This Blackwater guard pleaded guilty. He atoned. But didn’t get a pardon

By DEL QUENTIN WILBER, © The Los Angeles Times
January 15, 2021

Since the massacre in Baghdad 13 years ago, Jeremy Ridgeway has done just about everything right.
The former Blackwater security contractor and Southern California resident pleaded guilty to manslaughter, admitting his role in killing 14 Iraqi civilians and wounding 17 others. He testified against four Blackwater guards, who were convicted and sentenced to stiff prison terms. He dedicated his life to volunteering at his church and training service dogs for veterans.

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Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.

-Emma Goldman

An FBI Agent Went Undercover to Study White Supremacists. He’s Now Speaking Out About Racist Police.

Samantha Michaels, © Mother Jones
January 15, 2021

One Capitol Police officer was caught taking a selfie with a member of the white supremacist mob that overtook the US Capitol last week. A second officer has been suspended for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and directing insurrectionists around the building rather than handcuffing them. The storming of the Capitol has revived concerns about the ties between police and white supremacists, in part because officers arrested far more Black Lives Matter protesters this summer than they did Trump supporters who broke into the legislative building with weapons, at least one Confederate flag, and bundles of zip ties.

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The correlative to loving our neighbors as ourselves is hating ourselves as we hate our neighbors.

-Francis Bacon

Trump has trashed America’s most important alliance. The rift with Europe could take decades to repair

Luke McGee, © CNN
January 16, 2021

The presidency of Donald Trump has left such a wretched stench in Europe that it’s hard to see how, even in four years, Joe Biden could possibly get America’s most important alliance back on track.

This week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled a final trip to meet with European and NATO leaders. While the State Department claimed the reason for his cancellation was so Pompeo could work on the Biden transition, European officials suspect that America’s top diplomat realized he’d arranged a leaving party no one wanted to attend.

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Life is the continuous adjustment of internal relations to external relations.

-Herbert Spencer

GOP using Trump’s false election claims as cover for new voter suppression laws

Meteor Blades, © Daily Kos
January 15, 2021

In six days we will be rid of the worst, most dangerous, and most unhinged President in our nation’s history. But, that will not end the extraordinary damage Trump has done to the country. […]

Among other fundamental problems Trump has caused is the grave damage he has done to our democracy and the legitimacy of our elections, Trump has conned tens of millions of Americans into believing, through his blatantly false claims and lies, that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him through massive voter fraud.
Some Republican state officials already are using Trump’s Big Lie as cover to pursue new laws to make it harder to vote—in other words, new voter suppression laws.
That is why Congress must move quickly to enact H.R. 1, the For The People Act, and H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act.

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Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.

-Francis Bacon