Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Weird Wednesday: Conspiracy Theories in Moscow, Civil Rights in Ferguson, Choosing to be Gay in Prison, and Opening Arguments in Boston

There is so much weird shit bouncing around the internet today it is hard to fathom it all. Maybe we're trapped in some global Twilight Zone episode filled with such leaps of illogic and bizarre speculations we might was well be playing rock songs backward, hunting down hidden, satanic, messages in the lyrics.
Reuters is reporting that earlier today Vladimir Putin said the murder of Boris Nemtsov had a, "...political subtext..." That's probably a safe bet, since Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister, was one of Putin's chief critics. He was gunned down Friday evening near Red Square during a stroll with his girlfriend.
Russian authorities have been looking into the usual suspects, some of Nemtsov's business contacts and friends. Meanwhile the Kremlin is saying the killing might have been perpetrated by people who were out, not to stifle Nemtsov's anti government sentiments, but who want to discredit his enemy, Putin.
That would be the old, let's kill our most effective and popular voice against the Russian president so people will think Vlad Putin is a bad guy theory. Of course since the police force investigating the murder is ultimately responsible to the Kremlin, as opposed to say, the truth, there is no telling who will end up taking the fall. A car, reportedly seen driving past the murder scene was identified as one belonging to a state owned business which provides security for the finance ministry. However, a ministry spokesperson told Reuters the car actually drove by the site after Nemtsov was killed.
Hey, when it comes to conspiracy theories, timing is everything. Just ask all those loons on You Tube.  
Here in the states, the Department of Justice, is saying both the Ferguson, Missouri police department and city government are full of racists and have a history of committing civil rights abuses. Unfortunately that won't do the family and friends of Michael Brown any good. 
Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson last summer under circumstances which, at best, could be called murky. The DOJ released a statement today saying, "There is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson's stated, subjective, belief that he feared for his life."
The report also cited conflicting witness reports and forensic evidence which was counter to some statements given to authorities during the investigation. The truth is we'll never know exactly what went down on that Ferguson street, but the feeling here is Officer Wilson got away with one.
Then we come to republican presidential candidate Ben Carson. In a TV interview he said being gay was "absolutely" a choice. The reason he knows this? According to the physician, who has never held a public office, it's because so many straight people go into prison and become gay there.
Yeah, well most of the time, Doc, choice doesn't have a thing to do with it. Usually it is that big ass lifer who really wants a blow job and doesn't care who gives it. Or, as a long time guard told me ages ago during a corrections center employee orientation session, "Don't bring anything in here you don't want shoved up your ass--if they riot that's going to happen before we can retake the place." Indeed, in the joint it isn't about sexual preference, it is all about power, intimidation, and revenge.
Thankfully, there was at least one moment of lucidity today. Opening arguments began in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two people accused of the Boston Marathon bombing. Tsarnaev's attorney, Judy Clarke reportedly looked at the jury and basically said, "Hey, he did it."
That's right. No ifs, ands, or buts--my guy is guilty. Clarke knows a lost cause when she sees one because she has been there before. She has represented such diverse personalities as the Olympic Park bomber, Eric Rudolph, Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, and Jared Loughner, the crank who killed six people in Tucson and wounded then house member, Gabrielle Giffords. 
Given that list of deadly miscreants, Ms. Clarke's track record is actually quite good. All three may have gone away for life, but none of them took a needle in the arm. And that is what she is hoping to accomplish for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
It won't be easy. Her entire case depends on whether the jury believes her client fell under the evil and inescapable influence of his older brother, Tamerlan, who she contends was the real force behind the gruesome plot. If the panel doesn't buy it, young Mr. Tsarnaev's goose is cooked.
Yes, it is a rotten day here on the southern plains and elsewhere in the world. Winter still rages in all its icy might and in certain quarters there are those who seem to have bitten into an odd sub species of magic mushrooms in order to ward off cabin fever.
Thankfully, as always, the bar is open.

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