Reality Bites


* The public defender’s system in one Georgia judicial circuit was so profoundly broken that one man sat in jail for 110 days for a crime for which he had already been convicted and served his sentence.  The officials in charge of making the system work and operating the local judicial system, including the judges, willfully defy the constitution in myriad way and have worked very hard to prevent it from having any effect in their four countries.  Alas, this situation is Georgia isn’t that unusual elsewhere in the country.  Turning court rulings into adequate funding for public defenders isn’t something that happens automatically or naturally, although funding for incarceration seems to have no such problem.  Kudos to the Southern Poverty Law Center for its tireless and never ending work to secure justice in a part of the country that isn’t interested in it.

* Kevin Drum artfully makes the case that the Donald Trump’s supporters are most motivated because they are angry white men (and more than a few women cut from the same cloth) sick of political correctness.

[F]or most people their real issue with it is that it forbids them from delivering casual slurs—that everyone knows are true—about blacks or women or Muslims or gays or whatever. They’ve been doing it all their lives, and they think it’s ridiculous that they have to watch themselves in public lest someone think they’re racists. Trump appeals to that sentiment. . . . At a gut level . . . they think “normal” American culture is under attack. . . . no one is even allowed to tell the truth about what this really means. Mexicans come pouring across the border but you get in trouble for just plainly saying what everyone knows: most of them are criminals and should be sent back. Muslims blow up the World Trade Center, but woe betide anyone who makes the common sense observation that we should keep a close eye on mosques because most of them are terrorist breeding grounds. Blacks commit violent crimes at higher levels than whites, but we all have to pretend this is only because whites have been keeping them down for so long. And if you make a harmless joke about some woman having a great body? It’s a compliment! But the feminazis will be all over you like bees in a hive.

They want carte blanche to act in ways that they think makes common sense, even if that common sense is mostly dead wrong. About a quarter of likely Republican voters support Trump, and Kevin Drum has accurately captured one of the predominant reasons why this is so.  Plenty of Republicans who ultimately support other candidates feel the same way.  The fact that you are reasonably affluent doesn’t mean that you are well informed.

Is it possible to change the hearts and minds of these people?  I’d like to think so, but I’m not sure what means would be most effective or how such a campaign could be financed.  Until we do, however, we are going to be stuck with powerful regressive cultural forces playing a powerful role in our political system.

* In the last couple of days Colorado has had floods that sent cars floating down the streets in Colorado Springs, snow at Eisenhower Tunnel, a tornado in metropolitan Denver, and three million gallons of toxic mine waste loaded with heavy metals flowing down the Animas River into Durango and beyond.  We even had a wildfire triggered by recreational target shooting.  So far, however, we haven’t had any major earthquakes or volcanoes, so that’s something.

from Wash Park Prophet
via Denver News

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