Southern trees bear a strange fruit,

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,

Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant South,

The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,

Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,

And the sudden smell of burning flesh!

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,

For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,

For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,

Here is a strange and bitter crop.

[Amnesty International: Georgia Kills Troy Davis]
[Sister Helen Prejean: Would Jesus Pull the Plug?]

For the sheer melancholy, I think this version is most appropriate. America sucks at justice.

@matador1015: I almost used that clip as the illustration.

No death penalty for those who commit war crimes, but death to those who might have murdered someone. The GOP must be crushed – I’ll say it again.

Did anyone really think that all the outpouring of concern, shaming of those involved etc would make a difference in this case: black guy on death row, dead white cop, Georgia, victim’s family in support of execution?

It could be said that to show what it thought of the all the attention, the state literally killed Davis like an animal. Rachel reported tonight that they used a drug intended to put down household pets.

Also executed tonight: Lawrence Brewer, the guy in Texas who drove the truck behind which James Byrd Jr. was chained by his feet and dragged to death. A column in the Nation reports his statement that “I have no regrets. I’d do it all over again to tell you the truth.”

From the LAT: in a July interview with Beaumont’s KFDM-TV, the first Brewer has granted since he was convicted in 1999, he admitted driving the truck but said he was not responsible for killing Byrd.

“I know in my heart I participated in assaulting him, but I had nothing to do with the killing as far as dragging him or driving the truck or anything,” Brewer said.
Brewer told KFDM that he was willing to die.

“I’m for the death penalty. I feel that if you take a life you should pay for it by taking your own life if you’re actually guilty of taking a life,” Brewer said.

He also said that for him, the death penalty will be a relief.

“This is a good out for me,” he said. “I don’t want a life sentence, period, with or without parole. I wouldn’t be happy with that.”

. . . the men drove him down a remote county road, beat him unconscious, urinated on his body, chained him by his ankles to the truck and dragged him for three miles. When the truck made a hard turn at a bend in the road, Byrd’s head struck a cement culvert and he was decapitated. The three men then dumped his remains in front of an African American cemetery and went to a barbecue.

And from the LAT

@redmanlaw: No. But one can hope.

Meanwhile, Orange County DA charges Fullerton cops with murder and manslaughter of the beating death of mentally ill homeless man.

@SanFranLefty: Cops in Albuquerque have shot and killed 20 people this year. DOJ might come in to investigate.

I know someone in law enforcement who is very familiar with the Albuquerque police department. He says the force there is just brutal, a product of the abusive culture there that starts with the academy. A big time criminal defense and civil rights lawyer who cost APD millions in judgments died mysteriously there recently and all the top field commanders went by to look at her dead body.

@SanFranLefty: As a Georgian, I really don’t know what to say, other than I’m sorry.

I fell asleep at 10 p.m., zonked out on bipolar medications, with Troy Davis’ fate in limbo.

As per every day in a teatard America, as a thinking American, I woke up to a nightmare. I feel really, really ashamed and really, really sick.

@rptrcub: Don’t apologize for living in Georgia.

@redmanlaw: Byrd was murdered horrifically. But as his murderer said, life in prison is worse than being executed. The guy sounds like he was an evil racist sociopathic motherfucker, but that doesn’t justify the government killing him. Growing up in Texas where on occasion Huntsville would kill three guys in one evening to save on paying the guards and executioner OT, capital punishment was so common that I used to take the more nuanced position Nojo referred to about being okay with the death penalty if everything worked properly in the justice system. But now I don’t see how if the slightest bit of attention is paid to how our country’s injustice system works, how anybody could think that it’s not just plain wrong.

@redmanlaw: Did the cops kill her?

aww, cubbie. i have worried about you living in georgia, like i worry now about Jamie in AZ….
how did i not know you were taking crazy meds? welcome comrade!
my meds have been readjusted again, and i’ve been in a low level depression for many months already. but i’m writing again, so maybe things are looking up. you are in my first tier prayers now, darlin.

