and war elephants through the Alps to surprise and conquer his enemies. In one battle, the Romans put 80,000 men on the field led by Scipio to defeat Hannibal. When Scipio attacked with his entire army, Hannibal had so studied the grounds that he arranged his African swordsmen and elephants to trampled and slaughter them.
After killing thousands of Roman soilders in lengthy battle, Hannibal took his own life rather than surrender when he was overwhelmed by the larger Roman army.
King Mansa Musa I (Emperor Moses) was an important Malian king, ruling from 1312 to 1337 and expanding the Mali influence over the Niger city-states of Timbuktu, Gao, and Djenne.
Musa ruled the Mali Empire and was estimated to have been worth the equivalent of $400 billion in today’s currency, which makes him the richest man to ever walk this earth. The emperor was a master businessman and economist, and gained his wealth through Mali’s supply of gold, salt and ivory, the main commodities for most of the world during that time.
Musa maintained a huge army that kept peace and policed the trade routes for his businesses. His armies pushed the borders of Mali from the Atlantic coast in the west; beyond the cities of Timbuktu and Gao in the east; and from the salt mines of Taghaza in the north to the gold mines of Wangar in the south.
Musa was also a major influence on the University of Timbuktu, the world’s first university and the major learning institution for not just of Africa but the world. Timbuktu became a meeting place of poets, scholars and artists of Africa and the Middle East. Even after Mali declined, Timbuktu remained the major learning center of Africa for many years.
Shaka, king of the Zulus, was born in 1787, the son of Zulu Chief Senzangakhona and his wife Nandi. When Shaka was 26, his father died and left the throne to a son, Sijuana. Shaka ambushed and killed Sijuana, taking leadership of the Zulus. He came to power around 1818.
A strong leader and military innovator, Shaka is noted for revolutionizing 19th century Bantu warfare by first grouping regiments by age, and training his men to use standardized weapons and special tactics.
He invented the “assegai,” a short stabbing spear, and marched his regiments in tight formation, using large shields to fend off the enemies throwing spears. Over the years, Shaka’s troops earned such a reputation that many enemies would flee at the sight of them.
With cunning and confidence as his tools, Shaka built a small Zulu tribe into a powerful nation of more than a million people, and united all tribes in South Africa against European colonial rule. The Zulu nation continued to use Shaka’s innovations in wars after his death.
Near the end of the 19th century, the British exiled King Prempeh from the hinterlands of the Gold Coast (present day Ghana), in an attempt to take over. By 1900, still not gaining control, the British sent a governor to the city of Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti, to demand the Golden Stool, the Ark of the Covenant for the Ashanti people.
The Golden Stool was the supreme symbol of the sovereignty and the independence of the Ashanti, a people who inhabited dense rain forests of what is now the central portion of Ghana. The governor in no way understood the sacred significance of the Golden Stool, which according to tradition, contained the soul of the Ashanti.
Nana Yaa Asantewa was present at the meeting with the governor and chiefs. When the meeting ended, and she was alone with the Ashanti chiefs, she said: “Now I have seen that some of you fear to fight for our king. If it were in the brave days of old, the days of Osei Tutu, Okomfo Anoyke and Opulu Ware, Ashanti chiefs would not sit down to see their king taken away without firing a shot. No white man could have dared speak to Ashanti chiefs in the way the governor spoke to you chiefs this morning.”
Nana Yaa Asantewa’s speech stirred the men. She said, “If you men will not go forward, then we the women will. I will call upon my fellow women. We will fight the white men until the last of us falls in the battlefields.”
The Ashantis, led by Nana Yaa Asantewa, fought very bravely.
King Ramesses II, also referred to as Ramesses the Great, was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the 19th dynasty. He reigned from 1279 B.C. to 1213 B.C. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. His successors and later Egyptians called him the “Great Ancestor.” Ramesses II led several military expeditions into the Levant, reasserting Egyptian control over Canaan. He also led expeditions south into Nubia, commemorated in inscriptions at the temples at Beit el-Wali and Gerf Hussein.
At age 14, Ramesses was appointed prince regent by his father Seti I. He is believed to have taken the throne in his late teens and is known to have ruled Egypt for 66 years and 2 months, according to Egypt’s contemporary historical records. He was once reported to have lived to 99 years old.
Queen Nefertari was the Nubian queen from 1292 to 1225 B.C. One of a many great Nubian queens, Nefertari is heralded as the queen who wed for peace. Her marriage to Ramesses II began strictly as a political move, a sharing of power between two leaders. But not only did it grow into one of the greatest royal love affairs in history, but brought the hundred year war between Nubia and Egypt to an end.
Their story was an armistice that lasted over a hundred years. Even today, a monument stands in Queen Nefertari’s honor. In fact, the temple which Ramesses built for her at Abu Simbel is one of the largest and most beautiful structures ever built to honor a wife.