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Jon Erik Kingstad

Afton, MN
Commenter for
4 years 29 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 12/24/14 at 10:55 am in response to Walter Mondale defends torture report, rejects CIA response

Let me put it another way. Torture does work if one's goal is to terrorize, bully, humiliate and degrade. Or want to destroy another human being's sacred dignity. The Inquisition did work in those respects and in terrorizing the opposition into compliance. And in forcing Jews out of places like Spain. There is no evidence that torture is efficacious in recovering valuable intelligence. People can and will say anything during torture, which is one reason why confessions beaten out of people...

"We were very careful to stop short of torture. The Senate has seen fit to label their report torture. But we worked hard to stay short of that definition.”

Bush and Cheney had their attorney Office of Legal Counsel John Yoo come up with a definition of "enhanced interrogation techniques" that authorized what was long held to be violations of the Geneva Convention. For this, the Dean of the University of California Law School has recommended that John Yoo be prosecuted for conspiracy...

The dilemma is that street crime and crimes against other poor people occur where poor people live which tend to be disproportionately African-American. Poor people also are involved disproportionately in crime for survival, e.g. drug trade. Also, law enforcement has attempted to lower crime rates by so-called "broken window" policies that also has a tendency to target poor people for petty offenses, like jaywalking, turnstile jumping and shoplifting or possession. (It would be interesting...

Many people on the right I would say are hung up on the notion that racist attitudes mean the old racism of Bull Conner and Selma, Alabama, the Klan. But there is such a thing as "institutional racism" which I think you've pretty accurately described in your post. Except it's perhaps not always so subliminal as you suggest for everyone. George Zimmerman was not a cop. He was a vigilante type who stalked Treyvon Martin before confronting him- why? Because he was black in some place where he's...

Posted on 12/06/14 at 12:31 pm in response to The new solid South

It's quite true that the Republican Party has no lock on corporatism.The Democratic Party too has its Wall Street wing which in the estimation of many wields far too much influence in that party and in this country. And it's also quite true that organized labor did not alone secure many of the benefits enjoyed by the middle class since WWII.

But it was because organized labor and unions held the influence in the Democratic Party that it did these benefits were secured through...

Posted on 12/06/14 at 09:51 pm in response to The new solid South

It's already well known that the right wing response to charges of racism is to countercharge "liberals" with racism for pointing that out.

The problem is that most "liberals" have already accepted that they are complicit in a culture which condones and encourages racism in many forms including "institutional racism." The answer is not to accuse people with being "smug". There is no answer is that there is no answer but another question: "what are you going to do about it"?

Posted on 12/08/14 at 09:32 am in response to The new solid South

It's hardly disingenuous to bring an established fact: that the Republican Party deliberately used racial divisions to gain votes and a stronghold and turn the Solid South, solidly Republican.

This strategy was used by the Republican Party in Wisconsin and is working with Wisconsin adopting the same failed governance...

Posted on 12/05/14 at 09:24 am in response to Hubbard defends KSTP-TV's Hodges story after SPJ seeks disavowal

Shorter Stan Hubbard.

"We made a mistake and we got caught at it using yellow journalistic tactics but we will never apologize or admit we made a mistake by not at least asking the Mayor if she knew what these cops told us about this gesture."

Who knew that Hubbard or KSTP actually even cared about anything like journalistic integrity? How does it expect to win any race with Fox News for distorting the truth and spreading propagandistic right wing lies if it's going to pay lip...

Posted on 12/03/14 at 11:04 am in response to On Ferguson, social media and racial empathy

I appreciate the author expressing what I felt and I'm sure many others in the last few days. I too took a break from social media for the week of Thanksgiving but then learned that we are not finished with processing what happened in Ferguson.

I also appreciate the author defining the differences between the old racism and the "new racism." Undoubtedly, people who are still thinking about the racism of Montgomery and Selma in the 1960's, and "Burn, Mississippi, Burn!" will reject...

Posted on 12/01/14 at 11:56 am in response to Why riots? A lawyer's thoughts on Ferguson

One reason we have the guarantee of a speedy, public trial in this country is to dispel the questions that remain when a high profile, suspicious death occurs. For many people, the grand jury's failure to indict officer Wilson is equivalent to exoneration but for many others, it leaves many questions which might have been answered in a public trial unanswered. Officer Wilson's action remains under a cloud of doubt that only will serve to fuel speculation, mistrust, fear and anger in our...