@baked: Thank you. I try to stay inside the I-285 perimeter highway around Atlanta, the dividing line between blue and red in this fucked up place.

I’m on teh crazy drugs indeed and I absolutely hate them. I feel stuck. I’ve been in a down shift myself.

yeah, i hate them too…but NEVER forget the alternative!!!
you will get unstuck. i’m in that process now.
falling asleep on the news is an excellent way to cope!

@baked: Aw, thanks, B but no need to worry. I’ve been feeling strangely optimistic lately. I think it has something to do with regularly getting laid. :-P
Although the past few weeks have been sorta stressful for a couple of reasons. First, I’m on a list to be appointed as a court commissioner but there’s no way to know if the presiding judge will ever choose me or not. One spot opened up last week, but the judge chose someone else. The second stressful thing is the nutjobs in my neighborhood association are getting out of control. I’m trying to find a way to gracefully get out of the commitments I’ve made without letting the fucktards know they’ve gotten to me. Or without running them over with my car.
Other than that, though, everything’s hunky dory!

life in prison is worse than being executed

Now that is a very good reason right there to do away with the death penalty. That and it’s less expensive to commit someone to a life sentence.

Apparently we’re only concerned about cost when it comes to feeding the poors.

@redmanlaw: Holy shit, 20 people! Were they all suspects or are some of those DV shootings?

@redmanlaw: @SanFranLefty: It’s worth noting that Byrd’s family opposed giving his killers the death penalty.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:
well OK then, miss getting laid! cures all that ails ya.
good good good luck with the appt. that would be awesome!
i almost forgot the horrors of neighborhood associations. my advice? ignore all commitments. what can they do?

@rptrcub & @baked: I’m so sorry that you’re both going through that. Big hugz.

This Depression is just depressin’. I’ve been coping by leaving the KKKuntree for a few weeks and ignoring the news as much as possible. In addition to that, the tried and true method of firmly inserting fingers into ears and yellin’ “LALALALALALALALALA” seems to be working well.

@SanFranLefty: Wallbro says APD acted inappropriately by allowing its top brass and City Hall officials to traipse in and out of Han’s home for what she contends was no other apparent reason than to gawk at and gloat over the death of a woman who had cost the city millions of dollars in lawsuits.

City officials disputed those allegations.

Among those at Han’s home that day were then-city public safety director Darren White and his spokesman, T.J. Wilham; APD Deputy Chiefs Beth Paiz, Paul Feist and Allen Banks; Valley Area Commander Rae Mason; then-City Attorney Rob Perry; police crime lab director Marc Adams; and four sergeants, including a designated APD spokeswoman.

Read more: ABQJournal Online » Mary Han’s Death

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: All shot by cops.

Oops: ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An officer attempting to serve an arrest warrant at a Taylor Ranch home Tuesday afternoon shot and killed Christopher Torres, the son of Bernalillo County Deputy Manager Renetta Torres.

According to news reports and information provided by the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Center Task Force on Social Justice for Public Safety, Alan Gomez was killed by APD Officer Sean Wallace on May 10 while walking into his brother’s home. He was carrying a plastic spoon.

At least a few of the dead guys allegedly pulled knives or guns on the officers. Some occurred after foot or vehicle chases. At least two officers have killed people before.

@¡Andrew!: Thanks. When I worked as a newspaper reporter in the mid-2000s, I truly did take sick days when I needed a mental health break away from all of the bad stuff (I was the crime reporter during a murderous summer and also covered the military=talking to many, many grieving family members). I’ve got 6 weeks of sick leave saved up so I might start taking them again.

I think the worst thing about the medications is the fact that all of my hard work in going from 319 pounds to 172 or so has been completely sabotaged by metabolism changes brought on by the medicines. I’m now back up to 277 and I guess I should be “rptrbear” now.

@redmanlaw: I think the (In)Justice Department is already here in Seattle investigating the SPD for answering every call with a hail of gunfire, including several incidents in which the “suspects” were unarmed, and appalling raids of card-carrying medical mj patients. The purpose of our po-leece seems to be to terrorize the community, and calling them just makes matters worse.

