Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Today in Postracialism: Study Finds Blacks Barred from Southern Juries

By The Buzz

A study conducted by the Equal Justice Initiative has found that Blacks' exclusion from sitting on southern juries is a practice that remains in vogue and unchecked

In late April in a courthouse in Madison County, Ala., a prosecutor was asked to explain why he had struck 11 of 14 black potential jurors in a capital murder case.

The district attorney, Robert Broussard, said one had seemed “arrogant” and “pretty vocal.” In another woman, he said he “detected hostility.”

Mr. Broussard also questioned the “sophistication” of a former Army sergeant, a forklift operator with three years of college, a cafeteria manager, an assembly-line worker and a retired Department of Defense program analyst.

Arguments like these were used for years to keep blacks off juries in the segregationist South, systematically denying justice to black defendants and victims. But today, the practice of excluding blacks and other minorities from Southern juries remains widespread and, according to defense lawyers and a new study by the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit human rights and legal services organization in Montgomery, Ala., largely unchecked.

In the Madison County case, the defendant, Jason M. Sharp, a white man, was sentenced to death after a trial by a jury of 11 whites and one black. The April hearing was the result of a challenge by defense lawyers who argued that jury selection was tainted by racial discrimination — a claim that is difficult to prove because prosecutors can claim any race-neutral reason, no matter how implausible, for dismissing a juror.

While jury makeup varies widely by jurisdiction, the organization, which studied eight Southern states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee — found areas in all of them where significant problems persist. In Alabama, courts have found racially discriminatory jury selection in 25 death penalty cases since 1987, and there are counties where more than 75 percent of black jury pool members have been struck in death penalty cases.

An analysis of Jefferson Parish, La., by the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center found that from 1999 to 2007, blacks were struck from juries at more than three times the rate of whites.

Continue reading at The New York Times

Last Week The Radical Left Descended On Trenton – AFP Shows You Who They Really Are!

On May 22nd big government activists went to Trenton supposedly to protest Governor Christie’s budget cuts and to push for a “millionaire’s tax” on New Jersey’s wealth producers.

But AFP was there to catch it all on video and show you who they really are!

While the media portrayed the crowd as mainstream and “just caring about the children,” a look at the list of attendees shows the event was a who’s who of radical, far left organizations, socialists, and public sector unions who were there to push a Marxist agenda and to protect their own precious pensions and benefits.

One of the featured speakers was Larry Hamm of the People’s Organization for Progress, a socialist who rails against capitalism and calls for a “radical redistribution of wealth.”

Union bosses take to the stage to sound off about “the rich” while they take in salaries in the hundreds of thousands of dollars – paid for on the backs of their members.

In fact, here are just some of those groups at the rally – including the ACLU, the NJEA, and, yes, even SEIU.

American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, NJ Council 1

American Federation of Teachers, NJ

Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War

Communications Workers of America, District 1

Democracia USA

Displaced Homemakers Network of New Jersey

Fund for an Open Society

Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey

Immigrants Rights Defense Committee of New Jersey

La Casa de Don Pedro

National Association of Social Workers, NJ Chapter

New Jersey Education Association

New Jersey Immigration Policy Network

New Jersey State Federation of Teachers- AFT

People’s Organization for Progress

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of New Jersey

Progressive Democrats of America, New Jersey

Service Employees International Union, NJ State Council

Sierra Club, New Jersey Chapter

But you don’t need me to tell you who what these people stand for. You can watch for yourself here. Click on this video and see for yourself what these “progressives” believe and how they really want to “transform” America.

These radicals might think the people are on their side but there is mounting evidence that the American people are beginning to turn on public sector unions. They are beginning to understand just how organized labor like the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the NJEA are hurting taxpayers and destroying state budgets due to their outrageous benefits and pensions. New polling data show a large majority of Americans think “having a federal work force that was more generously compensated than workers in the private sector ‘was a bad thing for our country.’” (Read the article on the polling data here)

This is good news but it is not enough.

If you and I are going to reclaim our state and lead it back to prosperity, then we must send a message to these proponents of socialism and enemies of free enterprise: Your ideas have failed around the world – and they will fail here as well!

We must tell them that enough is enough and that we will no longer tolerate them blocking what is in the best interests of our state just so they can enrich themselves at our expense. The time has come for them to live in the real world just like those of us in the private sector.

Taxpayers’ Budget Hearing Tonight in Newton, NJ!

