Tinkering with Death

From this day forward, I shall no longer tinker with the machinery of death.

Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun
dissenting opinion in the capital punishment case Callins v Collins (1994)

In this week’s sift:

  • Talking About Killing. Troy Davis’ execution galvanized death-penalty opponents. But they’re still talking past (not to) death-penalty advocates.
  • The Sifted Bookshelf: The Hour of Sunlight. How Israeli prison made a peace activist out of Sami al Jundi.
  • Poor, Poor Bigots and other short notes. Why military chaplains are not the victims of DADT repeal. The Republican debates are making the party “sound like crazy people” and hurting Rick Perry. The outrageous lie that put Herman Cain’s campaign back on the map. Amusing political images. Elizabeth Warren goes viral. And more.
  • The previous Sift’s most popular post. Six True Things Politicians Can’t Say was on its way to a respectable showing when it suddenly took off last Monday, got 8000 hits in an hour, and set a Weekly Sift record with (so far) 66,000 views. Economics Works Backwards Now got over 400 views, which would have made it the top post of a typical week. Both were voted onto the recommended list when reposted to Daily Kos — the first time I ever hit that list two days in a row. Meanwhile, One Word Turns the Tea Party Around was having a third burst of popularity, and is now up to 17,000 views. I don’t know how long I can resist the Hollywood urge to write “Six More True Things Politicians Can’t Say” or “Another Word Turns the Tea Party Around”.
  • This week’s challenge. Check out a couple of proposals that could use your support: The People’s Rights Amendment declares that only “natural persons” (not corporations) have constitutional rights. And the National Popular Vote Bill circumvents the Electoral College through a compact among the states.
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