@rptrcub: Have you had time to exercise? That always makes me feel better, and I know that it’s hell with a busy schedule, but definitely try to stay busy. Oh! Plan a trip! May I suggest the lovely and exotic Pacific Northwest? (hint, hint)

@¡Andrew!: I’ve been back into the swing of things, and I’ve actually gained a pound — and not by weight training either. It does help me feel better, though.

I believe a trip up your way, nay, the entire left coast, from Stinque HQ in Sandy Eggo to El Ay, Ess Eff, through Portland and ending where you are, is called for. It would be nice to get out of Southeast Fucktardistan.

@rptrcub: Come on up! Duuude, we’ll go liftin’!

And we’re very bear-friendly here…

@rptrcub: I find the PNW a terrific antidote to Southern crazy. Come on up.

@¡Andrew!: @Mistress Cynica: It’s settled then. Mr. Cub Bear and I will start saving our nickels.

I was supposed to get very close to the PNW in US-America in February due to the scheduling of a conference in Vancouver; however, due to the procurement and disbursement department at where I work not writing checks beforehand (I have a $500 credit card, that’s it, and I can’t get a travel card), that trip is off.

@baked: Nothing really, I suppose, but I worry about my reputation. I’m trying to come up with a plausible work commitment or sick mother story that will justify my dumping everything unfinished back in their crazy ass laps.

@Mistress Cynica: High school friend enlists in the Marines, goes to Parris Island for training. Comes back to Eugene over a break, and all he can do is describe this bizarre exotic phenomenon the natives call humidity.

@rptrcub: You and Mr. Bear have a place to stay in Sea-town, so don’t worry about that.

The weather is a wild card, tho. The Rain Curtain of Doom is about to slam down, and it won’t really let up until next May at the earliest. What about Spring Break in March? If you decide to visit then, I suggest starting in Seattle and driving down the coast, so that by the time you reach SD, the weather at the end of your vacation will be sunny and gorgeous before you head home.

@rptrcub: I’d offer to put you up for a few days out here in Southwest Fucktardistan … but I like you.

did Andrew say “sunny and gorgeous?” casa baked has the light on too.

@¡Andrew!: Why thank you. I think I now know someone in every major American city now.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I appreciate the offer. I think the redeeming part of Southwest Fucktardistan has to be the fact that the humidity is not the same as on Venus.

@nojo: Seriously. It was 70 degrees this morning and I was drenched in sweat after walking only 13 minutes from my apartment over to the train station.

@¡Andrew!: BTW, I will be in Seattle Oct 7-9 for the Book Fair. Would love to see you. Email me at cynica77 (at) if you’ll be around.

@Mistress Cynica: I’ll be here! Let’s definitely get together.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: You would be the most awesome judge/commissioner ever. And fuck the HOA – they are evil incarnate, I can tell you from personal experience. Run away. Don’t worry about an excuse. Just say no. Or say that being a judge means you can’t do it. Or getting laid on a regular basis (congrats, BTW!) means you can’t do it…

@rptrcub: Oh honey, that’s the irony of the happy pills. They’re supposed to cure your depression but then they make you gain weight and be depressed. The first time I met my latest shrink (problem with using residents at a med school) I told her all the drugs I would not take because I refused to gain weight. I told her I am not shallow and I am not a dieting anorexic freak. But I am healthy and athletic and I know that to gain more weight than I already have from my meds, age, and self-medicating during the Bush years would crush me. So if your meds are having that profound of a side effect on you, get to the doc and demand that s/he try something else.

@rptrcub: Fuck that noise unless it is the very last option. Friend of mine went through that almost 10 years ago, still recovering. It destroyed a lot of her memory, intelligence, and ability to spot social cues.

@SanFranLefty: It is, apparently, getting better (more targeted, I suppose) all the time.

@SanFranLefty: That’s scary. Drug merry-go-round it is, then.

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