AFP’s next Taxpayers’ Budget hearing will be in Newton, NJ on Wednesday, June 2nd at 7:00pm
For more information and to see a full schedule of our upcoming Taxpayers’ Budget hearings, click here. To download and read the AFP Taxpayers’ Budget, click here.

On to Victory,
Steve Lonegan
State Director

Obama’s Oily Mess

By Rick Manning

I am desperately hoping that what I am writing is proven to not be true, but when the Obama Administration declared that they are now focused upon “containment” of the Deepwater oil spill, it sent off alarm bells.

The one truly effective thing the Obama team could have been doing over the past month and a half is containing the spill. Apart from convening the world’s top deep water drilling experts to consult on the problem and offer possible solutions, and providing whatever resources were needed to BP, there was little that the federal government could do in plugging the leak.

Now that “top kill” has failed and shooting golf balls and tire parts into the hole hasn’t fixed the problem, the Obama Administration is finally focused upon containment.

Where have they been the past month and a half?

Get full story here.

A Battle Won

By Rebekah Rast

After three years of war between fish and man, the farmers in the San Joaquin Valley have finally won a battle.

It has taken three years of fallow fields, seasonally over-priced produce and farmers and their families standing in food lines for the realization to come that humans and their livelihood are more important than a 3-inch endangered bait fish, the Delta smelt. That’s three years too long, but farmers and those needing water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are still elated.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger issued a 126-page decision involving the threatened Delta smelt stating water officials must consider humans along with the fish in limiting use of the Delta for irrigation. This decision comes just days after a similar ruling on endangered salmon in the Delta. The judge was convinced by the arguments of water users that research by the federal government did not prove that increased pumping from the Delta greatly harmed the smelt.

“We are very pleased and very happy,” says Sarah Woolf of California’s Westlands Water District. “It has finally been recognized that what needs to be focused on is the whole environment and how everything is interrelated.”

Judge Wanger’s ruling proves that the environmentalist movement has gone too far. Even though water deliveries to the Valley have been restricted for years, the population of fish in the Delta has continued to decline. Clearly, water deliveries are not solely to blame for fish populations and therefore farmers should not be punished any longer.

Get full story here.

Reich’s Bad Idea

By Adam Bitely

A terrible idea is being put forth by Robert Reich in regards to the Obama administration putting BP into temporary receivership in order to better control the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This move would only be a recipe for disaster.

Reich offers five flimsy reasons why such a move would be necessary, but in doing so, forgets the obvious.

For instance, Reich states that "BP continues to be responsible primarily to its shareholders, not to the American public". Reich is correct. BP is responsible to its shareholders. And right now, those shareholders want BP to plug that gushing oil well as much as anyone else. It is with each passing day that BP stock loses value as the gusher continues to pollute the water. The stockholders have an interest themselves to make sure that BP is doing whatever is necessary to fix the problem.

Reich also fails to recognize that even with government in control of the situation, albeit through controlling BP's North American operations, that government officials will be as likely to solve this as the experts at BP currently. Reich makes an argument against a temporary receivership situation with his own admission that government officials lack the expertise to fix the gushing while noting that BP does have better minds in this field.

Keeping in mind the above, Reich argues that the government should have the authority to force BP to adopt a different strategy. But how could the government possibly know a better strategy when they openly admit they are void of the expertise in this field? The government, and Reich included, openly admit that BP is better suited to handle the fixes necessary to shut off the well.

Get full story here.

The Union Pension Bailout

Feeling tapped out after stimulus, ObamaCare and everything else? Senator Bob Casey has one more deal for you. If the Pennsylvania Democrat gets his way, U.S. taxpayers will also pick up the astonishing tab for poorly managed union pension plans.

Mr. Casey is gathering support for his curiously named "Create Jobs and Save Benefits Act," a bailout for union-run retirement plans. Similar to House legislation from North Dakota Democrat Earl Pomeroy and Ohio Republican Patrick Tiberi, the bill would transfer tens of billions of dollars worth of retiree liabilities to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, i.e., to taxpayers.

At issue are multi-employer pension plans, in which companies across an industry pay into a single pension pool. The plans are predominately run by unions and for years have distinguished themselves by poor management. The Labor Department in 2008 listed 230 multi-employer plans that were either endangered (less than 80% funded), or critical (less than 65% funded), or that had applied to government for funding relief. By 2009 that number had soared to 640.

The financial crash is partly to blame, but even before 2006 only about 6% of multi-employer plans were fully funded, compared to about 31% of single-employer plans. The real problem is that multi-employer plans have become a sort of pension Ponzi scheme.

Get full story here.

The Coverage