The Price of Freedom

washingtonpost.com: Supreme Court Says Federal Sentencing Guidelines Not Mandatory:

“The Supreme Court today declared unconstitutional a portion of the nation’s federal sentencing law and said that federal judges are no longer obligated to follow the controversial system of sentencing guidelines established by Congress in 1984.

The long-awaited decision, one of the most significant rulings in a criminal case in years, effectively converted the guidelines from mandatory status to advisory status, meaning that judges must consider them rather than necessarily follow them.

The greatest uncertainty today was the extent to which the ruling will permit appeals by individuals already sentenced under the guidelines.

The central problem with the guidelines, the court said in its 5-4 decision, is that they allow convicted criminals to have their sentences increased on the basis of facts that are unproven before a jury in court.”

Some will complain about judges who make law as being out of control, “activist” judges who pervert laws. However, few seem to grumble when legislatures restrict the ability of judges to do their job, that is, to judge. It seems they might prefer to weaken that our government’s system of checks and balances to attain ends they find suitable. However, these folks might want to re-examine their thinking.

Without “activist” judges, there’d be no Brown vs. Board of Education, for example. They stand between the tyranny of the majority and the freedom of the minority. (I mean that both ways!) And if that means a felon gets his/her sentence reduced, well that’s we must be willing to pay that price. Freedom is seldom free.

Have Negro Will Travel

It would seem that TheStateOf.com put Armstrong on blast for that Leave No Child Left Behind stunt even with the apology. It’s shills like this that supply black conservatives with the credibility they currently enjoy.

Exploitation by the So-Called Protectors

BBC News – New York’s HIV experiment (PDF Version)

This outrage had me seething, folks. What is being done to defenseless children in New York City is no different from the Tuskeegee Experiment. The city’s Administration, big pharmaceutical companies, even the Catholic Church all have a hand in this. Sometimes, I am completely flabbergasted and bewildered at the evil people can commit to benefit themselves and their interests. Once again the voiceless and the most vulnerable are targeted and exploited.

What’s also shameful is the ineptitude or deliberate ignorance of our own press. This report comes to us from the BBC! I’m reminded of John 3:20, “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed.”

Make Love Not War

Yahoo! News – Army Defends Baghdad Battle That Left 16 Dead
This article is a rare glimpse into what war is like even for those who might stand on moral high ground. War is hell. War is evil. It certainly isn’t surgery. And this is why it can never, ultimately win against terrorism. It can defeat an enemy, but not a tactic or a motive, i.e. hatred.
The day after the Towers fell, I saw a sign on the road that read “Kill All Towel-heads.” It didn’t discriminate or hurl rage at terrorists, it hurled a racial epithet. Would any Iraqi who lost someone in this tragedy, who is caught up in the same grief and rage we were, really think any different about us? Tragedies like this recruit for an enemy who needs hatred to gain recruits.
Terrorism is like a grease fire for military might. What usually would put out the fire, our superiority, actually causes it to spread. My heart goes out to the soldiers who have to bear the weight of this conflict and to the thousands Iraqis who are lost in grief. Hopefully, we can let love prevail and defeat the hate that fires terrorism and heal wounds such as these.

Is Jay-Z Keepin’ it Real?

Jay-Z is arguably the current King of Hip Hop music with a string of multiplatinum albums. I give much props to the brother for making it. But this success leaves me a little uneasy.

Jay-Z is arguably the current King of Hip Hop music with a string of multiplatinum albums. I give much props to the brother for making it in that shark infested business called the entertainment industry. But this success leaves me a little uneasy.
It wasn’t that long ago when I listened to Public Enemy curse the Grammy’s for ignoring rap music as a genre. Underground artists would regularly dis mainstream artists like the Fresh Prince, Young MC, etc. who were seen as sellouts because they were perceived to have sacrificed artistic truth for commercial success. It was the Jedi against the Empire.

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