U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords

Not since the Nazi Party ascended to power with only a third of the vote in the early 1930’s has there been such a shameless political power grab as that of George W. Bush. Despite losing the popular vote, and the appearance that family and friends rigged the results in Florida, Bush embarked on a five-month blitzkreig to make the world safe for fossil fuels and global warming. Under his so-called “charm offensive” that comes across as Jethro Bodine on downers, he undermined the U.S. tax system and was well on his way to building an unneeded and brand new missile defense system. He appeared unstoppable. And then Senator Jim Jeffords uprooted the shrub and moved the country back to the center with his bold and beautiful defection from the Republican Party. Jeffords’ action is not only heroic, it’s historic. Too bad he didn’t get to confront Junior and ask him the same question asked Senator Joseph McCarthy: “Have you no shame, sir?”


Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeiffer

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeiffer’s May 11 dissent in the death sentence handed down to Jay D. Scott is also of historical importance. Pfeiffer’s prose was clear and lucid in spelling out the implications of routinely killing well-documented severely mentally ill patients. As Attorney General Betty Montgomery and Ohio Governor Bob Taft read the polls and seem to delight in carving out a special niche for killing the mentally retarded and mentally ill, Pfeiffer’s reasoning reflects an evolved social conscience and morality more in line with the European democracies. Bloody Betty and Big Bob, by contrast, wallow in the butchery of authoritarian states like China and Iran. Pfeiffer’s dissent speaks volumes: “Executing Jay D. Scott says more about our society than it says about him. Executing him will be another assertion of our country’s place in the world with China, Congo, Iran and Saudi Arabia as the five countries that year after year perform the most state-sanctioned executions.”


Cincinnati police and Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office

Much like caricatures of evil villains in tag team wrestling, we have the disgusting reality of the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office and their buddies in the Cincinnati police force. The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office has long distinguished itself by sending more people to death row, even if it takes renting a snitch, as in the case of Johnny Byrd’s conviction, than any other county. But when it comes to an obvious case of cold-blooded racist murder, and it’s a white cop, Office Stephen Roach, shooting unarmed black youth Timothy Thomas to death – they can do no better than a misdemeanor indictment. Think about it. Byrd is on death row with no direct evidence against him other than the manufactured testimony of a junkie, while Roach executes Thomas in plain view, and he’s not even a fifth-degree felon. Justice, Hamilton County-style.